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Archive for September, 2010

WATN? Stacy Clinesmith

Washington.

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Chat Alert!

Swin Cash today at 12:15 p.m. ET. Send in your questions.

Mechelle’s chatting today at 2 p.m. ET. Your questions here.

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ESPN.com news service tag.

AP article by Doug:

For one of the rare times, the United States faced Australia in the world championship without much at stake.

ESPN.com news service:

For one of the rare times, the United States faced Australia in the world championship without much at stake.

I wonder if ESPN’s contract with AP allows them to relabel Doug’s work, making it look like it’s theirs.

Doug’s got a revised/reworked/updated version of his game article, even though the headline at Yahoo Sports is the same.

The U.S. appeared in control and built an 18-point halftime lead before 6-foot-8 Australian center Liz Cambage, who finished with 18 points, took the game over in the second half.

“My guess is that we need to go back and find out how it got the way it did in the first half and why it was the way it was in the second half,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said.

Tara and Lee are still working hard providing original content at SPMagazine.

U.S. Takes Early Lead, Outlasts Australia for 83-75 Win

Game photos.

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Austin Parkinson.

Wonder how much of a placeholder he will be.

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Seton Hall women’s basketball coach Anne Donovan shaken after off-campus shooting, injuring F Nicosia Henry

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Opals v… how come the US doesn’t have

a nickname? Don’t the other teams?

Anyhoo, from USA Basketball: USA Battles Australia For 83-75 Win, Earns No. 1 Seed In Quarterfinals

Led by 24 points from Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (6-0) remained undefeated and earned an 83-75 win after fending off a second-half surge from Australia (5-1) to wrap up the second round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Wednesday night in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

With the victory, the USA is the No. 1 seed out of Group E and will face South Korea (3-3), the No. 4 seed out of Group F, in the medal round quarterfinals on Friday, Oct. 1 (time TBD) in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. All of the USA’s games will air live on NBA TV, and fans can also watch live streaming of all FIBA World Championship games at http://www.FIBATV.com.

Stats are here. Some observations:

LJ 31 minutes with 4 fouls
Penny 25
Cambage 22 with 4 fouls

Taurasi & Bird both with 31
Tina Charles – 15, 3 fouls
Big Syl – 19, 4 fouls

Every US Player played at least 10 minutes.

FT % – US 68, Australia 70

Check out photos, post game audio and quotes.

Are you feeling more comfortable out there? You seem to be getting back in the flow of things.

Fowles: Yes, I’m feeling very comfortable. The first few games trying to get back it was more of a rush and not taking my time. I was doing a lot of stupid things. I was talking to my assistant coaches and getting some input and how they feel about what I was doing on the floor. I took that into perspective, I took it in stride and I’m just taking my time playing my game.

From James Dampney: US topple Opals once again

Australian coach Carrie Graf admits her team were embarrassed and made to look “like little girls” in the first half of their 83-75 loss to the United States at the world championship in the Czech Republic.

In a battle of two teams tipped to meet again in the final, the Americans totally outclassed Australia up until halftime, producing an 18-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to steamroll to a commanding 51-33 lead at the main break.

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A rational business model and sports?”

Cal-Berkeley Cuts 5 Athletic Programs,

The University of California, Berkeley, eliminated five of its intercollegiate sports programs Tuesday, two of which, baseball and men’s rugby, had become particular points of pride over the years.

The move comes at a time when athletics have faced strong criticism at Berkeley because money-losing sports have been subsidized while the academic departments have been forced to make severe cuts. The men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse teams will also be dropped from intercollegiate competition after this academic year.

and Swish Appeal has their finger on the response pulse:

Norcalnick of SBN’s California Golden Blogs weighs in on the University of California’s announcement that they will eliminate baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse as well as demote men’s rugby to varsity sport status:

“I would like to address one argument I’ve already heard and expect to continue hearing – that these cuts were necessitated because of Title IX. I suppose in a very perverse way, that’s true. If Cal never began funding women’s athletics in the first place then the need to cut baseball and demote rugby perhaps never would have arisen. But the fact is that men’s sports and women’s sports all over campus were losing money, and in response men’s sports and women’s sports have been cut. This is not a gender issue and frankly those trying to make it one reveal their own biases. These cuts happened because college athletics in the United States has serious structural issues, issues that Ragnarok began exploring in his excellent piece from earlier today.”

