Women's Hoops Blog: February 2009

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Catching up on some players and coaches:

Leading Lady: O’Rourke’s competitive fire admired by Penn State teammates.

McCoughtry brings respectability to Louisville. (respectability?)

Vanderbilt’s Wirth leads team on, off court.

ISU’s Bill Fennelly keeps the good times rolling.
"Feh!" says Mechelle, "I'm not buyin' it."
How many people came out to watch Nimitz’s Brittney Griner and Dulles’ Kelsey Bone?

Over 6,000.
“This was a neat thing to be a part of,” Dulles coach Doug Lechtenberger said. “Where the game of girls basketball has come is really special, and Kelsey and Brittney have a lot to do with that in this area.”
How much am I enjoying Debbie and Beth's "Shootaround." The love the game, they watch the game, they laugh and they get cranky. What's not to like?

Latest edition discusses parity, mediocrity, economics and the quality of last year's senior class. Debbie looks at the "tools to challenge" UConn, talks one-seeds (sorry PAC-10), and lots of other good stuff -- like Jackrabbits!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The NYTimes lets a female basketball player blog for them. (h/t 6th) From The Quad, the NYT's College Sports Blog, Pitt's Xenia Stewart offers "A Little Slapstick."

(Remember -- if you don't click, they don't know you care enough to read)
The .com does some cross-pollination:
With conference tournaments right around the corner, what better time to begin our series of All-WNBA Conference teams, where we put together teams made up of current WNBA players for each major college conference.

Today we will unveil our picks for the All-WNBA BIG EAST team, but before we get to the picks we need to go over the ground rules for these selections.

While the ESPN headline may be a tad over the top, there's no doubt Tennessee's loss to LSU last night in Baton Rouge will send the Vols -- and the women's basketball world -- in to new territory: a Thursday tournament game for only the second time in history and, perhaps, no spot in the Top 25 in ... well, in forever.

Says Mechelle:
• If "Brangelina" woke up and resembled Homer Simpson and Olive Oyl.
• If Tiger Woods looked around a silent green to see a handful of
disinterested people who made up his sparse gallery.
• If Miley Cyrus
couldn't get Radio Disney to play any of her songs.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From the Wall Street Journal. (The Wall Street Journal?!) Questions for: Joanne Boyle -Turning a Pac-10 also-ran into a power eight years removed from a near-fatal brain hemorrhage
When Joanne Boyle arrived in Berkeley four years ago, the University of California women's basketball team had finished its 12th-straight losing season. Its previous coach was fired after going 52-91 in five years. The team was a local-media footnote compared to cross-bay rival Stanford.

But the Golden Bears have found themselves since then, reaching the last three NCAA tournaments. Now ranked as the nation's No. 4 team, they are contenders for the national title this year.
Bringing the Student to student-athlete, may I present the members of the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team, University division:
AA of Year: Amber Guffey - Murray State - 4.0 GPA and averages 20.3 ppg
Paige Guffey - Murray State
Megan Frazee - Liberty
Theresa Lisch - Saint Louis University
Maya Moore - Connecticut
The members of the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team, College division:
AA of Year: Emily Brister - West Texas A&M - 3.91 GPA and averages 23.4 ppg
Anna Atkinson - Wingate
Megan Scheele - Edgewood
Julia Hirssig - Wisconsin-Stout
Laura Marquardt - Newberry
Proving, once again, that sports are not recession proof, take a look at who's borrowing money.
Ack - this is what happens when you cut and paste late night: Missing from the WHB-MDRCOY list is Nikki.

She was there before. I swear. She just got lost in the alphabetization process. You seriously think I'd leave off someone who can work a pair of glasses the way she can?

Nikki Caldwell - UCLA (16-9, 7-7 Pac-10)
Once again, ladies, gentlemen, and those of you who eschew such old-fashioned categories, please allow the Women's Hoops Blog to present the Mid-Majors at Mid-Week report.

America East: The Terriers of Boston University, true to their name, are hanging on to that unblemished A-East record. After that dramatic OT win last week, BU traveled to Hartford and picked up another crucial win, coming back from a twelve-point deficit to force OT and take the Hawks 80-75 behind 27 points from Christine Kinneary and a critical three from Kristi Dini. With three to play, Boston U has a two-game lead on Hartford for the top seed in the America East tournament... which is played at Hartford. The Terriers host Maine on Sunday.

Atlantic 10: When last we left Xavier, they had spanked LaSalle and looked quite, quite dominant. A narrow win over St. Louis might have been a warning sign. But, as Helen has said, the #13/#13 Musketeers got disembOWLed on Wednesday night at Temple. Fans stormed the floor after the Owls' 74-65 win over Xavier on Senior Night. Three-pointers and bench play were key. Xavier finishes the regular season on Saturday with a visit to Fordham; they own the tie-breaker over Charlotte and thus have sewn up the top seed in the A-10 tourney down in Charlotte.

Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast still has their lead on East Tennessee State, improving to 16-3 in conference with their 57-48 win over North Florida and Kelsey Jacobson's three to beat Jacksonville 68-67. The Eagles finish their regular season at Campbell on Thursday night, while the Mocs have to contend with 11-7 Kennesaw State and 11-7 Mercer.

Big Sky: Montana's forged a tie with Portland State here. The Lady Griz and the Vikings both sit at 12-1 in conference after Montana and Big Sky co-PotW Sonya Rogers stomped Idaho State 73-39 Every game is critical for both teams: the second tiebreaker gets messy and involves teams lower in the standings. Montana hosts Northern Colorado tonight. Meanwhile, further west, Portland State rejoices in their All-American recruits and whacked Northern Colorado 89-71. Looking forward to that March 7th game more and more...

Big South: Liberty is still undefeated, running their mark up to 12-0 and clinching the Big South regular-season title with a 77-44 win over Coastal Carolina and a 81-59 whooping of Charleston Southern on 70.2% shooting. (Dear LU: may I suggest moving up in conference class? You guys must be bored by now.) Next lamb to the slaughter: UNC-Asheville on Saturday, at Liberty.

Big West: It's been a rough week for the Gauchos. First there was the 59-50 loss at Pacific that dropped their conference record to 12-1, and then the bad, 70-51 loss to Oregon State in out of conference play. But at least their unique Pink Zone event went well. UC-Riverside is now within striking distance for the Big West's regular-season crown. The game on March 5th between these teams will be big, but Santa Barbara oughtn't look past Cal State-Northridge on Saturday, nor should Riverside overlook Cal State-Fullerton on Thursday and UC-Irvine on Saturday.

Colonial: Drexel and VCU are still tied, each at 13-2, two games up on James Madison. VCU, after beating Georgia State 63-60 at home, took their act on the road, coming back against Hofstra to win 55-43 in front of 519 people and one set of game notes. Meanwhile, Drexel put the clamps on Delaware in a 55-34 win, then needed OT to pull off a 58-53 victory over Northeastern on Sunday. Tonight, the Dragons and the Rams throw down in Philly to break the month-long tie atop the CAA standings.

