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Archive for November, 2012

Because I couldn’t resist sharing this headline: Shorthanded Mules kick off season tonight

In other not so fun news, “Dabnabbit!” Maryland’s Laurin Mincy to miss rest of season

Balance that off with some good news: Xavier’s (HUGE) loss was Washington’s gain: Husky women cruise past Portland for best start in a decade

ESPN Magazine has: Laying down her road – Baylor center Brittney Griner’s game is going to get even better (No idea why they decided to bold the questions — makes them seem more important than the responses.)

BERGERON: There’s also the insinuation that with dunking, with blocks, with playing at a faster speed, that people want the women’s game to look more like the men’s. Is that a fair expectation? Should the WNBA want to look more like the NBA?

GRINER: I’m just glad that we still have a league we can go to. We’re different. You can’t say that we have to play like men because that’s the “right” way to play. I don’t see anything wrong with the way we’re doing it. We’re doing a great job.

Mechelle offers up:  First-year coach, first-time mom – Jennie Baranczyk gave birth to her first son not long after taking over Drake

Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk thought her almost-7-month-old son, Eli, was about to drift off for a morning nap before she went to work. The little guy looked as if he were fading …

 Baranczyk recalled hearing a men’s basketball colleague once say his team reminded him of his infant daughter.

“At the time, I thought, ‘Huh?'” said Baranczyk (pronounced bah-rahn-check), who took over at Drake this spring just before Eli’s birth. “Now, I totally get it. We do something so small, and you just celebrate it like crazy. We take little steps, and you wobble a bit and fall over. But you look at a picture of us from a month or two ago, and we really are different.”

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it’s hard not to read stuff into results.

Like maybe North Carolina’s got something goin’ on (even though they did almost blow a lead).

Like maybe other Tennessee teams have it in for the Vols this season. UT needs OT to escape MTSU.

Like d’em Flyers are FLYIN’!

Like you should be glad I wasn’t hired to write the headlines for the UCONN game, ’cause there were SO many possibilities: Colgate gets *fill in appropriate dental related verb* by Connecticut.

Like I’m not taking Kansas seriously until they play a team that is, or stands a chance of being, ranked (I see you, Cal Bears). Same goes for you, Oklahoma State.  And ditto to you, Georgia. Double ditto to you, South Florida, especially since you needed OT to defeat Clemson. And you’re not quite in the same category, Florida State, but you’re close. And Northwestern? Talk to me after you meet the already mentioned Cal Bears. And yes, I see you, 8-0 South Carolina, but I also see the Cardinal looming.

Like the Pacific Tigers got my attention ’cause they’re undefeated AND that includes a win over Fresno State. Of course, there are those Cardinal folk looming.

Like Turtles are faster than Huskers.

Like what a difference a year makes: A Della Donne-less Delaware takes down the Bonnies.

Like I never know if I can trust Michigan State — will we know more after they meet Dayton?

Like why couldn’t I have used my psychic abilities to pick the Powerball numbers instead of (sorta) picking Penn State getting upset by Miami.

Like, seriously, dudes and dudettes, how long will Banghart stay a Tiger? Princeton takes down Rutgers big, 71-55.

Like WHB readers are wicked cool, because they know who the Chippewas are, and are kinda stoked that they gave Notre Dame a game, and then some.

Like I sick and tired of reading the same old stuff: OU’s Maddie Manning out for season and Injury Sidelines Richmond’s Okoro For 2012-13 Season

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Rocks with Wings?” (If no, check it out.)

The Lady Chieftains are looking to make some noise: Shiprock ready to make a run under new head coach Larenson Henderson.

Speaking of 2000-01, the Utes are 6-0 — the first time since their run into the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in ’01.

“We just love to play, and I think we play really good together,” junior Michelle Plouffe said of the hot start. “Our chemistry on the court and off the court is just top notch. It’s the best it’s been since I’ve been here, and it just shows out there.”

This could be an interesting game: From Jim Massie, Buckeyes gear up for speedy Tar Heels

The North Carolina women’s basketball teams always play the game at a pace that would warm the heart of a greyhound with a mechanical rabbit in its crosshairs.

So when 16th-ranked Ohio State takes the court against the No. 22 Tar Heels tonight in Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C., surprise should have nothing to do with anything in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge game. (ESPN3)

The Huskers ain’t skeered of no turtles: NU women look to stand tall against Terps

Don’t make out Wednesday’s tilt with No. 11 Maryland to be too daunting for the Nebraska women’s basketball team.

Since coach Connie Yori’s arrival in 2002, the Huskers have beaten 25 teams in the AP Top 25 — including six in the top 10. So No. 21 Nebraska (5-1) has faced and slain giants before.

DWhoops has a preview of tonight’s Duke v. Michigan game.

The dismantling of the Big East continues: Louisville to the ACC.

Oh, yeah, dey be Flyin’: Dayton new No. 1 in mid-major poll.

MTSU’s Kortni Jones gets one last shot vs. Lady Vols, which gives Graham an opportunity to offer up this on her teammate: Ebony Rowe rules court, classroom

Few people can stop Ebony Rowe when she gets going.

On the basketball court, that reality is most definitely Middle Tennessee’s gain. The latest in a long line of undersized and overlooked All-America candidates for the Blue Raiders, Rowe is a relentless force in the post. She put up 25 points and 16 rebounds in 40 minutes in her first college game, against Big East member South Florida, three seasons ago, and has yet to ease off the throttle. The 6-foot-1 forward averaged a double-double as a freshman and again as a sophomore. And through the first five games of her junior season, wouldn’t you know it, she’s averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

For Janay Brinkley, on the other hand, it’s not such a great thing off the court. It seems the Blue Raiders teammates, roommates and best friends can’t go anywhere in the car without Rowe, a physics major who plans to pursue a career in engineering, interrupting whatever music or conversation might be under way to explain why, for example, the exit ramp they are in the process of taking was designed the way it was.

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No, not the band, and not the description of your post-Thanksgiving regrets…. Take a look at these scores:

Tennessee dropped 90 on Alcorn State.

San Diego dropped 91 on San Jose State.

Alabama dropped 97 on Southeastern Louisiana.

