Archive for November, 2016

Stream This!

(Unless you’re watching games… but hey, multitask!)


In April, a video titled #MoreThanMean called out the insulting and obscene harassment routinely heaped on two female Chicago sports reporters. That video has now been viewed more than 3.7 million times and started a national conversation.

Now, the women who made the video — Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain — are visiting Penn State on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in HUB’s Freeman Auditorium.

The #MoreThanMean video can be watched here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tU-D-m2JY8

Also, have you had a chance to read this piece by Sarah Spain? Sharing stories of harassment is one way to combat a still-pervasive issue

She was a young newspaper writer. He wrote her a letter threatening her life and the lives of her children, telling her: “You stupid b—-. Stop writing. Now.”

These are just a handful of stories my friends and colleagues told me in this week’s “That’s What She Said” podcast. I didn’t have to seek out women with shocking tales of harassment; I already know plenty. And I had my own stories to tell. If you know a woman who works in the sports industry, she probably does, too. Stories of men abusing their power, hoping to take advantage of young girls’ ambitions. Or men asserting control, working to make women feel unwelcome and unsafe.

Speaking of multi-tasking: LaChina! ‘Around the Rim’ podcast: West Coastin’ with Washington’s Kelsey Plum

From the Notre Dame Insider: Steady, sturdy Lindsay Allen makes Notre Dame women’s basketball go

We’ve noticed! Hot-start UTA Lady Mavericks playing like it’s 1977

Just, ’cause, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only Wheelock who sucks at basketball…: Women’s Basketball rallies past Wheelock, 66-59

Tough times: Arkansas: Guard Jordan Danberry to transfer, senior Tatiyana Smith quits due to medical issue

Also bye: Ohio State: Sophomore post Theresa Ekhelar to leave program

Baylor: Why adventurous Australian guard Kristy Wallace is so important for Baylor


So, I know math is not my strong point, but… by my calculation, there are 204 games available for ESPN/ESPN2 broadcast and they’ve decided to broadcast 9. That’s like…under 5% of the games, right? Great way to follow up on last year’s good ratings, @CStiffESPN, ESPN Vice President, Women’s Sports Programming at ESPN, Inc

From the .com: Skylar Diggins’ Road Back

also .com: Q&A: Kiah Stokes on 2016 Season and New York Liberty’s Future

Wherein a Chicago Tribune reporter writes an article that is, basically, a huge quote of the real article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

From Rolling Stone: Why Don’t More Female Athletes Have Signature Sneakers?

Swish Appeal: WNBA prospects to watch – PART I

If you’re in New York on Monday evening, come with me to the New York Historical Society:

Course Correction
A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX
A memoir by Ginny Gilder


 Enjoy a conversation with author Ginny Gilder, Olympic Silver Medalist in Rowing, and co-owner of the Seattle Storm, the women’s professional basketball team. Presented as part of the Diane and Adam E. Max “Salon” Series in Women’s History


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to soothe your reading palate:

This is worth your time if you missed it when I first linked it:EDD profile, The Audacity Of Height

She’s been 6-5 for a long time — by eighth grade she was already 6 feet — and one of the things she learned from standing out so egregiously is that people are watching and the best bet is just to behave. People sometimes think she’s bland — I was warned she was a boring interview — but it’s not true. What’s true is that she has learned to stay quiet. She’s learned that people aren’t really interested in the truth of your experience if it doesn’t confirm their theories about you. They don’t understand what it’s like when you present with something special, like height or ability — or both, in her case — how your future is decided for you long before you’ve had a moment to consider it. They don’t understand how you could spend the rest of your life wondering if the choices that were made on your behalf were ones you would have come around to on your own.

From Excelle, another reminder of the light the sports platform can shine: Chamique Holdsclaw is changing how we talk about mental health

For Holdsclaw, sharing her story is the best way she knows to break the social stigma that surrounds mental health issues. “It is OK to talk about these things, and I think we are going to start to see a change,” she said. “There are a bunch of people who are passionate and all coming together to break down these borders.”

All of this is not to say that everything is now bright and sunny in Holdsclaw’s world.

“Some days I wake up and it’s debilitating,” she said. “My mind will tell me, ‘I’m worthless, I’m nothing, I don’t want to be here on this earth anymore’ … But I make an effort to really hone in on those things and take what I can from them.”

And she relies heavily on the fact that, every day, she has the chance to be grateful and make an impact, showing someone—if only herself—that people do care.

