If you don’t rehearse your production, make sure you’ve collaborated with all the stakeholders, and actually, you know, PLAN it in ADVANCE, it’s likely your big event will be a hot mess.

But the W don’t care what we think, so let’s move on to the draft, shall we?

No surprise who went number one, but everyone’s mock draft was quickly busted. Here’s some Friday morning quarterbacking (Which will be reviewed when the opening day rosters come out, right?)

ESPN Mechelle: Five observations from the 2017 WNBA draft

It was sort of odd that with the WNBA draft taking place at Samsung 837 in Manhattan, just a little over a mile from Madison Square Garden, the Liberty were not a draft story.

New York didn’t have a first-round pick, and neither did Indiana, Phoenix or Seattle. Instead, three teams — San Antonio, Chicago and Dallas — had seven of the 12 picks and set the tone for the draft. There were rumors right up until the draft started that there would be a trade or two, but as of the evening’s end, none had happened.

After missing NCAA title run, Alaina Coates hears named called early in WNBA draft

AP Doug: Kelsey Plum goes No. 1 in WNBA draft

Kelsey Plum went first in the WNBA draft Thursday. Then, South Carolina took over.

Plum was taken No. 1 by the San Antonio Stars. The Washington guard finished her college career with an NCAA-record 3,527 points. The Stars had the worst record last season and held the top pick for the first time in franchise history.

“I’ve been dreaming about it for so long,” Plum said. “I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity and will make the most of it.”

USA Today Nina Mandell: Kelsey Plum broke the NCAA record for points in a season. On Thursday, she was the top WNBA draft pick.

“That kid just works hard,” said former South Carolina player Kaela Davis. “She keeps you guessing. As a defender you can never expect one thing. You never know what’s coming next and I think that stuff’s always hard to guard.”

But the pick put her on a team that selected another scoring guard, Moriah Jefferson, in the 2016 draft, leaving questions about what her role would be or if she would be traded. Jefferson was the 2016 Rookie of the Year runner-up.

.com: San Antonio Stars’ Kelsey Plum Has Proven She Can Take Her Team to New Heights

The Seattle Times:Going No. 1 in WNBA draft caps unprecedented run for Washington’s Kelsey Plum

Daily UW: Plum and Osahor get drafted into WNBA

NY Times: Kelsey Plum Is a Lot Like James Harden. But Is It a Left-Handed Compliment?

.com: WNBA Draft 2017 – Player Quotes

Bleacher Report: 2017 WNBA Draft Results: Complete Round-by-Round Selections and Twitter Reaction

The State: The WNBA Draft through Dawn Staley’s eyes

Excelle: Relive the 2017 WNBA draft with a breakdown of all 36 picks

Summitt Hoops: Howard and Imani break the draft down.

My San Antonio: Stars get a Plum … and more

Chicago Tribune: Sky pick South Carolina center Alaina Coates 2nd in WNBA draft

The State: Gamecocks post record haul in WNBA Draft

Corvallis Gazette Times: OSU women’s basketball: Wiese drafted by Los Angeles Sparks

Minnesota: Lynx Select Alexis Jones

Oooooo movement! JUST ANNOUNCED: acquire draft rights to forward Chantel Osahor, sending Keisha Hampton to Chicago.

Seattle: Seattle Storm adds a shooter and some size with two WNBA draft selections

LA: 2016 WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks Select Sydney Wiese 11th Overall in 2017 WNBA Draft

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Sandersville’s Allisha Gray embodies women’s basketball

Fort Worth Star:Dallas Wings draft South Carolina teammates in first round

UTA The Shorthorn :Dallas Wings adds 3 first-round picks for draft day

Live: Former Freeland, MSU star Tori Jankoska taken ninth in WNBA draft

WOAI: Exclusive: One-on-one with San Antonio Stars 2017 WNBA draft pick Nia Coffey

Daily Northwestern: Women’s Basketball: Coffey taken fifth overall in WNBA Draft

North by Northwestern: Nia Coffey selected fifth overall in WNBA draft

Star Tribune: WNBA draft pick Nia Coffey makes brother and Gopher Amir Coffey proud

Syracuse.com: Ex-Syracuse star Brittney Sykes makes school history as Atlanta’s top pick in WNBA draft

Syracuse.com: Atlanta Dream coach Michael Cooper on Brittney Sykes: ‘She reminds me of me’

Dayton Daily News: Dayton Flyers’ Grant-Allen selected in WNBA Draft

K State Sports: Surrounded by Teammates and Coaches, Lewis Relishes WNBA Draft Moment

