Women's Hoops Blog: January 2006

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Detroit has been shopping Ruth Riley for awhile, and it looks like Coach Laimbeer may have finally completed a deal.

Matt Wurst has also hinted generally that tomorrow will be a busy news day.

UPDATE: coach Laimbeer says "it's not us."
In a battle of two teams trying to move closer to the upper tier of the ACC, Boston College defeated North Carolina State 75-66 in Raleigh.

The win was the second in the row for the Eagles after they started 0-4 in their first year in the ACC.

Aja Parham's career high 24 points and 11 rebounds offset a bad night for BC's leading scorer. Brooke Queenan, who came in averaging a team-high 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds, finished with two points on 1-for-6 shooting before fouling out in 18 minutes.

The Wolfpack were led by Billie McDowell's 16 points. But NC State and Head Coach Kay Yow have other things on their mind besides the game. Yow will soon find out if she still has cancer. And senior guard Monica Pope learned before the season that her father, Darrell, has colon cancer.

Yow's battle is the catalyst behind "Hoops for Hopes," a Feb. 19 game against Maryland. At the event survivors will be recognized and $5 of every ticket will be donated to the Triangle affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. So far, 2,000 tickets have been sold, the most "presales" anyone at NC State can remember.
In last year's national semifinal, Baylor pulled off a historic comeback against favored LSU. Last night, LSU got revenge.

LSU struggles when Fowles gets in early foul trouble; last night she didn't pick up her second whistle until less than five minutes remained in the second half, and Baylor triple-teamed her but couldn't deny her the low post position she likes.

Instead, Baylor players kept picking up fouls trying to guard her. Sophia Young and Abiola Wabara both picked up three fouls in the first half; Young got whistled later for checking a three-point shooter, and fouled out with more than eight minutes to play.

The result: a nationally-televised blowout. 20 minutes of, as it turned out, garbage time. A 33-point lead in the second half. Another midrange shooting clinic from Seimone, and another case for Fowles as 2008's top draft pick.

Best of all for the Tigers, LSU got power from more than two players: Ashley Thomas, Florence Williams and Erica White all contributed-- White looks like a clear upgrade over previous starting PG LeBlanc-- and long-range threat Scholanda Hoston sank her first five. Seimone led all scorers with 29, but three other Tigers hit double figures.

Coach Pokey enjoyed it: ""Usually when I give my opening [postgame] statement, I can find something that's wrong. But there wasn't a whole lot tonight. I think the energy and the execution led to so much offensively and defensively. And I was pleased how we extended it for close to 40 minutes."

Baylor coach Mulkey-Robertson: "I’m just sorry for television and women’s basketball purposes that we couldn’t make it a closer game... I don’t want to take away from LSU. Those guys are good. I don’t want to make excuses. They won in every phase of the game." Sure did.

Mulkey-Robertson also claims that Pokey "said something very unprofessional" before tipoff; after the game, Pokey nearly refused to shake coach Mulk's hand.

Chatman responds: "Did I say something unprofessional? Not at all. Have you ever heard something like that come from me? It was really hard to hear what [Mulkey-Robertson] was saying after the game. I was trying to get my hand away and congratulate her staff and get back to the locker room. The air is cleared. That's my story. There's nothing to clear." (Shades of Geno vs. CVS.)

Best of all: after suggesting that Abiola Wabara had her ATM card extended (i.e. that she charged) and that Fowles worked as a letter carrier (i.e. she had good post position), Mark Jones, for the first time in his broadcasting career, ran out of puns.
Around the web...

Helen examines the history and future of the NIT.

At the Lynx official blog, Paul continues his analysis of WNBA free agents. The signing period begins tomorrow. Patrick would like it if the Storm would pick up another point guard.

Keegan names the Insane Platypus Tenth Anniversary All-WNBA Team.
Rumors have the WNBA draft taking place in Boston during the Final Four. Possibly April 1. No joke.

Donna O is having a news conference in Beantown tomorrow, perhaps to announce the draft schedule.

Monday, January 30, 2006

K-State beat Iowa State before almost 11,000 disappointed Cyclones fans. Iowa State star guard Lyndsey Medders (not to be confused with former Iowa star guard Lindsey Meder) racked up 30, but didn't get much help.

The young 'Cats saw their lead shrink late, but held on thanks to Claire Coggins' hot outside shooting and double figures from some frosh. KSU coach Patterson: "This is an extremely tough place to play... Our team stepped up and refused to let momentum shift.”

ISU coach Fennelly: "You can't win with two players, and you can't win when you can't rebound."

The Big XII standings get weirder all the time: Courtney Paris Oklahoma on top and unbeaten, then Mizzou, and then a four-way tie among K-State, historically terrible Texas A&M, historically really good Texas, and the defending national champions. Fans crunch RPI numbers and discuss.
Duke-UNC was a classic. It's the sort of game that you're glad you recorded so you can watch it again tonight.

There is no love lost between the two programs. Before the game, Mo Currie and Mistie Williams refused to shake La'Tangela Atkinson's hand. During the game, Williams set a tough half court pick on Latta. A few moments later, Latta walked by Linsey Harding and patted her on the head before she shot free throws. Harding, who said she was "shocked" when Latta touched her, missed the front end of a one-and-one.

The Devils led early, closing the first half with a 17-5 run, and they seemed poised for a convincing win. But the 'Heels are nothing if not fearless. A 16-point deficit to the nation's #1 team... on the road... in front of a wild crowd in one of basketball's most storied venues... it means nothing to them.

"I think it gives us a chance to see how good we can be," said Camille Little. "We can keep playing even though we were down with that big lead they had."

UNC fought back and tied the game in the final minutes. Duke made errors, missing free throws and turning the ball over. UNC, by contrast, just made great plays and scored on 14 of its 16 final possessions to win the game. "I think we just shifted gears and moved to a higher level," coach Hatchell said.

“Against a great team, you have to do the little things well, and making free throws, taking care of the ball, those are two things that we usually do a pretty good job with and unfortunately did not tonight, and Carolina made us pay for it,” coach Goestenkors said.

Currie finished with 13 points on 5 of 15. Nancy Lieberman says Mo needs to do more.

Voepel says UNC is just really damn good.
Crystal Langhorne had 34 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Terps past Wake.

"It was definitely nice, especially when the post was needed today," said Langhorne. "We got a tough win. It was just a nice victory, altogether." It was Maryland's third overtime win this season.

