Texas A&M: Junior Courtney Williams Suspended Indefinitely
Oregon: Oregon women’s basketball dismisses leading scorer for rules violation
Tennessee: Tennessee suspends 4 Lady Vols for 1-2 games
LSU: Women’s Hoops Ballard Suspended Indefinitely
As to what might happen ON the court, the ESPN ‘xperts make their preseason picks. Hmmm… Huge for Aston if it comes true…. and wow, the Pac12 looks to be very, very interesting!
Here’s espnW’s Top 25 and their preseason AAs and espnw’s Top 25 players.
The folks at ESPN have been burning the midnight oil:
Mechelle: Stewart is preseason player of year – Connecticut junior repeats as the top player heading into 2014-15 season
Sometimes I think of UConn’s women’s basketball program as a giant version of one of those rock-polishing tumblers. You know, where you put stones in with the coarse grit, the fine grit, the pre-polish and the polish as part of the process that makes them look like gems.
That is what’s supposed to happen, anyway. It never worked very well for me. Maybe because 1970s rock-polishing kits for kids were a little on the cheap side. Or maybe I was hit-and-miss about precisely following the directions.
Or maybe I just wasn’t patient enough. You had to run the tumbler for what seemed like forever to me — it might have been only a week — but I would get bored, open it, be disappointed it still contained rocks instead of priceless jewels and then go do something else. It was hard to stay committed to the process.
Charlie: South Carolina sets standard in SEC – Gamecocks predicted to win second consecutive regular-season title
The SEC once again is the deepest conference in the country. Four teams appear to have Final Four potential. Last season, South Carolina came out of nowhere to win the regular-season championship and now has become the favorite.
Mechelle thinks the Gamecocks are ready to take next step, but Is South Carolina capable of unseating two-time defending champ UConn?
What South Carolina’s women’s basketball program is attempting to do is an exhilarating process, but it also usually involves some scar tissue.
In short, the Gamecocks are climbing, and “the top” is a realistic goal. But it is, by no means, a guaranteed destination. And nobody knows that better than the person leading this expedition, coach Dawn Staley.
Greenville: Wilson ready to make an impact on USC women’s basketball team
A’ja Wilson finally got a chance to take the basketball court, donning a University of South Carolina uniform, Sunday.
The most decorated high school player to ever join the Gamecocks women’s basketball team admitted she was nervous before the team hosted Coker in an exhibition game.
Mechelle also posits that the Keys of past may be Tennessee’s future – Lady Vols could look like the best Tennessee teams of old on defense, boards
For the longest time — decades, in fact — there was no question about Tennessee’s identity in women’s basketball. The Lady Vols played aggressive, physical defense that wore down opponents. They were exceptionally motivated to control the boards. They could be a very good offensive team, but they also could survive those games in which they struggled to score.
And, most important of all, they believed at their cores that when the stakes were the highest, they would be the ones walking away from the table with the biggest pile of chips.
Post Dispatch: Ultimate goal for Mizzou women’s basketball is postseason
Missouri women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton doesn’t waste much breath talking to her players about the program’s ultimate goals. But it’s obvious what the Tigers crave: a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Mizzou hasn’t been there since 2006, when Pingeton’s oldest players were in seventh grade.
Don’t overlook the Irish. Writes Graham, Stars come and go, Irish just reload – A fifth consecutive Final Four won’t be enough for Jewell Loyd and Notre Dame
A crowd waited outside the Joyce Center when the Notre Dame women’s basketball team returned to campus shortly after losing to Connecticut in the national championship game this past April. The loss in Nashville a night earlier marked the Fighting Irish’s first in a calendar year. But Muffet McGraw focused neither on that bitter defeat against an old rival nor on the 37 wins in a row that preceded it when the coach spoke to those who greeted the team.
McGraw wanted to talk about the new season, the one she said started that day. A new opportunity awaited.
And what about those Terps? Graham thinks their season hinges on many ‘ifs’ – Maryland must adjust to life without Alyssa Thomas, competing in Big Ten
Like a lot of us facing a move, Maryland couldn’t bring everything it wanted to a new home in the Big Ten. In the case of the women’s basketball program, it wasn’t a matter of running out of cardboard boxes or a shortage of space in the back of the rental truck. All-American Alyssa Thomas simply didn’t have any eligibility left.
Now the Terrapins hope that moving on without Thomas won’t mean they fit in a little too well in their new surroundings.
Making the argument that the West Coast is the “one to watch” this season, Michelle asks: Is the Pac-12 better than ever?
June Daugherty has been in this conference for nearly 30 years. The Pac-12’s designated eternal optimist has never sounded more encouraged.
“This conference is going to be better than it’s been in a long time,” said Daugherty, Washington State’s coach. “Let’s stop talking about getting five or six teams in the postseason and talk about eight or nine.”
Charli Turner Thorne, who has banked almost as much Pac-12 time as Daugherty, agrees wholeheartedly.
“On paper, this is the best the conference has ever been,” Arizona State’s coach said. “We were young for a couple of years, but we aren’t young any more. This is exciting. This is what we work for.”
Graham: UConn well out in front of AAC
Mechelle: Irish favored to repeat in ACC
Dishin & Swishin 11/05/14 Podcast: Coming off a record-breaking season, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw gets ready to do it again
When the season came to a disappointing conclusion though, the loss to also undefeated Connecticut while playing without injured star center Natalie Achonwa, McGraw and her staff did not sit back and say “what if?” As she says on this week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast, the 2014-15 season began the next day.
What a season it could turn out to be the preseason third-ranked Irish! Graduation took McBride, Achonwa, and starting forward Ariel Braker from the team, but a heralded freshman class joins the returning players to give the Irish one of their deepest teams ever.
