There was nothing casual about Stanford women’s basketball’s Friday in Ames, as the Cardinal got down to business at Hilton Coliseum. The team made its first visit to the competition venue, where it will open the NCAA Tournament Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PT against No. 15 seed South Dakota on ESPN2.
After breakfast and a video session at the team hotel, the Cardinal boarded its bus and headed to Hilton for its 30-minute media session at 1:30 p.m. Head coach Tara VanDerveer, junior forward and hometown girl Taylor Greenfield, and freshman guard Lili Thompson took to the dais at 2 p.m., taking questions from the assembled media. Greenfield, a native of Huxley, 10 minutes away, was at the center of attention for the Cardinal Friday, fielding numerous questions at the press conference about returning for her first collegiate games in her home state and chatting with multiple reporters in the locker room during Stanford’s open-access time.
VanDerveer, Greenfield and Thompson also addressed Saturday’s opponent, talking about scouting South Dakota and not overlooking the Coyotes, which earned its first NCAA Tournament bid by winning the Summit League Tournament. Greenfield and Thompson both expressed that they, along with the rest of the team, were just looking forward to playing basketball again after a two-week break from competition.
In the locker room, meanwhile, the rest of the team sat on the plush couches of the Iowa State women’s volleyball locker room, hanging on every possession in the Stanford men’s basketball NCAA Tournament game against New Mexico. The Cardinal had to head out to the court with about four minutes left in the men’s game in St. Louis, but soon after beginning its workout on the playing floor, the women let out whoops and cheers upon hearing the men closed out the 58-53 win over New Mexico.
The team went through its 90-minute workout on the Hilton Coliseum floor, and near the end of the practice, VanDerveer headed to the media table to chat with Saturday’s ESPN2 commentators Clay Matvick and Fran Fraschilla.
With the end of the workout, the Cardinal hit the ice baths, recovered, and returned to the hotel where dinner and an additional film session were on the docket.