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Archive for June, 2010

Kathy Goodman on her Sparks:

Hope springs eternal

We did not play a good game on Thursday night against the Washington Mystics, so I was, not surprisingly, a little pessimistic coming into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Dream, which is atop of the Eastern Conference. I took some time on Saturday to get a little perspective and inspiration by visiting the Martin Luther King Center and the Carter Center in downtown Atlanta. By game time, I was fairly philosophical and just wanted us to play some good basketball, win or lose. So why is it the Sparks had to start so strong and get my hopes up all over again?

(Welcome to the Land o’ Lib fans, Kath.)

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U-18 results

Oro! Oro! Oro!

The USA Women’s U18 National Team outscored its opponents in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship by an average of 55.8 points.

**And I’m not typing it, but you know what I’m thinking.

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Lucky Brian?

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U18 Gold Medal game

The men’s FIBA match is being streamed, but the women’s isn’t. Give me a moment while I put on my surprised face….

At least you can follow along with the Jugada por Jugada.

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Quick hits from the Lib-Sun game

  • Well, that was unexpected!
  • First half: No really, can we give Charles the ROY award now? Second half: Well I’ll be! She’s human!
  • Two steps forward: On Gay Pride Day, the arena cameras focus on a woman wearing a LGBT Pride shirt.
  • Three steps back: Really? A fan contest called “The Wedding Dress Dance Off?” Just how tone deaf are you Blaze and The Donna?
  • Lib continue to do their best imitation of the men’s national soccer team, giving their opponents a big lead early, then….
  • Wow, it’s amazing what a little defense’ll do ya.
  • The mantra of fans in my section: Do NOT look at the scoreboard. (’cause then you get your hopes up and then the Sun take the lead). Look down! Look down!
  • Who’s Zina and why is she writing the AP game report? There better be some more words added, or else I’m coming to the next game with a “WE WANT VIN!” sign
  • So, you have Rebecca Lobo in the house. Granted, she’s broadcasting for the Sun, but you’re telling me, Blaze, that you can’t find a moment in the first half to introduce her to the fans as a founding Liberty player and most recent inductee to the WBHOF?
  • I’ll be the first to admit I’m no fashion icon, but Anne, what’s with puffy sleeves?
  • Gold stars to Nicole Powell and Kalana Greene (who actually gets double gold stars, in that she came up with two or three key plays in crunch time.)

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Tulsa visits Seattle

Jayda on Nolan:

Thumbing through his wardrobe, Nolan Richardson came across a gem: his coveted pink sports coat.”I’ve got that one set,” the first-year WNBA coach said of when it’ll be worn again, on July 30 as part of his Tulsa Shock’s participation in Breast Health Awareness Week. The look was among his flamboyant coats of armor as the coach prepared daily to deal with racism and discrimination.

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More U18 news

Lindsay Schnell: Team USA learns lesson in focus

For the first time at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship that’s being held at the Olympic Training Center this week, USA coach Jennifer Rizzotti on Saturday lit into her team during a timeout.

The reason? Lack of hustle. The message? They should never get tired of being great.

…and Jones brings energy to Team USA

If there’s one thing all USA basketball teams have in common, top to bottom, it’s this: A combo guard.

The thinking of the U.S. basketball committee is that each team needs to be equipped with two true point guards and at least one more player who could step in and act as floor general, if needed. Two weeks ago at the U18 trials, head coach Jennifer Rizzotti looked around and worried her team would be missing someone who could play the ½-spot. But then along came Alexis Jones, and all was well.

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Multi-tasking writers

Looks like Lindsay Schnell (of the U18 reports) is keepin’ busy. From OregonLive: Oregon State women’s basketball: The past, the present, what future?

Never before in major Division I women’s college basketball has a program attempted to lift itself from such depths as the Beavers face in the wake of the LaVonda Wagner era.

The Beavers are in shambles after the head coach — who was fired June 1 — drove away more than 16 players in five years. After a rash of player transfers this spring, athletic director Bob De Carolis launched an investigation into the program. Media reports then revealed that Wagner had built a controlling, abusive environment. Her dismissal soon followed.

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U18 moves on

The USA U18 team’s earned a shot at gold.

