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In this case, it’s women’s basketball players and blood clots:

Antonita Slaughter from Louisville.

Kyvin Goodin-Rogers from Kentucky.

Rebekah Dahlman from Vandy.

Other injury news: Washington freshman Chantel Osahor out indefinitely with stress fracture

Returning from injury news: Marist visits rivals with Casey Dulin set to debut

The last time Casey Dulin played in a game she scored 13 points to lead the Marist College women’s basketball team in its NCAA tournament opener in March.

Today, 266 days since that loss to Michigan State, the senior guard returns to action, making her 2013-14 debut against host Boston University after breaking her right foot in late October

Speaking of Marist: Marist hurdled obstacles to find success again

In transfer news: She moved in high school, and it looks like she’s moving in college: Breanna Hayden to leave Baylor.

Friday the 13th brought no bad luck for East Carolina, which made mincemeat of Alcorn State and kept their record unblemished.

San Diego resisted the WHB curse and moved to 10-0 with their win over Long Beach State.

In the battle of the W’s (Williams and Wetmore v. Wurtz and Whyte) it was Washington over Wisconsin.

Army played Ohio State tough, but the Buckeyes squeezed out a win.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team got a do-over with the clock ticking toward zero last night at Value City Arena and left smiling this time.

The Buckeyes, who lost to Gonzaga on a buzzer-beater on Sunday, rallied from a six-point deficit in the final 2:23 to reel in Army 59-56 in front of a crowd of 4,183.

Wow — tough to got through two overtimes and lose by 13. Welcome to UCF’s fate against the Owls of Florida Atlantic.

Mechelle adds her voice to the good wishes sent to the Frese family: Frese’s son wraps up chemotherapy- Tyler Thomas, 5, will get his blood checked regularly for the next year and a half

...the image you immediately see in your head when the Maryland women’s basketball coach is mentioned is her standing on the sideline, nodding, clapping and sending out good vibes to her players.

Likewise, with every public mention of her son, Tyler Thomas, and his battle with leukemia, Frese has been similarly upbeat. One can imagine that in private, she and husband Mark Thomas have shed tears and had their low points of fear and worry. There is no worse emotional pain than that felt by a parent or guardian of a sick/injured child.

But Frese has always talked about Tyler winning against the disease and about how he received terrific medical care at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg Children’s Center. You can surmise that 5-year-old Tyler both inherited and was inspired by his mom’s buoyant attitude.

Speaking of Mechelle’s voice, check her out as she (and Coach McCallie) talk Duke v. UConn with David at Dishin’ & Swishin’: Is #2 Duke ready for #1 UConn?

More on the upcoming game from John Altavilla: Coach McCallie On A Number Of UConn-Duke Topics

On the current condition of senior guard Chelsea Gray, who is back after a dislocated knee cap ended her junior season on Nov. 17, 2012:
“It’s been extraordinary; I have never been a part of that kind of story [recovering from knee dislocation]. She’s worked hard, preserved, put herself into position to be in tip-top shape. … We’re not there yet. It’s December, but we are at a good stage with her. I’m proud of her. It’s a hard injury.”

And: Jay Bilas Offers A Fresh Insight Into Duke-UConn and Gray And Jones A Potent Duke Guard Combination

Over at Mel’s blog, Mike Siroky toots the SEC horn: Kentucky Plays Another Masterpiece Game

The Southeastern Conference women’s college basketball teams retain their mastery of the rest of the world.

Those AP-ranked teams are now 47-3 (and there is another undefeated league team and two with one loss each, which makes the top nine 73-5).

Déjà vu all over again: For the second straight week, the biggest win was by the team we have dubbed the best in the league, the national Game Of The Season (so far).

From Lady Swish: JMU preps for St. John’s tourney

For JMU, the next five days are filled with opportunity and possibilities.

The Dukes (6-2) will play three games over this span, with two of them coming against resume-enhancing opponents. If successful, JMU can brand itself as not just a team good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but one capable of making some noise once they get there. And trust us, perception is important when it comes to the NCAA selection committee.

Some players making an impact:

From Carl Adamec: UConn’s Chong reports for freshman duties

“Sometimes it’s hard being the only freshman. A lot of times I’m doing things on my own,” Chong said. “I’m the only freshman and I know they have their eyes on me. I have to give them my 100 percent every time and let them know I’m working hard.

“My roommate (Jade Strawberry) is a volleyball player so I didn’t always see her during her season. She’s out practicing or I’m out practicing so I have to do a lot of things on my own. I’ll go to class by myself. I’ll interact with other people on my own. But when things get tough I just ask the older girls on the team and they’ll help me.”

