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Archive for April, 2018

Catching up with family…

Dad on Friday, where I got to hear Vijay Seshadri read.

Mom Saturday and Sunday, where we got to take a walk, see a golden retriever who’d found the only mud puddle around, and eat a yummy BLT. This morning, the tufted titmice are claiming spring is here with their insistent “Peter, peter, peter” and there’s a downy woodpecker crawling up a tree. Life is good.

Meanwhile, lordy Mr. Silver, do better (Adam Silver: One of the WNBA’s problems is that not enough young women pay attention to it). Sigh.

Katie Barnes: A shift in the WNBA season? Show me the money

Would having the WNBA’s season run during the fall and winter help improve the league’s profitability? That’s a question NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he contemplates, according to an interview Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

“It’s been harder to get people to come to the games,” Silver said. “It may be because the games are in the summer. One of the things we’ve talked about is do we need to shift to the so-called more natural basketball season sort of in the fall and winter?”

It’s not a new thought. Traditionally the idea goes as follows: Summer is for swimming and flip flops; it’s for running outside, not lacing up high tops or sitting in dark arenas. And there’s some truth to that argument.

But the WNBA would need to vastly restructure its compensation agreements with players for this thought to ever gain traction.

Sue’s action steps from September, 2015: Marketing the WNBA? Here’s a plan

A response from Elena Delle Donne

Pick and Roll: Kristy Wallace: From injury nightmare to WNBA Dream

WLTX: A’ja Is Embracing Her New Role As A Headliner In Las Vegas

FoxReno: Catching up with Gabby Williams

Hey, ya wanna new gig? From the Minny Star Tribune: Women coaching men’s basketball? Why not a hugely successful Minnesota coach?

Who’s got game? Seattle’s mayor takes on WNBA star Sue Bird in HORSE

Feel like watching some basketball? High Post Hoops will catch you up WNBA players shine in EuroLeague Final Four: recap and highlights

BTW: Matchups Set for Women’s Medal Round at USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships

Feel like attending a conference? Check out the “Muslim Women in Sport Network Summit”  is their keynote speaker

A ground-breaking global virtual summit featuring some of the leading Muslim women experts in sport. The conference will showcase inspirational women in sport who lead, inform, and display innovative practices across the sport industry. From Sport for Development to Leadership and Athlete Advocacy, the focus will be on a call to action to purposefully pursue and embrace diversity as a critical enhancer to best practice in sport.

WATN? Kristin Haynie starts free basketball clinic for Benton Harbor students

NCAA

New hire: Lance White Named Pitt Women’s Basketball Head Coach

New hire: The La Salle Official Announcement of New Wbb Coach Mountain MacGillivray’s Hire

AP: South Carolina will look different, plans to have same success

Dawn Staley is ready to start a new chapter her South Carolina women’s basketball program.

The coach believes the program will continue its winning ways, albeit with a different look. The Gamecocks won’t be led by dominant post players, Staley will turn her focus to her backcourt.

’cause why the heck not? 2019 WNBA Draft: Way-too-early mock draft

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Missing basketball? Good news!

Jack Maloney at Medium: A guide to the EuroLeague Women 2018 Final Four

Following the WNBA Draft 2018, the next big event on the women’s basketball calendar is the EuroLeague Women Final Four. This year’s edition will be held in Sopron, Hungary, a city of just 61,000 tucked into the far Northwest corner of Hungary, right along the Austrian border. And it just so happens that Sopron Basket, the city’s premier women’s basketball squad, has made a surprise run to the Final Four.

With all of the excitement just a few days away, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this thrilling event.

And why aren’t you following/reading Paul? Petrovic ready to go 11 in a row

For a staggering 11th consecutive season and indeed every one of her EuroLeague Women career to date, Sonja Petrovic has been on the roster of a Final Four or Final Eight club.

Recognized as one of the great European players of her generation and with her appeal extending beyond the Continent, Petrovic is looking to add to her silverware haul with Dynamo Kursk this year as the reigning champions try to defend their title.

Also from Paul: My EuroLeague Women Final Four ups, downs and ratings for 2012-2017

OK: It’s time for us in America to appreciate women’s professional basketball abroad more

WNBA

From the Marquette Wire: Nicki Collen brings Marquette experience to professional level

Marquette women’s basketball has yet to establish a strong presence in the Women’s National Basketball Association, but that is beginning to change. In October, the Atlanta Dream hired former Marquette guard Nicki Collen, formerly Nicki Taggart, as their head coach.

“It is a little exhilarating and terrifying at the same time,” Collen said. “I like meeting new people. I like selling our league and selling our team. I think there are a lot of great things about the opportunity to be the head of an organization.”

In case you wondering, as Nike Unveils New Jerseys, Alliance At WNBA Draft,  The Evolution of the WNBA Jersey

Mystics: Courier-Journal: Myisha Hines-Allen’s new WNBA coach didn’t need her, but drafted her for her ‘toughness’ and Ariel Atkins’ efficiency, athleticism, and work ethic are what the Mystics need at the wing

BTW: Woot! ESPN’s Audience for WNBA Draft 2018 Presented by State Farm Up +25%;

From USA Basketball: Roster Set for USA Basketball Women’s National Team Camp in Seattle

NCAA

Lots of coaching news:

From the NCAA: Where are the women?