SF Gate: Stanford’s McCall picked by Indiana in 2nd round of WNBA draft

Journal News: Saniya Chong selected 26th overall by Dallas

Knoxville News Sentinel: Lady Vols’ Reynolds, Nunn picked in WNBA draft

NDU: ND’s Allen selected in 2nd round of WNBA Draft by New York Liberty

Journal News: Shamoya McKenzie: Liberty honor slain teen at WNBA Draft

News & Observer: WNBA president and Duke graduate discusses bright future of league

USA Today For the Win: New commercial perfectly answers all questions about why you should watch women play hoops

Coaching news:

Washington, being smart and staying “local”, picks Jody Wynn as head coach.

USC strikes out as Smesko decides not to fly the coop.

Enjoy! Longtime Stanford top assistant coach Amy Tucker retiring | USA …

Other stuff:

Long term planning:Maryland women’s basketball set for series with national champion South Carolina


Deadspin: The Stars Of Women’s Basketball’s First Dynasty Just Want To Be Remembered

The Flying Queens were women’s basketball’s first true dynasty, a perennial powerhouse based in Plainview, Tex., that won 131 games in a row from 1954 to 1958. They were also an anachronism, a group of women living in the heart of conservative Texas that enjoyed a level of freedom and comfort that not even their male counterparts could claim. They sported custom uniforms and matching travel outfits, ate at the finest restaurants, and traveled to games by plane.

The team was started in the late 1940s by Wayland president Dr. James “Bill” Marshall, who set out to attract students to the school through innovative marketing means—including women’s basketball.

You stay put: Carolyn Kieger’s contract extended through 2022-23 (Anyone else a little freaked out by the concept of 2023?).

Both of you – you both stay put! Frank Martin, Dawn Staley to receive new contracts

You get a new job: Nicole Powell named GCU Women’s Basketball coach. Longtime readers will recall Grand Canyon as a for-profit institution that tried to become a non-profit institution.


Letters to the Editor at Cincinnati.com: Letters: Invest more in women’s basketball, see what happens

David Cloninger at The State: Coates ready to bring Columbia to the WNBA

“You know, I think Dallas would love to get Alaina Coates,” analyst Rebecca Lobo said last week on a pre-draft conference call. “She would be an ideal fit for them, in terms of kind of having a rim-protector inside, an offensive player who can provide a lot.”

Cool:  Columbia mayor names part of street after South Carolina coach Dawn Staley (Though, I’d never want that. Wouldn’t want folks to mutter, “Geez, the traffic on Wheelock is awful!)

Twitter says a player is transferring from Colorado. Why does twitter know before the program releases the information?

ND Insider: Lesar: What are Muffet McGraw’s options after Notre Dame’s departures?

Outsports: Openly gay player wins top award in women’s junior college basketball

Insider NU: Probable first-rounder Nia Coffey prepares for the WNBA Draft

Mechelle: Is Northwestern’s Nia Coffey the answer for Chicago’s No. 2 draft pick?

.com: Inside the Numbers: WNBA’s No. 1 Pick Has Made Instant Impact

Syracuse.com:Syracuse players make in the WNBA, and what will they do with their money?

MLive: Former Freeland, MSU star Tori Jankoska anxious to make WNBA history

Waco-Tribune: Where Lady Bears are projected to go in WNBA mock drafts

From Mechelle: After Kelsey Plum at No. 1, the rest of the WNBA draft is tough to predict. Just as well that fans can’t attend and ESPN is wandering off after the first round…

You left? WNBA’s Dallas Wings CEO Mary O’Connor Resigns.

You COO:Cool jobs in sports: Jay Parry, WNBA COO

Parry has been the league’s COO since last spring, and she is no stranger to the basketball court. She spent seven seasons as Phoenix Mercury president, won titles in 2007 and 2009, then joined the Phoenix Suns as a senior vice president for two years before working as CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl XLIX host committee.

Although Parry spent the bulk of her past trying to grow women’s basketball at the local level with the Mercury, her mission is to expand the sport’s national profile from league headquarters in New York City. She works with all 12 team presidents and her staff to create strategies to further develop and better the WNBA as it heads into its 21st season.

Oooooo, Jay – we should talk. (And I’m cautiously optimistic, because the Merc have been one of the best teams at engaging their with their fan base.)

Excelle: Why do great female athletes always get compared to men? Our take on why these compliments are actually insidious. I got involved in this discussion in the twitter-sphere, if you have any interest.