Kentucky dropped 100 on USC Upstate.

UNC dropped 101 on UNC-Asheville

Dayton dropped 105 on Eastern Illinois.

Alabama State dropped 105 on Oakwood.

The Tigers gave the UCLA Bruins a tussle. (How long before someone snatches Coach Banghart away?) Next up for Princeton? Rutgers, who barely escaped Davidson.

D’em Bears (Cal) are 6-0 as Brittany Boyd notched 14 assists. More importantly: BearShare: Tierra Rogers

 How do you measure someone’s strength? Her endurance?

For an athlete, is it how much weight she’s able to lift? Or how many laps she’s able to run?

What about mental and emotional fortitude? Is it in forcing a game-saving turnover or hitting the game-winning jumper?

For Cal’s Tierra Rogers, those used to be the metrics of her life.

D’em Penguins are 4-0. First time since ‘97.

More better for the Illini: 

One year after a San Juan Shootout appearance that included getting blown out by Green Bay and having Karisma Penn’s last-second shot rim out against Arizona State, the Illinois women’s basketball team headed back to the Caribbean for this year’s fall break. Only this time, Illinois was under new leadership.

Injuries aside, is the experiment over? Oregon is 0-5.

A little after the fact, but did you catch Debbie Antonelli’s sweet blog on the Stanford-Baylor game?

Okay — the Big East has gone from the “Big Least” to the “Big Beast” to the “Big Who The Heck Are THEY?” Yes, it’s a hot mess.

From ESPNw: All week long, espnW will take an in-depth look at some of the top mid-major storylines.

Graham has: Brian Giorgis right at home at Marist

It seems incongruous at first that one of the most successful giant slayers in women’s basketball has turned over much of his home to a celebration of some of the most venerated behemoths in sports.

A small city on the Hudson River, Poughkeepsie sits about 75 miles north of Manhattan and an equal distance south of Albany, the state capital. It’s also home to Marist College, but a visitor to Marist coach Brian Giorgis’ abode could be forgiven for thinking he had stumbled off course and ended up a little farther west in the state, in an annex of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. There is so much on the walls, on shelves and on most available surfaces that Giorgis jokes that the only thing absolving him of hoarder status is the level of organization he puts into his extensive collection of sports memorabilia, mostly baseball items.

Michelle has: Gonzaga has a new look this season

Two years have passed since Courtney Vandersloot wore a Gonzaga uniform and transformed Spokane into a women’s basketball destination. For the fans, at least. The talented recruits have been coming to eastern Washington for a while now.

“We had four WNBA draft picks come out of here the last three years; that’s second most of any team in the country,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. “But this might be the best freshman class I’ve ever had. I really like this team.”

By the way, “w,” — nice story, but get a copy editor: Ieshia Small celebates adoption

Over at Full Court, Clay writes: The “AP” in “AP poll” doesn’t stand for “Advanced Placement”

Well THAT’S annoying. The NCAA.com site has the TV broadcast schedule in an annoying pdf form. Luckily coach Nell gave us a “this week’s games” link.

Some good news from the WATN? files; Val Ackerman hired as strategic consultant for NCAA women’s basketball – Longtime hoops expert plans a white paper by spring

Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA and the first woman to serve as president of USA Basketball, has been hired as a consultant to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of intercollegiate women’s basketball. Ackerman is expected to deliver a strategic “white paper” by this spring with her conclusions and recommendations about how best to position and manage the sport.

From Doug: NCAA Hires Ackerman to look at Women’s Basketball

“The purpose of having me involved is to bring outside perspective,” Ackerman said. “I’ve had the chance to see women’s basketball at the pro, international and college levels and can help them assess where women’s college basketball is today. What could stand to be changed or improved and what shouldn’t be messed with. Try to figure out how best to maintain the student-athlete experience.”

I wonder if she’ll read this article: How Maryland Went Broke — Inside the Athletic Department’s Decline.

Speaking of the W: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Erin Phillips’ title fever pays off    

Erin Phillips is a world champion, an Olympian, a WNBL and now WNBA champion, and soon she will shake hands with President Obama at the White House.

The 27-year-old daughter of football icon Greg has been feted through the streets of Indianapolis, dealt with fan marriage proposals and baked items sent by ardent admirers in Indiana, home of the Hoosiers and the hotbed of American basketball.

But there’s one thing left she is desperate to do.

“I really want to meet Reggie Miller.”

Speaking of Aussies: Basketball star Lauren Jackson says 2012 has been the hardest of her playing career

Also: Sutton-Brown brings the world to kids

WNBA champion Tammy Sutton-Brown got to see the world outside her living room as a girl growing up in Ontario, Canada. A descendant of Jamaicans, she would sometimes travel back home to the island. Then there were always the memorable trips to Disney World in Florida.

Unfortunately, it’s not like that for all kids. After talking to children at a community-service event, Sutton-Brown realized how out of the ordinary traveling and, in some cases, knowledge about the world are for many kids.

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seem to be recovering from a slow start.

LSU got back to their winning ways, taking down formerly undefeated West Virginia.

At last: ASU gets their first win of the season.

Nothings slow about the Green Wave: Tulane runs their record to 4-0 with win over Bradley.

It was tight, but the Huskers managed to put away USC, 75-64.

Whoops! Iowa women lose to Florida International.

Cal’s undefeated.

Chattanooga didn’t let their win over Tennessee go to their head. They’re 4-0.

South Carolina has quietly moved to 6-0.

Penn State is 4-0, but it hasn’t been a confidence-inspiring 4-0.

Should we be paying attention to the 5-0 Orange? They just beat Virginia (who’d upset Vandy) and Georgia Tech.

I don’t know if the Lobos are back (they have Georgia up next) but the are 5-0. And boy, does North Texas miss Aston.

Tricia has her Montana State at 3-0, and boy, is Clemson a hot mess.

There’s a reason Auriemma enjoys early season tournaments — UConn often kicks butt. They’re doing it again in St. Thomas. First, it was Wake Forest. Then the Red Foxes of Marist. Tonight, they’ll go against Purdue. (On SNY)

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from St. Thomas – Paradise Jam.