Yet in 2016, while more women play college sports than ever before, just over 40 percent of NCAA women’s teams have a female head coach. That number is down from 55 percent when Hutchins began her coaching career in 1981 — the year NCAA women’s championships got their start. And, according to the “Women in Intercollegiate Sport” study produced by Brooklyn College professors emerita Linda Carpenter and R. Vivian Acosta, before Title IX — the 1972 federal gender equity law — more than 90 percent of women’s teams were coached by women. The steady decline over the decades begs the question: What is driving women away from coaching?

Speaking of which (didja notice what I did here?)

Ouch: Former Utah Valley basketball players cite ‘toxic environment’ for early departures

Boulder Daily Camera: JR Payne excited for future of CU Buffs basketball

Listen Up! In episode #50! Burn It All Down talks Michigan State failures, WNBA draft, and Muffet McGraw reflects on history

The Eagle: Defining ‘family’: Basketball travels to players’ hometowns

In her nearly four years at AU, women’s basketball senior guard Emily Kinneston has only had one Thanksgiving dinner at home. It included industrial-size serving trays, dozens of folding chairs and enough mashed potatoes to feed an entire Division I basketball team, coaching staff, medical personnel, sports information directors and bus driver.

She brought her team home for Thanksgiving.

Cool: Purdue basketball player Abby Abel named grand marshal of 500 Festival Parade

Goodbye/hello: Aussie wing transfers to TCU from Oregon

Goodbye: Siena Basketball loses three players

Wow: NAIA to Combine Basketball Divisions: Will move to a single division in both men’s and women’s basketball in 2020-2021

From Lady Vols: In Memoriam: #LadyVols Legend Daedra Charles (Furlow):

In other news

Somewhat OT, but always good to think aboutWhen will we separate women on TV from their bodies?

Last August, the Chicago Red Stars professional women’s soccer team held a “Sarah Spain Bobblehead Night,” and a bunch of my friends came with me to the game to celebrate. I got to do the coin toss and sign autographs at halftime, and we all had a blast watching the Red Stars battle the Portland Thorns.

When I got home, I posted a photo of myself to social media surrounded by a gaggle of young soccer fans I’d met, all of whom were probably about 7 years old. I loved that they were able to go see professional women’s soccer players in action and that they were excited to meet me and talk about my job as a sports reporter.

One of the first comments someone on Twitter made responding to the photo was “Your boobs” next to three smiling emojis with hearts for eyes. It was childish, idiotic and not all that uncommon for me, as I get inappropriate comments about my chest all the time. But this time I snapped. It was a photo of me in a soccer jersey up to my neck, surrounded by young girls. What was wrong with this guy? How could that possibly be his takeaway?

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A loss for the Lady Vol Nation

and the many, many folks connected to women’s basketball.

Knoxville News Sentinel: Former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball star Daedra Charles-Furlow dies at 49

“She was my roommate,” Adams said Sunday morning. “God made her special, no doubt. She was a phenomenal leader, charismatic. She had a heart for people.” 

The 49-year-old Charles-Furlow was one of six former Tennessee Lady Vols to have her women’s basketball jersey number retired. She won two national championships during her UT career (1988-91). In 1991, she became the first SEC player to win the Wade Trophy and was named SEC woman athlete of the year.

Detroit News: Detroit native, Lady Vols great Daedra Charles-Furlow dies at 49

247 Sports: Lady Vols mourn Daedra Charles-Furlow

Corriere di Comondo: Lutto nel basket: è morta Daedra Charles, alla Comense all’inizio …

Story image for Daedra Charles from Corriere di Como

La brutta notizia è arrivata dalla stampa degli Stati Uniti, il suo Paese. A 49 è morta a Detroit l’ex giocatrice di basket Daedra Charles. Una atleta che i tanti tifosi della Comense non hanno dimenticato. Sul Lario, per lei, una sola stagione, il campionato 1991-1992, quando era ancora giovane, alla sua prima …
WHBOF: Daedra Charles-Furlow
<

From @KaraLawson20

Olympian.
Champion.
All American.
Legend.
Lady Vol.

RIP Daedra Charles 🚊

If you can, perhaps you can make a donation to the Kay Yow Fund in Daedra’s name.

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Picked me. Picked me. Picked me.

Huge surprise at number one (not). The some interesting decisions.

Grades, grades, we got grades! Sky, Wings, Fever and Aces earn top marks in WNBA draft grades

.com:WNBA Draft 2018: Team-By-Team Analysis

Forbes: By The Numbers: The 2018 WNBA Draft

Hoopfeed: After a stellar college career, A’ja Wilson is first pick in 2018 WNBA Draft, already thinking about ways to improve her game

Sours and Feathers: A’ja Wilson looking forward to playing one former Gamecock teammate

Check out HighPost’s coverage

Listen in on the WNBAInsdr podcast.

The Athletic: Sky’s the limit for Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams, Chicago’s newest basketball rookies

Jackson Clarion Ledger: Where dreams are made: Inside Victoria Vivian’s journey to New York City for WNBA Draft

Great Falls Tribune: From Fairfield to the WNBA: Jill Barta humbled by support, pro hoops opportunity

.com: WNBA Draft 2018: Teammates Today, Opponents Tomorrow

Learn more about Sun draftee Cal Senior Wing Mikayla Cowling

Ava Wallace, Washington Post: Mystics take Texas guard Ariel Atkins in first round of WNBA draft

David Woods, Indy Star: Fever grab high-scoring guards, local star in WNBA draft

1070 The Fan: Fever “Reload” With Three Picks In The Top 15 of The WNBA Draft

Sooooo…. Did the Sparks get a steal? Europeans mocking the WNBA 2018 Draft as it underlines the lack of global game view Stateside. And if you don’t follow Paul’s twitter, you should. Especially this summer…

The Telegraph: Mercer’s Kahlia Lawrence, Georgia’s Mackenzie Engram hear names called in WNBA draft

Waco Tribune Herald: Just like a Dream: Atlanta takes Baylor’s Wallace in WNBA Draft

Landof10: Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty not selected in 2018 WNBA Draft

Nice touch:

ESPN: WNBA draft class embraces new sisterhood

The league invited 10 players to attend the draft in person, and they also spent the days leading up to it together. From eating meals to figuring out what to wear, the group instantly bonded — and even started a lively group-text message.