Also from Excelle: How Cheryl Reeve transformed the Lynx with one smart draft pick and a distinctive formula (though I would have said picking Maya was a no-brainer.)


A cool WATN?  Candace Futrell named Howard County Police Department Officer of the Year.


Ok, so what’s happening….. TRANSFERS!!!!!

Before I lay out the list of new exits, take a some time to listen to coach Yo(let McCuin) of Jacksonville University on Periscope. Faithful readers of the blog will recognize the Dolphins as a program that’s been making some positive moves up the conference ladder. While I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Coach Yo, we’ve had some twitter exchanges that made me think she would be a great basketball person to hang with and talk about the game. Her Periscope session proved me right. Really. If you’re a college coach, high school/AAU coach, high school player interested in being recruited or the parent of that player, WATCH THIS. If you’re honest – as coach Yo is – and listen with open ears, you might hear something that could help a young person make the right decision.

BTW: If you’re interested, you might want to take a peek at articles I wrote for the WBCA’s Coaching Women’s Basketball & Women’s Basketball magazine a while back. They support some of the things coach Yo discusses. (And I realize some of the old pieces are missing…and typos… hmmm. Summer project!)


Notre Dame loses two: Erin Boley, Ali Patberg

Florida State: A’Tyanna Gaulden

ODU: Brown, Jones to transfer

Diamondback: After Destiny Slocum’s departure, Maryland women’s basketball faces a tough rebuild

Kentucky.com: Is Kentucky rebuilding? ‘I’m not looking at it that way at all,’ Mitchell says

Won’t transfer? Coach Adia Barnes remains committed to Cats despite opening at Washington

Might fly the aerie? FGCU coach Karl Smesko could be USC’s frontrunner

Bloomington Pantagraph: ISU’s Gillespie born to be a coach

Columbia Missourian: Missouri basketball’s rise started with Robin Pingeton

Michigan Daily: Season in Review: Women’s Basketball

Cincinnati.com: Oscar Robertson to UC: Find a better solution for women’s basketball team

The Undefeated: Dawn Staley has always had a special relationship with Philadelphia

“Philly has a way of rubbing itself on people and it sticks. When I was [the head coach] at Temple [University] and I used to recruit players, they initially turned their nose up at Philly. And then they found themselves in Philly 10 years after graduating from Temple. It’s amazing. The city has a certain pulse about it. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s genuine. I’m not saying that it’s always positive, but you know what you’re getting, and that’s appealing. We don’t have layers to us. We are who we are.”

The State: The first woman to be an NBA head coach? Why not Staley?

Newsday: Exciting NCAA women’s basketball tournament bolsters interest in women’s sports

You’re out! Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly removed from former player’s lawsuit filed in 2016


Mechelle: Vickie Johnson and Ruth Riley are on the clock as head coach, GM in San Antonio

Vickie Johnson and Ruth Riley had countless times in their basketball careers when they had the ball in their hands, knowing they needed to make a big play.

But now as the San Antonio Stars’ coach and general manager, respectively, they have a different kind of big play to make. The Stars have the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s WNBA draft (ESPN2/WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET), and various ways they can use it.

The Stars also have the No. 5 pick, while their fellow Texas team, Dallas, has three selections in the first round, at Nos. 3, 4 and 10.

Jeff Metcalfe, Arizona Central: Sydney Wiese, Chantel Osahor, Sophie Brunner await WNBA draft

Lots of stuff over at Shattered Backboard. Check’em out.

Percy Allen at the Seattle Times: Washington’s Kelsey Plum will likely be top pick in WNBA Draft

Eric Nemchock at FanRagSports offers his detailed 2017 WNBA Mock Draft

Howard at Fansided/Sumitt Hoops: Projecting the 2017 WNBA Draft: It Starts with Kelsey Plum

At the .com, Bearded Ben York has: Young, Exciting Sun Ready for Draft, Training Camp

Curt Miller had a detailed, inspiring vision for the Sun when he was named head coach in December of 2015.

“Build the program into a championship team,” Miller reflected with confidence and a smile. “It sounds cliché, but that’s been our goal from day No. 1. We also want to build sustainable success. When I took over, the longest-tenured player on our team was heading into her fourth season. We want our core to mature and grow together in the prime of their careers.”

That’s exactly what the franchise is doing, and it has Sun fans buzzing.

