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While league gears up, LJ will sit

She has also been the anchor for the Australian national team, and competed in Europe and her home country. All while getting the living crap beat out of her, as she did the same thing to her fellow post players. Frankly, that’s the life of the big women and men in basketball, and it takes high pain tolerance and fortitude. Jackson has both in abundance.

But, as much as Seattle and the WNBA will miss her, Jackson’s taking the 2013 season off — as was announced by the Storm on Wednesday — is for the best. She is trying to heal a hamstring injury that has prevented her from playing in Australia this winter (summer there) and that required surgery.

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is she ignores all those who’ve ever told her “put an arc in it!” ’cause dang, it’s a flat, FAST shot. And when it goes in (as it did last night) it just makes you shake your head and say, “geometry, as we know it, has been temporarily suspended.” Most of the Minny folks did well as the Storm said “Hi” to Lauren and wished she’d been on the court.

Speaking of the Lynx, Nate asks: 2012 WNBA Point Guard Rankings: How Good Has The Lynx All-Time Assist Leader Been This Season?

Yes, d’em Shock are feisty. But sometimes you live by the Latta, you die by the Latta (say the Sun, muttering under their breath.). Especially if you have a Lawson.

That being said, folks in the Drive for the Dive must be wondering, “How much longer before Cambage suits up and what kind of impact will she have?” ’cause it would seem the Lib are more than willing to stagger through the door the Sky have opened.

When will the LA writers notice the Sparks? Indy sure did. That’s seven straight for the palm tree wearers.

Jayda offers up her WNBA power rankings, and they’re more silver than gold.

There’s a little wacko USA BBall going on: U.S. fields teams in FIBA 3-on-3 hoops World Championship

Oh, and the “still wet behind the ears” crew is doing all right: USA U17 Women Cruise Into Quarterfinals With 98-28 Rout Of Mali.

“They are undefeated in pool play, and I’m proud of them,” Schneider said of her team. “Obviously, now we are to a point where you lose and you are out of contention for a gold medal. We want to be sure we are approaching the bracket play in the right frame of mind, and I think that we are. I think that they are ready, and they are obviously very talented. Now, we are just waiting to see who it is going to be.”

They’ll celebrate my birthday by going up against Australia in the semis. (Wow. Just got a hit of deja vu!)

Speaking of Aussies: Olympic hero returns

She left Australia as a rising star but Rachel Jarry has returned a hero.

The Point Cook resident arrived back on home-soil last week with the rest of her Opals team-mates and her prized bronze medal hanging proudly around her neck.

Speaking of the Olympics: From the DePaul site: Bruno’s Olympic Trilogy—Part One: Road to the Gold: Three-Part Series Opens With DePaul Coach Retracing Steps to USA’s Fifth Gold Medal

And, I’m sorry, but WTF is ESPN doing wasting money on having someone like Kate Fagan write about the WNBA? (Roster limits hurt WNBA). It’s obvious that she doesn’t care about the league, so much so that she can’t even be bothered to learn about the personnel (hello, you want someone Lin-esque with actual talent? How about Becky Hammon). Then she throws together a piece that’s totally ill-informed, self-contradictory with a good does of “illogical” thrown in for good measure.

Hey, the League faces plenty of challenges — it would be nice if someone who actually was interested in doing their job with a modicum of integrity was asked to write about those challenges.

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Canada. Their defense was ridiculous.

The defense was stifling, even suffocating at times.

The United States women put on a clinic Tuesday, forcing the Canadians to take bad shots or not allowing them to shoot at all. The Americans, who cruised into the semifinals of the Olympic basketball tournament with a 91-48 rout, harassed Canada into three shotclock violations in the first seven minutes.

‘‘It’s one thing to miss a shot, but to not be able to get a shot off says a lot about your defense,’’ US coach Geno Auriemma said.

