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Archive for June, 2015

… sorta.

WNBA, Liberty agree to suspend Thomas’ ownership application

”After further discussion and with the season underway, the WNBA and the New York Liberty have agreed to suspend consideration of Isiah Thomas’ application for an ownership interest in the Liberty until further notice,” the statement from the WNBA said Monday. ”The process will resume at a future time as determined by the Liberty.”

Thomas is still the president of the team, and he said in an interview with The Associated Press at the start of the season that the two positions weren’t directly connected.

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Can’t wait to watch Queen V

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And so UNC continues to reap what it (claims not to have) sowed: Mavunga Given Permission To Explore Transfer

At this rate, the NCAA won’t have to give UNC the death penalty – they’ve given it to themselves.

At any rate, UNC women’s basketball has entered an anxious twilight period before darkness falls. It is a form of punishment before the punishment. Whatever sanctions the program receives will likely be debilitating. High levels of attrition and a recruiting drought prior to that will on exacerbate the impact of those sanctions. In short, UNC women’s basketball is about to take a very difficult and long walk through the wilderness.

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From the Daily Tar Heel: 

“It was about how she would be viewed. How would a potential employer view her?” Tuggle said. “Would the employer look at her skill set? Or would they automatically sort of disqualify her in their minds because she played basketball at Carolina?”

The program that benefits from UNC’s huge missteps: South Carolina. No wonder Dawn’s staying put.

Speaking of transfers: Terps women’s basketball confident, despite Lexie Brown’s departure

While the NCAA tries to figure out what it can and can’t do (or will and won’t do) about the Heel’s pit of twisted rules, others at the Buckeye Battle Cry are pondering the changing rules on court. The folks who actually have to make the calls are taking, too.

New Mexico wised up: Sanchez’s 4-year deal is official

About those lawsuits… Illini Chancellor confident in AD

“Yeah,” Wise said fairly emphatically. “I mean, I do not want to rush to judgment. I want to wait until all the investigations are done.”

From the Daily Californian: Brittany Boyd, Reshanda Gray face challenges adapting to new roles in WNBA

From Arizona:Leilani Mitchell shooting her way to success as Mercury’s new point guard

From ESPN: How Connecticut Has Landed In A Surprising Spot — Atop The East

Anne Donovan could have played the disrespect card. She could have used the preseason predictions that had her Connecticut Sun team finishing last in the Eastern Conference as a source of motivation for her team, something that would have stoked the players’ competitive pride.

But the truth is, she can’t really blame people for what they thought.

Coach Donovan can also be heard on the Dishin’ and Swishin’ podcast.

From D.C.: The Conversation: Mystics’ Kara Lawson on being home, broadcasting and the WNBA

Amazing (and thanks, Doug): 5 torn ACLs later, Jacki Gemelos finally makes WNBA roster

The Sky had brought her in as a free agent to training camp before she was the final cut. General manager and coach Pokey Chatman knew she wanted Gemelos in a Chicago uniform and when guard Allie Quigley left to play for Hungary in the Eurobasket tournament this week, a spot opened up on the roster.

“I had tears of joy, tears of every emotion that I felt,” Gemelos said about signing her first WNBA contract. “Even when I was putting on the uniform in my first scrimmage, I was tearing up inside. Wearing that jersey and being so close. It was tough when they cut me, but now I’ll be able to play in my first real WNBA game. It’s going to be hard to keep it together.”

Gemelos will get her first chance Friday in Atlanta.

WATN? Ex-WNBA Standout Andrea Stinson Takes Next Coaching Step at National Tryout

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From Mechelle: With Likely Departure Of Allisha Gray, Tar Heels’ Program Reeling

The academic scandal that first became publicly known involving the North Carolina football program in 2010 has since been revealed to date back two decades and involve athletes from several programs, including women’s basketball.

There is an enormous amount to unpack when discussing all that’s been revealed over the past five years at North Carolina. Willful blindness or chosen naivety, whatever term you prefer, seemed rampant.

As for women’s basketball, to say the least, the program that Hatchell has presided over since 1986 is sailing in rough waters that may get worse before they get better.

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Allisha Gray leaving North Carolina. Remember that great 2013 #1 Recruiting Class of Diamond DeShields, Allisha Gray, Jessica Washington and Stephanie Mavunga? Mavunga is the last one standing.