Conference USA: Folks, we got us a red-hot mess here. Southern Methodist, Southern Mississippi, and UTEP are all tied at 10-4 in conference and 17-10 outside it- and Houston and UCF lurk at 9-5. The Golden Eagles dropped two straight road games, 77-60 to Tulane and 105-87 to UTEP; the Mustangs of Southern Methodist picked up a 63-41 win against Rice; UTEP, riding a major hot streak, knocked Central Florida down the ladder with a 61-49 win and the aforementioned offensive explosion against Southern Mississippi. Southern Miss hosts UAB; Southern Methodist hosts Tulane; UTEP visits Tulsa. If you're as confused as I am, don't feel bad; it'll clear up next week, when C-USA's regular season is done and we can sort out who did what.

Horizon: Wisconsin-Green Bay still dominates here, with a 15-0 record that guarantees at least a share in the regular-season title; a win tonight at Valparaiso or a loss by Butler clinches the whole enchilada for Horizon PotW Kayla Tetschlag and her team. Their trip to Chicago resulted in a 73-52 victory over UIC. An 88-44 whomping of Loyola followed that.

Ivy: Dartmouth is still undefeated, running their record to 9-0 after defeating Penn 55-36 on Friday and Princeton 43-42. Next up: the New York road trip, Friday at Cornell, Saturday at Columbia. (As an aside, does anyone else love reading Ivy League write-ups as much as I do? They're so refreshingly interesting.)

Metro Atlantic: Still two games up on Canisius with one to go, Marist has clinched the regular season title, thanks to wins over Manhattan (91-82) and Siena (78-49). And what's this? A blog report from a women's game? Nice work, Travis Miller! The Red Foxes finish the regular season at Rider on Saturday night.

Mid-American: Bowling Green still leads both the West Division (by a lot) and the conference (not by a lot). After leaving Akron with an 81-70 victory, they hosted Buffalo in what became the the highest scoring OT in NCAA history, prevailing 89-82. Nobody wants to see BGSU in the MAC tourney. Next up: a Saturday tilt against Kent State.

MEAC: How things change in a week. When last we saw the Hornets of Delaware State, they'd closed to within a game of North Carolina A&T. But two straight losses for them, combined with two straight wins for NC A&T, 84-46 over Winston-Salem and 83-74 over South Carolina State, have dimmed their hopes. One more Aggie win, or one more Hornet loss, gives NC A&T the MEAC regular season title outright; they'll take their first shot Saturday afternoon against Howard.

Missouri Valley: Illinois State has extended its lead over Creighton to a game and a half after a controversial 71-68 win at Southern Illinois and a dramatic, gutsy 67-54 victory at Evansville. They'll host Bradley tonight.

Mountain West: Things are getting a little tight here after Utah's 68-55 loss at UNLV. The Utes now have only a half-game's lead on TCU, and only a game on San Diego State. Two big MWC games on Saturday: while TCU and SDSU sort out who's in second, Utah gears up for arch-rival BYU.

Northeast: Sacred Heart continues its UConn impression, running their conference record to a perfect 17-0. They clinched the NEC regular season title on Saturday at Monmouth, 70-50, then followed that up with a 81-62 drubbing of Central Connecticut State (in second place, four and a half back). They'll host Bryant on Saturday, and wrap up their regular season in Brooklyn on Monday.

Ohio Valley: Murray State looks to be asserting control over the OVC, with a one-game lead over Eastern Illinois and a season sweep of the Panthers with an 84-69 OT win. That probably made up for the 69-51 loss to Southeast Missouri State back on the 19th. They followed that up with an 82-68 win over Tennessee-Martin in a makeup game. Next up for the Racers: a visit from Morehead State on Thursday, the first team to beat them in conference.

Patriot: The Mountain Hawks have been busy. After a physical 73-58 victory at Lafayette, they clinched the Patriot League's regular season title by beating Bucknell 69-60. At 11-2, they lead second-place American by three games. Lehigh finishes its regular season hosting Holy Cross on Saturday.

Southern: Does it get better than a regular-season finale for all the marbles? Western Carolina played the equalizer, first visiting Chattanooga and beating them 56-52, then heading out on the road again and taking out Samford, 55-53. Saturday's game at Samford will decide if the Mocs of Chattanooga or the Bulldogs of Samford get the #1 seed and the regular-season crown in the Southern.

Southland: It's an old-fashioned Texas duel here. UT-Arlington and UTSA are tied at 11-2 in the conference after Arlington's 98-69 win over Central Arkansas and 66-59 win over Lamar (and how many coaches have won a game barefoot this year?), while UTSA beat Sam Houston State 85-54 and Northwestern State 74-69. UTSA will be at Lamar on Saturday; Arlington will be at Sam Houston State Saturday.

Southwest: Prairie View A&M has extended its lead over Southern to three and a half games, 13-1 to 10-5. They beat Mississippi Valley State 74-53 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff 70-53 this past week. They'll visit Alabama State on Saturday.

Summit: Those wascally Wabbits just can't shake Oakland. At 14-2, the Golden Eagles are just a game back of South Dakota State- and with that loss on January 5th, SDSU can't afford any missteps. SDSU put a 70-36 hurtin' on North Dakota State Saturday night. They'll finish at Centenary on Saturday and at Oral Roberts on Monday; Oakland plays UMKC on Saturday and Southern Utah on Monday. Meanwhile, the Argus Leader calls out some BCS schools on their BS.

Sun Belt: Another 0 turned into a 1 this past week after Florida Atlantic's stunning 73-70 upset of Middle Tennessee state. The Lady Raiders struck back at Florida International, notching a 74-54 win that gave them the regular-season title and the #1 seed in the Sun Belt tournament. MTSU will finish its regular season slate on Sunday at home against Western Kentucky.

West Coast: Note to self: if I am ever enmeshed in a battle for the top spot in my conference, I will not go to Pepperdine. The Waves crashed down on Portland first, then on Gonzaga, keeping the separation between the first place Bulldogs and the second place Pilots at one game. The last round of WCC games is coming up, with travel partners Santa Clara and San Diego visiting the Pacific Northwest. Portland hosts Santa Clara on Thursday and San Diego on Saturday; reverse the schedule for Gonzaga.

Western Athletic: Fresno State's half-game lead is still intact, but the 9-3 Bulldogs face a new challenger, the 9-4 Lady Techsters, who in turn have a one-game lead on a three-way tie. Fresno State was idle this week; they'll face Nevada on Friday. Last time out, Louisiana Tech visited Hawai'i and came away with an 89-71 victory. The Lady Techsters host Utah State on Saturday- and then it's on the road to Fresno State on March 2nd, and all eyes in the WAC will be on that one.
Graham lists his "Top 15 players," and the kinda cheats 'cause he includes his toughest "left offs."
If you are "of an age" you'll remember the great the 1971 Fram Oil Filter campaign with the tag line "Pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later". The idea was that if you spend a little bit of money on maintenance now, you might save a huge amount of money, replacing an entire engine, later.