“Over the past two days, we’ve spent a lot of time together,” said Lexie Brown, who was selected ninth overall by the Connecticut Sun. “We started a really funny group chat and we’re going to keep it going all season long. We have a lot of memes.

Mechelle: Diamond DeShields knows she has plenty to prove in the WNBA

Not long after Diamond DeShields arrived in Turkey last September, she gazed out her window and began to cry. But they weren’t tears of sadness that she wouldn’t be spending another season in college at Tennessee. Or of concern about being far from home in another country.

She wept with gratitude. Her goal, growing up the daughter of a professional athlete, baseball player Delino DeShields, was to be a pro athlete herself. And now she was. Admittedly, it all went differently than she expected when she started college at North Carolina in 2013. But sometimes, even when the road isn’t what you expected, it still gets you where you want to go.

SB Nation: For WNBA players, it’s a night of celebration after the draft. Then it’s back to class.

Thirty-six lives were changed on Thursday night at the WNBA Draft. Ten of those athletes were flown into New York City to hear league president Lisa Borders call out their names in person.

It was the biggest night of their 20-something year lives. The draftees dressed to the nines, knowing well they’d have a night of celebration with friends and family after achieving the dream they’ve had in place for a decade or longer.

Many can’t enjoy it for long, though. They have school tomorrow.

Swish Appeal: Four miscellaneous facts about the 2018 WNBA Draft class that you may not have known about

Tulsa World: OSU basketball: Loryn Goodwin drafted by Dallas Wings in WNBA’s second round

Duke Chronicle: Duke basketball’s Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell selected in WNBA Draft

Other Stuff.

Re-introduced at Williams Arena this afternoon, Lindsay Whalen was welcomed home as new coach of women’s basketball

The Next Chapter: WNBA CHAMPION TAMIKA CATCHINGS TALKS ENTERING THE WNBA – As well as the power speaking to young girls and her next chapter after basketball

WATN?: Randall Added to Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff

WATN?: Bench-mark: Former basketball star Chasity Melvin coaching with men’s team

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You decide who’s your number one pick:

High Post Hoops 

WNBAInsdr

Just-under-the-wire trade: Sun Acquire Bria Holmes from the Atlanta Dream for the No. 15 pick in tonight’s WNBA Draft and Connecticut’s second round selection in 2019.

Speaking of which: FUTURE is the focus for ATL Dream heading into 2018 WNBA Draft – Lericia Harris chats with new head coach Nicki Collen

Did you catch Doug’s Rookie Chat?

.com: WNBA Draft 2018: Five Things To Know About Me

NY Times: Diamond DeShields’s Path to the WNBA Took Her From Tennessee to Turkey

Bleecher Report: A’JA WILSON IS READY FOR HER WNBA TAKEOVER: A South Carolina hoops phenom with a megawatt personality is just what the league needs to take it to the next level. 

Draft Diary: A’ja Wilson talks WNBA meetings and giving back

Indy Star: Will IU’s Tyra Buss, Brownsburg’s Stephanie Mavunga get WNBA shot?

1500 ESPN Strong WNBA draft will make Lynx’s competition tougher in 2018 (and beyond)

Other stuff

Congrats: Whalen Hired by Gophers. I have many thoughts, and I think it’s wise that I not share them.

Sheeee’s Back! Clemson has its new women’s basketball coach. And she has SEC ties

Bye: Rutgers’ Desiree Keeling To Transfer Hmmm…. maybe ya shoulda played in the WNIT?

Anyone got a free round-trip ticket to Seattle? USA Women’s National Team to face China in exhibition game on April 26 in Seattle

Congrats! Jeff Walz, Natasha Adair and Cori Close to lead 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team

WATN? Former ODU star Adrienne Goodson trying to catch NBA’s eye at the PIT

Adrienne Goodson emerged from the locker room at Churchland High, an apple in one hand and a legal pad in the other. She made her away across the court to find a seat to scout her team’s next opponent in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Goodson’s Cherry Bekaert squad had just fallen to Sale Systems Ltd. Wednesday night, and the former Old Dominion basketball great could feel the heaviness in the locker room. Disappointment is natural any time a team loses, of course, but Goodson believes there’s a different, deeper vibe when women coach men.

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Tick Tock to Thursday’s Draft

Russia’s Maria Vadeeva could be the steal of the WNBA draft

When scouting international prospects as potential first-round picks in the WNBA draft, every franchise hopes to land the next Lauren Jackson or Penny Taylor. In the 17 years since those Australian legends were drafted, however, few have yielded a return that comes close.

From 1997 to 2007, 13 international prospects (all without NCAA experience) were drafted in the first round. In the past 10 drafts, there have been only four.