From USA Basketball, a couple of great post-game quotes from Geno:

On the relationship between the United States and Canada after last night’s soccer game and today’s basketball game:

Well, I’m sure the Brits, having two of their former colonies playing against each other, were hoping the roof would fall in and we’d all lose.

On knowing your team only becomes a huge story if you lose being a sign of respect to the level of dominance the women’s team has achieved:

We played a game for the ages against China, in terms of how well we played and executed, and somebody left a USA Today international lying around, and I picked it up to read about the Olympics, and there wasn’t one line or one sentence written about that game the next day. Not one. But, the top 10 preseason college football poll was in there, so that was really good, because I’m a college football fan. That goes back to what I said earlier. I think we have the mindset that we really don’t care. We’re way past that. There are no feminists on my team. We’re not running around burning our bras trying to make people believe in our team. I would burn mine, because it doesn’t fit like it used to. We just play basketball. And whether anybody cares or writes anything about it, there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re not in the PR business. We’re in the basketball business. That’s what we do. And, we’re pretty damn good at it.

Writes Jackie MacMullan: U.S. women are real Dream Team

But Auriemma said his group has steered clear of setting any side agendas aside from the obvious gold medal.

“If we win that, all the other stuff takes care of itself,” explained point guard Sue Bird.

That doesn’t mean others haven’t tried to come up with a catchy slogan for the U.S. women.

“Someone put shirts in our rooms that said ‘Road to Respect,’ ” Auriemma said. “I thought that was kind of dumb. Sue Bird has won two gold medals, two WNBA championships, a million championships in Europe, world championships for the U.S., and a couple of national championships with Connecticut.

“If they don’t respect her by now, then screw them.”

From Voice of America: US Olympic Women’s Basketball Team Dominating in London (and prepping for Australia)

From somewhere not in London, Mechelle writes: Aussies face tough semifinal task

Short of somehow being able to protect Penny Taylor from an ACL injury earlier this year, Australian star Lauren Jackson has done everything she can to try to win Olympic basketball gold.

Rebecca Lobo’s hubby, Steve Rushin, writes for SI:Finding a long forgotten gold medal and getting chills all over again

But the kids’ Olympic spirit was most evident when they were racing down the upstairs hallway, or racing scooters down the driveway, or fighting to be first in the car — their usual taunts of, “I won, you lost” replaced by Olympian taunts of, “I won gold, you won silver.”

“Where’s your gold medal?” our 5-year-old daughter asked her mother after one of these races.

“In a bank,” she replied. And then, after a pause: “At least I think it is.”

The kids had never seen her gold medal, I’d never seen her gold medal, and my wife, Rebecca Lobo, hadn’t seen her own gold medal in 16 years, since a few days after she’d won it in Atlanta. Now, she wondered if it really was still in that safe deposit box, for which she hadn’t seen a bill in ages. What if the bank lost her forwarding address, and auctioned off the box, perhaps to one of the guys on Storage Wars? (I pictured Barry Weiss holding it in those skeleton-gloved hands of his.)

Also at SI, Kelli Anderson writes: U.S. must take down Aussies before playing for fifth straight gold medal

The NY Times finds some space for the women’s team: U.S. Coach Keeps Talking, and His Team Keeps Winning
The United States women’s basketball team battered another overmatched opponent Tuesday. Afterward, Geno Auriemma talked the way only Geno Auriemma can.
He described his coaching style in these Olympics as “more British,” and by that he meant calmer, more understated. He called the T-shirt someone left in his room recently, the one with the “Road to Respect” slogan, “kind of dumb.”
Doug previews tomorrow’s Aussie/US game: US-Australia women hoop teams square off in semis

Even though they have had their way with Australia, the Americans are wary of what’s at stake.

“I think the semifinal game for whatever reason is sometimes harder,” U.S. point guard Sue Bird said. “They’ve been even more competitive than some of our gold medal games. This point the four teams left are very good teams. It’s no surprise that these four teams are in this situation. Everyone’s trying to get the chance to win a gold medal.”

