2013-14 Final Record: 33-4, 17-1 Pac-12 (1st)
2013-14 Postseason: Final Four
(April 6: Connecticut 75, Stanford 56 - Nashville, Tenn.)
2013-14 Pac-12 Tournament: 1-1
(March 8: USC 72, Stanford 68 - Seattle, Wash.)
Stanford’s 2013-14 season wrapped up with the program’s sixth appearance at the Final Four in seven years, and its 12th overall. The Cardinal finished with an overall record of 33-4 and captured its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title, and 23rd overall, with a 17-1 mark in conference play. Highlights of the season included defeating Tennessee for the third straight season, sweeping the Battle of the Bay Series against California, and clinching a Final Four berth at Maples Pavilion.
Ogwumike Claims John R. Wooden Award
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike on April 10 became the first Stanford and Pac-12 women’s basketball player to claim the John R. Wooden Award, being honored at the Wooden Award Gala in Los Angeles. Ogwumike earned the award based on a record-setting 2013-14 campaign in which she was the only player in the country to rank in the NCAA top 10 in scoring (26.1 ppg - fourth), field-goal percentage (60.1 - fourth) and rebounding (12.1 rpg - ninth), and swept the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second straight year.
More Program Milestones
In 2013-14 Stanford extended a couple of program milestones as it claimed its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title and made its 12th trip to the Final Four, and sixth in the past seven years. The 12 Final Four appearances keep Stanford third all-time among all schools in total trips to women’s basketball’s marquee event, and the conference regular-season title was also the Cardinal’s 23rd in 28 years of Pac-12 women’s basketball. Additionally, Stanford’s NCAA Tournament appearance this year was its 28th, moving the Cardinal into third place past Louisiana Tech (27).
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
At the end of the season, Stanford ranked in the top three of 14 categories: scoring defense (60.2 - first), scoring margin (+16.6 - first), rebounding margin (+7.9 - first), field-goal percentage (47.0 - first), assists (17.70 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43 - first), scoring offense (76.7 - second), field-goal percentage defense (35.7 - second), 3-point field-goal percentage (36.2 - second), rebounding defense (34.7 - second), defensive rebounding percentage (71.7 - second), free-throw percentage (69.8 - third), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (30.7 - third), and defensive rebounding (30.3 drpg - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike led the Pac-12 in scoring (26.1 ppg) and field-goal percentage (60.1), and was second in rebounding (12.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.78 bpg). Mikaela Ruef finished fifth in rebounding (9.3 rpg), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75), and ninth in assists (3.27 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange led the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.91) and was second in assists (4.49 apg). Lili Thompson (42.2) was second in the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Bonnie Samuelson (40.6) was third.
In The National Stat Rankings
Stanford ranked in the top 20 of seven categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43 - fourth), field-goal percentage (47.0 - eighth), scoring margin (+16.6 - ninth), assists (17.70 - 11th), turnovers per game (12.4 - 12th), field-goal percentage defense (35.7 - 14th), rebound margin (+7.8 - 19th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring (26.1 ppg - fourth), field-goal percentage (60.1 - fourth), rebounding (12.1 rpg - ninth), and double-doubles (27 - third). Amber Orrange’s 2.91 assist-to-turnover ratio was 11th in the country.
Ogwumike, Ruef Selected In 2014 WNBA Draft
A week after Stanford’s 12th appearance at the Final Four, seniors Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef had their names called at the 2014 WNBA Draft at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Ogwumike was taken with the first overall selection by the Connecticut Sun, joining older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike (No. 1, Los Angeles Sparks, 2012) as Stanford’s second top overall WNBA draft pick and 11th first-round selection. The Ogwumikes also became just the second pair of siblings to go No. 1 overall in an American pro sports draft, joining the Manning brothers, Peyton (No. 1, Indianapolis Colts, 1998) and Eli (No. 1, San Diego Chargers, 2004).
Ruef, meanwhile, had the hard work and success of her dream 2013-14 campaign rewarded when the Seattle Storm selected her with the seventh pick of the third round (31st overall). The Beavercreek, Ohio native became the 23rd Stanford player to be selected in a WNBA Draft after a fifth-year campaign in which she averaged career highs of 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.27 assists per game. Ruef established herself as one of the top passing posts in the country, leading all Pac-12 inside players in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75) and ranking ninth and sixth, respectively, amongst all Pac-12 players.
