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but who’s holding the bomb: Trudi or the franchise as a whole?

A little news outta Chicago: Young stepping up when Chicago needs her most

Tamera Young is the definition of a swing player. She can switch from forward to guard and back. Need her to shut down the opposing team’s best perimeter player? She’ll do it. Having problems with the point guard penetrating the Sky defense too easily? Young is on it. Heck, she’ll even play the point if Chicago head coach Pokey Chatman asks her to.

 

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From Doug: US women basketball team prepares for tougher test in Olympics from unbeaten, confident Turkey

“I’ve always thought that you can’t judge what happens in any of the exhibition games leading up to the Olympics as to whether or not that’s the team you’re going to play,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. “We’re going to play a really good team — a team that’s got some size, they shoot the ball exceptionally well, they’ve got tremendous experience.

Jim Souhan has this over at the Courant (less about the game than about the team as a whole) US Women’s Basketball Team Defeats Angola By 52

Augustus and Moore have this in common: Both have been celebrated players since they were in high school, yet both are still exploring the limits of their games. Augustus blossomed last year, becoming the MVP of the WNBA playoffs, and Moore is a stunningly talented player who often subjugates her talents in an effort to fit into a team.

Alex Wolff at SI has U.S. women’s basketball quietly on the brink of history in London

Meanwhile, with the U.S. having failed to qualify in men’s soccer, American eyes have turned to the women in that sport, particularly Twitter-fingered goalie Hope Solo, who seems incapable of leaving a publicity vacuum unfilled. Because of the Americans’ loss to Japan in the 2010 World Cup, a Redeem Team narrative has emerged around women’s soccer, and that’s a more engaging storyline than the hoopsters’ air of inevitability.

Here’s my solution: During the US-Turkey game, Annie Meyers will diss Sue’s defense which will prompt angry tweets from Candace which will, in turn, prompt media coverage of USWBB

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(if we ignore the first few minutes of  “basketball as a hot mess” and the “oh, sh*t, what’s up with Big Syl’s foot” thoughts.)

From USA Basketball: USA Women Overpower Angola For 90-38 Victory – Establishing a new USA record for blocked shots with 4, Candace Parker also added team highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win

“I think that Coach and the team is looking for me being confident and playing with intensity,” Parker said. “I think that’s my biggest thing is sometimes I get in my own head. I think tonight, he just gave me two things to do: just rebound and run the ball. We’re going to play defense but I tried to focus on that and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”

From Doug: Parker leads Americans in rout of Angola

From Kevin McCauley: Candace Parker Impressive In 90-38 USA Win

Chris Stephens at the Bleacher Report has USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team: How US Is Faring Early on

One thing that is still a concern for the U.S. is their outside shooting (men havin’ issues, too). Against Angola, they were 2-for-17 from behind the arc.

That shows me that when the team was selected, they didn’t pick pure three-point shooters (WHB: Except for Diana). It also shows that there is still a lack of ball movement as players are jacking up three-pointers even when it’s obvious they’re not falling. (Wait, don’t shooters keep shooting? ‘sides, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”)

On the subject of ball movement, it was a lot better against Angola.

For those looking for some basketball excitement, the other games had plenty. Check out Snelly’s shot in this video from the Australia/France game. More here from Dan Devine. Attention grabbing shot aside, the French women still managed to stun Australia, 74-70.

“It’s a big win because no other team than the Americans has beaten Australia since I don’t know how long, 1996?” said Emilie Gomis, who scored all 22 of her points after halftime. “But this win gives us nothing right now. Tomorrow is another day, all the teams are tough to play and we are not going to take off now.”

LJ and Liz need to learn to keep their temper and not foul out.

The Izzy-less Brazilians had the Russians on the ropes, but then lost steam in the fourth, eventually falling 69-59. (Scroll down for a nice shot of Becky Hammon and her teammates)

“Playin’ Possum?” China demolished Croatia, 83-58.

In a battle of WHB favorites, Courtnay scored 11, Jo scored -15, but it w as Shona’s 18 that helped Canada to a 73-65 win over Great Britain. Quote of the day: “I’m not pissy because we lost. I’m that way naturally.”

Speaking of “hot mess,” what is up with the 21-turnover Czechs? Congrats to the Turskish team — 61-57 winners.

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But it is about friggin’ time.

From Greg Bishop at the New York Times:U.S. Basketball Star’s Success Puts Her Pain in Perspective

At a recent practice, Augustus scrolled through her new phone, unable to find the tumor snapshot. She seemed genuinely deflated.

“I didn’t want to gross you out anyway,” she said. “But it’s gross. Really gross.”

Before the picture, before the injury, there was the torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2009 that ended her W.N.B.A. season before it really started. It now seems harmless in comparison.

