Tara VanDerveer lost her leading scorer and rebounder, but that’s about it.

Stanford returns a dozen players who helped the Cardinal finish second to Oregon in the Pac-12 women’s basketball standings at 14-3 before ending up 24-11 with a loss to Louisville in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season.

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“One of the things I’m really impressed with was the improvement that our team made in the offseason so I think that bodes well for a great year,” VanDerveer, who begins her 33rd year with the Cardinal, said during the recent Pac-12 media day. “Summers are different now because for the most part everyone stays on campus and you’re allowed four hours per week, so we would work out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. It’s a little more regimented and maybe in a good way that helps people keep their schedule going.”

VanDerveer saw the most improvement from her sophomore class led by Kiana Williams, who averaged 10.4 points per game last year. None of Stanford’s other three freshmen last year averaged more than four points per game.

“Kiana had a great year, but some of the other sophomores maybe didn’t,” VanDerveer said.

Senior Alanna Smith is the top returnee for the Cardinal after averaging 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds last year. Junior DiJonai Carrington, the sister of former Oregon and Utah wide receiver Darren Carrington, had 8.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while senior Marta Sniezek scored 5.5 points while leading the team with 4.3 assists per game.

“Last year was a new offense and this year, we are playing with a lot more pace,” VanDerveer said. “I like the depth that we have.”

The only players gone from last year are Brittany McPhee, who averaged 16.7 points per game, and Kaylee Johnson, who averaged 4.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. 

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This article is written by Steve Mims from The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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