Duke Chronicle: Changing of the guards for Duke women’s basketball
Duke knows the importance of strong point guard play. After all, it was season-ending injuries to point guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones injury that dashed the Blue Devils’ national title aspirations a year ago.
Just one year later, Duke finds itself in the same position—without Gray, now in the WNBA, and Jones, who transferred to Baylor following her ACL injury. But these Blue Devils are confident that a replacement for the former top-tier point guards lies on this year’s highly-touted roster.
Miami: Women’s basketball season kicks off with six new members
Mechelle: Longhorns should lead way in Big 12
The Daily Texan: Women’s basketball gets ready for new season
After a strong finish last season and a long off-season, Texas is now the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 conference title for the first time since 2004. The Longhorns have an impressive No. 3 preseason national ranking from SLAM Magazine and are ranked No. 9 by ESPN.
“I’m really, really looking forward to seeing what this team is capable of doing,” head coach Karen Aston said.
OColly.com: Cowgirls Focusing on Filling Void Left by Tiffany Bias
Tiffany Bias was the glue that held Oklahoma State together last season. This year, though, the Cowgirls will have to learn to cope without their star point guard. Bias, who led the team in scoring and assists a season ago, is now gone to the WNBA.
“It’s really different,” Roshunda Johnson said. “She was the leader of the team last year. But now that she’s gone we have other people stepping up. We all just come as one and we have to be leaders now that she’s gone. It’s a big factor, but it’s all working together.”
From Mechelle’s old newspaper: Women’s basketball season preview: KU, K-State, Mizzou and the nation
The biggest thing coach Jeff Mittie is looking for in his first year at Kansas State is progress.
The Wildcats are coming off their first back-to-back losing seasons in the Big 12 since 2000 and 2001 and finished with an 11-19 overall mark a year ago.
“I don’t think there has been a winning identity and we are trying to get our team to buy into an offensive identity that is more efficient,” Mittie said. “We do believe that we are going to have to play inside-out basketball with our front line and that is different than they’ve done in the past.”
Post-Gazette: West Virginia women’s basketball preview
Mike Carey’s program is at an all-time high. In 2013-14, West Virginia won 30 games, captured a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title and made another NCAA tournament appearance, its fifth in a row and seventh in the past eight years. The Mountaineers open the season ranked No. 17, but face the tall task of replacing five departed seniors — including three of the top four scorers in center Asya Bussie (12.9ppg points per game), guard Christal Caldwell (12.5 ppg) and guard Taylor Palmer (9.8 ppg) — and bringing seven newcomers into the fold. Still, having three starters back this fall should help keep West Virginia at the top of the heap in a competitive Big 12.
Michelle: DePaul will dominate Big East again
Charlie: Big Ten is even deeper this season
AP: Nebraska women count on recruits for hoops success
Nebraska coach Connie Yori gathered her team on the first day of preseason practice and handed out Big Ten tournament championship rings to her returning players.
”Not like there was a big drum roll,” Yori said. ”It was like, ‘Here’s something we accomplished, and it’s something we’d like to do again.’ ”
Post-Gazette: Penn State women’s basketball preview
Centre Daily: Mazzante makes return to Happy Valley
Kelly Mazzante admits it was a little strange walking into the visitor’s locker room on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
She also had to sit on the wrong bench.
But as far as Mazzante was concerned, there couldn’t have been a more appropriate place to unofficially begin her college coaching career.
Michelle: Cal trumps Stanford as early pick
Dishin & Swishin 10/30/14 Podcast: Lindsay Gottlieb & Cal look to take the next step
The Press Democrat: Cal women’s basketball gets an assist from Stanford
Sleep-deprived and feeling a bit down, coach Lindsay Gottlieb took a stroll last March a day after California’s season ended in the NCAA tournament. She was still absorbing being abruptly thrown into the offseason.
Her phone buzzed with a text message. Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, whose team was still playing, wrote: “Do you have any scholarships left?”
Stanford Daily: Freshman class ushers in the new age of Stanford women’s basketball
Let’s address what’s on everyone’s mind: This is the first season in six years that the Stanford’s women’s basketball team has not had an Ogwumike sister on the roster. Yet instead of letting this fact define the upcoming season, the team has instead looked to the very-promising future: to its new offensive scheme, to seeing Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson step up as offensive powerhouses and perhaps most importantly, to see how the freshmen — Kaylee Johnson, Taylor Rooks and Brittany McPhee — will shape the next few years of Cardinal basketball.
San Jose Mercury News: Stanford aiming to speed up tempo
Should Stanford reach the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four for the seventh time in eight years, coach Tara Van Derveer may do some serious celebrating. Stanford, which hasn’t won an NCAA title since 1992, lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the semifinals last year.
“It’s really hard to get to the Final Four,” said Van Derveer, in her 29th season. “If I’m talking about that with this team, I’ll buy you a beer and I don’t even drink. This is going to be very challenging. We’re young, but it will be fun to see how much we improve and stay together.”
From the USC Trojan’s site: USC Women’s Basketball Season Outlook
The Ivy: Quakers and Tigers look like top contenders
A10: Women’s basketball forwards poised for dominant season
Entering this season, George Washington women’s basketball head coach Jonathan Tsipis has an advantage that no other coach in the Atlantic 10 can claim: two all-conference forwards who compete against each other every day in practice.
After impressive debuts for both players put them on the conference radar, Caira Washington and Jonquel Jones head into their second seasons together as the starting frontcourt for Tsipis. The two combine to form arguably the best one-two punch in the Atlantic 10, an element that only helps the duo day-in and day-out at practice.
Interviews and video mash ups:
Finally, in case you’re wondering about what is or isn’t important….
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