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WTH, Baylor!?!?! Do you have no shame? New Baylor Lawsuit Alleges Football Players Held Gang-Rape Initiations, Dog Fights and Yet Another Lawsuit Says Baylor Officials Did Nothing After Report Of A Gang Rape By Football Players

Julie DiCaro on Only a Game.

It also alleges a lot of things we haven’t heard before, like that gang rapes were used as bonding experiences by the players, particularly to haze freshmen players. … Another lawsuit alleges that there were 52 acts of rape by 31 players. … So, I guess the question is: if the NCAA is not gonna give the death penalty to a program like Baylor, what is the point and purpose of having the death penalty at all?

Soooo, what’s the best way to drag out fragile menfolk into the light? Create a podcast called “Burn It All Down” featuring

In this weeks, “Where is she now?”

West Virginia: WVU women’s basketball nabs Michigan transfer Kysre Gondrezick

Indiana: Pitt women’s basketball player Brenna Wise headed to Indiana

Wisconsin: Ohio redshirt junior Kelly Karlis transfers, will begin play in 2018-19

Syracuse: Syracuse women’s basketball picks up Kiara Lewis, transfer from Ohio State

Marquette: Marquette Women’s Basketball Officially Announces The Transfer Of Tori McCoy

Arkansas: Arkansas women’s basketball add FSU transfer A’Tyanna Gaulden

South Dakota State: Cascio Jensen (Nebraska) headed to South Dakota State

Duke: Fresno State’s Bego Faz Davalos transferring for final year and Vida en el Valle asks Why is Faz Dávalos waving goodbye to Fresno State basketball a year early?

No surprise, really: Kansas women’s basketball’s McKenzie Calvert intends to transfer

After an off-the-court incident involving redshirt-sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert, Kansas men’s basketball sophomore guard Lagerald Vick and freshman guard Josh Jackson loomed over the Kansas women’s basketball team’s disappointing season, Calvert announced on Twitter that she plans on transferring from the program.

Truth: Dawn Staley has been on whirlwind tour since winning title

Congrats: Northwestern women’s basketball promotes Christie Sides to associate head coach

Welcome: New UMKC women’s basketball coach gets competitive fire from mom

After dinner one night this week, Shelly Hoyt raced her daughter Jacie to the car.

Nothing unusual about a little mother-daughter competition, except Jacie, 30, was going to be introduced as UMKC’s next women’s basketball coach the following day.

“My mom is a competitor,” Jacie Hoyt said. “She hates to lose.”

Just stuff:

Timeless Torches defy age as WNBA dance team

Sigh: Does Brittany Boyd’s torn Achilles mean game over for the New York Liberty? But, Big Things Expected From UConn Grad Kiah Stokes As WNBA Begins. And, Former Gophers star Amanda Zahui B. entering third WNBA season with confidence

Dallas News: Can the Wings turn around last season’s poor defense? Players are starting to buy in

Atlanta: Former Hillhouse star Bria Holmes ready for breakout year in WNBA

Summitt Hoops: Imani Boyette: Inside day one (of my best WNBA season ever)

Augusta Chronicle: Michaux: Allisha Gray makes seamless transition to WNBA

From Michelle: Inside The W with Michelle Smith: The Lynx

It is an interesting place, in that Minnesota Lynx locker room. A place where victory doesn’t always satisfy, where winning championships don’t satiate, and where losing one sticks in the craw so deep it lasts for months.

It’s also a place of familiarity and family. A place with inside jokes, long memories and shared goals and expectations.

After Wedding bells for top Australian basketballer Penny Taylor and WNBA star Diana Taurasi, Penny says, ‘I should be treated exactly the same as everyone else’: Basketball great Penny Taylor calls for marriage equality.

Deja vu all over again: WNBA athletes trapped in unfair comparisons with men

HISTORY ALERT

Do you remember the golden era of Ipswich women’s basketball?

The female class of the 1980s and 90s, spearheaded by icon Bernard Ball, were major players on the national basketball scene, before the team was forced to withdraw from the Senior National League early in the new Millennium. 
The Bobcats were known around the country as a force to be reckoned with, producing players who were among the best in the region and beyond.

Michigan: Carrollton girls basketball broke barrier with 1979 championship

The state championship was nice. An undefeated record with 28 wins was also memorable.

But over time, the players on the 1979 Carrollton girls basketball team have come to see the Class C state championship as something more important.

The Cavaliers beat Royal Oak Shrine, 50-31, to claim the state title, the first girls basketball state title in Saginaw County history.

Double bad news – in New York: Not only did the Lib lose to the steamrolling Lynx, they lost bundle of ‘tude Boyd.

The combo of the League Pass and twitter feed provided many opportunities for over stimulation on Friday. And the nice, long interview with Magic provided many minutes of missing the game on the court… and it was a good one between LA and Washington. Disappointed that the Sparks aren’t even on the LA Times’ “Other” tab. They didn’t send Broderick Turner and just grabbed the quote-less AP feed. For the return of Parker and the arrival of Delle Donne? Grrr…

LA Daily News sent Mike Guardabasico, though: LA Sparks defeat Mystics on championship ring night

It was championship ring night for the Sparks on Friday, and the team looked primed to repeat as the WNBA’s best.

With Candace Parker a surprise starter (she flew home from Turkey the evening before), the Sparks looked unstoppable offensively as they beat the Washington Mystics 99-89.

From Brian Love and Sue at Women’s Hoops World: Sparks get Championship rings, beat Mystics 99-89 (lots of photos)

It was the first game back for Candace Parker, Essence Carson and Jantel Lavender, who all finished up their playing seasons in Turkey a few days ago, got on a plane to Los Angeles and suited up at what was the middle of the night in Turkey, where they had been all winter. Parker scored 18 points, Carson three, and Lavender didn’t play.

Sparks coach Brian Agler was especially impressed by Parker’s performance.

