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Welp – I guess the cream of the West showed the Challengers of the East, huh?

Fare-the-well:  Inside The W with Michelle Smith

Swin Cash was on a conference call for the WNBA on Monday morning, talking with reporters in conjunction with Tuesday night’s nationally televised game between the Sparks and Liberty, which is an anniversary rematch of the first-ever WNBA game back in 1997.

She was, as always, a passionate, eloquent advocate for the league, a veteran spokeswoman for her team, and as it turns out, a soon-to-be-retiree.

Cash announced Tuesday morning via a personal essay for The Players Tribune that she will be ending her decorated WNBA career at the end of the 2016 season.

Social Reaction: Swin Cash’s Retirement

Film Room: Running Down a Dream

Candace Parker Provides Perfect Spark

Crap: Chicago Sky loses guard Laney to season-ending knee injury –

WATN? WNBA star Nicole (Ohlde) Johnson: Never give up

NCAA

“In the recent months, there have been accusations and false attacks made of my character and coaching,” Swoopes said in a statement released by a public relations firm. “I stand proudly in my values, actions and intent of representing the best interests for students — as athletes, but more importantly as individuals.

High/Middle School

Thank you : Master at his Craft: Longtime Collinsville Middle School girls basketball coach retires

After 30 years and more than 600 victories as a girls basketball coach at Collinsville Middle School, formerly North Junior High, Greg Craft is calling it a career.

Craft, 55, retired in May as a science teacher and coach. More than anything, he will miss the relationships he’s built with players during the last three decades, and it’s that aspect of retirement that has Craft not ready to completely say good-bye.

WBHOF

June Courteau first heard an official’s whistle while growing up in Minnesota, specifically when she exceeded the three-dribble limit during a high school physical education class. Her reaction was swift and pointed.

“I told the teacher ‘that’s stupid,’ ” she said.

Courteau undoubtedly has been on the other side of such a comment. She has 45 years worth of experience in officiating. She worked for decades on the court in the heat of the moment. She now oversees such work as the NCAA coordinator of officials.

It’s hard to separate Natalie Williams the basketball star from her volleyball alter ego. This weekend’s festivities in Knoxville will constitute a supreme effort in that regard.
Since she was on a basketball scholarship at UCLA, Williams considered herself to be a volleyball walk-on. She was a four-time All-American walk-on (1989-1992) who helped lead the Bruins to volleyball national championships in 1990 and 1991. She was the first woman to receive All-American honors in both sports in the same school year (1992-93).

Sherri Coale, in her own words
Summitt’s stand re-launched OU women’s basketball, and ignited a Hall of Fame coaching career
Friends and Foes: Conradt, Sharp Reflect on Coale
Sherri Coale has been model of consistency at Oklahoma

The AAU girls basketball tournaments that span age groups and take place throughout the country serve to promote the sport. They also honor and preserve the legacy of Bill Tipps.Eddie Clinton is involved with the AAU program in West Tennessee and benefitted from Tipps’ assistance as the organization’s national chair. Clinton saw firsthand Tipps’ people skills and diligence in action. “It was a labor of love for Bill,” Clinton said. “Whatever it took to build girls basketball, he wanted to do. Girls basketball would not be what it is today without Bill Tipps.

“We’re girls and we just want to have fun,” said 90-year-old Mary Wersells, the first girls’ basketball coach at Simeon High School as she reflected on the history of the sport.

Nearly four decades ago, Title IX was enforced which prohibited discrimination against female athletes. This opened the doors for pioneers in Chicago like Wersells and 81-year-old Narcissa Roberts, who became the first girls’ basketball coach at Corliss High School in 1973.

INTERNATIONAL
Library Additions: 
Rise and Fire by Shawn Fury. Writes Shawn:
The book basically traces the jump shot’s influence on the game from the time of its introduction to today’s dominance of the 3-pointer. But along the way I take a lot of detours and one chapter focuses on the 1968 Iowa girls title game. It featured the shooting exploits of Jeanette Olson and Denise Long. I write about both players and that famous game and then of course about Denise being drafted by the Warriors. It was my editor’s favorite chapter in the book and several reviews have noted it, including the Washington Post’s.

