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A nice crowd made their way out to the Rock to see the Lib take on Minnesota.Too bad only Plenette Pierson showed up.

Moore (I guess the pre-game notes didn’t mention her ability to drain the three) and Augustus were silky smooth and Cappie was 0-9. (If she IS gimpy, Whiz playing her 35 minutes makes no sense.)

“I’m sorry for our performance,” New York Liberty coach John Whisenant said. “We didn’t come out prepared with the energy required to beat this team. We kind of stirred them up beating them over there and we just didn’t play well.”

Makes you wonder, coach, doesn’t it? You’re fighting for playoff position and your opponent has clinched home court and your team doesn’t show. Perhaps it’s because Whalen has faith in Lynx coach.

“You play hard when you are out there, that’s all you can do,” Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen said, asked how the starters will deal with less minutes they are expected to get the rest of the regular season. “You follow the game plan. You do what coach wants you to do.

“Coach will figure it out. She has guided us to the best record in the league. She is a great coach. She will put us in the right situations. We will trust in that. While we are out there, while we are in practice, we know we have to get ready for playoffs. We know we all have worked really hard this season to make it a special season.”

The Dream’s nightmare start is far behind them, and with a win over the Shock, they are in a virtual tie with the Lib for the third playoff spot in the East.

“We felt like if we could get this win we could take a deep breath,” Dream coach Marynell Meadors said.

The less said about the Mystics 48pt performance against the Sun the better. As for Connecticut, you may argue Syl’s the better center, but it’s Charles who’s one double-double short of tying her record of last year… and on her way to the playoffs (Indy took down Chicago).

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of the move to Newark: Two Liberty players in minor accident

Liberty assistant coaches Monique Ambers and Lady Grooms were also involved in a separate traffic accident en route to the Newark arena.

“I’m concerned,” head coach John Whisenant said. “I think we’ve got the greatest organization in the world behind us. So I think if there’s a solution to it, we’ll find it. We obviously didn’t do it properly today, but I think there’s got to be a bus or a van as a group that we can (take to) get here alright.”

The Liberty are slated to play three seasons at the Prudential Center while Madison Square Garden undergoes a series of renovations. Their training facility is in White Plains, N.Y., which makes for a very long commute.

Accidents not withstanding, the Lib continued their 0-for streak at home, losing the rematch with the Dream+Angel.

Speaking of 0-for (yes, the Shock lost again. And congrats, Katie.) I don’t know if there’s a “FireNolan.com” yet, but you’ve got to wonder if it’s imminent. From Mechelle (what a perfect photo on the espn front page, no?): Future bleak for Tulsa Shock

This quote from Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson, given to the Tulsa World’s Kelly Hines last week, cracked me up with its repetitive inanity — while at the same time made me feel sorry for everybody involved with the Shock, including Richardson.

“I think it’s important that someone steps up,” he said. “Not only someone steps up, but some of the other players that we were counting on not as much have an opportunity to step up. So you’ve got your bench having to step up and players on the floor stepping up.”

OK, so I’m going to step up here and say it’s not just that the Shock aren’t a good team. They appear to have no hope of being a good team. They have little hope of even being a mediocre team.

Speaking of Mechelle, did you notice she moved her personal blog? It’s here now. Visit, and you can read “Why Ford, Nolan, and McCarville” are taking the summer off. Oh, and this piece: Sometimes, we find we’re closer than we think, is sneak-up-on-you-moving.

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From Mechelle: Questions abound for 15th season – Lynx-Sparks tip off WNBA season Friday, followed by four games Saturday

Question: Will the Liberty under new coach John Whisenant end up being a hot mess?

Magic 8 Ball: “Ask again later.”

It seems our oracle orb is essentially tabling this question out of some respect for the 2005 WNBA title that Whisenant won in Sacramento, and the ability of New York guard Cappie Pondexter. But Liberty fans must be feeling a good deal of anxiety, which is not, unfortunately, new for them.

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Writes Mechelle: Most picks made sense

Former Sacramento coach/GM John Whisenant took over in the Big Apple, and he needed a true post player. He didn’t get that with the No. 10 pick, instead going with 6-1 wing Alex Montgomery of Georgia Tech, the only player chosen in the first round who wasn’t present at the draft. Credit Whisenant for his 2005 WNBA title, but in Sacramento, he had a somewhat inexplicable attachment to tweeners who didn’t shoot well from behind the arc. Montgomery, though, made 237 3-pointers in her Yellow Jackets career. But the Liberty also got, via draft-day trades, North Carolina post player Jessica Breland and Texas A&M guard Sydney Colson. All three of those players are good defenders and could help the Liberty, and in the end, Whisenant got what he wanted from this draft.

Yah, but did Lib fans?

More from ESPN on the draft:

Mechelle: As expected, Lynx pick Moore at No. 1 – UConn senior is fourth Huskies player to be selected with the first overall pick

There wasn’t much suspense for Maya Moore, which is pretty much how she likes it. She likes to be a couple of steps ahead, always appearing unsurprised.

When Minnesota made her the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft Monday afternoon, it was as everyone has been expecting for … well, years now. The three-time Wade Trophy winner has been the top player in the Class of 2011 since she started her college career at Connecticut.

Mechelle again: No Shock: Draft day good for Tulsa

There are times when Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson says things that make a lot of sense. Such as that No. 2 WNBA draft pick Liz Cambage is an instant game-changer for the Shock and that No. 7 selection Kayla Pedersen is a Larry Bird-type who does everything well.

But then he also says goofy things, such as that women don’t really play pickup basketball, which was why so many players seemed to struggle with his system in Tulsa last year.