From Vicki L. Friedman and Paul White Shae Kelley doing it all for ODU

Through eight games, Shae Kelley leads Old Dominion in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, minutes played, yards after the catch, goals-against average….

OK, we made a couple of those up. But only a couple.

From Aggie Sports: Gilbert making an impact on and off court in her hometown

Gilbert does her student teaching in the area and enjoys when she is recognized for her on-the-court work, but she also takes great pride when fans recognize what she hopes to do in the classroom.

“It defines me as not only a basketball player, I’m also someone who desired to teach and help out younger kids and be a big part of the community,” she said.

From Mike Esse at Penn State Athletics:

Two words: patience and dedication. Put those two together and you get Lady Lion senior Talia East.

The 6-foot-3 forward from Philadelphia wasn’t seeing the playing time she wanted in her first two years due to injuries and veterans in front of her. In 2012-13, East began to show flashes of the player she could be and now in her final year in Happy Valley, she is a dominating force inside for the Lady Lions.

From Ken Sickenger at the Albuquerque Journal: Lobo women’s hoops: Alexa Chavez goes from walk-on to key performer

“Honestly, I told her what I tell all our walk-ons,” Sanchez said. “‘You probably won’t play much, you probably won’t travel, and your main job will be to work hard at practice and help the team get better.’”

Chavez was undeterred by the high-work, low-reward prospects.

“Alexa came in and just never stopped working and never stopped improving,” Sanchez said. “Now she’s in a position to help us win basketball games and she’s skilled enough to do it.”

So, where are you traveling to in 2015?

In W news: Use Of Instant Replay Headlines WNBA Rule Changes

In Arizona, the New Phoenix Mercury GM is Phoenix Suns exec

From the Daily Nebraskan: Former Husker basketball player Kelsey Griffin finds happiness playing abroad

Kelsey Griffin left Nebraska as a 2010 First-Team All-American, a three-time First-Team All-Big 12 selection, the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year and the No. 3 player on Nebraska’s career scoring list with 2,033 points.

Yet somehow, when she entered the WNBA after being drafted as the No. 3 overall pick by the Minnesota Lynx and subsequently traded to the Connecticut Sun, she felt as if she was on her own.

Jim Massie writes about what we already know, but it’s always fun to read his work: Katie Smith returning to WNBA — as a coach

Next spring will find Katie Smith feeling a familiar itch that time finally has persuaded her to scratch in some other way.

Smith, the most-decorated player in Ohio State women’s basketball history, ended her long playing career at the end of the 2013 WNBA season. The 39-year-old returned to her home in Upper Arlington to finish her graduate work for a degree in dietetics and to serve as a grad assistant mentor to the current OSU women’s team.

Several basketball players on espnW’s “Impact 10

NO. 2 BRITTNEY GRINER

NO. 6 ELENA DELLE DONNE

NO. 7 MAYA MOORE

NO. 9 CANDACE PARKER

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Clemson fires coach Coleman

In other news:

From Kelly Kline at Full Court: SEC’s fresh faces make an immediate impact (part I)

From the ACC Tourney: Preeeeeetty!

From SMU: Rhonda Rompola’s conference championship run 30 years in the making

In 1981, the SMU women’s basketball team welcomed a junior transfer from Old Dominion.

Rhonda Rompola led the Mustangs in points with 683 total points per game with 21.3 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game during the ’81-’82 season. She set and still holds school records for season scoring and free throw percentage.

A year later she graduated with a business degree, but… she never left. After graduating, she remained at SMU and worked as an assistant coach for eight years.

Thirty years after her arrival on the Hilltop, Rompola is the head coach of the Lady Mustangs and the team is experiencing one of its greatest season to date.

It’s a different kind of run: Stringer not ruling out WNIT

Unlike the last time the Rutgers women’s basketball team was in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament, coach C. Vivian Stringer is not dismissing the idea of accepting a WNIT berth if that is the fate that awaits Rutgers.

“I’m not going to say that we’re not going to go,” Stringer said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ll need to talk with my athletic director and our school and see what is best should that be an option. But to be honest with you, it’s not part of my DNA so I have not given even two seconds worth of conversation. I can’t think about that now. You’ve got to always think about doing what you can at the highest levels.”

Yah, we knew this: Marist perfectly situated in MAAC

Eighteen down. Three to go.