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BG and Glory was, “At least the authorities took it seriously.” ’cause like some readers, I had a flashback to Rosalind Ross.

The ESPNers wrote eloquently about the “other” things that came to mind: An espnW email chain about the Brittney Griner arrest

When news broke on Thursday that Brittney Griner and her fiancée, Glory Johnson, had been arrested for a domestic incident, it sparked the following thoughtful exchange among several espnW writers about the various complicated tentacles to the story.

How do you cover such a complex issue — breaking news about domestic violence between two women who are both active athletes, are stars of their respective teams and are engaged to each other?

The headlines also prompted other folks to speak. From Arizona: Alesha Durfee, Associate Professor and Graduate Director of Women and Gender Studies at ASU’s School of Social Transformation, Talks About Domestic Violence Among Women

In other W news:

Sweet turnout for basketball star Stefanie Dolson’s visit home

“It was over the top to get to meet Stefanie,” said Catie O’Connor, a fourth-grader at Goshen Intermediate School. “She was so nice. It was really special, it was awesome. It means the world to me. I really look up to her. I’m very excited.”

Dolson, a Minisink Valley graduate who won two national championships at the University of Connecticut and now plays for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA, spent more than two hours meeting with fans at Family Farm. At one point, a long line formed outside the building. According to Family Farm co-owner Jean Halahan, about 500 people showed up to meet the personable Dolson.

Post Draft News:
Liberty makes superb additions on WNBA Draft Day

It was supposed to be an unremarkable draft for the New York Liberty, which traded its first-round pick to the Connecticut Sun in last year’s deal for center Tina Charles, but coach Bill Laimbeer had some surprises. The Liberty traded guard-forward Alex Montgomery to the San Antonio Stars for the ninth pick, with which they chose Brittany Boyd, a tenacious point guard from the University of California who modeled her game after Cappie Pondexter.

Boyd, who played in the 2013 Maggie Dixon Classic in Madison Square Garden, said she loved the energy of the arena. If called upon, she’s ready to be the Liberty’s floor general.


Pitt’s Brianna Kiesel ready for her journey in WNBA

Welch Prepares for Transition to WNBA After a stellar career as a team leader for the Gamecocks

Blake Dietrick, Wellesley native, takes shot at WNBA

Butler High grad Cierra Burdick’s WNBA dream comes true

A little podcast: Dishin & Swishin 4/23/15 Podcast: Stephanie White takes the helm in Indiana, previews the season

WATN? Ticha Penicheiro: Former NBA and WNBA greats put on clinic for Cuban basketball players

and WNBA legend Ruth Riley looking to leave positive impact on Filipino kids.

Ruth also had something to say about how “bad” Connecticut is for the game: UConn raises women’s basketball in US, says former WNBA star

For former WNBA star Ruth Riley, the dominance of University of Connecticut in women’s college basketball does not present a problem.

It’s the catalyst that should raise the bar for the sport in the United States.

“You respect your opponent and you respect the fact that you know it’s an incredible program,” Riley, who won Olympic Gold in the Athens Games in 2004, said Thursday afternoon at Marriott Hotel.

Another WATN? Former Tech and WNBA player Alicia Thompson to be named Lubbock High’s girls basketball coach

On the college front, some disconcerting news, but not totally surprising if you’ve read some of the surrounding area’s message boards:

From a mother’s perspective: The WSU women’s basketball allegations

Former Wichita State players and parents are speaking out about the allegations that Coach Jody Adams and her coaching staff have mentally and verbally abused players in the program. The mother of a former player that transferred said these allegations are nothing new.

She also said that what brings it to life now is the fact that there are four transfers and two of them are starters.

“We’ve voiced concerns for a while now. There have been groups of players that have gone in together. I know several parents that have written letters and have had meetings.”