Early Rookie of the Year sighting: : In Sydney Wiese, the Los Angeles Sparks just might have found their Kristi Toliver replacement

Just two games into her WNBA career, she’s showed no problem translating that skill. On Friday night, after the Sparks received their championship rings with Toliver and the Mystics in town, Wiese put on an incredible shooting display, going 6-10 from 3-point land on her way to a new career-high of 22 points.

Including the Sparks’ first game against the Storm, Wiese is now 8-13 from 3, good for a 61.5 percent clip, and averaging 14 points per game.

From the Bullets Forever blog:

EDD was great, but it wasn’t enough — Delle Donne carried the Mystics on Friday night and pulled off some moves that made her look unguardable. After all, she is a former MVP, but there were some plays where EDD would’ve scored even if she was playing one-on-five.

Dream’s not missing a beat sans Angel. Tiffany Hayes stepped up big, and Clarendon’s seemed to find a nice assist groove as Atlanta took down Chicago, 91-83.

Most people aren’t good at being patient.

But patience is going to be a must for the Chicago Sky and its fans, at least for a while.

The Sky is now 0-2 on the season with Friday’s 91-83 loss to the Atlanta Dream in the home opener at Allstate Arena.

No one seems even close to a panic though, recognizing that with a new coach, a new system and a lot of new faces, the Sky is definitely a work in progress.

From the Tribune: In home opener for Sky and new coach Amber Stocks, Dream pull away for 91-83 win

Curiosity dogged Alaina Coates.

The Sky rookie didn’t travel with the team to its first game of the season and wasn’t sure what to expect out of its first-year coach. So, sidelined with an injury, Coates used Friday night’s home opener to decipher Amber Stocks, whose team ultimately lost 91-83 to the Atlanta Dream.

Still Pluminator-and-MoJeff-less, San Antonio put up a fight against Phoenix. The Merc rode Griner’s presence and Leilani’s daggers to a 78-72 win. Oh, and a grumpy Diana got her first tech of the season.

Stars/Mercury game story at the Stars’ .com page: Isabelle Harrison Sets Career-High 16 Points in 72-78 Loss to Phoenix

Kayla McBride scored 14 in her 2017 Stars debut, but the Stars dropped to 0-3 on the season. Phoenix improved to 2-1.

“It’s hard to come to play from behind the first quarter,” said Johnson. “The way we fought the last 3 quarters is a plus for us. We are still missing two pieces. K-Mac [Kayla McBride] just got in from Turkey last night. She had her physical this morning and played tonight. I’ll be excited to see our team next week against Dallas. I think you guys will see the real Stars in action.”

Listen up! To VJ and Howard.

Johnson spoke to The Summitt at length, detailing her plans on both the offensive and defensive ends. A goal is to finish in the top two in pace, along with every other category.

Johnson also discussed her tenure with the New York Liberty, who honored their longtime standout guard this past weekend at Madison Square Garden.

Tonight (have you submitted your FanDuel yet?):

7pmEST: Indiana v. Connecticut: Fox Sports: Williams, Sun aim to keep Fever winless (May 19, 2017)

SportzEdge: After cutting back on the Ben & Jerry’s, Morgan Tuck has emerged as Connecticut Sun’s biggest threat

Norwich Bulletin: Sun hope week off pays dividends

Miller said practice this week was dominated early by some more conditioning work.

It’s easy to see why.

While the Sun hung with Atlanta in the second half, won the third quarter (16-13), and almost took the fourth, where they struggled was late in each of the periods.

The Dream outscored the Sun, 9-0, in the final 3 minutes, 7 seconds of the third quarter and 9-2 in the last 2:57 of the game.

Connecticut didn’t finish.

8pmEST: Star-Telegram: Dallas Wings host Minnesota in home opener

In other news: 

WABE, Myke Johns: Atlanta Dream Co-Owner Strives To Elevate Women, WNBA

For Atlanta Dream co-owner Mary Brock, there is practically a straight line between the basketball court and the board room, and she has data to back it up.

“There have been so many studies and surveys done about successful women,” Brock said to In Conversation host Valerie Jackson. “If you look at women who are successful in business and you survey them and find out if they participated in sports at any time in their lives, over 80 percent participated in sports.”

Brock singles out the care that the Women’s National Basketball Association and the Atlanta Dream franchise take to elevate their players not just on the court, but after they’ve left the game.

Lois Elfman, Amsterdam News: WNBA teams show continued commitment to community

WNBA teams and the league’s players have always been known for their community outreach. Last week, the New York Liberty stepped it up with all the players, coaches and management participating in a large-scale community initiative. The players were matched with organizations or causes about which they are passionate.

“This year, we’re talking about showing up for New York, and we want to show up in the community in a bold way,” said Swin Cash, Liberty director of franchise development. “It’s not a one-time thing. We’re going to stay connected with the organizations. … It’s authentic to who we are as a team and organization.”

Seth Berkman, NY Times: W.N.B.A. Is Helping Officials Raise Their Game

With the W.N.B.A.’s 21st season beginning this month, the league is working to change a perception of referees who have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, instituting new financial and teaching benefits.

Many players and coaches understand officiating is an inherently thankless occupation, and in the W.N.B.A., the referees must call a game that has notable differences in style and rules from other levels of basketball. But there is also a sentiment that more streamlined officiating will equal a better and more enticing product.

Finally, sending some warm love and respect to Holly Rowe: ESPN’s Holly Rowe to work through cancer recurrence and ESPN’s Holly Rowe Finds Work Cathartic as She Battles Cancer

Rowe told The Associated Press on Thursday that she was again battling cancer, sharing the news hours after ESPN announced that it had extended her contract.

“I don’t think about having cancer when I’m out here,” Rowe said before the tipoff of a W.N.B.A. game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Liberty, her first this season. “Monday, I have a CT scan and have treatment. I’ll be a cancer patient on Monday. I’m not thinking about it today.”