For folks (read UNC athletic staff) who aren’t taking this whole academic scandal thang seriously (who, us?) you all better stand up and take notice. Speak up, clear the air… or your athletic program may implode.

Speaking of transfers: Former Terps guard Lexie Brown to transfer to Duke

Thank you: Lester Galyon leaving Gordon Lee after successful 14-year run

After one of the longest and undoubtedly the most successful runs in the program’s history, Lester Galyon is leaving the girls’ basketball program at Gordon Lee High School.

Galyon came to Chickamauga 14 years ago and inherited a program that was just starting to get back to the top. He arrived at Gordon Lee one year after the Lady Trojans broke a long state playoff drought.

His teams would go on to be in the state tournament in each of the first 13 years of his tenure, winning over 300 games, averaging 21 wins a season and never having had a losing season. He helped coach the Lady Trojans to six Region 6-A championships and the Class A Public School state championship in 2013.

Thank you, too: Lusinger leaves Summit girls basketball for MISD office

Summit girls basketball head coach Tammy Lusinger has resigned to accept the position of assistant athletic director at the Mansfield ISD office.

Lusinger, who helped guide the Lady Jaguars to state championships in 2009 and 2012, leaves the program after 13 years, the last eight as head coach. She served the first five years as the program’s assistant coach, dating back to the opening of the school.

Her record at Summit was 229-65 and 330-142 overall, which includes time spent at Dripping Springs, Richland and LaPorte before arriving at Summit.

The Lady Jaguars also collected four district championships and six regional appearances in addition to the two state titles.

In W news:

Do not even pretend you had this marked in your prediction book: Surprising Sun sit atop the Eastern Conference in WNBA

“I think we are (shocking people), but I don’t think we are shocking ourselves,” guard Jasmine Thomas said. “I think that this is exactly what everyone wanted, what we were fighting for and what we were expecting to be doing.”

That said, the Sun will be tested this week as they head West for a three-game swing against the Seattle Storm, Los Angeles Sparks and Phoenix Mercury.

One of the reasons: Bone-Jarring: Sun Post Player Likes To Mix It Up Underneath

Kelsey Bone were a hockey player she would be an enforcer. That seems clear.

“Listen, if I was coordinated enough to skate, I would have tried my hand at hockey,” Bone said. “And if it meant I would end up in the penalty box, well, I’m fine with that.”

That’s because Bone, as solid a 6 feet 4 as there is in the WNBA, does not shy away from the physicality that often defines low post play. In fact, she’s often a spoon that stirs it.

And don’t even TRY to say you had THIS marked in your prediction book: There are a lot of good vibes from new-look Mercury

What has been discussed most about the WNBA’s defending champions is all that has changed for the Mercury from a year ago. But especially after a big victory at home Sunday, it’s a good time to talk about who the 2015 Mercury actually are, not who they aren’t.

So let’s look at that through the eyes of two veteran players — guard Leilani Mitchell and forward Monique Currie — who until this season spent their WNBA careers in the Eastern Conference. Now they’re in the Mercury’s starting lineup.

Chicago ouch: Tamera Young out after thumb surgery.

New York ouch: Dabnabbit! There goes our Aussie!

Thank you: WNBA’s Indiana Fever Pay Tribute to Lauren Hill

Thank you: Tina Charles donates half WNBA salary to her foundation

Soooooo, can Cooper recapture the Dream or is Atlanta joining San Antonio’s race for Stewart?

Finally, longtime WHB readers remember this story. Thank you, Danielle: Green to receive Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPYS

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… a hard working, fast-paced, everyone plays kinda of team (and no Isiah Thomas in the house), but i know better than to trust early W returns. Yes, the win vs. the Dream was against a team with its full compliment of players, but the same cannot be said for the W’s v. Phoenix and Indy.

That being said, Tina is playing like she gives a hoot about basketball, Essence is playing like her body is 100%, and Boyd is bringing a Becky-esque energy to the floor. And we’re undefeated at home. Can’t ask or much more than that…except, maybe, Piph returning early and healthy.

The Dream – everyone’s “with caveats” anointed Eastern champ stumbled badly out of the gate. They seemed to have regained their footing, coming away with a tough win over the Mystics, who had been galloping out of the gates.

