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So, what did I miss?!?!”

Is it just me, or are all the#2 and below teams looking a little ragged?

Brunner hurt in ASU women’s basketball 60-58 loss to No. 2 South Carolina

UAlbany Women’s basketball takes the #4 Lady Vols to the brink, narrowly losing 63-55

#5 Baylor was down 12 before Nina Davis powered them to an 84-76 win over #20 Michigan State.

It took overtime (and Turner’s injured), but: Cable helps No. 3 Notre Dame beat UCLA 92-84. The Irish have a 12/2 game against Ohio State.

The second half doomed Dayton’s upset dreams. #13 Cardinal win, 74-66. The Flyers are still #1 in the Mid-Majors rankings.

#16 Cal escaped Liberty, 77-72.

#19 Northwestern escaped up-and-coming East Carolina, 78-75.

*really, how can they still be ranked?* #22 Louisville (1-3) lost to Purdue (5-0), 62-60.

Wright State stunned #24 George Washington, 77-71.

“Happy Debbie Game”: Sacramento State edged by San Francisco, 95-94.

HDG #2: #11 Ohio State over #10 Texas A&M, 95-80. Coach Kevin’s on the Dishin’ & Swishin’ podcast: Love it or hate it, Kevin McGuff’s opening schedule has people talking about Ohio State

Yep, she’s back: Rachel Banham breaks Lindsay Whalen’s career scoring mark in OT loss

Worth noting: Behind freshman Taylor Pierce’s school record NINE three-pointers, Idaho took down Iowa State, 97-65. (The Vandals’ only loss is to Duke, 74-68.)

Worth noting: with its win over Montana, Lehigh is now 6-0.

Worth noting: with its 95-78 win over the traditionally strong Gaels, Missouri is now 7-0 and tops the SEC. (Anyone else worried about LSU and Nikki?)

Speaking of the WCC…is there a changing of the guard this year? San Diego is undefeated  and BYU (3-2) and Gonzaga (5-3) aren’t.

Worth noting: FSGU is 3-3. Might the A-Sun be up for grabs this year?

Seton Hall is 7-0. How come we have to wait until Jan 5th before they play DePaul?

Yup,#6  Maryland is undefeated. They play #23 Syracuse Dec 2nd.

Yes, it’s early in the Mid-American, but Buffalo is 6-0, Ohio is 3-2 and Bowling Green is 3-2.

There’s a lot of perfection atop the Pac12: USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State.

Coach Trakh’s got his Aggies rollin’: NMSU routs Northern Arizona, go to 6-0

Billikens (5-0) win! Sycamore Women’s Basketball Falls to Saint Louis

Penguins (5-0) win!

Someone please give coach Giorgis a hug – his Marist team is 0-6.

Folks making a difference:

Ruth Riley: Let’s end childhood hunger — and the shame that goes with it

On Oct. 27 in Washington, D.C., I testified at a public hearing for a subcommittee on nutrition about my family’s experience receiving governmental assistance with food stamps and free and reduced lunches. That five-minute testimony was an important part of my continued effort to fight the social stigma involved around participating in these programs.

I knew that sometimes my mom paid for groceries with what looked like Monopoly money instead of cash. And off and on, I had a little ticket that would get me a free breakfast or lunch at school. But as a child, I was clueless to the level of poverty we lived in.

Chamique Holdsclaw embraces role of mental health advocate

Heading into the 1999 WNBA draft, there was no doubt that University of Tennessee star Chamique Holdsclaw would be the No. 1 overall pick.

Holdsclaw was dubbed the “Female Michael Jordan,” and like MJ, she was expected by many to use her electrifying talents to raise the league’s popularity and visibility. But as chronicled in the newly released documentary, “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw,” her battle with mental illness would eventually trump any opponent she would ever face on the hardwood.

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I’m travelling tonight….

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a dead logic board.

As I await the return of my trusty laptop, I’m sneaking a moment from work to say….

Hmm…. South Carolina, I know Dawn ain’t happy, and I can’t imagine your work against UCLA improved her mood.

Notre Dame: In Muffet we Trust, ’cause I know she can coach’em up like nobody else, but it’s going to be a bump-bumpy ride.

Tennessee: Lot’s of talent, but I can’t say folks are happy with the execution.

Louisville: Can Jeff right the boat?

Marist: Ouch, this is painful to watch.

In a match up between two teams that might have big struggles this year, MSTU defeated  Ole Miss .

Hello, Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham!

Let’s not sleep on Texas A&M, shall we?

Yup, Baylor won – but let’s not sleep on DePaul, neither, ‘kay?

Dayton, Cal and Albany are still undefeated. So are the Billikens! And the Cavaliers. And the Wolf Pack. And East Carolina. Drake and the Ducks (see what I did there?) and the Hawkeyes. And Washington State.

Ooops! Coffee break over!

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(Unless you’re UNC, JMU, South Carolina Upstate, George Mason, East Carolina, UCF (mebbe I made’m mad?), Loyola (CHI), Eastern Michigan, OSU, Tulane, Missouri State, San Diego…)

Will say that my boxscore reading concerns about #25 Chattanooga seem to have been on point: the Mocs lose to Indiana (WNIT game), 54-43.

Another upset: Florida Gulf Coast forgets how to score in the third quarter.. and lose to Florida Atlantic, 62-55.

“I think the obvious thing to take away from tonight is that FAU really outplayed us in the second half,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “They dominated the boards, they took advantage of every defensive breakdown we had and we couldn’t get things going offensively at all. We have to start to improve every day because the schedule is just going to get harder.”

Penguins win!

Billikens win! Can you feel the change?

Using the previous 30 years as a gauge, the progress made by the St. Louis University women’s basketball team last season was significant, even if the Billikens again failed to break .500.

They were 15-16, beat a ranked opponent for the first time in 12 years and had several young players recognized with postseason Atlantic 10 honors. For coach Lisa Stone, it wasn’t enough.

It’s been since 2004-05 that Columbia started 2-0.

Nothin’ like those in-state rivalries: New Mexico State over New Mexico with authority, 78-58.

Michelle: Arizona State looks to be tougher, more consistent this season

Toughness. It’s the difference, senior guard Elisha Davis says, between the way Arizona State will finish this season and the way it finished the last one. It boils down to that one word.

“And when I say that, I don’t mean acting tough, but being tough enough to still do the little things at the end of the game,” Davis said. “The hard cuts, the hand signals, the counter moves you have to have when someone has scouted you. We have to be tough enough to push through it to the end.”

Kentucky: U of L women adjusting to new NCAA rules

Accompanying usual press notes and roster sheets at Sunday’s Louisville women’s basketball opener was also an NCAA explainer. This year, games split into four periods, not quarters, and it’s officially called intermission, not halftime.

“Did they by chance dim the lights on and off for everybody to come back to their seats?” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz joked after U of L’s 75-71 loss to California at the KFC Yum! Center.

Both Walz and Bears coach Lindsay Gottlieb otherwise praised rules changes that call for two free throws on the fifth foul of every period and allow teams the option to advance the ball up court via a timeout inside of a minute to go in the fourth.

Guevara leads CMU women’s basketball into new era

Forget about the 2013 Mid-American Conference Championship and the trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Forget about 1,000-point scorers Jessica Green and Jas’Mine Bracey as well as WNBA first-round draft pick Crystal Bradford.

Forget about them because they’re all gone, graduated and out of eligibility.

As the CMU women’s basketball team enters the 2015-16 campaign it enters a new era, one where the likes of Britni Houghton, Brandie Baker, Kaihla Szunko, Shonda Long, Taylor Johnson, Niki DiGiulio and the aforementioned triad are no longer around to put a face on the program.