WIShttps: Strategizing with the Fever for an historic draft night

AP: A‘ja Wilson Hits the Road for New York

The State: The WNBA rule that could make A’ja Wilson even better — and an immediate All-Star

Who ya got? 2018 WNBA DIE HARDS’ MOCK DRAFT- FIRST ROUND

Landof10’s got some thoughts: 2018 WNBA Mock Draft: First-round projections, top players, order (April 10, 2018)

So does Forbes: A Brief Statistical Guide To The 2018 WNBA Draft

Hello to our friends at MSR News Online: It’s WNBA Draft time!

Listen up: High Post’s WNBA Draft preview, pick-by-pick look at the first round

LA Daily News: WNBA draft: Where UCLA’s Jordin Canada, Monique Billings fit in

Press Enterprise: Alexander: Former Santiago star Billings awaits WNBA draft

Coach and GM? No prob: Day in the Life of Amber Stocks

No pressure: You think draft is important to Colts? For Fever, the future depends on it

espnW: Christine Monjer’s cool job: Las Vegas Aces head of marketing

Cheryl Reeve at The Player’s Tribune: No Excuses.

I was 10 years old, walking home from school with my brothers – Tom and Larry. Some kid — a bully — started jawing at Larry real bad. He wouldn’t stop. Now, Larry is older than me. Having his little sis step in to defend him probably wasn’t the look he wanted.Too bad. I wasn’t having it.
Hope springs eternal (HEY! The forsythia is finally out!) Can Clemson basketball catch up to Dawn Staley’s program at South Carolina?
which means, once again: Job opening: Albany.
Job opening: Netter Resigns as Howard Payne Head Women’s Basketball Coach. If HPU strikes a bell, you may be remembering them from their rags-to-riches run that ended with a national Championship 2008. I included them in my WBCA article BUILDING ATTENDANCE: Hand Shakes, Hoarse Voices, and a Boost from the NCAA – What coaches across the Divisions have done to build attendance

Brownwood, TX, home of Howard Payne University, is a town of about 25,000. “When I first got here the program was in terrible shape. They hadn’t had a winning season in four years,” recalled Chris Kielsmeier, who became head coach in 2000. “Quite honestly, nobody cared about women’s basketball. The stands were almost an embarrassment.”

These days, Howard Payne is the top-drawing Division III team in the country. Averaging 1,494 a game, including over 15,000 fans for the last four game of the season, they enjoy the enthusiastic support of the local newspaper and some of the most influential people in town.

What happened?

“But women’s basketball doesn’t dra….” @basketmedia365  Paul steps in with an STFU tweet:
expected to break attendance record for a women’s basketball game in Europe. This is biggest attendance for any game including 1⃣3⃣,0⃣0⃣0⃣ plus expected for Final 1st leg.

Do you remember the part of Love and Basketball when Monica goes to play basketball overseas in Spain? She had to walk to her game, tape her own ankles, her coach didn’t speak any English, and the whole championship game plan was to pass her the ball to score?

Well, my overseas experience is nothing like that. For one, my coaches and teammates can speak English. Secondly, I have two great trainers that tape me everyday for practice and games. And lastly, I play on a well-balanced team, so I’m definitely not getting all the shots. The only thing Monica and I have in common is not having a car.

What is WNBAinsidr?
WNBAinsidr is a hub for WNBA fans and the only site that exclusively covers professional women’s basketball. We started WNBAinsidr.com because we are passionate fans-turned-journalists who noticed a dearth of quality coverage of the league we love. The NBA has so many outlets for their fandom, from salary cap podcasts to daily YouTube shows, and we want to bring the same honest and critical analysis to the WNBA. We’ve worked hard to cultivate sources that include players, coaches, general managers, and agents to bring you breaking news, features, analysis and our popular podcast.
What We Do
Each week we release two WNBA podcasts covering topics from game analysis to mock drafts to interviews with special guests. Past guests have included players Jewell Loyd and Renee Montgomery, as well as other well-known media members. Our website has daily articles including breaking news, features, and other breakdowns. Be sure to follow @wnbainsidr and @CoachHorowitz13 for in-game tweeting, live shows, and total coverage of the WNBA.

Why Contribute?For less than a cup of coffee a month, you can directly show your support for the work we do. Our goal is to be full-time, independent WNBA reporters. Right now, we both have day jobs and run WNBAinsidr in our spare time. We believe the players of the WNBA and its community deserve the same in-depth analysis and respect that men’s sports receives on a daily basis.

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Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!!!!

Mechelle takes her shotWNBA mock draft: Projecting all three rounds

Howard at HighPost2018 WNBA Draft trade rumors swirl around the second overall pick

With little more than 48 hours remaining until the 2018 WNBA Draft, conversation is swirling around a number of fronts, most notably the second overall pick held by the Indiana Fever. High Post Hoops has learned that multiple teams have inquired about trading for the pick, including Mike Thibault’s Washington Mystics.

Read upReigning WNBA Rookie of the Year gives advice to this year’s [soon to be] 2018 Rookie Class

It was a good year: ACC Women’s Basketball: Recapping A Banner Season For instance: 10 defining moments of the Notre Dame women’s basketball championship season

ByeMiracle Gray to transfer from Purdue women’s basketball

Makin’ plansOhio State women’s basketball | Signee Aaliyah Patty preparing for transition to college game

NC StateWomen’s basketball defying the odds

Good luck! 35 Athletes Accept Invitations to USA Women’s U17 World Cup Team Trials

Listen up! Burn it All Down is a must listen this week

This week, the BIAD team discusses our complicated feelings about Kobe’s relationship with women’s bball. Then we have a new racism-in-sports roundtable, and interviews about being a black woman in cycling.