I’m blue….

I’m blue about having so many players not on the court opening week (Knee injuries sideline Storm’s Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird in season opener ). REALLY didn’t like seeing the Pluminator in a walking boot. Made it a tough two days for the Stars. From Shattered Backboard: Moriah Jefferson, Kelsey Plum Miss Stars Opening Weekend

Saturday, Liberty use balanced offense to beat Stars 73-64 in opener But (rightly so) someone’s not happy: Lib coach Laimber

“I hope this is the worst game we play all year. It was awful,” the veteran coach said. “We didn’t execute the things we were supposed to. We didn’t box out, gave up way too many offensive rebounds. Missed free throws all over the place. … Collectively top to bottom I thought this was about as worse an effort they could have put forth and I told them so in very strong language.”

We did get a mini-Death Star, though!

Parker-less Sparks did manage to wake the LA Times from their slumber. (Hi, Broderick Turner!)

Just as the Sparks began to unveil their 2016 WNBA championship banner at Staples Center on Saturday afternoon, Kobe Bryant eased his way in, drawing as many cheers as the three-time champions did from the now overly excited fans.

But as the game began to take shape, and especially as the Sparks began to surge ahead in the latter stages of the fourth quarter, the crowd’s roar was decidedly all about Los Angeles’ pulling out a 78-68 victory over the Seattle Storm in a season opener.

I’m happy: To see Morgan Tuck return and score 21. (We like healthy players!) But, the Dream Overcome Tuck’s Big Night to Earn Road Victory

Yes, perhaps the fact that Kaela Davis led Dallas to opening 68-58 win over Phoenix will make folks wonder about where she was within the draft… but can we wait for a couple of weeks before rendering judgment? History shows that a true measure of a rookie is what happens after the All-Star break, when teams have real W tape on’em, and players have faced them in person. The question then is, “I know your first and second move, Rook – what else ya got?”

Phew! ESPN: Elena Delle Donne makes herself right at home with Mystics (and right at home on the bench with lots of fouls!) AND Washington won their opener. Fingers crossed for the rest of the season, ’cause D.C. fans sure as heck deserve some goodness.

Nina at USA Today: Elena Delle Donne shakes off nerves, notches first win

Elena Delle Donne’s homecoming game began with her scoring the first basket of her team’s season and finished with the Mystics getting an 89-74 win against the San Antonio Stars in front of an enthusiastic crowd that included a loud contingent of Delaware fans. When that first shot went in, after a morning that had been filled with pre-game jitters, she had one thought.

“Thank god that ball went in,” she said. “I was able to breathe and go from there.”

From Gene at the Washington Post: Elena Delle Donne shakes off nerves, scores 24 as Mystics win in her debut

Elena Delle Donne didn’t get much sleep the night before her debut with the Washington Mystics, her nerves a bit frayed. She did not know what to expect in her first regular season game since coming to the District in a blockbuster offseason deal.

So restless was Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP, that she reported to Verizon Center more than three hours before Sunday’s tip-off against the San Antonio Stars.

Summitt Hoops has Three Takeaways from Elena Delle Donne’s Washington Debut

So, yeah, Fowles scores 26 points, Lynx beat Sky 70-61 in opener, but it was not particularly elegant. This comment from coach Reeve on being out rebounded (Chicago snared 15 O-boards) sums it up:

“…when the last game you played in 2016 you lost a game on an offensive rebound (and) you’re going to come out there (tonight) and not defensive rebound? That can’t happen. That’s frustrating that that just happened to us. It ain’t going to happen again.”

Game of the night: Just in time, Stewart returns to help Storm past Fever. And that kid Loyd is good! And those last few plays were awesome.

And at the other end, Stewart swatted Briann January’s short jumper with 24.9 seconds left that brought the 7,969 fans at KeyArena to their feet and snuffed out Indiana’s attempt for a comeback.

“That’s what makes her so special,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek said of Stewart. “Literally, she did everything. Not only did she have the skill and the instincts, but she has that ‘It’ factor of the great champions to know it’s their time.

Good! Seattle Storm near deal to stay at KeyArena until 2028. But: Commentary: Tarleton’s anti-SODO/pro-KeyArena tactics are maddening, reprehensible

Now, I would`ve stepped back from all of this tonight, had I not seen Tarleton`s seemingly incorrect, misleading, and frankly, maddening tweets about the Seattle Storm in the last couple days.

Vaguely on topic:  Did I ever tell you about my first trip to Seattle to see a game at Key Arena…. and the game was in Spokane? Sigh. Don’t worry – I already double checked the August games are at the Key.

From David: First WNBA Weekend Is In The Books, What Did We Learn?

From Doug: Strong opening weekend on Twitter and FanDuel for WNBA

“We had more than 30,000 people play WNBA on opening weekend and have great momentum going into the rest of the season,” FanDuel spokeswoman Justine Sacco said.

About that twitter thang: Over 1.1 Million Unique Viewers For First Live Streamed WNBA Game. Me, I was going cross-eyed watching three screens of the WNBA League Pass.

Mechelle: Monique Currie, Jewell Loyd put in memorable performances on WNBA’s opening weekend

The opening weekend of the 2017 WNBA season didn’t reveal anything too surprising. Last year’s finalists, champion Los Angeles and runner-up Minnesota, started with victories. Elena Delle Donne had a terrific first game with her new team, Washington. Two players from NCAA champion South Carolina, Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray, both had strong debuts for Dallas.

But the weekend also put a little spotlight on San Antonio’s Monique Currie, who has been at this a long time and reminds us how much resilience she has.

