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Archive for October, 2011

This is cool

Mapping the WNBA stars — shows you where folks are playing overseas.

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This could get amusing: Loftin responds to Mulkey’s comments

Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey took a shot at departing Texas A&M at Big 12 Media Days, saying “My feeling is this: If a man wants to divorce me and says our relationship has no value to him, and then he asks me if he can sleep with me, the answer is ‘No!’ ”

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin responded to the Austin American Statesman’s Kirk Bohls.

He said “I have never desired to sleep with her, sir.”

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Damn it. It’s just not fair.

Purdue’s Drey Mingo tears ACL

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Poll time!

Check out the AP.

Doug says, “First time ever in history of ap poll that there are no schools outside #bcs in top 25.” Also first #1 start for Baylor is school history.

No surprise, Doug also has a story on Sue’s resignation.

“Her commitment to openness ‘de-mystified’ many NCAA processes and helped administrators, coaches and media alike gain a greater understanding of the NCAA’s policies and procedures,” Women’s Basketball Coaches Association CEO Beth Bass said in a statement.

“Her positive impact on the entire culture of women’s basketball — from USA Basketball, to playing rules, to mock bracketing, to the WBCA — is immeasurable.”

Some big changes from the NCAA Board of Directors.

On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors approved a package of sweeping reforms that gives conferences the option of adding more money to scholarship offers, schools the opportunity to award scholarships for multiple years, imposes tougher academic standards on recruits and changes the summer basketball recruiting model.

I like the multi-year schollys. Intrigued to see how non-BCS programs will handle the “possible” extra money. Gwen Knapp at the Chronicle suggests: College football’s rich just got richer

Even at some of the BCS schools, little guys may end up losing. Does this cycle sound familiar? School A hires one football coach at an exorbitant sum, fires him with time left on his contract, brings in another pricey coach and pays them both simultaneously. The school suddenly sees an Olympic-sized pool of red ink and decides to cut the men’s swim team, plus tennis and wrestling. Critics blame Title IX because the women’s teams don’t get whacked, as well.

All of this happened at Arizona State a few years ago. The wrestling and swim teams were ultimately saved by private donors, much like the programs targeted at Cal this year, but the vulnerability of men’s non-revenue sports shows no signs of abating.

Nice to hear Pat Summitt working hard, feeling well

“I see her as Coach. I don’t see her any different than that,” said Caldwell, part of one Tennessee national championship as a player and two as an assistant. “I see her as somebody who is still hungry as a teacher for the game, someone who still loves the game, someone who is still passionate about preparing her team for greatness.

Don’t forget to follow the “All Access” Stanford at espnW.

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you’ll know it sports a big ole St. Louis Cardinals sticker.

I’m guessin’ Mechelle and her ‘puter are wicked happy puppies right now.

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WATN? Shameka Christon

Doin’ radio.

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Lisa, Lisa, Lisa

Honestly, what were you thinking.

I’m goin’ with what Cam said:

Frankly, Lisa Leslie is just pissed because Lisa thought the interview was to discuss “Leslians,” which are the horde of players (and coaches, announcers, and fans) who worship the ground upon which she walks. She assumed the interview would be to discuss the Leslians, as well know everyone in the league is a Leslian, according to the statistics kept by Ann Meyers, Head Leslian in Charge (HLIC).

When she found out the interview was about “Lesbians,” she was really caught off guard and was so frazzled that she could not give an intelligent response.

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I mean huge: NCAA executive Sue Donohoe resigns.

Speaking personally and professionally, I don’t know of anyone who’s been a better advocate, caretaker, fan and friend to women’s basketball — and been in a position to actually do something to make the game better. And done just that.

Probably her most visible action (to fans) was all she’s done to demystify the bracket selection process.  The NCAA Selection Committee: Opening the Vault and Looking Inside – February 2007

Even assuming you have the perfect committee members, they still have to make tough, informed and, most likely soon to be second-guessed choices. For instance, in the case of injuries to players, Donohoe noted the committee is dependant on how forthcoming an institution is about the situation. “If you have a late season injury and they’re projected to come back, it’s a hard decision. They’ve got to say, ‘Are they going to come back at 50%, 70% or 100%.’ It may not impact, ‘Does a team get in or not?’ but it may impact how they’re seeded.”

Even then, despite their best estimations, the student-athlete can confound the committee. Donohoe pointed to Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen, injured near the end of the 2003-04 season, as an example. “We projected her to come back at about 60-70%. She scored 31 points in a first-round game.”

You could almost hear the shoe drop in Donohoe’s voice.

“And we had Minnesota seeded at a seven.” Of course, the Gophers became “bracket busters,” and eventually advanced to the Final Four.