About basketball: WATCH: South Carolina tells us exactly how it beat up Louisville at Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge

Mel adds his 25cents: South Carolina Has The No. 1 Look in Hoop Hall Challenge

Third-ranked South Carolina, coached by Philly roundball legend Dawn Staley, ran roughshod over No. 5 Louisville after a competitive first quarter to gain a non conference 83-59 triumph.

Afterwards media here, those watching from afar via ESPN2, and other observers said despite Notre Dame’s No. 1 ranking and No. 2 Connecticut’s recent upset of then-No. 2 Baylor, the team on the floor right now that is looking like the best bet to leave Dallas on April 2 with the NCAA trophy is Staley’s unbeaten Gamecocks (4-0), who also own an impressive win over then-No. 7 Ohio State in Columbus.

    “As you can see we’re pretty balanced,” Staley said of a roster offering several all-American candidates and at least one player of the year contender in 6-foot-5 junior A’ja Wilson. 

From Graham: South Carolina defense shuts down Asia Durr to improve to 5-0

Almost in the shadow of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, No. 3 South Carolina and No. 4 Louisville played a game that was about entry into a select club.

South Carolina is already in, just as its coach is enshrined among select company in the building across the highway from the MassMutual Center. Louisville is not yet in the club. The Cardinals have championship aspirations — but not yet championship expectations.

Connecticut, Notre Dame and South Carolina have those expectations.

And after South Carolina’s 83-59 win Sunday, that is how it is going to stay for now.

More basketball: Polls! AP Women’s Basketball Poll Week 4. Hello, Colorado, Auburn, Texas A&M. And someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do re: Tennessee and Texas (I’ll get to see them live next Sunday. Woot!).

As for the “polls-in-waiting” crew? Not sure what Arizona State’s done to deserve attention, but we’ll be keeping an eye on VaTech, Georgia Tech and Cal.

Well deserved: Virginia Tech’s Chanette Hicks is espnW’s player of the week

Learn a little more about Maine’s coach Richard Barron from Sue’s Coach’s Chair Q&A.

Games: Honestly, not a lot on the schedule that piques my interest today or tomorrow. Wednesday offers:

Undefeated Towson v. Georgetown

USC v. #25 Texas A&M – they’re a combined 10-1.

Battle of New Jersey: Princeton v. Seton Hall

Battle of New York: Albany v. St. John’s

Big 10/ACC Challenge: #20 Syracuse v. Michigan State (6-1)

Big 10/ACC Challenge: #1 Notre Dame v Iowa (5-2)

Battle of New Mexico: Aggies v. Lobos

McNeese v. Tulane: Two 4-1 teams.

Battle of Colorado: State v. Denver. Williams’ Rams have played a tough schedule so far, expect them to get their groove back.

Battle of California: Fresno State v. San Francisco


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It was deja vu all over again for Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Kenny Brooks got an important program win, 67-63, behind a huge game (on both ends of the floor) from Chanette Hicks. Not only did the Vols lose for the second time in two years, it’s their second consecutive loss to an unranked team. The box score is really ugly… and you’ve got to wonder how so much talent can play so poorly.

After a pretty even first half, then #3 South Carolina made a strong argument for being the team to beat, cruising to a 24pt win over #4 Louisville. 

#8 Ohio State was no match for #5 Baylor’s size and defense. The Buckeye’s shot 34% as Mitchell tried to do too much on her own (5-20). Alexis Jones was terrific, but the Bears really need to work on their free throws (59%).

DePaul jumped all over Syracuse in the first quarter, and never let the Orange get close. Typical Demon-ball – 19 threes – and poor Syracuse defense resulted in a 108-84 romp.

#19 West Virginia handled High Point and #13 Oklahoma put away Colorado State.

Neither #21 Miami, #15 Washington or #2o Kentucky faced much of challenge.

George Washington dispatched Western Kentucky, 68-49.

Temple fought back to earn a victory over Quinnipiac, 71-68.

Speaking of fighting back, that’s what Auburn did, behind Brandy Montgomery’s 28pts. They came back from 17 down to beat Indiana, 71-67.

That’s 5-0 for Towson.

Rutgers finally gets a win – perhaps it was ’cause Billie Jean King was in the house?

Whoops! Perhaps they got distracted by their win over Syracuse? Drexel falls to Bucknell (which, if you recall, has improved a ton), 78-66.

It was tight, and it was against a struggling UT Martin team, but a win’s a win – Vandy moves to 5-1.

Warned ya – UT Arlington owned Seton Hall, 86-61.

UNLV dumped Ole Miss, 64-57, and moves to 5-0.

Ooof – Chattanooga falls to Maine, and it was ugly: 49-39. Next up for the Mocs? Tuesday at UConn. Gulp.

