"You can't print the word I feel for our team," coach Cooper said. "Our whole defensive concept was down, and bad, and horrible..., and I'm not happy about it." Can another trade be on the way?
Saturday, June 30, 2007
"You can't print the word I feel for our team," coach Cooper said. "Our whole defensive concept was down, and bad, and horrible..., and I'm not happy about it." Can another trade be on the way?
For the Lynx, the win felt good. "Nine days ago this same team just plain embarrassed us, and we knew it," coach Zierden said. Those predictions you had for the West? You can tear them up now...
Adrian Williams started in place of an injured Yo. "I was nervous," Williams said. "I haven't started since 2003." It was the Monarchs' second 2OT loss in under a week.
Perkins lost most of her senior year at Texas Tech to pregnancy, and most of her first two years in the league to the black hole that was the late Sting; she's in some elite company now.
Detroit had no Ford, and the Mystics had no style points, but Washington fans don't much care. Are the Shock reverting to overconfident form?
It was the Sun's second home win all year; since June 10 they're 2-0 against the Fever, 0-8 against the rest of the league.
"You can only get slapped in the face so many times," coach Thibault declared. "Either you stand up and fight or give in and go home. That's not me and I don't think it's the majority of our players. At some point, you respond."
Friday, June 29, 2007
I don't know, but Houston has won four of its last five. The Comets continued their winning ways last night with a home win over Seattle.
Sue Bird, not on the floor for her defense, had zero points and three assists. "We wanted to take Sue out of the game offensively," coach Karleen said. "That's pretty hard to do, and that was huge for us."
"Somebody else needed to step up," said coach Donovan. "It's tough to win games when you need to spread out your scoring better than we did."
Thursday, June 28, 2007
She's serving a two-game suspension after mouthing off at officials last week: apparently a Phoenix assistant coach had to step between The Diana and the unfortunate referee.
Making things more surprising, Taj didn't play (tendinitis); L.A. started the inexperienced lineup of Spencer, Baker and Moore... and Marta Fernandez took over, scoring a startling 26.
Fernandez;'s younger brother may go in the first round of tonight's NBA draft. "He's very good," the Spanish guard said. "Tomorrow, we all watch on TV, and when the draft is done, I call him."
Nolan and Cash combined for 35: just enough to stop a Connecticut comeback which included such unlikely events as treys from Whalen and Rasmussen. The Shock had no Ford, and the Sun had no Sales, again.
"Pretty much every game is pretty similar," said Asjha Jones. "Down the stretch we were right there and then had a couple turnovers right when we didn't need them."
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Some bad things about watching Sacramento right now: their games are, as Barry says, often ugly ugly ugly. 22 turnovers to eleven assists. Seven points in the second quarter. Two starters (Ticha and Yo) without a field goal. Offensive sets that make you think that Monarchs would really rather be playing defense. (Sometimes I really think they would.)
Last night Sacto fans cheered and grimaced through a demolition job on the Liberty, who scored just 46: only McCarville and Willis looked ready to play. Yo hurt her neck but kept playing; the docs will look at it again today.
If the regular season ended this week, it would be hard not to pick Sacramento and Detroit for a finals do-over. Is that the matchup the league wants us to see?
The Sky miss Canty. A lot. Jia Perkins, who started in her place, finished with (wait for it) zero assists. Dominique may be back as early as Friday, when the Sky
Also in Seattle, Jayda Evans says rumors (her word) have manipulative new owner Clay Bennett ready to sell the Storm when the Sonics move: Bennett still says, in public, that he's keeping both teams. If you know any gazillionaires, there's a good team in the Northwest awaiting your call...
Becky Hammon scored 32, but her Silver Stars turned the ball over thirty times; Crystal Smith had four steals. Maybe this isn't San Antonio's year?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I believe the press release info has the dates the docu covers wrong.... BUT, you've got to appreciate Emerging Pictures' research -- I got this info via email:
We are selling the DVD in our online store and the film would certainly benefit from any publicity or exposure you could give the film in your blog. We even have a DVD affiliate program, in which one dollar is given to your organization every time a DVD is purchased from a connecting link on your website. You can visit the film’s website here.And who said blogging about women's basketball wouldn't make us rich. Ted! I want my 10%!
"We got to come with our 'A' game every night," coach Cooper says of his current team. "It's not like in the past where you could get away with some things."