Did you see this and this?

This article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal highlights one Italian soccer team’s attempts to deal with empty seats: fill them with cardboard cutouts. Unlike the large, blue canvas tarps that are commonplace at poorly attended teams such as the Oakland A’s and Florida Marlins, Triestina’s tarps are covered with images of fake fans, primarily to give a better appearance on television. While the story really focuses on the novelty of the idea, it is also full of great sports economics tidbits.

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U.S.O.C. to Take Steps to Protect Against Sexual Abuse

The United States Olympic Committee agreed to take a central role in helping the governing bodies of Olympic sports tackle the issue of sexual and physical abuse of young athletes by coaches, and has said it will implement the recommendations of a task force it convened to formulate its approach.

Among the recommendations is for the committee to centralize and standardize ways for sports to run background checks on the coaches they certify and how to address violations found in the checks. It stopped short of recommending that the committee maintain a universal database of those coaches and violations — which has been suggested as ways to keep coaches from switching sports when barred from one — but said it would be something to consider in the future.

So, university and high school programs — how active is your policy?

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Yah, it didn’t “mean” anything, but we get this Doug’s game article: Taurasi leads US women to win over Australia

“It’s not in my nature or USA basketball’s nature except to try and win this game and do what we had to do to win this game,” Auriemma said. “There’s no guarantee we’ll play them again. We wanted to play tonight’s game to win.”

Crowd: 6,340. Nice.

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World of Importance – The World Championship for Women is more important than you think.

Though it’s relegated to NBA TV, and the small print at the back of the sports section, FIBA’s World Championships for Women are really a big deal. In fact, that importance is one of the big differences between women’s and men’s basketball, and it has a significant impact on the way the WNBA is structured.

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From USA Basketball: USA Blows By Belarus Early, Takes 107-61 World Championship Victory

Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury) earned spots in the starting lineup and did not disappoint. The duo accounted for the USA’s first 10 points as the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (5-0) ran out to a 23-6 lead and never looked back en route to beating Belarus (2-3) 107-61 in the second round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Tuesday night in Ostrava, Czech Republic

**

“You always want to get a great start going into games, or at the start of games, and I think the more we’ve been able to play with each other in these games, the more comfortable we’ve gotten and tonight was just proof of that,” said Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), who dished out four of the USA’s 24 assists. “For some of us, we only got here a week ago, so everything is still kind of new. But tonight I think we took a step in the right direction.”

From coach Auriemma during the post-game quotes:

At one point during the game I said, ‘I don’t think we’re as good as we looked during that first quarter, first half, and I don’t think Belarus is as bad as they looked.’ They’re a lot better, and they’ve shown that they’re a lot better during this tournament. We just happened to play really, really well tonight against a good team. I’ve seen them play the other four games that they’ve played here, and they’re a very good team. For us to do what we did tonight, we had to play really, really well and we did.

Check out the game photos.

Also, SPM has a game story and photos.

This game saw the U.S. come strong out of the gate. A little more than two minutes into the opening period, Dupree launched a 17-0 run with a short jumper in the paint, followed by a break-away lay-up off a Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) steal and a feed by Sue Bird (Seattle Storm). By the time Belarus recovered its footing nearly five minutes later, the Americans were already up, 23-6, with three minutes still to go in the opening period.