Speaking of galloping, how about the Connecticut Sun? Most folks didn’t think they even had a horse in the race!

Storm warnings in Seattle, as Loyd and Mosqueda-Lewis discover just how hard it is to adjust to the WNBA’s skill level and pace.

Catch and Shavonte are working herself back into both sides of the lineup and Indiana is happy.

It’s not easy being Cardinal: Former Stanford players get WNBA season off to rough start

For an overview on the season so far, check out Jeff House in da house. 

Scatter shooting around the W, after the opening weekend of games, and there were a few games that catch the eye and make me say, “Hmmmm.”

Pitt’s McConnell-Serio embraces new rules for women’s basketballGary Blair Reacts To NCAA Women’s Basketball Rule Changes  and Mike Strange: Men’s basketball should be watching women’srule changes

If there’s a wall, build around it: Muslim Girls Design Their Own Culturally Appropriate Basketball Uniforms

WBHOF: 

When Door Opened For Women’s League, Lisa Leslie Walked Through It

Lisa Leslie, former OSU coach Kurt Budke among inductees into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

On the day before the Fever honor Lauren, she’s Honored By Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame

A woman who never even met the late Lauren Hill was so touched by her story that she donated an engraved brick in her name to the the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. The brick reads: “Lauren Hill: Hero.”

Swoop, there it goes: Nike (NKE) Becomes Exclusive Oncourt Apparel Provider for the NBA, WNBA

Long-term NCAA planning: 

The pre-season WNIT field is set.

Not yet set is the Maggie Dixon Classic at MSG… but rumors include Kentucky and UConn. Maybe we can break 180 WHB tixs??

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Please excuse this non-profit commercial interruption….

We’re raising funds for our two Youth Theaters, that serve approximately 70 NYC students Sept. – May Tuesdays (4-6:30) and Wednesdays (4-6:30) at NO COST (to them). I’d welcome anyone’s support – however big or small.

The elevator speech:

About the CAT Youth Theatre

“CAT Youth Theatre is about learning and growing. Everyone listens and is open without judgment. I don’t know who I would be without CAT.” – YT Alum

CAT Youth Theatre is a FREE program that helps young people to thrive – on stage and in life. Members create socially relevant original plays while learning vital life skills, enabling youth to become self-confident, compassionate and accountable; to develop relationships across differences; build community; and be prepared to act as contributing citizens.

The collaborative theatre process gives young people the opportunity to make new meanings from the material of their lives. There are no auditions – and it’s free to the young people who participate. CAT Youth Theatre is a program of the CUNY Creative Arts Team.

Why we’re raising money for CAT Youth Theatre

CAT Youth Theatre is a unique program, using theatre to encourage young people to look critically at the world around them, decide what it is they want their theatre to say, and think about what their role in the world should be. Young people ages 10 and up get amazing opportunities to create original theatre, work with a huge variety of people who they might never meet, and share their work with their families and peers. Youth Theatre members also get the opportunity to work with students in the Masters in Applied Theatre program, apprentice with the Junior Youth Theatre, and attend a weekend retreat in New Jersey to celebrate the end of the year.

Though CAT is fully committed to keeping the program free for participants, we need to raise funds to make that possible. I want to do my part to make sure that the program is available to NYC young people for years to come.

Join my team and help me raise much needed funds for this incredible organization!

Want to make an even bigger impact? Can you make a recurring donation? Even just $10 a month can make a HUGE difference! You can make your donation monthly by clicking the dropdown menu on the right.

Thank you for joining our team- and me!- as a supporter of the CAT Youth Theatre!

(BTW, thanks R.H.!)

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So, what have we learned…

beyond the fact that WNBA.com is a hot mess and I still detest the new ESPN WBB page?

No surpirse, the Lynx are out to a 2-0 start, and Lindsay Whalen embraces Lynx leadership role

If there’s one thing Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve never takes for granted, it’s having Lindsay Whalen as a point guard.

“She’s really, really special,” Reeve said Saturday after Whalen’s 17 points and five assists led the Lynx over Indiana 78-69. “I’m fortunate to have someone like her who’s been at the helm of this thing for my entire ride here in Minnesota.”

Surprise? The Dream are 0-2, after losing to a (2-0) depleted Connecticut team.

