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The .com offers an article and video interviews with the gold medal winners.

Someone from the Tennessean has: Ex-Lady Vol Parker helps U.S. women breeze to gold

From Women’s Basketball in France: London Olympic Basketball – USA take basketball to a new level

On the “impact” of these games: Women have shone in London, but glow won’t carry over beyond the Games

The women of America are winning. The women of America are fabulous. The women of America are seizing the Olympics by the throat, causing millions of television viewers to fall in love with their athletic prowess.

And with good cause. As of Saturday night, 67 percent of the United States’ gold medals here at London 2012 have been claimed by females.

So why is it, when the Games conclude Sunday night, all of that love will mysteriously vanish?

That is no wild prediction. That is a near certainty, based on history.

 

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(if we ignore the first few minutes of  “basketball as a hot mess” and the “oh, sh*t, what’s up with Big Syl’s foot” thoughts.)

From USA Basketball: USA Women Overpower Angola For 90-38 Victory – Establishing a new USA record for blocked shots with 4, Candace Parker also added team highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win

“I think that Coach and the team is looking for me being confident and playing with intensity,” Parker said. “I think that’s my biggest thing is sometimes I get in my own head. I think tonight, he just gave me two things to do: just rebound and run the ball. We’re going to play defense but I tried to focus on that and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”

From Doug: Parker leads Americans in rout of Angola

From Kevin McCauley: Candace Parker Impressive In 90-38 USA Win

Chris Stephens at the Bleacher Report has USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team: How US Is Faring Early on

One thing that is still a concern for the U.S. is their outside shooting (men havin’ issues, too). Against Angola, they were 2-for-17 from behind the arc.

That shows me that when the team was selected, they didn’t pick pure three-point shooters (WHB: Except for Diana). It also shows that there is still a lack of ball movement as players are jacking up three-pointers even when it’s obvious they’re not falling. (Wait, don’t shooters keep shooting? ‘sides, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”)

On the subject of ball movement, it was a lot better against Angola.

For those looking for some basketball excitement, the other games had plenty. Check out Snelly’s shot in this video from the Australia/France game. More here from Dan Devine. Attention grabbing shot aside, the French women still managed to stun Australia, 74-70.

“It’s a big win because no other team than the Americans has beaten Australia since I don’t know how long, 1996?” said Emilie Gomis, who scored all 22 of her points after halftime. “But this win gives us nothing right now. Tomorrow is another day, all the teams are tough to play and we are not going to take off now.”

LJ and Liz need to learn to keep their temper and not foul out.

The Izzy-less Brazilians had the Russians on the ropes, but then lost steam in the fourth, eventually falling 69-59. (Scroll down for a nice shot of Becky Hammon and her teammates)

“Playin’ Possum?” China demolished Croatia, 83-58.

In a battle of WHB favorites, Courtnay scored 11, Jo scored -15, but it w as Shona’s 18 that helped Canada to a 73-65 win over Great Britain. Quote of the day: “I’m not pissy because we lost. I’m that way naturally.”

Speaking of “hot mess,” what is up with the 21-turnover Czechs? Congrats to the Turskish team — 61-57 winners.

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Inside the Rings: A Giant Leap for Women, but Hurdles Remain

During Friday’s opening ceremony, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, drew loud and sustained applause when he said: “For the first time in Olympic history, all the participating teams will have female athletes. This is a major boost for gender equality.”

It is true that women have come light-years from the first modern Games, held in Athens in 1896, when their presence was welcomed only as spectators. Women, too, have made significant gains even since the Atlanta Games in 1996, when 26 nations did not send female athletes.

Yet the fight for true equality is far from being won.

Something Jere’ doesn’t mention is coverage. Apparently David Stern asked the Times folks if they were going to cover the women.

I don’t believe he got an answer.

So, I don’t mind repeating myself: In case you’re inspired to do something about the missing coverage, twitter is, you know, very public. Since I can’t pick on EVERY news outlet, I’ll pick on my local NYTimes folks. Maybe the hashtag could be NYTimesOlympicFail?