Kara Lawson is groovin’ on a different kind of board:

“We appreciate the General Assembly, especially the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. David Hawk, for their partnership in passing this important legislation and we’re excited to move forward with the implementation process,” Haslam said. “This restructuring will improve the effectiveness of the board and positively impact the multiple campuses that comprise the UT system. Additionally, the advisory boards will create a culture of creativity at the campus level, and will allow each of the boards to respond nimbly to the needs of their respective institutions.” 

Haslam today also announced the names of the 10 board appointees, all of whom are UT alumni and include at least two members from each grand division of the state. The board will have a total of 12 members including the Commissioner of Agriculture and a non-voting student member. A faculty member will be appointed to the Academic Affairs and Student Success committee of the board.

In the New Yorker: How Far Can Becky Hammon Go in the N.B.A.? The former women’s-basketball star has broken convention by becoming the league’s first female assistant coach. [WHB question: Is “convention” the right work?]

Though only five feet six, Hammon was a commanding presence on the court: gum-snapping, energetic, her quick cuts and jab steps to the basket punctuated by a swishing ponytail. She could slip through a narrow space between two defenders and drive to the hoop, scooping a shot that would skim the rim and slide through the net. Like Magic Johnson, she flipped no-look passes over her shoulder, and, like Stephen Curry, she hit shots from half-court. But Popovich was most struck by her prowess as a court general: she had an uncanny ability to direct her teammates around the floor. “I’d watch the game, and the only thing I could see—it’s an exaggeration, I mean, but—was Becky’s aura, her leadership, her effect on teammates, her effect on the crowd, the way she handled herself,” Popovich told me. “She was, like, the ultimate leader. Energy, juice, vitality. At the same time, she was doing intelligent things on the court, making decisions that mattered.” In the N.B.A., a woman in charge was almost unthinkable, but he was considering hiring her.

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Draft Day in Indy’s

gonna be lit:

Spend draft night with us! 📍 📆 Thursday, April 12 🕡 6:30 pm RSVP ➡️

Since I’m in NYC and not allowed to attend, perhaps I’ll follow HighPost Hoops: 2018 WNBA Draft Big Board v. 6.0: Azura Stevens shakes up the board
Swish Appeal is doing some stuff, too:
Or do a little catch up: Kelsey Mitch – Draft Profile

Last season Kelsey Plum was taken with the first pick and she had a similar record. Granted she was injured but Plum is a similar height to Mitchell and had huge scoring numbers in college. She also had questions about her defense but she did not have a huge impact on the league, even when she was at full health.

Up until the nomination of Azura Stevens, Mitchell was a lock to go to the Indiana Fever with the second pick. Now she could potentially go with the fifth or sixth pick depending on which team wants a high volume scorer.

Job opening: Minnesota. Kinda late in the season to be looking – or am I just being weird about it?

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More WNBA draft

WNBAInsidr offers up their analysis:

We spoke with a coach and/or general manager from all 12 teams and blended what we believe WILL happen based on our reporting with what we think SHOULD happen based on the eye test and advanced analytics. We slant towards taking the best player available early in the first-round, whereas the coaches and GM’s spoke more about team needs on the record. Our feeling is that even if a player doesn’t fit, you maximize your leverage in trades by acquiring the best talent available. Later in the first-round, team needs are a higher priority.

So glad the public isn’t invited to this event. I mean, why on earth would we want to be there?  *that was sarcasm, in case I wasn’t clear*

From the DetroitShock.com/aka WNBA.com site: WNBA Draft 2018 Preview: Phoenix Mercury

From the ClevelandRockers.com/aka WNBA.com site: WNBA Draft 2018 Preview: Los Angeles Sparks

What does Sue think? Bird Discusses WNBA Draft Prospect A’ja Wilson

Knoxville News Sentinel: Diamond DeShields has given WNBA plenty to think about before draft

From the Courier-Journal: WNBA coach: Louisville’s Myisha Hines-Allen can ‘make a little noise at this level’

Speaking of which, if you’re in the Louisville area, make this your Draft Day Destination:

Myisha Hines-Allen’s 2018 WNBA Draft Watch Party
Let’s make Myisha’s 2018 WNBA Draft Watch Party the biggest Louisville has seen! Come celebrate our very own “Cardinal Forever” Myisha Hines-Allen, as she finds out where her new home will be on Thursday, April 12th. Come join Myisha, teammates, coaches, family, and friends to watch the 2018WNBA Draft. Music, light snacks and refreshments will be provided. See details below:

LOCATION:
Berrytown Recreation Center
1300 Heafer Rd, Louisville, KY 40223

DATE/TIME:
Thursday, April 12th
7pm – 10pm
Doors will open at 5:30pm; autograph signing begins at 6pm

TICKETS:
Tickets are $5 for kids and students, $10 for adults
Limited space so RSVP now!

PROCEEDS:
Proceeds will go to the Metro Parks Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR). This non-profit organization offers a wide range of recreational activities for individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, along with their friends and families.

Another site to poke around in: Across the Timeline: On to the Draft

The 22nd WNBA Draft will take place Thursday, April 12. The first round will be broadcast on ESPN2 starting at 7:00 EDT, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPNU. The Draft marks the transition from the college basketball season to the WNBA season, which tips off in May.

In honor of the coming draft, I have compiled the first version of my WNBA Draft Database to assist in capturing the history of the draft and WNBA seasons as well as finding interesting facts and trends around the WNBA Draft.