Eric Sexton issues statement on Jody Adams allegations

Former WSU players speak out on abuse allegations

Former players talk about allegations against WSU women’s basketball – KSN-TV

More Chiney! My Message To My Younger Self (UNFILTERED | CHINEY OGWUMIKE #3)

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Aetna And Travelers Go Back In Time To Play Women’s Basketball Game

Travelers had a successful team — the “Tower Five” — first, starting in 1921. The 1921-22 team went 20-2 and outscored its opponents, 469-180. According to Bermel, the people from Travelers encouraged Aetna to start a team in 1923. Adrian Brennan, who worked at Aetna, was the coach.

Over the next decade, the Aetna girls — the “Crimson Tide,” who were also known as the “hotsy-totsy girls from Hartford” in the New York press — won 111 of 133 games. They played in (and won) the first women’s basketball game at Madison Square Garden in 1928. Dr. James Naismith traveled from Springfield to watch them play.

Glad to see this. I uncovered some of the Aetna photos on their website back in the day when I put together the (now out of date) women’s basketball timeline, but they disappeared. Even reached out to Aetna – confusing the heck out of some folks – but to no avail.

In the Bayou, LSU women’s basketball striving to cultivate new leaders

Last year, seniors Jeanne Kenney, Shanece McKinney and Theresa Plaisance led the LSU women’s basketball team on both ends of the floor.

Coming into this season, the Lady Tigers are looking for ways to replace the production of these players by adapting to a style of play that fits the current roster and their leadership.

From the Big 12: 

Each of the last two seasons, Sherri Coale’s challenge was finding enough healthy players to practice. Two years ago, Coale had to borrow two players from the volleyball team.

This season, the Sooners have a full 15-player roster.

“I love the fact that my gym is crowded and I want it to stay crowded,” Coale said Thursday during the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tour visit. “We have a lot of options. The question is who will be our starting five. I have no idea and that’s a fantastic problem to have.”

Nearby at Oklahoma State

Point Guard University has a new player ready to continue the tradition.

Andrea Riley, who was the Big 12’s career scoring leader before behind dethroned by Brittney Griner, started Oklahoma State’s run of outstanding guards in 2006.

Tiffany Bias then took over and helped the Cowgirls with an all-around game that last season produced 13.9 points, 6.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Her career ended with Oklahoma State’s loss to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.

Next up? Sophomore Roshunda Johnson.

Speaking of the Big 12: Cindy Brunson provides an in-depth 2014-15 preview

Speaking of the other 12, from Sue: Pac-12 preview: Stanford University

The biggest mystery in the Pac-12 going into the season is what Stanford will look like this year. Conference coaches picked the Cardinal to win the conference again, but the fact is that no one will know for sure until they step on to the court.

For starters, Stanford is Ogwumike-less for the first time in six years, with the graduation of Chiney Ogwumike last spring. Not only did the sisters lead the team statistically, but they carried it and kept the Cardinal relevant for the past three seasons.

From Connecticut: UHart women’s basketball adds 6 year old team member

The University of Hartford’s Women’s basketball team has a new team member that will never see a minute of action, but the impact she will make is immeasurable. Six year old Zoe Brown, who suffers from a rare immune system disease Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome, is the newest Hawk, thanks to the program Team Impact that pairs youth with life threatening illnesses with college and pro sports teams.

Well, this is unpleasant: Army used alcohol-fueled party, cheerleaders to woo recruits

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Saturday that U.S. Military Academy documents show that the Army football program wooed recruits with an alcohol-fueled bus party, small amounts of booster cash, and dates with cheerleaders and female athletes.

Per the Gazette, the academy “acknowledged the misconduct” and admitted 20 cadets had been disciplined with two officers and two Army coaches facing reprimands. The academy also self-reported a recruiting violation to the NCAA.

Speaking of unpleasant. From EDD: No One Should Have to Go Through the Bullying That I Did

No one should ever experience being bullied. It’s a cowardly action that unfortunately occurs all too often in our schools. According to the National Education Association, it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. I was one of those students being bullied. I would hear constant comments and snickers from students about my height. “Hey, you are taller than my dad and all dads! You are taller than the rest. Why are you so tall? Why aren’t you normal?” Those comments bothered me, made me feel small — made me wonder why I was different than everyone else. Why I was the one being picked on.