Women’s Basketball Live Broadcast Schedule
Nov. 22 at 2:15PM –Hampton vs. South Carolina– ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 22 at 4:30PM –Florida Gulf Coast vs. DePaul- ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 22 at 7:00PM –Wake Forest vs. UConn- SNY (Stream outside U.S.)
Nov. 22 at 9:15PM –Marist vs. Purdue – ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 23 at 2:15PM –DePaul vs. Hampton – ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 23 at 4:30PM –South Carolina vs. FGCU – ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 23 at 7:00PM – Purdue vs. Wake Forest – ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 23 at 9:15PM – UConn vs. Marist –SNY (Stream outside U.S.)
Nov. 24 at 2:15PM–Hampton vs. Florida Gulf Coast – ParadiseJam.com andFacebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 24 at 4:30PM –DePaul vs. South Carolina– ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 24 at 7:00PM – Marist vs. Wake Forest- ParadiseJam.com and Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1
Nov. 24 at 9:15PM – Purdue vs. UConn – SNY (Stream outside U.S.)

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I just loved this headline: Girls basketball: Bunnies shut down Falcons with defense

Yah, that guy scored a lot of points, but what would he have done against THIS defense? Miami girls basketball team earns 82-0 shutout days before Thanksgiving

From the Denver Post’s Irv Moss: Colorado Classics: Alice Barron, girls basketball pioneer

Don’t be deceived by the nickname. Alice “Cookie” Barron knew her way around on the basketball floor.

As a member of the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, she played an instrumental role in a national record. A 5-foot-6 guard, Barron played at Wayland Baptist College (now University) from 1954-57, when the Flying Queens went 104-0 and won three national championships. She was named an All-American once.

Maybe more important for high school girls in Colorado, Barron fought for girls sports to be treated equally. As an administrator in the Jefferson County School system, she used the same tenacity that she showed on the basketball court in convincing doubters that sports programs should be available to girls.

From Mark Znider at the Columbus Dispatch: For 32 years, girls basketball has been huge part of life of Ready coach Joe Lang

Julie Lang will walk into the kitchen to make a telephone call and see fresh evidence that her husband, Joe, has been there. The unique fingerprints of a basketball coach in deep thought also can be found in the bedroom, living room, basement and garage.

“I have to laugh because we have a notepad next to the telephone and there will be these X’s and O’s scribbled on it,” Julie said. “I’ll open a magazine and there are more X’s and O’s. The bookmarks in books will have X’s and O’s. There will be paper on the dresser with X’s and O’s. There are these diagrams all over the place.”

His colleague at the paper, Jim Massie, reminds us of the difference between a “game report” and a “report about the game”: Ohio State women’s basketball: Hill leads second-half charge

A women’s basketball game with 44 combined turnovers has the look of a Thanksgiving day kitchen after dinner. Dirty dishes, plates, silverware and whatever is left of the turkey seem spread from here to there.

At least Ohio State, author of 19 turnovers, could say thanks for a 70-54 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) last night in Value City Arena and look to clean things up later.

Jim also adds: Ohio State women’s basketball: Defense anchors Alston’s game

For most young, growing basketball players, defense occupies the broccoli section of the Thanksgiving dinner plate.

Yummy.

This’ll make you grin: Iowa pep band provides clever chants during win over Robert Morris

All is not Bonnie in the land of the ‘ventures: Fairfield Women’s Basketball Knocks Off St. Bonaventure 52-49

Has their get up an Geaux got up and went? LSU women’s basketball team loses a nail-biter to Georgetown, 71-69

Yup, there’s a whole lotta shaking up goin’ on: Latest conference realignment news caught Geno by surprise

From the Washington Post’s Gene Wang: Maryland women’s basketball embraces Big Ten move

While the 10th-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team has strong ties to the ACC as one of two member schools to win a national championship, the announcement on Monday that the Terrapins would be joining the Big Ten in 2014 means a homecoming of sorts for Coach Brenda Frese.

Frese was named national coach of the year at Minnesota in 2001-02, when she directed one of the more dramatic turnarounds in the history of the sport. In Frese’s first season, the Gophers went 22-8 to set what was then a program record record for wins, rose to No. 14 in the rankings (at the time was the highest in school history) and finished 11-5 in the Big Ten, one season after winning all of one conference game.

Speaking of the Terps, the DC BasketCases (Happy Thanksgiving, kids!) are in a better mood.

As the BCs expected they would, the Terps this afternoon bounced back from their upset on Saturday at St. Joe’s, thoroughly drubbing the American University Eagles at Comcast Center, 94-54, thereby giving Terps fans a very happy start to their Thanksgiving holiday.

The Utes are 4-0.

Coach Landers has 800 wins.

Cool! Mechelle says, “Welcome to Tennessee Total Access”

There have been tears shed around the Tennessee women’s basketball program over the past year and a half that have come from sadness and even fear as the great Pat Summitt faced an insidious illness.

But through it all, the program that has been so much a standard-bearer for women’s college athletics has vowed to keep things as upbeat and positive as possible. So when Holly Warlick — Summitt’s longtime assistant who was elevated to head coach this spring — found herself getting watery-eyed in October, she smiled, too. Because in this case, these actually were welcome tears of happiness.

“When that buzzer went off,” Warlick said, “I cried.”

She was referring to the end of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals on Oct. 21. Tamika Catchings, the former Tennessee star who is still so closely associated with her alma mater, had just won her first WNBA title with the Indiana Fever.

Yup, the Vols are back on track: ‘Jail time’ is still playing off for Cierra Burdick, Lady Vols  (and yes, I could have wished for a better choice of words, considering recent news)

Speaking of “back on track,” Mel has: Delle Donne’s Return Almost Like Old Times

Haven’t you always wondered if there Are there women’s basketball programs that outdraw men’s basketball?