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U18

A tough loss, eh?

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Washington Mystics look for Marissa Coleman to regain her shooting touch

When the third shot she attempted Thursday night found the basket, relief flashed across Marissa Coleman’s face. Maybe this game would be the one that sparked the Washington Mystics‘ second-year wing out of her scoring slump and maybe it wouldn’t, but at least some shots were falling.

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The Guru checks in….

From Mel:

Like former Tennessee sensation Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks three years before her, WNBA newcomer Tina Charles, the overall No. 1 pick of April’s draft out of UConn, is quickly transforming into a professional star who is playing more like a seasoned veteran than someone who has only been around the league a few months.

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Brian Heyman from the Times writes

For Liberty, New Faces Are Taking Time to Fit In

Carol Blazejowski, the Liberty’s president and general manager, has continued to upgrade the roster in terms of talent, toughness and winning know-how since last year’s last-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Yet the Liberty is still not winning consistently, at 5-7, more than a third of the way into the 34-game regular season.

“I’m one that underestimated how long it would take for our chemistry to really come along,” Coach Anne Donovan said.

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It’s sunny and summer!

In honor of a beautiful June day, some basketball beach reading suggestions:

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Friday Night in the W

Mini Mi!!!!

Great crowd in Seattle saw a great game.

Equally great crowd in Connecticut saw another great game.

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So, what is it about men and their faulty balls?

(sorry. i couldn’t resist.)

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Good news about the best all-around women’s tennis player ever: Navratilova’s Will Is Tested, but as Always, She Prevails

Martina Navratilova arrived here, at the tennis tournament where she won nine singles titles, free in every sense that mattered. Free of cancer. Free of the radiation treatments she had before, during and after the French Open. Free to resume the life the diagnosis briefly, and only slightly, interrupted.

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From USA BBall

USA Women’s U18 National Team Rolls Into Medal Semifinals With 108-44 Defeat of Puerto Rico USA Shoots 31-of-46 From Free Throw Line – To Set New High For Free Throws Attempted

The USA Women’s U18 National Team (3-0) hit a record-tying 31 free throws and received double-figure point production from eight players as the Americans rolled past Puerto Rico (0-3), 108-44, on June 25 in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.”Our goal going into the game was not to settle,” said USA and University of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. “We knew we could get a good shot every possession, but we really wanted to work for a great shot. So, I’m really pleased with the 22 assists, because I wanted them to be unselfish and share the ball.”

And, if you want a giggle, check out this photo on “How to position yourself for a rebound.”

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Beaver dam continues

It took several weeks, but yet another shoe has dropped at OSU:

Angela Misa has been granted her release from the Oregon State women’s basketball program and will not return for her sophomore year.

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Makin’ like George Plimpton

From Atlanta
The unofficial “John Smoltz Life After Baseball Tour” found Smoltz in an unfamiliar spot Friday, practicing with the Dream at Georgia Tech.

The practice was Smoltz’s way of promoting the Dream and drawing attention to women’s professional sports, and when it was over he realized that he chose the right professional sport to pursue when he was younger.

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Opals at the Sun?

Could there be an Aussie flavor to the All-Star Game weekend?

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From the Seattle PI blog

Storm first round pick taking one step at a time

From the Chicago Now blog:

The WNBAs Chicago Sky is a women’s professional basketball team in Chicago… I give the description because some of you just don’t know because they are not the BULLS and it’s not the NBA. But, I gotta tell you these women play as fierce as any male team I have ever seen.

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Mel on the LA-D.C. game

WNBA: Mystics’ Langhorne Shatters Sparks

Billed as a WNBA game in the nation’s capital Thursday night, the Washington Mystics’ cross-conference matchup with the Los Angeles Sparks drew key involvement from alums of its prominent NCAA neighbor up the road — the University of Maryland.

Two members of the 2006 NCAA champion Terrapins were the leading scorers for their teams, most notably Washington’s Crystal Langhorne, who drove the Mystics into a second-place three-way tie in the East via a 68-53 victory over the injury-riddled Los Angeles Sparks at the Verizon Center.