Down in Miami, the Canes opened up a 20-4 lead to start the game, and Virginia Tech never recovered. Miami is now one of only four teams above .500 in the the tough ACC. Virginia Tech, though still ranked, is in the cellar at 1-5.
Stanford rebounded from the loss Friday and beat USC yesterday. The Trojans lost both games this weekend, which will kick them out of the rankings. Worse yet, USC will be without Brynn Cameron for the rest of the season. Cameron will likely undergo hip surgery soon.

"I was happy," coach Trakh said. "We're playing short-handed. We did everything we could to stay in as long as we could."

"I hate doing this, but before the game I told our team this was a defining game for us," coach VanDerveer said. "At halftime, I was wishing I hadn't said that. But we needed different people to step up and they did that."

Over at Pauley, the Bruins needed an extra frame to get past Cal. "This was a do-or-die situation for us," said Lindsey Pluimer, who sent the game in to OT with a putback layup with 12 seconds left.
Rene Portland was greeted by some boos from the lavender and rainbow spattered crowd at Williams. It wasn't much. Just enough to make a small point.

Portland could have left with the last laugh, however, as her Lions played a good game and nearly upset Minnesota. It took a couple wild plays down the stretch for the Gophers to hang on.

With a minute left and the shot clock winding down, Jamie Broback threw up a desperation airball, but it fell right into the weakside hands of Katie Alsdurf. Alsdurf threw it right back up with one hand just to get the rim, and it rattled in.

"It's a sign that our team is finding ways to win," coach Borton said of the big plays. "That last one I'd say is lucky," Portland said.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten...

Purdue had a surprisingly difficult time with Northwestern, but managed to win its 15th straight nonetheless. "For whatever reason, we weren't very good today," coach Kristy Curry said. "Obviously, I'm very upset."

Michigan State needed some help from the crowd and a late-game comeback to overcome Indiana. "What people don't realize is that this is a team that has four people with experience ... that's it," coach McCallie said.

Ohio State pounded Illinois. The Illini have now lost four in a row.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Monarchs' DeMya Walker has a pregnancy blog. Forthcoming baby Zachara "is a hot mess already just like her mama."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Brigham Young won again. The Cougars improved to 17-1 by hammering hapless Colorado State, even though BYU's Ambrosia Anderson shot just 6-for-25.

Is BYU ranked too low? Not really: their best wins are UCLA and Utah. We'll know more this Thursday after they play New Mexico: you can watch that game on CSTV.
UConn looked good as they beat DePaul in Chicago. The Huskies shot well in the second half to preserve their early lead; Barb Turner racked up 24, as did DePaul's interior star Khara Smith.

The game sold out (yes, 4,012 at DePaul is a sellout); with Huskymaniacs cheering for the visitors, the Blue Demons may not have felt quite at home. DePaul had won 33 straight home games and 49 of their last 50.

Geno: "The really good teams... separate themselves by playing well on the road. This is probably the biggest win we've had this year."
South Florida seems to like overtime. Last year they lost to UConn in the first-ever women's overtime game played in Gampel; this year they beat DePaul in OT, and last night they overcame Notre Dame. The Irish led by three with 24 seconds to go, but Ezria Parsons connected from downtown to tie it.

Jessica Dickson, who may still be the country's leading scorer, tallied 18; Megan Duffy, who as usual did everything she could, scored 25.
Former Penn State player Cindy Davies is in Minneapolis, where she will watch the Lions face the Gophers tomorrow. It will be the first time she's attended a PSU game in over 20 years.

"All these years later, it still hurts," she says. "It's like it happened yesterday."

OutFront Minnesota plans to protest coach Portland and her reputed anti-gay policies. Coach Pam Borton, professor Mary Jo Kane, and message board owner Sue Short all weigh in on the issue in Jerry Zgoda's excellent article.
UCLA had lost to Stanford 14 straight time. Last night at Pauley, the Bruins put an end to the streak.

"[The losing streak] was all we talked about this week and how we wanted to win," Nikki Blue said. "I'd never beaten Stanford, and it was very important our senior year to get one 'W' against Stanford."

Blue and Noelle Quinn combined for 49 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, and just one turnover.

"Noelle Quinn hit some big, kind of Kobe-ish baskets," Coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I think Nikki Blue is a phenomenal point guard."

There was another upset across town, too: Cal knocked off USC. "I don't think my team feels like they can't beat anybody," said coach Boyle.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Helen Wheelock reviews Geno's new book. She agrees with Jessie: the new book is good, but The Same River Twice is even better.

(In non-hoops news, when you are used to Safari and Firefox, having to blog with Explorer sucks rocks. Such are the wages of travel.)
Beth Mowins continues ESPN.com's preview of Sunday's UNC-Duke clash with a look at each teams' defense. While both teams are high scoring, Mowins argues the two are the last two undefeated teams "because of incredible defensive performances. "
Mel Greenberg updates his blog today with history on the last time an unranked team beat a No. 1 team in the AP Poll and an update on the coaches in the AP Poll for the longest time.
The Senate Commitee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has scheduled a Full Committee Hearing on the Promotion and Advancement of Women in Sports for Wednesday, February 1.

The scheduled witnesses are: Dominique Dawes; Donna de Varona; Tara Erickson; Jennie Finch; Dr. Christine H.B. Grant; Lynette Mund; Catherine “Cat” Reddick; Dr. Dorothy “Dot” Richardson; Judith Sweet.
Jess Davenport looked good last night as her Buckeyes pulverized Wisconsin. Coach Foster cleared his bench.

Frustrated Badger coach Lisa Stone calls Davenport "the best post player in the country." Sylvia Fowles might disagree.
It ain't UK over UT but it's still an upset: unranked Arkansas took out ranked Florida in Fayetteville by scoring an unusual number of threes. The Razorbacks ended up 11-23 from downtown, including 6-10 from Leslie Howard; they've hit 47 treys in their last three games.

Arkansas have only one SEC loss so far: should they be ranked? Probably not.
Jamie Broback scored a career high 33 points to help ensure the Gophers did not lose to the school that upset the Wisconsin men earlier this week. Minnesota defeated North Dakota State 79-70 in a game where the Bison never quit.

The Gophers looked in command early with a 12-2 lead, but the Bison fought back and the score at haltime was tied at 28. Too often settling for outside shots, the Gophers only hit 9 of 35 attempts while allowing the Bison to convert on 10-22.

The second half started with both teams answering each other's scoring. But Broback broke it open in the final 6 minutes, sparking the Gophers on an 11-2 run, a decisive spurt that made it 65-51 with 4:45 remaining. At one point in the half, Broback scored 12 straight points for the Gophers.

After getting a boost from its bench in the last three games, Coach Borton called the game against the Bison a "setback," as the Bison bench outscored the Gopher bench 29-15.