From Jayda: Gonzaga, Seattle U set for holiday tournaments; WNBA moves and other hoop notes

Gonzaga (4-0) is in the midst of playing five games in seven days. Before you empathize, consider the Zags continue that stretch Tuesday in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta? Pshaw! I’m eating Turkey (or something resembling it) in St. Thomas, catching my second ever Paradise Jam. Might have a UConn point guard sighting: Bria Hartley Anxious For Thursday’s Return

Dishin & Swishin’s 11/21/12 Podcast is A Special Thanksgiving chat with Kara Lawson

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Coach Nell’s YouTube adventures (with a “thanks for the poke” h/t to SJ): Nell Fortner takes to the road for game-day show

Nell Fortner is about to begin the road trip she’s always been dreaming of, with destinations at top women’s basketball games around the country.

She’s never had the time before as she’s always been coaching somewhere, but this year will be hosting a women’s basketball game-day show called “NellOnWheels”.

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Thibault did everything but win title – Coach cites failure to win a WNBA championship in 2012 as reason for firing

“People here have been great; I have no complaints,” Thibault said. “I’ve been treated well, my family has been, too. I’ve liked working here, and I have no bitterness about this at all. The only thing I can say is I don’t know if what they did will change things.

“It may, it may not. Depends on who they hire, how the players accept the new coach, all those things. The team is poised to continue to improve. It’s still in a very good situation.”

The Sun play in an arena at the Mohegan Sun casino, and, yes, we’ll make the obvious analogy. This move is a gamble. Thibault has made the playoffs eight of his 10 seasons with the Sun, advancing to the WNBA Finals twice. Will the Sun find a coach who can do better?

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Coach Mike Thibault not retained

From Mike DiMauro at the Day: Thibault fired as CT Sun coach

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AP poll.

AP Voters.

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thank you for asking.

So, while I was away, what did we learn? Be careful what you schedule.

From Connie Yori: “I kept asking all week, ‘now, remind me why we scheduled this game?’”  ’cause dem Wabbits whipped dem Huskers.

From Geaux land: Tigers fall, 67-58, to Hampton Pirates.

Hawks sometimes eat Maryland Terrapins. And the DC BasketCases are NOT excited about the Big 10 talk.

From Sun Devil land: Miners can shoot free throws.

From the land of the Flyers: Isn’t it time to rank the Commodore-beating Dayton team?

From the Lloyd Noble Center: It can be fun playing Billikens: Sooners win 68-33.

From Blue Devil land: Routs are fun, seeing Elizabeth back on the court is more fun.

From Honolulu: Nothing like a little dunking to clear the Bears’ palate.

Look, Ma, no jinx! Youngstown State’s Penguins are 3-0, as is Penn State, Fordham, St. Francis (PA- Sorry, Zips, maybe a little jinx) and the Cavaliers. Interesting, the ’49ers moved to 3-0 with their win over FGCU. How much does VCU miss coach Beth? They’re 0-3, falling to the 3-0 Monarchs. The Teddy Bears are also 3-0, but they get Notre Dame next.

Hartford’s 4-0, ditto with the Mountaineers, Gonzaga and the Gophers. Hey, George Washington has won two games! (Was that mean, or encouraging?) Yah, it’s early, but New Hampshire’s off to a 2-0 start. UConn romps, Tennessee halts and Ohio St. continues.

BTW: Did anyone notice that the ESPN/Southwest-sponsored trivia questions during their ESPN3 broadcasts feature nothing related to women athletes?

Graham says: Baylor, Maryland shouldn’t panic

Stanford is the stock of the moment, and for good reason. The team that plays its home games so close to Silicon Valley went to Hawaii and ended Baylor’s winning streak at 42 games in a 71-69 decision for the Cardinal.

No Nneka Ogwumike? No problem. Behind another command performance from Chiney Ogwumike and the type of supporting efforts from players such as Taylor Greenfield and Mikaela Ruef that largely erase the question marks about Stanford before anyone has even brined their Thanksgiving turkey, the Cardinal made a case for New Orleans from Honolulu. By all means, buy Stanford for No. 2 or even No. 1.

But now is not the time to sell Baylor. Nor is it time to sell Maryland, not even a little.

What’s in a Watch List?

There are concerns about players across the ocean. From Michelle Smith: Americans caught in Israeli conflict

It’s 3 a.m. in a small city just outside of Tel Aviv and Alexis Gray-Lawson answers the phone.

“I’m up,” Gray-Lawson. “All the Americans are up.”

Just the night before, an air-raid siren — warning of a possible incoming bomb — woke up Gray-Lawson.

Concern for players locally, too: Minnesota girls basketball coach suspended for tweeting ‘Mean Girls’ quote to a student

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to visit the mom-ster, so I’ll just ask: If the #1 ranked team in the country loses a key player four minutes into the game, and still is a 15-footer away from sending the game in to overtime against the #4 ranked team in the country…and no one can watch it,  does the game count?

Kim, Tara, their ADs and the head o BOTH their conferences coulda – and shoulda – made all-access streaming happen. Shame on them.

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Unchartered Territory

The feelings most women’s basketball fans experienced at the news of Chamique Holdsclaw’s alleged attack on her former girlfriend Tuesday likely were the same as mine. Sadness, relief, worry.

Sadness because we’ve been aware for many years of the struggle the former Tennessee and WNBA star has waged with depression and her quest to destigmatize it, especially in the athletic world.

Relief because neither the victim of the alleged attack, Tulsa Shock forward Jennifer Lacy, nor Holdsclaw was physically harmed.

And worry because of what faces both women moving forward. Lacy is not physically injured, but her emotional scars may be considerable. And Holdsclaw, who released a book last year detailing her history of depression and has been working as a mental health advocate, is in serious legal trouble.

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This does not sound good. Peace to all involved: Arrest warrant issued for ex-basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw

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“Is Baylor good for women’s basketball?”

Well, not if you were Kentucky. Take away Griner’s 27, and the Wildcats still lose. Their numbers aren’t pretty: 27% shooting, 61% FT, 22 TOs and, for a team that threatens 40 minutes of you-know-what on defense, they better learn to move their feet or those 29 fouls will become a season through line. Mechelle’s report on the carnage:

You know those dreams in which you keep doing something potentially harmful to yourself, but you just can’t stop?

For instance: You’re driving even though you can’t see the road. You’re walking into a dark corridor even though you suspect some sort of monster lurks there. You’re climbing out on a ledge even though you’re terrified of falling.

The whole time, part of your brain is thinking, “Wake up! Stop! I don’t want to do this!”