WNBA: Mystics’ Langhorne Shatters Sparks

Billed as a WNBA game in the nation’s capital Thursday night, the Washington Mystics’ cross-conference matchup with the Los Angeles Sparks drew key involvement from alums of its prominent NCAA neighbor up the road — the University of Maryland.

Two members of the 2006 NCAA champion Terrapins were the leading scorers for their teams, most notably Washington’s Crystal Langhorne, who drove the Mystics into a second-place three-way tie in the East via a 68-53 victory over the injury-riddled Los Angeles Sparks at the Verizon Center.

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More U18 news…

In another example of ESPN.com not understanding “integrating the brand,” you kinda have to search for Schnell’s coverage of the U18′s.

Day 1 Ogwumike becomes voice of Team USA

If there’s one thing you should know about the U18 USA team it’s this: They are led by Ogwumike, the 6-foot-3, Stanford-bound forward who displays unusual energy for her size and position, someone who doesn’t know how to take a play off because she probably never has. You would never know from the way Ogwumike plays that her team is busy dismantling opponents.

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From Lindsay Schnell: Hartley finds mentor in Rizzotti

Hartley’s offensive onslaught was a reversal from Wednesday’s game, when she happily dished out six assists instead of relentlessly attacking the basket. And that, says Rizzotti, is exactly why Hartley will be successful at the next level.

“Bria knows what needs to be done,” Rizzotti said. “She knows when she needs to be a scoring point guard and she knows when she needs to be a distributing point guard, and that’s what she’s going to need to know at UConn.

From Glenn Nelson – Santos sisters lead Puerto Rico

Normally, as residents of Geneva, Ill., and flag-waving U.S. citizens, Ashley and Sidney Santos would be highly interested in, and more-or-less supportive of, Team USA’s destined steamrolling of the Western Hemisphere’s girl hoopers during the FIBA Americas U18 Championships. Except for Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where, as representatives of Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, they likely will join the ranks of the steamrolled.

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OT:

Ah, the first Jersey tomato of the summer. Bliss!

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So, Title IX ain’t so bad?

From John Reid at… the Daily News Group? The MercuryNews.com? Growth spurt: Stanford athletics reached new heights by embracing Title IX and spending money on improved facilities and top coaches

At Stanford, not everyone welcomed Title IX with open arms. Stanford’s Buck Club, now called the Buck/Cardinal Club, led the opposition. It didn’t want to share revenue acquired, mostly from football, with women’s athletics.

“Any time there is change, there will be resistance,” Stanford baseball coach Mark Marquess said. “The Stanford community, the Stanford alumni. I’m old school, but I had three daughters who played sports. It’s a lot easier sell when you have daughters who are into sports.”

****
“I think everyone was concerned about the potential impact on existing programs. [Stanford's Director of Tennis Dick Gould said, reflecting back on 1976.] How could we possibly essentially double the funding we were providing to our eight or so men’s programs? We were having enough problems funding what we had. That being said, our Athletic Department really stepped up and sold existing scholarship donors, etc., on the values and responsibilities of women’s sports. I am very proud of how our department responded to the challenges of Title IX and of how we sold it to our constituents. Stanford really took the lead implementing Title IX. I believe much of our later success in women’s sports is related to the proactive stance Stanford took from the start.”

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Disconcerting:

Practice canceled due to illness – Tulsa Shock dealing with staph infections.

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Get the Vote Out

ESPY Time:

Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsey Vonn and Serena Williams are the nominees for the Best Female Athlete award. The nominations were announced Thursday.

The ESPYS will be hosted by Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” and televised live (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

So, ESPN.com — why do Brees, Bryant, James, Johnson and Pujols have links to an ESPN stat page, and only Serena is linked? (Michigan? I didn’t know she was born in Michigan!)

Another example of the ESPN.com hand not talking to the ESPN tv hand?

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Admin Shifts

Wow: Reports: Debbie Yow to leave Maryland

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow (WHB note: one of 28 female ADs) will take the same position with North Carolina State, multiple outlets reported Thursday.The move is expected to become official at a news conference Friday, according to the reports.

Yow has spent 16 years at Maryland, and under her direction the Terrapins have won more than 20 NCAA championships, including titles by the 2002 men’s basketball team, the 2006 women’s basketball team and this year’s women’s lacrosse squad.

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