Having already turned in only the third 18-0 regular season by a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball team — men’s or women’s — Marist College’s women will look to take the next step toward a perfect league season today, when the Red Foxes open the MAAC tournament in Springfield, Mass.

“Oh, we’re definitely excited,” said junior guard Leanne Ockenden, whose top-seeded Red Foxes (23-6) play in today’s 1:30 p.m. quarterfinals against No. 9 Manhattan. “We just want to get there and start playing.”

What’s this from Bleecher Report? Could Baylor’s Brittney Griner Play on a Men’s College Basketball Team?

The women’s game and the men’s game are comparable on several levels. At the core, both games are about dribbling, passing, cutting, shooting and working as a team. 

However, the differences are obvious. The best explanation for why a woman cannot play in the men’s game is that the game moves much faster. The players are much bigger, much stronger and much more physical. Almost too physical at times.

Jayda gives us this “good news” tweet: Jayda Evans@JaydaEvans  #WSU coach June Daugherty released from hospital. Not attending shoot-around/questionable for tonight’s gm v No. 4 Card

and this WATN? Kate Starbird, former basketball star, chooses a different route — as usual

Kate Starbird does what she can to brighten her dreary fourth-floor office at Sieg Hall. A picture of her newborn nephew is above her desk. A cluster of succulent plants sits below a window looking out onto the University of Washington campus.

Starbird, 37, is a first-year assistant professor in UW’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering and director of the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation laboratory. In English, that means she teaches how social media is used in crisis situations and how to design better applications for digital volunteers.

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from Graham: Youngstown State returns to winning ways

In his short time as a head coach, Bob Boldon has already done something few of his peers would dare attempt.

And we’re not talking about keeping a straight face while selling the virtues of calling oneself a Cotton Blossom or Penguin.

With the regular season still winding to its conclusion, Youngstown State has safely clinched a winning season, its first since 1999-2000. That is an impressive enough achievement for a coach in his third season at the school and who was himself only three years out of college when the Penguins last had more wins than losses. But that alone is hardly unique. Plenty of coaches turn around programs that didn’t win many games.

Not so many turn around programs that didn’t win any games.

The Penguins were not fazed by the press: they won last night, 73 -69 over Cleveland State.

So did Fordham, btw, Graham… hint, hint.

So did Hawai’i, btw, Graham…hint, hint.

In the rematch of the big dogs, Albany came out on top again – and by the same margin: Danes 79, Terriers 70.

The MVC is shaping up to be quite the battle between the Blue Jays and the Shockers.

Interesting that Dayton got such a tussle from the Bonnies (could be Dayton’s youth). Might be an interesting end of the regular season. Did miss this, though: Local quartet part of No. 17 Flyers’ success

There was a time, not so long ago, when local recruits wouldn’t just quietly dismiss Dayton women’s basketball coach Jim Jabir — they’d all but tell him to get lost.

“When I first got here, kids literally wouldn’t talk to me, or would say quietly, ‘I’ve watched you play and I wouldn’t want to go there,” Jabir says.

But as the old sports saying goes, winning cures all. Nowadays Jabir, who’s brought a middling UD program into the national spotlight after three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, rarely gets the bill collector treatment from the Dayton area’s best high school players.

Speaking of conference races: Mike Siroky’s SEC Report: Championship Race Still Undecided

Jayda says Kristi Kingma, UW women’s basketball team on cusp of NCAA berth

Kristi Kingma’s big blue eyes widened even more.

She sat in the media room at Alaska Airlines Arena before the regular season, looking far ahead to the last four games of her women’s basketball college career. On the schedule sat perennial foes Stanford and California at home and tough Pac-12 newcomers Utah and Colorado on the road.

Kingma circled the games. Benchmarks, she thought.

Now on the eve of the crucial stretch, Kingma is no longer daunted.

Meanwhile, Looking to gain separation in Ivy League, Princeton to host Cornell and Columbia

Lady Swish is Breaking down NCAA/WNIT prospects

For some teams, it’s may only be the wildest of dreams of a magical March run. Still, as February winds down every one of Virginia’s 13 Division I teams still has something to play for.

From the Poughkeepsie Journal we learn that Marist is keeping their focus forward

It’s not just the fact his Red Foxes have gone unbeaten in league play that pleases Brian Giorgis, but it’s how they’ve done it.

On the way to its 14-0 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Marist College women’s basketball team has steadily progressed, the head coach said, routinely playing better against league opponents the second time around.

Also at the PJ, Mike Benischek reminds folks that Women’s basketball talent runs deeper than just Marist

It’s been almost 10 years since Marist College put the mid-Hudson Valley on the women’s basketball world’s map.

