“My dad always says I was born in a gym.” Freshman guard Lindy La Rocque knows that’s not true, but she has loved basketball for all of her 19 years. “I’ve always liked to shoot,” she told the Fast Break Club after the Stanford women’s 102-53 victory over Washington State, the second consecutive game in which they recorded 100+ points.
Lindy’s father and sister, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, were at the game, visiting from their Las Vegas hometown. Her mother, a teacher, couldn’t make the trip because of school. She also was taking care of the family dog, Astro, a Yorkshire terrier.
Lindy attended Durango High and played point guard until her senior year, when she shifted to the 2 spot. The coaches have recently been calling on her point-guard experience, playing her in that key spot when the bench players take over.
Now retired, Lindy’s father taught at Durango High and coached the boys basketball team, then helped with the girls team. One fan asked her how she managed to earn a seemingly impossible 4.7 grade point average on a 4-point system. She explained that she got straight A’s plus extra points for honors classes.
Fans and coaches have remarked on her high, arcing three-point shot, but she had never heard it called arcing until she got to Stanford. She just figures she was applying what she learned in physics class: “You need that high arc to get the ball in the basket.”
Lindy committed to Stanford as a junior. “I wanted an academic type of school,” she said. She then related how she learned she had been accepted. She was driving home after working out when head coach Tara VanDerveer called with the news. Lindy didn’t say yes right away. Instead, still driving (her dad doesn’t like her to use her phone when driving), she called and told him the news. He told her to call back and accept the offer, which she did – while driving.
Some other Lindy tidbits: Her nickname is Lulu. She likes to go fishing at Mammoth Lakes with her father and sister. She hasn’t declared a major, but she’s interested in STS – science, technology and society – and is taking an introductory class this term. Her short-term basketball goals are to get stronger so that she can be more than one-dimensional and to continue working on her shot.
Everyone got a big scare during the game when she fell hard and hit her head on the floor during the second half. Nevertheless, she stayed in the game and finished with four points (a three-pointer and a free throw), five assists, one steal and one offensive rebound. She said afterward that she had a headache, but “I’m OK.” “It was getting a little rough out there,” Tara said just after Lindy finished her Q&A.
Washington State “gave us a good game for a while,” Tara said, but the Cardinal soon surged ahead. “People were excited for each other. They really had fun this weekend,” she said.
A game like this one and the Washington game, which Stanford won by 77 points, are good for the team. The starters get a chance to rest, avoiding injury, while bench players gain game experience and self-confidence, as well as the coaches’ confidence in them. It’s good for morale, too. “This team is learning to love to play together,” she said.
Starting point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude “had a great week. She figured out Jayne was on her team. You throw the ball in to Jayne, you get an automatic assist,” Tara said. Playing only 18 minutes, Jayne tallied 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting plus four rebounds, three assists and one block. Ros had seven points, two rebounds, six assists and five steals in 23 minutes.
“Ros has developed a lot in just two weeks,” Tara said. “She has always played great defense, but now her decisions have improved.”
Singling out some bench players, Tara said that forward Michelle Harrison “had a big weekend for us,” scoring 16 points against Washington State. Freshman forward Sarah Boothe, who had her first double-double against Washington and contributed 13 points against Washington State, “is going to give people nightmares for the next four years.”
Looking ahead to the Cal game on Jan. 18, Tara said the Bears don’t have great size on the bench, but they’re “a very experienced team.” Senior forward Ashley Walker is a key to Cal’s success. “I think she’s a first-round pick in the WNBA draft,” Tara said.
On the health front, she said she hopes that point guard Melanie Murphy, who has been out with sprained big toes, and forward Ashley Cimino can return to practice this week.
At the very beginning of the tent, Eileen Roche, director of basketball operations, said that after the 112-35 rout of Washington on Jan. 8, she’s having trouble filling open dates on next season’s schedule. One assumes that some teams don’t want to risk such a huge loss. On the other hand, Duke and Tennessee have no such trepidations. They’re coming to Stanford in December.
In addition, Scott Schuhmann, associate athletic director, is looking for volunteers to help at the 2009 Senior Games in the San Francisco Bay Area from Aug. 1 to 15. More than 12,000 athletes ages 50 and over are expected to compete in 25 sports, with Stanford venues hosting 17 of the sports, including women’s basketball. Go here for more information about the Senior Games, including how to become a volunteer.