@LondonLive: Continuous coverage of the #London2012 Olympics by New York Times reporters and editors.

@LondonLive: Hey, LondonLive Was wondering if you knew the US had a women’s national team in basketball. They’re pretty good, what with them going for their 5th gold. What do they need to do to get coverage?

@nytbishop: New York Times general assignment sports reporter.

@nytbishop: Hey Greg. Impressed with the number of words you’re writing about the men’s national team. Is there a rule new at the Times that you can’t write about the women? Just wondering.

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney: I write basketball things at basketball places. The New York Times. ESPN TrueHoop Network. NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.

@RobMahoney: Hey Rob. I see you write “basketball things at basketball places.” Did you know that there are some basketball things happening that include women? Might want to check them out. They’re called the US National Team

About the basketball (which is on-going and very interesting!) The US plays Angola today. Viewing info from RebKell:

5:15 PM ET
TV: NBC Specialty Channel – Basketball

Online video for cable subscribers:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/video-watch.html?video=womens-group-a-angola-vs-united-states

Alternate online video:
http://www.thefirstrow.eu/watch/132945/1/watch-olympic:-angola-vs-united-states,-womens.html

Preview/Boxscore:
http://london2012.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/12/olym/p/eid/6232/gid/15/grid/A/rid/9087/sid/6233/game.html

Live stats:
http://london2012.fiba.com/extSTATIC/fiba-live/?event=6233 (scroll down to game #15)

 

Learn a little about the Angolan team at Full Court. In case you missed Lee’s July 19th preview: London 2012: Angola — Just happy to be there

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looking at the other scores, no team was particularly awe-inspiring yesterday.

Let’s just say “Oi, Canada!” (Or, perhaps we should be listening to Becky saying “Nyet to this losing stuff.”

China surprised the Czechs (and many others). Adds Clay: China, France surprise on an interesting first day in London

If day one is any indication, women’s basketball in the 2012 Olympics will be a great show.

About the only game that went as expected was Australia vs. overmatched Great Britain, but otherwise, from Croatia hanging with the U.S. for 30 minutes to Canada exposing Russia to China and France pulling upsets, it was a day for the unexpected – and a great appetizer for what looks like it will be a very entertaining two weeks of basketball.

On the US side, feel free to let the final score fool ya — especially if you took my advice and threw away the first three quarters. Perhaps neither the coaches OR the players should have attended the Opening Ceremonies? <g> Actually, it’s always rather graceless not to give the other team credit for your peckish performance. Says Lee: Croatia makes Team USA work in Olympic opener

From the USA Basketball quote page (no, I wouldn’t mind if this was a running theme):

Do you feel like USA Women’s Basketball is underappreciated for all these streaks and all these records?   Why do you think this team isn’t more popular?  Women’s soccer seems to get more attention.

Auriemma: I have my theories.  I think when you live in the United States and you’re a great women’s basketball player or you’re a great women’s basketball team, you happen to live in a country where the best basketball players in the world live on the men’s team and the best basketball team in the world lives.  You’re always going to be compared to that team or those players and you’re always going to come up short.  That’s just the nature of the game.  Women’s basketball is the most popular team sport in America.  And you’re right, the soccer gets a lot of attention:  once every four years.   During the regular season, during all the other times, women’s basketball gets just about all the attention from any women’s team sport in America.   But when it comes time for the Olympics, it’s like ‘yeah, they’re gonna win.’   That’s unfortunate.  It’s unfair to these players and those that came before them.   I don’t know that there is anything we can do that except just play but it is like UConn.   The only story that’s going to come out of these Olympics is if we lose and then that’ll be a big story.  Then, the U.S. women will be very, very popular all over the world.

Was amused by this turn of phrase in a Yahoo! story:

The decorated ensemble constituting the 2012 USA women’s basketball team have their sights set on extending that streak of Olympic glory to five in London, impressively unencumbered by the suffocating pressure (WHB: or actual media coverage) typically attached to such an ambitious endeavor.