Stanford Well-Represented As WNBA Camps Open
WNBA clubs opened training camps April 27, and Stanford is well-represented throughout the league as the preseason gets underway. A total of eight former Stanford standouts are in WNBA camps, with three teams boasting multiple Cardinal standouts as 2014 No. 1 overall pick Chiney Ogwumike and 2011 first-round pick Kayla Pedersen are in camp with the Connecticut Sun, 2012 No. 1 overall pick Nnemkadi Ogwumike and 2008 first-round selection Candice Wiggins are with the Los Angeles Sparks, and 2014 third-round pick Mikaela Ruef and second-year pro Joslyn Tinkle are in the Seattle Storm camp. The San Antonio Stars feature 2010 first-round pick Jayne Appel while 2011 first-round pick Jeanette Pohlen enters her fourth season with the Indiana Fever.
Chiney Ogwumike A Consensus All-American
In addition to bringing home the John R. Wooden Award as the national player of the year, Chiney Ogwumike was also voted a consensus All-American for her record-setting 2013-14 season. After being named to every major award’s preseason watch list as well as to every preseason All-America Team, Ogwumike went on to a season in which she averaged 26.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game while shooting 60.1 percent from the field. Those numbers helped Ogwumike earn her second straight selections to the ESPN, USBWA, John R. Wooden Award, and Associated Press First Teams, with the AP nod being her third overall after being named to the second team in 2012. Additionally, Ogwumike was honored at the Final Four in Nashville by being named to the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team for the third straight season, joining Candice Wiggins (2005-08), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2010-12) and Nicole Powell (2002-04) as Stanford’s only three-time WBCA All-Americans.
Celebrating 900 Wins For Tara VanDerveer
Nov. 27’s 83-59 victory over Florida Gulf Coast in Puerto Vallarta gave Tara VanDerveer her 900th-career victory and made her just the fifth women’s basketball head coach to reach the 900-win mark. She now stands alongside Pat Summitt, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer and Jody Conradt in the exclusive club. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, VanDerveer’s career record stands at 927-207, putting her fourth on Division I women’s basketball’s all-time wins list behind Summitt (1,098), Hatchell (935), and Stringer (929).
Stanford Dominates Pac-12 Awards
The Pac-12 announced its end-of-season honors March 4 and senior forward Chiney Ogwumike headlined the list by sweeping the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second year in a row. While it was her second straight Pac-12 Player of the Year honor, the Defensive Player of the Year honor was her third in a row. She became the seventh Stanford player to win multiple conference player of the year awards, and for the fourth straight year was named to the All-Pac-12 Team.
Joining Ogwumike on the All-Pac-12 Team was junior point guard Amber Orrange, who earned her second nod to the all-conference team while averaging 10.1 points and 4.67 assists per game with a conference-best 3.11 assist-to-turnover ratio at the time of announcement. Redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef earned her first nod from the conference, being named All-Pac-12 honorable mention for her year in which she averaged career bests of 6.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.13 assists per game.
A pair of freshman guards were also recognized as Lili Thompson was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team while Karlie Samuelson was named All-Freshman honorable mention. Thompson played her way into the starting lineup by the third game of the year and has averaged 7.3 points and 2.90 assists per game, and is third in the Pac-12 with a 42.5 3-point field-goal percentage. Samuelson, meanwhile, averages 6.3 points over 25 appearances and is third on the team with 36 3-pointers.
Rounding out the honors is head coach Tara VanDerveer, who was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the 14th time. This year VanDerveer became just the fifth Division I women’s basketball coach to win 900 career games, getting No. 900 Nov. 27 against Florida Gulf Coast in Puerto Vallarta.
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
April 6’s 75-56 season-ending loss to Connecticut at the Final Four left Stanford with a record of 10-2 against Top-25 teams in 2013-14. Over those 12 games, Stanford received great performances from numerous players, most notably national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike, the only player in the country to rank in the national Top 10 in scoring (26.1 ppg), rebounding (12.1 rpg), field-goal percentage (60.1), and double-doubles (27) at season’s end. After grinding her way to 15 points and 10 rebounds against Connecticut, Ogwumike ended the year averaging 24.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and shooting 56.6 percent with 17 blocked shots over 12 games against Top-25 teams.
Career Year For Ruef
Redshirt senior Mikaela Ruef’s 2013-14 season provided a dream ending to her transformation from “water cooler hugger” to headline contributor over the span of her five-year Stanford career. Coming to Stanford as a freshman in 2009-10, Ruef spent that season at the end of the bench, “hugging the water cooler” as head coach Tara VanDerveer puts it, averaging just 2.7 minutes a game. She became a solid role player the next season before having to redshirt 2011-12 due to a foot injury. Instead of languishing in purgatory, Ruef battled her way into the starting lineup in 2012-13, starting 29 games and averaging 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 points per game.
