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(thank you Graham!), so it’s cool when Nate pays attention: Making sense of mid-major WNBA draft prospects’ statistics: How can we project success?

So, our list of consensus 2013 WNBA Draft prospects should’ve been posted months ago, probably in October some time.

But, among other things in life, I got obsessed with sidetracked by the challenge of figuring out what to do with mid-major statistics, due in part to two players that our statistical indicators might have overvalued last season, based on the outcomes: VCU’s Courtney Hurt and Wisconsin – Green Bay’s Julie Wojta.

Hurt’s challenge to make the WNBA as an undersized forward have already been documented here, but to summarize offensive rebounding percentage transfers from NCAA D-I basketball better than any statistic and she was so dominant at VCU that it seemed as though she could find a way to contribute to a WNBA roster. Alas, she was drafted by the Indiana Fever in the third round of the 2012 draft and failed to last past the first week of training camp.

Oofta: Looks like coaches now how to prepare for Sam Houston the second time around. Oral Roberts took advantage and stomped all over them, 90-40.

I take this as a good sign: mom and I are going birding this weekend and, while we won’t see any penguins, we might see some puffins. The sign? Youngstown State wins again, and is now 7-3 in the Horizon. And yes, I know Green Bay is still undefeated.

Yes, I will say IUPUI has a ways to go, but they’re on the road to recovery. Got themselves a huge win over the Jackrabbits, 70-67. They’d beaten South Dakota State for the first time in program history back in January.

Maybe a hot seat is inspiring? Kellie’s Wolfpack took down #19 Florida State, 76-69.

Yah, they were down, but Liberty has re-established itself as the team to beat in the Big South.

This time the “I” stood for “consistent,” and #24 Iowa State swept the season series with #22 Oklahoma, 72-68.

It ain’t easy being a Cavalier. Virginia got beaten by Boston College courtesy of 21pts (7 3-pts) from senior Kerri Shields.

Hawkins took her frustration out on hapless Clemson.

Penn State needed every on of Maggie’s 21pts. #8 Lions defeat Iowa, 81-69.

Pretty huge win for Marshall, as the Thundering herd got their C-USA victory over perennial powerhouse UTEP.

It’s kind of game that gives coaches and fans heartburn: Dawn’s team had a nice sized lead on Kentucky, then Mitchell’s team clawed back and escaped with the win.

Wichita State recovered nicely from the shock they got from Bradley. They move to 11-1 in the MVC.

Northern Colorado kept pace with Montana in the Big Sky. It’s been a tough three weeks for Tricia’s Montana State.

Texas A&M says, “We’re enjoying the SEC, thankyouverymuch.” With their win over Florida, they move in to a tie for first place. Their co-leader? The Vols, who they meet in the last game of the regular season. Which is why you may want to read  Mike Siroky’s SEC Report: Wide Open SEC Race Thunders Into The Home Stretch

Gonzaga is showing the WCC who’s the boss and get a little payback.

Seattle U’s making noise, and Jayda’s listening.

Utah State kept atop the WAC with what looked to have been a fun game: 2OTs, 31 pts from a Denver freshman, and a last second three  by Deven Christensen (now the Aggies’ all-time leading scorer) gives them the 92-89 win.

Griner is tall. Donovan is tall. Let’s talk about that, says John Altavilla:

Do you ever put yourself in Brittney Griner’s place, remember what it was like when you were her age?

“When I look at Brittney, I often think of what my life was like when I was her age. What I think is how comfortable she looks in her skin. That was not me when I was her age, certainly not when I was 18 or 19. I finally embraced my height when I was 20, but off the court I was a very shy and introverted kid. Brittney is not like that. She appears to be so very outgoing. You can see the shyness is some respects, but in general she appears very comfortable with who she is. I admire that about her.”

Oh, apparently the gentlemen are playing an exhibition game: A look at the four WNBA stars participating in the NBA’s All-Star Weekend (considering there will be no defense, methinks Maya will kick butt).

Speaking of the WNBA, and interesting study: ACL surgery may not shorten WNBA career

Still doesn’t mean we don’t need some serious, women-specific research on the injury. Consider Bob Corwin’s piece at Full Court: Carolyn Davis battles back from a devastating injury

Sad news from Lady Swish: ODU volunteer assistant Sara Jones passes away

Old Dominion volunteer assistant coach Sara Jones lost her heroic battle with cancer Friday at 7:57 a.m. She was 40 years old.

Jones had overcome multiple bouts with the disease and become an inspirational presence at practices and games the past two seasons for Lady Monarchs coach and long-time friend Karen Barefoot, who described Jones as “her hero.”

Old Dominion will release a full story with quotes from Barefoot later today. LadySwish will share some thoughts as well. On Sunday at 2 p.m., the Lady Monarchs will host Northeastern in the 11th annual Hoops for the Cure game to raise cancer awareness.

I mutter a lot about homophobia, bias and sexism on the blog. Kate Fagan adds to the conversation: Recent events expose sexism in sports culture

I’ve been thinking about that interaction a lot lately, my memory triggered by a slew of recent events that expose, to varying degrees, the unrelenting sexism that exists in our sports culture. Sometimes it’s blatant; more often than not it’s subtle, a never-ending reassertion of power intended to keep men in control and women on guard.

Consider the words of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who was ejected from a game on Feb. 5 for telling a referee to stop “acting like a f—ing female.”

It’s hard to say what’s more disconcerting: the casual contempt in Cousins’ words or the fact that most writers chose to ignore it, focusing instead on his use of the F-bomb (that is, his cursing) and his reputation for questionable on-court behavior, which has led to 11 technical fouls this season.

