After Dismantling Gonzaga in NCAA First Round, Ole Miss is Confident Ahead of Matchup Vs. Stanford
No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels (24-8, 11-5 SEC) vs. No. 1 Stanford (29-5, 15-3 PAC-12)
- 6:30 p.m. PT, Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA
- TV: ESPN (Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod)
- Audio: Ole Miss || Stanford
After dominating Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Ole Miss Rebels are primed for what should be an exciting contest against No. 1-seeded Stanford. The defense of the Rebels helped them shut down the Zags, who led the nation in made three-point shots this season. Gonzaga shot a paltry 1-of-17 from beyond the arc.
In addition, three Ole Miss players scored in double figures, as they also held Gonzaga to under 50 points with a final score of 71-48. With the first-round victory under the belt, Ole Miss turns their attention to the No. 5 team in the country as they advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007.
A Mutual Admiration Society
Since the start of the tournament, the head coaches of Ole Miss and Stanford have expressed admiration for each other even as they prepare for a battle.
As a young, dynamic coach, Ole Miss’ Yolett McPhee-McCuin discussed how she relishes the moment facing Tara VanDerveer but also focuses on the task at hand.
“It’s incredible,” she said about the opportunity to face Stanford’s Hall of Fame coach. “I grew up being a student of the game, so obviously, Tara is someone that I have admired. I’ve had time to meet with her a couple of times. But I think this is the first time she like knows who I am,” she laughed.
Given the positive comments VanDerveer made about McPhee-McCuin, it’s clear she knows exactly who the Ole Miss coach is and admires her as well.
“Well, I saw Coach Yo as she was coming on the court, and she’s done a fabulous job,” VanDerveer commented about seeing her opponent for the first time this week.
She compared her trajectory in bringing Stanford to national prominence to that of the Rebels coach.
“[A] little bit, I think, similar to me coming to Stanford, she took over a program that was — and like Dawn Staley – taken a program from the outhouse to the penthouse. Dawn is definitely in the penthouse. Coach Yo is looking to do the same thing.”
However, some factors were not in play in women’s basketball when VanDerveer arrived at Stanford 37 seasons ago.
“I think things are different now with…the portal, the NIL, and everything,” VanDerveer said when comparing her journey. “But I think it’s great that she’s keeping it real. That, whether it’s community service things or just coaching. Really, coaching is not just giving candy to players. It’s making corrections. It’s helping them reach their potential. Seems like she’s doing a great job. It was fun to just visit with her, even though it was a very short visit.”
The Return of Cameron Brink and a Sleepless Night
Stanford played without starting forward Cameron Brink in their 92-49 rout of No. 16-seed Sacred Heart Friday night. As the program’s career leader in blocked shots, Brink is a critical component of Stanford’s defense. She averages 9.5 rebounds per game, along with 14.9 points per contest.
With or without Brink, McPhee-McCuin knows Sunday’s game will be a monumental challenge.
“You know, we just have a lot of respect for them. They are just super talented,” she said. “I know Cameron didn’t play tonight, but we’ll expect her to be there on Sunday. They are just a really solid team.”
For VanDerveer, Ole Miss presents a difficult test early in the tournament.
“I didn’t sleep last night,” she said when asked about her preparation for Ole Miss after beating Sacred Heart. “They’re really good. They’re a very experienced group. Looking through, I didn’t see any freshmen even on their roster in terms of the people that play. They play a very aggressive style. They really took Gonzaga apart yesterday. We are going to have to play very well.”
The teams last met in the 1990 NCAA tournament during the Sweet 16 when the Cardinal won 78-65. Stanford won its first national title that season. The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the Sweet 16 and head to Seattle for regional play next week.
This season the two teams are the only programs in the country to take undefeated No. 1 South Carolina into overtime. They are also the only teams to beat Gonzaga by a margin of 20-plus points this season.
|National Rank||Value||National Rank||Value|
|Steals Per Game||207||7.3||321||5.7|
|Blocks Per Game||11||5.2||2||7|
|Field Goal Percentage||110||42.1||19||45.8|
|Free Throw Percentage||285||67.1||109||73.1|
|Three Point Percentage||240||29.4||45||34.6|
|Assists Per Game||T-188||12.7||T-23||16.6|
|Free Throws Made Per Game||137||12.47||95||13.09|
|Three Pointers Per Game||259||4.8||86||7|
|Turnovers Per Game||94||14.4||33||13.2|
|Free Throw Attempts Per Game||86||18.59||122||17.91|
|Three Point Attempts Per Game||T-261||16.5||121||20.2|
|Field Goal Percentage Defense||11||35.3||3||32.9|
|Three-Point Percentage Defense||3||24.8||127||30.3|
|Fouls Per Game||265||18.2||76||15.2|
|Rebounds (Offensive) Per Game||22||14.6||32||14|
|Rebounds (Defensive) Per Game||59||27.4||2||31.9|
|Rebounds Per Game||19||41.97||5||45.88|
|Turnovers Forced Per Game||141||16.38||348||11.29|