NDSU had three players in double figures, led by Brenda Slyt's 17 points. Slyt is from Climax, MN.
LSU took sole possession of first place in the SEC with a strong second half in a 75-53 win over Vanderbilt in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers only led by one at halftime, but Sylvia Fowles scored 10 points in a 1-minute span of the second half as LSU outscored Vandy 47-26 in the second period. Fowles finished with 26 points and 22 rebounds, career highs in both. Seimone Augustus added a game-high 28 points on 11-14 shooting. Erica White had a career high 14 assists, in her third straight start.

“When the game plan is don’t let two-and-a-half people beat you and if they’re hot they’re going to hurt you,’’ Vandy coach Melanie Balcomb said. “You don’t keep Sylvia to 13 boards at halftime, a lot of them where on her own misses, and Seimone got looks in her favorite spots.’’
Purdue remained undefeated in Big 10 play with a decisive 73-53 win over Michigan State in West Layfayette. It was the 12th win in a row for the Boilers and arguably their best game of the season.

Rebounding was one of the keys for Purdue. The Spartans, who lead the conference in rebounding margin, grabbed five of the game's first six rebounds. "We responded from that point on," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said.

The improved rebounding triggered the Boilers offense. Katie Gearlds and Aya Traore led the way with 23 and 17 points and Purdue hit 10-18 from 3 point range.

Defensively, Purdue held MSU and Liz Shimek in check. Shimek was held to 14 points, five below her average, and the Spartans were held 18 points below their season average. The Boilers have held all eight of its Big Ten opponents to fewer than 60 points.
What's the bigger shocker - that Tennessee lost for the second time in a row last night or that they lost at Kentucky? I'm not sure, but Kentucky beat Tennesse last night 66-63 before a school record 13,689 fans at Rupp Arena.

This was the first win ever over a #1 team for the Wildcats. It was also the first time since January 1986 that Kentucky beat Tennessee, a streak of 24 games. It was also the first time since 1997 that the Lady Vols lost two in a row in a season.

Tennessee was coming off a big loss at Duke and apparently had not recoved from it as UK took a five point lead at halftime. UK built the lead by scoring four times on backdoor cuts and five other baskets right at the rim. According to Summitt, "We lost the ball game in the first half. I don't have any excuses for this team. I don't know when they're going to show up and play."

The Lady Vols recovered defensively in the second half, holding Kentucky to one basket in a stretch of 11 possessions. This turned a six point deficit into a 56-52 lead. But the final outcome was decided on two UK free throws and an open shot UT missed.

Candace Parker led all scorers with 25 points and added 9 rebounds. But she was the only Lady Vol in double figures as UT shot 39% from the field. Jenny Pfeiffer led the 'Cats in scoring with 16 points, including the decisive free throws with 15 seconds left.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

There was quite a game in Minnesota girls high school basketball this week. Centennial defeated Champlin Park 116-93 on Tuesday night. The 209 total points scored in regulation demolished the previous state record of 177 set three years ago in a three-overtime game between Dassel-Cokato and Litchfield.

The Cougars of Centennial shot 70 percent (46 of 66) and had 38 assists, two more than another current state record.
Over on ESPN.com, Melanie Jackson profiles Georgia's Sherill Baker. Last month, the 5-foot-8 guard became Georgia's all-time steals leader, a record previously held by five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards. She is currently two away from tying Mississippi State's Tan White as SEC's all-time steals leader.

Also, Nancy Lieberman previews Sunday's showdown between Duke and UNC, the last two undefeated teams in the country. She believes the game with be decided in the battle between PGs Lindsey Harding and Ivory Latta. Last season UNC swept Duke in all three meetings, but that was with Harding on the bench.
In a break from Big 10 action, Minnesota will host nearby North Dakota State tonight. Not only are six Bison from Minnesota and they have former Gopher Cara Pearson as a second year assistant coach, but the game is one of the closest NDSU has had to travel.

The Bison will log more than 28,000 miles this season. After winning five NCAA Division II national championships and finishing as national runner-up in 2004, North Dakota State embarked on a new challenge a year ago moving up to the NCAA Division I ranks. This has the Bison traveling all over for games this season.

The Gophers will play in Fargo next season and the Bison will be back in Minneapolis in the 2007-08 season as part of this agreement.
Out west, Candice Wiggins has been smokin' lately. She's scored 30+ in four of her last seven games, and she's now averaging 21.2 on the season. When Newlin went out, Wiggins increased her production, and the Cardinal (once again) sit atop the Pac-10.

Now Newlin is back, and the coaching staff is trying to figure out how to work her back in without upsetting the apple cart.

“The team never forgot about me,” Newlin says. “I was with them every practice and every game. They’ve been really supportive now that I’ve come back, helping me find my role again. Bringing me back to the level I was at could take awhile, but they’re glad to have me back, and I’m glad to be back.”
After going up against and outperforming, among others Jessica Davenport and Sophia Young (at least statistically), Courtney Paris continued the trend against All-American Tiffany Jackson in a 75-57 win over Texas.

Courtney recorded her 12th straight double double in scoring a career high 32 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Even her teammates are impressed by the freshman phenom. “I catch myself standing and watching all the time, when I should be cutting or getting open,” Britney Brown said.

Texas had won eight of its previous nine games against Oklahoma before Wednesday. The last two seasons, Oklahoma had no solution against the 6-foot-3 Jackson. Last night, Courtney's twin Ashley did the job on the defensive end, holding Jackson to 11 points on 5-13 shooting.

Jackson did not start the game guarding Courtney and Texas usually only used single coverage, but Jackson ended up fouling out in the second half. The Longhorns' two centers, Aubry Cook and Ashley Lindsey, combined for seven fouls, mostly while trying to guard Courtney. Jackson explains the difficulty with trying to contain Courtney. "Courtney’s really crafty. You may deny her. Then she pins you for the next pass. You may take away her shot but she’s a great passer."

With the win, Oklahoma moved to 6-0 in the Big XII. They play second place Texas A&M on Saturday in College Station.
A recent NCAA report showed that while graduation rates have been rising across college sports, they've been decining in women's hoops.

Ray Melick at the Birmingham News wonders why. Melick also wonders whether the NCAA should drop the number of scholarships to increase parity.

In other NCAA news... the Selection Committees on both sides of the gender fence will be releasing their RPI data starting next week. Good.
K-State beat Kansas for the ninth straight time last night. Voepel reports.
Alexis Hornbuckle, who has a not-too-bad knee injury, was harassed at Cameron on Monday. Some of the crazies mocked her with props and chants referring to her shoplifting charges in high school.