Next up: The Aussies at 2:15EST. This will give many a chance to take a peek at Liz.  Doug says  Teenage Aussie center Cambage has eye on WNBA

Liz Cambage is an intimidating presence on the basketball court, the Australian center’s 2.00-meter (6-foot-8) frame combining athleticism with strength.

“I can’t remember anyone who has that combination of brawn and athleticism,” Australia coach Carrie Graf said. “There have definitely been players her height in the league before, but never anyone who was as agile.”

But behind that imposing exterior is a sweet and innocent 19-year-old. After dominating with 20 points in Australia’s 93-54 rout of Greece on Monday, Cambage met with the media for the first time. She was giggling while answering questions and apologized if she thought she didn’t offer a good enough response.

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and not looking ahead (though Doug is) to the Aussies: Strong 1st quarter helps US women rout Belarus

If Tuesday night’s win over Belarus is any indication, the U.S. is ready and focused.

Sylvia Fowles scored 15 points and Diana Taurasi added 14 to help the U.S. win 107-61. Candice Dupree had 12 and Swin Cash 11 in another balanced offensive effort by the U.S., which shot 68 percent.

After watching his team get off to slow starts in the last two games, U.S. coach Geno Auriemma changed his starting lineup, inserting Dupree and Tina Charles. The move paid off as the pair combined to score the team’s first 10 points and the U.S. (5-0) took a 23-6 lead in the game’s first 7 minutes.

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From the AOC: Opals dominate Greece and send strong message

The Australian women’s basketball team have sent an ominous message to start the elimination group stage of the FIBA World Championship of basketball, routing Greece 93-54 in the Czech Republic.

From Jeff Taylor:

It never gets old.

How many times are we going to hear about the ‘first time for this, first time for that’ when it comes to the Belarus women’s basketball team?

The United States, Australia and Russia are the big three in the game and each is unbeaten at the FIBA World Championship for Women.

France are the European champions and the Czech Republic are hosting this event.

But this tournament means just as much, if not more, to those sides cutting their teeth in one of the most important events in the game.

One of those teams is Belarus.

From FIBA: Miyem’s Time Has Arrived (wonder if W GMs have been paying attention) and Vesela Unsure of What to Expect on Return to Valencia.

More on Whalen from Minny’s Daily

Minnesotans have watched Lindsay Whalen from her days at Hutchinson High School to the Gophers to the WNBA, and on Monday saw her light up the international stage.

Whalen, the first Gophers player male or female to play for a USA national team, scored a game-high 16 points in a second-round win over Canada at the FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Out of the Vancouver Sun:  Team USA too much for Canada at women’s worlds

Team Canada was taken to school Monday by the best women’s basketball team on the planet.

Despite roaring to an early 11-5 lead, the 12th-ranked Canadians fell 87-46 to Team USA in second-round action at the FIBA world women’s basketball championship.

“We didn’t have any delusion that we were going to win this game,” Canadian head coach Allison McNeill said in a conference call following the game, “but we did want to get better, to try to learn from it.”

Here’s a preview of the skirts v shirts matchup between the US and Belarus.

What do you expect to see out of Belarus?

USA Assistant Coach Marynell Meadors: I expect to see a typical European team. They are very tall and slim. They run. They love to face up and shoot the ball. They’ve got three really good 3-point shooters in Yelena Leuchanka, Nataliya Trafimava and Tatyana Troina, so I know we are going to have to defend them. They really shoot the ball extremely well. They look like they play defense in an upright position, but they get the job done. We’ve got to come out and play really good defense and take those threes away from them and make them put the ball on the floor.
Finally, Doug writes about those student-athletes away from school: Student-athletes juggle school, hoops at worlds
Juggling school and basketball has been a bit difficult for Maya Moore over the past few weeks.

She’s playing for Team USA. And she’s in another country.

The Connecticut senior, the lone collegian on the U.S. roster at the women’s world basketball championship, has had to make time for schoolwork in between games and practices.

So far, everything has worked out well.