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another Write Space and Time:

At the USOTC the air is rare. And it has nothing to do with the altitude. Just walking from the car to the gym every day is sobering because excellence assaults you at every turn. Pictures capture the extraordinary. Boldly printed quotes urge greatness. And each and every facility begs to be the whetstone for the elite athlete’s blade.

I think it’s really hard to settle here. The steady drum of discipline is deafening, making this a place where good enough never is. If you train here, exceptional is expected. Honestly, I half expect Michael Phelps to peek in and glare at us when we don’t get back on defense. The presence of the elite hovers over you as you work, and while that might seem heavy to some, I think the great ones love it. The air here stretches them at every turn.

There is much to be gained from lofty expectations.

From USA Basketball: Coach’s Daughter, Theresa Plaisance’s Newfound Confidence Pays Off

After Theresa Plaisance was informed she’d earned a spot on the 2013 USA Women’s World University Games Team last month, she returned for five weeks to a place that always provides her comfort.

“I got to go home and spend some good quality time with my family,” Plaisance said. “I miss them a lot. I got to go home for Father’s Day and spend time with my grandparents and dad and my whole family. It was really nice.”

From Carl Ademac at SNY: Mosqueda-Lewis at home on Team USA

“We’re not a big team so we have to use our speed and quickness and be a fast-breaking team,” Mosqueda-Lewis said. “But we’re also a versatile team so we’re doing all the things that we need to do to get ready.

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(Well, yes, I AM back writing again, but again, this ain’t about me.)

From Sherri Coale: As Good as it Gets

The membrane was just too thin. The stories were everywhere, and they were great stories. I just couldn’t tell them. Not while they were happening anyway. I was afraid if I wrote, I’d prick what little protective covering we had left and we’d leak all around the room in a form too liquid to pick up. So I just trudged on trying not to think too much about any of it. “Right foot. Left foot. Breathe…” I just woke up every day and followed that drumbeat over the mountain and through the woods of this season.

And we wound up here in the land of as good as it gets.

In W news, this is encouraging: Penny Taylor’s Journey Back

In other W news, this is not surprising: Liz Cambage not returning to Shock

Which leads to this piece: Likely top WNBA draft picks discuss playing in Tulsa

Are ya wondering who’s going to be at Bristol Draft Day? 

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I dunno, you tell me: The team she left last year is now 3-22 (2-12 in conference).

The team she joined last year is now 18-9 overall (15-1 in conference).

Bet Debbie wishes she’d been at this game: St. Francis (PA) 100, Fairleigh Dickinson 89. Threeeeeee-alert!

Okay, that was not impressive, St. Francis (NY). You should. not. lose. to. Wagner. (Especially when you’re up 18.) We now expect more from you — get used to it. Oh, and congrats for making the NEC tournament for the first time since 2008.

I’m not sayin’ nothin’ ’cause I don’t wanna jinx ’em, but anyone else noticed that Delaware State has been doing a lot less losing recently? They sure gave Hampton a game.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ those (Quinnipiac) Bobcats keep on rollin’! Quinnipiac’s 25 overall wins and 16 conference wins match the most in program history.

Speakin’ of rollin’: It was sorta close, and then, suddenly, it wasn’t even close: the Baylor Bears win their 25th in a row.

“We tried to stick to our game plan, but Brittney got a couple catches,” Campbell said. “I think that’s the difference. “She caught the ball and shot it. You can’t do much when the ball is in her hands.”

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…we get a women’s basketball double-header on non-cable TV again.

… we get TWO grand games on national TV.

…we get a competitive game between two top-ranked teams.

It was a good day to be a women’s basketball fan (not if you were a UConn fan, though).

The undercard was a fun game between #14 Purdue and #25 Nebraska – two teams that seem to enjoy overtimes.