It's not a bad life philosophy. And it might be a little mantra that communities who resist compliance with Title IX might want to tattoo on their forehead. As the Title IX blog points out:
This is the situation that Ramona school district has found itself in. Parents sued the district in 2007 arguing that the softball team was not receiving equitable treatment under Title IX. The district has built a new field with amenities comparable to the baseball team--under the order of a federal judge. But the bigger cost--larger than the $200,000 on said field--is the court order to pay the legal fees the parents incurred, around $350,000.
If you add the district's legal fees, I'm guessing the lawyers etc got $700,000. Ykes!

Dudes and dudettes -- discrimination sucks. Do the right thing.
h/t 2Old4Title9
WRAL is producing a commemorative DVD to raise money for Coach Yow's charity. Net proceeds will benefit Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund™, a 501 c(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.

Contents include highlights of her career, NCSU Tribute at Reynolds Coliseum, ESPN video tribute, ACC Coaches memories of Kay, the eulogy from Rev. Mitchell Gregory and Kay's complete video testimony and farewell message

Order the DVD Now
Nebraska is one of those teams who will keep you on your toes. Sometimes.

This time it was the Lehning-less Kansas State Wildcats. Behind Cory Montgomery's 21 points and rock-solid end of the game free throw shooting, the Huskers upended the #15 team.

And can I ask, what's with the mono in women's basketball this season?
How many points can you score in five minutes?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear AP,

Please fix this:
Calhoun joined Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Jim Phelan, Mike Krzyzewski and Eddie Sutton as the only Division I coaches to win at least 800 games. “I looked around at that list, and I’m really happy to be in their company,” he said.

Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt C. Vivian Stringer, and Sylvia Hatchell
When people say, "Geez, teachers have it so easy -- you have summers off!" I often respond, "If it's that sweet a gig, why don't more people jump at the chance to teach?"

Funny, the blank stares I get.... But, speaking of summers off, here's someone who going to have a very busy July: 13 Cities; 1 Journey:
This summer, 2009, I am going to embark on the ULTIMATE journey for any WNBA fan; I am going to travel to the home court of every team in the league to catch a game. That's right, all 13 teams (it should have been 14!! Why did Houston have to fold? Yeah, I am a bit bummed that I will not get to see Tina Thompson in action in a comets jersey, but I'll get over it.)
I tell ya, there's nothing like a good, old-fashioned Stalking Tour. Or two.

Ah, those were the days!
From Jayda:
We spend a lot of time talking about Washington and Washington State, but the state's best women's basketball team is nestled between the two in Gonzaga. And this week sophomore PG Courtney Vandersloot was named one of 13 finalists for the prestigious Nancy Lieberman award. Storm PG Sue Bird (Connecticut) won this honor from 2000 to 2002.
Under "Thankless Job" see "Jane Meyer To Serve As Chair Of The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee In 2009-10."
As Beth Burns rebuilds the Aztec program, some records are falling by the wayside.
While sophomore center Paris Johnson continues up the all-time blocks list and junior guard Jené Morris moves toward being one of the best three-point shooters in program history, perhaps the most prominent of those instances came on Saturday, when junior guard Quenese Davis tied the SDSU career record for assists, and did so during a statement game from the Aztecs where they defeated New Mexico, 75-64.
Tonight's upset of #13 Xavier by Temple gives us the opportunity to review the latest ballot for the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award as presented by the WHB.

American's Matt Corkery- Eagles (18-9, 8-4 Patriot)
Alabama's Wendell Hudson - (13-15, 1-12 SEC)
Arizona's Niya Butts - (10-15, 3-11 PAC-10)
Ball State's Kelly Packard - Cardinals (19-8, 11-2 MAC)
Boston College's Sylvia Crawley (16-9, 7-7 ACC) - on edit: As Mel reminds me, I keep on ignoring the "ROOKIE" part of the eligibility rules. We know Crawley coached Ohio - where Randall took over, so she can't be "official" list. Fortunately, this is the list as presented by the WHB.
George Washington's Mike Bozeman - (17-10, 9-3 A-10)
North Dakota State's Carolyn DeHoff (13-12, 10-6 Summit)
Ohio's Semeka Randall (10-15, 5-7 MAC)
Temple's Tonya Cardoza (19-8, 10-3 A-10)
UCLA's Nikki Caldwell (16-9, 7-7 Pac-10) - on edit - 'cause I'm a doofus.
UC Santa Barbara's Lindsay Gottlieb (17-9, 12-1 Big West)

P.S. If Graham were writing the game article on the Temple win, it might carry this headline: "Musketeers DisembOWLed."

I just kill myself....
You hear that? That's Florida State coach Sue Semrau shaking her fist at the sky and saying, "Curse you, you Shootaround Slump!"

That's because #22 Virginia overcame an 11-point first have deficit (Littles - 24pts) and hung on to defeat the Seminoles (IN Tallahassee - no small feat) 68-63. FSU could have clinched a share of the school’s first ACC regular season title with a victory. Now they've got to beat Wake Forest and hoe either BC or Miami upset the Terps.

On the good new side, the 6,419 in attendance was the biggest crowd in program history.
Purdue's L W-H provides some "Perspective."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For your review: Beat the B.S.
Graham watches Moore. I mean, he really watches Moore:
By my admittedly on-the-fly count, here's what happened when Moore touched the ball:

• Seven times she shot the ball
• Three times she was fouled
• Two times she made passes leading to made shots
• Two times she made passes leading to missed shots
• One time she made a pass leading to two free throws
• Three times she was fouled
• Two times she committed turnovers
• One time a teammate committed a turnover
Oklahoma suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous turnovers (29!), and their loss to Texas A&M dropped them one spot in the Coaches' Poll.

And yes, I know the Sooners' frosh Hand is out -- can't you hear all the writers of headlines sharpening their pencils in anticipation of the next four weeks of Oklahoma games? Witness the lede into Graham's take on the game: In Need Of Hand
Well, now this could be awkward:
The University of Michigan said Monday it is ending its licensing agreement with Russell Corp. over what it says is the apparel-maker's denial of workers' rights at a plant in Honduras.

Cornell University said Friday it was cutting ties to Russell, following Georgetown, Wisconsin, Miami, Rutgers, Houston, Columbia and Purdue universities
Russell is a major sponsor of the WBCA's end-of-the-year awards.
"Hello, Big Ten? This is your wake up call." (maybe)

Northwestern defeats Minnesota.
Mechelle continues her "Lazarus" theme and takes a peek at Texas A&M.
OK, Texas A&M never killed off its women’s basketball program for eight days like Oklahoma once did. But, let me tell you … the Aggies’ program, not long ago, seemed more or less dead.

Consider the thesaurus suggestions for this particular meaning of “dead:” uninteresting, unexciting, uninspiring, dull, boring, flat, sleepy, quiet, lackluster, lifeless.

Sure, some Aggies fans will wisecrack, “Hey, why are you bringing up Lubbock?” Just kidding! That might be a Gary Blair joke, see. One he could almost get away with because he is a Texas Tech alum. (Until they would then take his diploma away, that is.)
Have we mentioned how much we appreciate USAToday's coverage of women's basketball?

Early in February, Roger Merriam of the Watertown Public Opinion wrote about South Dakota State's Jennifer Warkenthien: Inner strength, support network sustain Jackrabbits' lead scorer.