“I took two tests and got A’s on both so it hasn’t been too bad,” said Moore, who has over a 3.7 GPA. “The only glitch is that the internet has been spotty at times, making Skype-ing more difficult.”

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Reprecussions?

UNCW Athletics Director resigns; Not related to “rolling” incident says Chancellor

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“Old School.” Lieberman Ready to Hit The Books

Nancy Lieberman, a pioneer and still a contemporary of sorts in the modern history of women’s basketball, is about to rack up a few more achievements for the books.

In one instance, the former All-American and two-time national player of the year at Old Dominion who led the Lady Monarchs to titles in 1979 and 1980, has authored another publication: Playbook for Success, which is a guide for professional women in the boardroom using principles Leiberman has applied in her storied career that includes playing and coaching stints in the WNBA.

Lieberman’s first business book is scheduled for release Oct. 18 and more information can be found at her website Nancylieberman.com.

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This was Lindsay Whalen’s homecoming summer, but it was not quite the happy parade that her long-waiting fans in Minnesota were hoping to see.

Which might actually make it even more important to Whalen and the Lynx that she is part of the U.S. national team at the FIBA World Championship for Women. Monday, she was actually a big part of Team USA’s attack. In the Americans’ 87-46 victory over Canada, Whalen came off the bench for a team-high 16 points, making 5 of 7 shots from the field and all six of her free throws.

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Beard writes

at SlamOnline: The Return of Alana Beard – On rehab, AAU teams, and becoming a DJ.

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“We want to learn from the men’s side — what to do and not what to do.”

Oooops.

Eastern Michigan self-reports 4 major NCAA violations in women’s basketball program, suspends coach, punishes others

The report also indicates that evidence suggests that players were instructed to lie by Eastern Michigan assistant coach Darin Thrun once coaches learned compliance officials were examining team practices.

The report states that players were told Thrun would be fired if the truth came out as to how long they had practiced. Thrun reportedly told players to tell compliance officers they practiced two hours and to tell them, “this, this and this.” Players were also told to tell officials that they had not watched film or worked out.

Players said they felt like they had been “put in the middle.”

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In other games

France over Belarus, Australia over Greece, Spain over Japan, Russia over Brazil and Czech Republic over South Korea.

FIBA’s “Very satisfied with Women’s World Championships”

The Herald Sun writes: A tall order for Liz Cambage

Highly rated young Opal Liz Cambage has been adjusting gradually to life at the world basketball championships in the Czech Republic, her first tournament at this level.

But the 19-year-old faces a major challenge when the second round starts with an overnight game against Greece in Ostrava.

Cambage is still adapting to referees and different styles of play from around the world.

Tomorrow’s schedule:

Starting at 3:30 local, which makes it (9:30EST)
Canada v. Greece
Brazil v. Japan

Noon EST
Australia v. France
Spain v. Czech Republic

2:15EST
Belarus v. USA
Korea v. Russia

Q takes time to note How USA Basketball’s “young, inexperienced, and under-sized team” has gotten it done

In describing what point guard Lindsay Whalen brings to USA Basketball during a media teleconference on Wednesday, coach Geno Auriemma provided a description of her game that helps to explain the underlying logic of how the roster was constructed.

“It would be really difficult for a guard to play on our team that was more scoring oriented than passing oriented and as I said, she’s really good at finding others,” said Auriemma. “The physical nature of the game over here really plays into Lindsay’s hands. She’s like a running back in football, she can hit people. She loves it, the physicalness of it. That’s the kind of game that’s going to be played here and I’m anxious to see her when the tournament starts tomorrow.”

Although WNBA season numbers won’t provide a neat translation to FIBA play (players will have both different roles and different rules), Whalen (47th percentile in the league in field goal attempts) was actually less scoring oriented than Sue Bird (48th percentile) and definitely less so than the other primary options considered (Lindsey Harding, 54th percentile; Renee Montgomery, 60th percentile). With that, it’s not necessarily surprising that she was the more willing passer, with a 28.21% assist ratio compared to both Harding and Montgomery who were well below the league average assist rate for point guards at around 21%.