Forbes’ David Berri: Of Course Women Can Lead Men In Sports

Congrats: Seimone Augustus inducted into Louisiana high school hall of fame

NCAA

Seth Soffian: What role will Destanni Henderson play as South Carolina women’s basketball enters unknown?

What happens when a player who is so calm and collected that she can nap at halftime of a state title game goes to play for a coach who is so intense that she can stare holes through walls?

Fire and ice can sometimes make magic. Especially when they’re both point guards.

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especially now that I’ve *almost* stopped trying to cough up a lung. So much not fun. Fortunately, the cats are bookending me all weekend in an effort to prevent a relapse.

Still thinking about Columbus, where I spent three games turning towards total strangers and yelling, “OMG!!!!!” What a great weekend of heartbreaking and heart-filling basketball (as well as visiting the amazing Columbus Museum, the stunning Statehouse, and the delicious Guild House. Oh, and of course, Jenni’s Ice Cream). Now comes the hard part: building on that energy and hype.

*jumps onto soap box*

Lovely to see Ellen host Arike. (and yes, there was that other basketball guy – but, if you don’t know why his presence is problematic, you may not be paying attention to history – recent and past.) Let’s hope for more coverage, shall we? And not JUST when something dubbed “amazing” happens – especially since amazing things are happening ALL season.

First, do read this from Jessica Luther (even though it admits it’s a bit of a rehash): The More Women’s Sports Are Covered, The More Popular They Will Be

After a women’s tournament and a Final Four like those we had this year, the excuses for not watching ― that the basketball is not high enough quality, that there isn’t enough drama, that the athleticism is lacking, that no one dunks ― are harder to make. In truth, it would seem people don’t watch women’s basketball because they have sexist ideas about who counts as basketball players and what version of the game is legitimate.

These conversations inevitably lead to the chicken-egg argument around media coverage: Is it that not enough people watch women’s sports to warrant better and more sustained coverage? Or do people not watch because there isn’t better and more sustained coverage?

To be honest, chicken, egg, hash browns or bacon… I don’t really care why any more. I care about what can be done. Since 1997, when I first became aware of women’s basketball, I’ve recognized a hunger for coverage of the game – and that hunger was fed by people and sites created out of love, passion and curiosity. Lena Williams (NY Times), Ed Stickney (Houston Chronicle), Mike Terry (LA Times) were folks who fought for coverage – and got paid to do so. (I know that Lena would cover the Liberty during her vacation…because she didn’t know if the Times would send anyone to cover games when she was not there).

We know names like Mel, Michelle and Mechelle who’ve stuck around through thick and thin. We remember when Lois and Gabby created Women’s Basketball Magazine to fill a need. I started writing for Sharon Bibb on Kat Fox’s HoopsLink.com. Kim Callahan created ChicksWithBalls (later, WomensBasketballOnline) and spent endless unpaid hours aggregating everything written about women’s basketball. Kevin Brown tracked – and still tracks – invaluable data on WNBA coaches and players. Data that is not just the W’s history, but is essential background knowledge for anyone who wants to write about the W with any kind of historical perspective. The road is littered with women’s basketball sites that rise, flourish, fall, grow and are reborn (just look at my needs-to-be-updated sidebar).

Love – or, perhaps, obsession – has always be part of the coverage of any sport. But it is not sustainable – because stamina gives out, life gets in the way, passion ebbs…WHICH IS FINE. That is part of the cycle of coverage. Which is why complaining about coverage is also a cycle. So, what to do?

Many years ago, Kim (with a little collaboration from me) created a MEDIA TIPS page, which I’ve carried over to this site. If you want some action steps you can take, check it out. I also wrote what I thought was a pretty actionable article for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 10 years ago: MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE ALTERNATIVES: Paper, Pods, Streams and Blogs

But how about some actionable steps for the folks who have money and will benefit from expanded coverage: the WNBA and the individual franchises (yes, I know there are barriers to demanding a certain standard from each franchise. Knock. Them. Down.)

Invest in a YEAR ROUND social media team that includes writers, humorists, artists, historians and COPY EDITORS. There needs to be a constant and diverse stream of information share – and shared on diverse platforms. Also, it SHOULD BE FACT CHECKED to avoid embarrassing errors (hoping the .com Draft boondoggle has been repaired).

Make subscriptions to local media outlets part of your season ticket benefits package. I don’t care how – a coupon, a 3-month gift – just do it. Have a weekly “WNBA news quiz” with points/gifts attached to encourage reading and sharing. How about an ASG trip? with a trivia challenge featuring a representative fan from each team? How about a “meet the author” event to help unpack and humanize the profession?

Do you own damn aggregating. Sue and I do a lot. Personally, I do it because I’m curious about the game as a whole, the issues/politics around it. And it keeps me invested in the game. But the WNBA should be doing this. EVERY SINGLE PIECE WRITTEN ABOUT THE WNBA, ITS STAFF, THE PLAYERS SHOULD BE CAPTURED AND SHARED WITH EVERY SINGLE FAN.

Also, if you’re committed to social justice, you need to share the politically risky stories, too.

That means ACTIVELY getting fans to sign up for feeds: no one should leave an arena without being asked/invited/tempted to sign up for some sort of media feed. Subscribers can pick how they get the news and how often – but you SHOULD be able to get anything from a daily to a monthly digest. How about a header for each news section:

  • Know your team – learn about our players, coaches, support staff
  • Know your opponents – learn about who we’re facing
  • Know the game – learn about what happens on the 94′ of hardwood – plays, rules, logistics
  • Know the issues – health, injuries, coverage, community, social justice advocacy

And why not have a running archive of those stories so we can catch up on things we missed?

