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By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
Topic - Tara Vanderveer
All the talk of Stanford feeling like a junior varsity team crashing the Final Four or being an extra at the beauty pageant is just rhetoric to UConn coach Geno Auriemma. Motivational chatter he says no team here needs since each has won a championship.
Geno Auriemma, Tara VanDerveer, Muffet McGraw and Brenda Frese have all won national championships, using their own styles to get the most out of their teams.
All season long, Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer pushed and challenged her players to do more in support of Chiney Ogwumike. From knocking down 3-pointers on the perimeter, to pounding the boards in the paint and even doing the little things like chasing down loose balls, Ogwumike needed help.
Mikaela Ruef found herself an engineering job on campus last spring and started sporting a hard hat and safety glasses to pay for her final two quarters at Stanford, knowing she no longer had a basketball scholarship as a fifth-year senior.
Chiney Ogwumike wrote on Stanford's locker room white board, "3rd round last year."
Chiney Ogwumike pulled her fellow starters aside and offered one last challenge: Stanford's biggest star wanted to be an "afterthought."
Maggie Lucas buried her face in a towel on the bench as her day, her NCAA tournament and college career came to a disappointing end. Stanford's swarming defense simply shut down the Big Ten's best player.
For each of the past two summers, Penn State coach Coquese Washington has visited Tara VanDerveer at the Stanford coach's New York home to talk basketball and, specifically, gather tips on the triangle offense.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer vowed she was done hosting the NCAA tournament a few years ago, viewing it more as a headache than an advantage.
Tara VanDerveer's assistants wanted to play man-to-man defense. The Stanford head coach insisted on playing zone.
The last time Stanford didn't make it to the NCAA women's Sweet 16 was 2007. Florida State was the team that stopped the Cardinal, on Stanford's home court no less.
Stanford is halfway home.
Taylor Greenfield might be the only Stanford player happy about traveling 1,800 miles to the middle of Iowa to open the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
That missed chance in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals cost Tara VanDerveer's Stanford team a top seed in the NCAA tournament.
In a pair of blowout weekend wins against Arizona schools, Stanford re-established its shooting touch from long range and dominant play on the defensive end.
Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer had promised Stanford wouldn't go down easy, and her team never stopped competing.
"We knew that biggest challenge for us was to score," VanDerveer said. "We worked hard defensively, had a lot of good stops. Their size, when they went big, their size is really disruptive. Probably more than anything, they have very skilled players, play very well together."