Biggest non-surprise of the WNBA off season: Delle Donne to Washington. Mechelle wonders, How good can the Mystics be with Elena Delle Donne? No doubt, EDD will be under a microscope. Lots of eye rolling, bad mouthing of her in the internet-sphere. Who knows if those folks have inside scoop or not (never appreciated the “oh, if you only knew what I knew” power play), but Mechelle does offer some insight:
That intersected with Delle Donne’s strong desire to be back closer to her Delaware home, which was augmented by her growing disenchantment with the Sky. She had thumb surgery and missed the playoffs last season, and her relationship with then-coach Pokey Chatman seemed strained. Chatman was let go after the season but was quickly hired by Indiana to replace Stephanie White, who went to coach at Vanderbilt.
The Sky organization’s philosophy, from some players’ perspective, might be called no-frills — or less charitably, nickel-and-diming. To be fair, the Sky have some financial challenges in not being affiliated with an NBA team and competing in a sports-saturated city that includes two MLB teams.
Howard kinda disses Big Syl and Tina in his NY Times article: Elena Delle Donne Is Traded on Eve of WNBA Free Agency
Speaking of Chicago: Hello! Carlene Mitchell Joins Chicago Sky as Assistant Coach
And yah, there was some basketball played:
“We’ve played really well at times, but we haven’t been able to put a whole game together …” head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “We had some breakdowns and lack of experience, but we’re getting better and better and better.”
No really, what.the.what with Tennessee? They pull off the upset of #4 South Carolina courtesy of (perhaps?) a little Mississippi State end-of-game karma. But still, can Tennessee fans trust the Vols with their heart? As for the Gamecocks? South Carolina women’s basketball gets a much-needed wake-up call against Tennessee.
Warned you about Syracuse/Va Tech. Orange with the upset, 82-72. And, um, ok? How is Syracuse WBB modeled after the Soviet Union hockey dynasty?
The Plum-i-na-tor scored a ton against the #10 Cardinal, but her Washington teammates couldn’t dredge up a lot of support for her. Stanford rallied and got the upset. Now Tara is one away from 1,000 wins. 18.104.22.168.
Creighton roared back in the fourth to defeat Marquette, 80-77. Speaking of Marquette and new(ish) head coach Carolyn Kieger: Women’s basketball utilizing unique up-tempo offense
Whack a newly ranked team continues as MU women’s basketball team gets first win against Kentucky since joining SEC
Congrats to Clemson, who got their first ACC win in for.e.ver.
Hmmm… Wright State’s at 9-1 in the Horizon. Only loss: Green Bay. Rematch on February 24th.
Dang, but Washington State is feisty! 84-79 winners over Cal.
NCAA.com offers up 7 of the most talented tandems in the country
It might not be the world’s purest form of basketball, but coach Joanne P. McCallie has implemented a clear plan for her Blue Devils this year: Give the ball to Brown or Greenwell and let them decide the rest.
The usage rates of the two have been staggering this year. They have combined to attempt 44 percent of Duke’s field goals, and a mind-blowing 83 percent of the team’s 3-pointers. Brown and Greenwell have combined to hit 101 shots from deep; the rest of the roster has made 20.
Matthew Giles: Kelsey Plum is Superb
Fresh off the program’s first Final Four run, Washington might be the most intriguing team in women’s basketball this season: a west coast outlier amidst the sport’s pseudo east coast bias. That rise is wholly due to Plum, who bypassed the WNBA for one more chance to win a national title. And if she breaks a record that had largely been deemed to be unbreakable, well then, she’s fine with that too.
“To be honest, I haven’t thought of the record at all,” says Plum, referring to Jackie Stiles’ NCAA-record 3,393 points. “It’s an honor, and it’s probably something I should relish a bit more, but that’s not where I want to spend my time. Right now, I don’t really care.”
It isn’t easy to be Tennessee. It isn’t easy to be both iconic and unranked ahead of a nationally televised game against South Carolina (ESPN2, 6 p.m. ET). It is difficult to be both David in the moment and Goliath in collective memories. Yet as long as that challenge appeals to some, it will still be Tennessee.
Find the challenge that calls you. Try to meet it, whether it’s in the shadow of the Alps or, in the case of Tennessee junior Jaime Nared, the footprint of the Great Smoky Mountains.
From Ray’s Daily Dose of (Big East) Hoops: Jim Crowley adapting to life in Big East during his first year at Providence
The scene is too familiar.
Pacing the sideline with the play under close scrutiny. Taking a moment for a teaching moment with a player. Grimacing for a second as a well-designed and executed play terminates with a ball being thrown out of bounds. Jim Crowley has changed jobs, but not demeanor.
The latest scenario has happened a little more in than in recent years. Crowley, in his first year at Providence, has found that life in the Big East can be unforgiving and demanding, not to mention an exciting challenge.
From the AJC: Georgia Tech forward’s compassion inspires shoe drive
They call her Auntie Elo, and they rarely stop trying to reach her.
Georgia Tech forward Elo Edeferioka once was one of them, a youth in Warri, Nigeria, wanting a pair of basketball shoes but unable to afford them.
“They send me messages on Facebook and Instagram, direct messages and stuff like that,” she said.
They reach out because Edeferioka, a junior, has blessed them with her thoughtfulness. In her returns home to Nigeria from the U.S. over the summer, she has made a practice of bringing her own sneakers and those of teammates to share with young players at the basketball academy where she learned the game.
FYI, something to consider as we move into the second week of the Presidency: Progress and Inequality: Women’s Sports and the Gender Gap
Editor’s Note: February 1, 2017 marks the 31st National Girls & Women in Sports Day, an observance of the outstanding achievements of athletes, coaches, athletic directors, parents and lawmakers committed to women and girls’ sports.
And finally, my dad and I watched the Watergate Hearings together, back in the day. Dad, who was in the diplomatic corps, started Moody’s international bond rating, and then taught American history for 18 years, is proud of his membership on the White House Enemies List. I dropped him a note, asking if he was having flashbacks. “Cheer up,” he wrote me, “the worst is yet to come.”