In short when you open the doors into the upcoming season you must understand you’re entering into a new era of CMU women’s basketball, one that leads not so much towards what will be but rather what might be?

Huskers have rapidly improved inside game

For emphasis, maybe just out of pure excitement, Connie Yori raised her hands to demonstrate the point she was trying to make about the Nebraska women’s basketball teams rapidly improved inside game.

During a recent news conference, the Nebraska coach raised her left hand and made a zero with her fingers. That represented how in recent seasons the Huskers have had no true inside post players.

Then Yori raised her right hand and held up five fingers. That’s how many post players Yori thinks can make an impact for the Huskers this season.

LSU women’s basketball point guard Hill takes care of business on, off the court

Junior Rina Hill is more than the starting point guard for the LSU women’s basketball team — she’s the team’s CEO.

Hill is the first Japanese national to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference and was named the starting point guard for the Lady Tigers before the start of the season. LSU coach Nikki Fargas recruited Hill and said she isn’t surprised she chose to major in business when she arrived in Baton Rouge.

“When Rina comes to practice, she has an agenda,” Fargas said. “She’s very organized and committed. She commands the same level of attention to detail as if she was running a company — as if she were the CEO or COO of her own company.”

WNBA

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Where has time gone? It’s been literally a month since my last post. People tend to assume that my life slows down once the season ends, but it’s quite the opposite.

Despite taking a 3-week break from working out, I’ve been getting my fair share of exercise just running through airports en route to meetings, appearances & events! From Baton Rouge, to New York, to Indy, to Louisville… God is truly setting me up for something big!!

With so much going on I’ll just give you a brief synopsis of this months highlights:

Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi… ouch:

The Canberra Capitals’ miserable season has taken another major hit, with Lauren Jackson suffering another injury setback which will keep her out of WNBL action until January.

Capitals coach Carrie Graf admits she faces the biggest challenge of her career to lift Canberra out a horror slump which has put the club on the verge of the longest losing streak in its history.

Speaking of Australia: Alaska hoops star Griffin will become an Australian

From Terrence McCoy at the Washington Post: How one of the nation’s most promising basketball players became homeless

On a summer day in 2012, a basketball superstar walked into Jimmy John’s in downtown Washington just as employees were attempting to kick out a homeless woman. Chamique Holdsclaw, who was drafted first overall in 1999 by the Washington Mystics and played in six all-star games, tried to ignore the commotion until she suddenly became part of it.

“Chamique,” the homeless woman begged. “Please buy me a sandwich.”

Holdsclaw had nearly mistaken her for a man. She was tall — taller than Holdsclaw, a former forward who stands 6-foot-2. She was dressed in baggy, dark men’s clothing. Her long fingers clutched a cigarette. She seemed disoriented, Holdsclaw recalled, maybe even on drugs. But her voice was smooth, feminine — and familiar.

Then it hit Holdsclaw. This wasn’t just another homeless person in a city full of them. It was Schuye LaRue.

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North Texas – aka the team that was Karen Aston’s rest stop on the way to the Texas gig – took an early lead on Oklahoma IN Oklahoma and.. never. let. it. go.

“We just got really, really frustrated and then we panicked,” Coale said. “When you don’t have energy, there’s an abyss and in the abyss, tonight, grew panic from our team.”

The cure for panic? Taking the floor with energy, according to Coale, something OU didn’t do Monday.

“We weren’t being the aggressor at all,” Little said. “North Texas came out and punched it right at us.

Last year, the Sooners stomped the Mean Green 68-39. UNT has endured 9 straight losing season. This year, under first year coach Jalie Mitchell, a UNT Hall of Famer, they were picked to finish last in C-USA’s preseason. Well, they just beat Oklahoma.

Not as seismic, but equally significant: Florida (who lost to Temple) took down #6/7 Florida State, 82-72.

We beat a very, very good team this afternoon, and I’m just proud of first of all our effort and our preparation,” UF coach Amanda Butler said. “We had a quick turnaround in coming off a disappointment (97-91 loss at Temple Friday), and I thought we showed a tremendous amount of maturity. I thought we had great leadership from our upperclassmen, and it meant a ton for our seniors to make sure that we got what we deserved tonight. I’m just really, really proud of that group to get this win for them. It was a significant game, and this is why we love college sports because of these type of rivalries.

In a bad news, better than we hoped news for Florida State – Romero, who went down with an injury late in the game, suffered a high ankle sprain (not that other, horrible, thing).

Seton Hall doesn’t miss a step – and wipes out Rutgers, 77-49. Not a good sign for the Scarlet Knights.

The fabulous (should earn the WBCA’s Mel Greenberg Award. This is the start of my campaign) Jim Massie sums up the #1 UConn v. #7 Ohio State game nicely:

Playing Connecticut is a lot like spending the day with seven or eight hungry polar bears.

Oh, the humanity.

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Is it the new rules…

or something in the Gatorade? Sure have been a lot of 85+ games so far. For example:

Maryland: 102
Texas: 90
George Washington: 85
Stetson: 107
Michigan: 90
Nebraska: 96
Cincinnati over St. Francis (PA): 93-86
Manhattan: 85
Sacramento State over Utah State: 95-86
Oral Roberts: 89
Colorado: 92
South Carolina State: 90
Jackson State: 100
Morehead State over Kentucky Christian: 121-91
Washington: 100
Utah Valley: 91
Abilene Christian: 96
South Carolina: 92
Notre Dame: 85
Tennessee: 102
Texas A&M: 88
Princeton: 94
NC State: 89
Michigan: 88
James Madison: 88
Georgia Tech: 89
TCU: 85
Central Michigan: 110
North Dakota State: 88
Vanderbilt: 89
St. Mary’s: 91
Charlotte: 94
UTEP: 98
St. John’s: 85
Long Beach State: 89
Northwestern: 89

Yah, yah, yah, it’s early… but I am intrigued to see how it plays out in conference play….

Calling this an upset: UNO has been horrible, and just a few years ago Joi Williams and UCF was making some noise. This time it was the Mavericks who had the last laugh.

Calling this an upset: Boston College, who has disappeared off the face of the women’s basketball world since Kathy Inglese exited the sidelines, over Maine, who has rebuilt their program.

Calling this a “still trying to see if the rankings match the team” upset: #18 Kentucky over #14 Arizona State, 68-64 (OT). Especially impressive, considering it was in Tempe, and the Wildcats fraught off-season.

A “heads up” game – though I’m not sure if it’s for Stanford or Gonzaga: After an even first three quarters, the fourth saw the Cardinal pull away from the Bulldogs and win, 65-48.

Considering the Tar Heels’ opening game, not sure this can be qualified as an upset: Oregon over #22 North Carolina, 79-77. The shadow the academic scandal is casting is long…

This is an upset: AT the Yum Center, Cal rebuffed a fierce comeback by #8 Louisville to capture a 75-71 win.

Hmmm… looks like this could be a good year for the Blue Jays, and a tough year for the Red Foxes: Creighton over Marist, 89-46.

Well, Hello, Ragin’ Cajuns! It was a nail-biting last few minutes, but you pulled off the upset of Ole Miss.

And, yes Drake, we see you takin’ down Iowa State.

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And we’re off!

Princeton probably wasn’t surprised by the fight Penn put up against Duke. Coach McLaughlin is no joke and neither are the Quakers. Blue Devils 57-50 victors.

Hmmmm…. Yale only lost to Dayton by 6. Wonder if this means the Ivy League is something to keep an eye on….

North Carolina was not so lucky, as Gardner-Webb stunned the Tar Heels with a last minute basket.

Q might think his Syracuse team will go undefeated, but you still have to play the games – and people should start paying serious attention to the job Daynia La-Force is doing at Rhode Island, dabnabbit! Orange win, 57-54.