But, when is the last time you checked out the geography of the map?

The Red Foxes aren’t the only ones running around the neighborhood. There are Hawks flying overhead, and Blue Knights patrolling the streets. There are Brewers … brewing, I guess. They’re perfect for a college town.

And while I’m not here to say McCann Arena isn’t home to the biggest show in town, I will simply ask, do you know what other shows are playing?

Congrats to SMU coach Rhonda Rompola on her 400th career win

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“Is Baylor good for women’s basketball?”

Well, not if you were Kentucky. Take away Griner’s 27, and the Wildcats still lose. Their numbers aren’t pretty: 27% shooting, 61% FT, 22 TOs and, for a team that threatens 40 minutes of you-know-what on defense, they better learn to move their feet or those 29 fouls will become a season through line. Mechelle’s report on the carnage:

You know those dreams in which you keep doing something potentially harmful to yourself, but you just can’t stop?

For instance: You’re driving even though you can’t see the road. You’re walking into a dark corridor even though you suspect some sort of monster lurks there. You’re climbing out on a ledge even though you’re terrified of falling.

The whole time, part of your brain is thinking, “Wake up! Stop! I don’t want to do this!”

Eventually, you do wake up … or the dream shifts away to something else less dire. But if you were the Kentucky women’s basketball team on Tuesday, you were living out this scenario while wide awake.

Kentucky — which has been to the Elite Eight twice in the last three years, is ranked No. 6 and picked to win the mighty SEC this season — couldn’t do much of anything with defending national champion Baylor.

Guess we’ll have a better sense of the Bears’ road to the (Name the Women’s College Basketball Championship Trophy After My Hero, Pat Summitt) Trophy after Baylor and Stanford meet up in Honolulu.

Don’t look now, but d’em Penguins are 2-0. And so are the Zips. (I just like typing, “Zips.”) Sugar Bears (another favorite typing task) are 2-0, giving former Delta State coach Sandra Rushing a nice jump start at her new gig. Better start for coach Barefoot at ODU, too.

Maine is 0-3. Sigh.

That “squeak!” sound was BYU escaping Big Green, 58-57.

That other “squeak!” was #22 Oklahoma State escaping Missouri State, 74-71.

Well, this is interesting: Hartford, which stumbled badly last season, toppled Marist, 64-53.

Yes: Season-Long Women’s College Basketball Content across ESPN Platforms but, tweets Mel: Someone tell espn to get with the program on their scorecenter ipad aps. Says no games scheduled on women’s option for scores. Cranky I have to wait until Dec 7th for “The dynamic duo of Debbie Antonelli and Mowins to team up again for their weekly podcast.”

Lady Swish pulls out their Silent Majority Report:Dedicated to the belief that the term “mid-major” is an insult to the majority of Division I teams.

One of the more interesting, albeit hardly surprisingly, trends of the young season is watching how much more compelling games pitting teams from BCS conferences against their non-BCS counterparts tend to play out when staged somewhere other than the BCS school’s gym.

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On Diana:

Ordeal Took Toll On Taurasi

Diana Taurasi Speaks Out Against The Lab That Wronged Her And Those Who Doubted

‘False Positive’ Vindicates Diana Taurasi

Turkish team to sue lab for Taurasi doping report

On Maya from Diana:

Diana Taurasi Says Maya Moore Is UConn’s Greatest Player

On that on-court stupidity:

MEAC hands down hoops suspensions – 5 UMES players to sit one game; school tacks on additional penalties

On the importance of PINK and basketball:

More than a game: Look down the end of Idaho’s bench at a women’s basketball game this season, and you will find Drew Ruckelshaus, the athletic trainer for the Vandal women. While it’s Drew’s job to keep 12 players healthy throughout the season, his inspiration to become an athletic trainer came when his own health was in serious question.

As a 9-year-old boy, Drew had been battling leukemia for a year. That’s when the Indianapolis, Ind., native had the opportunity to meet then-Indiana Pacers head athletic trainer David Craig.

“People laugh, but that’s how I got into athletic training,” Ruckelshaus said.

On great players:

Marist to retire Fitz’s number before tonight’s game

On courage:

Arsalan Kazemi of Rice and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir of Memphis – two student-athletes with similar backgrounds who have had to endure bigotry and discrimination to play college basketball at their respective institutions – have been named co-winners of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Most Courageous Award.

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’cause Penn State has entered the polls.

Marist is there, too, but they’re still not satisfied.

