Kansas @ Missouri Womens Basketball Photos by Jonathan
Kansas State @ Missouri Womens Basketball 2007
by Jonathan Brownfield
by Jonathan Brownfield
South Dakota State at Missouri
- Led Mizzou to five consecutive postseason appearances, marking the first time since 1986 the Tigers accomplished such a feat.
- Coached five players selected in the WNBA draft - LaToya Bond, Evan Unrau, Amanda Lassiter, Marlena "Pep" Williams and Aneta Kausaite.
- Guided Missouri to the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16 and the 2004 and 2006 NCAA tournaments.
- In just her second season at MU, took the Tigers to its first postseason appearance since 1994 with a WNIT berth.
- Named National Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaching Association (WBCA), the Molten Division II Bulleitin and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association in 1997-98.
- Named Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year and District VI Coach of the Year in 1997-98.
- Took Emporia State to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1997 and 1998.
- Led ESU to a Division II record 33-game win streak in 1997-98.
University of Missouri Head Women's Basketball Coach Cindy Stein enters her 12th year at the helm of the Tigers and sports a 173-159 (.530) record at Mizzou.
After fielding the eighth youngest team in the nation in 2007-08, the 2008-09 Missouri women's basketball team returned all five of its starters, 97 percent of its scoring and the top eight scorers. The steady improvements gained through a season of learning last year was put to use this past season, and progress the Tigers did.
Missouri doubled its Big 12 Conference win total from the previous season, used a revamped defense to record more than nine steals per game and force over 18 turnovers a contest, reeled off an eight game winning streak and posted numerous come-from-behind victories. An upset of No. 14 Kansas State on Feb. 18 also gave Stein a win over a top-25 team for the fourth consecutive season.
In 2007-08 Stein led Missouri to an upset of No.11 Oklahoma in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The win marked the first time in tournament history the 12-seed upset the five-seed. The young Tigers, who were the eighth-youngest squad in the nation based on minutes played, improved over the course of the 2007-08 season under Stein's tutelage.
In 2006-07 Stein guided the Tigers to a 17-14 mark and posted a 12-1 record in non-conference play to set a new team record.
The 2005-06 squad ran off to a successful start and sustained their form to the end as the Tigers posted a top-four finish in the Big 12 Conference, first-round bye and a semifinal appearance in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Championship - achievements accomplished for the first time in school history.
The 20 wins Mizzou compiled in the regular season was something the Tigers had not done since 1990. That was also the last time a Missouri squad finished as high as fourth in its conference, as the Tigers did in 2006.
One of those wins in 2005-06 season came over defending NCAA National Champion Baylor, snapping the Lady Bears' national-leading 30-game winning streak.
In guiding the Tigers through the rigors of the Big 12 Conference, recognized as one of the toughest in the country, Stein has led her troops to top six conference finishes three times, something that hasn't happened in mid-Missouri since 1983.
Finally, with its No. 24 ranking in the Associated Press poll on Jan. 9, 2006 the Tigers appeared in that national poll for the first time since 1985.
Stein notched a pair of milestones during the 2003-04 season. She earned her 150th career victory in her hometown of Peoria, Ill., on Nov. 23, at Bradley. She also tallied her 100th win as Mizzou's head coach on March 5, at Texas A&M.
Mizzou's success since Stein's arrival has been the result of her continuous evaluation and evolution of the program. Some of the fruits of those efforts are evident daily in the player-development, competition, and office spaces at the sparkling new Mizzou Arena. The $75 million jewel of a facility opened in October 2004 as the finest on-campus basketball arena in the country, and is the exclusive home of Tiger basketball.
LaToya Bond (right) is one
of five Stein draftees to the
WNBA. She played for the
Charlotte Sting as a rookie
As she and her coaching staff continued to settle into their new digs at Mizzou Arena, Stein continued to earn the respect of her peers, as she served her country as an assistant coach with USA Basketball at the 2003 World University Games. She also was able to mentor one of her standout players, as Evan Unrau was a member of the squad that was comprised of Big 12 Conference all-stars. Unrau and - most recently - LaToya Bond in 2006, joined another Stein recruit, WNBA veteran Amanda Lassiter, as All-Big 12 First Team recipients since the league's formation 10 years ago.
The season prior to Stein's arrival at MU, the Tigers posted an 11-16 record, yet the coach has turned the program around by guiding it to a school record-tying five straight postseason berths, including the 2001 NCAA Sweet Sixteen and the 2004 NCAA Tournament. In the course of one weekend in the spring of 2001, Stein's squad revived the once-proud Missouri tradition with a pair of resounding NCAA Tournament wins.
Along with then-senior and
current Coordinator of
Basketball Operations Tracy
Benne (right), Cindy Stein
led the Tigers to the Sweet
16 in 2001.
As the No. 10 seed in the East Regional, the Tigers were sent to Athens, Ga., the home of No. 4-ranked and second-seeded Georgia. In the opening round of the tournament - Missouri's first in the "Big Dance" in seven years - the Tigers faced No. 24 Wisconsin, the seventh seed, and dispatched the Badgers with a 71-68 win. Missouri then posted the upset of the 2001 tournament by pulling off a 78-65 shocker over the Lady `Dogs. It was Georgia's first NCAA Tournament loss at Stegeman Coliseum in 14 games, it broke a 24-game overall home winning streak for Georgia, and it sent the Tigers to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since the first NCAA Tournament back in 1982. That squad finished with a 22-10 record, the program's best since 1983-84.