Boy, Debbie Antonelli’s must’ve loved this game: South Carolina‘s offense outlasted Ohio State‘s offense. And if anyone had any doubts that Kelsey Mitchell is legit… they ain’t got’em now. Mechelle liked it, too.

Staley and McGuff are both 45 years old, both of the college class of ’92, both at programs that one can assume they might want to stay at for the rest of their careers. It has been fun to see what they’ve done so far, and you get the sense they are only getting started.

“We aspire to be one of the best programs in the country, and part of that is going out and proving it,” McGuff said. “You’ve got to play people. South Carolina has done that, and now we’re trying to do the same thing. We inherited some great kids, and we’ve recruited some other great kids. I think we’re certainly going in the right direction. I appreciate South Carolina playing us, and we look forward to having them up at our place next year.”

Debbie REALLY must have loved THIS game: Marshall over Morehead State, 104-101.

If Marshall’s young women’s basketball team didn’t exhale until it reached about the Grayson rest stop on the I-64 bus trip back home Friday night, it’s understandable.

Equally enjoyed by Debbie, I’m sure: Temple over Florida, 97-91.

More Debbie happiness: Lehigh over Monmouth, 95-88.

Yup, it’s going to be an interesting year for Wichita State and coach Adams – Creighton stomped all over the Shockers, winning 79-54.

Yah, the Mocs beat the Cowgirls, but if I’m coach Foster, I’m concerned that Chattanooga was outscored by McNeese State 18-9 in the fourth quarter.

St. Joe’s will be kicking themselves about their fourth quarter – they had Rutgers on the ropes and then… whoops! the Knights recovered for the 78-65 win.

Speaking of fourth quarters: Holy Cross outscored Penn State 27-11 in the 4th, but couldn’t snag the OT win.

Gotta wonder about Caldwell at LSU: they open with a loss to Wake Forest, 60-57.

New Mexico State picks up where it left off: winning.

Hello, Jordin Canada (as UCLA sees if it can build on last year’s lessons). Bruins take down St. John’s by 15.

It’s becoming a program habit: San Francisco wins.

Well, this is…a surprise? UC Riverside tromped all over Fresno State, 86-68.

Another surprise: Florida Atlantic seriously upends Akron, 91-77.

Minnesota wins, but more importantly, Rachel Banham went 7-15 in 26 minutes.

Wabbits can beat Foxes… at least on the basketball court, they can. South Dakota State over Marist, 77-68.

Important win for Virginia, who survived Brea Edwards’ 30 pts and hang on for a 70-66 win over Middle Tennessee.

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Tick…tick…tick….

From Florida Gulf Coast U (of course), It’s Raining Threes!

Hello, Delaware! Theresa Grentz returns to the sidelines for Lafayette

South Carolina: Tiffany Mitchell: USC’s leader on and off the stat sheet

There’s every reason to believe she will excel in another position. She’s done it every other time.

South Carolina needed a dynamic shooting guard? Tiffany Mitchell became a two-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year. The Gamecocks needed someone fearless enough to take a last shot in a Sweet 16 game? Tiffany Mitchell drove, the lane opened and she hit the layup to finally dispatch the nemesis Tar Heels.

In her senior year, Mitchell will still play the two, still take the last shot. She has been asked to assume another position, the most crucial as USC attempts to win its third straight SEC championship and advance to a second straight Final Four.

“She’s really worked all the way up to the top,” said senior center Shelby Cheslek. “For a lot of teams, when your head coach leaves, you’re not going to stick together. But nobody thought about leaving. Everybody just went about their same workouts. It shows just how connected we are here.”

Kentucky: No longer overlooked, Louisville learning to embrace new identity

Baylor was the upper crust, the 1 percent of college basketball that season. So was Durr, a high school guard who would soon enough have her pick of scholarship offers from those 1-percenter programs.

Yet like much of the country outside of Waco that night, she embraced the underdog. Durr, too, was swept up in what will be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.

“Everybody pretty much knew, or thought, that Baylor was going to win,” she said. “I really liked how [the Cardinals] came out and they kept playing. They didn’t give up. Coach [Jeff] Walz coached his butt off, the players played their butts off and they never gave up. They didn’t back down from Brittney Griner. I really liked that about them.

Bears (Texan): How Baylor and coach Kim Mulkey have maintained big-time success

Not since the days of Heather Ernest, Kim Corbitt and Melissa Heon have there been higher hopes for the University of Maine women’s basketball team.

Coach Geno Auriemma hopes his team is in Indianapolis on April 5 playing for that record-breaking title. This will be the first time that all three divisions of women’s basketball will hold their title games in the same city. The Division II and III finals will be played the day before the Division I championship.

“I’m not one to think about the end of the season when the season hasn’t even started yet,” Auriemma said. “And I’m not one to think that just because everyone thinks you should be playing that Tuesday night in that national championship game, that you’re entitled to that. ‘Cause that’s tremendously disrespectful to all the other coaches.”

When Tulane women’s coach Lisa Stockton thinks about her team making the NCAA tournament last season, her mind goes to the challenging preconference schedule.

“That got us in the tournament,” she said. “We handled it well. We beat some of those teams early, and they wound up being conference champs. We beat Miami, N.C. State, teams like that, and it really helped us when our name was on that table as an at-large team.”

For the first time since coming to the United States, Florida State’s Leticia Romero can focus on basketball.

”This year I am more concerned about what the team needs from me and am more established,” Romero said. ”I am trying to talk more, communicate and lead from the point guard position along with leading more and getting more engaged. So far it is really good.”

When the University of South Florida women’s basketball team held its first practice last month, the Muma Center scoreboard clock already was set.

3:43

”We were that close,’’ Bulls senior guard Courtney Williams said. “It still burns me.’’

Orange: Princeton women’s basketball embracing national spotlight

Courtney Banghart notices it when she’s on the road recruiting or at a summer camp or making one of her television appearances. 

Alex Wheatley sees it when she walks around town.

Princeton University women’s basketball is popular.

Also Orange: Quentin Hillsman expects Syracuse women’s basketball to go undefeated (6 things to know)

In Sal Buscaglia’s first season as head coach, the Robert Morris University women’s basketball team went 3-24.

The season after, the team’s record was 20-10.

“When we first got here there were a lot of things we had to change,” said associate head coach Charlie Buscaglia, Sal’s son. “That was, really, I think something that made us get noticed right away. We had a historic turnaround and we just kept building off it every year.”

Lindsay Gottlieb envisions the future when she visits high school gymnasiums. Before recruiting the best available talent, the Cal women’s basketball coach asks herself a key question: 

Will those players fill needs in two, three or even four years?

That approach should ease the Bears’ transition into a new era, one without All-America guard Brittany Boyd and Pac-12 Player of the Year Reshanda Gray.

Gottlieb signed freshmen Asha Thomas and Kristine Anigwe to help replace Boyd and Gray, and the newcomers so far are exceeding expectations.

Cali, too: New-look Cal Poly women’s basketball team set to open 2015-16 season

AP: With 6 Top 25 teams, ACC enters a season of promise

Minnesota: Banham returns, with fellow scorer Wagner alongside

Banham, who tore her ACL last season but returned for her fifth year to get a shot at the school’s career scoring title and playing in her first NCAA tournament, is certainly capable of an offensive explosion in Friday’s opener against Wofford at Williams Arena.

But the U’s second all-time leading scorer — she trails Lindsay Whalen by 107 on the career list — doesn’t have to carry as big an offensive burden as she has in the past.

For the first time in Banham’s career, she’ll be playing with another guard who can light it up: Wagner.