Now USAToday helps her story go national with Mel Antonen's piece: S.D. State star finds strength after her devastating losses.
Facts you didn't know about Caroline Doty:
Caroline 2, Tree 0
Tennessee's Baugh has ACL surgery -- her second round.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Charlie has his latest bracket up.

Just don't tell Debbie he's got Louisville as the #1 seed or else she might just.... well, let's just say it could get ugly. (See Shootaround 2/11 for the backstory.)
Perusing the Polls:

NJCAA: The top four teams are still undefeated and unchanged: Jefferson, Central Arizona, Midland and Walters State

NAIA Division II: A familiar name -- Morningside -- sits perched. and undefeated, at #1. Ohio's Shawnee State is also undefeated and is at the two-spot.

NAIA Division I: Well, yowza. Union and Vanguard are, of course, top dogs... but Union has actually LOST a game. And Vanguard has lost THREE!!! Parity prevails? And I'll mention Freed-Hardeman at the fifth spot because I have a soft spot for'em. Here's why.

Division III: Illinois Wesleyan is undefeated and #1. Quelle suprise! George Fox from Oregon is #2 and has instantly become my favorite team name (sorry, ye Stormy Petrels -- and don't think I don't see you at the four-spot!). Do you know what I really want, though? Georgina Fox College to be a top contender -- 'cause then the men's team would be the Georgina Fox Bruins. Are there such teams?

Division II: Those "cranky with the NCAA/Orange beaters" from Anchorage are top seawolf, followed by Fort Lewis College, Minnesota-Mankato, Northern Kentucky (that's what two losses will get ya, you Norse), and then Hillsdale College (MI).

I'm going to give a shout out to the #23 University of District of Columbia -- you may not have a vote in Congress, but you do have votes in the D-II poll.

And yes, I see you, Ravens of Franklin Pierce!

D-I: Huskies, Sooners, Tiggers, Cardinal, Bears. Hmmm.. everyone sing with me -- one of these is not like the others...and will probably drop come next poll.
Highs: George Washington comes back from 20 down.

Lows: Georgia loses its 5th-straight game for the first time in Landers' career.

Spoonerisms: Since Weatherspoon's victorious debut against Hawaii on Feb. 13, she's led her team to four straight double-digit wins.

Headline of the Day: Aztecs Plan To Pass UNM's Beggin Around Like a Baton in a Relay Race

2nd Best Headline of the Day: Women's Basketball: TU chases Hens back to coop

Who'da Thunk It? Headline: Rutgers women close to missing NCAA Tournament, but believe they can make it

CAA (continued) Surprise: Drexel rallies and stays top Dragon.

Final Four Host Continues Tradition: Women's basketball: Bears clinch 18th UAA and 21st NCAA berth

Terps Stomp Devils: Lots of good stuff to read on this romp by Maryland.

Beware of Miners: UTEP women's basketball defies odds during hot streak
DM-J is tri-Sparkly.
Out of Syracuse: Great expectations gone wrong for SU women's basketball team.
The Storm go Pee Wee.
The rumors have been confirmed:
Senior guard Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood has left the team for personal reasons, according to Frese, but she is planning to remain enrolled in classes and to graduate in May. Wiley-Gatewood had a star-crossed career since being named the 2004 Parade national high school player of the year: she originally played at Tennessee, transferred to Maryland during her sophomore year, and then sat out last season with knee problems. She was averaging 4.2 points and 19.3 minutes per game this season, and made 14 starts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mechelle reminds us why stories need to be told. And re-told:
It’s a familiar story to those who’ve followed the sport for a while. But women’s basketball gets new fans regularly who, understandibly, know very little of its history. Plus, there are youngsters who aren’t old enough to remember all the attention Oklahoma got for its run to the 2002 Final Four, when the “Lazarus program’s” story was told by many media outlets. But now, they are old enough to be interested in the sport and likely would be very surprised to hear that not all that long ago, Oklahoma did away with women’s basketball.

Why did they make that decision? Well, this may sound flip, but it truthfully sums up the attitude at the time by those who favored abolishing the program. They thought it was a waste of money.
Seen in a local paper
Job Opening
Salary Range: None
Perks: Some cool USA Basketball t-shirts, stress-related weight-loss
Commitment: Three years
Expectations: Gold or don't come home
Control: Sorry, the Committee has it
Yup, it's time to start looking for the successor to Anne Donovan.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A heads up from a friend about a new film: Training Rules.
Rene Portland had three training rules during her 26 years coaching basketball at Pennsylvania State University: no drinking, no drugs and no lesbians. Training Rules examines how a wealthy athletic department, enabled by the silence of a complacent university, allowed talented athletes, thought to be gay, to be dismissed from their college team.

The film follows the lawsuit filed in 2006 against Portland and Penn State by student athlete Jennifer Harris. This high profile case ignited the world of women's collegiate sports and inspired the discussions so sorely needed to end discrimination based on sexual orientation that is pervasive in all organized sports.
Need an antidote to A-Rod? Check out this story from NPR about the greatest girls' basketball game ever played.
Using Taj's blog as inspiration, here's someone to be thanked: Hunter Low.

Ted first talked about Hunter on this blog in 2005, when he was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

In February of '08, we wrote about the Hunter and his Kodak All-Americans when State Farm took over the AA sponsorship.

Hunter died this past September, and Sherri Coale spoke to Low's impact.

Recently, others offered their reflections on Hunter Low:

Betty Jaynes, former head coach of Madison College (Harrisonburg, VA) from (1970-82).

On meeting Hunter.

[In 1975] we had that national AIAW championship and I happen to also be the tournament director. That was the year Eastman Kodak decided that they would have a Kodak All-America team. I was on the committee to select -- as well as the Championship chair -- and that is where my life crossed with Hunter.

He walked into our gym one January with a whole entourage of Eastman Kodak folks to sit down and talk with me about how we could have a meeting place for the Kodak committee and the kinds of things that we could do with a group. At that time the AIAW would not let a sponsor have any type of appearance or recognition at the championships site. So our plan was, once the players were flown into Harrisonburg, to bus them in to Washington DC where we could have the Kodak luncheon and the presentation.

[Eventually] the AIAW got a little bit better at allowing Kodak to be near the championship, so about two or three years later we are able to bring the players in and have our own luncheon in the city where the championship was.

Talk about Hunter’s role in the founding of the WBCA.

He was instrumental in that because, in 1980, the NCAA decided that they would take over women’s sports. When they did that, the AIAW sued them for antitrust (and eventually lost). Hunter was very concerned about where the Kodak All-Americans would be housed -- they had a contract with the AIAW and it was no longer in existence.

He encouraged me, along with many other coaches, to form a Coaches Association so that we would have our own identity, no matter what area we played -- whether it was the NCAA or the NAIA, or NJCAA -- no matter what it was, we could bring our coaching profession under a Coaches Association and have our own identity about strategies, awards and be political about our rules and regulations.

He sponsored the original group that met in Syracuse. Norfolk [VA, 1982] was our organizing committee, and the group that met in Syracuse during the Olympic Festival was sort of a sounding committee. They came together and decided, yes this is what we’re going to do. And he was responsible for housing that group and getting them to the meetings.