Big Syl walking away from Chicago may be a below-the-fold-story in the W these days, but that hasn’t stopped other folks are stepping up: Sky impress despite Fowles’ absence

Picking up where she left off last season, Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne was pretty much unstoppable, with 31 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes.

Friday was also the Sky debut of Chicago native Cappie Pondexter, who came home to the Windy City in an offseason trade with the Liberty and had eight points and four assists.

Delle Donne loves how vocal Pondexter is on court, and the way that keeps everyone focused and energized. For her part, Pondexter said she was just happy to do whatever she could to help Delle Donne be at her best.

I’m going to ignore their loss to the Mystics and the shadow Isiah Thomas casts over the Garden and simply celebrate the excitement that was the Lib on opening night (BOYD! An Aussie!): The numbers and analytics behind Liberty’s victory

I hear Debbie Antonelli is petitioning the W to make Chicago and Tulsa play each other ten times this season

Could be a fun time in Seattle and tough times in L.A., even as Coach Brian Agler says mutual parting was best for him and Storm

Making English teachers cringe? Canadian Natalie Achonwa makes impactful WNBA debut

It was a long and hard journey back, a trek dotted with celebrations of small steps taken that allowed her sanity to be maintained and with eyes always on the big prize that awaited her.

And when Natalie Achonwa finally got back to doing what she loves, doing what she couldn’t for longer than she could ever imagine, the emotions were close to overwhelming.

“I was ecstatic,” the Guelph, Ont., native and Canadian women’s basketball star said after her WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever. “It was pure relief.”

As advertised? Tokashiki helps Storm rout Sparks in WNBA opener

Some thoughts: From bad ideas to blown opportunities: Why the Lynx — and the WNBA — aren’t a bigger deal

Though Moore kept winning with the Lynx — two WNBA titles her first three seasons, plus a league MVP award last year — something seemed off. Moore discovered what many WNBA players before her have learned: Once you leave college, the public eye shifts elsewhere. Even the league’s national television contract with ESPN can’t equal the spotlight of an NCAA Final Four.

Privately, players fault the WNBA for ineffective marketing. That’s why Moore said she heard “a lot of amens” from her peers after her essay, “(In)Visiblity,” appeared April 30 in The Players Tribune, which tackled an issue vexing many of the WNBA’s players and coaches: How can a league with so much to offer generate so little buzz nationally? And what can be done about it?

In the New Yorker: Closing Basketball’s Gender Data Gap

The W.N.B.A. might exist in a separate world from the N.B.A., but it’s not in a vacuum, and the same philosophies that are shifting the men’s game have spread to the women’s as well. Three-pointers are being hoisted at higher rates, rigid positional designations are melting away, and teams are emphasizing pace, eschewing midrange jumpers, and obsessing over efficiency. Last Tuesday, amid the men’s playoff hype, the W.N.B.A. snagged some headlines when the Minnesota Lynx visited the Washington Mystics for what was billed as an “analytics scrimmage,” which featured new rules to reflect those trends. 

And the soap continues: WNBA’s Brittney Griner Files To Annul Marriage To Fellow WNBA Player. It sucks being in the spotlight when you’re wicked young… From Kate: Brittney Griner emotional after feverish few days

NCAA moving truck stopped in Columbus: Ohio State women’s basketball adds Duke transfer to roster

…and start up in Waco: Wright leaving Baylor women’s basketball team

“About those rules changes,” from Vic Dorr, Jr: 

Shafer said the committee likely would not have endorsed the four-quarter proposal on its own merits. Vital, he said, were two complementary components. Team fouls will be reset to zero at the beginning of each quarter. And only two of a team’s four timeouts will carry over to the second half.

These adjustments, Shafer believes, will reduce the frequency not only of second-half free throw interruptions but also of late-game scenarios in which multiple timeouts are stacked one upon another.

NCAA insiders expect the four-quarter proposal to pass. But response to the timeout proposal has been mixed — so much so that refinements seem possible, if not likely, before the first balls are bounced in November.

No sh*t: NCAA sanctions would sting UNC’s women’s basketball team

A sport with a huge upside could get smacked down if the NCAA follows through with the maximum punishment for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill women’s basketball team.