Monday, June 25, 2007
L.A. was hurt by a couple of things. They apparently did not learn much from their big comeback against the Monarchs about the importance of playing hard for 40 minutes and they did not double team Jackson. "What were they kind of thinking putting just one person on Lauren [Jackson], especially on the block?" said Janell Burse. "It was weird, but if they're going to do stuff like that, we're going to exploit it."
Rookie Sidney Spencer said "our team just needs to become a 40-minute team. We seem to come out and play in spurts, and play a good 20 minutes here and there. We have to develop the mindset of playing 40 minutes." Spencer and newly acquired Sherill Baker may be part of a line-up change to the starting roster.
"A lineup change is on the way," said Michael Cooper. "We can't keep doing this, and expect a heroic effort every night. I thought after the last game, we had some momentum, but then we just come out flat and fall behind again. Why can't it be us who goes up by 10 points?"
The Fever capitalized on early turnovers and cold shooting from the Liberty and had an answer for every Liberty run to seal the win. "We came out tentative. I'm not really sure why we keep coming out tentative like this. You can't spot them leads like this," said coach Pat Coyle.
The Tamikas led four Fever players in double figures. Loree Moore and Cathrine Kraayeveld had solid games for the Lib starters. Janel McCarville and newly acquired Lisa Willis were sparks off the bench, combining for 25 points.
Houston without Her Majesty versus Phoenix without their top two leading scorers? The teams were evenly matched, in the sense that both achieved, then blew huge leads: as you might expect if you follow the Mercury, they shot brilliantly early on, then let Houston surge ahead after halftime.
In the fourth quarter, though, the Merc got it back. Penny Taylor took over, finishing with 30; her team kept the Comets off the glass at the end. "We needed to get a win more than anyone realizes," Taylor declared. "Now we have a little bit of a break."
Crystal Smith worked hard for Houston, leading the visitors with 18. "It's always great to come back to play against your first team." she said.
1. In a surprising Finals rematch, Sacramento bested Detroit. The Shock didn't guard Penichiero, who hit key shots late. "I'm just really proud of how I responded," she said.
Without Ford, the Shock also lost the battle of the boards by thirteen.
2. The Sky couldn't handle the Mystics, who shot 58%... in Chicago.
Worse yet, Dominique Canty injured her ankle. It looks like they're still waiting for X-rays: "It could be two weeks, it could be the next day," coach Overton said.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Connecticut have just one home win this year. Katie Douglas: " It's an awful feeling to have one of the league's best fan [bases] and not be able to return the favor."
Sales didn't play (tweaked ankle); the Connecticut bench (except de Souza) didn't do anything. "Between the turnovers and the missed shots... someone on our bench has got to step up and say, 'Hey I wanna play. I want to be involved,' and force me to play them," coach Thibault says. "It hasn't happened yet."
Saturday, June 23, 2007
This season, though, the numbers say otherwise: "players have actually gotten slightly sloppier with the basketball [that is, turned it over more] as the season has gone on....
"While everyone certainly agrees that getting players in camp on time would be preferable, I'm not sure it would ultimately make a noticeable difference in the play on the floor."
Maya Moore's high school coach says that's baloney: Moore is "a very spiritual person and I feel that's [UConn] where she felt she was being led," Tracey Tipton tells the Courant. "In addition to that, she was very taken with Coach Auriemma... He just told her, 'If you want to be a part of this, come, and if not, go somewhere else.'"
Tennessee seems to have filed complaints with the SEC about UConn's recruiting (dinky ones: a fan somewhere held up a sign). Summitt has said that she won't talk about the cancellation till UT's schedule comes out: can we expect explanations after that?
In better news, Pat left the hospital. Yup, she's fine.
1. Minnesota won! At home, again, behind late brilliance from Seimone Augustus, who tweaked her ankle but sank the winning shot with seconds to go. "We put our [other] shooters in the corners and let Seimone go to work," said coach Z.
Sue Bird scored 25 (more than Seimone, in fact) in a back-and-forth game. "It's been a very weird season," Bird sighed.
2. Houston have a two-game win streak! The Comets torched the Mystics in the Toyota Center: Tina Thompson and Ashley Shields scored 23 and 20. "We constantly push [Shields] to build her confidence up," coach Karleen Thompson said.
3. L.A. fans saw their team fall way behind, then had the pleasure of watching Sacramento's epic collapse. It was one of those games-- you've probably seen a few-- in which the Monarchs enter the fourth quarter and just completely forget where to put the ball.
The Sparks came back to win in double overtime. McWilliams-Franklin (21 points) got less than six minutes of rest in the whole game; Fernandez got less than three.