New Haven Register: UConn’s Saniya Chong likely to be selected in WNBA Draft

KTSP.com: Former Hopkins Star Nia Coffey Looks Ahead to Thursday’s WNBA Draft (and if anyone can figure out how to YouTube the fabulous Coffey game promo Northwestern put together, holler, ‘kay?)

GW Hatchet: Schaible, Washington eye professional basketball careers

Owee: Alaina Coates Had Ankle Surgery, Will Miss At Least Part of WNBA Season

.com: WNBA Draft 2017: Prospect Profiles

Of those who jumped: Imani Boyette: Jewell Loyd, Amanda Zahui B Reflect on Leaving Early for the WNBA

Recently, two redshirt juniors, Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis, declared for the WNBA draft. Of course, like anyone who chooses to step off the beaten path, there have been mixed reviews of this decision.

My initial opinion of leaving school early for the WNBA? I thought it was a bad decision if they hadn’t already graduated, although it is important to acknowledge how our own realities sway our opinions.  I discourage everyone younger than me from rushing to grow up and I also take pride in my Accounting degree from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

Fun: What could we do with victory but what she has done? — an ode to Maya Moore

Writing from one of my favorite Twitter follows: Moving The Chains: Shireen Ahmed On Sports, Politics And Activism

Speaking of which: White, Peck speak at Equal Pay, Equal Play session

Oh, Canada! Pro basketball player Nirra Fields trains, inspires girls during weekend clinic

History!  Grateful to be heading to the Warriors game tonight to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the ABL with Joe Lacob!

Thank you: Avella’s Matalik to step down as girls basketball coach, be honored at banquet

“This is my fourth year fighting cancer,” Matalik explained. “I need to focus on my health. I will miss it.”

And Matalik’s everyday presence will be missed by the Avella athletes.

He coached the Eagles for 18 years. He continues to assist Fogg with the Avella baseball team and previously coached baseball for 25 years at Burgettstown. He was an assistant there for seven years. In all, Matalik has coached high school baseball for 51 years.

More leaving: ODU women lose Brown, Jones to transfer

Lanie Page leaving K-State women’s basketball team

Can’t find confirmation, but there’s talk of a sophomore leaving Kansas…

Reno NBC: Catching up with Reed’s Gabby Williams

Congrats: UW women’s Kelsey Plums wins Wooden Award – is there anything she HASN’T won?

Dawn Staley returns to Dobbins Tech to share national title

“Dawn Staley helped put women’s basketball on the map,” Kenney said. “We couldn’t be more proud.”

After graduating from Dobbins in 1988, Staley went on to become a two-time national college player of the year at Virginia. She won three Olympic gold medals as the U.S. team’s point guard.

The State: Key things to know about Sunday’s parade for USC women’s basketball champions

Hartford Courant: UConn Women’s Basketball: Recapping Historic Season That Fell A Bit Short

SEC Country: Mississippi State did women’s college basketball a favor by beating UConn

Starkville Daily News: Super Bulldog Welcome: Droves of fans show love for MSU Women’s Basketball

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: Way Too Early Women’s Basketball Top 25

About that thing that’s happening that fans can’t attend…

WNBA announces 10 players attending next week’s Draft

The State: Three Gamecocks invited to WNBA Draft

UMTerps: Jones, SWK to Attend WNBA Draft

Baylor Bears: Jones Selected to Attend 2017 WNBA Draft

OregonLive: Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese to attend WNBA Draft

Could Baylor, Irving MacArthur star Alexis Jones come home to play for Dallas Wings?

Mechelle: South Carolina players could provide much-needed help for Wings

.com: WNBA Draft 2017 Preview: Atlanta Dream
.com: WNBA Draft 2017 Preview: Phoenix Mercury
.com: WNBA Draft 2017 Preview: Seattle Storm
.com: San Antonio Stars WNBA Draft Throwback
.com:WNBA Draft 2017 Preview: Indiana Fever

“Non-stop,” Miller said with a sigh. “I’ve worked hard all year keeping in touch with college coaches that have potential WNBA players on their roster. It has really accelerated over the last two weeks. My day consists of talking to college coaches to get opinions on their players, their pros and cons, hear the intangibles and look into their character. We don’t have the luxury of a combine where we can interview everyone in one place. A lot of the legwork is on your own.”

Bleacher Report: 2017 WNBA Mock Draft: Analyzing Elite Prospects and Hidden Gems

Newsdays’ Mike Rose: WNBA mock draft 2017

Old friend Ailene Voisin at the Sacramento Bee: Ranadive and Kings owners seemed to want a WNBA team, so where is it?