This is going to be a tough WNBA season for me (and most Liberty fans). But it’s nothing that Houston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Utah, Detroit, Tulsa, Miami, Orlando, San Antonio and Sacramento fans haven’t faced. It’s the challenge of the WNBA – where teams are located and how few teams there are. The W must commit to a year-long, nation-wide, network of information gathering and sharing.

*jumps off soap box*

*jumps back on for a sec*

And ALL of this applies to college programs.

AND, the WNBA and NCAA should continue to collaborate and cross pollinate to build the game.

*jumps off*

News:

Listen up! LaChina Robinson puts a cap on the NCAAW basketball season with the National Champion Notre Dame Irish. Clutch guard Arike Ogunbowale and head coach Muffet McGraw join.

’cause it’s NEVER too early. Fresh off NCAA title, Irish lead way-too-early top 25 for 2018-19

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: Why Mississippi State Women’s Basketball is only getting better

Courier-Journal: Five takeaways from Louisville women’s successful basketball season

USA Today: From women’s basketball to NASCAR pit crew member, Brehanna Daniels breaking barriers

Ames Tribune: ISU’s gymrat, Carleton, not slowing down in offseason

WNBA

Women’s Basketball Blog: 2018 WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0
From the .com (do you realize the web address in the search reads “PortlandFire.com”?)
More from the .com (do you realize the web address in the search reads “UtahStarzz.com”?)

Swish Appeal: Three questions leading up to the 2018 WNBA Draft in New York City

247 Sports: Tamika Catchings comes home to give back and Former WNBA Catchings Star to Give Commencement Speech at Franklin College

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Are You Not Entertained!!!!!

(And, if you were – click on as many of these links as you can to prove to those who HIRE those who cover this game that “YES, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL DESERVES MORE COVERAGE and THERE’S AN AUDIENCE WHO WANT TO READ IT!!!”)

The Ringer, Shea Serrano: Every Great Thing About Arike Ogunbowale’s Championship-Winning Shot for Notre Dame

Same as we did with Chennedy Carter’s perfect game-winner earlier this tournament, let’s go through the best parts of the play, because there are so many “bests” of the play, because the play was unbelievable, because Arike Ogunbowale is incredible.

ESPN, Graham: Irish’s Ogunbowale hits shot of a lifetime … again

First she punched the padded support behind the basket in frustration.

A few minutes later she threw her hands in the air in exultation.

As her last shot dropped through the net, the most frustrating 39 minutes, 57 seconds of Arike Ogunbowale’s young basketball life vanished into the same air that would soon be filled by confetti.

After a season in which much of what was talked and written about Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team involved injury misfortune, look at who was the last team left standing.

The Irish won the program’s second NCAA title with a 61-58 victory over fellow No. 1 seed Mississippi State on Sunday, an Easter to remember for coach Muffet McGraw, whose 800th victory at the school was one of her sweetest.

The word Muffet McGraw kept coming back to throughout this unforgettable weekend was “resilient,” a word that seems wholly inadequate now.

Down to seven scholarship players thanks to a 10-month string of injuries, four ACL tears that stripped the Irish of depth and experience.

Down after a confidence-rattling 100-67 conference loss to Louisville in January, one of the most lopsided defeats in recent program history.

Down by 13 points to Texas A&M in the Sweet 16, by nine against Oregon in the Elite Eight, by 11 vs. Connecticut in the national semifinals.

And down by 15 points in Sunday’s national championship game during a nightmare second quarter in which Notre Dame managed to put just three points on the board.

Down, but never out.

Of course it ended this way: nothing easily won, no breathing room, nothing decided until the final second, and then the great release of victory.

A riveting women’s Final Four ended on Sunday for Notre Dame just as the semifinals had on Friday, with guard Arike Ogunbowale hitting a late, rescuing jump shot, this time giving the Irish their second N.C.A.A. basketball title with a 61-58 victory over Mississippi State.

There had been a slew of questions Saturday, the day after Notre Dame and Mississippi State had advanced to the national title game in an instant classic of a Final Four, as to how the two programs planned to top their thrilling semifinal bouts.

In its answer, Notre Dame decided not to mess with perfection.

Indy Star, Laken Litman: ‘She’s just clutch.’ Notre Dame knew Arike Ogunbowale’s shot was good from the start

“I’m speechless,” an ice water bath soaked McGraw said in the locker room. “The way we finished, two games in a row to win at the buzzer, it couldn’t be more exciting. There hasn’t been this much excitement at the Final Four since probably 2001.”
AP Doug on the game (as headline writers across the nation have a field day – “Fling and a Prayer,” “Irish Pluck,” and my fave “Eureka, Arike!” – it’s all the same article): Notre Dame beats Mississippi State on last-second shot for NCAA title

All throughout the postseason, Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said he didn’t have words for how he’d feel when his four seniors, including daughter Blair, had played their last game for the Bulldogs.

He found the right things to say now that it has happened. But they didn’t make him or anyone else on Mississippi State’s side feel any better. Because this loss was crushing. Up as much as 15 points, the Bulldogs fell 61-58 to Notre Dame on Arike Ogunbowale’s last-second 3-pointer in the national championship game Sunday.

Notre Dame’s miracle shot ends State dream

 She hung her head down in front of the microphone just begging not to be called on. Victoria Vivians wanted to be invisible, not talking more about ending her career on a buzzer-beater loss in the national championship.

