For the second straight year Pac-12 Studios hosted Women's Basketball Media Day in San Francisco, and for the second year running Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer and forward Chiney Ogwumike represented the Cardinal.
For Ogwumike the event started Wednesday night as the conference hosted a dinner for the 12 players and team communication directors at Puccini & Pinetti in San Francisco. The dinner served as an opportunity for the players and staff to reconvene and relax before the start of a new campaign.
Thursday began bright and early as the coaches and players bussed to Pac-12 Studios from their hotel, eventually gathering for group photos at 9 a.m. The Pac-12 also opened the day by announcing its 2013 Preseason Coaches Poll, in which 13-time defending Pac-12 champion Stanford received the maximum 11 first-place votes to top the voting for a 14th straight season. From there the 24 individuals spent the next seven hours moving from one station of the day's circuit to another.
The stops included photo shoots, filming promos for the upcoming season of Pac-12 Network coverage, and chats with Pac-12 officials. Throughout breaks in the movement Ogwumike and VanDerveer had the opportunity to speak with numerous members of the Pac-12 Network on-air and productions staffs as well as members of the local and national media.
Representing ESPN at the event were college basketball analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo, while from print and online outlets national Associated Press women's basketball writer Doug Feinberg and espnW writer Michelle Smith attended along with Bay Area fixtures Janie McCauley (Associated Press), Elliott Almond (San Jose Mercury News), Tom Fitzgerald (San Francisco Chronicle) and Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Weekly).
Also taking part in conversations and Q&A sessions were Pac-12 women's basketball commentators Mary Murphy, Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn and Ann Schatz.
Just before lunch, VanDerveer and Ogwumike joined the Pac-12 Network's Ashley Adamson and former Stanford standout and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Rosalyn Gold-Onwude live in studio to discuss the upcoming season.
The day ended late in the afternoon as VanDerveer and Ogwumike took part in a roundtable discussion with the assembled media, talking about the Cardinal's chances to return to the Final Four for the sixth time in seven seasons as well as the fight for a 14th straight conference title in the increasingly competitive Pac-12.
Stanford will see its first action of the year in a Nov. 3 exhibition against Vanguard at Maples Pavilion, then officially opens the campaign on the East Coast, taking on Boston College Saturday, Nov. 9 and defending national champion Connecticut Monday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2.