“We both can score,” Banham said. “I think we both can get 20 points a game if we want. We hit a lot of threes, so that’s just a lot of scoring in general. Being back on the court with Carlie, I think we just work really well together.”

The other Minnesota: Mike Peden: “Our House

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From the Daily Emerald: Oregon’s Jillian Alleyne grew from childhood experiences to become conference standout

In high school, Jillian Alleyne collected apartment listings, rent guides and PennySaver coupons. Her mission was to help her single mother Pamela Williamson find a stable place to live, so she hunted for them during lunch breaks at school. She circled affordable apartments and even called some rental agents. After school, she would report back to her mom, who was working three jobs, from sunrise until late at night.

Old enough to understand what an eviction notice meant, Alleyne, now a standout forward for the Oregon women’s basketball team, took it upon herself to help — while also juggling basketball, volleyball and school. 

“I knew what my mom was going through,” Alleyne said. “She just always said to stay faithful, keep our heads up and know that God is going to bless us with something.”

At Oregon last year, she was an all-Pac-12 selection and led the conference in rebounds with 15.2 a game. Now entering her senior season, Alleyne has taken a journey unique among her teammates.

Turtles! 

Following two straight Final Four appearances and an unbeaten romp through the Big Ten, the Maryland women’s basketball team has loftier accomplishments in mind this season.

”We want to get to that national championship,” said junior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. ”That’s always the ultimate goal.”

The potential is there.

And more Turtles! Forward Kiah Gillespie brings transcendent talent to Terps women as season gets under way

Out-of-Towner’s: International trio assimilates into young Wyoming team

When Tijana Raca, Riikka Kujala and Marta Gomez first arrived in Laramie, all they had was each other.

Each traveled thousands of miles to Wyoming with a goal of playing collegiate basketball in the United States. They didn’t know each other very well, but their similar cultures helped ease the transition.

From Mechelle: How UConn senior Breanna Stewart makes it all look so easy

Stewart exhibits no sense of self-importance, and yet a firm sense of self-confidence that is not off-putting. She’s like the Broadway star who knows just how to modulate her voice to reach the entire theater without ever sounding like she’s attempting to steal the show.

“What I want people to think when they see me as a player is someone who is hungry to get better, and also is humble,” said Stewart, espnW’s preseason player of the year. “I know what I’m good at; I have a lot of confidence in myself on the court. But I don’t want to make it seem like I’m being arrogant or overly cocky, because that’s just not who I am.”

From Graham: What does Moriah Jefferson have in common with Gehrig, McCartney?

Moriah Jefferson isn’t going to be the best player on the Connecticut roster. That much has been true since the day she showed up on campus in the same class as Breanna Stewart, the next in a line of transformational talents such as Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker, Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne, who all moved the sport forward. But Jefferson was the best player on the court in Tampa in the national championship game a season ago. Stewart acknowledged as much after she was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player, her lobbying effort not a display of false humility but the opinion of a basketball player who knew how well Jefferson performed.

The other Huskies: Kelsey Plum is recharged and ready to lead UW women’s basketball team

Kelsey Plum needed to leave it all behind and get out of Seattle.

Last August, she had to get away from the responsibility of being the face of Washington women’s basketball team if just for a little while.

So she went home to sunny San Diego and surrounded herself with the people who knew her before she became a basketball sensation.
She retreated to her old room, which seemed frozen in time. She slept in her old bed and found comfort in the loving embraces of her mom and older sister. 
It had been so long since they were together like this as a family. Three years, to be exact.

Duck (Report clears Bollant) and cover (Illinois fires AD Mike Thomas amid damning report on football program)

The joint is jumpin’: MU women’s basketball’s Pingeton, Doty discuss campus unrest, football boycott

“I know there’s been a lot of things going on on our campus over the last couple days, and some of you guys might have questions about that,” Pingeton said. “Today Gary Pinkel and Mack Rhoades held a press conference. I’m sure a lot of you guys where there, and I just stand behind their comments. They’re the spokespeople for our athletic department.

Ouch: Winthrop’s Schaquilla Nunn Suffers Broken Foot And Plans To Redshirt This Season

Ouch: Freshman Breanna Cavanaugh to take a leave of absence due to concussion

Swish Appeal has The Young and Wild ACC and an A-10 Preview: Jonquel Jones is a hidden gem

“I think you’re in a position where you’re trying to build on last year’s momentum, and keep your team hungry,” said reigning A-10 Coach of the Year Jonathan Tsipis. “I think I have a very competitive group, and obviously, having two players on the preseason first team, we are really trying to continue to build on the consistency that has so long made George Washington women’s basketball one of the best programs in the nation.

Who’s that? U of L women count on fast-adjusting freshmen

“We’re going to start off with some really tough games right out of the chute.” Walz said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how these freshmen respond.”

Not that Walz doubts them. He expects anywhere from four to six of his players to average in double figures, and that the entire lot of first-year players – guards Asia Durr, Bianna Jones and Taja Cole, as well as forward Sam Fuerhring and post Erin DeGrate – will see the floor.

Tulsa World: OU women’s basketball preview: Storylines for 2015-16

Baylor and everyone else?

OU was picked third in the preseason Big 12 coaches poll, barely behind Texas and not too far from perennial favorite Baylor. “We feel like we can compete for the league championship,” Coale said. To do so will mean overcoming the Lady Bears, ranked No. 5 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll.

Nearby: Vic Schaefer showing why MSU was called a gold mine

Schaefer inherited the team when it finished 14-16 and had one player over 6-foot-3 after the 2011-12 season. His first recruiting class added 6-foot-5 center Chinwe Okorie and 6-1 power forward Breanna Richardson. Last year, he added Ketara Chapel in the post, and 6-7 Teaira McCowan will debut for the Bulldogs this season.

“You can’t be physical, to me, if you don’t have the frames to be physical,” Schaefer said. “Right now, when we get off the bus I think we look like an SEC team. That’s a big piece to the puzzle.”

Victoria Vivians brought it all together.

Pro:

Well, poop: Lauren Jackson will make a call on her career in February. But until then, Jackson shooting to make an impact off-court

AUSTRALIAN basketball great Lauren Jackson has spoken of the challenges and opportunities facing regional sportsmen and women.

The Opals champion and three-time Women’s National Basketball Association MVP was the keynote speaker on day one of the Sport in Regional Australia Conference in Bendigo.

The conference, convened by La Trobe University, is designed to offer a 360 degree view of Australian sport in a regional setting.

Speaking of Jackson and Seattle…The Liberty’s Tanisha Wright is finding fulfillment in the WNBA.

I grew up playing a game called “33.”

The rules are like this: there are none. It’s every man for himself. One person against however many people are on the court. You got 12 people who want to play? It’s you versus 11 defenders. You have to find a way to score. If you score, you take it again. You miss, and you have to find a way to get the ball back in your hands. No rules. No mercy.

The first person to score 33 points, wins. And the only way to win is to body and battle.

I was just a kid, born in Brooklyn, but living in the projects outside of Pittsburgh. “33” might has well have been a metaphor for my life. Me and the other kids — mostly guys — spent hours playing that game. It was, at its best, improv; no rules meant the game could play out on simple choice and grit. There were no fouls unless you got mugged.

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to the start of the 2015-16 season.

Utah: Under Lynne Roberts, Utes are pursuing new fans

Some people sketch out their vision on a napkin, or a whiteboard, or store it in the files of their mind.

As of Friday, Lynne Roberts has a website.

Utah women’s basketball rolled out a website dedicated to its players, coaches, tradition and home. The website, utahwomenshoops.com, features video interviews of everyone in the program, and images touting past success — implying success to come.

In Roberts’ profile, she quotes Henry Kissinger: “The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have never been.”