Over the line? It's not exactly Kerr at ASU, but it's borderline.

In a related vein, Minnesota fans have been debating for weeks how they should greet Rene Portland when she comes to town on Sunday.
Former NBA great and current Knicks president Isiah Thomas has been sued for sexual harassment. The accuser is Anucha Browne Sanders, who was a star at Northwestern in the 80s. On the Big Ten's all-time scoring list, Browne is fourth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More rumors of big trade deals in the works.

UPDATE: According to other inside sources, there have been no discussions between Washington and Phoenix about a trade involving Anna DeForge and/or DeLisha Milton.
Prof. Matson is conducting a survey of fans about the media coverage of women's baketball. She'll be using the results for an academic paper.

If you haven't done so already, please take the time to fill it out.
Mel Thomas and Nicole Wolff held Jessica Dickson to 6 points and Barbara Turner led a balanced offensive attack in a 77-47 UConn rout over South Florida.

Dickson entered the game leading the nation in scoring with nearly 25 ppg but finished the game with six points on 2-9 shooting. As she explains, "they had more than one person coming at me, two off the screen. I had to work to get open and it did have an effect on me. My legs got a little tired."

Offensively, UConn shot 56.6 percent to 32.8 percent for South Florida. Turner led the way with 16 points on 7-9 shooting in 22 minutes. A 61-34 lead with 13:27 left allowed Geno Auriemma to rest his banged-up team. Only freshman Renee Montgomery, who played 27 minutes and matched a season high with nine assists, played more than 22 minutes.

Last season when the two teams met, it took overtime for the Huskies to win. As extra motivation Auriemma played a little five-minute highlight clip of that game right before the Huskies went out to warm up Tuesday night. While this was unusual, it appeared to work.
Rutgers used a stifling defense and the hot shooting of Matee Ajavon and Cappie Pondexter to roll past Notre Dame 69-43.

The Scarlet Knights opened the game with a 20-1 lead at the 11 minute mark, but the Irish fought back to make it a 28-24 game early in the second half. But Ajavon ignited another run, that had the Scarlet Knights convert on 11 straight possessions, force five turnovers and ultimately push out a 30-6 run to forge a 60-30 advantage.

Rutgers had 10 steals and scored 35 points off Notre Dame turnovers and held Megan Duffy to 10 points on 2-8 shooting. "Rutgers' defense was outstanding; it looked like they had six or seven players on the floor,'' said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.

Ajavon was impressive in her return to the starting lineup. The sophomore has been in and out of the starting lineup all season as she recovered from a stress fracture in her shin. The Irish had no answer for her as she shot 11-18, including 5-7 from 3-point range. The 28 points was a season high for Ajavon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Aussie WNBL playoffs are coming up soon: at the end of reg-season play, the hot hands belong to Tami Willey and to future Connecticut Sun guard Erin Phillips, whose Adelaide team recently defeated Lauren Jackson's Canberra Capitals.

Get your official WNBL updates here; get a really long, fun-to-read game report from (who else?) the Platypus right here.
The Detroit Shock have signed a new assistant coach, Cheryl Reeve, a former assistant at Charlotte. Reeve replaces Laurie Byrd.
At the official Lynx blog, Roger hints that there is a free agent signing in the works.
(Dear ESPN, please stop showing us Chubby Checker at Duke games. Please. For the love of God.)
At the NCAA's "Double-A Zone" blog, Rutgers guard Essence Carson has a post titled: "The Essence Of Being A Student-Athlete."
In an ACC conference match-up featuring one of three teams in the country who have played both Duke and Tennessee, Maryland defeated Virginia Tech 68-62.

The Hokies played their best defense of the year in the first half, holding the normally high scoring Terps to a season-low 24 points before halftime. Tech scored on their first seven possessions and took their largest lead of the game in the process at 39-30. But Maryland responded by scoring on nine straight possessions and took a 43-42 lead.

With the score tied at 54, reigning ACC freshman of the week Kristi Toliver took over. Toliver went on a personal 10-0 run while the Hokies were only able to score three points. Crystal Langhorne paced the Terps with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

The Hokies lost for the third straight game and fell to 1-4 in the ACC. They hurt themselves by going 16-26 from the free throw line, including 3-of-8 with under six minutes to play. They will try to rebound on Sunday against Miami. Maryland will finish off the week against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.
The match-up of #1 and #2 ended up not being a contest as #2 Duke outplayed #1 Tennessee in a 75-53 romp.

Led by Lindsey Harding's 15 points and 8 steals, Duke used a balanced attack and excellent defense to dismantle the Lady Vols. As Pat Summitt explained, "Duke wanted it more, and their defense was the difference."

The start of the game looked like a close contest. With both teams shooting well, but turning the ball over the score was tied at 14 at the 11 minute mark. Duke then went on a 11-2 run before Tennessee responded with a 5-0 run to close the gap to 23-21. Another 7-2 run by the Blue Devils brought the halftime score to 30-23.

After trading baskets to start the second half, Duke went on a quick 11-4 run courtesy of a Monique Currie 3-pointer and a pair of Mistie Williams layups. The Blue Devils never allowed the Lady Vols to gain any momentum and eventually extended the lead to 27 points after a 13-0 run gave Duke a 73-46 lead.

For Tennessee, Candace Parker had 17 points and five assists, but she also had seven turnovers and did not get much help from her teammates. Leading scorer Shanna Zolman, had zero points, shooting 0-for-7 from the floor. Summitt called Zolman a non-factor. "The disappointing thing is when she wasn’t scoring, she wasn’t doing other things. Obviously, that hurt us."

Tennesssee will look to bounce back later this week against SEC foes Kentucky and Alabama.

Duke will not have much time to savor this as they go back to ACC action and face Clemson on Thursday before another showdown on Sunday with #3 North Carolina.

"It was a great game, but it's still just a game," Gail Goestenkors said. It was an opportunity to test ourselves, to find out how good we were in this particular situation on this particular day." Coach G would admit, "Today, we were pretty good."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Over on the free portion of Full Court Press, Clay Kallam has his picks for the Top 20 wcbb players at mid season.

BYU's Ambrosia Anderson, Xavier's Tara Boothe and Mississipi's Armintie Price are probably the biggest unknowns outside of their conferences.
SI's Kelli Anderson checks in with more items from her women's college basketball mailbag. Among the topics covered are the transfer of S'ade Wiley Gatewood and the likelihood of another dynasty.

Tracy Schultz, another SI writer who publishes a weekly power rankings, is also inviting readers to send in questions.
The game women's hoops fans have been waiting all season for is finally here as #1 Tennessee travels to Durham to take on #2 Duke in ESPN2's Big Monday broadcast.

