The ladies’s basketball staff will tackle the College of Hawai’i of their season opener tonight at Maples. Earlier than the season began, desk editor Hawe Adugna caught up with head coach Tara Vanderveer, senior heart Cameron Brink and graduate pupil guard Hannah Bounce on the upcoming season.
The Stanford Every day (TSD): The place is your head at because the season approaches?
Cameron Brink (CB): It’s all about staying wholesome for the entire staff. We solely have 12 folks, so going exhausting at apply however taking good care of ourselves. This 12 months we have now some actually superb younger gamers so we’re actually excited to see them go to work.
TSD: What are the stakes at play for you? Is that this your final season?
CB: I actually don’t know the place I’m at. I really feel like I simply wish to see the place this 12 months goes, and I’ve time to resolve when the season ends. Nevertheless it’s good to have the choice to remain if I wish to say and it’s good to have the choice to go away if I wish to go professional. It’s thrilling, you already know, and in six months life may very well be very totally different.
TSD: How do you see your self stepping up after this final season, although it was fairly a outstanding season for you from model offers to accolades obtained?
CB: Positively as a frontrunner. This 12 months, I’m a staff captain. I had superb staff captains that paved the way [in years prior], so I believe dwelling as much as them and being a great chief and mentor for the youthful gamers, and even the juniors that haven’t had as a lot court docket time as they in all probability might have.
TSD: Is the burden in your shoulders heavier now that you’ve got so many new unimaginable achievements, reputations to uphold?
CB: I believe strain is all the time a privilege and I used to be all the time taught that rising up. So I believe I’m taking it with a grain of salt. I admire it. I believe it makes me play higher; I rise to the event. On high of that, I do know I’ve obtained actually nice teammates which have my again and make performs for me, so if I get tripled or doubled, I simply kick it out to Hannah Bounce and he or she’ll knock it down. So, I believe it’s extra so simply pleasure for this 12 months. Particularly because it’s the final 12 months within the Pac-12, I really feel like I’m simply savoring it.
TSD: Has competing with among the best feminine gamers worldwide at three-on-three competitions given you a brand new perspective of the sport?
CB: Three-on-three is a novel, versatile sport. It’s pressured me to come back off ball screens and guard any place, so I’m actually grateful for the chance. This 12 months, I’m simply going to maintain displaying that I’m greater than a low block participant.
TSD: The place is your head at because the season approaches?
Hannah Bounce (HJ): Actually, [I’m] making an attempt to profit from each second. Whether or not I prefer it or not, this might be my final 12 months, so [I] simply actually [want to] benefit from the time I’ve with my staff on the ground. We’ve gotten actually actually shut this offseason and I believe that’s actually gonna assist us on the court docket. However yeah, simply benefiting from it.
TSD: Why did you select to come back again as a grad participant?
HJ: I wasn’t prepared to go away. Clearly, getting a masters from Stanford doesn’t harm, however [after] the best way that final 12 months ended, I didn’t wish to depart on that notice. I felt I had quite a bit left to provide to this program, whether or not that was via mentorship to the youthful era or simply on the court docket. I felt like coming again this 12 months was what I wanted to do, and as soon as [VanDerveer] was like “sure, we would like you again”, it was a possibility I couldn’t flip down.
TSD: Being the one of the funky 4 (recruiting class of 2019) to stay on the staff, how would you describe the dynamic of the staff of their absence? What’s the potential?
HJ: It’s undoubtedly totally different than final 12 months. I’m the oldest and Cam [Brink] is the one senior, however we’ve labored a ton on management this offseason. The staff dynamic as an entire and simply how shut we’ve gotten, I believe that’s going to assist us on the court docket … The staff dynamic we have now proper now, it’s actually good.
TSD: How do you see your self stepping up from final season? Any data you propose on breaking, possibly your individual?
HJ: In addition to being a terrific chief, I’m making an attempt to remain exterior of myself. Whether or not I’m taking pictures properly or taking pictures poorly, being the identical particular person it doesn’t matter what’s happening, and my teammates with the ability to have a look at me and see that. [So if] they’re not hitting pictures, they’re like, “oh, it’s positive.” Simply enjoying exterior of myself, being vocal, serving to the children. They’re doing a implausible job. Our freshmen are unimaginable; this program is in nice arms. [I hope to] give them as many suggestions as I can earlier than I depart right here.
TSD: The place is your head at because the season approaches? What are the stakes at play for you proper now?
Tara VanDerveer (TV): I simply actually wish to take pleasure in day by day within the fitness center with our staff. We wish to be wholesome and blissful. We wish to maintain enhancing day by day. Each particular person is essential to our staff’s success.
TSD: What do you anticipate being your staff’s best strengths/weaknesses within the weeks and months to come back?
TV: I believe our best energy is that we have now nice gamers which are going to get higher. [The team] performs exhausting for and with one another — whole staff effort. We’re gonna run. We wish to get out of the transition and run. We wish to share the ball. We now have to rebound. And I believe [the players] assist one another rather well.
TSD: Who do you anticipate stepping up within the absence of Haley Jones and different gamers that departed the group?
TV: Cam confirmed a number of nice issues, [proving] why she’s all-American. Kiki actually stepped up massive, I prefer to have her play quite a bit. Elena hasn’t performed an entire lot prior to now; I assumed she stepped up massive. Our bench did rather well. I like the passion I noticed. We’re excited and searching ahead to a terrific season.
TSD: How do you deal with the strain that’s upholding the popularity of this system you’ve constructed when surprising losses happen, comparable to dropping out within the second spherical of the event final 12 months?
TV: You understand, we’ve had robust endings with seasons and we bounce again rather well. We misplaced to Florida State and subsequent 12 months we went to the Last 4. We’ve had robust losses; our staff regroups. Each disappointment is a blessing. We now have moved on and we’re excited.
TSD: With Tempie Brown and Erika McCall returning to this system, what worth do you’re feeling these people can reignite or reinforce inside the program?
TV: To start with, they’re bringing nice data. Erica McCall [has had] nice expertise, having performed at Stanford and professionally within the WNBA and abroad. They’re extraordinarily loyal, hardworking, excessive basketball IQ, completely dedicated to our staff and doing no matter it takes. No ego, simply exhausting work, and I’m actually excited that they’re again. They create nice enthusiasm.
TSD: What can we anticipate from the freshmen this season?
TV: I believe the freshmen are college-ready, they usually’re all going to make nice contributions to our staff’s success. There’s no “hey, they’re freshmen.” No, they’re gamers.