The catalyst of that team, Amanda Lassiter, capped a stellar two-year Tiger career by earning All-America honors and becoming Mizzou's first-ever draftee to the WNBA. Most recently she played for the Chicago Sky in 2006 after two years with the Minnesota Lynx, two in Seattle and a rookie season with the four-time WNBA Champion Houston Comets. In addition to Lassiter, six other Stein-coached players have made the professional ranks: Lassiter's Mizzou teammate, Marlena "Pep" Williams, who was a WNBA third-round selection by the Indiana Fever in 2001; Bond, a member of the Indiana Fever this past season; Evan Unrau, a third-round WNBA draft pick in 2004 who also played in Luxembourg; 2007 graduate EeTisha Riddle, who currently plays professionally in Spain; and Emporia State standouts Aneta and Jurgita Kausaite. Aneta played professionally in Finland following a stint with the Detroit Shock, while Jurgita played professionally in Sweden.
The 2002-03 season was also noteworthy, as Mizzou qualified for postseason play for the fourth straight time by advancing to the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). That was the deepest a Tiger squad has ever advanced in a national postseason tournament, and a one-point loss at Colorado State in the quarterfinals was all that separated Mizzou from reaching that tournament's final four teams.
The following season, despite key injuries and an 0-4 start to conference play, Stein rebounded the squad to the program's eighth NCAA Tournament appearance and second under Stein - the fifth consecutive year that Mizzou reached the postseason. While this past season's young squad failed to make it to the postseason, a talented core group of underclassmen have grown into a sizeable veteran squad ready to return the Tigers to the dance.
In her first season at Mizzou, Stein guided the team to a 13-15 record. Although she was not yet able to incorporate her trademark style of play, she began to install a new standard of what was to be expected of the Missouri women's basketball program.
The Tigers re-wrote the record books in 1999-2000 with an 18-12 record - at the time, Mizzou's winningest season since 1992-93. The Tigers also climbed two spots up the Big 12 championship ladder to finish seventh with a 7-9 conference record despite being predicted to finish ninth by Big 12 coaches in the preseason polls.
The successful record powered MU to its first-ever berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Mizzou had not seen postseason play since 1994, yet the Tigers won their first game by defeating Evansville, 84-81. Missouri then saw its successful season end after falling to Arkansas in a grueling 89-88 overtime loss in Fayetteville, Ark.
In the 2000-01 Big 12 Conference season, MU won 10 games and recorded its second-ever win in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. The Tigers went 19-9 in the regular season, the school's best mark since the 1982-83 campaign.
Stein's players have also had success off the court. Kerensa Barr, the first high-school recruit Stein called upon taking the Missouri job, capped a stellar four-year career in 2003 as the Tigers' most proficient free-throw shooter and most prolific assist-maker in Missouri history. She also received numerous national academic awards, including Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America. Barr was named one of eight finalists - the only women's basketball player in the country, and one of just two women overall - for the Socrates Award, given to the player who best exemplifies excellence in both athletics and academics. She also was one of 10 semifinalists for the 2002-03 Women's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year. Barr is currently an assistant coach at Wichita State for Head Coach Jody Adams.
Members of Stein's teams have earned Academic All-Big 12 honors 43 times in the 11 years she has been at MU.
Missouri is not the only program which has benefited from Stein's success. In three seasons at Emporia State (Kan.), Stein turned that program around from a sub-.500 club to the NCAA Division II runners-up before starting her reign with the Missouri program.
During the Hornets' run to the national championship game in 1998, she was named the National Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the Molten Division II Bulletin and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. Stein also was selected as the 1998 MIAA Coach of the Year and District VI Coach of the Year.
In addition to her coaching exploits, Stein was a talented player in college. A junior-college All-American, she led Illinois Central College to two appearances at the NJCAA National Tournament, then helped the University of Illinois make the 1982 NCAA Tournament field. Nearly 20 years later, Stein still holds two of the top four single-season assist totals in Illini history.
Stein ranks sixth in career assists (323) at Illinois and holds the highest career average for assists per game (5.6). In 1982-83, she set the second highest career assist total in school history (170). She graduated from Illinois in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
Stein's coaching debut came as a graduate assistant at Central Michigan University from 1984-86. She graduated from Central Michigan with a master's degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic administration.
Stein worked as an assistant coach at Miami University from 1986-87 and at Cincinnati from 1987-88. She then served as an assistant coach at Bradley for five years to Lisa Boyer, who was head coach of the ABL's Philadelphia Rage and is now an assistant coach under Dawn Staley at South Carolina. After Bradley came a stint as the recruiting coordinator at her alma mater, Illinois; Stein also served as an assistant coach with the Illini from 1993-95 before taking the head coaching appointment at Emporia State.
Stein, who was inducted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in March of 2002, was named the 2001 Coach of the Year by the Columbia chapter of the Women's Intersport Network.
A member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Stein is a member of the Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year Award committee. In past years, she has served in various other committee positions with the NCAA Rules Committee, the WBCA Kodak All-America Selection Committee, the ESPN / USA Today Coaches Poll, the City of Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Network Steering Committee.
Stein's Streak of Success
|2005-06||Missouri||21||10||0.678||NCAA First Round|
|2003-04||Missouri||17||13||0.567||NCAA First Round|
|2001-02||Missouri||14||15||0.483||WNIT First Round|
|2000-01||Missouri||22||10||0.688||NCAA Sweet 16|
|1999-00||Missouri||18||12||0.600||WNIT Second Round|
|Missouri Totals (11 Years)||173||159||0.521|
|1997-98||Emporia State||33||1||0.970||NCAA Division II Runner-up|
|Emporia State Totals||65||25||0.722|
|Overall Totals (14 Years)||238||184||0.564|
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