"It's our biggest win," coach Cooper said. "Hopefully it turns into something more."
Also in Sacto, Melody Gutierrez asks coach Boucek: when can we see more women coaches, and how?
1. Connecticut won! On the road, yet, and in Indiana, where Indy native Katie Douglas went nuts, scoring thirty points, a new career high. "It felt like the Connecticut Sun of old," she said. (Not quite: it felt scrappy and sloppy-- but she got the win.)
The Sun had some ugly turnovers, but the Fever had a few more. "We played like it wasn't as important to us as it was to them," coach Winters complained.
2. Becky Hammon's new team ran over her old one, coming back from way behind and controlling things late. The Lib seem to have a point guard problem again: Thorn did not play (sprained ankle); Bowen and Doron, who started, combined for zero assists, and Loree Moore (25 minutes) scored zero points.
Thanks to the Daily News for sending Kristie Ackert to the game, and for giving her the column inches she needs.
3. Phoenix lost again at home, to Detroit. The Shock came back late as, once again, Paul Ball gave its speedy practitioners big trouble holding on to a big lead.
The last call was a stunner: an offensive on Diana with five seconds left, with her team down by three. Taurasi was livid: "We needed a chance at the end to make the play. They took it away from us. That's complete bull... [Plenette Pierson] flops and flops and flops all the time, and they keep giving her the calls. It should be like soccer. They should give her a red card."
Maybe. Or maybe it wouldn't have mattered if Phoenix had been competitive on the boards: they got outrebounded by thirteen.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Tennessee women's athletics director Joan Cronan: "She just had 1,000 kids in [basketball] camp. That might dehydrate me too."
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The team is preparing to defend its world title at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, held this year June 29-July 8 in Moscow, Russia. In the first of a 3-game series against France, a sluggish start saw the game tied at the half, 36 apiece. A superlative third quarter, during with the US outscored the French 31-7, led to a 82-59 victory.
Candice Wiggins scored 16, DeWanna Bonner and Kia Vaughn dropped 12 each, while Essesnce Carson chipped in 10. Abby Waner and Courtney Paris snagged eight and seven rebounds, respectively, with Waner dishing out a team-best four assists. Check out post-game quotes from coach McCallie and players here.
Meanwhile, some of the best high school players were putting on a show at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs during the 2007 USA Basketball Women's Youth Development Festival.
USA White, featuring UConn recruits Tiffany Hayes and Caroline Doty, finished 5-0 to win the gold medal. Glenn Nelson and Chris Hansen over at HoopGurlz covered the Festival, writing about Lynetta Kizer (who recently committed to Maryland), Kelsey Bone (the top ranked player in 2009) and Samantha Prahlis and Alyssia Brewer. They also put together a YDF top 12. Check it out and get the early scoop on the next generation of college players.
Note to coaches: Please stop scaring the heck outta us!
What can the WNBA do about it? Not much, says Voepel: some problems just don't have solutions.
DeMya Walker: "What I make here is not nearly as much as I make overseas. The money I make there -- that's what I'm saving for my daughter to go to college."
It's almost always wrong to knock anyone for choosing to spend more time with their family. But it's too bad for the Sparks, and their fans, and their owners, that she didn't have that same realization in May.
The Liberty's zone worked. UConn alum Ashley Battle had four steals and 18 points, including the final, decisive free throws.
Whalen ended up with ten assists but five turnovers; her team gave up the round thing 23 times, a season high.
The Sun have lost five in a row now. "“We just give them gifts," said coach Thibault. "No matter whether it was zone, press, it was just inept plays. We threw the ball to them."
Geno doesn't sound worried: "Up to this point, all the coaches kind of do their own thing," he says. "I don't know that it would be such a bad thing to have one company doing what they do for us and the men, soccer and football, for everybody."
More Seattle complaints: Lauren Jackson keeps getting technical fouls. And Betty Lennox's foot hurts. Lennox: "I need to get more shoes."
If you live in Michigan, chew out your papers for us: the News ran a brief, not even an AP story, and the Freep (who at least sent a reporter to a home game last week) didn't cover it at all.
You knew the Mercury would find a way: last night Paul Westhead's high-octane, all-offense, no-rebound squad gave up 106 to the visiting Mystics, who have now defeated Phoenix twice despite losing to every other team they have played.
The game looks like a head-scratcher all around: 62 total free throw attempts (Sanford and Taylor fouled out), a rebounding deficit of 18 for the home team, and just seven minutes for starter Nikki Teasley, who somehow picked up a technical foul. "I'm glad we're not going to see [the Mystics] again," said coach Westhead.