Syracuse.com: Breanna Stewart will be a WNBA friend and foe for Syracuse’s Brittney Sykes

Dallas News: How Dallas Wings guard Skylar Diggins connects to next generation through Shoot 4 the Sky camp

Look who’s back with the Fever! What I Know: Tully Bevilaqua Of The Indiana Fever

Shattered Backboard: Dream Head Coach Michael Cooper Makes His Own Luck

Interesting: Mobile Coaching App Just Play Sports Solutions Signs Two WNBA Teams As Clients

Georgetown Voice: Offensive Foul: Fighting International Basketball’s Religious Headgear Ban

For former Georgetown women’s basketball player Ki-Ke Salihu Rafiu (COL’16), a headscarf was a normal part of her uniform. Tied snugly around her head, the Georgetown-gray fabric was a way for her to live out her Muslim faith while playing the sport she loved.

Rafiu, now a graduate assistant on the team, decided to begin wearing a headscarf during games and practice during her sophomore year. She was permitted to do this thanks to the NCAA’s non-restrictive policies regarding religious headgear.

But such accommodation isn’t the norm at every level of basketball. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the worldwide governing body of professional basketball, currently restricts players from wearing any religious headgear on the court.

Worth a revisit: Is it fair for UC women’s basketball, volleyball teams to play at St. Ursula?

The next time the University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team plays a home game, it will be in a high school gym.

The team, which drew 4,000 spectators for its matchup against the University of Connecticut Huskies this year, will play at St. Ursula Academy, which has about 1,000 seats. Fans won’t be cheering from behind the bench because there’s only one set of bleachers.

The UC men’s team will play its home games at Northern Kentucky University’s BB&T Arena, which holds more than 9,000 people.

Buff Zone: After strong debut season with Buffs, Payne looks to ‘raise the bar’

Howard interviewed a former Red Head: Peps Neuman Was Told She Was “Stupid” For Wanting to Play Basketball

An excuse for a Women’s Basketball Magazine flashback:

The death of Lorene “Butch” Moore, 76, this past April in Caraway, Arkansas marked the passing of an important link in the slender chain of women’s basketball history. Moore amassed 35,426 points in 11 seasons with the All-American Red Heads – a team that barnstormed across the United States between 1936 and 1986.

Moore and her husband, Orwell, 84, joined the Red Heads in 1948 – she as a player, he as coach. The Red Heads played full court basketball by men’s rules, playing 175-200 games a season. 

Interesting: The college sports racial and gender report card shows a reversal of progress

March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the year in college athletics. As the son of a basketball Hall of Famer, for me, the road to the Final Four is always filled with joy. And I was glad that the recent studies published by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) indicated the continued positive progression of graduation success rates and academic progress rates for NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes. This is good news for college sports student-athletes.

Coincidentally, we are now publishing the 2016 College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card. For those who care about equity in sport, there is little, if any, good news. Colleges not only remain the worst employer for women and people of color in sport, but things may even be worse than ever. The results are startling.



Lauren Jackson, Libby Trickett, Barry Hall, Matthew Mitcham reveal battle with depression

SOME of Australia’s biggest sports stars have revealed they battled depression after their careers ended.

Lauren Jackson, Libby Trickett, Barry Hall, and Matthew Mitcham have broken their silence to tell of being plagued by mental health demons for months after retirement.

Jackson and Trickett have said that they can understand how other champions like Grant Hackett and Ben Cousins have gone off the rails.

The revelations come in a two-part special edition of SBS’s Insight program hosted by Jenny Brockie.

Listen up! Around the Rim: Crowning Glory; WNBA Is Next. LaChina Robinson closes out the NCAA season with coach of the 2017 National Champions Dawn Staley. Plus, AP Player of the Year Kelsey Plum and Stars GM Ruth Riley join.

Check it out: Shadow League: Dawn Staley Finally Cuts Down Her Own Net

Staley is the embodiment of women’s basketball and its incremental rise as a viable and marketable American sport. She has done it all. She’s in some way been an integral part of every watershed moment in the women’s basketball over the past three decades.

Philly Proud, Mike Jensen: Dawn Staley is never far from Philly

The words on Staley’s phone screen are more than geographical. Her answer to ESPN pregame when asked about the emotions she would show if her Gamecocks won the national title was, “I don’t cry. I’m from North Philly.”

Her mother once did, riding the No. 33 bus going east on Market Street in 1996, when she caught sight of her daughter on a nine-story mural at Eighth and Market. Estelle Staley had blurted out, “Oh, my God!” By herself on the bus, she started crying.