But she’s Victoria Vivians, and she doesn’t get to be invisible. One last question came, and her head popped up in frustration, her lips clenched so tightly to hold in all emotion.

Then she made eye contact. Then she reset her face. She smiled. She spoke confidently and charmingly about what these seniors meant to her.

SB Nation: The women’s Final Four was everything you could ever want from sports

Watch the NCAA women’s announcers [not all] lose it after Notre Dame’s last-second win

BTW – It’s gonna be a party at the Columbus airport, as a ton of flights have been canceled. Here’s hoping every sports bar has ESPN on and they’re showing replays of the game!

 

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Countdown to the Final Game

Washington Post: After Final Four classics, what will the women’s national championship do for an encore?

Notre Dame and Mississippi State players shuffled into Nationwide Arena at 10 a.m. Saturday, glassy-eyed from a lack of sleep and emotionally hung over, and faced reality.

Friday night had been historic. It was the first women’s Final Four to feature two overtime games. No. 1 seed Notre Dame slew its demon by ending a seven-game losing streak against its longtime rival and the gold standard in women’s basketball, Connecticut, 91-89. No. 1 seed Mississippi State got a chance to face down its demon by defeating Louisville, 73-63, to earn a second shot at a national championship after it lost to South Carolina in last year’s final.

Now comes the hard part, in which the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish must find a way to level out mentally and emotionally before meeting in the championship game Sunday evening.

USA Today: Previewing the Mississippi State-Notre Dame women’s basketball national championship game

247 Sports: Title game preview: No. 1 Irish vs. No. 1 Mississippi State

Game preview: Bulldogs ready for Fighting Irish

Jackson Clarion Ledger: Cowbells vs. Catholics: Mississippi State, Notre Dame don’t share a past, but have the same dreams and What to expect when Mississippi State plays Notre Dame in national championship

Minneapolis Star Tribune: What will Notre Dame and Mississippi State women do for an encore?

Mississippi State women’s basketball in a familiar spot for national championship, hoping for different result

Commercial Dispatch: MSU seniors look to put ring on their legacy and Bulldogs ready for one more try at national title and Danberry provides spark off bench for Bulldogs and McCowan provides dominating presence underneath

Bulldogs have unfinished business in national title game

ESPN: Young joins Notre Dame lore with epic semifinal

ESPN: Can Mississippi State defense slow down Notre Dame offense?

ESPN: Stopping Bulldogs’ McCowan a tall order for Irish

Vic Schaefer and his Mississippi State Bulldogs carry a constant reminder of how far they went in the women’s NCAA Tournament last year, and what must still be done.

It’s right there, engraved on the side of their runner-up rings: “ONE MORE.”

Victoria Vivians ready to write final chapter with Mississippi State

It wasn’t that Victoria Vivians was afraid to leave her home state of Mississippi. It was more that there was every reason not to leave.

The 6-foot-1 senior guard leads Mississippi State (37-1) against Notre Dame (34-3) on Sunday (ESPN, 6 p.m. ET) in the women’s basketball national championship game, the Bulldogs’ second straight appearance in the final. To win an NCAA title has been a dream of hers for a long time, and one Vivians believed she could achieve at Mississippi State.

Never mind that the Bulldogs had never advanced further than the Sweet 16, and had done that only once. Or that under coach Vic Schaefer, who took over for the 2012-13 season, Mississippi State had gone a combined 10-22 in the SEC in the two years before Vivians arrived.

Deadspin:Teaira McCowan Is The Most Undeniable Player In Women’s College Basketball

When Teaira McCowan grabbed her 23rd rebound of Mississippi State’s semifinal win over Louisville on Friday night, she just kept coming down with it—all the way to the floor. That’s a long way down for McCowan, who stands a muscular 6’7″, but she wasn’t going to let this rebound get away. That board helped send her Bulldogs back to a championship game they’ve been focused on winning ever since they came up one game short last season. McCowan had a big smile on her face when she hit the ground, and the ball grasped securely in her two large hands.

“I didn’t want them to get it and get a bucket,” McCowan said Friday night, sitting in front of her locker with an eye on the second semifinal. “So I just held onto it. And even though they called a travel, I was still glad that I didn’t give them the ball so they can get a easy bucket.” One way or another, there are no easy buckets against Teaira McCowan.

Notre Dame women’s basketball’s Jessica Shepard could be the difference-maker in the national championship game

After every game, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw says, the Irish raise a toast to the state of Nebraska and Jessica Shepard.

It’s a joke. Probably.

But McGraw’s message comes through seriously.

Check out the coverage from the local paper, the Columbus Dispatch

In other news…

Champeeeens! Indiana wins first WNIT title as Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill end careers

But even as UConn began to consider how to reverse two years of disappointment, the NCAA and ESPN were acting to prevent a recurrence in the future.

“Today we are announcing a new format for next’s years Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament,” said Rhonda Bennett, the chair of the NCAA’s Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, at a press conference late Saturday night. “This new format, developed in cooperation with our great partners at ESPN, will help to sustain excitement as we work our way to the national championship.”

In the new format, 65 teams will be chosen for the tournament, 32 conference champions and 33 at large teams. The Women’s Basketball Committee will choose and seed the tournament as it does today, except that it will choose a national overall number one seed and four additional number one seeds – the teams ranked from second to fifth by the committee. All teams other than the overall number one seed will play a standard tournament, culminating in the Final Four, but instead of crowning a champion, the Final Four will select a team to challenge the overall number one seed in the national championship game.

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