Before last night, no team had ever scored 100 or more and lost in regulation; the 207 combined points are also the highest for a 40-minute game, the second-highest ever; what's the all-time record? This Phoenix game from '06.
After starting the season 0-10, the Comets got their first win, defeating the Sparks 74-64. Even nicer for Comets fans was the fact that their team never trailed in the game.
Tina Thompson and Michelle Snow led the team in scoring, but they got help from people like Crystal Smith, who started for the first time with her new team. Smith had 8 points, 4 assists and no turnovers. "She is a spark player, and we needed someone like that on this team," Comets coach Karleen Thompson said.
"Everyone stepped up tonight," Coach Thompson said. "It finally clicked."
Sophia Young scored a career high 24 points and Becky Hammon added 18 for SASS. Brian Agler served as head coach against his former team as Dan Hughes continues to recover from surgery on his Achilles Tendon.
The Silver Stars were playing their first game after a week off and were determined to get off to a great start. "That was just a good old fashioned butt-whoopin." Lynx coach Don Zierden said. "Seven points doesn't really tell you what the game was all about. They played much harder than we did right out of the gate."
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
New York and L.A. have swapped their first round pick guards from the 2006 draft.
"At one of the timeouts [in Los Angeles], Penny Marshall of 'Laverne and Shirley' was giving us a hard time. I wanted to say, 'Laverne, come on, you're giving us a hard time!'"
Patty Coyle on Lib three-point ace Erin Thorn: "She can play, she's just always been hurt by... having somebody like Hammon [start at the same position]. She had to wait her turn."
After winning five straight the Lib have lost three in a row. The Courant's Lori Riley asks who needs a win more.
When the teams met in DC the Stics picked up their only win so far. "I don’t even want to think about it. I sucked that day," Tan Smith says.
Don't expect Cappie to play tonight: she's injured her upper thigh and groin. Coach Westhead calls her "day to day."
Nicole Powell hit the game winner with 4.7 seconds left and the Sky could not get a shot off in their last possession. Powell and Kara Lawson did most of the scoring for the Monarchs while the Sky were once again led by Candice Dupree.
With Armintie Price the only other player helping out Dupree offensively, some fans wondered why the rookie was pulled from the game with 3:00 to go in the game. Her coach explained. ''She was tired. I gave her a quick break and then we got her back in, and she finished the game. She played well.''
While the Sky would rather have the win, there is some optimism despite the loss. "If we can lose to the top team in the West by two points, that says a lot about our team," Dupree said.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
First stop: Jamie Carey, whose history of head trauma began in seventh grade and continued until she was told to leave Stanford, then permitted to play at Texas and, of course, for the Connecticut Sun.
Carey tells the Chronicle that she's now "a little dyslexic and has a tough time reading numbers"-- then adds: "I'll play as long as my body will let me."
Katie Smith led five players in double figures with 18, including seven in the final 2:22 of the game to help seal the victory.
The Shock looked to be in control of the game in the first half, but the Sparks used a strong third quarter to get back in the game. "We fought back, but they're the champs," LaToya Thomas said. "You've got to give it them. They had a run, we had our run, and then they had one more run."
Monday, June 18, 2007
Butler (a Gator herself in the early 1990s) has been hanging with other Florida alums-- among them Vanessa Hayden. Butler: "It was exciting that they want to be involved... That's the way a family should operate."
What happened? Dupree (28 points on 10-14 shooting) looked unguardable and unstoppable, and the visitors simply looked more in sync for three of the game's four quarters.
Coach Thibault: "It's not very good basketball... We've had every kind of turnover you could think of." His team finished with nineteen of them. Jones (22 points) did her best, and Lindsay's up-and-down game gave her a double-double. But Sales and Douglas together hit just one three. Will one of them heat up? If not now, when?
Sunday, June 17, 2007
"It's good to have a team that is ten deep," said the former Scarlet Knight. "Anyone can play, and anyone can score."
Houston continues to search for a backcourt: Tamara Moore didn't score; Crystal Smith did but incurred five fouls and eight TO's. How many more lineups can coach Thompson try?
Hamechtou Maiga-Ba chose to leave the Monarchs for the Comets, and tells Sacto fans she's still glad she did: "'It's a new team with new pieces," she says. "We are just trying to make it work."
Becky Hammon did a number on her former team (22 points, seven assists) despite her scoreless first quarter. The Lib "knew every single thing I was going to try to do," she said. "It was important for me to get other people involved."