Eventually, you do wake up … or the dream shifts away to something else less dire. But if you were the Kentucky women’s basketball team on Tuesday, you were living out this scenario while wide awake.

Kentucky — which has been to the Elite Eight twice in the last three years, is ranked No. 6 and picked to win the mighty SEC this season — couldn’t do much of anything with defending national champion Baylor.

Guess we’ll have a better sense of the Bears’ road to the (Name the Women’s College Basketball Championship Trophy After My Hero, Pat Summitt) Trophy after Baylor and Stanford meet up in Honolulu.

Don’t look now, but d’em Penguins are 2-0. And so are the Zips. (I just like typing, “Zips.”) Sugar Bears (another favorite typing task) are 2-0, giving former Delta State coach Sandra Rushing a nice jump start at her new gig. Better start for coach Barefoot at ODU, too.

Maine is 0-3. Sigh.

That “squeak!” sound was BYU escaping Big Green, 58-57.

That other “squeak!” was #22 Oklahoma State escaping Missouri State, 74-71.

Well, this is interesting: Hartford, which stumbled badly last season, toppled Marist, 64-53.

Yes: Season-Long Women’s College Basketball Content across ESPN Platforms but, tweets Mel: Someone tell espn to get with the program on their scorecenter ipad aps. Says no games scheduled on women’s option for scores. Cranky I have to wait until Dec 7th for “The dynamic duo of Debbie Antonelli and Mowins to team up again for their weekly podcast.”

Lady Swish pulls out their Silent Majority Report:Dedicated to the belief that the term “mid-major” is an insult to the majority of Division I teams.

One of the more interesting, albeit hardly surprisingly, trends of the young season is watching how much more compelling games pitting teams from BCS conferences against their non-BCS counterparts tend to play out when staged somewhere other than the BCS school’s gym.

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at an awkward start time…

6pmEST on ESPN2, Kentucky gets the honor of being the first to test NCAA champ Baylor. Yeah?

Baylor is facing a team Tuesday that reminds Mulkey of Texas A&M. Coach Matthew Mitchell’s Wildcats always want to play a very, very up-tempo style and disrupt opponents with their speed and physicality.

“Kentucky’s fast pace — that is their identity,” Mulkey said. “But Kentucky plays a full-court game. They like to press you and create turnovers. They play a lot of players. …

“Our identity is going to be inside out — we’re always going to have post players. It’s going to be a heck of a basketball game early in the season. I don’t mean it’s going to be pretty … we’re both going to be playing hard.”

A victory — heck, even a stubborn showing — would go a long way to prove that, as Michelle writes, the Wildcats are ready to reach next level

There’s a glass-enclosed trophy case next to the Kentucky women’s basketball office. In the middle, a big blue pedestal with the UK logo on it and a small sign on top mark the unused space that reads “Reserved for the National Championship.”

Downstairs, next to the team locker room, a large banner by the door displays the logo for the 2013 Women’s Final Four in New Orleans. Get the hint? It’s not that subtle.

The AP’s Gary Graves writes:

Kentucky coach Matt Mitchell believes that if his sixth-ranked Wildcats want to be the best team they have to play the best.

Right now that is No. 1 Baylor and senior Brittney Griner.

The Wildcats will get their shot against the Bears on Tuesday on the defending national champions’ home court in Waco, Texas.

From Steve Jones at the Courier-Journal: Kentucky women’s basketball team faces big test against No. 1 Baylor

 

More from other folks:

Fresh off her key performance aboard a big boat, Graham says, “Irish need big season from Achonwa

For those who pay attention to such stuff, interesting things going on in the Land of Louisville recruiting. Which is an excuse to check in with the Cardinal Couple: (Gather around the laptop and join us for another edition of the Sandy Walker 40-yard dash through Cardinal women’s athletics. A guaranteed good time for all…except for UK fans.) It is Tuesday, Sooooooooo It must be Laundry Day

Mel writes: Penn Almost Mightier Than Cavaliers of Virginia

Yes Virginia. There is a Penn.

And on Monday the Quakers nearly pulled one of the all-time upsets in the history of the program as well as the Big Five women when coach Mike McLaughlin’s group took a commanding lead over the Cavaliers at The Palestra only to fall in the final minutes 68-65 in the second game of the season for both schools.

“It’s disappointing because it could have been a signature win for the program,” McLaughlin said afterwards. “They looked Virginia right in the eye, and I thought we were the better team tonight.”

‘Cause it’s never too late: Did you catch the Dishin & Swishin 11/08/12 Podcast: A Roundtable Preview of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Season The roundtable participants are:

  • AP women’s basketball senior writer, Doug Feinberg
  • Television commentator, LaChina Robinson
  • espnW writer, Michelle Smith
  • Coach and commentator, Christy Winters Scott
  • Television commentator Brooke Weisbrod makes her roundtable debut

Old news, but Chris at the Houston Roundball Review tells us Bridgeport, CT was selected as the new regional site for 2013 NCAA tournament

A little WNBA stuff: Maya (undefended) Scores 60Tina Charles wants WNBA title and President Laurel Richie faces some WNBA questions from Kate, who has never been a fan of the League, but doesn’t really give any answers.

Thanks, Laurel, that’s what WNBA fans want — smoke and mirrors.

From Mechelle’s Thursday chat:

Wallace: Should the WNBA league front office encourage Shelia Johnson to sell the Mystics?

Mechelle Voepel: Well, Monumental Sports Group owns the Mystics, with Sheila Johnson as managing partner. And I think we all have our frustrations about the way the Mystics have been run. I don’t know at this point what direction that franchise is headed. There’s been a lot of speculation, of course. What I do think, though, is that the WNBA front office is *not* proactive in providing much guidance to troubled franchises. Laurel Richie was hired because of her expertise in marketing, but I don’t know how much guidance or advice she can give the Mystics on how to make better personnel decisions. I guess she could advise them on how better to deal with and communicate with their own fans. But I don’t think those conversations happen quite the way some of us might wish they did between the league office and franchises.