More goodness: Mentor gets to savor Dawn Staley’s success

Inasmuch as she planted the seeds, it was only fitting that Debbie Ryan could see her coaching tree in all of its splendor.

Ryan, the women’s basketball coach at Virginia from 1977-2011, was at the American Airlines Center in Dallas as South Carolina, under Ryan protege Dawn Staley, defeated Mississippi State in the NCAA championship game.

“I wasn’t going to go to this one,” Ryan said Tuesday. “I actually had another trip planned. I got a feeling on Sunday before the Final Four, before [South Carolina] even played in the final eight.

“I just had a feeling that I needed to be there. I had a feeling she was going to win it. I went without any hotel. I didn’t have any tickets, but everything worked out.”

More good news: More than 3.8 Million Viewers for the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship; Three-Game NCAA Women’s Final Four Up Nearly 20%

Bye: Freshmen Tori McCoy and Kiara Lewis to leave Ohio State women’s basketball program

Crap, but not surprising, even as ACL recovering time has shrunk: McGraw on Turner: “She could miss the year.”

A clarification? Jay Tust tweets: Heard from Destiny Slocum last night. She said “homesickness” is not the reason she’s transferring, but rather UM “wasn’t the right fit.”

Steve Jones, PressBox: Graduations, Transfers Change Maryland Women’s Basketball Outlook and Testudo Times: Destiny Slocum’s transfer from Maryland women’s basketball thrusts the roster into uncertainty and Maryland women’s basketball lost the next face of its program in Destiny Slocum. Wonder if Boise State is thinking good thoughts…

Dan Fleser: Stats only part of story about return of Diamond DeShields, Mercedes Russell

More future looking: Can South Carolina repeat as national champ? 2 Alabama players will try to make it happen

More future looking: Georgia Women’s Basketball Makes Progress During Joni Taylor’s Sophomore Tenure

Congrats (and good health): Amy Vachon named UMaine women’s basketball interim head coach as coach Richard Barron would be taking an extended medical leave.

Welcome: Gillespie introduced as Illinois State’s new women’s basketball coach

So long: Theresa Grentz let go as Lafayette women’s basketball coach

So, this seems to put a cap on an odd sequence of events, dontcha think? FAU to hire Jim Jabir as new head coach

You stay put: Oregon’s Graves awarded $4M contract extension

You stay put, too: Iona Announces Contract Extensions For Tim Cluess and Billi Godsey

Oh: FAMU women’s basketball coach Gibson accused of bullying

Ah, renovations. Ask Liberty fans about’em: Is it fair for UC women’s basketball, volleyball teams to play at St. Ursula?

Analysis: Geno Auriemma’s Comments, Contributions to Women’s Basketball

Listen up! Locked on has San Antonio Stars GM Ruth Riley Talks 2017 WNBA Draft

Speaking of the WNBA, check out this fun and thoughtful preview of the 12 teams by Leisl Veach: WNBA Astrology

Adam of the Dallas news has 5 prospects for Dallas Wings fans to know before the WNBA draft

So, back at work and recovering from a nice little lung thingy, and suddenly women’s basketball’s “dead” period is mighty lively.

FALSE: Connecticut Sun coach puts the kibosh on reports that he interviewed for the USC (CA) job:  :Flattering to have name linked to the USC job but reports are UNTRUE about interviewing. Excited about training camp & our young SUN roster

TRUE: Destiny Slocum is transferring from Maryland. Big impact.

TRUE: Kiah Gillespie is transferring from Maryland

TRUE: Jenna Staiti  is transferring from Maryland

TRUE: Top 3 scorers among 4 to transfer from Rutgers women’s basketball with new look coming

TRUE(?): Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray are declaring for the WNBA draft (though they can un-declare)

TRUE: That was Doris Burke’s last Women’s Final Four. She joins Dishin & Swishin’s Podcast to put a wrap on the college season with Doris Burke

From the Undefeated: Carolyn Peck elated for Dawn Staley as second black coach to win women’s basketball title

Carolyn Peck was so focused on her players after Purdue beat Duke in the 1999 women’s basketball championship that when a reporter asked her what it meant to be the first African-American coach to win a title, Peck realized that she’d never thought about it.

She recalled the coaches who came before her: Marian Washington (Kansas), Marianna Freeman (Syracuse) and C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers). Then she thought about her English teacher at Jefferson County High School in Dandridge, Tennessee.