Kaitee Daley writes: Separate paths await two Musketeers

More video

SPORTSNATION asks for your input

Other outlets respond:

From NPR/Minnesota: Is this the year the Minnesota Lynx become a winning team?

From the Washington Post: Washington Mystics trade Lindsey Harding, acquire Ta’Shia Phillips and Kelly Miller

From Swish Appeal: Lindsey Harding Gets Her Trade To The Atlanta Dream: How Did The Washington Mystics Fare?

From the San Francisco Chronicle: Stanford’s Pedersen, Pohlen taken in WNBA draft

From the San Antonio Express-News: Silver Stars land Texas A&M, Oklahoma standouts

From North by Northwestern: Northwestern center Amy Jaeschke drafted to WNBA’s Chicago Sky

From the Los Angeles Times: Sparks select Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender in draft

From the Seattle Times: Storm selects Duke guard Jasmine Thomas in WNBA draft, might make trade for Katie Smith

From the Connecticut Sun: Robinson makes WNBA history as first full-blooded Native American to be drafted

From the Colorado Daily: CU’s Brittany Spears drafted by WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury

From UCSB’s Daily Nexus: Valentine Drafted to WNBA – Senior Forward Taken In Third Round By New York Liberty

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A week or so ago, new Lib coach Whiz did a Q & A with the .com.

Seems Mechelle is catching up and going, whoa. Is Whiz not a numbers whiz?

Or did he just have a “convenient” memory lapse? Did he intentionally fudge on some records, figuring no one would recognize that?

In a recent WNBA.com Q and A, the New York Liberty’s new coach/general manager John Whisenant discussed various topics, including the final season of the Sacramento Monarchs.

Whisenant has his new opportunity in the Big Apple and a superstar player in Cappie Pondexter; life seems pretty good for him. So it’s hard to understand why he would feel the need to distort anything that happened at Sacramento.

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From Wisconsin News

via NYC’s AP reporter, Vin Cherwoo, John Whisenant settling in as coach, GM of Liberty

The former coach and GM of the Sacramento Monarchs lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and has made several trips to New York, spending four or five days at a time here.

“I’m happy to get my feet on the ground and get to know all the people in the Madison Square Garden operation,” Whisenant said while watching a recent New York Knicks game at the Garden. “I’m getting to where I recognize (some people).”

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Chat (archive) alert!

Coach Whiz dropped by for 17 minutes of fluff.

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this email — I have no idea why you didn’t (I didn’t), but here it is:

Dear (season subscriber that has already re-upped),

Please accept this letter as an official invitation for you and a guest to join me in a suite at the Prudential Center on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7:00pm as the NJ Nets take on the Charlotte Bobcats. I would like to take this opportunity to get to know some of our fans, and you are one of them. Please note, however, that strings are attached! It will be my goal to get you so excited about this team that you will choose to become part of our 2011 Liberty Season Subscriber family by the end of the evening.

I am so happy that my family and I are now part of the “Liberty Family.” Our team plays the game with great passion and enthusiasm, and as the former coach of the Sacramento Monarchs, I’ve always loved the atmosphere of a Liberty crowd. As we move to “The Rock” in Newark, our team is excited to keep all of the old Garden traditions while creating new ones with you in a brand new environment.

Under the leadership of Rutgers alumnus Cappie Pondexter, I can promise you that some of the new “traditions” will be an attacking offense, hard-nosed defense and a lot of turnovers by the opposing team!

So, please be my guest on Wednesday the 3rd at the Prudential Center to learn more about each other, the new state-of-the-art building, and how you can become a part of the 2011 season. Space is limited, so please RSVP today to Jaime Sparling (Jaime.Sparling@thegarden.com or 212-465-3901).

Thanks for your support and see you at The Rock!

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From Clay at SlamOnline: Loss of Liberty – Why we all need to root for the Liberty.

So the worst-case scenario is that the Liberty plays a dull, if marginally effective, style, in their new home in front of small crowds that lack the passion of the ones at Madison Square Garden. The team loses money, Dolan loses patience and conceivably New York no longer has a WNBA team.

Of course, the best-case scenario is that Whisenant wins a bunch of games, Pondexter scores a bunch of points, old fans make the trek to New Jersey, new fans flock to the games, and the Liberty emerge from their three-year exile stronger than when they left.

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John Whisenant returns in dual role

“To me there’s not a greater honor than to be selected by that organization to take their team forward,” Whisenant said in the teleconference. “My good friend and former boss at Sacramento, Joe Maloof, told me, ‘That’s the best job in women’s basketball.'”

Whew. OK, how about that for a surreal moment: Whisenant bringing up Joe Maloof, who with brother Gavin broke the hearts of every Sacramento WNBA fan by pulling the plug on the Monarchs last year when the Maloof empire started feeling a financial pinch.

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In the air:

On today’s Dishin & Swishin:

Indiana Fever fans can review the past season and look forward to next season during my conversation with the always entertaining head coach Lin Dunn

Mel Greenberg and I talked last night about the changes in Libertyland, with the Whiz coming on board and the NJ seat selection event, and what it all means

Xavier may be the top mid-major in the country, with two potential lottery draft picks. Find out how and why they are this good, and how they address comments and concerns about their program, with assistant coach Mike Neighbors.

Today, after 1 pm it will all be posted on www.wstrradio.com

Online is mostly press release stuff. We’ll probably have to wait until the official news conference/phone conference to get any real feedback/reflection.
Ailene Voisin at the Sacbee: Whisenant back in business (basketball)

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