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Folks are on the road, soaking up some sun, playing back-to-back and learning some lessons…and no, I’m not going to bring out the word parity, because that takes a 10 year study. But I will say, “Pay attention to the programs that don’t have a number next to their name (yet).”

Oh, those fourth quarters. Michigan had #10 Florida State in their sights, but Shakayla Thomas happened. Seminoles by 14.

#24 Michigan State had to come back in the fourth to take down Cal Northridge, 63-59.

Washington State went toe-to-toe with #6 Maryland through three quarters, finally falling 79-69. Terps’ Brionna Jones had a 20/20.

Riddle me this: Purdue has been pretty awful so far, and yet they gave #11 Stanford a run for their money. Cardinal win, 78-69.

As expected, the Orange v. Buckeyes game was a battle. #8 Ohio State’s got Kelsey Mitchell and you don’t, y’all. #11 Syracuse shot for crap, kept it close but couldn’t pull out the win.

TCU played Notre Dame even through the first half, then…. not so much. #1 Irish over Horned Frogs by 33.

Similar-ish story with DePaul and Baylor. #5 Bears over #18 Blue Demons by 32.

No one’s giving # Mississippi much love, and they certainly didn’t give San Jose State much affection, romping by 37. The 6-0 Bulldogs will likely cruise until January 8th when they face off against Tennessee.

Kelsey Plum (with whom I share a birthday!) had 44, the rest of her teammates had 50, and Seattle had 64. #15 Huskies win.

Yes, they won, but #23 Arizona State seems a tad offensively challenged. Sun Devils over St. John’s, 54-41.

Interesting: LSU over NC State by 1. Great shot of Tiger’s bench as as Raigyne Moncrief hits the game winner.

Air Force gets its first win of the season.

Hello pollsters, Colorado’s now at 6-0.

And Oklahoma State is, too.

And let’s not forget Georgia Tech, which gave Missouri its first loss of the season, 72-70.

Or Utah, which eked out a 1-point win over St. Mary’s.

Or South Florida, which won handily over Georgia, 81-65.

Good win for Wake Forest over a tough Elon team, 78-68.

Anyone notice that Boise State is undefeated? As are the UNLV Lady Rebels. Or that Norfolk State beat Lehigh by 24?

There’s the team I know! Arkansas-Little Rock give the Billikens their first loss of the season, 56-43.

Why does Ole Miss schedule such a soft out-of-conference slate? Let’s see what happens when then face #19 West Virginia on the 4th of December, shall we?

Re: Arkansas, see above. They’ll face Mississippi State on the 5th.

And yes, Cal may be under the radar, but there’s something that’s not: Cal’s Gottlieb ready for motherhood

The Cal women’s basketball players have a new pregame ritual: get taped, hydrate, focus. And rub their coach’s belly. 

“Before every game I touch her stomach,” said forward Kristine Anigwe. “It’s a miracle. It’s really special it’s happening right in front of us.”

Head coach Lindsay Gottlieb told her team in early November that she and her partner, Patrick Martin, are expecting a baby, due May 9. Gottlieb has created a family atmosphere in her six years at Cal, and the baby news has only added to that sense of commitment and bonding.

SUNDAY * Sunday * sunday*

#3 South Carolina v. #4 Louisville, 1pmEST ESPN2 (Prep with LaChina, Jeff and A’a)

#17 Tennessee v. Virginia Tech (Hokies are undefeated and it’s in Blacksburg), 2pmEST – Read LadySwish on the game.

Seton Hall v. UT Arlington (Mavericks are undefeated, but it’s in Walsh Arena), 2:30EST

#11 Syracuse v. #18 DePaul (Both are coming off losses), 5pmEST, YouTube.

I tease, but it is a battle of the undefeateds: UNLV v. Ole Miss, in Nevada, 5:30PM.

#8 Ohio State v. #5 Baylor. ’nuff said. 7:30PM, YouTube.

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Folks who had no trouble chowin’ down on the competition: #10 Florida State, #11 Stanford, #5 Baylor.

The turkey was a little dry for #19 West Virginia, which squeaked by Auburn, 56-52.

Ditto for #11 Syracuse, which escaped George Washington, 74-71.

And #7 Mississippi State, which used a strong fourth to  escape Oregon, 75-63.

Turkey was really dry for Florida, which let Northwestern hang around until boom, they Wildcats took the lead and feasted on Gators.

Told ya! Michigan stole #25 Gonzaga’s stuffing, winning 78-66. Big Blue’s now up to 5-0.

Told ya! South Florida stomped North Carolina, 83-55.