SPOILER ALERT: BTW – congrats to Kimberly Rhode who, in a dazzling performance, became  the first U.S athlete in an individual sport to win five medals in five consecutive Olympics.

You know what would be a cool sidebar to the story? Teresa Edwards, who is currently serving as Chef de Mission. The four-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Edwards first put on a USA Basketball uniform at the age of 17 at the 1981 U.S. Olympic Festival and was a fixture on USA Basketball teams for nearly two decades. She won: gold in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000, and bronze in 1992.

From the News-Tribune’s TJ Cotterill: Nothing big about Bird except game

At London’s Olympic Park, Sue Bird doesn’t look much like a world-class athlete.

Bird – standing at a generous 5-foot-9, 150 pounds – could easily be taken for a spectator as she strolls past Olympic gargantuans such as New Zealand shot put athlete Valerie Adams; 350-pound Holley Mangold, the U.S weightlifter; or even U.S. tennis player Serena Williams and her powerful thighs.

“Some of these Olympians are just specimens and you just feel disgusting compared to them,” Bird said. “I was walking around and thinking ‘Dang, I need to put a sweatshirt on.’ ”

Michelle (no, not Mechelle) at the KC Star asks: If you don’t know Team USA women by now, will you ever? (And then promptly misspells Catch’s first name. Ooops.)

“We were joking about it, how all the other athletes were flocking to those guys,” Catchings said. “Everywhere they went, a trail of people followed. It doesn’t make us mad. We accept it. It was just kind of funny. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to be that famous. I like to be able to live a somewhat normal life, go to the movies, to eat, and be recognized here and there.”

But, a little more recognition for the U.S. women’s basketball dominance sure would be nice, she conceded.

“In due time, credit will be given,” Catchings said.

In a similar vein, from Mike Bresnahan at? for? the Baltimore Sun: McCoughtry leads fourth-quarter surge for U.S.
A handful of journalists were on hand to watch the U.S. women’s basketball team win its Olympic opener against Croatia. (I was willing to be the sixth finger, but the USOC said no thanks, we have too many folks covering women’s basketball.) It was an obvious contrast to the crammed news conference the previous day for the U.S. men’s team, where reporters scurried toward Kobe Bryant and LeBron James before packing into a dense semi-circle seven or eight people deep.
“This is more physical than our games,” Bryant quipped as media members pushed and shoved one another. “I’ve seen at least two flagrant fouls.” 

Not only is the women’s team up against Croatia, the Czech Republic, etc. There’s overwhelming competition from that other U.S. team.

Maybe its me, but as I’ve been watching all of the preview shows leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, I haven’t noticed much attention given to the USA women’s basketball team.

It’s been gymnastics this, swimming that. Track and field this, men’s basketball that.

Where is Geno? Where are Maya Moore or Tamika Catchings? Where is the news about a four-time defending gold medalist?

The Courant is time sharing Mike Bresnhan with the LA Times: Geno Auriemma Glad His U.S. Women’s Team Considered The Favorites

It might be the best-kept secret in England.

The U.S. women’s basketball team has won 33 consecutive games in the Olympics, not to mention the last four gold medals, and nobody will talk about it.

Back to the US team: Ex-Tennessee Lady Vols team up with former rival Geno Auriemma to chase gold – Ex-Lady Vols join Auriemma to chase gold (I dunno – seems to me once a Vol, always a Vol. There ain’t no “ex” about it)

They’re playing for Geno Auriemma.

That might have been unthinkable for Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker before Auriemma became Team USA coach in 2009, but they’re used to it — even having some fun with it, now that the former Tennessee greats and the fiery Connecticut coach are poised to win gold together.

Are Summitt and Auriemma different? Very, Parker said.

“You’ve just got to go through it,” Catchings said of Auriemma’s outspoken style. “Trust me on that.”

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here ’tis!