It’s what the 40-year-old head coach has in mind for the Utes: making the program a headline attraction.

Nebraska: With a deeper roster, Creighton women’s basketball has a good problem

There have been seasons in which Creighton women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery didn’t have enough healthy bodies to practice.

Not this season. Flanery has 15 players on the roster. He has more depth than he knows what to do with. Although not a big fan of redshirting, he’s going to ask two of his players to sit out this year.

Nebraska, too: Meet the Husker women’s basketball team

Iowa State: Johnson trying to be more vocal, show she’s an all-conference performer

“Her ability to rebound, her ability to get to the basket in situations — her numbers are eerily consistent,” Fennelly said. “But we have to find that solid starter as a sophomore, good player, that bumps to great, all-conference, unquestioned leader kind of thing. I think she’s capable.” 

More Iowa State: Buckley set to takeover at point guard

“This is the first year in a long time where we don’t have an incumbent point guard that you know is really, really good,” Fennelly said. “You look at that wall in there, and it’s full of really good point guards. I honestly believe Jadda Buckley could be the next one. 

Connecticut: UConn Women’s Insider: Gabby Williams Has Put In Extra Work – And It Shows

Last year was a busy one for Gabby Williams, filled with transitional tasks that would easily spin the head of any 18-year-old freshman.

She moved from high school to college, from Nevada to Storrs. She worked on mending after a second season-ending knee injury early in her senior season at Sparks High in Reno. And she accepted the challenge of a shift from guard to forward, presented by the UConn coaching staff during her first summer on campus.

And yet, from just about every imaginable perspective, her freshman season was a great success.

South Dakota: SD fervor for women’s basketball is unique and appreciated

The fervor for women’s basketball is a legend across South Dakota, and now nationally as teams from colleges across the state continue to draw record crowds, surprising the out-of-state spectators and lifting the players with the energy, enthusiasm and support the sport garners here.

“I try to make sure our players take a step back and appreciate it when we’re setting attendance records (in the Premier Center),” said USD coach Amy Williams. “Whether they go on to play (after college) or their careers are over, they probably won’t ever have another experience like that.”

Hoping for further growth in NY: New faces for Stony Brook women’s basketball team have winning pedigrees

New Jersey: Dynamic duo leads Rutgers into second year in Big Ten

New Hampshire: Coaches’ Corner With Maureen Magarity

North Carolina: Brown guides from the bench for Duke women’s basketball

Duke’s roster boasts several electric backcourt players this season, but the guard that may have the biggest impact on the team will never see the floor during a game.

Lexie Brown was a third-team All-American as a sophomore last year at Maryland, leading the Terrapins to back-to-back Final Four appearances before deciding to transfer to Duke in the offseason. She will have to sit out of competition this year due to NCAA transfer regulations, but the Suwanee, Ga., native will still practice with the team and challenge the Blue Devils’ young backcourt in practice all winter.

Kansas: Breaking down the WSU women’s basketball team

What will life after Alex Harden be like for the Wichita State women’s basketball team?

Harden is playing for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA and Wichita State is left with an average of just 5.3 points returning from the team that paired its third straight Missouri Valley championship with its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

It’s just the latest challenge for coach Jody Adams, who has taken on – and conquered – a myriad of them to build Wichita State to its current status atop the MVC.

Florida: 

Last season was the first time the Gators failed to make the postseason in eight years under coach Amanda Butler. A 5-11 SEC record doomed them and led preseason prognosticators to peg UF for a 12th-place finish in the SEC. The Gators have reasons to believe last year was a blip rather than a trend. UF has a strong five-member senior class and only two freshmen, so inexperience should not be a concern. Six players averaged at least 7.1 points per game last season, and five are returning.

Who’s in charge?

California: Mikayla Cowling set to lead Cal women’s basketball in 2015-16

Unlike years past, the Cal women’s basketball team won’t be entering the 2015-16 season as one of the contenders to win the title. While its three-point loss at home to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year was devastating, the more crushing blow to the future of the program was the loss of its top three scorers.

California, too: UCLA women’s basketball looks to bolster teamwork efforts

Sue has a preview of all the Pac 12 teams.

Fingers crossed in Minnesota: Banham’s return buoys Gophers’ lineup revisions – Guard back from knee injury nears scoring record. 

The thing that’s most exciting to me is the way the fan base has embraced us and what we’re trying to do,” Stollings said. “People have said, ‘You know, you’ve electrified the fan base again. You’ve instilled pride back into the program.’ For me, it’s been awesome being embraced by our fans.

In DIII hoops: No surprise, Thomas More is picked to repeat.

For most of our Top 25 voters, the easiest decision was the first one: putting Thomas More No. 1. The defending champions return four starters and seven players from their regular rotation, including D3hoops.com Player of the Year Sydney Moss, and were a unanimous No. 1 selection in the D3hoops.com preseason women’s basketball Top 25 poll.

Wisconsin: Johnson forgoes WNBA for one last chance with UW

For Michala Johnson, the training room became the place she resided during games almost as much as the bench. Thanks to two ACL injuries, the sixth-year senior has become as versed in the anatomy of a knee as the Wisconsin playbook. Twice, she has watched her team suffer on the floor knowing full well she could do very little to affect the outcomes of their games.

“The hardest part is just having to go through it again. Always being in the training room, when I want to be out, watching practice or being a part of the team,” Johnson said of her latest ACL injury, which kept her out of most of the 2014-’15 season. 

Audio: Dishin & Swishin 11/05/15 Podcast: Vanderbilt’s Melanie Balcomb on the transfer epidemic, returning to prominence in the SEC and more

Video: Auriemma on First Take

Video: Super Vol Fan Margo has her preview,

Like Margo, we’re wondering: Can Diamond DeShields lead Tennessee back to the Final Four?

Oooo – Reporter Flashback parallels WNBA fashback: Ailene Voisin: Monarchs join party for Women in Sports festivities

While the Kings limp through the opening weeks of 2015-16, their final season inside the soon-to-be archived Sleep Train Arena, the trip down memory lane continues.

Everyone has a personal favorite. Opening night against the Los Angeles Clippers in the temporary facility in 1985. Mike Bibby’s side jumper against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5. The sobfest finale in 2011 that gave NBA owners pause about relocating the franchise. The Oct. 28 regular-season opener against the Clippers, suggesting it was time to start prepping for the move into Golden 1 Center.

But there is no forgetting the Monarchs.

Never, ever, ever, ever.

Staying on the West Coast: Rhea finds home with Seattle Storm 

Talisa Rhea has always had a head and passion for the game of basketball.

Whether competing on the court or sitting on the sidelines, she was a student of the game, the 94-by-50-foot court serving as a classroom of sorts.

That classroom now includes a promotion to the position of manager of basketball operations for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the next best thing to playing, according to Rhea, a 2007 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate.

Texas: Dallas’ new WNBA team look to be ‘market disrupters’

From the video series “The Makers”: The WNBA’s Candace Parker On Winning at Work (Plus, Her Must-Try “24-Hour Rule”)

Adam Silver confident in WNBA, plans to be more involved. (Okay… how about asking Lin Dunn, “What’re you up to these days….”?) Writes Mechelle:

The league must look for someone who can build on what’s been accomplished, and remedy (or at least start to) some of the things that haven’t. I believe someone with both strong basketball and business backgrounds is the best target.

Wednesday night, I spoke at length with NBA commissioner Adam Silver about where the WNBA goes from here. And although you don’t typically see the word “passionate” used in regard to Silver, he genuinely sounded that way about his commitment to the WNBA. And frankly, that was very good to hear.

Following up on the post below: From David: Black Mizzou Football Players Are Going on Strike Over Campus Racism – In a game changer that could bring down a university president, the Missouri football players are showing just how powerful their labor is.