“She said to me, ‘When you do an outline, you never have a one unless there’s going to be a two,’ ” said Peck, now an associate head coach at Vanderbilt. “When I was described as the first, that meant there was going to be a second.

Thirteen years ago: Kara Lawson: Sacramento Kings Called Me Distraction, Kept Me Out Of Practice

So you go back 13 years ago and I say, what if they had let me in? Where am I now? Who knows? Maybe I’m an assistant on a staff. Maybe I’m in a front office. Maybe I’m still doing TV. But when you deny the opportunity for somebody, and then you sit back and say there are no candidates—when people say to me, when people ask me if I think things will change—people need to say yes to someone who’s interest in learning, who’s interested in growing, who’s interested in being a coach.”

In a similar vein: ESPN’s Maria Taylor on the invaluable role of athletics

Still reflecting: Tiffany Mitchell pours her heart out: ‘The sacrifices were unbelievable’

This story has more legs than it should. Kind of distracts from Dawn/South Carolina’s accomplishment: Mississippi State’s title-game benching of ‘Itty Bitty’ causes big stir.

Sue weighs in: Vic Schaefer is quite capable of running his team

And then there was this: Alaina Coates issues statement addressing ‘unprofessionalism’

BTW: NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Overnight Up 20%, Most-Streamed Women’s Basketball Finale Ever; Three-Game NCAA Women’s Final Four Overnight Up Double Digits

Congrats: Michigan women’s basketball assistant Megan Duffy named head coach at Miami (Ohio)

Welcome, Dawn Staley and the South Carolina Gamecocks. In a sold out arena that seemed full of Mississippi State fans, the Gamecocks coaxed out a lead, then steadfastly beat back every run the Bulldogs made. In the end, MOP A’ja Wilson took over the game on both ends and sealed USC’s first NCAA Women’s Basketball championship.

Graham: South Carolina finally wins its first NCAA championship

It turns out there was a team here that Mississippi State couldn’t beat.

Not in January in the regular season. Not in March in the SEC tournament. Not in any of the 10 most recent meetings prior to Sunday. And not in the national championship game, either.

It doesn’t seem that South Carolina has much left to prove on that count. Nor on this court.

Michelle Smith: Hometown hero A’ja Wilson helps deliver South Carolina’s first NCAA title

A’ja Wilson is, as teammate and roommate Allisha Gray put it, “a celebrity” in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Gamecocks center sticks out not only because she is 6-foot-5 but also because she is a local girl playing for her hometown university as one of the most prominent, heralded female athletes in the country.

That scenario comes with its perks: the built-in support system, dinners at home with family, a lot of friendly faces, and words of encouragement and advice.

“Everybody in the grocery store is a basketball coach,” Wilson said.

Charlie Creme: How South Carolina beat Mississippi State to win its first national championship

NY Times: South Carolina Defeats Mississippi State to Win Women’s Title

In the final seconds on Sunday, Dawn Staley gave a group hug to her assistant coaches. As confetti showered South Carolina’s first women’s basketball title winners, she put on a championship cap she had waited a career to wear.

Later, she wore a net like a necklace.

The 67-55 win over Mississippi State, a fellow member of the Southeastern Conference, was a victory that represented a diversity of opportunity, both for coaches and for teams playing for a championship.

The State: Coronation! Gamecocks bring home national championship

“It feels great. You want to visualize it. You’re so close. I was anxious waiting all day to get to this moment,” Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said. “It’s still unbelievable. I don’t know how to celebrate. I don’t know how to act. I don’t know what a national champion is supposed to look like. I know it feels incredible.”

The State: Staley finally gets her trophy

Dallas News: South Carolina wins first national title in school history; defeats Mississippi State 67-55

Once the final buzzer sounded, Staley grabbed the trophy and paraded it around the court high over her head.

“You have to give tribute to the former players,” Staley said. “Go back to my Temple days, they believed in our vision. We took that vision to South Carolina and that vision was we’ll be national champions. If you stick with us and if you’re disciplined, if you believe all these players believed in that. Happy our words came true to them.”

Richard at Sports Illustrated: Home cooking: South Carolina’s own A’ja Wilson leads Gamecocks to first championship

There is no bigger advocate for the state of South Carolina than Gamecocks junior center A’ja Wilson. She grew up in Hopkins, S.C., a 20-minute drive from the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia and a town Wilson described as “chill, with a bunch of woods, and nice and quiet.” Anytime over the weekend when Wilson was asked why she stayed home to play basketball, you might as well have been talking to a member of the state’s tourism division. She could not hype the state of South Carolina enough.