Jayda offers an ode to a friend lost: A personal goodbye for a longtime Seattle Storm fan and friend

I hope this is appropriate. It’s not exactly the type of thing you call a grieving family to discuss. But because she’s one of my biggest fans, this is the only way I can say goodbye.

Karen Marie Rolstad died at 11:11 am on Sunday. She was originally diagnosed with endometrial cancer in April and due to other complications that diminished her health, she chose to die under the Death with Dignity Law in Washington state at the age of 74. She was surrounded by family and friends and is survived by her partner Jan of 38 years and their retired show dogs Mario and Tomas.

Karen is the reason I advise young journalists to respond to their readers.

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Holly got her first win.

Georgia beat back a turnover-prone Rutgers.

The Terps raced ahead of the Greyhounds.

The Lions finally woke up to deal with the Bison.

Texas Tech made Charli’s return unhappy.

Win number two for Aston’s Longhorns. Her former team, North Texas, starts its season under new coach, Mike Peterson.

The Cardinal got their groove on in their win over Santa Clara.

Yes, Delle Donne is important to Delaware — as is Sugar to Georgetown. One was MIA, the other sizzling hot, and yet the Hens still had a chance at victory.

The Shockers almost pulled out a … shocking win over LSU.

The Hartley-less Huskies mauled the Cougars.

Don’t look now, but Fordham is 2-0. And James Madison is 0-2. And Seton Hall is 2-0.

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Prairie View A&M women basketball team’s gear stolen while eating dinner in SW Houston

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make helpful assessments? Whatever your take, it was an interesting open day in women’s ball.

Burnt Orange nation has got to be excited to see Aston get her first win as Texas’ coach — and over a ranked (though new head coached) St. John’s. FYI: Some of the St. John’s coaches were hard hit by Sandy.

Orange Nation has got to be a bit nervous at what happened to their team in Warlick’s debutespecially because it was over an unranked Mocs team Tennessee had stomped last year. (So, Ms. Fagan, I know you don’t watch the WNBA because you don’t like the game. Do you watch the college game? If so, how are you feeling about your rationale for your Final Four prediction?) Next up for the Vols, feisty Georgia Tech.

Green and Gold Nation (IN) might be a little queasy after their squeaker on the sea over Ohio State.

Green and Gold Nation (TX) might be a little hungry after the Bears feasted on Lamar.

The Cardinal were happy to walk away with a win over the (new coached) Fresno State Bulldogs.

It’s not “impressive” as much as it is “indicative:” The Penguins beat the Panthers. Any ADs paying attention to coach Boldon?

Central Michigan started the season with a nice win over Bradley.

Hampton rocked and rolled over Southern Miss.

Remember when VaTech was respectable? Coach Barefoot and her ODU Monarchs toasted them. Check out Lady Swish’s essential rundown of the stars of opening day/night.

In Chicago’s Maggie Dixon Classic, Dayton put a hurtin’ on Mississippi Valley State.

It’s weird to think of North Carolina as being unranked. They did take down Davidson in the first round of the preseason WNIT.

Gotta be a relief for coach Donovan: Seton Hall stormed back in the second to overcome NJIT.

The Major Mid-Majors win: Marist, Middle Tennessee and Delaware (are they still allowed in the MMM club?).

Kim Arico Barnes‘ new team, Michigan, got a nice win in their opener over Detroit.

Indiana’s new coach, Curt Miller, wasn’t as successful, as Valpo downed the Hoosiers, 64-52.

Some good news for Ole Miss after their self-imposed post-season ban: the were winners over SE Louisiana, 95-85.

Terps win, Huskers win.

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…with all 16 teams in Round 1 action.

All of the teams, including Delaware, Georgetown, Iowa, MTSU, and North Carolina, officially begin their path to March Madness. The Preseason WNIT helps prepare them with a three-game guarantee and a tournament-playoff atmosphere. The teams that play for the WNIT title will play four games, with the Championship Game televised live on CBS Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 18 at one of the participating schools.

To get up-to-date scores and news of Preseason WNIT games, visit www.womensnit.com and click on “Sign up for WNIT Pocket Updates.” You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to use #wnit when posting any Twitter messages.

Friday’s schedule:

Round 1 Games
(All 2011-12 team records in parentheses)

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012

Davidson (22-10) at North Carolina (20-11), 5 p.m. ET

Northern Illinois (14-17) at Iowa (19-12), 6:30 p.m. ET

Kennesaw State (14-17) at Middle Tennessee (26-7), 6:30 p.m. ET

Liberty (24-9) at Duquesne (20-12), 7 p.m. ET

Sacred Heart (25-8) at Georgetown (23-9), 7 p.m. ET

Grambling State (15-15) at Memphis (25-8), 8 p.m. ET

Sam Houston State (18-12) at Delaware (31-2), 8 p.m. ET

Morehead State (10-19) at Illinois State (19-13), 8 p.m. ET

Winners of Friday’s games advance to play in Round 2 games Sunday. The losers of Friday’s games will move to Consolation Rounds 1&2, details of which will be announced Saturday, Nov. 10.

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On the weekend of Veterans Day, Curt Rallo at the South Bend Tribune does an important follow up: More than another game

Former Notre Dame women’s basketball player Danielle Green fought to overcome a childhood in which she was raised by a mother addicted to drugs, fought to earn a college scholarship and escape the mean streets of Chicago, and fought for her country in Iraq.

And when Green joins coach Muffet McGraw and the Irish on the deck of the USS Yorktown for Friday’s women’s basketball season opener against Ohio State in the Carrier Classic, the Purple Heart recipient will still be fighting.

***

“It’s important to honor the women in the military,” Green said. “We’re forgotten. People forget that women serve their country, too. I feel like women are the backbone of the military, and people really don’t see us out there. Women have come so far. I feel we need to make people aware of women’s contributions to the military. It’s an important fight.”

Jim Massie from the Columbus Dispatch: Opener against Irish provides early gauge

First impressions matter in life and basketball.

To that end, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is pleased to open its season by playing Notre Dame at 4 p.m. today in Mount Pleasant, S.C., as part of the second Carrier Classic aboard the USS Yorktown.

A year after the Michigan State and North Carolina men’s teams played the first NCAA basketball game aboard an aircraft carrier, the Buckeyes and Fighting Irish will become the first women’s teams to do so. Their game will be followed by the OSU men against Marquette at 7 p.m.

