Well, for the Cougar women, the season came to a pretty abrupt end yesterday. A dominating Stanford front, with arguably the best player at her position in the country, just woman-handled the less talented Washington State bigs.
The Cardinal came into the game with a 53-0 all time series record vs WSU. Chiney Ogwumike wasn’t taking “upset” for an answer yesterday either, pulling in a double, double-double, which isn’t really a thing. At the same time though, it is now after she went for 23 points and snatched a Pac-12 Tournament record 21 rebounds. To give some perspective on how many that actually is, she came up 2 short of what the entire UCLA men’s team did on Wednesday in their loss to WSU. It’s the first 20-20 in the history of the tourney, that’s just impressive.
She got plenty of help too. Sara James made it impossible for the Cougs to collapse on Ogwumike by drilling 5 threes on her way to 17 points. Which just points to the fact that Stanford is really good, everywhere. Their destination really has nothing to do with where they end up in this tournament, but probably in the Final Four and they only have a single senior.
For Washington State, it’s about getting better going into next season. They improved over 2012/2013, possess the conference’s best freshman scorer and a lot of young talent with 9 freshman littering the roster. Even better than that, they only lose 2 seniors and while Katie Grad and Carly Noyes will be missed, the team brings back more talent and leadership than they lose. Where they will suffer is in size, as Noyes was by far the biggest player at 6’5.
But they’ll be better and continue to recruit at higher and higher levels with June Daugherty at the helm. While they might not catch a team like Stanford, a little bit easier of a schedule out of conference and the Cougs could be looking at a team in the next year or two that’s on the cusp of a being a low NCAA Tournament seed.