Listen up: Great to hear our own Stefanie Dolson () on latest “That’s What She Said” 

Not unexpected: Former Dallas Wings guard Erin Phillips announces retirement from WNBA

Celebrate success, ACC: ACC Women’s Basketball: 33 From ACC Schools on WNBA Opening Day Rosters

And: WBB: Eight Blue Devils set to open 2017 WNBA campaign Saturday

And: Two Texas Exes on WNBA Opening-Day Rosters

Keep up the coverage, State: Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray ready to make impact in first WNBA seasons

Cherry on top of the whole weekend? Mercury star Diana Taurasi marries former Mercury player Penny Taylor

“We’re just really happy,” Taurasi told the Arizona Republic on Sunday after the Mercury’s season opener against the Dallas Wings. “It was one of the times where all our families were together, all the people we love and care for in the city that we met and evolved as teammates and wives now.”

College:

George Washington keeping connections: Former women’s basketball star leaves lasting impression on GW and her home country

‘This is the reality now:’ UMaine basketball teams at epicenter of transfer trend

Hello: Georgetown women’s coach Natasha Adair taking Delaware job That makes 4 coaches since ’12. Why is that seat so bouncy?

NewsOK (or, perhaps, NOT OK): Berry Tramel: OU women’s basketball hits a slump

Don’t have a team nearby? The WNBA League Pass is $17 stinkin’ bucks. (Save $2 w/ WATCHMEWORK promo)

Oh, and then there’s the games being streamed on TWITTER.

Oh, and speaking of twitter, you might want follow  players for their take (and take downs). For instance: @Kelseyplum10, Not to mention the W now… HAS AN EMOJI!!! Tweet using

or to unlock. Thanks !

Over at Summit Hoops, check out Howard’s Locked On podcast: A 2017 WNBA preview with Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo

And do. not. forget. to. play. ’cause the WNBA’s daily fantasy game is a win for old and new fans. To enter the WNBA Tip-Off Challenge, visit www.fanduel.com/wnba-tipoff. But be aware: no surprise, there are a bunch of fantasy (note the word, FANTASY) “players” who are attacking the sport, league and toughness of players. (Look at my shocked expression. Not.) It’s amazing how fragile some folks’ egos are….

Language alert from Fantasy Guru Elite:

What’s up mafia, it’s your boy Tommy G.  As you guys know the Mafia fuckin dominates every sport…..and WNBA will be no different! We didn’t even think we had a WNBA guy until my main man, Thad Houston (@Rad_Thad1 on Twitter), text me and said “you know I study WNBA and am goin hard at it this season right?”  To which I responded “LET’S FUCKING DO THIS!”

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF THAD INTRODUCING YOU TO WNBA!

We put together an WNBA package, article, cheat sheet, pricing, have an algorithm being built and currently are working on all the back end promos which should be up by early next week in 24 hours.  Due to the short notice you can assume this is all going to get WAY better as we move forward and have a second to breathe!  Thad threw together an article and cheat sheet real quick for you guys just so you can start to get a feel and hop in some games, but by early next week we will have this shit ON FUCKIN LOCK!

Due to the fact that this was all thrown together in hours, we are offering it for FREE for the time being (only for a few days).  Here is a preview of what the early bird pricing will look like.

Also, per   Fans who play DFS and want to know all the info for WNBA play, a new account has been made. Follow

Ok. On to the real games. Nina at USA Today offers 3 things to watch as the WNBA tips off its season

The 2016 WNBA season ended on what was one of the most heart-stopping two minutes of basketball I’ve ever witnessed. While it will be hard to ever replicate that moment, when the new season kicks off on Saturday when the San Antonio Stars take on the New York Liberty at 3 p.m. ET on NBA TV followed by the Storm at the Sparks on ESPN at 5 and Atlanta at Connecticut on League Pass at 7. Here’s three things to watch:

Summitt Hoops: WNBA predictions 2017: League general managers pick Lynx to win championship, Elena Delle Donne to win MVP

Mechelle: 5 final questions before the 2017 WNBA season opens

“La La Land” might have won the best picture Oscar for only about 3 minutes, but the Sparks will be the 2016 WNBA champions forever. In honor of that title, we’re going with a Los Angeles-themed five questions as we get set for the start of the WNBA’s 21st season.

Los Angeles is the last WNBA franchise to repeat, which the Sparks did in 2001-02. Can they do it again? Or will Minnesota come back from last season’s disappointment and get its fourth title? How big an impact will Elena Delle Donne have in Washington?

Yardbarker: Five WNBA storylines that will shape the 2017 season

From Rob Knox: WNBA begins Season No. 21 as a Worthy Follow-Up to What No. 20 Delivered

The WNBA’s 21st season promises to be exciting with big names moving to new cities, electrifying rookies joining the league and dynamite storylines.

Elena Delle Donne is the newest Washington monument. San Antonio’s Kelsey Plum enters the league as the No. 1 overall pick after an awesome record-breaking career at the University of Washington. The Los Angeles Sparks are looking to repeat as champions while the Minnesota Lynx are looking to bounce back from a Finals heartbreak.

AP Doug: WNBA finding new ways to try and grow off the court

Coming off one of the most successful seasons in WNBA history on and off the court, the league has found ways to try to bring in new fans.

Whether streaming games on Twitter, partnering with FanDuel to offer daily fantasy sports or just having more games on television, the WNBA is growing.

“I think the WNBA is doing a great job using multiple platforms to broaden their audience,” ESPN broadcaster Rebecca Lobo said. “I see firsthand how my own kids consume sports, and streaming is the primary option for them. My oldest daughter had her own WNBA Live Access account last year because she wanted to watch different games than what I was watching via my app.

From Sue at Women’s Hoops World: Roster cuts reflect an increasingly elite WNBA

Watching WNBA teams trim their rosters in preparation for the season deadline each year is never easy. This year, however, it is especially excruciating.

The release of veterans like Erin Phillips, Roneeka Hodges, Allison Hightower, Tiffany Bias, Kayla Pedersen and Jenna O’Hea was shocking. The waiving of many other athletes is downright sorrowful.