Without Ford, the defending champs rolled over for the Fever, who kept a big early lead for a convincing win.
Catch scored 26; Sharp had one of the best games of her career.
Coach Laimbeer refused to blame Ford's absence: "We didn't have the concentration and, more importantly, we didn't have the desire."
Seimone Augustus became the second fastest player to reach 1,000 career points. But she had an off shooting night, connecting on only 5-15 from the floor. That did not matter as much as four other players joined her in double figures, led by 16 from Kristen Mann.
"At the beginning of the season the only one making any shots was Seimone [Augustus]," Mann said. "We're not going to be successful when that happens." Seimone finished with five assists, including two consecutive kick outs to Svetlana Abrosimova for three pointers that brought the crowd to their feet.
Lynxbasketball.com reporter Mike Trudell took a page out of Kevin Pelton's book and blogged live from the game.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
1. DC couldn't make it past the Sparks. "We weren't on our toes, we weren't aggressive," Delisha Milton-Jones concluded.
Beard sprained her ankle but returned to the game. Ouch.
2. Chicago stayed ahead of the visiting Liberty by keeping New York off the glass: the Sky out-boarded New York by nineteen.
The Sky now have as many wins as they had at the end of last year. Dupree (24 points): "We're looking to win a whole lot more."
It worked, just barely. The home team won despite 36% shooting, 21 turnovers, and a late comeback by the visiting team. "It could have been easy if we played better," coach Laimbeer declared.
The Sun have now lost three in a row. Can they play better with the people they have?
The visitors made the game
Barbara Turner-- once a Storm, now a Comet-- tells Houston fans not to blame coach Thompson: "People need to understand this is not the same team that stepped out on the floor for them years ago. She's building something."
The Merc concluded the game with an 18-6 run, which suggests that they've finally started playing defense; Diana and Cappie combined for 43 despite D's foul trouble throughout.
"We have to grow up," Diana explained afterwards. "We play at a high level sometimes, and other times, we play at a level that's disgusting to watch. We have to really grow up and hold ourselves to a high standard every night."
Friday, June 15, 2007
The Youth Development festival is going on, too. The USA Blue team overwhelmed Brazil 102-43. The USA White team, led by Caroline Doty (which explains the presence of Connecticut media) defeated USA Red 109-99. Nice to see some defense is being played up in Colorado...
Laimbeer: "We knew we were talented, we're big, strong, fast; but it still boils down to chemistry. And that's been one of the most pleasant experiences for us" this year.
Graham Hays says chemistry means dynasty. And Katie Smith warns Hays: "We're getting better."
They certainly recognized their Lynx: the strongest crowd in a while (since the Katie trade, maybe?) saw good defense lead the Lynx to their first home win.
In overtime. Augustus (28 points): "It came down to having to make a defensive stop."
Augustus' defense on Douglas improved as the night rolled on; Douglas' on Augustus gradually got worse. "We have to get that mental toughness back," Douglas said.
Her team better hurry: they face Detroit again tonight.
Women's sports have long been the source of ridicule among male sports viewers. One of the main arguments surrounding the inferiority of women's sports --specifically women's basketball -- is that nobody watches.
That myth is exactly that: a myth.
The Women's Final Four routinely outdraws the competing Opening Night baseball game (the gap between the two events was as large as 4.1 to 1.4 in 2002).
Interesting information -- and sure to be used in the NCAA decision process as they discuss moving the Women's Final Four a week later.
(nice catch, kage)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This year the tourney is trying a new format, moving from single elimination to a three-game guarantee. Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 16-17
The visiting Storm scored just four points in one quarter. "That's insane," said Lauren Jackson, when told.
Seattle fans can blame Tuesday's dogfight in Chicago, which left the Storm with less than a full tank. Janell Burse: "We just burned out."
The good news: the Sparks proved that they can win without Holdsclaw, or Leslie, or Temeka Johnson. "We came together and played as a team," Christi Thomas said.
The bad news: twice in a row, L.A.'s home games against teams with very bad records have been decided in the closing seconds. Houston came within one point and half a minute of their first win.
The Comets, meanwhile, continued their search for a point guard: Tamara Moore got the start, juco rookie Shields played just four minutes, and former Hawkeye standout Crystal Smith got plenty of playing time even though she joined the team that day.
What happened? First, Penny Taylor got hurt: she took a charge, got hit in the stomach again, and couldn't return to the game.
Without her, the Merc had nothing inside: Tan Smith went 0-12. "Good shots didn't go in," Diana said.
