A PARALLEL END No
Stanford basketball fan
will soon forget the explosive parallel finishes of the womens and
mens final 1997 games. With Stanford behind, seniors Charmin Smith and
Brevin Knight each forced overtime play with last-second tying points.
Winning is better, but they werent losers, either. Coach Tara
VanDerveers team had won 25 straight games before losing in the Final
Fours semi-finals to Old Dominion 83-82. Thats the hard thing
just really believing that you could do better, said VanDerveer (pictured). The
Cardinal got to be one of the best four of the 272 Division I teams in a
year of record-setting streaks, and by defeating its post-season
opponents by an average of 33 points. Since VanDerveer, who has signed
a new five-year contract with Stanford, arrived in 1985, her teams have
won two national championships, been in the Final Four six times (only
two other teams in the country have done better), been in the Sweet 16
for 10 straight years and won eight of the last nine Pac-10 seasons.
VanDerveers teams are famous for their stamina and conditioning, with a
never-stopping high-speed transition game that often has the ball down
the court before defenders can regroup. Her players are very physical,
diving and scrambling for the ball. Senior Kate Starbird, who learned
to play as a kid by competing against men at her fathers military base,
was the Pac-10 Player of the Year for the second straight year and
concludes her Stanford career with a new scoring record of 2215.
Olympia Scott and Jamila Wideman also made the All Pac-10 team. Milena
Flores, Widemans probable successor as point guard next year, made the
all-freshman team. Apart from Starbird and Wideman, the team also loses
Charmin Smith and Tara Harrington for the next season.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 55 YEARS We got to a place wed never been before,
said Coach Mike Montgomery. It had been more than half a century since a
Stanford mens basketball team had been so successful. Its only NCAA
hoops championship was in 1942. For the first time in 55 years,