Hmmm… step father’s 80th BDay at 6:30, Gold medal at 4pm. The wireless better be workin’ or I’m going to be one cranky party goer. (Spitting and tossing salt over my shoulder to appease the basketball mojo gods….)

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we need to bother these folks.”

Ethel: Because it’s polite, Fred, to welcome new tenants. It will be painless — we’ll say hello, drop off the tuna casserole and…

Fred: Get back to prepping for the game on Saturday. Okay, but let’s make it quick. I’ve got to keep up with the Dougster…

Ethel: I know, he is so very industrious. Too bad that nice Mechelle isn’t around to keep him company. (rings doorbell)

Man and woman: (simultaneously shouting): Door!

Man: You get it.

Woman: You’re closer.

Man: Florence, get the damn door.

Florence: Mr. Jefferson, you told me to stay in the kitchen! And that’s where I’m going!

Mr. Jefferson: (Footsteps,  muttering) What’s the point of a maid if they don’t get the door. (Opens door) What!

Ethel: (a little taken aback): Oh. Well, hello! I’m Ethel, and this is my husband…

Fred: (mutters) Fred.

Ethel: And we wanted to welcome you to the building.

Mr. Jefferson: Uh, huh. Weezy! Company!

Louise (enters): Oh, hello there!

Ethel: Well, hello! I’m Ethel, and this is my husband…

Fred: (mutters) Fred.

Ethel: And we wanted to welcome you to the building. We brought this for you. (hands Louise the casserole)

Louise: Why thank you! That’s very kind of you.

George: Okay, enough chit, chat. I’ve got work to do. Here’s the tour: This here is the living area, where we does our living, and this is the dining area, where we does our dining, and this is the kitchen area…

Louise: Where we does our kitchening.

George: (gives her a look) And this is the tv room where we do our tv-ing.

Fred: Nice television.

George: Well, of course. Since I moved up, I decided to move up, if you know what I mean: HD. Can’t watch US v Croatia on a regular feed.

Ethel: You follow women’s basketball?

Louise: Of course we do. I played a little in my day. The game is so different. And they’re so good!

George: Yah, we were season subscribers to the Liberty, but then they moved out to Jersey. Jersey?! Who the hell goes out to Jersey to watch basketball?

Ethel & Fred: No one.

Fred: We’ve been there.

George: Don’t tell me you two honkies follow women’s basketball?

Ethel: Of course. (whispers to Louise) I beat Fred at H-O-R-S-E regularly. Maybe we can shoot a few?

Fred: (admiring the big screen tv) Sure do! Not sure if Croatia is the “Upset Special” Lee says they are, but can’t wait to see them in action.

George: Huh. Fans. Who’da guessed.

Louise: I tell you what — why don’t be both of you join us for the game. I’ll cook up something special.

Ethel: That would be lovely! I can’t wait to see if Geno keeps them switching or not…

George: (escorting them to the door) And if those posts don’t start poster-izing, I’m going to send them to the cleaners, if you know what I mean. Now scoot, I’ve got some prepping to do. And keep it quiet – or Bentley will pop out and start singing “Rule, Britannia!”

Louise: He’s so proud England’s hosting the games. Now, if only Jo can help the Brits win a game or three….

George: Then he’ll be more insufferable than usual!

Fred: See you Saturday at 11:30am for the :45 tip off!

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Diana Taurasi reflects on her road to London

Diana Taurasi knows it could have been all different.

Had her suspension for a banned substance in 2010 not been thrown out, odds are she would still be fighting it in court. Instead, she’s heading to London on Wednesday for her third Olympics with the U.S. women’s basketball team.

“That whole experience has helped me appreciate things more,” Taurasi said over breakfast Tuesday. “You wake up and whether it’s the Olympics, your parents, loved ones, friends or your family you learn how fragile everything is. We all kind of appreciate every little moment a little more. Sometimes it takes things like that to help you think that way.”

The Auriemma/Hardwick story isn’t over yet, so I’m not drawing any literal parallels, but you’ve got to wonder if Doug might be writing a similar story in six months or so.

