Last April, in San Antonio, the Stanford team sat under the basket. The Final Four participants waited with the crowd for the announcement of the State Farm All-America teams.
Jeanette Pohlen – Deb Gumbley file photo
Jayne Appel and Nneka Ogwumike weren’t sitting with their teammates. They were wearing the white sweatsuits, getting prepared to be introduced.
Kayla Pedersen wasn’t with them. She’d had the best, most complete season of her career. She’d finished with higher scoring and rebounding averages than Appel, who had struggled with injury. She played more minutes than anybody on the team.
But she was a spectator and her teammates and coaches felt compelled to tell her that she should be up there too.
What’s done is done…but the question now is, is the same thing going to be done to senior guard Jeanette Pohlen this year?
Pohlen was left off the Wooden Award mid-season list of the top 20 players in the country.
And it is a glaring oversight.
Pohlen is having the best season of her career, averaging 16.5 points a game. She leads the team in 3-point shooting, assists and steals. Her 31-point performance on national television in the upset win over Connecticut was nothing short of fantastic.
She willed the Cardinal through their rough patch, the losses at DePaul and Tennessee where she was the bright spot.
There were only two teams in the country with two players named to the Top 20 list – Stanford and North Carolina. Obviously, it can be difficult to justify picking three players from the same team and Pohlen was the odd woman out.
But here’s hoping the Pohlen, who might be the most improved player over four years I’ve ever seen at Stanford, is recognized the way she deserves to be this season. Because at least Pedersen had another season to prove that she was worth of the recognition.