October 20, 2012

Friday Frenzy offers quick peek at team

In a first for the Stanford women’s basketball team (at least since I’ve followed it), fans got only an abbreviated preview of this year’s edition during Friday Frenzy on Oct. 19 – a free event featuring both the women’s and the men’s teams.

Because of this new format, fans of the women’s team witnessed far less action than they did during the women’s open practices of previous years. And there was no dinner at Jimmy V’ afterward, when head coach Tara VanDerveer would introduce the players and talk about their attributes.

During this new event, the women, who apparently had started practice earlier in the afternoon, led off the activities with a scrimmage before several hundred fans in Maples Pavilion.

Coached by Tara and associate head coach Amy Tucker, starters for the white team were three starters from last year: senior forward Joslyn Tinkle, junior forward Chiney Ogwumike and sophomore guard Amber Orrange along with sophomore forward Bonnie Samuelson and redshirt freshman guard Jasmine Camp.

They were up against freshman guard Denia Ebersole at the point, along with junior guard Sara James and three male practice players, all coached by assistant coaches Kate Paye and Trina Patterson.

Also on the white team were freshman forward/center Tess Picknell and sophomore forwards Erica Payne and Taylor Greenfield. Freshman guard Kiran Lakhian rounded out the red team.

Redshirt freshman guard Alex Green, who missed most of last season with an injury, was dressed but didn’t play. The same was true for redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef along with junior guard Toni Kokenis, the fourth returning starter. Freshman forward Aly Beebe is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered before the season.

Not surprisingly, Chiney scored first and led everyone with 15 points in two quarters as the white team won. She also had at least two steals. Amber was next with 8 points.

One surprise of the event was Denia’s play at the point. Even though she’s only 5’6” and a latecomer to the roster, she showed some leadership and confidence. Tess, the team’s tallest player at 6’5”, blocked one of Chiney’s shots.

Following the scrimmage, the team’s 3-point shooters were pitted against one another, starting with Joslyn vs. Taylor. Taylor had eight 3’s in 60 seconds, besting Joslyn’s seven and advancing to the next round. Next up were Sara and Bonnie, who tied several times before Bonnie advanced. Bonnie then outshot Taylor to win. During that final round, Bonnie fired off nine 3’s in a row, wowing the crowd.

Announcer Betty Ann Boeving, starting her 14th season at the Maples microphone, then introduced all the players and coaches. Chiney thanked the crowd for coming and said, “We are so excited for this year.”

Next up was introduction of the 16-member men’s team and their coaches. Four of the players and senior high jumper Jules Sharpe of the men’s track and field team engaged in a dunking contest, won by Jules. The four judges included Joslyn and Aly and two of the men.

During this time, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, ’10, arrived and greeted her former teammates and coaches as they sat on the bench.

A shooting contest of layups, free-throws, 3’s and half-court shots featured six trios of one male player, one female player and one child. Denia, Kiran, Taylor, Bonnie, Jasmine and Joslyn represented the women in this contest. Bonnie and Jasmine made the only half-court shots.

After some T-shirts were tossed to the crowd, the women left at 7 p.m. as the men prepared for their scrimmage.

Note: There are lots more photos from Friday Frenzy in the Fan Pix blog.