A little somethin’ somethin’ on Diana’s friend and teammate, Sue: Bird simply loves playing in Seattle

 A long way from the Pacific Northwest, Sue Bird learned that one of the mainstays of Seattle sports was gone.

Ichiro Suzuki, who had been in Seattle since Bird arrived in 2002, was traded from the Mariners to the New York Yankees on Monday. That leaves Bird as the second-longest tenured athlete in the city behind Storm teammate Lauren Jackson.

“That’s pretty crazy, I never would have thought to check that out,” Bird said. “I actually really love that. I love that I’ve been in the same place, developed a relationship with the community and the fans and the ownership. It’s a place I want to be. I feel like they’re loyal to me and I’m loyal to them. It’s a very comfortable situation.”

Thank goodness Doug made the trip — ’cause, have you noticed? Mechelle seems to be missing.

Which made me want to take an unscientific look (serious study is THEIR job) at the coverage so far. Let’s take a look at the NYTimes Olympic/Basketball section: There are 15 links (two are basically repeats).

Three are devoted to the US women, all by the AP (don’t know if Doug did’em)

Complainant Headed to Games (87 words, by AP. Not about the team)

Atlanta Coach and Player Are Eager to Get to London (682 words by AP)

Americans Travel Great Distance for a Few Warm-Ups (615 words, by AP)

11 are devoted to men’s basketball, 10 the US men

U.S. Olympic Basketball Roster Is Versatile, but Not Tall (774 words, by NY Times employee Nate Taylor)

N.B.A. Title Adds to James’s Credibility as U.S. Team Leader (915 words by NY Times employee Nate Taylor)

Nigerian Men’s Basketball Team Makes Olympics (113 words, by AP)

Hanging Out With Olympians (part of NY Times’ Google+ hangout  –  with Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers)

Blake Griffin Off Olympic Team With Knee Injury (86 words, by AP)

U.S. Gets Past Brazil but Struggles Down Low ( 776 words, 40 devoted to the women’s game, by Adam Himmelsbach, NY Times employee)

U.S. Men’s Basketball Team Routs Britain in Exhibition (506 words, by Reuters)

An Eye-Opening International Education (1023 words, by Jake Appleman, NY Times employee)

Krzyzewski, at Scene of 1992 Victory, Harks Back More to 2008 (781 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

With One Tuneup Left, U.S. Has Biggest Test Yet (827 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

Only a Tuneup, but One the U.S. Takes Seriously (862 words, by Greg Bishop, NY Times employee)

Wouldn’t it be cool if every single NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA Division I, II etc. coach dropped a “6623 words v 1424 words? It doesn’t add up!” email to the NY Times Sports department? Sports@NYTimes.com

And no, we don’t have Tom Jolly to kick around anymore. Instead it’s Joe Sexton, who admonished Karen Crouse publicly for voicing her opposition to the Augusta National’s gender discrimination policy. Hmmmm… Illuminating, no?

You could also try:

Public Editor

Arthur Brisbane, our public editor, represents our readers. You can reach him by e-mail or by calling (212) 556‑7652.

Write to the Publisher or President

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is ESPN linking this piece by Doug (Where in the world is Mechelle?):”Fighting for respect

Do you?

Love the quote by Whalen… I mean Taurasi:

“I think it’s funny,” Taurasi said. “We’re a team that’s won four gold medals in a row and yet we’re still fighting for respect in our own country. I think it’s a little sad. That’s a heck of a motivator for all of us in the gym. Our level is so high, it becomes normal and even to the public it’s they should win the gold medal. If they don’t it’s a terrible year.”

Taurasi joked that they should get shirts made up with “road to respect” as the slogan modifying the 2008 men’s teams “road to redemption” motto.

One of coach Geno Auriemma’s goals in London is to get the women’s team the attention they feel they deserve.

“If we win another gold medal it’s not going to be a huge story,” he said. “I want to make it a huge story because the respect that Dee’s talking about that these kids deserve for having done what they’ve done and been able to do it the way they do it should be appreciated. Greatness should be appreciated and not taken for granted.

