Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer knows that the challenge of beating UConn this year will be much different because of the diversity of its offense.
“The focus definitely was on Maya Moore two years ago [when Stanford ended UConn’s 90-game winning streak at Maples],” VanDerveer said. “We went over every situation we possibly could about where she liked to catch the ball, what moves she might make, how we might defend her.
“This year’s [UConn] team does have a lot of weapons with great size and versatility. And they are very well-coached. We are not focused on one player now. We’re focused on their system.”
In line with that, VanDerveer says that no one should expect Stanford to primarily play the type of physical brand of basketball Texas A&M, Maryland and Penn State tried to use against the Huskies.
“Philosophically, I think basketball is much different than wrestling, hockey and football,” she said. “There is a role for physical play, but not at the expense of utilizing the athleticism and skill our team may have. We’ve never been a team tried to beat you up, as opposed to beating you at basketball. Our team is about basketball. It’s important that our key players are in the game and available.
“I personally feel the game has become too physical and it doesn’t highlight the great skill of the female players people pay to see watch. From my perspective, it will be a basketball game.”