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