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OT: Honestly,

do they think changing the voice of the “Congratulations, you’ve won!” pop-up banner advertisement is going to finally tempt me to click?

“This is not a joke!” my arse.

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USA Suffers Hard-Fought 75-70 Loss To Puerto Rico

“I do think we have improved,” said the USA head coach Ceal Barry. “I felt like our team fought harder in the third quarter, and we didn’t dig ourselves into a hole. It was unfortunate. We gave away a few possessions down the stretch, and that really hurt us. The players worked hard, and they did the best that they could. I have no complaints. Their coaches should be proud at how they are representing their respective programs, and they are handling themselves with a lot of class.”

Y adios: Team USA Knocked Out of Pan Am Medal Contention After 70-75 Loss to Puerto Rico

For the first time since in the 56-year history of the Pan American Games for women, Team USA will not be on the medal stand when the flags are raised and the anthem plays to hail the continent’s new women’s basketball champion. The reigning champs were eliminated from medal contention after suffering their second heartbreaking loss in two days, this one at the hands of Puerto Rico, 70-75.

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In Mexico

Argentina got a great win over the US, 58-55

In a game that featured six lead changes in the fourth quarter alone, the USA Women (0-1) fell to Argentina (1-0) 58-55 in its opening contest of the 2011 Pan American Games on Oct. 21 at the CODE Dome in Guadalajara, Mexico. Despite a team-high 18 points, four blocked shots and a U.S. women’s Pan American Games record 21 rebounds from Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.), who is just the second U.S. women’s high school basketball player to represent her country in the Pan American Games, the USA was unable to capitalize on its opportunities in the game’s final minute and fell short by just three points.

Additional quotes.

You can check out the US/Mexico game on ESPN2 this Sunday at 9pmEST. ShouldTeam USA qualify for the semifinals, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24, ESPN2 will air the game either live or on a brief tape delay. Depending on seeding, the game would start at either 2 pm or 9 pm CT.

It’s interesting to see who’s on the Brazilian team — lot of familiar faces. (Check the link for some live feeds)

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Mighty Macs!

Says Mechelle – Movie will introduce many to Cathy Rush – Coach’s forward-thinking, optimism helped forward sport; ‘Mighty Macs’ debuts Friday

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous collection of short stories, “Twice-Told Tales,” consisted of writings actually published many more times than twice, of course. They appeared individually in magazines in the 1800s, then in a bound volume that went through various alterations.

The somewhat whimsical title of such a master work has long linked to women’s sports in my mind, incongruous as that sounds. So many women’s sports stories have never really been told even once. And some of the best, most historically important ones have been told … but can never be told enough. They merit repeated revisiting. They are stories about people and events that seem fictionalized but, in fact, aren’t.

Such is the case with the saga of coach Cathy Rush and her Immaculata teams that won the 1972, ’73 and ’74 AIAW championships in the early days of women’s collegiate basketball.

And lots more….

Video

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a political movement, point them to this story. Death Threats Fail to Stop Women’s Basketball

When Al-Shabaab militants called the Somali national women’s basketball team captain, Suweys Ali Jama, and told her she had two options: to be killed or to stop playing basketball, she decided that neither was really an option at all.

“I will only die when my life runs out – no one can kill me but Allah … I will never stop my profession while I am still alive,” Jama told IPS.

“Now, I am a player, but even if I retire I hope to be a coach – I will stop basketball only when I perish,” Jama said.

It’s not quite as extreme in the United States. Or is it?

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now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople.… Yup, it’s a Sunday morning musical reference. Why?

Galatasaray broke open a close game midway through the fourth quarter and beat VICI Aistes in the EuroLeague Women opener for both sides on Thursday evening.

New Gala star Diana Taurasi had 31 points, including a perfect seven-of-seven effort from long range, and Alba Torrens added 18 as the Turkish giants won 83-66 in Istanbul.

And a shout out to Catamount Courtney Pilypaitis, who dropped in 17pts for the Lithuanian team.

Do keep up with the Euroleague through the work of Paul Nilsen. He brings us this (awful) news about Amaya:

The contrast of emotions during week one could barely have been starker than in the Spanish capital. It’s hasn’t been the greatest of starts to the season for Rivas Ecopolis who firstly lost the Liga Femenina SuperCup and then crashed at home to Gospic Croatia Osiguranje.

To make matters considerably worse, the influential Amaya Valdemoro sustained a serious injury after a horrific fall which resulted in her breaking both of her wrists. I am sure everyone associated with the competition will join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

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well, seems like Mystics fans ain’t buyin’.