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USA Women Down Canada 87-46 In FIBA World Championship

Leading 19-14 after the first quarter, a monster 28-11 advantage in the second period propelled the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (4-0) to a 87-46 win over Canada (1-3) in the second round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Monday evening in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The USA’s defense starred in the game, forcing 32 turnovers and collecting 20 steals, which it converted into 38 second-chance points and 31 points off of fast-break opportunities.

From Auriemma in the quotes section:

We have more depth and we’re able to stay fresher throughout the game. We’re able to get in passing lanes, be disruptive on defense and we thought, going into the game, that’s exactly what we had to do because we watched  Australia-Canada and that was a lot closer game than the score indicated, because they do make it difficult to guard them because they stay with their stuff over and over again. You have to be disciplined. You have to be determined not to break down. I thought our guys did a great job today of staying within that and not being impulsive and trying to steal it every time down the floor. Lindsay (Whalen) was just great. She set a tone. She and Candice Dupree were really special today the way they played. Now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.

Check out the USA Bball video interviews.

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Slain N.J. student mourned in Montco – Jessica Moore, a 2009 graduate of Upper Merion High, was shot to death near Seton Hall University.

As the Facebook posts turned from “get better soon” to “R.I.P.,” several recent graduates and current Upper Merion High School students spent the weekend mourning the murder of 2009 graduate Jessica Moore.

Moore, a 2009 cocaptain of the Upper Merion girls basketball and softball teams, was fatally shot at a Seton Hall University off-campus apartment early Saturday morning by a gunman who also wounded four others after he was denied access to a party.

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shouldn’t have been named to the US National Team, it’s always useful to wait until the games have actually been played to render judgment: Second unit provides spark, US routs Canada 87-46

Lindsay Whalen scored 16 points to lead the United States to a 87-46 win over Canada on Monday night in the second round of the women’s basketball world championship.

Swin Cash and Asjha Jones each added 10 for the Americans (4-0). The U.S. will face Belarus on Tuesday.

For the second straight game the U.S. got off to a slow start as Canada jumped out to an 11-5 lead with 4:27 left in the first quarter. It was the biggest deficit the Americans had faced in the tournament. Coach Geno Auriemma put in his second group led by Whalen, Angel McCoughtry and Tina Charles and they quickly provided an immediate spark, blowing the game open.

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See ya!

Silver Stars fire first-year coach Brondello

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From the Doug-meister: Couple makes 4,000-mile trek to see Team USA play

Betty and Jonathan Hutchinson traveled 4,000 miles by plane and train to Eastern Europe for the women’s world basketball championships, eager to watch Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and anyone else with ties to the University of Connecticut.

The Hutchinsons certainly are dedicated to Huskies hoops. And to each other, too—she’s 90, he’s 88, and they’re a long, long way from their New Hampshire home.

“Our son Jack really encouraged us to do this,” Jonathan said over breakfast Sunday. “We thought it would be a really great last hoorah.”

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Holdsclaw says UT coaches, fans are ‘like a family’ – Ex-basketball star joins six others in Lady Vol Hall of Fame

From the Winston-Salem Journal: WHIRLWIND: Title-winner Little off to play ball in Israel

Swish Appeal does a little salary analysis: Brooke Queenan Wins Partial Arbitration Decision Against Hungarian Club and wonders Could the W Fail in San Francisco?

Candice Wiggins – College Undrop out

I’m back by popular demand! Back on campus, back to school. Back with a new attitude, and some new goals. Last time I was at Stanford I had one thing on my mind: A national championship. Now I have TWO things on my mind: A diploma and a 4.0. (Slightly ambitious, I know, but many also doubted Stanford getting to the final four in 2008!)