This season, Ruef has started 36 of 37 games and turned in a career campaign, averaging career bests of 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.27 assists per game while establishing herself as one of the top passing posts in the country. It all came together at the Stanford Regional in late March, as Ruef was named the regional’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 14.0 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 61.1 percent over wins against Penn State and North Carolina. In the Regional Final against North Carolina, Ruef posted career bests of 17 points and three 3-pointers while grabbing nine rebounds in Stanford’s 74-65 win.
Orrange Finishes Strong Junior Campaign
Sophomore point guard Amber Orrange was a finalist for the Lieberman Award, given annually to the top point guard in the nation, in 2013-14. In her junior season Orrange proved she’s among the best point guards in the country, leading the Pac-12 and ranking 11th in the country with a 2.91 assist-to-turnover ratio, and finishing second in the Pac-12 with 4.49 assists per game. The Houston native also made her mark on offense, averaging 10.3 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field. She turned her game up in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 13.0 points and 4.60 assists while shooting 51.0 percent over the Cardinal’s five games.
Strong Freshman Showings
Stanford’s five-woman freshman class put on a strong display in 2013-14. The quintet was paced by guard Lili Thompson, who started 33 of the 36 games in which she appeared, averaging 8.3 points and shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range while being named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Fellow guard Karlie Samuelson was named Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention after averaging 5.1 points per game and finishing third on the squad with 32 3-pointers. Guard Briana Roberson missed the first two months of the campaign with a hamstring injury, but returned to play in 19 games and show glimpses of her speed and defensive talent. In the paint, forwards Kailee Johnson (2.4 ppg, 40.0 percent 3-point field-goal percentage) started two games while appearing in 29 before a foot injury limited her over the final month, and Erica McCall (3.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg) played 10.5 minutes per game over 36 appearances and finished second on the team with 21 blocks.
Bombin’ Bonnie Leads The Barrage
Junior Bonnie Samuelson also enjoyed a breakout season in 2013-14. The Huntington Beach native appeared in 35 games, making five starts, and posted career highs of 7.3 points, 63 3-pointers made and a 40.6 3-point field-goal percentage. Samuelson led the Cardinal in 3-pointers made and ranked third in the Pac-12 with her 3-point field-goal percentage. On 11 occasions this season Samuelson hit at least three triples in a game, topping out with six on Jan. 3 against Oregon and March 22 against South Dakota. Over Stanford’s five NCAA Tournament games, Samuelson shot 40.5 percent (15-for-37) from behind the arc and averaged 10.2 points.
Another Smash Hit With “N-E-R-D-S (#NerdAnthem)”
Chiney Ogwumike and the Stanford women’s basketball team did it again this week, becoming the talk of the women’s basketball world Monday morning with the release of “N-E-R-D-S (#NerdAnthem)”, the follow-up to 2012’s hit “Nerd City Kids.” The new single quickly rose in popularity on social media, approaching 26,000 views on YouTube within its first two days live, and being tweeted and retweeted and shared on Facebook by scores of people.
The song is written by Ogwumike and with music by Lee Merritts, and performed by Ogwumike and redshirt sophomore guard Jasmine Camp, with 2Fresh, Hookslide and Bud Anderson. The single is set to become the newest anthem of Stanford Athletics’ “Nerd Movement” ahead of Stanford’s participation in both the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
“This song is a celebration of Stanford’s unique culture, and I felt that with March Madness having arrived for both the women’s and men’s basketball teams, this was the ideal time for this anthem,” Ogwumike said upon the song’s release Monday. “The concept of being a ‘Nerd’ is one in which every student-athlete takes an immense amount of pride, and it is a bonding element to our successes both in the classroom and in the athletic arena. With so many Stanford athletic programs represented in this video, we hope that this anthem serves as our rallying cry not only as we continue to strive for championships, but also approach Finals Week!”
Setting And Approaching Records In 2013-14
Chiney Ogwumike established herself as one of Stanford’s chief record-holders in 2013-14. On March 22 against South Dakota, Ogwumike’s first point of the game, coming just 37 seconds in, made her the Pac-12’s all-time leading scorer, passing former Stanford great Candice Wiggins as the Pac-12’s all-time leading scorer. Ogwumike finished her career with 2,737 career points, and is also the owner of the Pac-12’s and Stanford’s top career rebounding total (1,567) and average (10.8 rpg), having broken Kayla Pedersen’s Pac-12 and Stanford record of 1,266 rebounds on Jan. 3. Also, Ogwumike’s 58.9 field-goal percentage is the top Stanford mark ahead of Jeane Ruark Hoff’s 58.6. On Dec. 16 against New Mexico, Ogwumike became just the fifth player in Stanford history to accumulate 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, joining older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2008-12), Jayne Appel (2006-10), Nicole Powell (2000-04) and Val Whiting (1989-93).