The Lady Vols and Blue Devils are two of the last undefeated teams left in NCAA Division I (North Carolina is the other and they play Duke on Sunday). So who will emerge tonight with their record intact?

Duke has faced just three top-25 teams this year and has won its games by an average of more than 38 points per game—its closest contest was an eight-point victory over Georgia Tech Jan. 11.

Tennessee has the toughest or one of the toughest schedules every year. They have already played and defeated Maryland, UConn, Michigan State, Stanford and Georgia among others. But despite all of their talent, they have struggled at times in some games.

The game at Cameron Indoor has been sold out for a couple of weeks. While Duke is not as experienced as Tennessee in playing before big crowds, they have showed they can handle it.

If this game lives up to expectations, perhaps this will help Duke move closer to the Tennessees and UConns in terms of attendance.
Last week GW coach Joe McKeown complained (and with good reason) that it had taken so long for his team to get recognized in the rankings.

Yesterday the Colonials faced UMass, who was 4-13 with an RPI around 200 coming into the game. The Minutewomen (yes, they're really called that) pulled off a huge upset, unconsciously. "I had no idea going into the game that they were number 25," said Kate Mills, who won the game with two free throws in the final seconds.
Jessica Davenport stunned Michigan State at the buzzer. With three seconds left and the score tied, Marscilla Packer made a long lob pass to Davenport, who went straight to the basket with the ball.

"At first I thought [Packer] was going to shoot," Davenport said. "I saw the ball coming and I saw my girl cheat up. I know I didn't have enough time to come down and go back up with it."

Liz Shimek, the defender in question, was left wondering what she could have done to stop the much taller Davenport. "It's kind of a blur," she said. "I hoped we could maybe play it over. Maybe I could back into her, push her down -- I don't know -- do something different."

Dav finished with 31 on 14 for 19. The loss ended MSU's 23-game home win streak.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten... Purdue hung on against Illinois to remain unbeaten in conference play. Asked about coming close but falling short once again, Illini coach Theresa Grentz said: "I'm tired of it."

Minnesota used a big second half run to take out Iowa. "When somebody comes into your home floor and scores 48 points (in the second half), that's an embarrassment," Hawkeye coach Lisa Bluder said.
Tasha Humphrey had a dominant game against LSU and gave the Dogs a chance for an upset. But Seimone Augustus hit a jumper to give the Tigers the lead with 14 seconds left.

“I got a good screen and made a good cut,’’ Augustus said. “Scholanda (Hoston) held the ball for a two count and I got over and took the shot. I can’t really take all the credit for that because if I didn’t get the screen the shot wouldn’t have been possible."

Georgia had one last chance, but Alexis Kendrick blew it with a bad shot. "I got anxious and took a shot ... it was a selfish play," Kendrick said. "It wasn't the play (coach Andy Landers) called, it was just a mental break on my part. I totally accept the blame."

It was a crushing loss for Humphrey. "It's just really hard to lose this type of game," she said, "especially by one point, and knowing that you played well."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

In a couple of hours Jessica Davenport's Buckeyes visit Michigan State. Last year in East Lansing, Roehrig played Davenport to a draw as State pulled off a close win.

This year? State center Laura Hall: "We've just been working on taking away her strengths, staying out of foul trouble and beating her down the floor... She is strong going either right or left, but she is left-handed, so we're going to try and take away her left hand and work from there."
Gopher starter (and Minnesota native) April Calhoun transferred to Minnesota after two years at Iowa. Because she transferred within the Big Ten conference, she's attending Minnesota without a scholarship.

This afternoon Calhoun's Gophers visit her former team in a regionally televised matchup.

Calhoun: "I'm excited to see some of the old places I used to go, to play at Carver-Hawkeye again... I'm expecting some boos. They'll put a smile on my face. When I decided to transfer, I was hoping I'd leave college basketball feeling it was a positive experience. When I do leave now, I will have accomplished that. Coming back home to play, I wouldn't have traded that for anything."
UConn played badly but beat Pitt anyway behind Mel Thomas' hot shooting. The Huskies led by just 3 at the half and gave up 31 offensive boards, but Pittsburgh shot only 26% from the field.

Pitt coach Berenato isn't discouraged: "If you look at the shooting, the fact that we got 70 shots was amazing. I think that's a sign that they believed they could make the shot and a good majority of them went in and out."

Geno: "Once you get into the NCAA Tournament, you play a game like this, you're going to go home."
New Mexico had trouble with historically not-very-good Air Force, but won the game late from the line. Dionne Marsh had 21.

In another near-upset, Georgetown nearly beat Notre Dame. The Golden Domers led by 14 at the half but scored just one bucket over the last ten minutes-- exactly enough to win by two.
Stanford climbed out of a double-digit hole to beat Arizona State in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal prevailed despite a ridiculous rebounding edge for the Sun Devils-- 41 boards to Stanford's 20. Candice Wiggins scored (ho-hum, just another day at the office) 33 points.

Coach TV: "Arizona State gave us everything we could handle. We got outhustled on plays and the rebounding situation is something we have to deal with. But we have Candice and Brooke [Smith], and they led the way."

Arizona State showed their usual defensive intensity; Stanford responded by creating 25 turnovers. Cardinal frosh Rosalyn Gold-Onwude: "You have to play them the way they are playing you. You go back at them."

ASU have now lost four road games in a row, including Thursday night's surprise in Berkeley.
Oklahoma knocked down defending champs Baylor in dramatic fashion. After Baylor's Tisdale tied the game at 72, OU's Kendra Moore-- the second choice on the play-- sank a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds to go.

It was Moore's second trey in the final minute. "I knew they were going in," she said.

Courtney Paris had her usual double-double; Baylor got four starters in double figures, but a doughnut from their bench.

After an OK start that included a loss to Illinois, the Sooners are now 5-0 in Big XII play. Baylor's conference record drops to an unexpected 3-3.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ann Strother's foot hurts, which helps explain her 1-for-10 shooting on Monday.

Geno explains what Husky fans already know: "Ann reacts one of two ways when it's a big game. She gets all focused and makes every play and does everything right, or she gets so hyped up to play well and she knows she's not right [physically] and she can't do anything."

Frosh Kaylana Greene-- on the bench for all of Monday's game-- should get minutes today at Pitt. Greene: "This is a test that I have to pass... I have to go out there and get Coach to trust me, that when I'm on the floor in crucial games, I can do things."
Virginia took Maryland to overtime in Charlottesville, but Coleman and Langhorne pulled off a Terrapins win.