In the overcard, #5 Notre Dame stormed in to a sold out Gampel and made the #1 Huskies blink. How much, I repeat, how much are we all looking forward to the rematch in South Bend? And how much are we going to miss this NolongerBig East rivalry?

Speaking of the NoLongerBig East, Quigley-less DePaul took it to #11 Louisville and held on for the upset, 86-80.

Speaking of the UsedToBePartOfBig East, West Virginia is not having a great time in the Big 12 — but they did put a scare in to Kansas.

The Hatters moved to 3-0 in the A-Sun.

Presbyterian didn’t let their win over Liberty go to their head —  well, maybe a little bit: They were down 40-19 at the half. But, they move to 4-0 in the Big South with their win over the Fightin’ Camels.

Texas couldn’t take advantage of their rebounding edge, and the Sooners escaped Austin with a win.

Hmmmm… St. Francis (NY) has been epically bad, and yet they defeated perennial NEC favorite Sacred Heart, 56-47.

The other St. Francis (PA) took care of their NEC opener with a win over Bryant, 81-76.

Let’s agree not to discuss the BU/Hartford game, okay?

Dickson went off, as did her fellow Memphis Tigers, and they won 109-68 over Wright State.

Duquesne stumbled at home, as Miami (OH) roared back in the second to take the game. How would you like to be the announcers with these two names: Olowinski (Redhawks) and Agunbiade (Dukes).

The Mocs of Chattanooga are now 3-0 in the Southern.

Coach is leaving you for the WNBA? Makes no nevermind. Seton Hall defeats Pittsburgh, 69-56.

Remember when we used to pay attention to Xavier? Kinda sad.

Remember the Bonnies? It’s been a tough season. They go down to Green Bay, 61-42.

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While the rest of the ranked teams (UCLA-recovering nicely from that Cal-Northridge oops, TAMU, Tennessee, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Cal) were dispatching their overmatched opponents by various ridiculous margins, two “undefeated” and ranked teams were tested: Georgia by the mighty Illini (6-5) and #25 Arkansas by the fierce Coppin State (4-7). One escaped, the other didn’t. What up with your scheduling, Dawgs and Hogs? (And yah, there are no upsets in women’s basketball, just inaccurately ranked teams, right? Which explains what happened to #20 Texas at the hands of Iowa, right?)

Is the Stanford/UConn game on yet? (UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer expect lots of offenseStanford-UConn: More Than A Fairy Tale,

While you’re waiting, check out Mel’s blog on early Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year candidates. (I’ll say, as a Lib fan of “a certain age and longevity, I’ve been following the Hilltoppers since Shea Mahoney. Flashback, much?)

Then wander over to Swish Appeal and check out The state of the WNBA: 2012 edition

Hmmm… maybe the third year’s the charm for Caldwell. Her LSU team goes down to FGCU.

Will Spidey make the Tourney? Bilney! They might!

How tough is it in Sooner-land? The volleyball players are coming to the rescue.

From at Amy Farnum the NCAA.com: Forging the path – Kansas star Goodrich looks to inspire other Native Americans

Kansas senior point guard Angel Goodrich may be known for her vision on the court in women’s basketball circles, but it is her perseverance that may be her greatest strength.

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UConn rides Faris defense past PSU

We’ll learn this weekend whether the time has arrived for the Heisman Trophy to go to a player who spends time exclusively on the defensive side of the ball. This week already demonstrated why a player who does much of her work on defense ought to be in the conversation for some of college basketball’s individual honors.

And why a team with its share of imperfections this early in the season therefore remains perfect in the standings.

On the game: Mosqueda-Lewis helps UConn hold off Penn St. (interesting when a 15pt margin merits a “hold off). About the game: Refs leave a mark: Foul-plagued game ‘unfortunate’ occurrence and Officials Ruined What Could Have Been A Spectacular Game

The Terps skewered the Cavaliers. Say the BasketCases:

Three Freshmen, a Walk-on, and a Transfer Walk Into a Bar …

The bartender asks them, “How did you stay so cool tonight when the rest of your team fouled out?” They answered, “No problem . . . we were surrounded by fans.”