The Tar Heels, national champions in 1994, advanced to an NCAA Regional Semifinal in the 2014-15 season on a 26-9 record. But that team fared worst in the Notice of Allegations, released Thursday by UNC, that outlines five “level 1 violations” of NCAA protocol.

And then there were… too damned few: Living her life: Ball State’s Mowat one of the rare openly gay college coaches: CARDINALS WOMEN’S GOLF COACH BALANCES WIFE, FAMILY AND COACHING LIFE

Just putting those words in her coaching biography, Ball State University women’s golf coach Katherine Mowat stood across worlds both utterly mundane in one light, yet brave and radical in another.

Look at any college athletic department’s website and any coach’s page, and you’ll find a rundown of personal information: spouse, children, often even a posed photo of a family together. In 2011, Mowat wanted the same.

Only while most of those spots list a husband, she was going to have her then-partner, now-wife Mandy Harrison listed. The couple were having their first child, and if everyone else had their family displayed proudly, why shouldn’t she?

Finally – remembering my first Aids Walk in Boston, Candice reminds us that the fight isn’t over: N.Y. Liberty’s Candice Wiggins Uses Her Court Skills to Fight AIDS and Honor Her Late Dad

Inspired by her father’s memory, veteran New York Liberty guard Candice Wiggins embraces her purpose while honoring him by raising AIDS awareness and offering hope through her basketball gifts.

Witnessing the indelible ravages of AIDS through 3-year-old eyes, Wiggins realized then she wanted to make a difference.

Wiggins’ dad Alan, was an elite player for the San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles who died from AIDS in 1991.

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Glory drops two bombs. 1) “My version of the altercation.” 2) I’m pregnant.

I’m not looking forward to what’s next.

Nothing soap opera-y about this bomb: NCAA charges North Carolina with five Level I violations in Notice of Allegations

“From 2007-2010, Boxill provided the women’s basketball team with a myriad of impermissible academic assistance, ranging from adding a conclusion or quotation into an athlete’s paper to turning the paper in for the player and requesting a specific grade.”

Who, us?

This will help clean the bad taste out of your mouth: Tina Charles:

For the 2015-2016 WNBA season, I am donating half my salary to Hopey’s Heart Foundation. Join me in doubling my impact in AED placement by pledging any dollar amount per rebound I receive in any game of your choice for the 2015-2016 WNBA regular season! The season begins June 5th 2015! Help me take action for sudden cardiac arrest with placement of AEDs through HHF AED grant program. To pledge – Link in bio! #LettheBeatgoOn #DontLikePLEDGE! ((Hopey’s Heart Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions are deductible to the extent permitted by law.))

From the W:

WNBA team season preview capsules

Dishin & Swishin 6/04/15 Podcast: The roundtable looks at the 2015 WNBA season

Chicago hopes to build on last year’s WNBA Finals appearance

A trip to the WNBA Finals last season has left Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky hungry for more.

The Sky had never won a playoff series before last year when they advanced to the finals. The Sky managed to get into the postseason as the four seed with a 15-19 record. Chicago got healthy at the right time to make their run.

From Mechelle: Sky need big year from Delle Donne

No one could really blame you if you turned off what became Elena Delle Donne’s signature WNBA game in August before it was over.

Because, hey, it seemed over early in the fourth quarter. Delle Donne’s Chicago team, which got into the 2014 playoffs as the No. 4 seed with a 15-19 record, was on its way to being dismissed by top-seeded Atlanta in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Arizona: Mistie Bass back from surgery, looks for increased role with Mercury

Indiana: Tamika Catchings managing fourth quarter of her career

5 Reasons to Watch in 2015: Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx missed out on the WNBA Finals for the first time in three seasons last year, falling to the Phoenix Mercury in three games in the Western Conference Finals. Much of that roster returns in 2015 as the Lynx look to reclaim their spot atop the Western Conference.

Head coach Cheryl Reeve has only endured one losing season in Minnesota since taking over in 2010. Since then, the Lynx have won two WNBA titles (2011, 2013). This year, they’re in good position to do it again.

Maya Moore still chasing perfection

If you’re a betting person: Lynx the preseason favorite in the West

The Western Conference has been the power center of the WNBA for the past five years. The place where the superstars compete for and win championships.