Swish Appeal: WNBA rosters: Many surprises, final cuts complete

Hartford Courant: Getting Ready For WNBA Season With Some Major Additions, Subtractions

.com:Inside The W: Ogwumike, Griner Gear Up For 2016 Season

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo at Deadspin offers up some thoughts on: Why Aren’t Women’s Basketball Fans Following Their Players To The Pros?

Flashback: I recall attending a WBCA conference session with some WNBA coaches, and they were pretty blunt about feeling like college programs enjoyed promoting the fact a player has made the league, but were loath to do anything that actually supported the growth of the W. It’s gotten a smidge better….

From Notre Dame: WNBA Season Starts With Irish Influence

From Syracuse: Orange Trio Begin 2017 WNBA Season

From Cal: Bears Set To Begin WNBA Season

Columbus Dispatch:  Ex-Buckeye Hill values playing over paycheck

Tayler Hill always has been aggressive on the basketball court, a free-shooting hard-charger who probably drives a hard line, too, when it comes to contract talks. So maybe it’s best that her WNBA team, the Washington Mystics, doesn’t know her little secret.

“It’s not about the money,” the former Ohio State star said as she prepared to embark this weekend on her fourth full season in the league. “If anybody is playing it just for the money then they really don’t love the sport, because you can be injured any day in any sport and be out for the rest of your life. For us, as women, we actually love the game of basketball and it’s just a plus that we’re getting paid.”

Mechelle: WNBA moms grateful for a lot — but there is more to be done

The WNBA season opens on Mother’s Day weekend, a holiday of even more significance now for Liberty guard Bria Hartley. She’s mom to a 4-month-old son and learning the balancing act that is universal to all mothers who work outside the home. But she is also learning the particulars of being a professional-athlete mom, for whom returning to the job means physically rebuilding yourself.

Speaking of which, from the NY Times: With a New Team and a New Baby, Bria Hartley Has Something to Prove

Beginning with Saturday’s season opener at Madison Square Garden against the San Antonio Stars, Hartley is focused on breaking a variety of perceptions.

“I have something to prove,” said Hartley, who grew up a Liberty fan in North Babylon, N.Y. “I’m going out there. I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder. Years past didn’t necessarily go the way I wanted to and this year I want to go out — and our team wants to come out — and make a statement.”

San Antonio

StarHoops: New era means new possibilities for San Antonio

L.A.

From Cheryl at Hoopfeed: With a solid core of veterans and some exciting additions, Sparks look to repeat as WNBA champions

Seattle

Hartford Courant: Long Road From UConn: Breanna Stewart Finally Able To Catch Her Breath

.com: Well-Rested Breanna Stewart Poised for ‘Bigger And Better Things’ in Year Two

Dallas

UConn Grad Chong Living Her Dream After Securing WNBA Roster Spot

Just two years ago, Chong’s basketball career was stalling and she wondered if UConn was the right place for her.

But she persisted. And after a redemptive senior season, she was drafted by the Dallas Wings and has earned a roster spot.

Lynx

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve glad Whalen’s toughness is being acknowledged (who the heck WOULDN’T call Whalen tough?)

…that is absolutely the epitome of who she is. Mentally, physically, the whole package. So when that player is your point guard? That’s why things have gone so well here through the years. It’s not a coincidence that half of her career she has spent in the WNBA finals.’’

From the Star Tribune: Lynx finalize roster with deepest bench in Cheryl Reeve’s tenure – The Chinese national team captain couldn’t make the Lynx final cut. 

Pioneer Press: ‘Like a fine wine,’ Minnesota Lynx continue to get better with age

Cheryl Reeve sat down at a table surrounded by reporters and made a declaration on Lynx media day.

“The first one that says we’re old is getting put out,” the coach joked.

Upon Review: Shattered Backboard Previews

Predictions for today’s games:  Picks Game 1 – NY 78 SA 59 Game 2 LA 90 SEA 85 Game 3 – CT 72 ATL 61 – Don’t believe the SEA Hype today LA Wins

Excited to see the Liberty play San Antonio today. Not so much happy that Plum and Jefferson are out. BUT, we get to witness VJ’s head coaching debut!

I’m super excited,” Johnson said . “I started in New York, played nine years. Sweated on this court for many years. I didn’t miss a lot of games here. I’m very excited to bring my team to the Garden. Talk the history, even though they’re not the New York Liberty, but the history behind this arena is amazing.”

Speaking of the Pluminator, from Natalie Weiner at Bleacher Report: No. 1 Pick Kelsey Plum Talks Sexism, Launching T-Shirts & Beating Markelle Fultz

Aside from being a bona fide star on the court, Plum represents a generation of women in basketball who are defying stereotypes by ignoring them. She can hang with the guys (during her last year at UW she grew close to probable fellow No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, and her time there meant occasional games of pickup with Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas and former NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson), but she’s an unrepentant advocate for women in sports, supporting the U.S. women’s hockey team in its strike earlier this year and telling the press repeatedly that comparisons to men are nice, but there are plenty of women she admires as much or more.

A little history mixed with a little prognostication? Joe Lacob lost $10 million on the first basketball team he owned — with no regrets: The Warriors’ proprietor, in a 20-year reunion visit with Jennifer Azzi, explains how his San Jose Lasers experience helped shape Golden State’s eventual success

This spring, as the Warriors push toward another NBA Finals, also concludes the 20th anniversary of the Lasers’ first season in 1996-97. So I thought that it might be interesting to bring Lacob and Azzi together to reminisce. They agreed to do so, one night before a Dubs’ game at Oracle Arena.

“It was such a great time,” Azzi said of her Lasers experience.

Sure, but what about the guy who lost $10 million?