Mo Currie, on the other hand, scored a career high for her new team. "They brought me here for a reason," Currie said.
Paul Westhead's defensively-challlenged squad has now given two not-so-good teams their first wins. (They play Houston, next Sunday.)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Clay: actually, you can blame Pat.
Swin Cash and Jen Rizzotti are just sad. Rizzotti says that UConn and UT will keep on meeting in the Final Four. "It's just another storyline in the saga of Pat and Geno," she adds hopefully.
Knoxville writer John Adams, not exactly a Huskies booster, says it: "The Lady Vols aren't just sticking it to UConn. They're sticking it to their own fans."
Chicago had a few problems in the game, despite the quick start. They went cold offensively in the 3rd quarter and did not have an answer for Lauren Jackson or Janell Burse. “That’s kind of the tale of this early part of us — that we’ll put about three good quarters together but then for about 10 minutes, you know ...,” Sky coach Bo Overton said.
Candice Dupree once again led the Sky in scoring and rookie Armintie Price had the best game of her young career. But so did Storm rookie Katie Gearlds, who according to Overton "comes in right when we’re hanging in there, and we’re knocking her down and she is still making shots.”
Sue Bird also came up big, by adding 13 points and 11 assists.
New York set the tone early and were aided by the Mystics inability to put the ball in the basket. Shameka Christon came off the bench because of a violation of team rules and led her team with 16 points.
But she was not alone as nine players scored for the Liberty. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the night was the 11 point performance by Janel McCarville. "It felt really good," said McCarville. "When you come off the bench and get minutes, you need to come in and be productive."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Thompson finished with 33, including 17-18 from the free throw line. "It's frustrating that she played so well and we didn't have anyone playing well enough to back her up," coach Karleen Thompson said. "She is playing some of her best basketball this year."
The Monarchs were led by the outside shooting of Kara Lawson and Nicole Powell and the inside play of Becky Brunson. Sacramento also forced 27 Comet turnovers. "We were outplayed from start to finish," Thompson said. "There are a handful of little things that you have to do right and we aren't doing any of those things right right now."
The winless Comets next head to L.A. to face the Sparks in their first game without Chamique Holdsclaw.
Team officials were not given a reason, and they had no idea it was coming.
Cooper: "I had no problems with her. We talked and communicated really well. Yes, she was a bit of a loner. Most of the time (she) had her headphones on, but we always got along really well."
Monday, June 11, 2007
For local and regional newspapers, though, there is still no substitute for Kim Callahan, who keeps a hoops-on-TV schedule too.
Pat says she wants to focus on SEC games, which is like when Bush administration officials say they want to spend more time with their families (not that she resembles a Bush appointee in any other respect). Geno says he can't comment (you know he would if he could). And the Courant's "multiple sources" say that Tennessee is mad at UConn, in part over how the New England school has recruited Maya Moore.
Mike DiMauro has some fun with the conjunction of rivalries: apparently Pat "needs a refresher course in the best interests of women's basketball."
Maybe so. Pat chose to cancel the series right after she won her first title in nine years, and after her team beat UConn three years in a row: 2008 would have been the first time in a while when the annual game did more, recruiting-wise, for UConn than for Tennessee.
The fans at Mohegan got a late comeback and a chippy game, with three T's, a flagrant (on Margo!), and
The Shock got the win. They haven't lost yet this year. "We expect to be undefeated at all times," coach Laimbeer said afterwards, half-joking.
Katie Smith sank five treys, including the game-clincher at the end. "It's tough," said Katie Douglas, who had a rough day (2-11 shooting). "Everybody got spread out and we [left] their best three-point shooter open."
With the excitement of their hot start building, the Fever are trying not to get ahead of themselves. "I don't even know who we're going to play until the day before," says Tamika Whitmore.
But Catchings admits: "We're on our way to being a really good team."
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Fun Phoenix fact: despite their winning record, the Mercury had fewer rebounds than their opponents in every game so far this year.
2. The Lynx wilted in Seattle: the home team won comfortably behind 30 points from Lauren Jackson, who returned to the lineup after an unspecified illness. Pelton says she's fine.
3. The Sky took apart San Antonio. Becky Hammon created for herself (20 points) but her team shot 33%: it looked a bit like one of last year's bad Liberty games. The Stars will be happy to take most of next week off.
Candace Dupree, on the other hand, is averaging almost 18 points per game, and shooting almost 49%. Did anyone see this for her coming out of Temple?
