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New news: From Sabrina Scott – Get Mine vs. Team-First

Americans playing in Europe have a certain reputation…usually consisting of being a scorer, a shooter, a me-first player, and probably even selfish. It’s no secret that general managers in Europe bring in Americans to bolster their team’s scoring attack, so it should also not come as a surprise that the ‘me-first’ American reputation has developed over time.

But it’s a slippery slope.

(Slightly) Older news: Game Notes: DePaul at Notre Dame – The Irish aren’t lucky, but good.

The biggest event in the state of Indiana yesterday featured Eli Manning and Tom Brady facing off in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, no doubt. The potential undercard, however, took place earlier that day in South Bend. That’s where Skylar Diggins and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish made slight work of the DePaul Blue Demons, coasting to a 90-70 victory.

“They’re a great team,” DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said after the game. “They’re very, very well-coached and one of the four teams that I think have the best chance to win the National Championship.”

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Yes, Baylor won (though they got more of a tussle than anyone expected) and Tennessee won, but the day offered so many other things. From Graham: Lady Vols follow Summitt’s example

Monday morning headline: Tennessee aces new test.

Tennessee has a heck of a role model when it comes to leadership under adversity.

During a timeout in the opening game of Sunday’s Maggie Dixon Classic between Baylor and St. John’s, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt made her way onto the court at Madison Square Garden to accept an award named for the late coach and given to members of the women’s basketball community fighting particularly courageous battles. Even in the midst of a game proving to be closer than most expected, the players and coaches of both teams broke their huddles, stood and applauded, one testament in a day full of them to just how universal is the support for the legendary coach of the Lady Vols as she battles early onset Alzheimer’s.

By comparison, playing 40 minutes of basketball without a freshman point guard is hard to file under the category of a hardship. On the other hand, the essence of Summitt’s battle — to some degree the essence of her career — is that you fight the battles in front of you, no questions asked and no excuses given.

From Harvey Araton at the Times: Summitt Still Inspires, Often in Silence

But even as Summitt assumed the familiar position she has held for 38 years — at the head of the Tennessee bench, arms folded, eyes darting — there was the inescapable feeling that so much has changed since Summitt, 59, revealed in August that she has early onset Alzheimer’s.

Standing tall in her trademark pantsuit, Summitt still barked commands to her players — “hands up, get back, box out.” But in the huddles, the coaching trenches, it was her assistants whose words rang loud.

From Richard at SI: All eyes on Summitt at Madison Square Garden

The sparse Madison Square Garden crowd, clearly punch drunk from an 11:00 a.m. tipoff, got its first glimpse of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt late in the second half of top-ranked Baylor’s win over St. John. This was the early game of the annual Maggie Dixon women’s basketball doubleheader, and when the Lady Vols coach arrived at center court during an extended time out, the crowd of 2,000 or so woke up and cheered.

From Swish Appeal, you have lots of stuff on the games from Ray and Queenie:

Tennessee Lady Vols Roll over DePaul Blue Demons in Maggie Dixon Classic

Baylor 73, St. John’s 59 at the Maggie Dixon Classic

Baylor Lady Bears Claim Hard-Fought Win At MSG

Tennessee Overpowers DePaul

Photos From The Maggie Dixon Classic: Baylor Lady Bears, DePaul Blue Demons & Tennessee Lady Vols

The Maggie Dixon Classic: A Tempo Free Look

 

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We’ve known for a while that the teams had changed — and kinda knew who the were. Finally, confirmation: Summitt’s Lady Vols to play in Maggie Dixon Classic

The card:
Baylor v. St. John’s
Tennessee v. DePaul
Some where I saw the games listed for an 11am start.

NOTE:
Over the last few years I’ve corralled a huge group of random fans (45+ last year) to attend the Classic. I’ve been fortunate enough to snag great seats ($40-$45) and it would be my pleasure to help anyone interested in attending avoid Ticketscalper fees.
Just drop me a line (womenshoopsblog @ gmail.com) and we’ll celebrate Maggie, Pat and all the good things women’s basketball has given us.

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From Mechelle: Tennessee ready to tip off tourney – Lady Vols help open the games at 11 a.m. ET Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3.com)

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt got a laugh as ESPN dug up old photos of her playing days at Tennessee-Martin in the 1970s to use during the NCAA tournament selection show. The Skyhawks are in the NCAA field for the first time this year, and their most famous women’s basketball alum is very happy for them.

She doesn’t have to be concerned with making their stay a very short one; UT-Martin is the No. 15 seed in the Philadelphia Regional and faces No. 2 seed Duke in the first round.

Mechelle’s Spokane preview is up.

This year’s NCAA tournament No. 1 seeds established themselves well before Selection Monday. In fact, if you’d been asked to predict them just days after last season’s Final Four, you likely would have come up with this quartet.

Some might have thought UConn would struggle a bit more than the Huskies have in their one-loss season. But certainly no one is surprised that the Huskies, Baylor, Tennessee and Stanford are the top four teams in the NCAA tournament. Although …

Graham has Players to watch

Five who could catch lighting in a bottle

Seedings suggest these players won’t be around for more than one game, but each could make that game one to remember or even prolong her team’s stay.

Also from Graham: Vandersloot stands strong for Zags: Point guard needs 44 points to become first D-I player with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists

For all of her statistical milestones, national accolades and basketball skills, Courtney Vandersloot’s greatest strength as a point guard remains nothing more complicated than her ability to make everyone around her that much better.

But after piloting Gonzaga to the first Sweet 16 appearance in program history last season, she reflected on the postseason run and realized there was one player on the court whose limitations she felt might hold the team back at a time of year when championships are decided. So it was that the best point guard in the country decided there was one more player she could make better.