“I have nothing but good memories from it,” Lacob said.

h/t to Shireen for this: hijabiballers

SEATTLE TRAVEL ALERT! In August I’ll be in Washington to catch a couple of Storm games (Lynx/Stars – anyone have extra tickets?) and then heading down to Portland for a little Rose City roller derby madness! Hit me up if you want to say hey….

Snip, snip, snip…

(…and no, I’m not talking about that Orange Dude trying to Edward Scissorhands this country’s democracy – but if you care, you should be reading someone who’s been predicting this for a while: @sarahkendzior)

Rosters are getting trimmed, and some oldies and newbies are out.

While we’re killing time for the season to start?

Mechelle: What do reigning champion Los Angeles Sparks do for an encore? and LA Daily News: Sparks mark territory in starting WNBA title defense

ESPN: Lynx beat out defending champion Sparks for top spot in preseason WNBA power rankings

More Mechelle: Coach Mike Thibault cautions that Mystics need time to jell

Washington coach Mike Thibault has been on the other side of this situation before, so it had to be kind of a relief when the tables were turned during this WNBA offseason.

The fab David Woods: Indiana Fever begin new era as WNBA season opens

Balance extends beyond moving the basketball inside-out, spacing the floor and playing both ends.

For a WNBA franchise like the Indiana Fever, balance is a consideration in assembling a roster. The Fever open their 18th season Saturday at Seattle, and the first since 2001 without Tamika Catchings as an active player. Catchings retired but remains with the organization’s front office.

The Fever feature a mix of old and new.

Sir Jeff at Arizona Central: Diana Taurasi on Phoenix Mercury changes: ‘It’s almost like being a rookie again’

Seven months ago when Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner talked about possible changes for the Phoenix Mercury, they had no idea what was coming.

Now, they are the only two players back on a team that reached the WNBA playoff semifinals last season, with 10 new teammates going into the Mercury’s 21st season starting Sunday.

Craig Grialo, Arizona Sports: Diana Taurasi, basketball: A relationship not close to ending in Phoenix

What motivates the 34-year-old Taurasi to continue to pick up a basketball?

“There’s still a part of me that thinks I’m not a good basketball player,” she said. “There’s days where I leave the gym and I’m like, ‘that’s not good enough.’

“The day I lose that feeling of wanting to get better and still be a competitor on the court where things still bother me — I still want to win, I still want to beat the person who’s in front of me — when that feeling is gone, then that’s probably the day I’ll step away from basketball.”

Release Deep breath: Sue Bird returns to Storm practice, says knee feels good

Summitt Hoops: 2017 WNBA Preview: New York Liberty look to change the pace and the story

FanRag Sports: 2017 WNBA players to watch | Chicago Sky frontcourt

FanRag Sports: 2017 WNBA Players to Watch | Moriah Jefferson

Justin Lester at the .com: Top Candidates for Potential First-Time WNBA All-Stars in 2017

Sports Business Journal: WNBA’s leader rises over every hurdle smarter, stronger

Sports Business Daily: WNBA season tips off with increased digital focus, fresh activation

College:

Coale believes transfers to be symptom of a changing game and OU women’s basketball: Transfers of Dungee, Mulkey mirror national trend

From 2009-2016, Oklahoma had only four players transfer from the program.

But in the last week, Coale granted releases to two of her most promising rising sophomores: Chelsea Dungee and Nancy Mulkey.

Neither appeared to write a public explanation on social media, only retweeting announcements of their transfers on Twitter. Both of their Instagram accounts are private.

Also: Lai, 2 others leaving Montana State women’s basketball team

Anonymous Eagle: Ohio State Transfer Tori McCoy Appears To Be Considering Marquette Women’s Basketball

Online Athens: Georgia lands Maryland women’s basketball transfer

Women’s basketball recruit Leigha Brown wants to be part of turnaround at Nebraska

One person who won’t be scoring is Shonni. Won’t come as a surprise to most, but it’ll be sad not to have her on the court. Who’s to say what’s going on (maybe a chat with Delle Donne is in order?). I just hope whatever path she finds herself on gives her joy.

New York
.com: Five Reasons To Watch The Liberty Work This Season

ESPN: Will perimeter changes help Liberty win first WNBA title?

The Liberty’s formula for success has been pretty simple over the past couple of seasons: dominate on defense, rebound well and stack up victories.

That approach helped win a combined 44 games during the past two seasons, the Liberty finishing atop the Eastern Conference in each campaign.

But the end result always was disappointment.

Summitt Hoops: WATCH: Katie Smith talks New York Liberty, WNBA

Dallas

Summitt Hoops: 2017 WNBA Preview: A year for learning and growth for Dallas Wings

Skylar Diggins-Smith feels she’s in the best shape of her career, and that bodes well for the Dallas Wings

.com: Five Reasons To Watch The Lynx Work This Season

Chicago
.com: Five Reasons To Watch The Sky Work This Season

Seattle
Summitt Hoops: 2017 WNBA Preview: The Seattle Storm have their core, now what?

Yamika Herald Republic: Does this Storm team have the depth to be a WNBA title contender?

Q13 Fox: Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart talks upcoming Opening Night, WNBA season on “Q It Up Sports”

In fact, Plum’s game was compared to Harden’s at various points during the college season, which brings up the sticky issue of comparing women to men on the basketball court.

“At first, it was so cool because people had noticed me, and James Harden noticed me, and it’s great, and for that I was very appreciative,” Plum said. “But it continued to go further, and I think people struggled to find a woman to compare me with, so they went to men as the default. And that’s fine, but I also want to be compared with Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird and players like that.

College

Gimme that rattle! Philly.com Jensen: In women’s basketball, a star player is almost never too young to be recruited

If Maddie Burke and Kylee Watson had really investigated the people they weren’t looking at, they would have found the biggest crowd of college coaches at their game. Four games going on that side of the gym, four more across the hall, but standing room only at 9:30 on a Friday morning past the baseline of Court 4 inside the Boo Williams SportsPlex.

