The first shots have yet to be taken and the first rebounds have yet to be grabbed. But, two Stanford women's basketball forwards who excel at both already are among the nation's best.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen were named to a group of 30 of the nation's top players selected to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.
Ogwumike and Pedersen are two of three Pac-10 players on the list, joined by UCLA's Jasmine Dixon, as well as two of just four players chosen from schools west of the Rocky Mountains. Stanford is also one of six schools to have two players named to the list.
Tuesday's announcement marks the second national preseason watch list to which the Stanford duo has been named. In early August, Ogwumike and Pedersen were named to the Preseason Wade Trophy Watch List.
One of two 2010 Wooden All-Americans on this year's list (along with Connecticut's Maya Moore), Ogwumike will begin her third year on The Farm in 2010-11. Last season the Cypress, Texas native led the Pac-10 in scoring with 18.5 points per game and with a shooting percentage of 60.9. Ogwumike just missed winning the conference's Triple Crown, finishing second in the Pac-10 with 9.9 rebounds per game.
On the year, Ogwumike set a Stanford single-season record with 376 rebounds, in addition to breaking the program's single-game mark at Oregon on Jan. 23, 2010, pulling down 23 rebounds.
She was named to the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team and Associated Press All-America Second Team in 2009-10, in addition to grabbing the honors for Pac-10 Player of the Year, Pac-10 Tournament MVP, Sacramento Regional MVP and selection to the All-Final Four Team as Stanford reached its second national championship game in three years.
Pedersen, one of the nation's toughest and most versatile players, was named to the Wooden Award list for the second straight year. In 2009-10, she earned spots on the All-Pac-10, Pac-10 All-Tournament, Sacramento All-Regional and All-Final Four Teams thanks in part to her performances both in the paint and outside the arc. Starting every game of the season for the third straight year, Pedersen averaged 15.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while from behind the arc she drained 55 three-pointers and shot 37.7 percent.
Last year, Pedersen also became a member of Stanford's "1,000-Point Club" and heading into her senior year is well within range of becoming just the fourth player in program history to attain 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Entering her senior year, Pedersen boasts career tallies of 1,501 points and 986 rebounds.
The presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011.
Women's water polo
Susan Ortwein was named Stanford's associate head coach, head coach John Tanner announced Tuesday.
Ortwein has served the past 13 seasons as an assistant coach with the Cardinal.
"It is an honor to be the associate head coach and I want to thank John Tanner and Stanford Athletics for their commitment to me and our program," Ortwein said. "To be able to coach such great student-athletes and train in the most amazing facility is a privilege and one I look forward to enjoying for years to come."
In her 13 seasons at Stanford, Ortwein has helped lead the Cardinal to a 323-55 (.855) record, one national championship (2002), six NCAA runner-up finishes and five MPSF titles.
Last season, she helped guide the Cardinal to a 26-3 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 MPSF mark, and an appearance in the national championship game.
"At Stanford, the Associate Head Coach title is held by some of the most esteemed coaches in the country, people who have turned down head coaching jobs at high profile schools because they love Stanford and the incredible scholar-athletes we attract here," Tanner said. "Susan is Associate Head Coach because she has demonstrated ongoing brilliance and loyalty, not because we hope to elicit her loyalty."
Ortwein has the primary responsibility for coaching Cardinal goalkeepers and two-meter players. In her time at Stanford she has overseen the training and growth of such All-America players as Ellen Estes, Jackie Frank, Julie Gardner, Christina Hewko, Meridith McColl and Jessica Steffens, to name a few.
"Susan is an incredible and devoted coach," said former Stanford All-American and 2004 Olympian Jacqueline (Frank) De Luca. "I have never received the degree of individual attention and coaching that she gave to me while at Stanford."
"From one-on-one video sessions of both sides of the pool to specialized training based on each athlete's strengths and weaknesses, Susan dedicates herself to individual development as players and as people," said 2008 Olympian and Stanford All-American Jessica Steffens. "She gives us the tools we need in practice to solve in-game problems, especially at two meters."