Make sure you get out of work on time or take a late, long lunch: game’s at 5:12EST – NOTE: Or does ET mean English Time? Looks like it: ESPN has the game listed as NOON EST. I know when I’m takin’ lunch!

At Full Court, Clay has his preview: Can Australia finally beat Team USA? It could happen and adds, for the 9pmEST game, No tanking this time — Russia and France are playing for a shot at gold.

From Lee: Russia squeaked out a win over Turkey

“It was our goal not to match up with the USA in the quarterfinal or semifinal. We have done our best in the group stages to make sure we didn’t match up with them early. It makes it easier but it’s going to be a battle regardless of who we face. I don’t know which one [the United States or its semifinal opponent Australia] I would choose,” said Russia’s Anna Petrakova.

And, it’s official: Lauren Jackson becomes all-time women’s Olympic high scorer as Australia wears down China to advance

So often the focus is on the stars, but even though Liz Cambage (Tulsa Shock) scored a game-high 17 points for Australia, the reason the Opals beat China, 75-60, in the quarterfinals of the London 2012 Olympic competition in women’s basketball today wasn’t the 6-8 20-year-old sensation, nor even the all-around play or record-breaking scoring of superstar Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm). The real reason for the win was the depth of Australian roster.

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engine, it’s clear this team will be cookin’ with gas – ’cause the “second” team is rockin’ the house.

It’s likely “Las Segundas”  will eventually have their own struggles, and that the Bird-Parker (ooo, Jazz!) – Taurasi- Charles (uniform malfunction aside) and the (still hobbled)-Fowles quintet will find their rhythm, but whoever they put on the court, the US is a damn tough out. There’s just no drop off. Writes Doug: Depth leads U.S. women’s basketball team past Turkey

Coming off the bench is a new role for McCoughtry, who has started for almost her entire career since high school. It’s a role she thrives in.

“Honestly not starting has been the best thing for my career,” she said. “I’ve gained discipline and I think before I didn’t have the discipline. This took my game to another level.”

From USA Basketball: USA Women Remain Unbeaten With 89-58 Rout of Turkey the box and extra quotes.

The Baltimore Brew is proud: Another Baltimore Olympian to cheer for: Angel McCoughtry – A member of the 2012 U.S. women’s basketball team, she honed her skills at a city rec center

The other games: The Czech Republic, the US’s next opponent, finally got a win, taking down Croatia 89-70. Check out Lee’s discussion of why

with 1.6 seconds left in the game, the score stood at 89-70 in favor of the Czechs, when Croatia’s Anna Lelas turned the ball over on a traveling violation. But instead of simply inbounding and allowing time to expire, Czech coach Lubor Blazek called time out, and the television cameras that are ubiquitous in Olympic arenas showed him in the huddle drawing up a final play.

China downed Angola, 76-52.

It certainly ain’t pretty — and I’ve got to believe some Aussie fans are pulling out their hair, even if LJ is amongst the scoringest (all hail Janeth) — but the Opals managed to dispatch Brazil, 67-61. As for Brazilian fans? Something’s got to change…

Similar score — and the Brits must be so proud, even in their lossRussia 67, UK 61.

France squeaked by Canada, 64-60.

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Penny Taylor is interviewed

Loz helps Liz handle The shock of the new

AW: Are you looking forward to playing each other?

LC: I can’t wait to play against the big LJ, drop another 40 on me. Woohoo!

LJ: It’s not going to happen, it’s different in America. Defence is so important over there. Coaches really play to stop the main players. It won’t be one-on-one against anybody. You’re going to have five people against you and strategies to try to limit you. You’ve just got to relax and not be afraid. That might be one thing that holds you back. You’ve got the world at your feet and there is not one woman in that league who is as strong as you. I can guarantee you that right now.

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Jackson to put Olympics ahead of WNBA

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Flood Crisis in Australia Hits Close to Home for Indy’s Tully Bevilaqua

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