 “Ten times more coaches were here than last year,” Burke said after the game.

 

Sports isn’t political? Oiy: Jane Meyer wins $1.43M in case against Iowa

A Polk County jury handed Jane Meyer a sweeping victory Thursday in her discrimination lawsuit against the University of Iowa, awarding her $1.43 million in damages.

The jury of five women and three men ruled in Meyer’s favor on all five of her claims — gender and sexual orientation discrimination, retaliation and whisteblower violations, and unequal pay.

Follow up: Christine Grant was University of Iowa’s women’s athletic director from 1973-2000. A trailblazer for women’s rights in collegiate athletics, Grant guided the Hawkeyes through Title IX’s infancy stages after fighting for its implementation in 1972. The following is a question-and-answer session the Des Moines Register had with Grant Friday afternoon, the day after an eight-person jury found in favor of former associate athletic director Jane Meyer in her lawsuit against the University of Iowa. Meyer was awarded $1.4 million.
DMR: Do you think this verdict will encourage women in similar positions to avoid settlement and go to trial in the future?

Grant: “From my observations over the last 40 years, women in athletics, particularly, are very, very hesitant to speak up when they think things are not the way they ought to be because they pay such a high price for speaking up. I can’t tell you the number of women I personally know who have been released from athletic departments simply because they tried to get the athletic departments to do the right thing.

“It’s a very dangerous thing for a woman to do, because if she brings up a problem, then she’s gone. It’s been heartbreaking to watch this over the decades. And as you know, the women in administration and coaching have been steadily disappearing from the scene in intercollegiate athletics since Title IX was passed. You need only look at the data, and it’s so sad. We are releasing very talented women from an area that they are highly qualified for.

For almost four years, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir has been sidelined from doing what she loves most: playing basketball. A 5’5″ point guard powerhouse from Springfield, Massachusetts, she holds the scoring record for high school players—male or female—in the state and went on to a successful college career at Indiana State and the University of Memphis. After graduating, she wanted to turn pro and play in Europe, but Abdul-Qaadir was unable to pursue this dream—not because of anything to do with her talent but because of her religious practice.

On the first high school girls basketball team she coached, Donna Richey wrote the players’ numbers on the back of plain T-shirts. With no busing budgeted, she and other teachers would pile the kids in their cars to take them to games. Most parents either could not or refused to pay the $8 for the school’s insurance, so Richey covered it out of her own pocket.

Richey made history at Aliquippa, establishing a basketball program that would go on to win two state championships under her leadership. She started that team without the support of the school or even a league in which to play.

“There are coaches who come out and think it all just happened this way. That’s certainly not the case,” Richey said. “For females, someone needed to pave the way.”

AAAAAAAAND, we’re back!

And so am I – just had some parental visits bookending a couple of full weeks – plus a drop in from a mid-west guest. Wheeee! Of course, the weather has finally turned for the better, so birding may cut into my time until the W season really gets going…and then there’s July SCUBA. Ah, life…

Did manage to catch some of the foolishness around the Plum-inator. I guess there’s something to be said for “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” but I gotta believe that your agent throwing shade at your future coach is not a good work plan. That being said, folks will make their own judgments on players – some based on observations, some based on interactions. They’re entitled to them. I’m just amazed how much energy folks can spend on disdain/dissing. Seems exhausting. But that’s just me.

Moving on the the court or, in a couple of cases, NOT on the court.

We knew this, but it’s a reminder from Summitt Hoops: 2017 WNBA Preview: How big can Atlanta Dream without Angel McCoughtry?

Oh, dear: New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer: Shoni Schimmel is taking time off

Also: Dallas Wings guard Aerial Powers does not expect to be ready for season opener

.com: Kelsey Plum Leads San Antonio to Victory With 19 Points in Preseason Debut. And yes, No. 1 pick Kelsey Plum could help out some NFL teams with her rocket arm. Liked the media buzz around this, but do folks not understand that women basketball players are, you know, athletes, and that other players could do the same thing?

Dallas: .com: Five Reasons To Watch The Wings Work This Season

Dallas News: Thoughts from Dallas Wings’ preseason opener: Mixed bag for rookies, defense struggles in loss

More Dallas News: Wings’ large rookie class trying to make impact on Dallas as it adjusts to WNBA

And MORE Dallas News: Dallas Wings rookie Kaela Davis talks ‘juggling act’ of transition to WNBA, finishing South Carolina Degree

Yes! MORE Dallas News: Wings rookie Evelyn Akhator on how she spent draft night, transition to WNBA, keeping in …

In case you want more on the Wings: PODCAST: Dallas Wings GM/president Greg Bibb talks WNBA Draft, Skylar Diggins and more

From The Bend Bulletin: Hamblin’s journey from Corvallis to Dallas to Australia … to Tokyo?

Excelle: Don’t call her a “female athlete”: How Skylar Diggins really sees herself on and off the court

Indiana

Indy Star: Fever notebook: Coaching job (at Arizona State) doesn’t mean Briann January done as player. Also: Veteran guard Briann January ready to step up as Fever’s leader

Seattle: .com: Five Reasons To Watch The Storm Work This Season (which is why I’m hoping for a west coast trip this summer…)

Interesting: How Seattle Storm’s Ramu Tokashiki turned women’s basketball into one of Japan’s most popular sports

FanRag: 2017 WNBA players to watch | Jewell Loyd

Connecticut: .com: Five Reasons To Watch The Sun Work This Season

The Day: Hamson standing out in a crowd for the Sun

The Day: Sun outlook is brighter … even without their best player

WNPR: WNBA’s Connecticut Sun Hoping For 2017 Playoff Return

Norwich Bulletin: With ‘Core Four’ in place, Miller says to ‘trust the process’