How did he connect with women’s basketball?

He had two daughters Valerie and Elizabeth – and one of them played. His wife Jody has always been heavily involved in this whole All-American thing. She said for years he went away to be with all these women, and she finally got pretty much tired of it, so she decided she’d tag along. And she falls in love with everybody and everybody falls in love with her and then Hunter says, “Now wait a minute. This is my gig!” (Laughs)

Hunter had always been involved with the American Football Coaches Association in doing their Eastman awards. You’ve got to understand that he’s a Kodak man. He was in film and the football coaches had film every Saturday. They filmed the games, they sent it Kodak and they processed it, and it was back in their hands the next day. I think he saw men’s and women’s basketball as the potentials for the use of that film. I think that was his whole thing. That’s why Kodak was the official imager of the women’s basketball committee.

Was he connected to the 1991 book of women’s basketball photographs, “At the Rim”?

His boss was responsible for that, Ray Mouland (?). Ray was really into the imaging and so he said that if we would help to get all female photographers -- that was part of it. It had to be all-female photographers. We did all of that legwork for them -- signed the players and the teams and the coaches -- and then they put together the sports information groups, like in Virginia, and got the female photographer there. Then they went through and picked out the photographs.

That was a real exciting time for me because they let me go to Rochester and see all the pictures. I had no input, but it was just an absolutely amazing kind of thing to watch all that transpire. And then the deal was that every member of the WBCA would get a copy.

I love the one of Muffet McGraw and her baby. He went away as a [college] freshman this year. It’s just amazing how all these things transpire.

Describe the man to somebody who never met him.

Well Hunter was very big in stature -- I want to say maybe 6’3” or 6’4” -- a big, overpowering, gentlemen. You would think that he would be rough, but he was a gentleman’s gentleman. That’s my sister’s comment, that he was a gentleman’s gentleman. But that’s what he was -- he was tender, very caring. Exceptionally polite to everyone and very gracious when he was introduced to someone.

He loved to all of the All-Americans. They always remembered him. They would write to him and communicate with him. Ann Meyers Drysdale was one of his favorites. He loved Nancy Lieberman. And Jody Conradt. Lin Dunn, who coaches the Indiana Fever. Billie Moore, the ‘76 Olympic coach, because he was responsible for taking care of a lot of their housing and their practices in Rochester.

I loved being around Hunter and his sidekick Bill Orr. Bill was with Tel Ra Productions in Philadelphia. Bill always provided a videotape of the Kodak All-Americans that we distributed to all of our [WBCA] members, and our members would show the highlights of these players during their camps. That’s the only kind of video that they had, the Kodak All-American videos. I think that’s why so many young girls coming up through the system said that they wanted to be a Kodak All-American. They learned it from their experiences during summer camps.

He just loved to the fact that women received recognition. Even before the Kodak, the early days of 70’s, the latter part of 60’s, he was involved with basketball clinics in the Poconos. It was a Kodak clinic. He funded those and that then fell into the Kodak All-American. And it just kept rolling. He was just extraordinary.

Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee

Hunter Low was a great friend of women’s basketball for many, many years. I first met Hunter in 1976 when he helped to arrange a place where our women’s Olympic basketball team could train in Rochester before we headed to Montreal for the Olympic Games.

He was passionate about the game of women’s basketball and was instrumental in the development of the Kodak All-America team. There was no better person, father or friend to the game than Hunter.

Kathy Harston (Wayland Baptist and a 1978 Kodak All-American)

Hunter Low saw the exuberance and passion that women’s college basketball players played with and was instrumental in helping make women’s college basketball what it is today.”

Ann Meyers Drysdale (UCLA 1974-'78. First player, male, or female, named to Kodak's All-America team in four straight seasons)

Hunter, Hunter, Hunter! He really was a special man and friend. I am so sad to hear the news.

He took care of me when the first Kodak team was named. Since I was the only freshman, he sent me a round trip ticket. Or did I pick it up at the airport (LAX)? Remember in those days (1975) tickets were hand written. I was babysitting as my Mom and Dad went up to Oregon to watch UCLA and my brother David play at in the NCAA tournament. I don't remember how Hunter worked it out with my folks to get me to fly cross country -- but he did. Then when I was flying back home out of Reagan Airport (it wasn't Reagan yet) I had thrown my airplane ticket away, because I had already used it (one way) and didn't think I needed the receipt (which was the other leg home), but who knew? Hunter had to go to the counter and get my ticket rewritten and explain the WHOLE thing! :>)

My sophomore year in Minnesota, Hunter had a big birthday cake for me and had all the All-Americans sing Happy Birthday to me.

Hunter was great with EVERYONE! But he and I hit it off and he and Jody became very special friends in my life. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. We were so lucky to see the world through Hunter's eyes and heart. He was special to so many and made our world a better and happier place to be in!

Jody Conradt, former head coach at Texas (1976-2007)

Talk about Hunter’s “hidden” legacy.

I think in our sport we have a tendency -- I mean in the general public -- to think this is something that just started in the 1970’s. At that point in time there just wasn’t as much focus on women’s basketball the way it is in certain situations now. So therefore people that weren’t involved at that point in time probably don’t have an appreciation for what Kodak’s contributions was and the fact that that contribution happened solely because of Hunter Lowe.

Describe Hunter to people who’d never met him.

I used to always think about his sense of humor. His sense of humor and how he had a wonderful recall. You could not see him for months -- almost years -- and you would be in his presence and he would remember obscure details about the last time you saw him, or about your team. Just wonderful recall.

Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion University (Kodak All-American 1978, ’79, ’80)

Talk about what Hunter’s role in the growth women’s basketball

I had sent a letter to his family. I just wanted them to know what he meant to all of us and to women’s basketball. He did things…Kodak didn’t have to support women’s basketball or the all-American team. They were one of the first people to really step up, not with a toe in but with a full commitment. We’re talking about the early 70s. It wasn’t a popular thing to do, but he was so passionate.

He had a vision. He was so real. There was nothing pretentious about him he could make the call. He had the ability to write the check. Or tell the people that needed to write the check. And he did.

I couldn’t wait to give him a hug because this man just genuinely loved women’s sports. He just treated us like we were gold. Really, some of my experiences around Hunter were some of the first experiences that I had -- eating at a nice restaurant or staying in nice hotels. I mean, I was a poor kid from New York. In ‘76 I was 17 -- I turned 18 in Montreal (at the Olympics). Hunter was real protective of me because he knew I was so young and that I probably was a little out of my element. He always made me feel so comfortable. You don’t forget that.

What Hunter stories do you have?

I can’t tell you how many times I had dinner with him in Rochester or when he was with us with USA basketball or with the Kodak team. He loved to tell this story my senior year we’re at the Kodak All-American banquet. Inge Nissen, my teammate who was 24 -- at the time we were all like 22 or something, but she was very mature because of her European background-- and Inge is sitting at the Kodak All-American table with me with a cognac in one of those big glasses. Her hand is on the bottom and she’s swirling it around, and smoking a cigarette and kids are coming up, “Oh, Miss Nissen, I want to be like you one day!”

And I’m just sitting there and Hunter’s going, “You want to die of smoke inhalation and be inebriated?” [Laughs] I was such a nerd. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink, I didn’t do drugs, but she was so mature. Hunter loved telling that story -- it was the darndest thing I’ve ever seen because, you know, she was so much older and mature. We laughed.

Talk about his legacy.

I think the hardest thing for people like me is that we didn’t see him enough, after we had a measure of success, to say thank you. And that’s the thing you kick yourself in the behind about. It’s the simplest thing to just be able to just say, “Hey thanks for everything.” And you lose those opportunities. And I’m really sorry, on a personal note, because we only saw him at events.

We were his family and his family was our family. He treated one and all like family. And he has decades and decades of us on posters. All you have to do is take a look at them and you’ll know. That’s the key to life.
So, who WILL win the Tina Thompson sweepstakes? Not sure if this .com interview answers the question, but it does offer some food for thought.
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. W? Copy this:
Over the course of her four seasons at Maryland, senior Marissa Coleman has grown used to playing in front of enthusiastic crowds comprising several thousand people at Comcast Center. On Sunday, the ninth-ranked Terrapins beat Rutgers in front of 12,861, the ninth-largest crowd in ACC history. Tomorrow evening, an even bigger crowd is expected when Maryland goes for its 33rd consecutive home victory in a game against No. 7 Duke.

But every once in a while -- like on Thursday night, when the Terrapins beat Georgia Tech in front of only 1,361 fans at Alexander Memorial Coliseum (capacity: 9,191) in Atlanta -- Coleman is reminded just how special those big Comcast Center crowds are.

Friday, February 20, 2009

From Taj, who knocks this one out of the house....

And if you're looking for more people to thank after you read her, go here.
From Mechelle:
Not that this is a news flash … but it’s looking even more likely these days that the two titans of women’s hoops, Tennessee and Connecticut, won’t meet for the second year in a row.

Not unless they’re in the same NCAA Tournament region, that is, and are slated to meet no later than the Sweet 16. At least, for now, that’s how it appears. In fact, even normally optimistic-minded Tennessee fans are talking about the unthinkable: That for the first time in NCAA Tournament history, the Orange Crush might not even make the Sweet 16.

And you probably don’t even want to know what pessimistic-minded Tennessee fans are thinking. It’s so bleak it makes “Revolutionary Road” look like a breezy comedy.
Getting to Know ... Teresa Edwards.

How can she have played in five Olympics and be only 44...
Nice piece on Eastern Senior Rachel Galligan:
Rachel Galligan has been the center of attention for the Panthers from the moment she stepped on the court in 2005.

It took her three games to enter the starting lineup, and she never relinquished it. The list of accolades is long and impressive: Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year, OVC All-Newcomer Team, First Team All-OVC (twice), OVC All-Tournament Team, and The Daily Eastern News Female Athlete of the Year.
Yo goes Indy.
Flashback: Rebecca Lobo on Sesame Street. (She's a fan of the letter O.)
Clearly the "Curse of Shootround" is at work: Debbie gave Auburn all sorts of love last podcast, and the Tigers repaid her trust with a loss.

Late free throws allowed #20 Vandy defeat #3 Auburn, 73-70, and now the Commodores are tied for the SEC regular season lead.

Also in the SEC, #15 Florida is still struggling under the "C o' S" and went down to their third loss in a row. This time is was Arkansas delivering the blow.

#19 Tennessee went to Lexington and the Wildcats were quite inhospitable. Kentucky got its second win over the Vols, 66-56. It was Tennessee's first defeat at Memorial Coliseum in 23 years.
Mechelle talks some Terps.
It was a year ago this week that Maryland coach Brenda Frese had her twins, Markus and Tyler. Time really zips by. They're already playing H-O-R-S-E with Kristi Toliver.
OK, not quite.

"But they're real little boys now, not babies," Frese said. "They already know how to manipulate mom and dad at the age of 1."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Diana's Got Milk? with movement.
Some great assistant coaches chat with Debbie and Beth on the latest "Shootaround."
With March Madness but a month away, it's time to take a look at some of the names that might be appearing on the dance card that maybe some of us aren't as familiar with. So without further ado, your Mid-Majors at Mid-Week report:

In the America East, the Terriers of Boston University are 11-0, having most recently disposed of the Wildcats of New Hampshire. It took them overtime to beat Binghamton on Wednesday night, 76-75. (But don't sleep on Jen Rizzotti's Hartford Hawks; the rematch at Hartford on February 24th most likely puts the winner in the driver's seat in this conference.)

In the Atlantic 10, the #16/#17 Xavier Musketeers remain undefeated, posting their 11th conference victory Wednesday afternoon by beating LaSalle 72-42- and that's with extremely limited support from double-double averaging Ta'Shia Phillips.

The Atlantic Sun is shaping up to be a thriller, as the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast have just a half game on the Bucs of East Tennessee State. The two teams have split their season series, each winning on the road. FGCU won their last game, but it took some doing versus Mercer. A-Sun player of the week Adrianne McNally and her team visit North Florida on Thursday.

In the Big Sky, it's Portland State, with an 11-1 conference record, holding the slightest of edges over the Lady Griz of Montana- and, at least as of right now, the tie-breaker, thanks to a January 29th win over Montana, but I'd put money on the regular-season title coming down to the rematch at Montana on March 7th.. Big Sky PotW Claire Faucher and her teammates are back in action Thursday at Northern Colorado.

Same old, same old in the Big South, where Megan Frazee and her Liberty University Flames are 10-0 in conference and on a 13-game winning streak after beating Winthrop on Monday, 63-48. Just another day at the office for Frazee: 22 points, 15 boards, and four assists. Next up: a visit to Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

The Gauchos of UC-Santa Barbara currently sit atop the Big West with an 11-0 mark, but UC-Riverside lurks just one game back. Jenna Green saved the day on Saturday versus Cal Poly as the Gauchos tamed the Mustangs 66-62. (Lovin' this coverage from Cal Poly, though!) It's off to Stockton for UCSB as they visit Pacific Thursday night, but the big game will be March 5th at Riverside.

What's more surprising about the Colonial, that Drexel's tied for first, or that Old Dominion is in fourth? Both the Dragons and the VCU Rams are 11-2, and holding a one-game lead on 10-3 James Madison. Both teams have finished with the Dukes for the regular season, VCU winning on Sunday 61-43, Drexel losing back on January 18th. The Dragons are led by six-time PotW. Gabriela Marginean, while the Rams are led by 1000/1000 club member Quanitra Hollingsworth. Next up: VCU hosts Georgia State, Drexel hosts Delaware.

Southern Mississippi currently holds a one-game lead over Southern Methodist and Central Florida in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are 10-2 in C-USA after their 69-61 comeback win against Marshall in the Thundering Herd's Jam the Cam Pink Zone game. Two more road games await Southern Miss this week: Tulane on Thursday and UTEP (Pink Zone game! Pink Zone game!) on Saturday.

The perhaps bored Phoenix of Wisconsin-Green Bay hold sway in the Horizon at 13-0, two games ahead of Butler. A senior-anchored, defensive-minded squad, they went to Detroit and beat the Titans 59-44 this past Saturday. They're back in action tomorrow against UIC.

In the Ivy League, Dartmouth has a 7-0 record and a two-game lead on Harvard. The Big Green stretched their nine-game winning streak by beating Cornell on Saturday night, 55-36. Next up: a two-game homestand versus Penn on Friday night and Princeton on Saturday night.

Despite some unusual setbacks in conference play, Marist leads Canisius and the Metro Atlantic by two games with three to play. The 13-2 Red Foxes were last seen in a rather pink mid-major Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, escaping the Nutmeg State with a 78-73 overtime victory behind 27 and 12 from Rachele Fitz. Marist heads downstate to play Manhattan tomorrow night.

For the most part it's the usual suspects in the sub-divided Mid-American. Bowling Green leads the Eastern division with an 11-0 conference record, while Ball State, at 9-2, is fending off Toledo and Northern Illinois. (Speaking of Toledo, if you haven't read Dick Patrick's article on Naama Shafir, go. I'll wait.) Last time out, Bowling Green knocked off perhaps distracted Central Michigan 94-79 behind a school record 43 points from Lauren Prochaska (who then picked up her fifth PotW award). They'll be at Akron on Saturday.

In the MEAC, North Carolina A&T let their lead over Delaware State slip to just a single game on Monday night as they lost to the Hornets 68-66, splitting the season series and putting them at 11-1. Delaware State's description of the game as "a very, very, very big win" seems an understatement. Transfers Brittanie Taylor James (UCSB) and Amber Bland (Penn State) will lead the Aggies against Winston-Salem on Saturday.

Things have gone to the birds in the Missouri Valley. The Redbirds of Illinois State, at 11-1, are just a half-game up on the 11-2 Creighton Bluejays- and both have lost to those snake-bit Indiana State Sycamores. Last time out, though, Kristi Cirone and her team walloped Wichita State 94-68. Next up: Southern Illinois on Thursday night. The Valley takes its ball seriously; I fully expect the regular season title to come down to the Creighton-Illinois State rematch on March 7th, and the conference tournament to be one of the most exciting in the country.

At 10-1, Utah rules the roost in the Mountain West, but don't sleep on 8-3 San Diego State (you know, the other SDSU) or 8-3 TCU. The Utes took out their frustrations on Colorado State, beating the Rams Wednesday, 74-45. (Psst, CSU? Be careful what you wish for, k?) The Utes' next stop? Vegas, baby! They'll visit UNLV next Wednesday.

This conference is led by a Connecticut team that hasn't lost a game in conference play. If you said the Big East, you're wrong. It's the Northeast we're talking about here, and the team is Sacred Heart, 15-0 in NEC play after their 76-69 win over the Red Flash of St. Francis on Saturday. Kaitlin Sowinski and NEC PotW Alisa Apo lead the Pioneers. They visit Monmouth on Saturday afternoon, but the Monday night game against Central Connecticut State is the big one for the #1 seed in the NEC tourney.

In the Ohio Valley, Murray State has a half-game lead over Eastern Illinois. Last time out, the Racers beat Jacksonville State 71-56 behind 30 and 10 from five-time OVC PotW Ashley Hayes (she of the 46-point game). They embark on a two-game road trip to Southeast Missouri State on Thursday, following that with a critical showdown with Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

Big games in the Patriot on Wednesday: Lehigh beat Colgate 71-42, while Army dragged American to OT and knocked them out of their tie with the Mountain Hawks for first place. With the win, Lehigh clinches their first 20-win season in 19 years. Next on the agenda? A trip just down the road to Lafayette to renew their rivalry on Saturday night. (As an aside: gotta love a school that lists majors on the roster!)

Here's something you don't see every day: a tie in the Southern. Chattanooga finds themselves keeping company with Samford. Both teams play Western Carolina next- Chattanooga at home on Saturday, Samford at home on Monday (hope coach has a lot of pink!)- and then finish the season against each other at Samford. Both teams will be facing Western Carolina after victories: the Lady Mocs whomped Appalachian State 71-47 on Monday night, while the Bulldogs defeated Davidson 78-67 the same night.

In the Southland, Texas-San Antonio's 72-54 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, behind Monica Gibbs's second triple-double in three games puts them back into a tie with Texas-Arlington for both the conference and division lead, as Southeastern Louisiana knocked off the Mavericks on Wednesday, 82-74. UTSA returns to action on Saturday versus Sam Houston State; Texas-Arlington will be at Central Arkansas the same night.

In the Southwest, Cynthia Cooper and Prairie View A&M are 11-1, two and a half games up on second-place Southern. They broke open a tie game in the second half to win 58-38 at Jackson State on Monday night. They'll host Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night.

This is the first year that #22/#18 South Dakota State is eligible for postseason play, and the Jackrabbits are taking advantage, sitting atop the Summit at 14-1. In their final home game of the regular seaso, the Jackrabbits walloped Southern Utah, 87-42 on Monday night. Next stop: Fargo, for a Saturday night tilt against North Dakota State.

#25 Middle Tennessee State is making noise, both inside the Sun Belt and outside. The Blue Raiders are undefeated in conference, extending their record to 15-0 with a 90-64 win over South Alabama on Wednesday night. Alysha Clark had just 30 points and 12 boards for her 50th career double-double. They'll be at Florida Atlantic this Friday night.

In the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga has a one-game lead on Portland- but the 1 in the Zags' 9-1 conference record came at Portland's hands. They had no such trouble with the University of San Francisco on Saturday, beating the Dons 71-35 in their Pink Zone game. They'll visit Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

Last, but certainly not least, in the Western Athletic, Fresno State has a one-win lead over Idaho- but Idaho has swept Fresno State this season. Fresno State bounced back from their third conference loss to beat Boise State 70-58 and nudge ahead of a tight WAC pack. Fresno State is off until the 27th, when they host Nevada. Idaho visits Nevada Thursday in the Wolf Pack's Pink Zone game.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mechelle asks:
What do fans think of other “super” fans? Does it depend on whether they are for or against your team? Does it matter where and when they sit/stand? Does it make a difference to you if it seems like they spend much of their time ripping officials as opposed to just cheering for their players? Should officials have to put up with anything so long as it’s not profane?
So, the next time your friend groans about women's basketball as a Rutgers/Georgia scrolls by, throw this beaut in their face.
As the Assembly Hall emptied out, one hoarse fan shouted he wanted his money back.

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis seemed to understand, saying the game between his Nittany Lions and Illinois might have set basketball back a few years to the days of founder James Naismith.
Ugly is an equal opportunity basketball court visitor.....
The McDonald's All-Americans have been announced.
From the UConn site:
As part of the battle to raise money to help find a cure for cancer, three authentic UConn Women’s Basketball game jerseys, donated by Nike and identical to the ones worn today by the Huskies, will be autographed by each member of the UConn women’s basketball program and auctioned off to the highest bidders with 100% of the proceeds directed to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.

The three UConn Women’s Basketball White & Pink game jerseys, provided by Nike as part of its commitment to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, each include the Number 1 on the front and back. Go here to bid.
If other programs are doing something similar, please let me know.....

ON EDIT: via email Purdue and Ball State had auctions Purdue sold all the unis and some other neato stuff; Ball State had a Porchia Green throwback jersey which went for more money than what I had on me at the time. Both schools had a bucket for change and sold t-shirts.
The Sparks show some PR creativity:

On Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, 3rd, the Sparks are offering an unbelievable chance to tryout for one of the WNBA's premier teams!

If you're tired of sitting in the bleachers and think you know a thing or two about rebounding, shooting, or passing, then this is your opportunity! For a mere $75, the Sparks are offering all professional basketball hopefuls a once in a lifetime opportunity. By hitting the hardwood floor, you not only get to show your basketball skills to Sparks Head Coach Michael Cooper and Vice President/General Manager Penny Toler, but you will also receive one (1) lower level ticket to the Sparks third home game against the Seattle Storm on Sunday, June 28th .

Note to Donna: Things that work in one market might actually work in another market. It's a concept. Consider it!
It's Snow (ing) in Atlanta.
Jess wunderin'...

Now that Don Meyer is the winningest coach in men's college basketball, do you suppose Rick Kretzschmar
A nice companion piece to the Globe article on Bilqis Abul-Qadir who will play at Memphis next year -- in full Muslim dress.

From USAToday's Dick Patrick: Naama Shafir, Toledo share a religious experience

Last summer, Naama Shafir was at home in Hoshaya, Israel, wondering if it was practical to combine playing college basketball in the USA with her Orthodox Jewish beliefs after dealings with Boston College and Seton Hall didn't work out.

Meanwhile, Tricia Cullop had become coach at Toledo and was desperate for a point guard, even one who required kosher meals and couldn't travel from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.Theirs was a match made in recruiting networking.

Great story out of Montana about a team whose story reminds me of Jamila Wideman's high school team.
The 1998-99 Montana State University-Billings women's basketball team will be inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame this weekend. The honor comes an exact decade after the Yellowjackets advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight Tournament.
That work ethic was evident the summer of 1998. To achieve those goals, most of the players stayed in Billings the previous summer. Some took waitressing jobs, while Montague worked at Peter Yegen Golf Course. Pfiefle worked for the City Rec department.

"Up at 5 a.m. to set sprinklers," she said with soft chuckle. "Being in town, it was just something we knew we needed to do."
"Snake bit" doesn't even begin to capture the kind of year Indiana State's been having:
The Sycamores have lost four players to season-ending ACL injuries, including junior center Laurence Rivest, senior guard Leah Phillips, freshman guard/ forward Deja Mattox and, most recently, junior guard Kelsey Luna.

Despite all the injuries, the Sycamores have continued to shock the Missouri Valley Conference, sitting in fourth place with a record of 8-4, 12-11 overall.
UTEP point guard Jareica Hughes offers some perspective.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Graham -- have you been reading the WHB and stealin' my stuff??? Burns back, rebuilding Aztecs
...perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the Aztecs knocked Utah from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Mountain West with a 55-49 win at Cox Arena on Wednesday night and, in so doing, cut the gap between themselves and the Utes to a single game in the standings.

Except that after the past two decades, it's pretty clear that Burns -- and not one of the most livable cities in the country -- holds the key to hardwood success here.
Mechelle blogs about the Texas/Iowa State game:
Texas coach Gail Goestenkors entered a pink sea at Hilton Coliseum on Sunday, and a rush of thoughts, images and memories came to mind. More than two decades ago, she spent a season here at Iowa State, a grad assistant fresh out of college. It was such a different time in women's basketball, but especially different at a place like Iowa State.

The arena that was rocking with 12,242 fans on Sunday often was so quiet way back then that you could have held an intimate conversation in the stands. Except you wouldn't have wanted to because, you know, everyone could have heard you.

"To see it today, walking out, I was really proud," Goestenkors said. "I was proud of this crowd. And I feel a very tiny, tiny bit part of it, just because it's where I started my coaching career.
Charlie Says!
As we approach the selection of the NCAA tournament field every season, the debate rages about what makes one team better than another. Is it a tougher schedule, more Top 25 wins, better overall record? Sometimes, however, the numbers are pushed aside and this question needs to be asked: If Team A and Team B met on a neutral floor, who would win?

That's highly subjective, of course, but it can lend some perspective. And what if some of those games were actually played?

None of these games are on the schedule. Some could take place in the tournament, though. And some have nothing at all to do with tournament comparisons. The matchups just might be fun or interesting.

Here are the games I'd like to see:
Out of Washington: Storm Brewing in Seattle
Just over a year since Force 10 Hoops bought the Seattle Storm, the new owners are learning to walk in preparation for running. Within the last month, the four-woman ownership group has guaranteed its team's playing home for the next decade and leased a new office facility. With this foundation, they can now solidify their roster -- the current uncertainty of which is worrying a lot of Storm fans.
Out of Minnesota: Speaking of high school scoring: this (unofficial) record didn't (unofficially) survive.
Minneapolis South girls basketball star Tayler Hill broke the unofficial Minnesota scoring record for girls and boys during Tuesday night's Minneapolis City Conference game against Roosevelt.

Hill, a 5-foot-10 senior, converted a fast-break layup with 10:25 left in the second half to score her 25th point in the game, giving her a career total of 3,695 points, according to South records
Out of New Jersey: The Lost Season: Zurich, Scarlet Knights suffer through unusual year.
Out of California -- Kate Paye's high school scoring record survives.
Menlo School senior Jackie Shepard certainly saved her best for last. In the final regular-season game in the West Bay Athletic League (Skyline Division) on Friday night, Shepard poured in an all-time school record 51 points to lead the Knights to a 71-47 victory over host ICA in San Francisco.

The 51 points is the most ever by any Menlo boy or girl.
Out of Wisconsin, Rob Demovsky's column,"Phoenix women deserve better" expresses his grumpiness with the lack of competition in the Horizon League.
Out of Kentucky, the heartening story of the bond formed between fans.
Economics and Sports from USAToday:
In recent years, Division I athletics departments generally have been increasing their spending at a higher annual rate than their universities. In addition, guaranteed earnings for numerous football and men's basketball coaches have soared beyond $1 million a year.

But even at Arizona State — whose athletics program is financially self-supporting except for "very nominal" assistance from the university, says athletics director Lisa Love — football coach Dennis Erickson and men's basketball coach Herb Sendek are being forced to lose 12 days' pay between Feb. 2 and the close of the school's fiscal year, June 30. (Depending on job classification, Arizona State's furloughs, announced Jan. 28, are for 10, 12 or 15 days — double to triple the days being lost by employees of the other three schools.)
Looking back on Sunday:
Auburn keeps on truckin', hitting 25 wins for the first time since '92-'93
GTech stayed close in the first half and then North Carolina said no more
Maryland rolled over Rutgers
Ohio State knocked off Northwestern
Texas squeeeeezed out a win over Iowa State
Kansas State edged Oklahoma State
Xavier struggled initially with Dayton, but emerged victorious.
Vandy got their revenge over Georgia
On the upset watch:
LSU throttled #11 Florida - who probably wants to do the same to Beth and Debbie
NC State played with emotion and held it together to knock off #15 Virgina