Pretty amazing, huh. It was one thing for Trudi to keep handing that “youth” line to the press after every loss and long after she’d cut half the rookies and parked Dunlap on the bench, but it’s quite another to have this go out post-season to fans.

And saying that making the playoffs is the goal of a team that will be in its 15th season? As bballfan2005 said recently in another thread, when 4 of the 6 teams in a conference make the playoffs, that’s hardly an accomplishment.

The Sheila and Her Cohorts can’t undo the damage they did with the October Massacre, but until this letter, I was still holding out some hope that they’d take some positive steps forward after this last season. With this letter, though, I think it’s clear they really don’t care about the franchise or the fans, and they have no intention of spending the time or money to do things right now. They took the cheap and easy way out by keeping Trudi. They have their jersey sponsor, and they seem satisfied with that.

What a mess they have made of this franchise. Crying or Very sad

And only in a little niche sport like the WNBA would the things they’ve done, and a letter like this, go unmentioned and unridiculed by most of the sports media

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From Chicago: Sky missing playoffs gnaws at Pokey Chatman

The New York Times spends 30 seconds with Maya.

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(No, I will never run out of random musical references. I’m old and that’s how my brain works…)

UConn is bustin’ a move.

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The Lynx are in

the funny pages!

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on the right foot by being one of the eight athletes carrying the Pan Am Sports Organizational flag as the teams enter, then it will be up to the US Pan American team to get it done. The team’s busy practicing in Houston.

Games start Oct 21. First up for the US Argentina, then Puerto Rico, and then they close out the preliminary round against Mexico.

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from Matt Fortuna: Spotlight shines on Skylar Diggins – But Notre Dame star says nothing has changed — NCAA title is all that matters

Skylar Diggins ascended to the top of her sport by being herself. Leading a preseason national title contender, having nearly 120,000 people follow her on Twitter and seeing her name spread from the sports pages to the gossip pages is not going to change that approach.

“I think that with the expectations means raising the bar, but it doesn’t mean changing myself or being anything different or conforming to what society wants me to do or whatever,” Diggins said. “In the same breath, I understand that people are watching me and I’m a role model … And I welcome any challenges to that, and I’m just having fun with it. I’m enjoying it. It’s not becoming a job, so I’m happy to be here.”

From the South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women’s basketball: Irish aren’t ranked in McGraw’s poll

“If I had to rank our team right now, I don’t think I’d put us in the top 25,” McGraw said. “We’ve got a long way to go, and I think (the players) know that.”

A key concern for McGraw is the inside game. The only scholarship-player loss for Notre Dame from last season’s national runner-up team was bruising Becca Bruszewski, a 6-foot-2 force who averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.

Down south, the LSU women’s basketball team is ready to live up to high expectations

“The challenge for this team is to not only practice at the level of intensity of a team that’s going after a national championship. They need to get better every day,” Caldwell said Thursday at the team’s media day. “We’re not there yet, but there’s a lot of promise and a lot of upside with this team.”

Although talk of the national championship may sound premature for a team that is coming off a 19-13 season, Caldwell’s team is embracing the standard of excellence their coach has laid out.

 

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I see this tweet:

#DeltaZeta supports National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (#NCAAW), October 16-22.

and think, hmmm… seems to me college students are already far too aware of alcohol….

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Feeling lost? Out of sorts?

Suddenly have a whole lot of extra time on your hands?

Welcome to the “between season” time.

So, here’s a little flashback to distract you.

Lynx Celebrated with WNBA Championship Parade

The WNBA is a niche league, but the success of the Lynx spread to the mainstream in a market where the big-time sports teams have struggled badly lately. The Lynx were happy to pick up the slack.

As you revisit the Finals highlights, revel in the fact that TV ratings for Lynx kept climbing in WNBA Finals.

There’s more on the victoy parade and the Lynx visit to the Vikings. Tim Hennagir says in his opinion column Writer’s Block: Basketball title a welcome change of sporting pace.

The Whalen crew is enjoying that championship feeling.

Start truly assessing the new Prez’s potential as she writes: The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of (The Prez also gets honored by Black Girls Rock!)

Bettor.com (which has been doing nice job of covering the league) has:

WNBA Playoffs 2011 – Top ten games of the post season: Part 1

Top ten games of the post season: Part 2

Top ten games of the post season: Part 3

WNBA Playoffs 2011 – Top ten games of the post season: Part 4

WNBA Playoffs 2011 – Top ten games of the post season: Part 5

Swish Appeal is doing some “Season in Review” work:

Pilight has Ranking the Lynxn and James Bowman has Ranking the Lynx, Part II

Nate has the 2011 WNBA Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus: Who Were The Top Offensive & Defensive Performers? as well as Plus-Minus: A Primer & The Value Of Four-Year WNBA Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM)

Nate also offers up his 2011 WNBA “All-Playoff” Team: Which Players Did The Most For Their Teams In The Post-Season?