How Stanford Got To Nashville
Stanford opened its 2014 NCAA Tournament run with a first- and second-round sweep in Ames, Iowa, defeating No. 15 seed South Dakota 81-62 on March 22 and following up with a 63-44 victory over No. 10 seed Florida State March 24. Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike shot 63.3 percent from the field over the two games, averaging 22.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, while junior forward Bonnie Samuelson was a star off the bench, averaging 14.5 points while going 9-for-18 (50.0 percent) from behind the arc. Freshman guard Lili Thompson shot 45.5 percent from behind the arc and averaged 12.5 points. The Cardinal then returned home for the Stanford Regional, where Most Outstanding Player Mikaela Ruef (14.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg) led the way with Chiney Ogwumike adding 24.5 points and 12.5 rebounds over the two victories against No. 3 seed Penn State and No. 4 seed North Carolina.
Stanford At Home In The NCAA Tournament
The NCAA Regional at Maples Pavilion marked the fourth time that Stanford had hosted an NCAA Regional (1990, 1994, 2003, 2014). It also marked the 18th year in which Stanford played an NCAA Tournament game on its own home court. After sweeping the regional with wins over Penn State and North Carolina, the Cardinal has now racked up an NCAA Tournament record of 30-4 at Maples Pavilion, including a 5-1 mark in regional contests. Stanford went 2-0 in 1990 to reach its first Final Four (and went on to win its first national title), lost in the 1994 Regional Final to Purdue, and did not reach the 2003 Regional rounds. The Cardinal is now on a 10-game winning streak at home in tournament play, with its last home tournament loss a 68-61 setback to Florida State in the 2007 second round.
Since the advent of Pac-12 women’s basketball in 1986-87, Stanford has been far and away the class of the conference in terms of victories and end-of-season awards and honors. With February 23’s win at UCLA clinching outright the 2013-14 Pac-12 title for Stanford, the Cardinal has now won outright or shared the regular-season title 23 times out of a possible 28, while the next team on the list, Washington, has won the conference title just three times. Stanford has also dominated the Pac-12 Tournament, capturing 10 of the 12 tournament titles since the inaugural draw in 2002. From Jan. 22, 2009 to Jan. 8, 2013 Stanford won a record 81 straight games against its Pac-12 foes (including Pac-10 and Pac-12 Tournament contests). Through the end of the 2013-14 regular season, the team’s 790-143 (.848) overall mark since 1986-87 and 444-60 (.881) mark in Pac-12 regular-season play are both by far the top marks in the conference.
On the awards and honors side of things, the Cardinal again out-paces its opponents. Following the announcement of the 2014 Pac-12 honors, a Stanford player has won or shared the conference’s Player of the Year award 18 of 28 times since 1986-87, won the Freshman of the Year award eight times, Defender of the Year award four times and head coach Tara VanDerveer has been honored as the conference’s Coach of the Year on 14 occasions, with current associate head coach Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley sharing the honor in 1995-96 while VanDerveer was on sabbatical coaching the U.S. Olympic Team.
Stanford players have captured a conference-best 94 Pac-10/Pac-12 Player of the Week honors through the 2013-14 season. Finally, the Cardinal leads the conference with 63 All-Pac-10/All-Pac-12 first-team selections.
Pac-12 Player Of The Week Record For Ogwumike
Chiney Ogwumike extended two records in her collection and added another this year, passing older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s single-season Pac-12 record of 809 points March 1 against Washington State, and being named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the ninth time this season and the 18th time in her career. The Cypress, Texas native’s Pac-12-record point total now stands at 859 entering the NCAA Tournament.
Chiney Ogwumike Named Capital One Academic All-American Of The Year
Chiney Ogwumike earned the nation’s top academic honor for a student-athlete this past Thursday, being named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for women’s basketball by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Ogwumike became the first Cardinal women’s basketball player to earn the honor, and was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second straight year. She joined a list of Cardinal student-athletes that have earned the Academic All-American of the Year honor in various sports which includes Andrew Luck (football, 2012), Nick Amuchastegui (wrestling/at-large, 2011-12), Alix Klineman (women’s volleyball, 2010), Rachel Buehler (women’s soccer, 2007) and Tommy Vardell (football, 1991).
Ogwumike In The NCAA Rebounding Top 10
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike became the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder back on Jan. 3, passing former Cardinal teammate Kayla Pedersen’s mark of 1,266. At the end of the 2013-14 season, and her four-year Stanford career, Ogwumike, with 1,567 career rebounds is fifth on the NCAA career-rebounding list.