Down the stretch, Terps coach Frese relied on frosh, among them Coleman and point guard Kristi Tolliver. Coleman's stat line takes the cake: 3-3 from downtown, 7-8 on free throws, 22 points, 8 boards.

UVa's Sharnee Zoll: "As much as you'd like to think this was a moral victory, this doesn't go in the win column. We let it get away."

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mechelle Voepel checks in with Tamika Catchings and Alana Beard, who are both over playing in Korea this off season.

Both are enjoying their time over there. Catchings says the stands as always full. "A full house with a lot of noise makes for a great game. My teammates are a lot of fun. Even though there is the language barrier, it seems that we all try to make the best of it."

Other current or former WNBA players in Korea this season include Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Katie Feenstra, Kayte Christensen, and Tangela Smith. You can check out the WKBL's Web site here. (Note: a translated English version is not available)
In Kate Smith's latest college roundup, GW coach Joe McKeown praises his team and trashes the polls: "The power conferences start ganging up on everybody. A team gets beat twice and they keep voting to keep each other in."

Also in Smith's notes: Princeton scoring machine Meagan Cowher, daughter of NFL Steelers coach Bill Cowher; ACC rivalries; and the end of Kayla Burt's hoops career.
Pat Summitt added to her incredible resume and reached yet another milestone as her Lady Vols rallied from their biggest deficit of the season to defeat in-state rival Vanderbilt, 80-68. This was career win 900 for Summitt.

Vandy controlled most of the first half and twice led by as many as 14. But Nicky Anosike's play helped to inspire a 30-point swing, beginning with Vanderbilt's 35-21 lead with 3:54 left in the first half and concluding with Tennessee's 68-52 advantage with 5:47 left.

Shanna Zolman led five Lady Vols in double figures with 16 points. Caroline Williams scored 21 points for Vandy, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Dee Davis added 20 points. The Commodore hosted game featured a crowd of 13,127 and fans of both teams.

Summitt commented after the game on the milestone - "When I think of all the faces that played for me, they were great people. They competed and represented the university with pride and they always come back. Once a Lady Vol, always a Lady Vol."
Two of the lower ranked top 25 ACC teams may find themselves on the outside looking in after last night's games.

#22 Boston College fell to 0-4 in its new conference as Miami defeated the Eagles 82-68 in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes forced 29 Boston College turnovers and went on a 25-3 run in a six-minute stretch spanning the first and second halves. Tamara James led all scorers with 25 points.

#18 Viriginia Tech appeared to have their game against Wake Forest in hand in the first half, but the Deacons responded in the second half and held on for a 77-71 overtime win. Cotelia Bond-Young scored 22 points for Wake Forest, including a short jumper with 2 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 67. It was the Deacons first win over a ranked opponent in more than a year.
Up and coming Cal got its first win over a ranked team since the 2003-04 season with a 66-64 victory over #13 Arizona State.

Cal, which led by as many as 16 points in the first half, clung to a 59-57 edge with 2:18 to play following two free throws from ASU guard Briann January. Turnovers and missed free throws by the Bears let the Sun Devils back in the game. "That's our struggle,'' Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "I don't know if that's our youth, if it's a young team learning to work for each other.

The Bears' heralded freshman class led by Alexis Gray-Lawson and recently suspended Devanei Hampton made sure Cal held on for the victory. The two combined for 40 points and the starters scored all 66 of the Bears points.

The Sun Devils have lost three of five after a nine-game winning streak. "We're slumping,'' Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We're not playing good basketball. We're in a little funk right now.''
Rutgers had a 21 home game winning streak snapped as Temple won 48-47.

Temple used a zone defense to effectively take away the post game for Rutgers. Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer had been using a four guard line up before this game, but elected to go with two posts most of the time to match up against Temple's defense.

The change did not seem to have any impact as the Owls outrebounded the Knights 30-24, had 26 points in the paint, and had 15 second-chance points to just five for the Knights.

Rutgers appeared to have the momentum early in the game as they took a 19-10 lead with 7 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first half and Temple's Candice Dupree was on the bench in foul trouble. But the Temple defense took over. The Owls went on to finish the half with a 15-3 run, taking a 27-24 lead at the break.

Dupree and New Mexico transfer Fatima Maddox led the Owls with 14 and 15 points. It was a career high for Maddox. Temple coach Dawn Staley described Maddox's play as explosive. "She can go one-on-one anytime." Staley said.

Cappie Pondexter led all scorers with 21 points, including a three pointer at the game ending buzzer. But coach Stringer is looking for others to step up as well. "We have a lot of players who didn't add a change," Stringer said. "We sputtered, we didn't make the extra pass, we played selfish basketball. We did not play smart. "
Minnesota picked up a convincing road win in Ann Arbor on Thursday, defeating Michigan 85-57. Shannon Bolden and Jamie Broback were the only two Gophers in double figures, but eight of the 14 players Coach Pam Borton used scored seven or more points.

While the Wolverines shot 50% from the floor, they also turned the ball over 23 times resulting in 24 points for the Gophers. “I felt great about our defense,” coach Borton said. “Our defense created our offense today in a lot of different situations.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Virginian Pilot looks at attendance at Old Dominion.

Up until recently, the Lady Monarchs had been a perennial top 25 team but last appeared in polls in the 2001-02 season. While they are not as successful nationally, the Lady Monarchs have won 14 consecutive CAA titles. Yet, this has not been enough to attract additional fans.

Old Dominion still is in the top 25 nationally for attendance, but crowds of more than 5,000 have been rare. The drop is attributed to a loss of season ticket holders over the last few years. When the Constant Center opened in 2002, the Lady Monarchs sold more than 4,000 season tickets, about twice what was sold for this season.

ODU Associate Athletic Director Debbie Byrne and Head Coach Wendy Larry are concerned but not alarmed about the decline. “I know we have a really good product to offer,” Larry said.

As people in Minnesota learned a few years ago, winning helps. “Winning is the big factor in anybody’s attendance, men or women, for attracting the new fan ,” Byrne said. “We have very loyal fans that have been very supportive, win or lose. But to attract new fans, they need a reason, or to be attracted to a particular player, to come watch.”

The article also looks briefly at the success at New Mexico over the last decade since the hiring of Don Flanagan and mentions the large number of fans who turned out for the ODU hosted NCAA regional in 2004.

Byrne claims the big turnout was not just Minnesota fans. “Most people think all the fans were from Minnesota,” Byrne said. “But the majority of people were from Hampton Roads, and they were there because of Wendy.” (Note: as someone from MN who attended this regional, I remember there being about 800 Gopher fans for the first games -MN vs. BC and LA Tech vs. Duke. An additional 250 or so came down for the Blue Devil-Gopher game).

