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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

November 26, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Tuesday dribble: Tara VanDerveer seeks another milestone, Kelsey Plum honored and more bling

Tara VanDerveer

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer at the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle
PHOTO: AP/Elaine Thompson

History won’t be televised, again. Mass exposure is probably the last nugget to change in Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer’s storied career. She’ll aim for her 899th and 900th career wins in Mexico as part of the Hardwood Tournament of Hope this week.

When VanDerveer reaches the milestone, she’ll join an elite circle of five coaches to reach 900 or more career wins in former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt (1,098), North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell (908), Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer (905) and former Texas coach Jody Conradt (900).

VanDerveer has led the Cardinal to 26 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and six consecutive 30-win seasons. The Card is the 13-time Pac-12 champion, winning the regular-season and conference tournament titles seven years in a row. Last season Stanford was a regular-season co-champion with Cal.

“She’s a legacy, she has an amazing legacy,” Washington State coach June Daugherty told the Associated Press. “She has mentored so many of us. I don’t think she gets enough of her due for what she’s done for Stanford basketball — Pac-8, Pac-10, Pac-12. She’s been innovative about her game. She is a first-class act.”

In speaking about the women’s basketball game for a feature on Pac-12 Networks, VanDerveer said the growth is beyond what she imagined. She also teased that her dad said she could never make a career out of basketball. Glad she was a rebel from the start.

VanDerveer signed a contract extension with Stanford in July. According to ESPN, when asked the contract length, VanDerveer said, “As long as I want.” But it would take at least nine 20-win seasons for VanDerveer, 60, to pass Summitt’s mark.

If No. 6 Stanford (4-1) can get past No. 16 Purdue (4-0) on Tuesday, it’ll be the Pac-12′s second win of the season against a ranked opponent. USC lost to No. 17 South Carolina 70-50 on Monday, dropping the conference’s overall record against the top 25 to a paltry 1-8 overall. The Gamecocks (7-0) even want to swipe the right to be known as the USC after the resounding win.

True, Dawn Staley’s USC has done more than any of the modern-day Coopers’ USC, but first-year coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is the only one to win a NCAA championship. And seeing how football rules the landscape, I don’t see that happening…ever.

WATCHING YOU: Six players from the Pac-12 conference were named to the early-season Naismith Trophy top 50 watch list. Washington junior G Jazmine Davis was in the mix. The award is given to the top college player in the spring. Davis, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, is averaging 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds to open the season.

PLUM SCORING: Washington PG Kelsey Plum received her first nod as Pac-12 freshman of the week. Plum, a high school All-American, is the third player on the current roster to have receive the nod, joining redshirt sophomore Talia Walton and junior Jazmine Davis. The latter was UW’s first All-Pac-12 freshman player of the year since Karen Deden won the award in 1988.

Plum has effortlessly blended into the starting lineup and is averaging 22.3 points in the team’s opening three games. UW (1-2) secured its first win last week, using Plum’s 18 second-half points to propel a 82-60 win against cross-town rival Seattle U (1-4).

POW: Here’s a list of conference Player of the Weeks based on ties from programs in Washington (UW, WSU, Gonzaga, Seattle U and Eastern Washington).

Pac-12: UCLA senior F Atonye Nyingifa.

WCC: Saint Mary’s senior F Danielle Mauldin.

WAC: Idaho junior G Stacey Barr.

Big Sky: Montana junior G Kellie Cole.

GOLDEN APPLE: Kelsey Plum is hard to ignore…unless you score 37 points. WSU junior G Tia Presley scored a career-high 37 points, second-most in school history, in a 92-79 win over Fresno State on Friday. Her 15 made field goals tied for the most in WSU single-game history and Presley had a career-high five three-pointers against the Bulldogs (2-2). Returning from a season-ending knee injury, Presley is averaging a team-leading 22 points.

The Cougs (3-3) play at BYU (4-0) on Tuesday. The game will air on BYU-TV at 6pm (PDT).

Here are some highlights from the WSU win last week:

RANK ‘EM: Colorado (4-0) moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll after a solid win against Iowa last week. The Buffs have won 27 consecutive nonconference games.

No. 20 Cal (3-2) remained in the polls despite news F Gennifer Brandon won’t be playing due to personal reasons. She was already dealing with an illness and returned from a stress fracture injury.

Meanwhile No. 24 Gonzaga is ranked for the third consecutive week. The Zags (3-1) host Colgate (1-4) on Saturday.

JUST WIN: The Chinese league is in its second week, post players grabbing the headlines as expected since they’re the ones being paid the mega salaries. Australian C Liz Cambage (Tulsa) has reportedly not missed a shot in her two outings. Phoenix Mercury C Brittney Griner has dunked and Storm C Lauren Jackson finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in a win.

Minnesota F Maya Moore capped the WNBA season with a second championship in her three seasons as a pro. She hopped a flight to China and was awarded with more bling, this time for winning the WCBA for Shanxi last spring. Here’s a photo of her and teammates being awarded their rings before the season-opener this month.

Comments | More in Northwest Ballers, Overseas Hoops, Polls, Video | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kelsey Plum, Tara VanDerveer

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