Jim also has Playing outside presents challenge

The AP’s Tom Coyne offers up Notre Dame relies on Diggins (no surprise!)

Nate writes: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes: Top women’s basketball programs face off in 2012 Carrier Classic

The shoe that started to fall at the end of last season for Eastern Michigan continues to drop: NCAA adds to Eastern Michigan’s self-imposed penalties for practice violations – which allows me to say “Hello, Matt of the Hustle Belt! Write more on women’s baskeball!”

From Zac Ellis at Sports Illustrated: UConn hoping for big impact from star recruit Breanna Stewart

Mike Casazza from the Daily Mail: Mountaineers hope to meet expectations in Big 12

Mike Carmin from the Indy Star offers up his Purdue women’s basketball preview

No surprise: Media makes Cardinal Pac-12 women’s basketball favorite again

Also from the West Coast, David Pollak at the Mercury News says Cal women’s basketball setting higher goals, while Elliott Almond writes: Stanford’s women’s basketball team changes up offense

David Hutchinson at the Star-Ledger previews New Jersey teams: Local women’s college basketball, 2012-13

Havard is hoping to challenge the Princeton Tigers: Women’s Basketball Seeks Title

Tom Hinkel writes about Beth Mowins’ school: Lafayette College women’s basketball team ready for a new beginning

From the Burlington Free Press: Vermont women’s basketball at powerhouse Marist for opener

In his Baylor women’s basketball preview: Brittney Griner, Bears will be tested early, the author seems to forget the Green and Gold have to face the Huskies this season.

How can you resist reading the Flat Hat News’ William & Mary preview?

Rachel Whittaker from the Times-Picayune says the Newly named Devlin Fieldhouse is ready for Tulane women’s basketball opener

That bastion of women’s basketball supporters *insert sarcasm* Georgetown notices that the Hoyas Open in Preseason WNIT

Check up (I’m assuming it’s Doug) the AP’s Guide to the women’s basketball season

ESPN has a ton of stuff:

And the NCAA Women’s Basketball Television Broadcast page is a waste.

Put in today’s date and BOOM!, you get kicked back to the Baylor-ND game in April. Where’s Sue Donohoe when we need her?

Luckily, ESPN’s Carol Stiff seems to have stepped up her game. Check out this listing. (I believe Baylor’s on FOX Sports SW and ND/Ohio State’s on NBCSN)

1:00 PM Lamar at (1) Baylor Tickets
10:00 PM Fresno State at (4) Stanford Tickets
7:00 PM Mount St. Mary’s at (5) Maryland Tickets
4:00 PM (7) Notre Dame vs. (19) Ohio State* Tickets
7:00 PM (15) Texas A&M at (9) Louisville Tickets
8:00 PM Sam Houston State at (11) Delaware Tickets
10:00 PM Lehigh at (13) California Tickets
3:30 PM Texas vs. (14) St. John’s* Tickets
7:00 PM North Carolina-Wilmington at (17) West Virginia Tickets
8:05 PM North Carolina A&T at (18) Nebraska Tickets
7:00 PM (20) Tennessee at Chattanooga Tickets
6:30 PM Cal Poly at (23) Oklahoma State Tickets
8:00 PM North Florida at (24) Miami (FL) Tickets
6:30 PM Nicholls State at (25) DePaul

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From Blue Devil land: Williams’ frustrating foot injury lingers for Duke women’s basketball

After being decimated by injuries late last season, this year was supposed to be different for Duke. But with the season just beginning, the Blue Devils already face a daunting obstacle as preseason All-American Elizabeth Williams has not yet recovered from a stress fracture suffered last March.

Dabnabbit! UTEP women’s basketball guard Jenzel Nash out for the year due to injury

From Bear land: Women’s basketball season begins with simple question: Can anyone stop Griner and Baylor?

Graham offers a possible answer: Breanna Stewart preps for debut – All eyes on the freshman expected to be the next great thing in Huskies history

Detroit has its auto show. Women’s basketball has media day at the University of Connecticut.

Come, crowd around to see the latest innovation, the new design that will set a standard and capture the public imagination in years to come.

Same time, same place every year.

But even at a school for which the annual unveiling of the next highly anticipated star seems as much a part of the autumn calendar as hot cider and pumpkin carving, this year feels different. Breanna Stewart has yet to play a game for Connecticut. She has yet to score her first point, grab her first rebound, block her first shot or draw her first regular-season rebuke from Geno Auriemma. And still people in Storrs sound a little like they’re talking about the flying car of tomorrow come to life when discussing the unassuming 6-foot-4 forward from upstate New York and consensus next great thing in women’s basketball.

Baylor’s women’s basketball team offered spectators plenty during a perfect season in 2011-12. There was the consensus national player of the year in center Brittney Griner. An exceptionally quick point guard, Odyssey Sims, with both great scoring potential and a natural zest for defense.

Destiny Williams, an eloquent team spokeswoman who also works the boards ferociously. The shouldn’t-be-overlooked tandem of Jordan Madden and Kimetria “Nae-Nae” Hayden, who hurt foes on both ends of the court.

And the maestro of it all was coach Kim Mulkey, who set the tone for a group of players who never seemed the least bit rattled by not just the hope, but the expectation that they would win it all. Even a flare-up of Bell’s palsy during the NCAA tournament didn’t seem to rattle Mulkey in the least. She downplayed it, even cracking jokes at her own expense.

Michelle gives us the A-to-Z rundown of what to expect
A: Arizona State. Coach Charli Turner Thorne took a year off to recharge and spend time with her family, a rare opportunity in the coaching universe. But she’s back on the floor with the Sun Devils and it’s time to rebuild a program that fell to the middle of the Pac-12 in her absence.
Z: Zero. Is Baylor ready for another zero-loss season? It could happen.
Charlie give us a Big 10 preview, and busy Mechelle gives us her Big 12 preview.

For decades it seemed as though Michigan regarded women’s basketball as a part of the athletic department it didn’t want anyone to see.