Speaking of school, a litte LJ: Jackson deepens her education

“I’ll get my BA and then probably get my Masters,” Jackson said.

“I’m really enjoying it. I want to get into humanitarian work. Victims of sexual violence, especially in Africa, that’s what I want to get involved in.”

SPM Worlds article and game photos.

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It’s a day of “rest,” but Doug’s keeping busy: Inexperienced US team growing up at worlds

Despite a wealth of talent on the U.S. women’s basketball roster, only three players have world championship experience.

Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Tamika Catchings have competed at past worlds. The veterans see it as their responsibility to bring along the young roster.

“I think for the three of us, it’s important that we show the way,” said Bird, who won a gold medal in 2002 and a bronze in 2006 at worlds. “That’s what the older players did for us at our first world championship. You know nine games in 11 days is not easy, and you have to be mentally and physically ready for it.”

The USA Basketball site has quotes from the National Team Practice Day

On the offensive end, I think we’ve been really good on the offensive end. But you saw yesterday in the first quarter how it can fall apart awfully quickly. I asked a couple of the players, ‘what was that?’ They said ‘I don’t know. That’s kind of what happens in our league when guys just don’t feel like moving, just stand around watching each other and wait for each other to make a play.’ So you’re constantly working on making sure we’re playing five-on-five, making sure the ball is moving, making sure that everybody knows what the next thing we’re going to do is.

But I’ve got a great group. They listen. They play hard. They pay attention. They do what I ask them to do and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far. I just hope that we improve a little bit every day.

The US, Australia, Spain, and Russia won their Groups. The U.S. will play Canada, Belarus, and Australia in the second round. If I’ve subtracted correctly, the Monday game will start at 2:15EST.

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Well, sh*t

Women’s basketball player was third student wounded in off-campus shooting incident

Stupid angry people getting their hands on stupid guns and hurting innocent people and their families.

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Ya, the US won, but Mechelle wants to talk about Catch:

The sheer talent, the stats she has piled up, the team and individual honors she has accumulated — all of those things would be prominently mentioned were anyone discussing Tamika Catchings’ career.

But what we wouldn’t really be able to do — because this defies apt verbal description — is describe her effort. Oh, we could try, but … some things you have to see, and feel them as you’re seeing them, to really know what they are.

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USA Fights Off France For 81-60 Triumph, Remains Undefeated

“We knew this was going to be a tough game going into it,” commented Dupree. ‘The game plan was to try and hunker down on defense, and I thought we did a good job of that. At some points, we were overrotating on helpside defense. Offensively, we need to move the ball more. We tried to play oneonone in spots. Overall, it was a good game.”

Check out the post-game quotes and game photos.

Up next: O. Canada.

And fess up, fans. You want to kidnap the one-man band that is the play-by-play/color announcer and install him in the nearest WNBA studio. He’s fabulous. Quick, fluid, great eyes for the game, and manages to observe, comment and educate smoothly and in stride.

Sure hope he continues broadcasting the US games.

In other games:

Spain whomped Brazil, making everyone stand up and take notice, si?. Ouch for Izzy and Erika. Sancho and Valdemoro are in the top 5 scoring.

Speaking of WNBAers, Maiga-ba helped Mali rally from 17 down, but they couldn’t take out the South Korean team. Yuko Oga of Japan leads all scorers in the tourney, and it was her layup that gave Japan the win over Argentina. LJ played three minutes as the Australians knocked off China, Leuchanka 16-rebound performance helped defeat the Canadians.

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A game worth getting up for. And, it looks like the AP has returned to ESPN’s pages (and Doug is listening to the US huddles):

France refused to capitulate, as Miyem scored nine points in the next six minutes. Her 3-pointer drew the French within 19-15.

During a timeout, U.S. coach Geno Auriemma asked his team who was guarding Miyem. Taurasi raised her hand.

Auriemma quickly subbed her out and put Sue Bird in.

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