Rehabilitation hurt more than the injury. Torture, Augustus called it. All that bending and flexing to break up all the scar tissue. The way she cried so loudly she swore that she scared the other patients. The moments, however brief, made her want to retire at 25.

If you’re reading this, please don’t settle for doing only that — click through, tweet it, facebook it, email it… whatever you can do to share this piece. Send the NY Times a message: we want more!

Hey, how about sending an encouraging tweet to Greg? For example:

@nytbishop Thanks for the piece on the Amazing Augustus. http://tinyurl.com/cbk2kqm The whole team is amazing – AND they’re going for a FIFTH gold! Who’s up next?

You might also ask why there was no game story from him. :P

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Inside the Rings: A Giant Leap for Women, but Hurdles Remain

During Friday’s opening ceremony, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, drew loud and sustained applause when he said: “For the first time in Olympic history, all the participating teams will have female athletes. This is a major boost for gender equality.”

It is true that women have come light-years from the first modern Games, held in Athens in 1896, when their presence was welcomed only as spectators. Women, too, have made significant gains even since the Atlanta Games in 1996, when 26 nations did not send female athletes.

Yet the fight for true equality is far from being won.

Something Jere’ doesn’t mention is coverage. Apparently David Stern asked the Times folks if they were going to cover the women.

I don’t believe he got an answer.

So, I don’t mind repeating myself: In case you’re inspired to do something about the missing coverage, twitter is, you know, very public. Since I can’t pick on EVERY news outlet, I’ll pick on my local NYTimes folks. Maybe the hashtag could be NYTimesOlympicFail?

@LondonLive: Continuous coverage of the #London2012 Olympics by New York Times reporters and editors.

@LondonLive: Hey, LondonLive Was wondering if you knew the US had a women’s national team in basketball. They’re pretty good, what with them going for their 5th gold. What do they need to do to get coverage?

@nytbishop: New York Times general assignment sports reporter.

@nytbishop: Hey Greg. Impressed with the number of words you’re writing about the men’s national team. Is there a rule new at the Times that you can’t write about the women? Just wondering.

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney: I write basketball things at basketball places. The New York Times. ESPN TrueHoop Network. NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.

@RobMahoney: Hey Rob. I see you write “basketball things at basketball places.” Did you know that there are some basketball things happening that include women? Might want to check them out. They’re called the US National Team

About the basketball (which is on-going and very interesting!) The US plays Angola today. Viewing info from RebKell:

5:15 PM ET
TV: NBC Specialty Channel – Basketball

Online video for cable subscribers:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/video-watch.html?video=womens-group-a-angola-vs-united-states

Alternate online video:
http://www.thefirstrow.eu/watch/132945/1/watch-olympic:-angola-vs-united-states,-womens.html

Preview/Boxscore:
http://london2012.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/12/olym/p/eid/6232/gid/15/grid/A/rid/9087/sid/6233/game.html

Live stats:
http://london2012.fiba.com/extSTATIC/fiba-live/?event=6233 (scroll down to game #15)

 

Learn a little about the Angolan team at Full Court. In case you missed Lee’s July 19th preview: London 2012: Angola — Just happy to be there

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Doug says: Cash, US women’s basketball team ready to face Angola in their 2nd game of the Olympics

“I was at a point in 2008 where I didn’t want to leave this game with people defining who I was as a player,” Cash said. “Going out with an injury is not what I wanted my legacy to be.”

A conversation with five-time Olympian and basketball great Teresa Edwards helped her refocus with one goal in mind — making it to London. Cash dedicated herself to getting healthy and now that the 32-year-old is back in the Olympics, she is ready to play whoever is next on the U.S. schedule.

From USA Basketball: U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team Practice Quotes

Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx)
Practice looked intense today, did you feel it was a good one?

It was a great practice. We came in. We worked hard. We practiced as if we didn’t play yesterday and don’t play tomorrow. I think it’s why we’re going to be able to play the way we want to tomorrow. We just came in, worked on some things offensively, added a few things and tightened up a few things on defense.

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From someone named Jim Caple: Team USA being taken for granted

Really? Taken for granted? Like, say, they’re going for their fifth gold and they don’t send Mechelle Voepel and her 28 seasons of covering women’s basketball chronicle the USA women. No, they send you, Jim.

To be honest, you DID write one article about women’s basketball in 2012. And another in 2010. And one in 2009. And, hey, there were those three that  you did in 2008!

I’m not poking at you, Jim. I’m sure you’re a nice, earnest guy. But I dare you to take a look at the company who hires you before you write stuff like:

“Right now the only streak we’re talking about is winning one in a row as many times as possible,” Auriemma said. “We’re not thinking about what the other teams did in the Olympics.”

The shame is, not enough people think about what the other teams did, either. Or, for that matter, what this one probably will do as well.

If you care, Jim, tell ESPN you’d like to pay more attention to this team. They deserve it.

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