But it is also now the place where some of the league’s best young talents are poised to make their breakouts: Nneka Ogwumike in Los Angeles, Kayla McBride in San Antonio, Skylar Diggins and Odyssey Sims in Tulsa and, of course, the Seattle rookie combination of Jewell Loyd and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

If you’re a daring betting person: Atlanta a slight favorite in the East

Asked what he expected of the Eastern Conference this season, Washington’s Mike Thibault spoke from his 12 years’ experience as a head coach in the East.

“It’s wide-open,” said Thibault, entering his third season with the Mystics after 10 with Connecticut. “Some of it depends on injuries. Some depends on teams who’ll be without players for various reasons. So it’s kind of, who can survive those games while key players are gone? I think it will go right down to the wire.”

Lisa changes her tune: Isiah Thomas should not be in charge of women’s team

On SI Now, 2015 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Lisa Leslie discusses why she believes Isiah Thomas’ hiring was out of the WNBA’s hands and how the fans could put pressure on the New York Liberty to fire him.

More good news: USA Men and Women Finish First Day Undefeated At FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship

About those moving vans:

Former WSU women’s basketball players transfer to UNO

With key additions, USC women’s basketball hopes to remain a title contender

EWU women’s basketball losing seven players

SDSU Womens Basketball Signs St. John’s Transfer

WATN? Gardner-Webb University names former Tar Heel DeGraffenreid women’s basketball assistant

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So, the board is discussing whether having a sexual harasser as an owner is a good thing, and Lin Dunn steps to the plate: 

“I’m waiting for Laurel Richie to take a leadership role in this,” Dunn said. “I’m concerned that anyone who had been found guilty of sexual harassment would be back in a position working with women. I’m counting on Richie to do her due diligence and get the Board of Governors to make a decision that continues to show that the WNBA empowers girls and women and will be a role model when it comes to that.”

Honestly, I don’t envy Richie and the BoG. The stakes are pretty high, whichever way they vote.

Meanwhile, from Mel’s blog: Rob Knox’s WNBA Notebook: Liberty Focusing on Basketball Unhampered by the Thomas Hiring

But back in Newark at the preseason game on May 22, while the swirl of media attention was tough, it ultimately could be a positive for the Liberty and the WNBA.

That’s why Laimbeer appeared at ease as he sat on the bench laughing while members of the Liberty participated in pregame drills.

“Everybody knows who the Liberty are now,” Laimbeer said. “During media day, we told them very clearly to write whatever stories they’re going to write.

“However, we also told them, don’t go away. Come back in five weeks, look at the product, write about how we play and how the ladies are.”

From Mechelle: What everyone will be talking about when the WNBA’s 19th season begins

After an offseason of mostly negative WNBA news, thank goodness the league’s 19th season is beginning soon. It’s time to play ball again.

The WNBA starts with five games Friday, including last year’s champion, Phoenix, at home against San Antonio. Can the Mercury become the first team to repeat as champions since Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002? That will be a challenge.

Contenders for the crown
Phoenix will be without Diana Taurasi all season, and it appears Penny Taylor also is not going to play in the WNBA in 2015. Brittney Griner will be on the sideline most of June as she serves a seven-game, league-mandated suspension for her April arrest after a fight with her then-fiance, Glory Johnson of Tulsa. Griner and Johnson were married in May.

From the other Michelle: New-look Mercury gunning for repeat

It became apparent a few weeks ago that the phrase “It is what it is” was going to be a mantra around the Phoenix Mercury’s camp.

The phrase is less about resignation than an acknowledgement of reality for the defending WNBA champions, who will begin the 2015 season not at all resembling the players who finished a remarkable run with confetti raining down on their heads.

No Diana Taurasi … no Penny Taylor … no Brittney Griner for the first seven games of the season … breathe and reboot ahead of Friday’s season opener at home against San Antonio. “At this point, I think that more than defending a championship, it’s just about trying to win a championship,” said veteran guard DeWanna Bonner. “We just want to get to the point where we can win another title. Really, we have so many different faces, this team hasn’t won a title.”

