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?

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:

Berrytown Recreation Center
1300 Heafer Rd, Louisville, KY 40223

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

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

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


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.

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*


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


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

(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!


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.

From (newly re-named) High Post Hoops: The perpetual greatness of women’s basketball, on display

The Hall of Fame women’s basketball writer, Mel Greenberg, didn’t have to ponder much when asked if Friday, March 30, 2018 was the greatest night in the history of what is a rich, often hidden history of women’s basketball.

Sure, there was that night back in 2005 when Baylor and Michigan State roared back from steep deficits to upset Sylvia Fowles’ LSU and Kim Mulkey’s Baylor took down Tennessee, but the sheer magnitude of basketball, the punches and counter punches, well, Greenberg had it on his scorecard as the very top.

Michelle Smith: Women’s Final Four: On historic night, history repeats as UConn falls on OT buzzer-beater, this time to Notre Dame

It was a testament to talent and toughness and a rebuttal, all at the same time. It was the most heart-pounding night in the history of a sport, good for “the game” down to the last shot.

For the first time ever, two overtime games decided who will play for the NCAA Women’s Championship on Easter Sunday in Nationwide Arena.

Mississippi State punched its ticket with a 73-63 overtime win over Louisville in the opener, a game that looked like it couldn’t possibly be topped after Tierra McCowan finished with a Final Four record 25 rebounds in a game that featured 15 lead changes, four ties and a 3-pointer by fifth-year senior Roshunda Johnson with seven seconds to go in regulation to send the game into OT.

And then came Notre Dame.


Everything you need to know about the NCAA title game

Final Four Q&A: Jessica Shepard is both veteran and newcomer for the Irish


Possible record crowd could witness WNIT title and future of IU women’s basketball

If you are a follower of Indiana University basketball, you have seen Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill more often than … well, more often than anyone else in the women’s game. Buss, with 1,439 minutes played, and Cahill, with 1,367, rank Nos. 1-2 in the NCAA this season.

But when a possible record crowd gathers Saturday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, fans will be anticipating more than a WNIT championship. They will glimpse the future of the Hoosiers, who will be far from destitute once Buss and Cahill sign off.

Hoop Hall mates: Katie Smith, Tina Thompson Announced as Members of Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Speaking of history, at the Nationwide Arena tonight, Brian Agler, Katie Smith and those ABL kids.


Always got time for history: Flying Queens’ success, style was a game changer for women’s basketball

The trip from Kingfisher County took five hours by car, across Oklahoma and down the Texas panhandle.

A basketball star in high school, Kaye Garms had heard about a Baptist college near Lubbock that had a women’s team. She and another player wanted to try out.

“The local banker’s wife drove us,” Garms recalls. “She had a nice car.”

It was the mid-1950s, well before Title IX, and girls were still being told that basketball was too rough and tumble, that it might prevent them from having babies later in life.

Movin’ on : UMaine women’s basketball sharpshooter plans to transfer

Thinking ahead: Five questions for South Carolina women’s basketball heading into the offseason

How ’bout in 2020? GOLDSTEIN: Marquette will be great next year, but what about after that?

This sounds bad: Former NCCU women’s basketball players call foul

What North Carolina Central did with its players was within the rules — the days of a full four-year scholarship are over. While schools can provide multiyear deals, many offer one-year scholarships that are renewable each year.

Several North Carolina Central players said a December letter sent to parents from Stafford-Odom stated that some scholarships would not be renewed.

Yet, 10 players essentially being cut in one day — that number is shocking.

The Undefeated made several telephone and email requests to interview Stafford-Odom and North Carolina Central athletic director Ingrid Wicker McCree for this story, but neither was made available to comment.

Guess that’s what happens when the top four teams reach the Final Four, huh?

What a joy it was to be in the arena last night. How SMART we are to be fans of the women’s game. And LOOK at those kids. LOOK at those coaches!!! LOOK at those fans. Wowza. Thank goodness we have a day to recover. Bunch of us need to send out for a new voice…. because…

Women’s Final Four produced many bananas statistics and the following incomplete sentences

Mississippi State over Louisville, OT.

After a first quarter to forget, all bets were off….

Notre Dame over UConn, OT.

Quick flashback to their first game this season, then the Huskies went on a run, then Notre Dame refused to fold, then player after player after player made plays. YEA BASKETEBALL!!!

And more
Random note to the NCAA, #2: YES to “Greats of the Games” doing free-throw/shooting contests during the game. More please.
Random note to the NCAA, #3: HOW COOL TO HAVE THE “This Award Was Named After Me” folks on the court. MORE OF THAT, PLEASE!!!!
Random note to the NCAA, #4: Remember when the D2/D3 Championships happened at the Final Four. AGAIN!!!
Final note to readers: If you complain about coverage, and haven’t clicked on a ton of these links, hush. If you have, THANK YOU!!! If you feel inspired, drop the writers and editors a quick note of thanks, please do. It helps.
And, as always, check out the Columbus Dispatch coverage. Support local papers.
Now I gotta go grab some throat lozenges and a gallon of coffee. WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!!