And even MORE Graham: Green Bay’s season to remember – Phoenix join UConn, Tennessee as teams to enter NCAA tourney with at least 32 wins

It’s the morning of the Horizon League championship game, and the staff and players who comprise one of the most successful programs in women’s basketball are gathered around waffles and eggs at a local restaurant, their blank (and insufficiently caffeinated) expressions serving as placeholders for the emotions the day will bring. It’s quiet enough, in fact, to hear the background music, and Green Bay associate coach Mike Divilbiss perks up when Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” starts to play.

Across from him, junior starter Julie Wojta is unimpressed, or more precisely, unaware of Morrison. Divilbiss tries to give her a hint, offering up “Brown Eyed Girl” as the clue that will unlock the mystery identity.

“Yeah, that doesn’t help,” Wojta responds.

Scott Powers has Long road for DePaul’s Naughton nears end

Deirdre Naughton was laying poolside when her cell phone rang on a Friday in early August. It was the NCAA calling to tell her she had been granted a sixth year of eligibility to play for DePaul women’s basketball team.
Naughton immediately sprung to her feet and jumped around in celebration.

The catch was she couldn’t tell any of her teammates until it was finalized on Monday. Naughton promised she would keep her mouth shut for the weekend.

Not long after she hung up, she called her teammate and close friend Sam Quigley.

“I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but she told me on Friday,” Quigley said, laughing. “I remember her calling me, and I was screaming hysterically. I was probably more excited than she was.”

Skyler Diggins writes: Communication key to handling NCAA hype

Life is all about growth. When you experience things, sometimes you may make mistakes or do some things well, or both. Regardless, there will be an outcome. Whether that outcome is negative or positive, you will have an opportunity to reflect. Take note of the positive things or things that you did well. Then reflect on your mistakes. If you learn from these mistakes and do not make the same ones, you have grown.

I had to learn this in my freshman year of college.

Over at espnW, Angelique Chengelis writes Samford’s stock on the rise

Mike Morris knows the routine.

He calls a recruit and identifies himself as the head coach at Samford, and occasionally there’s a pause.

“They get all excited when they think it’s Stanford,” Morris said, laughing. “I kid around and I’ve said I always wanted to ask [Stanford coach] Tara VanDerveer, ‘Do y’all get that, are you Stanford or Samford?’ just to see if I get a grin out of that.”

Also at espnW, Jane McManus writes: Marist’s Brian Giorgis has the winning formula

Basketball was his first sport. He played as a youth. But after getting a glimpse of his 7-foot counselors at Willis Reed’s basketball camp, Giorgis realized the limits inherent in his 5-foot-9 frame. He decided to coach, but after a difficult season with the baseball team, Giorgis decided he didn’t want to coach boys again. He realized his style just fit better with his girls’ teams.“It wasn’t about style points and who looked better,” Giorgis said. “It was about what they could do to win games.”

Mark Simon does a little research: Stefanie Pemper’s Navy seeks upset  – Mids coach was on Harvard staff when the Crimson knocked off No. 1 Stanford in 1998

Before coming to Navy, Pemper was the coach at Division III Bowdoin College, a liberal arts school in small-town Brunswick, Maine. There she developed a coaching style that emphasized there was more to basketball than what took place on the court. She has brought that to Navy, as well.

At Bowdoin, practices opened with the players talking about the classes they’d been in that day. When the team took an undefeated record into the Division III Final four in 2004, it left campus early so it could spend a day in Colonial Williamsburg on its way to the championship site.

At halftime of one game at Bowdoin, the players got engrossed in conversation and lost track of time and came out of the locker room 30 seconds before the second half was to start. Undaunted, the team suffocated its opponent into 25 percent shooting and won easily.

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Yes, the SASS coach loves his rock ‘n roll: Dan Hughes: An Unforgettable Musical Journey

Did you catch Mercury Managing Partner Robert Sarver’s statement on Diana Taurasi?

Speakin’ of Coach Dan, some interesting observations from Mechelle during her chat.

From the NAIA world: Next step for Bethel remains: Beat Union (You and every other NAIA team <g>)

Dan Fleser reports Tennessee is getting a much needed breather before facing Kentucky: Lady Vols get chance to recuperate

Lynn Jacobson writes about the Big 12 Frosh living up to the hype.

Congrats to coach Boyle on win #200. (What’s happened to those Arizona programs?)

Left Coast Hoops has highlights from the first Pac-10 teleconference in a month.

Welcome news from Kevin Tersolini: Elena Delle Donne is right at home – UD dominates; star reaches 1,000 points

Mel strikes a similar theme:Delle Donne’s Time, Overtime, And Nick of Time

Lady Swish writes: ODU, JMU, UNCW still tied atop CAA

Full Court Press has This Week in the Big Ten: Battle Royale for Top Spot on Tap

Graham talks about the Blue Demon’s as they prepare to face UConn: Passing fancy leads DePaul into UConn Only unbeaten teams in Big East clash Saturday, when Huskies host Blue Demons

More well-deserved press for coach Cook and and the Bisons: Gallaudet women’s basketball enjoys perfect season

Oh, this is a good basketball rebounder name: Plucker Taking Summit League By Storm – Parker Native, NDSU Junior Leads League In Rebounding

A little somethin’ somethin’ for Robin fans: Robin Roberts Returning to Roots for Jersey Retirement

I offer you two groan inducing headlines: Pacific women can beat flu but not Gauchos and (the really awful) Georgetown’s press creases Louisville women 76-52

That “squeak” you heard was Maryland escaping with a win on a three with 1.2 seconds left as the DCBC listened in. That other squeak came from Michigan State’s win over Wisconsin. Coach Stone will have to wait another day for win #500.

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