Speaking of which, now that I think about it…Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner having second thoughts, may appeal suspension

Surprisingly, a number of the comments in reaction to this totally wrong-headed opinion piece are thoughtful and nuanced: The W.N.B.A. Should Bring the Basket Down, and Fandom Up

Longtime readers of this blog know I disagree with this premise… for so many reasons. And it’s not because I’m against dunking. It’s just that, when you do the math, you realize that dunking is about 50 seconds total of the men’s game. If that’s why you watch the NBA, why not save yourself the 47 minutes and watch SportsCenter?

From Swish Appeal: 5 Players Due for Breakout Seasons in 2015

In college news:

CU women’s basketball: New-look Buffs get to work

Every year, college coaches deal with a certain level of roster turnover.

This summer, Colorado women’s basketball coach Linda Lappe is dealing with more turnover than ever before.

Heading into her sixth season as CU’s head coach, Lappe’s roster will look much different in the 2015-16 season.

“I think it makes it really fun and exciting,” she said.

Allison Guth excited to return to Yale as women’s basketball coach

Happiness is being an Ohio fan:

The women’s basketball program will be back in the NCAA Tournament … soon
Bob Boldon talks upcoming season of women’s basketball
Sports Column: There’s never been a better time to be a new Bobcat fan

Hmmmm…UMD coach resigns, cites unhealthy work environment

Minnesota Duluth women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles resigned Monday morning after seven seasons with the Bulldogs, citing an unhealthy work environment at the university.

She is the third female head coach to leave the UMD athletic department this year, following Shannon Miller, the former women’s hockey coach, and Jen Banford, who served as women’s hockey director of operations and head softball coach.

As did Miller and Banford, Wiles is expected to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The United States Department of Justice is investigating those earlier complaints.

The Indy Star’s offers up a little history: Ann Meyers took her best shot at making the Pacers

“Annie was one of the best basketball players ever. I didn’t say male or female. I said ever.” – Bill Russell, Boston Celtics legend

So here she was. One of the best players ever. No matter that she was a woman. Gender was just that, an easy label the sports world clung to that meant nothing to her.

Here she was, Ann Meyers, one of the best basketball players ever and she was about to prove it.

Inside Hinkle Fieldhouse in September of 1979, with Indiana Pacers coach Slick Leonard watching. With so many news cameras pointed her way, clicking nonstop, that she started feeling “uncomfortable.”

A bit of parallel history: UNC’s Beth Miller was there when women’s sports was a struggle

The arrangement eloquently illustrated the state of women’s college athletics. When the University of North Carolina volleyball season ended in the fall, player uniforms were not placed in storage. Instead they were passed along with travel bags and warm-ups for immediate use by members of the Tar Heel women’s basketball squad.

In today’s world of multimillion dollar contracts between apparel companies and major-college athletic departments, with uniforms carefully tailored to suit the needs and marketing imperatives of each sport, such a cozy cycle of reuse is difficult to imagine. “At that time, I don’t think the kids paid any attention,” Beth Miller, then UNC’s volleyball coach, recalls of the shared clothing in the latter 1970s. “They were just glad to have anything.”

The support at Chapel Hill was actually a marked improvement from conditions at Appalachian State and other major colleges at the dawn of the same decade, when women were limited to participation on the equivalent of glorified club teams. Miller’s highest annual budget as ASU volleyball coach between 1969 and 1972 was $1,500. In contrast, UNC’s current volleyball operating budget is $200,000, not counting scholarships and salaries.

Finally: We’re in the home stretch! Have you supported women’s basketball history yet? 

Now that the goal has been reached, I have decided that I should — and can afford to — publish 1,000 copies of my book. I have narrowed my search down to two local printers. One can print 1,000 copies for about $4,400 (or so). The other one would charge $7,500. The second printer also offers a number of other services, such as providing the ISBN, getting the book up on Amazon, storing up to 100 copies in their warehouse, and placing the book in their twice-yearly catalog distributed to a number of bookstores. The ISBN is worth $150. Their Amazon link means I would get a 60-40 split on sales, as opposed to 45-55 if I signed up with Amazon myself. The warehouse feature means that bookstores will be more likely to stock it. The catalog will help me market to libraries and schools.As you can see, my Kickstarter campaign has made it possible for me to consider the second option. So, once again, I am grateful for everyone who contributed. Please continued to spread the word. I will be taking donations until the Kickstarter ends later today.
Skip that latte for three days and you get an autographed copy of “Finding a Way to Play!” What a bargain!

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