Clemson moved past the Swoopes-less Loyola (So, is anyone following up on that story?), 61-40 and then Wright State, 75-51.

Well, that was unexpected: Behind Caliya Robinson‘s career-high 30 points, Georgia handled Minnesota…handily, 70-58.

You know, if you play the Team X beat Team Y who beat Team Z… who then beat team X game, you won’t be able to make heads or tails of this season so far…For instance, try and make sense of Gonzaga upsetting Stanford and then falling to Florida State, 87-69.

Ditto with Georgetown defeating Penn State, the team that took down Tennessee.

By request: Hey, look! Toledo is 4-0! Of course, after Friday’s game, they’re 4-1, but they sure gave #9 UCLA a tussle!

I see you Troy, beating Villanova, 93-85.

So, who’s going to give #6 Maryland a battle? ’cause #23 Arizona sure wasn’t up to it. Terps romp, 83-42.

So often that fourth quarter is where the potential upset disappears. Ohio State/Kelsey Mitchell pulled away from Florida Gulf Coast to get the 79-66 win.

Kansas State is 5-0 and I’m not sure they’ll face a real challenge until they meet UConn on the 11th.

At 5-0, Colorado’s got to feel good. Let’s see what happens when they meet Ryun’s Colorado State team on the 8th… and then later, when they face UCLA January 1st.

Okay, it’s getting beyond ugly in Piscataway. Princeton invited Rutgers to Jadwin and wiped the court with’em, 64-34.

So, Georgia Tech beat Georgia and now Dayton. Does this mean we should talk the Ramblin’ Wreck seriously?

Perhaps they’re flying under the radar, but let’s check on Cal (5-0) after they face Oklahoma on the 20th.

That’s a solid 16-point win for Green Bay over Chattanooga. Looks like the Phoenix are setting up nicely to rule the Horizon again.

Well, ouch: Georgia State (yes, Georgia STATE) beat American 59-58, via a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

Double ouch – looks like it’s going to be a tough year for the Flames: Liberty fall to 0-4 courtesy of a buzzer beater loss to Valpo.

Pop! goes the 4-0 start. Virginia falls to St. John’s, 66-55.

Not. so. fast. Marquette is tripped up by Santa Clara and earns their first loss, 65-62.

Down goes Minnesota again, and UNC bounces back for the 91-77 win.


Notre Dame v. TCU could be fun – 1pmEST

How will Arizona State recover v. St. John’s? 4pmEST

Eyes on this one down in Florida: #18 DePaul v #5 Baylor, 5pmEST.

Half-an-eye on Washington State v. #6 Maryland, 6:30pm.

Full eyes on #11 Syracuse v. #8 Ohio State, 7:30pmEST.

Really full eyes on #10 Florida State v. Michigan, 8pm.

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Nibbles and Bits

Oklahoma ‘wared the wabbits and won, 74-60. (thankyouverymuchImhereallday!)

Texas, West Virginia (5-0) and Kentucky  romped.

Harumph – Texas A&M stuffed the usually feisty Arkansas-Little Rock.

Undefeated Oklahoma State had no trouble with Northern Iowa, 81-57.

Will you look at UC Davis, all undefeated so far under coach Jennifer Gross.

Honestly, Portland State has been awful for a while, so I’m going to shout out their current their win over Seattle, which brings their win total to two. This is Lynn Kennedy’s first season with the Vikings.

Ouch – Pepperdine is win-free. So’s Furman and Air Force (which has had an awful few years. Let’s hope coach Chris Gobrecht can move the needle forward).

A tale of two seasons: Marist (0-6). Auburn (5-0)


SOMEbody’s got to lose: NC State v. Kansas State, 1pm

Ah, the Bahamas: Minnesota (0-4) v. Georgia (3-1), 3pm

SOMEbody’s got to lose, part deux: North Carolina v. South Florida, 5:15pm

SOMEbody’s got to lose, part trois:  Auburn v. West Virginia, 7pm

…part quatre: Gonzaga v. Michigan. Really have my eye on this one.

Yea! Mid Major Poll! Drexel, Gonzaga make biggest jumps in espnW mid-major poll

As the mid-major rankings near their second decade, you probably know the drill. There is a lot of good basketball being played beyond major conferences, and while “mid-major” might be a flawed label with too many imperfections to catalog, the goal here is to highlight those teams that aren’t getting as much attention right now and could make a lot of noise come March.

The rules remain that any team not in the ACC, American, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC is eligible for consideration. Check back every two weeks for the new top 10.

Division I AP/USAToday are pretty similar to each other.