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“What are you talking about, Ethel?”

“Reverse psychology.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yes. Reverse psychology. You bad mouth the Liberty and they get cranky and then they play better and then they win.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Ethel.”

“Oh, don’t you play Mr. Innocent with me. I see right through you.”

“Hmmmm… sound like you been dousing yourself with some of that Vitameatavegamin Lucy’s been hawking.”

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where the 2012 Dive for Griner Invitational is being held. And Fred, early on in the season, it’s hard not to believe the Liberty aren’t in the driver’s seat.”

“I’m tempted to agree with you, Ethel. Clearly, the off-season plans of standing pat – that is, getting older and wider — combined with the brilliance of drafting a player who was all but guaranteed to keep the bench warm… well, it’s all paying off the expected dividends.”

“True, Fred, but could we have anticipated this level of success at the Dive? I mean, the Lib have managed to lose their last four games by double digits. That takes some doing.”

“Well, Ethel, it’s hard to measure the impact of actions long term, but some might look to the acquisition of Cappie as the beginning of it all. You add one gunslinger who wants to do it all — unless, of course, it interferes with her off court interests — and you have the seeds for success. I will say, though, that it was a touch of brilliance to bring in Plenette. Someone with heart and drive provides great cover for the rest of the team. I also think the “white line defense” is a great smoke screen — it reminds folks of the Libs glory years when scoring was, well, a challenge, and defense was the engine that could. Nostalgia is a great cover.”

“All right, for all of the apparent success of their quest for the Dive, isn’t there a slight danger of succeeding too much? I mean, what about the fans? I can all but hear myself breathe in the arena”

“I know what you’re hinting at Ethel, but you’re missing the ultimate brilliance of the Dive — do it out of sight and mind. No fans means no coverage. No coverage means no fans. If a team falls in Newark, and no one is there to see it, did it really happen? Besides, everything I’ve seen in my years of covering the Liberty have convinced me they have something fabulous in the hopper. They win the DGI, and suddenly a team will appear to surround her.”

“Unless, of course, someone beats them with their ping pong balls.”

“Tulsa? Don’t make me laugh. They actually have a coach and some players. Phoenix? They could get Taurasi back — same with Seattle and LJ. No, no, the only true threat I see is Washington. Why? I think they’ve ripped a few pages out of the Lib’s playbook and are trying to steal the IDG in their own mystical way. Don’t be surprised if they announce plans to renovate their arena.”

“All right, then, there you have it folks. Now let’s turn our attention to today’s game. What should we expect to see, Fred?”

“If the pattern holds, Cappie taking a ton of shots — and missing a lot. Several tall players wearing Liberty uniforms lagging behind the play and, if yesterday was any example, a white line defense waving the flag of surrender. It’s all just part of the plan.”

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#6 Duke by 40 over (soon to be no longer ranked?) North Carolina.

#1 Baylor by 27 over Oklahoma.

#11 Ohio State by 14 over Wisconsin (Prahalis with 34).

It was a little tighter between #10 Maryland and #22 Georgia Tech, but the Terps came out on top by 8.

It was a little more interesting amongst some of the top unranked:

The Rattlers got all they could handle from North Carolina A&T (10-13, 5-5 MEAC), but pulled out the 5-point win to remain unbeaten in conference play.

Davidson also got a tussle from Georgia South (7-16, 3-11 Southern), but prevailed, 69-62.

In a battle of Big South Big Dogs, it was Liberty (15-7, 9-1) over High Point (14-8, 9-2), 73-65.

Appalachian State (18-3, 12-1 Southern) held off Charleston (6-18, 5-10), 50-41.

It wasn’t a cakewalk, but Eastern Illinois’ win over Eastern Kentucky took their OVC record to 11-0.

The Mocs were not so lucky: Furman (12-11, 8-6 Southern) took down Chattanooga (16-7, 11-3), 75-61.

Quinnipiac (17-6, 9-3 NEC) got upset by Fairleigh Dickinson (11-13, 6-6), 74-65.

Nice win for first year coach Palmateer, as Monmouth (13-10, 8-4 NEC) stomped Sacred Heart (17-6, 10-2), 70-50.

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has some WNIT thoughts: ODU, Liberty in WNIT: Who wants to play?

Because it’s not clear where the players’ heads are – and also due to the short preparation time teams have for opponents they often know little about – home teams have historically had an even greater-than-normal edge in WNIT games. Doesn’t mean Liberty can’t win at Charlotte tonight, and it doesn’t guarantee Old Dominion will take down Loyola (Md.). But in the WNIT in particular, there really is no place like home.

For Central Michigan, their WNIT game against Illinois State on Thursday will be their first postseason bid since 1984.

Other teams playing:

Florida: Tickets for UF Women’s Basketball WNIT First Round Game on Sale

Arizona: For Cats, win in WNIT might mean trip back home

Nevada: Pack takes to road for WNIT opener

Yale: Women’s basketball to face BC in WNIT first round

Oklahoma State: Cowgirls to host Pepperdine in WNIT

Check out the rest of the schedule.

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From Mel

New Chatter On NY Coaching-GM Vacancies

The clues from the Guru’s source indicated the potential candidate is someone who had been a head coach in the WNBA, is out of the league now, but would get both jobs and has experience in the dual positions.

While Mel is talking about a gentleman with the initials RR, his criteria fits the rumors that flew through the Rock like wildfire – JB (rah!) or JW (Oh, please no!).

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