Both Byrne and Larry believe the ODU program has a bright future. The Lady Monarchs nearly beat North Carolina and Vanderbilt this season with a injury depleted line up. Plus, Friday night games have been re-established and student attendance has increased by an average of 300 per game.
There were no upsets in Top 25 action last night. The closest and perhaps most interesting game was the Big XII match up of Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma in Norman. Tech came in the game with the hopes of building on their recent win over Baylor. Oklahoma was hoping to remain undefeated in conference play.

With Courtney Paris leading the way, the Sooners defeated the Lady Raiders 63-57 and moved to 4-0 in the Big XII. Paris recorded her 10th straight double-double with 17 points and 19 rebounds.

Tech played the game without head coach Marsha Sharp, who was briefly hospitalized earlier in the day after suffering flu-like symptoms during a shootaround at the Lloyd Noble Center. Assistant coach Krista Gerlich ran the bench in the absence of Sharp, who plans to return Saturday, when Texas Tech hosts Nebraska.

The Sooners next take on defending national champion Baylor in Waco on Saturday. That game may provide insight on who the Big XII Player of the Year will be. Senior Sophia Young likely has the edge with an average of 21.3 ppg and 10.2 rpg. Yet freshman Courtney Paris has been equally as impressive with an average of 20.7 ppg and 15 rpg. Unfortunately for fans, it does not look like this game in on national TV.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Adding a new twist to the women's basketball internet world, Duke coach Gail Goestenkors and senior Jessica Foley have started an online book club.

First up is The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews.
The Lynx now have their own blog.

It is the "latest news, information and opinions directly from key personnel in the Lynx front office."
Nancy Lieberman profiles South Florida's Jessica Dickson. "She's virtually unstoppable," said one coach of a top-25 program. "The best advice is to keep her from touching the ball."
Clay looks again at Monday's big game with an eye to future WNBA drafts.

Clay's verdicts: Augustus "may not be as immediately dominant as some had hoped," though he still thinks the Lynx ought to pick her. Fowles "looks ready to step into the W right now." Strother "looks like a complementary player" on the level of Stacey Dales-Schuman. And Houston "may turn out to be the best of the bunch."
One of the best sports writers around, Mechelle Voepel, will be honored next month in KC's Annual Women's Sports Awards Celebration.

Disastrous Sparks coach Henry Bibby has found new work.
Led by Megan Duffy, Notre Dame picked up a much needed 78-75 win over #10 DePaul in South Bend.

The Fighting Irish had lost four of its last five games entering the match up with the Blue Demons. They were in danger of falling to 1-4 in the Big East before Duffy took over the game. With the Blue Demons up by 12 points with 13:30 left in the game, Duffy had two assists, a defensive rebound and a steal in the span of 51 seconds to get the Irish going again, sparking an 18-0 run.

The Irish had built a 37-33 halftime lead but the Blue Demons came out in the second half on an 18-2 run led by three 3 pointers by Jenna Rubino. The Irish kept their composure and started their run. Once the Irish had the lead, Duffy protected it with 10 points over the final 5:15, including six straight free throws. Duffy finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists.

After the game, Irish coach Muffet McGraw declared Duffy the "best point guard in America."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jessie and Steve have been busy having a baby. We are proud to present Nathan Miles, who entered the world at 4:17am on Saturday January 14, and who has now come safely home with his mom and dad.

Nathan's attempt to watch UConn beat LSU in the maternity ward was foiled by the helpful nurse who insisted on showing us how to bathe him during the crucial final minute; fortunately, we have TiVo.

We hope soon to introduce Nathan to Evie and Goldy.
Cindy Davies, who appeared on OTL and ABC News to tell about her experiences at Penn State, recently gave a long interview on the subject to the Indiana Gazette. Davies tells again how Rene Portland hounded her off the team after hearing that she was gay.
I just want this vicious cycle to be over. Everybody's like, she has so many wins, she's such an icon. Ya, but at the expense of how many people? It's OK for her to step on people like that and ruin their lives? I truly believe she should not coach anybody unless she does not discriminate anymore. I mean, that's just crazy in this day and age. It's outrageous. And it needs to stop.
Once again responding to fan requests, WNBA.com has provided some info about which players are cored.

In somewhat sillier personnel news, Charley Walters reports that Charlotte has offered McCarville to the Lynx for the #1 pick. Rumor has it that, when he received Trudi's offer, Lynx GM Roger Griffith was unable to suppress audible laughter.
The countdown for the Top 25 moments in NCAA history continues with #24 - Drake's Lorri Bauman scoring 50 points in an NCAA Tournament game.

"I had great athletes at Drake who would work on their games all summer. Not Lorri. You couldn't get her there for a game in the summer," Bauman's coach at Drake, Carole Baumgarten, once told the Des Moines Register. "She was busy swimming or riding her motorcycle. She wasn't playing ball, and that's what was so amazing. Honest to God, she made the other kids crazy."
Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood is headed to Maryland.
UConn got its biggest win of the season by beating LSU at the Civic Center.

The Huskies took a lead when Sylvia Fowles went to the bench in the first half with foul trouble. In Fowles's absence, Charde Houston went crazy, scoring repeatedly in the paint. Houston ended with 22 points and 14 boards off the bench.

"You get tired of leaving the gym crying because you wished you played harder," Houston said. "We came together and won."

Down the stretch, UConn got shaky and allowed LSU to fight back and tie the game with 27 seconds left. But the Tigers had burned all of their timeouts to get back to even, and once they got there, the players didn't seem to know what to do.

A botched press left Houston wide open under the UConn basket, which led to a (phantom?) foul and a one-point Husky lead. LSU had another chance to win the game, but Seimone Augustus — who had a rough shooting night — took a wild desperation baseline fadeaway when there was still plenty of time on the clock.

"The shot was a bad shot," Augustus said.

“I want to credit Connecticut for their ability to force us into a halfcourt offense situation where we were not mentally disciplined to hold true to what we wanted to do coming out of the locker room,” said coach Pokey. “I thought they made us rush ... not many teams have forced us to do that.”
University of Washington senior Kayla Burt has retired from basketball. Burt was admitted to a hospital on Thursday night when her after her internal heart defibrillator was activated during Washington's game against UCLA, Jan. 12.

The decision was reached through a mutual agreement between Burt, her doctors and UW athletic department.

Burt's story has been told many times and her comeback last year earned her the V Foundation Comeback Award.
Virginia got off to a rocky start in conference play, losing to Florida State and NC State. Last night the Cavs righted the ship and took out Virginia Tech.