Saturday, June 09, 2007
1. L.A. barely won its home opener, against the 1-7 (now 1-8) Lynx. Mwadi Mabika's free throws in the final seconds provided the entire margin of victory in a high-scoring, back-and-forth game.
Mwadi, Taj and Augustus looked great; Lynx rookies Quinn (UCLA) and Murphy (USC) enjoyed the trip home, within limits. "We fought back, but of course we're not satisfied," Quinn said.
2. The Comets have made a habit of blowing big leads; the Sun, a habit of playing basketball only after halftime. No rewards for guessing what happened in Houston: down by sixteen at the break, the visitors crushed the home team anyway.
The second quarter was apparently one of the worst in the history of the Sun franchise: the third quarter, the statistical best.
(Query to coach Thompson: if your team often runs out of gas late in games, why not use your bench a bit more? Six Comets, including the injured Swoopes, concluded the game with DNPs.)
3. The Mystics lost again, at home, to Indy. Catch scored 24, Beard 23.
Washington looked terrible in the opening minutes, and couldn't quite come all the way back at the end. Nikki Teasley: "I'm speechless. It's discouraging."
The Shock both executed better, and looked like far better athletes; Pierson had a fine night, Loree Moore a really bad one. The visitors even justified their swagger: "We are the best team," Deanna Nolan said afterwards, "and we can only beat ourselves."
Friday, June 08, 2007
King ran the Chill in the NWBL, and his company runs the WNIT. He'll make an ideal WNBA owner... if he (and whatever allies he finds) have the financial resources to run a WNBA team.
Oh, and speaking of the WNIT: the preseason tournament has a new format for this fall, with the teams already announced. There are sixteen, among them Maryland, LSU, Delaware, Delaware State, and perennial attendance magnet Notre Dame.
When asked the best thing about being owners, Kathy Goodman replied, "If I'm going to be a geeky fan about it, I would say, the players saying hi to me," she said. "And hanging out with Michael Cooper. It's very cool."
The Sparks also have a re-designed Web site this season and have a blog from the voice of the Sparks, Larry Burnett.
Five players scored in double figures for the Monarchs, led by 16 from Kara Lawson. According to Coach Jenny Boucek, the Monarchs "have several clutch shooters and I think our team is tough mentally. They are not afraid of anything. If the game is tight or the team is making a run they are going to stick together. I think that helps us in these types of games. "
Sue Bird stepped up her offensive production for the Storm, in Lauren Jackson's absence and Katie Gearlds broke out of her shooting slump. But it was not enough, as Betty Lennox and Izzy Castro Marques struggled from the floor and Janell Burse struggled against the physical post play.
Jayda Evans says part of the problem with the team is on court chemistry issues.
The Knoxville News Sentinel continues its profiles of the inductees with former Lynx player Andrea Lloyd-Curry. She also gets a nice write up in Austin.
Mel Greenberg gets some love from his newspaper. His blog will continue to provide updates on the festivities this weekend.
Rather than give his successor the gig, the league will take the coach whose team has the best record in the West as of July 1. Donna Orender, visiting Arco Arena last night, calls the new method "equitable." (Downside: effects on travel plans.)
Coach Westhead: "Sometimes [Diana] wants to play in the flow, which isn't bad, but other times she just has to step up and say, 'This is my time to direct this team.'"
The uneasy win was the Mercury's first in four tries. Taylor: "We don’t want to go through losing streaks and then have to drag our way out and hope like we have the past couple years."
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Storm assistant coach Heidi VanDerveer was the Monarchs head coach in 1997 and 1998. Monarchs head coach Jenny Boucek was an assistant under Anne Donovan at Seattle for three seasons and played college ball with Storm forward Wendy Palmer at Virginia.
Palmer will be starting tonight for Lauren Jackson, who did not make the trip to Sacramento because of an illness.
Boucek talked to Jayda Evans about former WNBA players moving into the coaching ranks in the league. "We're just now entering that part of the evolution," said Boucek "Players are starting to retire and not get cut. When you get cut you're not at peace with your career and you're not ready to coach. We're just now getting into that wave and I think you're going to see a wave of ex-players coming in to coach who are going to be excellent. They'll have experience playing under great coaches and will have played professional basketball."
Any good news for Houston fans? Barb Turner played well in a career-high 29 minutes. Hey, it's something.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tamika Catchings had another solid all-around game, but it was the Liberty who received contributions from their starting line-up and reserve Ashley Battle.