The power of this action cannot be overstated. These football players have forced people to educate themselves about a campus environment that has been on fire for months, if not years. (Here is a timeline.) This year activists on campus have protested over the rights of adjunct professors, the cutting of health care benefits, the rolling back reproductive rights for women, and a hostile climate for students of color. And a recent series of ugly racist incidents led the football players to take collective action. For a team that two years ago stood in solidarity with teammate Michael Sam when he told the world he was gay, they again made the lionhearted decision to rise to the moment.

I spoke with Dr. Rebecca Martinez, an assistant professor in women’s and gender Studies. She said, “The football program here at Mizzou is a central part of the university culture.  The collective athletes of color who made the decision to go on strike do so with conviction for social justice for marginalized students on our campus. Given the importance of football here, they are taking a significant stand. They are not thinking of themselves, their play, and their careers at this moment. It is not an easy thing to do on a football-centered campus like ours, especially around the issue of racism. There will likely be no shortage of those who put football above humanity and who are convinced that racism doesn’t live here. And they are wrong.”

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Missouri’s black football players refusing to play until president ousted

Following a series of racist incidents on campus, at least 32 members of the University of Missouri’s football team will not play until the school’s president, Tim Wolfe, resigns. On Saturday night, a group of black players declared that they are going on strike, citing Wolfe’s “negligence” in handling discrimination on campus.

The announcement was tweeted from Missouri’s Legion of Black Collegians, next to a photo of 32 players with linked arms. According to the Columbia Missourian60 of the 124 players on the current roster are black, but the exact number joining the protest is undetermined.

“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,” the caption read. “We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”

Jane McManus: Thinking this morning about the idea of putting football first. That’s what brings scorn to Missouri players and allows praise for Hardy.

Added on edit: This provided by @profloumore: 1939, Mizzou white students protest school’s ban against black athletes. Forces them to cancel track meet

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I am so confused….

We’re coming off a strong year, moving in to the 20th anniversary and….WNBA president Laurel J Richie resigns after 4 years on job to pursue other opportunities

“I’m sorry she’s leaving. She did an excellent job over the last five years but there remains a lot of work to do,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “Obviously I made comments not so long ago about my disappointment, it was not about Laurel in anyway, but where the WNBA stands in its 19th year as we go into its 20th year.”

On the flip side: The Texas Standard asks WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE WNBA IN TEXAS? and Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle enjoys watching ‘tremendous players’ of the WNBA

NCAA
From Mechelle: Star players ready to take over the coming season

When Baylor’s Nina Davis got into town Monday night, she called Tennessee’s Diamond DeShields. Both were here for what was called “Takeover Tuesday,” a visit to ESPN headquarters by some of the top players and coaches in women’s college basketball as they prepare for the season.

“Right now, it’s a friendly gathering,” Davis said, grinning, alluding to the fact it might be quite a bit more tense if she, DeShields, UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson, and South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell are all in the same place at the same time again this season.

Because that would be in Indianapolis for the Final Four next April.

More from Bristol: South Carolina has risen to top of women’s college basketball world

All four head coaches from the 2015 Final Four, as well as five of the nation’s premier players, converged on the ESPN campus for an event put together to aid the growth of women’s collegiate basketball.

The invited guest have certainly done their part.

The programs represented Tuesday included UConn, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Maryland and Baylor, schools perennially among the nation’s leaders in attendance. However, much of the talk centered around the rapid season ticket sales at South Carolina.

Carp: Notre Dame hoops’ Ali Patberg to miss season with torn ACL. Which may explain why McGraw wants No. 3 Irish to know success isn’t guaranteed

Ouch: UNLV women’s basketball team loses two players to injuries

*all sing* My no-longer Kentucky home: Freshman Rich becomes third player to leave UK women’s program

O.K.: Bring On UConn Says Tennesee’s Diamond DeShields

She wants Tennessee to be the best. Diamond DeShields wants to be the best.

“Help get to the [national] championship,” DeShields said when asked her goals for this season. “Personally, I want to be an All-American first team. I want to be SEC player of the year. I don’t like second place. I don’t like second team. So for me, winning means being considered the best.”

When Geno Auriemma walked into the room Tuesday for women’s college basketball media day at ESPN, DeShields stood and gave the Hall of Fame coach a big hug. She calls UConn “the juggernaut.” Despite how others have felt or still feel, DeShields says she wants to play the Huskies.

Veteran U of M women’s basketball team primed for turnaround season

It’s been four years since coach Melissa McFerrin has had this many experienced building blocks as the University of Memphis women’s basketball squad gets set to open a season. Three seniors and a redshirt junior, led by returning All-Conference guard Ariel Hearn. Five returning starters and the rotation largely intact.

Shift? Oregon State supplants Stanford as preseason Pac-12 favorite

The winds of change are blowing strong through the Pac-12 Conference.

For the first time in 16 years, Stanford was not picked to win the league title heading into the season. For the first time ever, Oregon State is the coaches’ preseason pick to win the regular-season title.

Graham writes: How Ruth Hamblin became perhaps the best pure center in college

 Asked which chores ranked as least desirable growing up on a cattle ranch in northern British Columbia, Ruth Hamblin struggled for a moment. Sure, cleaning out the barn, which meant lifting heavy manure in dark confines, wasn’t exactly fun. Using a tractor to move feeders? That was always hard work. But chores are chores. Before and after school, the sun in both cases an infrequent companion for many months, they needed to get done. So she did them well.

Her hesitation hinted there wasn’t much point in thinking about which ones would be nice to avoid.

It was only then that she remembered the hay bales.

Is it just me, or is there a bit of irony in the fact that espnW is asking this: HEY, MALE SPORTS STAR, WILL YOU TWIRL AND TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTFIT?

Remember that time Eugenie Bouchard was asked to twirl after a win at the Australian Open? Or how about the, ahem, controversy over Gabby Douglas’ hair at the 2012 Olympics? Or what about THE 3,796,231 times female athletes have been stuck fielding questions about their love life?

Chances are, especially if you read this website, you’re more than well aware of these moments and have frequently rolled your eyes over the coverage of women athletes. A website called Covertheathlete.com also has noticed and recently released a video that hilariously — yet, perfectly — shows what would happen if male athletes were asked the type of questions their female counterparts regularly get.

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“Never mind.”

That’s what working for a living will getcha!

So, now we’re moving oh, so seamlessly into the college season. Woot! Lots to catch up on… Hi, Mechelle! Key to UConn’s consistency is in the details

So as we get ready for the start of the 2015-16 women’s basketball season, of course we proclaim UConn as the favorite to win the title in Indianapolis next April, to get that unprecedented four-peat.

But what we won’t say is that title No. 11 is already in the bag, or an almost sure-thing that the Huskies simply have to show up to claim. Because that’s as unfair to them as it is to the rest of the teams that go into this season determined to prove that they, too, have a chance.

What UConn does isn’t a process of automation; it’s all very human and subject to error. Which is part of what makes it remarkable that the Huskies have been so strong for so long. Virtually always, the bugs are all worked out by NCAA tournament time, if not before.

HI, Charlie! UConn again top dog as Huskies open as preseason favorite

Three-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut was a unanimous pick to lead off our preseason top 25, as voted by espnW.com’s Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel, and ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo. Creme provides the analysis for each team below.

BTW: The USA TODAY Sports Top 25 women’s basketball coaches poll

Hi,Graham! Five questions for the 2015-16 women’s college basketball season

A new season brings new questions, even if we start with one that sounds distinctly familiar.

How many teams can make a case as Connecticut’s toughest test?

Eight. Moving on to the next question. Wait, there is supposed to be an explanation, too? Fine.

