Stanford released its official 2014-2015 women’s basketball schedule, and for the third season in a row, the Cardinal will play rival Cal twice in a five-day span.
There were no major surprises, as the dates of the significant nonconference games had already been made public months ago. Stanford plays 13 games against teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, but the nonconference opponents of note are Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Stanford’s first regular-season game is a home contest against Boston College on Nov. 14. Then comes the Cardinal’s stiffest challenge of the season, as the Cardinal will host defending national champion UConn on Monday, Nov. 17, in a game that will be televised on ESPN2. Stanford has lost four games in a row to the Huskies, all by double-digit margins, and has lost seven of its last eight meetings against UConn. The one win was a big one, though, as the Cardinal’s 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion in 2010 ended the Huskies’ 90-game winning streak. UConn will be riding a winning streak when it comes to Maples Pavilion this time, too, as it went 40-0 last season.
It was incorrectly reported in this article previously that UConn commit Katie Lou Samuelson, rated the nation’s top recruit in the 2015 class, will be going against older sisters Bonnie and Karlie Samuelson, who play for Stanford. That was inaccurate. Katie Lou Samuelson will be a high school senior this coming year, and will not be at UConn until next season.
Three days after the UConn game, Stanford hosts Texas on Nov. 20.
The Cardinal travel to Hawaii over the Thanksgiving holiday, and its first-round game in Rainbow Wahine Shootout in Honolulu is North Carolina on Nov. 28. The Tar Heels were ranked No. 7 in final USA Today coaches poll last season.
Stanford typically makes one challenging road swing, and this year, the Cardinal plays road games against Chattanooga on Dec. 17 and Tennessee on Dec. 20. Stanford has beaten Tennessee three times in a row, but it has won only once in its past eight games in Knoxville, Tenn., site of this season’s game.
Stanford begins Pac-12 play in a Jan. 3 game against Colorado.
Stanford does not face Cal until late in the season, facing the Bears in Berkeley on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and again at Stanford on Sunday, Feb. 22. Having the games separated by several weeks would be more appropriate, but this is better than having the Bay Area rivals play both their games early in the conference season, as was the case in the past..
Stanford plays just two more games after the second Cal game before the Pac-12 tournament begins at Key Arena in Seattle.
The major difference for Stanford this season is that no Ogwumike will be on the court. Both Chiney and Nneka Ogwunkie were first overall picks in the WNBA draft (Chiney this year and Nneka in 2012), and that leaves a gaping hole in the middle. Tara VanDerveer will need to find some answers to fill that vacancy as she begins her 29th season as Stanford’s head coach.