“People take us for granted.”

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the Official USA Basketball store doesn’t seem to have any women’s team gear, dontcha think?

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excuse as to why today’s ESPN announcers, Fran and Mark, couldn’t tell the difference between, say, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles and Candace Parker and Maya Moore. Help me decide, will ya?

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couldn’t.

Yes, it’s great that the President was in the house (though he missed the women’s game, he did speak with the team afterward), but it really sucked that the media folks didn’t give the press folks a “move your stuff” heads up. My bag, suitcase, computer and train ticket were held under close supervision by the Secret Service folks. Nice to know that they were secure — not so nice that I couldn’t retrieve them so I catch my 10pm train. So, a beer and lots of good conversation later, I joined the few, the proud, the early risers for the 3:15am train to New York. Good times!

As for the game, Auriemma put it best: “There were times we looked really, really good — and then there were times that we looked as if we’d only been together for two days.”

Plenty for the team to work on (hello, post play?), but I was really, really pleased for Whalen (though her opportunity came at a cost to Sue).

“​I think the fact that she’s able to play that role where she can come off the bench and do whatever you want her to do, whether it’s run the offense, score points, play defense, pressure people, she’s just a special kid to be around.  She’s in phenomenal shape, and I would think over the next month, she’s going to have a real big impact on our team.
 
​”You watch Lindsay play, and you don’t get a full appreciation for her until you’re around her closeup, with her in practice, and you see some of the things she does,” Auriemma added. “I always knew that she had the ability to get to the basket.  I always knew she was one of the toughest kids in the league.”

I was especially (and secretly) pleased at their display during the fourth quarter — ’cause the house was really full. Lots of highlights  – and, yes, one particularly silly comic relief moment.

“Angel’s knee is fine. Angel’s knee is fine. Her hands are fine. Her ankles are good. Her arms and shoulders are good. As you move up that ladder, things don’t become so good. That was the lamest attempt at a dunk I’ve ever seen in my life, and I embellish things a little bit, but I’m not embellishing things.

What Sylvia did was honorable. I’ve seen guys miss dunks, and Sylvia has been dunking her brains out in practice. What Sylvia did was an honorable attempt at trying to wake up the crowd.

What Angel did is bring comic relief to the crowd. So I guess they both have their place in the game.”

Favorite moment of the press conference: Whalen and Taurasi are leaving the press room as Auriemma is settling in. He says, “I don’t know what Lindsay and Sue said here…” and we hear Diana from down the hall, “AND STOP CALLING ME SUE!”

Hope there’s an ESPN3 replay to be seen, so I can hear if Cindy “she’s kinda scary” Brunson really called the women’s game “an appetizer” before the men’s game. Yes, it’s profoundly insulting, but honestly, didn’t you think the “appetizer” was a far better display of culinary expertise than the main course?

Looking forward to the Olympics: check out the broadcast schedule (and don’t forget that everything’s being streamed online by NBC).

There is some more basketball to play before London, though, and ESPN will have it: Tomorrow, July 18, v. Great Britain –  2:30 pm EDT (7:10 p.m. (BST)) on ESPN2 & ESPN3.

Right now the team is in Manchester, and there is no rest for the weary as the U.S. women took the court in preparation for the exhibition game.  Said Auriemma:

We played last night. We leave there at like one-thirty in the morning. We come right here. We got to get a little work out in, get their bodies moving a little bit, but time is getting away from us. We need time together. We need time on the floor. Nobody is feeling sorry for us, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been saying this for a while. I’ve been coaching this team for four years, and yesterday we didn’t have Sue, so that training camp in Seattle in May, the three days, was the only time I’ve had the team together in four years. So, we just need time. Even this little amount of time today, for like an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes is important to us. Tomorrow’s shoot-around, it’s not a shoot-around, it’s another practice. It’s another hour that we have together, that we have to get to know each other more. Every game, even the game against (Great Britain) is going to be 40 minutes of being together. It’s not even, hey did we win, did we lose? Of course we want to win, but we have to get some things done. We got to get to know each other a little bit. We just need time.