Something that could easily upset the prognosticators: Injuries Still Plague UConn Women As They Prepare To Open Preseason Against Lubbock Christian

Defending national champion UConn will be using common sense Monday when it opens its preseason against Division II Lubbock Christian at the XL Center.

Practice has been compromised by injuries and it’s uncertain whether junior Saniya Chong (leg) or sophomore Kia Nurse (groin) will play.

“Saniya has some IT band issues running up and down her leg that keeps you from running full speed,” coach Geno Auriemma said. “And Kia was doing a defensive drill on Wednesday and tweaked her groin. It’s October. There’s no sense having out there [for practice] when there is no need for them to be out there.”

UConn will be without sophomore center Natalie Butler until Christmastime after surgery on her left thumb on Oct. 19.

Hello, AP (Pete Iacobelli): Gamecocks women’s team putting last year’s success behind

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley has put last year’s Final Four trip behind her. She hopes her team will do that, too.

Staley and the two-time Southeastern Conference defending champions opened practice Monday on a season where simply getting to the Final Four might not be enough for a satisfactory season. Staley, who made three Final Four trips while Virginia’s All-American point guard without winning a title, said Monday in order for her team to achieve more than last year, they will have to work harder than they did a year ago.

That’s a lesson that hadn’t sunk in on the first day of workouts.

“It’s over with now,” Staley said of the school’s first Final Four berth. “I enjoyed it while we were experiencing it. But just trying to get back there, the hard work that it took to get there, it’s going to be that much harder.”

Probably the biggest news is Linnae Harper leaving Kentucky.

Harper had a breakout sophomore season for the Wildcats last season as she was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team after leading the team in rebounding (7.1) and steals (2.0) per game. She ranked third on the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game. 

Standing at just 5-foot-8, Harper became the shortest player to lead UK in rebounding in school history and was the only player in the nation to stand at 5-8 or under and average more than 7.0 board per contest. She also is the first guard in UK Hoops history to grab a team-high rebounding mark since Stacey Reed in 1994-95. All seven of Harper’s career double-doubles came last season, including four in SEC play. She was also a member of the SEC Winter Sports Academic Honor Roll.

Speaking of transfers: Hi, Jim Massie! Ohio State women’s basketball | Transfers can’t play, but won’t sit idly by

The itch to do more than watch from the bench might tickle the ears of Stephanie Mavunga and Sierra Calhoun in the minutes before the Ohio State women’s basketball team plays host to Ursuline College in an exhibition game at 2 p.m. today at Value City Arena.

Scratching isn’t an option. NCAA transfer rules say that the two must sit out 2015-16 before becoming eligible to play for Ohio State.

Also: Ohio State women’s basketball | Respect for Kianna Holland led to her captaincy

Colorado: CU women’s basketball: New leaders stepping up for Buffs

Big Blue: 5 takeaways from the Michigan women’s basketball preseason media day

Green Wave: Tulane women’s basketball team — young, but versatile — seek second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance

Missouri: 

Last season, Lianna Doty didn’t contribute on the court. She didn’t play a single minute. She didn’t give out assists or passes.

The redshirt junior suffered a Lisfranc injury, a fracture in the middle of the foot, during a 2014 preseason practice, which forced her to miss the entire 2014-15 season. As the team’s starting point guard for the 2013-14 campaign, Doty averaged 5.1 points per game and 5.6 assists per game.

But even though she sat out, she gave to her team in a different way. Doty gave her teammates confidence.

Tennessee: A press conference with Holly, Diamond, and Mercedes.

More interviews: ESPN Media Day: Stewart, Jefferson, DeShields, Davis (Baylor), Mitchell (South Carolina) Coaches Geno, McGraw, Frese, and Staley

More interviews: Dishin’ and Swishin’: Dawn Staley readies South Carolina for a championship run

On the heels of coming very close to the national championship game last season, Dawn Staley has record numbers of South Carolina Gamecock fans buying tickets to “The Show,” the program’s moniker for the 2015-16 season.

One could even say that with the retirement of football coach Steve Spurrier, Dawn Staley is now the most visible person in the South Carolina athletics department.

In fact, over 10,000 of those fans have put their money down on coach Staley’s team, purchasing season tickets for what could be the most successful season in the history of the school.

ACC: Notre Dame and the fabulous Turner

Two-time defending champion Notre Dame is once again the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball preseason favorite, according to separate polls of the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches.

This marks the third consecutive season that the Fighting Irish have been rated the ACC preseason favorite since joining the conference prior to the 2013-14 season.

AAC: UConn tops American Athletic Conference preseason poll

SEC: Media Days: Women’s basketball makes offseason focus about consistent point production

AE: UMaine voted second in America East women’s basketball poll

Patriot: It’s Army.

From Ken Corbitt in Manhattan: Kaylee Page starts new chapter with K-State women’s basketball team

The first phase of Kaylee Page’s college basketball career didn’t work out as expected.

After a stellar all-state high school career at Wamego where she was the 2014 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, Page went to Nebraska. She appeared in five games last season as a freshman for the Huskers, but it wasn’t the right fit.

After one semester, the 6-foot-2 guard transferred to Kansas State.

George Washington: Her star on the rise, Jones continues to discover herself

With a Nerf hoop parked in Kogan Plaza, she looks like the big kid on the playground as she toys with others. Fade away jumper, easy. Try to shoot over her, her arms wave like a helicopter, stopping anyone and anything.

Charismatic like always, she walks around and hands out fliers for Colonials Invasion. Some recognize her, stopping for a quick conversation or just giving her a dap or a high five. Others don’t know what’s going on, but still stop and stare in wide-eyed wonder.

The Freeport, Bahamas native Jonquel Jones is 6-foot-4-inches and seems much taller than that. Her smile is as wide as her body is tall. She is also a preseason All-American and is projected to be a top-five pick in April’s WNBA draft.

New Mexico: Preseason accolades are hearsay; Lobos ready to play

PA: Penn State women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington enters new season with confidence

Even though Washington is confident, she realizes everything might not click immediately. She admitted the team is inexperienced in some respects, and players might play inconsistently in the beginning of the season. However, the head coach expects to see improvement as the season goes on.

This past weekend, however, the Lions experienced a setback. Sierra Moore tore her ACL, and Washington confirmed the redshirt junior will be out for the season.

From Lehigh Valley: First year coach Theresa Grentz changing the culture for Lafayette women’s basketball

From Illinois: Women’s Basketball: The evolution of Northwestern star Nia Coffey

Nia Coffey used to dream about being a track star.

In a family that was all about basketball, she was the outlier. Her father, Richard, played in college at Minnesota and professionally, and both of her siblings were on basketball teams as soon as they could pick up a ball.

Coffey, the middle child, took a bit longer.

From Grand Forks: 

The UND women’s basketball season hasn’t even started yet, but North Dakota will open the year with injury issues.

UND, which hosted the school’s annual media day at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Wednesday, will begin play Nov. 1 in an exhibition against Mayville State without three-year starting point guard Leah Szabla.

UND also announced backup guards Bailey Strand and Grace Sawatzke will sit out the 2015-16 season with injuries.

Nice news for Coach Binford in MT: NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton joins Montana State women’s basketball staff

From the other Montana: Smooth-shooting Valley catalyst for Lady Griz

Wisconsin: Badgers women’s basketball: Veteran group fuels optimism for Bobbie Kelsey

Something from the Sooners: Oklahoma women’s basketball: Q&A with Peyton Little

Peyton Little is one of four returning starters for the Oklahoma women’s basketball team in 2015-16.

Little, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season, averaged 12.6 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Sooners, who finished as the league’s regular-season runner-up.