It was as if U-M fielded a team because it had to, not because it wanted to, and it was reflected in thousands of empty seats in Crisler Arena. A perennial nonfactor when it came to contending for Big Ten championships and NCAA tournament bids, the program suffered its biggest embarrassment last spring when coach Kevin Borseth resigned to return to Green Bay, the program he left to take the U-M job.

From their in-state rival: Michigan State women’s basketball putting puzzle together

From Terp land: Maryland women’s basketball: It’s Final Four or bust for the Terrapins (no pressure) and 2012 ACC women’s basketball preview: Can Alyssa Thomas carry the Maryland Terrapins to the top again?

Also, “YAY! The BasketCases are back!” : Early Late Returns

From the land of the Bluejays: 2012-13 Creighton Women’s Basketball Profiles: Sarah Nelson

From Bluegrass land: Kentuckiana women’s basketball at a glance and Western Kentucky women’s basketball | Young Toppers hope speed offsets height

More from the land of Bluegrass: (no pressure) SEC coaches pick UK women’s basketball as favorites to win 2012-13 conference title

From the Land o’ Bisons: (a really short)  Howard women’s basketball preview

From the Land o’ (Washington) Huskies: Washington women’s basketball: Five things to watch

From more of the West Coast folks: OSU women’s basketball: Beavers excited to play a better schedule

There are still some games that could be considered cupcakes, but the Beavers will get to face two NCAA tournament teams, with the possibility of another, and two teams that made the Women’s National Invitation Tournament before opening the Pac-12 season

“I think we’re in a position where we need that,” Rueck said. “This year we open Pac-12 play with the L.A. schools coming in. We need to know who we are and where we need to go before that weekend happens.”

From the land of the Commodores: Holzer out for season Center suffered injury in exhibition game versus Alabama-Huntsville.

From the Land o’ Swish Appeal, Nate says: Tennessee Lady Vols built to run after losing stars to the WNBA draft

Speaking of the W, thewiz09 asks: Does Regionalization and “Our Girls Syndrome” Adversely Affect The WNBA?

…to take a page out of the words of a former Washington Mystics head coach, the WNBA is a league that is building its identity, so teams often look for quick ways to get more fans to sit in. The largest overlapping fanbasewith women’s professional basketball is Division I women’s college basketball power program fanbases. A very quick way to attract fans from the local college power team is to draft or acquire players from that team. That leads to the regionalizationof a team.

One reason why a team may regionalize is also because there is a fear that fans of the WNBA team may not even want to watch the team at all unless some players are from the local college power or are from the area. This leads to a term called “Our Girls Syndrome (OGS).” This term, to the best of my knowledge, was introduced by Clay Kallam of Full Court. Kallam laid it out and showed applications of it really well in a piece for Scout.com back in 2003 (and it was updated in 2005). The concepts he lays out in that piece will be reapplied to today’s league.

From the Land of the Bun: Corey Gaines keeps his nose to Phoenix Suns’ grindstone

From the Times-Picayune: Temeka Johnson blogs: Russian team builds toward EuroCup game Thursday

WANT? Vicky Bullett? Winning: Women’s Basketball: HCC opens season with a Bullett

Speaking of the Washington Mystics, delve deep down in to Mel’s post to find out some stuff about the hot mess they’re in and the Rebkellians have some coaching suggestions.

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but some will not be there to play.

Earlier, it was Baylor freshman Destiny Brown being dismissed for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Now it’s Nebraska’s turn: Sophomore guard Rebecca Woodberry has been removed from the team for a violation of team rules.

And from Graham (welcome back to women’s basketball!) this disconcerting news: Delle Donne deals with Lyme flare-up – Delaware senior nowhere near 100 percent in recurrence of disease

With the start of the regular season just a week away, Delle Donne told espnW she is experiencing a recurrence of symptoms of Lyme disease, the same illness that forced her out of the lineup for 12 games during the 2010-11 season.

Although she experienced sporadic symptoms last season and remained on medication for the disease, she was for the most part healthy as a junior. The results were otherworldly, one of the greatest statistical seasons on record. She averaged 28.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the field, 41 percent from the 3-point line and 89 percent from the free throw line, turning over the ball fewer than two times per game.

But when full practices began several weeks ago, Delle Donne felt the return of familiar symptoms, which can include extreme fatigue, migraine-like headaches and anything from mild to debilitating pain in muscles and joints (hold your arms out in front of you for a few seconds; now imagine not having the strength to keep them there).

La di dah: Georgia women’s basketball team unconcerned with high preseason ranking

James has the rest of his list: The Top 100 Programs in Division I women’s college basketball: #11-25 and the Top 100 Programs in Division One women’s college basketball:  #1-10. He also offers up: How do basketball recruits make their decisions?

In WNBA news, congrats to Former UConn, WNBA basketball player Rebecca Lobo who is to receive Westfield Athenaeum distinguished speaker honor

From Israel, Lior catches January Fever

To be completely honest, there aren’t a lot of reasons to get excited over the new division I women’s basketball season in Israel. If we ignore last year’s exciting playoffs, the regular season itself had many tough to watch games. But as I sat in my living room in the middle of the night and watched the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA title in the sold out Bankers Life Fieldhouse, I got goosebumps. The fact that their starting PG, Briann January, will play here in Israel this season is definitely a reason to get off the couch and go see her live in action.

Where’s Armintie Price? At the Fifth Annual Special Needs Fall Festival held in Hampton.

From Dime Magazine: One Of The WNBA’s Shortest Players (Ivory) Is Making A Huge Difference Off The Court

Yes, Nate, “During the WNBA’s long off-season, it’s never too late for WNBA Finals analysis”: Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith on the WNBA Finals: ‘The Lynx shouldn’t have lost.’

He also ponders What might limit a WNBA Draft prospect’s success?

Perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the value of statistics and more specifically the value of looking at the right statistics is to look back at the track record of success of volume shooters in both the NBA and WNBA draft.

And really we’re not talking about the mysterious advanced statistical sorcery of magic wizards, but simple things like the percentage of attempted shots a player makes.

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If you want to help

the Hurricane Sandy victims, please consider donating to Red Cross.

“We left thinking water, and now – this is it. My life in ashes.”
Breezy Point, Queens

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