Archive for November, 2010

Milton Kent: FanHouse Women’s Basketball Terrific 12

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the FanHouse Terrific 12!

Each Tuesday, FanHouse’s Michelle Smith and Milton Kent will walk you through the best of the week gone by in women’s college basketball, identifying the dozen best teams and performances, not just from the power leagues, but also from the mid-majors.

I want to know why their stuff rarely comes through my news alerts..,.. (hint, hint)

We’ll also give you a quick preview of the big games on the docket for the coming week, with an eye toward the most meaningful inter-league and non-conference contests between teams that are bound to make a splash come tournament time.

Speakin’ of Michelle, from her Left Coast Hoops blog: Candice Wiggins talks about World AIDS Day

I’ve known Candice Wiggins since she was a 17-year-old at Stanford. She has always been remarkably dignified and open about her family story and her father’s death from AIDS.

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and Candice talked to me yesterday with her usual honesty and passion.

She is participating in a Public Service Announcement with the NBA and the organization Greater Than AIDS. This is worth passing along.


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On that Volleyball Bracket

Mechelle tweets: Love this comment from DotYourEye volleyball blog: “If these brackets were anymore lopsided, they’d tip over and fall on their face.”

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Rumor mill…

Ticha to NY?

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A few years back, former Notre Dame player Danielle Green drew attention not because she was in the service, but because she was injured while serving.

Check out the two part “Catching up with Danille from 2008. Part 1 and Part 2. An article from 2009 caught up with her: Wounded Warrior Diaries: Life Lessons Shape Iraq War Veteran

“I looked over at my left leg and saw my uniform busted open,” she said. “The initial hit, when I first went down, I thought that I was about to die in Iraq, on the rooftop, in the sand, in Iraq. To me, that was the hardest moment — to think that at 27 years old, I was about to die.”

She said that at that moment she was “waiting to die.” As she continued to pray, she remembered, she gained strength and tried to use that energy to leave the rooftop for a safer area to assess her injuries. But she was unable to move, feeling trapped as she continued to hear the small-arms fire in the distance.

Though it seemed what like a lifetime of waiting, she said, comrades were treating her within five minutes of the attack. She later learned that her sergeants had gone up to the rooftop against the company commander’s orders to find her wedding rings.

The sudden rise and tragic death of Maggie Dixon brought attention to the powerful connection between the athletes at West Point. In 2009, Mechelle wrote about Oklahoma’s Caton Hill who followed her father and uncle into the army.

The stories are still there. From Missouri’s News-Leader: Kinga Kiss-Johnson: Getting her life back – Despite wartime injuries, former Lady Bear returns to sports.

Kinga Kiss-Johnson is used to standing above a crowd.

The former Missouri State women’s basketball player stands 6-foot-7, the tallest player in team history. She was the tallest service member in her U.S. Army company when she took the oath of citizenship to the United States in 2007.

And now, three years after suffering devastating neck, back and brain injuries in Afghanistan, she’s one of the tallest on her new basketball team, the Augusta (Ga.) Bulldogs of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, one of two sports she has picked up since her accident.

“It’s given me back my basketball life, a little piece of my life back,” Kiss-Johnson said.

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Triple-doubles are amazing

Griner got her fourth and UCSB got their first.

Two-time All-Americans Erin Buescher and Kristen Mann never did it. UCSB all-time scoring leader Lindsay Taylor didn’t do it. Gaucho legends Kristi Rohr, Jenna Green and Barb Beainy couldn’t turn the feat either.

Eight UCSB players have played in the WNBA and 10 others have played professionally overseas and on Sunday Mekia Valentine one-upped them all.

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Sue was there

when Temple gave UCLA all it could handle.

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A profile of Nebraska volleyballer Hannah Werth

…in a program this popular in the community and the state, players do stand out as individuals because the fans see them that way. And there really is no other way to view Werth.

The one with the Rec Specs, the black bandana headband, the towel tucked in the back of her shorts — and so much energy she usually can’t stop herself from bouncing like Tigger over to every huddle.

A little Huskers fan came dressed up like Werth for a pre-Halloween match Oct. 30 at Nebraska Coliseum. You suspect volleyball-playing youngsters across the entire state have started mentioning vision problems in hopes that they, too, could get some specs and look like Hannah.

(side note: Reminds me of a comment Chris Evert made after Martina Navratilova finally got glasses. “Great, now she can actually SEE the ball!”)

There’s more volleyball in Mechelle’s preview of the NCAA D1 Tourney: Tough roads to Kansas City

Figuring out brackets is its own little exercise in conjecture, no matter what the official parties say. You read between the bracket lines and do your own sleuthing, and your conclusions may or may not be right.

But you’d probably be hard-pressed to look at the NCAA volleyball bracket, announced Sunday, and not conclude that three-time defending champion Penn State seems in great shape to head back to another Final Four.

Stepping in for an under-the-weather Graham, Mechelle does a little week-o-basketball wrap up: Hoyas pull off biggest tourney upset

If you have observed the various Thanksgiving hoops tournaments over the years, you know one thing for sure about them: You can never really tell if they mean anything.

Usually, the events are in distracting warm-weather places, and it’s early in the season, so weird things can happen that don’t necessarily translate into any deeper meaning. Or sometimes … they end up foreshadowing things that do occur later in the season. Most of the time in regard to upsets, I think it’s the former.

But it’s going to be intriguing to see which is the case in regard to the most surprising upset of the holiday weekend: Georgetown’s 69-58 victory over Tennessee on Saturday at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

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