#11 Michigan State is looking forward to a “program-promoting” week and Notre Dame’s Natalie Novosel is finally getting defensive.

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From Bob Corwin at Full Court Press: Mid-Majors Worth Watching: Part II—Marist—A Must-See Operation for Any Fan of the Sport

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lot of running and clubbing and cruising and romping and mauling and ripping and whipping and season high-ing.

DCBC watched the Tiger Taming and C&R tracked the Cardinal.

Some escaped, in spite of a serious case of fumble fingers (28 TOs!). Some escaped in OT.

Some proved they were Monty Python fans (“I’m not dead yet!”)

As for “other” teams:

Coach Stockon’s Green Wave ran their C-USA record to 4-0 with a 30-pt victory over Marshall. (Did anyone catch Tulane on TV last week? FUN team to watch!)

Wonder if they need to watch out for Houston, who’s also 4-0.

She’s baaaaaak! Drey Mingo goes double-double on Northwestern, securing a (101st for Versyp) Purdue win.

A big win for Penn State (83-62) puts them at 4-1 in the Big 10 (and yes, it’s weird that Illinois’ Penn had a double-double) (And yes, Lucas snapped Mazzante’s record of freshman threes.)

Swish! Drexel uses a last-second three to topple William & Mary 59-58.

Are the Lady Bears (Mo) becoming relevant again? They’re 5-1 in the MVC.

Don’t look now, but Army is 3-0 in Patriot League play (and have won five straight).

Marist rules the MAAC. So what’s new?

Middle Tennessee still rules the Sun Belt — but it was close against Arkansas State.

Old Dominion over Delaware. That’s #599 for Wendy Larry. (Oh, and the ODU SID peeps do a great job keeping up with their alums. Check out Former Lady Monarch’s Pen is as Mighty as Her Jump Shot and Nancy Lieberman’s Historic Debut.)

Coach Boyle is at a loss, and so are her Cal Bears.

Didja catch Coop’s UNC-Wilmington team squeeze out a win over Hofstra? (They’re now 4-1 in the CAA.)

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Giorgis gets 200th win as Marist defeats Boston U.

Out in LA, Bill Plaschke is noticing the Bruins: Nikki Caldwell heats up UCLA women’s basketball (and I’m finding it hard to miss the double entendres)

I am scanning the office shelves of the hottest college basketball coach in Los Angeles.

Nikki Caldwell’s UCLA women are off to their best start in 30 years, and I tell her I’m trying to find things that are indicative of her personality.

I am check out the autographed basketballs, the team photos, the inspirational books, then she notices me staring for the longest time at an unusual pair of shoes.

“So I guess you think those leopard pumps are pretty indicative, huh?” she says with a laugh.

From the Daily Herald: Orender moves on with great memories of WNBA

Speaking of which, Clay chimes in on her exit: WNBA CEO Resigns, Leaving Future in Doubt – The WNBA took another hit this week, raising serious concerns

Yes, Donna Orender had her critics, but she was the model of a professional sports executive. Was she annoyingly upbeat all the time? Of course, but if she wasn’t in all-positive mode, who would be? Did she make the WNBA decision-making process as secret and  impenetrable as China under Mao Ze Dong? Regrettably, yes, but she clearly controlled the message.

But now she’s leaving — or already gone, really — and left behind is a vacuum of unanswered questions and troubling speculation.

Another milestone: 350 high school victories.

“We got a lot of young girls transferring over from high school, [where] you don’t have to defend some of the top players in the nation,” said center Lynetta Kizer, who has emerged as the team’s vocal leader, especially on the defensive end. “We want to be able to beat ACC-caliber teams; that’s why most of our focus today in practice was on defense.”

 

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With Graham today. Ooops! Check out the transcript:

Howard (PA): You’ve always been good at highlighting players from Mid-Majors that often don’t make the radar screens of the media. Who do you like this season in that category?
Graham Hays: Pavlov’s dogs have nothing on me when you mention mid-majors. Thanks for putting it on a tee, Howard. Courtney Vandersloot tops the list for me, but she’s probably firmly on the radar at this point (as is Amber Harris, depending on your definition of Xavier as a mid-major). Lesser known names I would happily pay to watch include Missouri State’s Casey Garrison, Wisconsin Green Bay’s trio of Kayla Tetschlag, Celeste Hoewisch and Julie Wojta, Toledo point guard Naama Shafir, Bowling Green’s Lauren Prochaska, Marist’s Erica Allenspach and Corielle Yarde. Wyoming’s Aubrey Vandiver. I could go on all afternoon.

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