There’s even more from Nate: The Victor And The Vanquished

In winning a championship after establishing themselves as the class of the league within their first few games, the Minnesota Lynx’ triumph as 2011 WNBA champions seems obvious as already written in a piece entitled “Eschewing Eschaton” at SB Nation’s Canis Hoopus.

“If you love basketball, you know these stories; you know these players.  They don’t need to be dressed up in any way, shape or form.” 

Although I would certainly agree that the team’s talent was glaring for some time – and might have written something to that effect once or twice – it’s also obvious that it eluded a number of WNBA analysts or fans alike even as the team began to hit a dominant stride mid-season. And really, “eluded” is probably generous – people were literally making up reasons that this team would lose.

Finally, Mechelle writes: Augustus, Lynx soaking up success – But what’s next for 2011 champ and rest of league, and how will Olympics affect them?

There are a lot of reasons why the Lynx became a championship team this season, and plenty of credit should go around. But one of the biggest factors was that Augustus did everything that a mature professional does to contribute to the overall success of her teammates.

Moore said, “Players who are confident in who they are will encourage people around them. That’s how you become MVP of the Finals: You make everybody better. Seimone is one of those players.

“It was so rewarding for all of us to see her play so well, to see her humility and unselfishness in making sure our team got where it needed to go. Whether she had to score 36 or play lock-down defense or get someone else fired up. She was an emotional leader for us this year. That’s something I wasn’t necessarily expecting from her, but it was amazing to watch her do that.”

Hopefully all this will tide you over until the pre-season stories start flowing out of the NCAA ranks and you start sneaking in to the gym to watch practices….

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talks to Geno post-European tour.

Hoopfeed: What are your impressions after coaching for the first time Brittney Griner and Sophia Young?

GA: Obviously coming in you don’t know how they are going to be, but I’m finding both of them great to be around, first of all, as people I’ve really enjoyed them. I think the other things, Sophia has tried really, really hard to get to this point, and get an opportunity to play [with USA Basketball]. I like the fact that she knows exactly where her shots are going to come from and she tries really hard to get those shots. Brittney, is a unique individual. You just don’t see anybody like that. You know you’ve got something that no one in the world has, at both ends of the floor. She just has to be in this situation more often. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, being around both of them, both as people and as players.

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Who’s advertising that app?

Los Lynx.

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Counting the days till tip off?

Looks like College Sports Madness may be, with their Top 44 team preview.

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Where do they sit?

From Michael Rand at the Star Tribune: Lynx rank among best in state history

The bouquets and platitudes for the WNBA champion Lynx have been numerous and well-earned. Now, though, it’s time to raise things up another level and ask this question:

Are the 2011 Lynx the most dominant team in Minnesota sports history? It’s one of those questions that has no perfect answer. Comparing different sports, leagues and eras is nearly impossible because of all the variables at play. Yet we try.

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Makeover has Cardinal looking younger

This season, espnW will spend time with the Stanford Cardinal and their Hall of Fame head coach, getting behind-the-scenes access to the players. Come to espnW every Friday throughout the season to get to know the Cardinal and how they live their lives off and on the court, from the start of practice to the last game of the season in March and, perhaps, into April.

(And yes, I KNOW it’s Cardinal like cardinal, not a cardinal, but hey, I couldn’t resist)

(And I’m still not sure what the raison d’etre is for espnW. I mean, why isn’t Michelle simply writing for ESPN Women’s basketball?)

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The day after the Minnesota Lynx win their first WNBA title, Brenda VanLengen and Mechelle Voepel host a special weekend edition of “Women’s Sports Central” to discuss the Lynx historic victory, plus NCAA volleyball, Texas A&M’s visit to the White House and the health news on Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly.

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and the US got the win: USA Basketball Women’s National Team Closes Out European Tour On High Note, Eclipses UE Sopron 73-63

“It was the complete opposite of the way we started (the second half) the other night,” said Geno Auriemma, 2009-12 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. “There was a much better focus on the defensive end to kind of limit what the other team was doing. Because the defensive stops were there, we were then able to convert that into good offense. I think we took them out of their rhythm. They had a really nice flow offensively in the first half. And then, some defensive things that we did really caused them some problems. We had great ball movement in the third quarter and got open shots. It sounds so simple, but that’s basically what it was.”

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So, is winning contagious?

A bunch of Champions show up on the sidelines and, suddenly, the Vikings win!

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