Washington: .com: Five Reasons To Watch The Mystics Work This Season

Washington Post: After 10 seasons in the WNBA, Ivory Latta remains Washington Mystics’ bundle of energy

Summitt Hoops: 2017 WNBA Preview: Elena Delle Donne brings Washington Mystics one step closer to contention

 

Minnesota

Twin Cities-Pioneer Press: For veteran Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen, less is more

CBS Minnesota: Shao Ting, China’s Top Player, Is Training With The Lynx

Also: Cheryl Reeve: WNBA’s Popularity Is About ‘Society Changing Views About Women’

Chicago

ESPN: Texas two-step: How WNBA’s Imani Boyette and her NFL draft-prospect husband power through

Atlanta

More FanRag: 2017 WNBA players to watch | Tiffany Hayes

Phoenix: .com: Five Reasons To Watch The Mercury Work This Season

Balancing act: Mercury Coach Brondello Named Australia WNT Head Coach

Other Stuff

It’s a numbers game: WNBA Record Watch: All-Time Records That Will Be Challenged This Season

Summitt Hoops: The Money Line: Odds, Prediction for WNBA Rookie of the Year

Hard pass? Liz Cambage open to WNBA return, plans to visit Erin Phillips and Dallas Wings


College:

The State: As a senior, A’ja Wilson wants to go back-to-back with young teammates

Also: Letters: Dawn Staley should be paid like Frank Martin

Devils in the Details: ASU Basketball: A Look at Next Season’s Women’s Frontcourt

Lincoln Journal Star: Eichorst has high expectations for Nebraska women’s basketball program

Hookem.com: Texas hires sports performance coach for women’s basketball team

ESPN: With a motor and a mentor, elite basketball recruit Cate Reese moves forward with diabetes

Reese has been a starter since her freshman year, when she helped lead Cypress Woods to its only state title. She averaged 22.3 points and 13.2 rebounds this past season, making first-team all-state.

Not even the life-altering news she got a year ago has been able to stop her.

On April 4, 2016, Reese was told she had Type 1 diabetes, a diagnosis that stunned her even though her older sister, Ali, has dealt with the same disease for the past eight years. Cate had hoped to avoid that fate.

Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette: Sunday Conversation: New Head Coach Nancy Fahey

The Setonian: Bozzella ‘excited’ for women’s basketball class

Bozeman Daily Chronicle:As MSU’s Binford hopeful upward trend can continue, the Bobcats women extend recruiting net

To bolster her program, Tricia Binford has looked east.

The Big East and Minnesota, to be specific. The Montana State women’s head coach announced last week the addition of two Seton Hall transfer forwards, signaling an apparent victory for a mid-major looking to attract greater talent.

Junior Claire Lundberg and sophomore Martha Kuderer did not just stumble upon the Bobcats, though. Both are products of the AAU club Minnesota Fury, which bills itself as a marquee program in the Midwest.

Bye: IUWBB: Laken Wairau leaves women’s basketball program, intends to stay at IU as a student

In case you missed it: Two more Louisville women’s basketball players to transfer

Leaving: Sole, Hernandez Pepe Complete Their Transfers From UMaine Women’s Basketball Team

Landing: William & Mary women’s Basketball Adds Georgetown Transfer Harper Birdsong

Don’t be an idiot: K-State women’s basketball player Eternati Willock arrested in Manhattan

Congrats:  Baranczyk Tabbed as 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team Trials Court Coach. Also: Adair Named Court Coach for USA Basketball Women’s U19 World. They’ll work with the 35 Athletes who Accepted Invitations To USA U16 National Team Trials.

I also know one very happy USA Basketball person: USA Basketball Announces Plan To Keep Headquarters In Colorado Springs

Welcome: Kevin Baker to become Miners’ next women’s basketball coach and ESPN El Paso thinks: Kevin Baker is an Exceptional Hire for UTEP Women’s Basketball

Welcome, too: Belmont hires DePaul assistant Bart Brooks as women’s basketball coach

Thank you! University of Delaware women’s basketball Tina Martin coach retires

Thank you! Nancy Funk, women’s basketball coach at Johns Hopkins for 31 years, to retire

As the Eagles welcome new head coach Lynette Woodard, The Herald asks What happened to Winthrop women’s basketball and former coach Kevin Cook? I still wonder at his exit from Gallaudet.

Speaking of stories, oh, to be a fly on the wall: Mark Trakh back as USC women’s basketball coach and Back on Trakh: Mark Trakh returns as USC women’s basketball head coach

Yes, it sure seems like Transfers Rampant in Women’s Basketball, but I refer you (again) to coach Yo’s periscope. Also, though it’s about the men’s side, you might want to check out this piece:

High School

Cool! Glory days: Krissi Davis, 1987 Noblesville High School girls basketball team earn ultimate honor

Missouri: Mercer girls basketball coach Owens no stranger to success (Note to news sites – put your full physical address on your website, please!)

Mercer girls basketball coach Dan Owens is no stranger to success.

But with a 243-20 record over his eight-year coaching career and a district championship every season he’s coached, there was only one painfully absent stamp on his resumé that he needed: a Class 1 State Championship.

With a 30-1 record and a 43-34 victory over Walnut Grove, the 2016-2017 Cardinals squad finally brought him one.

Thank you! Successful Kenton Ridge girls coach calls it a career

In the 33 years that Ed Foulk has coached girls basketball at Kenton Ridge, the program has been one of the most consistently successful in the state. The Cougars set dozens of state and national records and advanced to the district finals 20 times.

But if the success will continue, it will be under new leadership. Foulk told the team Monday night that he is retiring, and assistant coaches Stephanie Bennett and Laaci Farris Miller are also stepping down.

Foulk began his coaching career in 1973 and has been at the helm of the Cougars’ girls basketball team since 1984, six years after the school opened. He amassed a career record of 619-176 at Kenton Ridge and is in the top 10 in all-time wins in Ohio.