Around the Rim podcast: 

This week, women’s basketball analyst LaChina Robinson sits down with Louisville head coach Jeff Walz and South Carolina junior forward A’ja Wilson ahead of their post-Thanksgiving matchup on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

We know this: Coach Stone has SLU women’s basketball on the rise

“The passion continues to boil and burn inside me because my job is to foster female leadership, be a loving, caring human being to my players as I am with my own children and get these young women to believe in themselves, their coaches and their teammates,” said the 31-year veteran of coaching.

Stone wants to transfer her enthusiasm and energy to her players.”It’s really why I walk onto the court every day,” she said. “The result — the wins, the losses, the score at the end of the game — is what we are evaluated on, but there’s so much more that goes into it. I love being around the players, the bus rides, the travel, the meals, having the players over to the house, just being around and getting to know them for being more than just being a basketball player.

Under the radar: Cal women’s basketball hopes to build on hot start at Cal Classic

So, is there a new storyline? UConn Women: Could It Be A New Big Three? Other Things Learned

The 79th consecutive victory could have been plucked from a previous year. For a team that is defined by the players no longer in uniform, winning its first four games and notching that type of victory is significant.

“I think we just prove that every game we are going to put up a fight and we are not just going to give the game to anybody,” Katie Lou Samuelson said. “We’re not going to go down without a fight and I think we have shown that in the past few games, but we have a long road ahead of us and good competition coming up so we’re going to have to keep that up.”

They certainly will, considering their next streak of games: Chattanooga, DePaul, Texas, at Notre Dame, at Kansas State, Ohio State, Nebraska, at Maryland.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Paul Zeise: In her own battle with cancer, Appalachian State women’s basketball coach draws inspiration from James Conner


From Taffy Brodesser-Akner at espnW: The Audacity Of Height: When you’re 6-5, it’s just assumed you’ll play hoops. But it wasn’t until Elena Delle Donne questioned her path that she really stood out. 

Elena Delle Donne makes her body into a C-shape — no bigger, an end parenthesis — as she hunches over a workbench whose tabletop hits her midthigh at best. She’s in her garage on her parents’ rolling-hills estate in Delaware, and she’s been tasked with holding a clamp steady while her fiancée, Amanda Clifton, uses wood glue and a nail gun to affix a small plank of wood to a greater wooden canvas. They’re making a piece of wall art, one of the 30 orders they’ve received from fans or woodworking connoisseurs since they Instagrammed their first project, a coffee table. Amanda does most of the design and cutting work. Elena’s duties are more in line with this clamp work. “It’s because she’s so strong,” Amanda says. Elena moves her legs into a sturdy stance and screws the clamp in steady.

This is how she uses her monolith, her Statue of Liberty of a body, in the offseason. There are no months for the remarkably versatile forward-guard, just a season and an offseason. 

By the way, you’ll never understand irony if you don’t see it in the confluence of Thanksgiving and Standing Rock. If you’d rather not self-indulge during “Black Friday,” consider visiting this Amazon.com list.

Standing Rock Needs You

#NODAPL. Mni wiconi. Water Is Life. We are water protectors that stand with the Tribal Nations and supporters of all backgrounds that seek to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built on and through indigenous land. 

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Notre Dame and Louisiana-Lafayette started on one court, had a power failure, and moved over to another court to complete that game. Does this count as a “double away game win” for the Irish? And I’m sure all of Turner’s family has “never say we don’t travel to see your games” ammo for the rest of her life.

Lots of feasting by UConn, South Carolina, Baylor, West Virginia and Washington.

Florida got a bit of a tussle from Arkansas State.

So, yah, maybe something HAS changed at Marquette. The Golden Eagles upset #22 Oregon State, 74-73.

Speaking of change: Hello, Ducks (as Sabrina Ionescu earns first Pac-12 freshman of the week award) ! Oregon flat out routed #24 Michigan State, 88-55.

Change ain’t going to be easy for Barnes at Arizona. Record crowd, but North Texas got its first win of the season, taking down the Wildcats, 62-58.

Keep an eye on Buffalo – not only are they 4-0, but they did so courtesy of a 71-69 win over Duquesne, who’s no slouch.

Noticing Towson is 4-0, Princeton is 0-4 (and Delaware is 4-0), and Virginia Tech is 5-0.

Maryland: Five things Maryland fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving

So, it seems the NCAA exploring changes to women’s basketball tournament format

The committee is asking the schools and conferences for feedback on several alterations, including having the opening round at 32 sites and having the second round and regionals played at the same location. Moving the Final Four back would add a bye week to the tournament schedule.

Travel safe, y’all….and if you’re anticipating having some frank, difficult conversations with family members, here’s some advice.

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