Yes, it’s preseason, but: Texas A&M women’s basketball team debuts new offense with success

Arizona: Workmanlike effort key to Cats’ hopes

State pals: Virginia Tech, Virginia women’s basketball teams banking on experience

Oregon: OSU women’s basketball: Beavers know target is on their backs

The Beavers, coming off the program’s first-ever Pac-12 Conference regular-season title last season, were selected to repeat as conference champs by a vote of the coaches earlier this month.

It was to be expected as the Beavers, who went 16-2 in the Pac-12 and 27-5 overall, return four starters, along with several key contributors off the bench.

The Beavers say they relish the situation.

“I think it just enhances the challenge, just makes the challenge even greater and this is a team of competitors,” said coach Scott Rueck, entering his sixth season leading Oregon State, on Monday morning as the Beavers held a local media day at the OSU Basketball Center.

R.I: This would be amazing: La-Force has ‘Relentless’ Rams Prepared to Chase 20

New York: Handford will stand alone in St. John’s hoops’ history

Aliyyah Handford is on the verge of standing alone in St. John’s women’s basketball history and joining an elite group in the school’s storied hoops’ history.

The Red Storm women’s basketball senior guard can become the program’s all-time leading scorer this season and also become just the fourth Johnnie to reach the 2,000-point plateau. The 5-foot-9 Handford, who has 1,514 points, is chasing the mark of 1,950 of Ling-Ling Hou (1977-80). Only men’s players Chris Mullin, Malik Sealy and D’Angelo Harrison have ever scored 2,000 points.

“It’s going to be very special, coming here and your name is still known,” said Handford, the program’s first ever Big East preseason player of the year selection. “It’s a great thing.”

You want PAC 12 news? Sue has previews of all the teams….USC is #11.

New Mexico:

Preseason accolades allow for speculation in anticipation for the upcoming season. New Mexico head coach Yvonne Sanchez said her interests lie with how her squad is going to play, not how people think her team is going to perform.

Sanchez said she knows teams are going to be gunning for the Lobos this upcoming season after the tremendous finish the team had last year.

“We talked a lot about being the hunted and not the hunter and how to respond to that, because this group has never had that,” Sanchez said in Wednesday’s press conference. “It goes back to teams we’ve had in the past. Our expectations were always high, we knew where we were going to be picked, and then it’s time to go. But the most important part is where you finish.”

More from the Lobos: Otto doesn’t let diabetes stop her

“Jannon is just a total basketball player,” Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “She loves to play, comes to practice every day with a smile on her face and brings other players up with her. She has plenty of room to get better, but her skill set is pretty impressive for a freshman.”

Otto’s energy also manifests through humor. When she and her teammates tried on new black-and-white, camo-style warm-ups prior to last week’s Lobo Howl, Otto announced: “I think we look like cows.”

But Jannon Otto also has a high-maintenance side. Evidence accompanies her everywhere.

During practice she occasionally skips a team sprint to drink Gatorade or knock down a granola bar. Otto also checks in frequently with athletic trainer Andrea Quintana and raids a special “lunchbox” stocked just for her.

Otto has Type 1 diabetes, which requires constant monitoring – and brings a few puzzled expressions when people notice the small electronic device often clipped to her beltline.

Fingers crossed they’ll be playing at home when I’m there in Jan to teach: Fresno State women’s basketball preview

About that W season: Lasting impressions from 2015 — and looking ahead to next season

We’re a week past the big celebration in Minnesota, as the Lynx won the WNBA title for the third time in the past five years. By now, many of the league’s players are either overseas or headed there for their other basketball jobs. And women’s hoops fans here in the United States are counting down the days until the college season starts.

But now let’s take one more look at the WNBA and the thoughts we’re left with about the 2015 season each team had, plus what we might see from them in 2016 (teams listed in order of their regular-season finish in each conference).

From the .com: Overseas Competition Update: October 28

Thanks? Charles Barkley says Los Angeles Lakers are worse than WNBA team

We know this: The best free-throw shooter in pro basketball is not in the NBA. She has people talking.

We know this too: WNBA remains industry leader in diversity hiring

Ouch: Fever: January has surgery on torn meniscus

Taking action: Ex-WNBA Riley to argue against food stamp cuts

Speaking up: Chamique Holdsclaw scores for mental health

You can’t teach clue-free: James L. Dolan Says He Was Surprised by Isiah Thomas Backlash

So, you wanna play abroad? Check out Down and Dirty With Devereaux.

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Speaking of international ball: Winless Canberra a long way from WNBA title, but Renee Montgomery not panicking

Wings? The Dallas Wings? Buffalo or Red Bull better be a sponsor.

Not playing in Canada:

Last Tuesday, the girls lined up for the jump ball but made no effort to get it and stood by while St. Mary scored. On the in-bounds pass, BT simply tossed the ball to their opponent letting them score again. After four uncontested baskets and two timeouts, the referee stopped the game and awarded the victory to the visiting Crusaders.

The referee, Guy Cipriani, has officiated games for more than 40 years and said he’d never seen anything like it.

The protest stemmed from a board decision allowing a BT player to transfer to St. Mary prior to the start of the school year but not sit out the one-year window demanded by the constitution — unless the move is for “exceptional personal, social or academic reasons.” 

That’s the simplified version of the rules. The actual transfer rules run more than four single-spaced pages and are incredibly detailed.

Morris Hucal, who made the decision to allow the girl to play, said he can’t discuss her particular case or name her for privacy reasons, but says her situation falls within those exceptional reasons.

Loss in California: Edison High girls’ basketball coach Dan Wiley, 61, dies; service Sunday on campus

“He was just great for the girls, like a second father to them,” Boyce said. “He also coached club, and what I heard from them was what a great man he was. He was just the kind of person you wanted your kids to play for. It went beyond the court, too. He was full of life.”

Wiley was on the brink of starting his eighth season at Edison. In his third season (2010-11), his Chargers reached the pinnacle by winning the CIF Southern Section Division 1A championship. The division’s top-ranked team did so by scoring the winning basket just before the final buzzer to topple second-ranked Troy, 45-44, in a scintillating final at Anaheim Arena.

More loss: Late coach Crystal Westfield remembered for toughness, dedication to Ann Arbor Pioneer family

Pioneer basketball was one of Westfield’s top passions, but she had many.

When she wasn’t fulfilling her duties as a mother of two or teaching art at the high school, she was overseeing Rec & Ed basketball leagues; teaching adult art classes; running the shot clock for the University of Michigan women’s basketball team; or playing the piano during services at her church, Bethel AME.

“She was a family person who did all of this outside activity to provide better for her family,” LaPointe said. “She coached more than 1,500 basketball girls, about as many track athletes, and another 6,000 students she influenced over her 20 years at Pioneer. It was all about coaching and a compassion she had for people.”

More loss: 

The news of Christina Volpe’s death Monday in South Carolina has stunned not only her former high school basketball coach and teammates, but additional people connected to Batavia Notre Dame during the late 1990s.

Volpe was 34.

The Section V Basketball Hall of Famer led Batavia Notre Dame to the school’s first girls basketball state championship in 1999.

Need a little history: Images of Black Women’s Basketball Teams in the Early 1900s

Hey, Kansas! Bring history to life: Women unite to form Granny Basketball team in Lawrence

A group of women 50 years and older has helped the Lawrence community start a “Granny Basketball” team.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the Granny Basketball league formed in 2005. Kansas is the eighth state to form a team allowing these women to get together to shoot hoops.

The league bases its game rules and uniforms on standards from the 1920s. Each team has six players on the court at a time and no running, jumping or physical contact is allowed. If a player’s bloomers ride up, a “flesh foul” may be called since no skin can be shown from neck to toes.

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