From Reuters (Mike, is that you?): U.S. Women’s Basketball Team Welcome Favorites Tag

“I’ve always thought that when people make you favorites, it’s for a reason,” he said. “It’s because they think you have the best team, and if you have the best team you shouldn’t worry about it, you just go out there and play.

“The bigger burden is when people say, ‘I don’t think you can win. I don’t think you’re good enough’. Then you have to go and surprise people. But I don’t want any surprises. I don’t like surprises.”

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a piece up on d’em wimmim playin’ in the ‘lympics!

Graham writes Whalen, Moore take different routes.

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“pressure.

Auriemma does take a little exception at the idea that he is under tremendous pressure as he looked at the place of basketball in the big scheme of things.

“I turn that around a lot of times and I will for this team too,” Auriemma said. “There are a lot of people out of work today so pressure is you try to pay your mortgage. When you have the best team and somebody says, ‘Go win the Olympic games,’ I don’t know that’s pressure, so I try to get them to understand what real pressure is. Real pressure is a single mom trying to raise three kids with $30,000 (a year in salary), that is pressure. You’re taking a charter over to England and staying at the best hotels and leaving whenever you want, 24 hours a day playing basketball, and saying ‘yo, go beat those guys.’ Guess what, if that is pressure to you then you have a rude awakening ahead of you.”

Hard to feel pressure when these two are around: Sue and Diana talk ‘lympics. (Sigh. It’s crankifying when interviewers don’t do research. Or can’t do math.) BTW, someone needs to call Sheryl ’cause she’s guarding Jordan.

The Dougster is talkin’ US front court: Parker, Fowles and Charles give US women’s basketball team versatile post trio

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A memory of Summitt’s No. 8

Note: Today, April 18, coach Pat Summitt moved into a new role at Tennessee – as head coach emeritus. She finishes with 1,098 victories, 18 trips to the NCAA Final Four, and eight NCAA titles. Here is a story I wrote for ESPN.com in 2008 after Summitt’s last championship game.

TAMPA, Fla. _ Remember the old “Schoolhouse Rock” tune?

“Figure eight as double four,
Figure four as half of eight,
If you skate, you would be great
If you could make a figure eight.”

Tennessee’s Pat Summitt has made a figure eight now as a basketball coach, but she’s never “skated” a day in her life. That got reinforced from her earliest consciousness, by parents she called “the hardest-working people I’ve ever known.”

The apple, as they say, didn’t fall far from the tree. Summitt – whose program now has eight NCAA titles after its 64-48 victory over Stanford on Tuesday _ is a long way from the farm girl who wondered if she’d ever measure up to her father’s unyielding standards.

Six of one for Team USA

I will say that at some point, folks really do need to trust that the committee/USA Basketball wants to do everything possible to win gold in London, and that that’s the bottom line for them. Not catering to Auriemma’s alumni party, as the critics will call it. Furthermore, Auriemma himself wants to do everything possible to win gold. He doesn’t want the United State’s Olympic winning streak – which dates back to the 1992 bronze-medal game in Barcelona – to end on his watch.

And while you could dub Team USA “Team UConn” for the Olympics, you could also name it the No. 1 Collection: seven of the players have been the top pick in the WNBA draft: Bird (’02), Taurasi (’04),  Seimone Augustus (’06), Parker (’08), Angel McCoughtry (’09), Charles (’10) and Moore (’11).

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Brittney Griner won’t play for U.S.

USA Basketball says:

“It’s unfortunate that Brittney is unable to participate with USA Basketball this summer, however, we have an extremely deep and talented USA National Team program and remain confident that we will field a very competitive team that all Americans will be very proud of,” said USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO Jim Tooley. “This in no way precludes Brittney from future USA National Team events; she is a young and talented player with a bright future ahead of her in international basketball and we look forward to her continued involvement. We wish nothing but the best for Brittney and her family.”

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