Lyndra Littles led the way with 19 and 12.

“They’re very physical on defense and we just didn’t fight back,” said Tech senior center Megan Finnerty. “We just played soft all around.”

Monday, January 16, 2006

With her win over N.C. State, Sylvia Hatchell joined Summitt, Conradt, Stringer, and Gunter in the 700-win club.

"I don't feel that old," said Hatchell after the game. "I love it as much now as I've ever loved it. A team like this, they're the best."
Happy MLK, from the Boondocks.
Also of note at the Gopher-Spartan game was the pre-game ceremony honoring pre-NCAA legend Linda Roberts. A member of the Gophers from 1977-81, Roberts is still the school's all-time leading rebounder with 1,413. She also was the school's leading scoring until Laura Coenen, Carol Ann Schudlick, and Lindsay Whalen passed her.

Some may wonder why it took so long to honor Roberts, but she said she harbors no resentment. Columnists from the Minnesota Spokesmen-Recorder helped make it happen.
While the Gophers have showed moments of brilliance during the season so far, Sunday's 71-58 win over Michigan State was perhaps their most complete and impressive game on both ends of the floor to date.

Minnesota attacked the Spartans' match up zone and full court press effectively through out the game, although they struggled early on with finishing lay ups to give the Spartans the early lead. Defensively, they still allowed MSU's stars Lindsay Bowen and Liz Shimek to score. But they shut down pretty much everyone else, including Victoria Lucas-Perry and Rene Haynes who have caused havoc on the Gophers in the past.

Perhaps most surprising about this, is that the Gophers did it with starters Shannon Schonrock, Liz Podominick and Jamie Broback playing an average of 13 minutes between them and scoring a combined seven points (and Liz had 6 of the 7). Schonrock's play was limited in the first half after she picked up her second foul. Broback started the game 0-5 from the field and never got on track offensively. Podominick was not able to slow down Shimek in the first half when she scored 10 of her 16 points.

The Gophers' white team (referring to the white practice jerseys of the second unit) then took over and played so well, many of the red team (named for the red practice jerseys of the starters) did not get a chance to see much more playing time in the game.

Leading the "white squad" in minutes and points was someone who did not even play in the overtime loss to Purdue on Thursday - Lauren Lacey. Minnesota coach Pam Borton and Lacey had a talk on Friday that helped motivate the sophomore when she entered the game to score 16 points in 31 minutes of action.

Also making the most of their chance were Tasha Williams, who was nearly perfect from the floor and line and was able to better contain Shimek; Katie Alsdurf, who scored two key three pointers and grabbed a career high six rebounds; Kelly Roysland, who started the run in the first half to help get the Gophers the lead (7 points in 7 minutes) and fan favorite Emmy Fox, who played 22 minutes, scored a career high 13 points and made several big plays in the second half. The bench ended up scoring 55 of the Gophers 71 points.

Two starters were also critical in the win. Shannon Bolden helped contain the Spartan's Lucas-Perry, hit three big three pointers and grabbed three rebounds (plus made a half-time appearance on court with a big crowd from her hometown of Marshall, Minnesota). But the MVP of the game may have been a player who did not score a point. Senior April Calhoun ran the point well against the Spartans' defense, dished out a career high 10 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. She also is credited with three steals, but seemed to disrupt the Spartans even more with hustle plays throughout the game.
Yesterday was the beginning of the WNBA's free agent negotiating period. Qualifiying offers and core designations had to be made by the 14th; the list of cored players went out yesterday.

In even more important WNBA personnel news: Keegan has posted his first 2006 mock draft. He has the top four ordered: Augustus, Cappie, Currie, Young.

There have been rumors around, however, that some of the lottery teams are looking to trade their picks for more experienced players and/or posts (which this draft is lacking).
Over the course of the season, we'll likely see more and more team-specific blogs to start up. Here is a great one for the Gophers.

And the next wave: podcasting. Get in now on the ground floor.
Texas Tech was below .500 coming into yesterday's game against Baylor, but the Raiders played tough and pulled off a huge upset in front of a big Lubbock crowd.

"We've been so close all year," coach Sharp said. "I tell you, there has been no quit in any single person. Every single day at workout, they come and do things. I think we just felt like it was a matter of time until we got something real positive."

Alesha Robertson was the hero. She had 22 and 11, and she hit the game-winning bank shot with less than a second left to win the game.

Robertson had been mired in a serious slump before yesterday, shooting just 11 for 52 over the previous five games. “There's just got to be a point when you put all that stuff away and come out with an empty mind and start all over,” she said.
From Mary Jo, regarding ESPN's Silver Anniversary lists:
I read the ESPN.com 25-year material including the pre-NCAA team and wrote to Mechelle Voepel about the list of older players. I thought players from Cheyney State, especially Yolanda Laney, were missing. Mechelle wrote back immediately telling me that the pre-NCAA team was selected by Nancy Lieberman.

I had worked with two friends on a national newsletter in the 70s called "Through The Hoop." It was a combination of original news, analysis and feature stories combined with national team and individual statistics. Coaches and media subscribed to it and also submitted data from their programs, although most of the news was originated by myself and another person, both with media backgrounds.

I have copies of "Through The Hoop" in the special collections library on the Penn State campus and in the library at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. While we celebrate 25 years of NCAA success, the AIAW years also are important and that's what "Through The Hoop" documents.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Writing at the pay-only portion of Full Court, Mark Lewis recently brought back to the surface some of K-State's dirty laundry. In 2003, Deb Patterson faced some heat for trying to establish a sort of "Christians Only" program.

Lewis suggests that analogies to the Penn State situation have caused the Patterson story to bubble up again.
It appears that the reappearance of this story does not stem from new revelations, but rather by people drawing comparisons between Patterson and Penn State's Rene Portland. Nevertheless, materials in the Wildcats' 2004-05 media guide that included scriptures suggested to some that the issue is not resolved. At a state-funded university, the potency of this story could be dynamite.
Last year I saw an interview by Bill Walton with his old coach, the legendary John Wooden. Wooden was raised in a small midwestern town during the Depression. He was conservative, a military man, a devout Christian.

Walton (a pot-smoking hippie Deadhead in his younger years) asked Wooden how he dealt with his young players who were immersed in the California counterculture of the 60s and 70s.

Wooden responded (I'm paraphrasing):
My job was to make you better basketball players and better men. It wasn't my job to decide your beliefs for you. I wanted you to act like men, and I wanted you to be able to stand up for your beliefs, but it wasn't important that your beliefs matched mine.
I wish more coaches were like Wooden.