March 16, 2012
Naismith Coach of the Year Finalists
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford's Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball, Tara VanDerveer, was named a finalist for the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Thursday.
VanDerveer is one of four finalists, along with Jim Crowley (St. Bonaventure), Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) and Kim Mulkey (Baylor).
VanDerveer has won this honor twice previously, first in 1990 and most recently in 2011.
This year, VanDerveer has guided the Cardinal to a 31-1 record and No. 2 national ranking, in addition to the program's 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament and 26th overall. On March 6, she was also named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the 12th time in her career after leading Stanford to its 12th straight conference regular season crown and 21st overall.
Last weekend VanDerveer also guided the Cardinal to its sixth straight Pac-12 double, and ninth overall, with the capture of the conference tournament title at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
On Feb. 25, VanDerveer became just the seventh Division I head coach to win 700 games at one school when Stanford defeated Utah, 69-42.
Under VanDerveer's watch, many Cardinal players have surged to career years and marked improvement. Senior Nnemkadi Ogwumike has put together a national player of the year and All-America-worthy season, already capturing her second pac-12 Player of the Year award while averaging 21.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and shooting 54.1 percent from the field.
Younger sister Chiney Ogwumike has emerged as one of the nation's top interior players, averaging 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and shooting 58.6 percent from the field, a figure that ranks fourth in the nation. Chiney has excelled on the other end of the floor as well, racking up 37 blocks and 23 steals from inside and claiming the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
The sisters were joined on the All-Pac-12 Team by sophomore guard Toni Kokenis
, who leads the Pac-12 with a 2.34 assist-to-turnover ratio while averaging 9.5 points and 3.66 assists per game. Freshmen Taylor Greenfield
and Amber Orrange
were named Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention, while fellow rookie Bonnie Samuelson
leads the Pac-12 with a 37.7 3-point field-goal percentage.
Stanford begins its road to a third national title and fifth straight Final Four this weekend in Norfolk, Va. The Cardinal, the top seed in the Fresno Region, opens the tournament against 16th-seeded Hampton Saturday at 10:30 a.m. PT at Old Dominion's Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk.