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donate to a great cause: WNBA Maya Moore Pink Breast Cancer Awareness UCONN Jersey (Game Worn + Signed!) for the Jimmy V Foundation.

What’s goin’ on?

It’s called parity, my friends.

That’s a capital P
And it ends with TY
And it spells… last one standing gets into the playoffs.

Or, as Michelle Smith explains: Trio continues to set pace in WNBA – Atlanta, Minnesota, Phoenix are league’s only teams with winning records

Been off for a few weeks, watching this WNBA season purely as a fan and wondering what every fan must be: Where are all the winning teams?

As of Monday, three teams have winning records and one additional squad sits at .500. That leaves eight teams with losing records.

Is this mediocrity? Is it parity? Is it good for the league?

The postseason will hold the answers. Will we see blowouts and one or two teams dominating the playoffs? Or will someone other than Phoenix, Minnesota and Atlanta emerge?

In the meantime, here are the Week 11 power rankings. The Mercury and Lynx have clinched playoff berths already.

Speaking of teams hoping for a playoff berth, John Altavilla says It’s Crunch Time For Sun As Season Winds Down

Jayda speaks with Penny.

Q: Was Ross blindsided? She was the coach of the year in 2012 and signed a contract extension in February.

Toler: If you’re not winning and your team’s not successful and you were picked as one of the favorites (to win the WNBA title), are you blindsided by it? With the fans, we’re in LA, they were calling for it (the firing) after four games. It’s my job to protect the coach but when other decisions are made, it’s my job to carry out those orders.

Dawn is busy in Colorado with the U-18 team. She gets to work with this kid from Missouri who seems pretty good: Competitiveness An Inherited Trait For USA U18 Guard Napheesa Collier

Random Rant: Oh, lordy, get me a bat: it’s the mission of the Houston Inferno to break the stereotype that women cannot be athletic and feminine.

 

Other basketball stuff…

Nice story from Lauren Kirschman: When Beaver Falls won a women’s basketball national championship

Joy Jeter still remembers sitting on a bus to Boston in 1987, reading and then passing along positive sayings as the University of New Haven women’s basketball team made its way to the NCAA Division II national championship game.

The Chargers needed the extra boost of confidence. They were the underdogs, after all. Cal-Poly Pomona was the two-time defending national champion. New Haven, on the other hand, had just earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament win that season.

Speaking of history and legacy: Storm’s Karen Bryant, first executive of women’s basketball in Seattle, starts a new life

Karen Bryant pulls a poster out of a half-full box. It’s an 18-year-old Seattle Reign ad promoting the defunct American Basketball League.

IT’S ABOUT COMMITMENT.

IT’S ABOUT RESPECT.

IT’S ABOUT REWRITING HISTORY.

IT’S ABOUT !&+%*! TIME.

She laughs at the audacity. She finds another ad.

On October 27th, God will look down from the heavens and see women playing professional basketball.

There are so many boxes, so many memories. Cards from Seattle Children’s Hospital patients. Letters from dads who took their daughters to a WNBA game for the first time. Thank-you notes from women proud to watch other women live their dreams on a basketball court.

WATN? WNBA old timers will remember this name: Albright announces the addition of Rousseau to coaching staff

Speaking of assistants: Ex-Michigan State women’s basketball star Lindsay Bowen coaching now

Bowen, who is entering her second season as an assistant at Florida International, would like to duplicate the success she had in East Lansing when she helped the Spartans win a Big Ten title and reach the 2005 national championship game.

“I would love to put a program on the map or take them to a national championship or win championships,” Bowen said. “That’s what I dreamed about when I was a little girl and it came true in the playing days, so hopefully it comes true in the coaching days, too.”

Nice to know she’s still playing: Polish club Basket ROW Rybnik has announced the signing of American power forward Drey Mingo.

Fox News’ Shepard Smith is cool: (‘CAUSE HE CHALLENGED RACHEL MADDOW!!!)

Wilkes University President is cool.

The Lady Devils are cool:

Fort Hays State is cool.

High schools are coolNFA girls’ basketball is Chillin’ 4 Charity

But some high schools are NOT: Inglewood Girls Basketball Coach Says School Raided Account

And not just because it’s my mom’s 81st.

It’s when Phoenix and Minnesota meet at the Target Center. (And NO, it is not on national TV. Anyone got any pull?). If anyone’s going to derail the Merc’s march to a new WNBA win-streak record, it’ll be the Lynx. Both have leaders drawn from a UConn program that knows records are nice, but it’s winning the final game that earns you the prize.

Maya may be on the road to MVP but, more importantly, she’s gettin’ her posse back. Augustus is back and Brunson is right behind her. Finally, the Lynx *knock wood* are fully healthy for first time all season.

Five of Moore’s WNBA-record 10 30-point outings have come with Augustus out of the lineup.

That’s a double-sided paradigm. Augustus’ absence affords Moore more touches. But it also allows defenses to double-team her more often.

“I think it’s the same for both of them,” Reeve said. “‘Mone can benefit a lot from Maya playing as great as she is. Nothing’s easy for them.”

Brunson’s return offers similar avail in the post. No longer is Janel McCarville primarily responsible for clearing out the lane and tearing down rebounds — both Brunson specialties. Brunson’s post-up abilities also allow Reeve to make full use of her offense, which features a lot of high-motion facilitation from McCarville.

They’ll meet a Merc team that seems to be clicking on multiple cylinders. As the .com’s Kate Bennert notes, Griner is stronger, Diana is leading, and Brondello’s influence is a cypher.

It will be great to see these two teams go at each other, but it’s not just a record on the line, it’s home court and the top seed in the West. I’m not sure if San Antonio or LA should be considered legitimate threats, but both teams have the talent capable of upsetting the favorite. It would be a toss up of who I’d rather face — probably L.A., ’cause Dan Hughes has proven he can coach you right into the loser’s locker room.

Looking at the standings in the East reminds me of the bad old days – 5 of the 6 teams under .500. The East is easily dismissed because it still looks like no one wants the number one spot. The Dream were flying, but have suddenly hit a three-game losing streak (was Coach Cooper that important? Get well fast, sir!)?

No, I’m not counting Seattle out (and hoping Sue Bird is back in), but it’s been a tough season for the Storm – even with triple-doubles.

Will Chicago, with two of it’s big four back healthy (and MIP candidate Quigley) figure out their internal puzzles and be all that they can be? Is the return of Delle Donne on the horizon? Not as optimistic about Vandersloot, though.

Ooooh, look. There are the Mystics – as Stef Dolson, Bria Hartley Continue Smooth Transition To WNBA

Aside from her new swash of purple hair, a look she began to percolate as soon as her UConn career was over, nothing seems particularly different about Stefanie Dolson.

“If you want to know the truth, that [the new hair color] may be the most fun of all this season,” Dolson said. “A conversation starter? Yes.”

Indiana’s keepin’ it together. And Lin’s savoring her “farewell tour.”

Connecticut and New York (not my curse) are fighting not to drown in the basement. The Sun will be cheering against the Lib (whose final games  all East teams, except Phx) because it’ll mean a nice draft pick.

Boy, the off-season coaching carousel ought to be interesting….

Before we get there, Nate has some WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year candidates: Searching for a diamond in the rough

Damn!

Indiana University Announces Curt Miller Resignation and Search for New Permanent Head Coach

Stars’ Becky Hammon to retire

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Quintessential Becky.

Doug is on it.

”It was emotional for me. I was so glad I got to do it after a win not a loss,” Hammon said in a phone interview. ”With college and professionally and overseas, I’ve given 20 years of my life to a high level of basketball. I worked a tireless amount of hours. The overwhelming support I got back from the little press release that the Stars put out has been incredible.”

Well, carp!!!

Michael Cooper has tongue cancer

I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection,” Cooper said. “I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon.”