Denied a title in three straight trips to the Final Four (1990-92) as a collegian with Virginia, two in heartbreaking rejections, Staley was able to realize the culmination of a nine-year construction project, having built the Gamecocks (33-4) from the ground up after leaving Temple in 2008.

“I can check off the box because it’s something I wanted to do in my career,” Staley said afterward. “Opportunities that I saw women play when I was younger – national championship games and Olympics. Those were the things I held near and dear to me when I was growing up because that’s what I saw, that’s what I was shooting for, and when I couldn’t get it done in college, I thought that was it, because I never wanted to be sitting where I’m sitting.”

Philly’s Bob Vetrone, Jr tweeted out a great “Throw Back Sunday Special” on coach Dawn in High School.

Sue Favor: Staley’s success has been paved by growth

“She’s hilarious – they love her,” said associate head coach Lisa Boyer after the team’s National Championship win Sunday. “Even in the huddle today they were messing with her. She dances with them, she hangs out with them. She can get on their level.”

But expressing that side of herself with her players was something Staley had to learn. Doing so helped pave the way for the program’s first national title.

SECcountry: Steve Spurrier, Magic Johnson and countless others congratulate Gamecocks 

Summitt Hoops: Women’s Basketball Belongs to Dawn Staley, A’ja Wilson and South Carolina Now

In the end, when Dawn Staley won the right to coach A’ja Wilson three years ago, she set into motion the process that led to Sunday night’s 67-55 win over Mississippi State to win the Gamecocks their first national title.

In Bianca Cuevas-Moore, the Gamecocks possessed a junior capable of bodying up Morgan William, denying her the space to operate and keeping her from controlling the offensive flow as she had against both Connecticut and Baylor over the past two games. The Bronx is very present in her game, not to mention her appraisal of it as she reflected upon a championship in the locker room: “I mean, we just played hard. I’m a great defender, and we wanted to make it hard for them.” She did, making William a relative non-factor.

Speaking of the MIA William, from Mechelle: Morgan William on sitting late in NCAA final: I wasn’t bringing enough energy

Guard Morgan William sat in the Mississippi State locker room hunched over in a chair Sunday night. Her fingers kept pinching at her legs, as if she were trying to wake herself from a bad dream.

This is how it goes sometimes in the NCAA tournament. You have the biggest moment of your playing career one night, and less than 48 hours later you feel crushed. What usually doesn’t happen, though, is that a player who was the star in two consecutive victories over No. 1 seeds — whose jump shot ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak — sits on the bench for the fourth quarter of the national championship game.

Fort Worth Star Telegram: South Carolina denies Mississippi State, reigns in women’s basketball for first time

The Reflector: Bulldogs drop National Championship to Gamecocks

We were up 7-3 at the beginning,” Dillingham said. “They made a run and then we weren’t executing offensively.”

Mississippi State had trouble establishing an offensive presence, costing them to be behind 10 points entering the second half. Besides not scoring until two minutes into the game, Mississippi State had trouble defending South Carolina’s flowing offense. In the second quarter alone, Mississippi State was 4-11 from the floor. Dillingham agreed that the team’s usual grace on offense was absent early after the 7-3 start in the game.

“There’s no way to really put it,” Dillingham said. “We weren’t putting the ball in the basket and we weren’t getting stops which isn’t a good recipe.”

There will be time to ask questions about how the Mississippi State Women’s basketball team played in the National Championship game. There will be time to ask questions about some of the coaching decisions Vic Schaefer made.

Tonight is not that time.

From a fan who paid little attention to the Women’s Basketball team before the arrival of Vic Schaefer, I think I can speak for all who are similar. You made us love you.

Swish Appeal: After heartbreaker, Mississippi State has new loss to avenge

Other News

So long? UW women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors nearing return to Arkansas

Winning is the best medicine: After NCAA snub, Michigan feels a sense of redemption with WNIT championship

The ball went into the air, a split second passed and a whistle blew. 

Kim Barnes Arico could not watch. 

Michigan’s head women’s basketball coach has been through plenty this season. And now, her team was on the verge of losing the WNIT title via two foul shots with less than a second to play. 

Maybe it was luck, maybe it was something else. Maybe it was redemption. But those free throws rimmed off. And three overtimes later, Michigan walked out of Calihan Hall in Detroit with a trophy, a net and some pretty strong redemption after winning the WNIT title.