"They put a lot of pressure on us and we did a good job of handling it. Once this team executes, this team has a pretty good shot at beating people," Pat Coyle said. "It was an excellent effort on both sides of the floor."
The Liberty's impressive shooting performance this season "has everything to do with execution," Coyle said. "Last year we settled for shots instead of getting the shots we wanted."
The Monarchs frustrated the Silver Stars with their trademark defense and Rebbekah Brunson stepped up in Walker's absence and finished with 21 points and 9 boards.
But Brunson said it was about the whole team. "Unfortunately for other teams, if they lose of DeMya’s caliber they are going to be out of luck. We have a lot of players that are going to work hard and we're going to do the same things as when she was with us.”
Coming into the game against the Mercury, the Lynx had only led for 16:36 minutes of a possible 280. A big reason was their poor FG percentage, which was significantly better last night. And for the first time all year, it was the entire starting line-up who hit big shots. In fact, the MN starting line-up scored all of the team's points.
While the Lynx led by as many as 18, the Merc made it interesting at the end as they cut the lead to one possession in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, it was not enough to overcome their flat first half.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The Guru, an honoree this year, has a blog set up on Philly.com to cover the ceremonies. His original blog is still up too.
Profiles of some of the honorees are popping up this week, including former Lady Vol Bridgette Gordon and Georgia coach Andy Landers.
Today it's a good look at coach Laimbeer and the team he built. Swin Cash sums up: "If you don’t know Bill, you think he’s the biggest jerk walking. [But] I can see past it all." (She must: check out his rude nickname for her.)
The tournament has had lousy attendance in San Jose: now it will take place closer to the region's largest population center-- but a lot farther from the conference's best team.
Also in Seattle: Sue Bird hurt her knee. MRIs say nothing's badly wrong. (Storm fans cross fingers.)
Not yet tired of will-the-Storm-stay-there? stories? Storm fans mull the latest.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Wait a minute: "We were impressed," writes the Washington Times' Tim Lemke, "with how many e-mails we were getting (even if they were form letters) and my editor responded to many of them personally."
Maybe an amateurish form-letter campaign beats no campaign at all. (Political pressure groups have thought so for years.)
A 13-0 lead to start the game proved to be too much for the Lynx to overcome as they finished the half with only seven field goals. Augustus, Harding and Ohlde reached double figures but the team once again had a hard time connecting on shots.
The Sky benefitted from a strong start from Armintie Price, a great finish from Dominique Canty and solid all-around games from Candice Dupree and Claire Coggins. ''You've got to finish a game like that,'' Sky coach Bo Overton said. ''We have about 30 more games to go, and I know how hard those games are going to be.''
"Coming out of college (as the team's first draft pick), I didn't expect to win a lot of games as a new franchise," said Dupree. "But this year, I don't think 20 [victories] are out of the question. We definitely want to do it and we're off to a good start."
Last night was hardly their best: Indiana and Washington combined for 22 assists and 52 turnovers. Free throws accounted for almost half of Indy's points.
Worse yet, the homestanding Fever spent the first thirteen-plus minutes without a field goal--- a WNBA record. The Fever won anyway, remaining undefeated. Washington remain without a win.
Coach Winters was somewhere between amused and infuriated."It got to be like an epidemic," he said. "Everyone was turning the ball over." Veteran guard Tully Bevilacqua countered: "An ugly win is better than an ugly loss." Fair enough: but can they play a non-ugly game?
As in previous matches, the Mercury started out brilliant, then got tired; the Lib seemed to figure things out as the game went along. And Loree Moore ate everyone's lunch: a career-high 22, 4-6 from downtown, three steals, nine boards.
Cappie came alive in the final minutes for her contingent of Rutgers fans, but couldn't make the last shot. "It's time to move on," she says.
New York remain undefeated. ""I know people outside this organization don't expect a lot of us, but we have a lot of confidence in each other," said Erin Thorn. Next up (gulp): Indiana.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday's Sun-Mercury match, for example, shows Whalen +18 (that is, the Sun outscored the Mercury by 18 while Whalen was on the floor), and-- more surprisingly-- Willingham +19, de Souza -6.
Geno gets it right: "I think what she needs is to be given a certain amount of freedom on the basketball court. Yet at the same time you have to be able to rein her in a little bit. She is not unlike Michael Jordan his first couple years in the NBA, struggling to make the playoffs, struggling to find chemistry with the other kids on the team."
It looks as if Cleaveland (or his editor) saw the great feature on Diana's team overseas. (But no one expects the WNBA to treat its stars that way: certainly not Diana.)