Georgia Tech was no match for Elizabeth Williams… I mean, Duke.

Friend-of-the-Blog Sue requested – and gets – a shout out to Ball State for taking down Detroit in OT.

My friends in Fayetteville are pleased: Arkansas hands No. 17 Kansas first loss of season

Temple can’t make up its mind who it wants to be this season — the Owl gave Kent State their first victory of the season.

First Hand, then the Cougars’ leading scorer: BYU women’s basketball loses Eaton for the season. Totally sucks.

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The Write Space and Time

On that seemingly innocuous Wednesday, we talked about all the things you talk about when a season ends. And then we talked about all the things you talk about when you prepare for another — one that you’d like to see end a whole lot differently. Then I introduced them to the elephant in the room: my ladder.

I told them the brief, abridged version of how it got here to Norman, Oklahoma, and then I told them how special it was going to be for our team.

We talked about the Kay Yow Foundation. We talked about Coach Yow and her courageous battle with this insidious disease, we talked about the power of our platform as a collegiate team of women, and we talked about the symbolism of a ladder in our gym all off season: the daily reminder it could be to us of where we want to go and what it takes to get there.

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Merlakia “The Shake” Jones.

Speaking of flashbacks, remember when Oklahoma tried to dump its women’s basketball team? Mechelle does: OU lesson still extremely important

...in 1990, Coale was a teacher/coach at Norman High School who couldn’t believe what she’d just heard from two other teachers: OU had announced it was canceling women’s basketball.

 Coale has recounted her memory of this OU bombshell many, many times before. But as a former English teacher, she’ll appreciate a reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous book of short stories, “Twice-Told Tales.” For many different reasons, some stories need to be told again and again.

And again.

I find this is especially true in regard to women’s sports. Some of you might think, “Surely, everybody’s heard about this, right?” After all, we in the national media revisited the infamous OU cancellation each time the Sooners went to the Women’s Final Four, in 2001, ’09 and ’10.

Nonetheless, everybody doesn’t know.

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Cheryl Miller

You could say that Cheryl Miller, with her versatile athleticism and unapologetic flare, stood the women’s college basketball world on its head. But that only begins to describe a player who once literally stood on her head.

And why is it so dang hard for ESPN to understand that if you don’t have links to women’s basketball stories on the women’s basketball pages THAT STAY, it’s hard for people to find the stories. Like this one, on Rosalind Ross, who was murdered in September of 2010: At the corner of love and basketball

MALIKA WILLOUGHBY LOVED ROSALIND ROSS. She loved her from the moment she saw her, when Willoughby was only 14, playing summer league basketball, and Ross, 17, already a local star full of swagger, approached her and complimented her game. Ross told her she had potential, looked her right in the eye and smiled. After that, Willoughby was seized with a sense of recognition so jarring that she could not stop thinking about Ross, about how Ross made her feel and what that might mean.

Rosalind Ross loved Malika Willoughby too, but she was cagier. Three years older, raised in Milwaukee’s rough Harambee neighborhood, Ross had seen some things. She’d heard her father talk about “faggots.” Seen what happened to those kids, the ones who were different, like her younger brother Spencer, who played with her dolls and knew how to double-Dutch jump.

When Ross and Willoughby met, Ross had a boyfriend, Kevin. He and Ross later attended the prom, where she’d wear the third dress of her entire life and pose for the camera, smiling, head tilted, demure, the way she knew she was supposed to be. Kevin was handsome and kind, but he was not Willoughby. He did not make her laugh or cry. He inspired no feeling at all, not like Willoughby, young and beautiful and hungry for Ross in a way neither of them fully understood.

“I’m not gay.”

“I’m not either.”

So they told each other, even as they courted, exchanging passionate letters, then kisses that Willoughby said made her “lose her mind for two days.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

So they told each other, and no one else, knowing what would happen if they did.

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take a Sherri Coale “The Write Space and Time” break: March is when everyone can find a team to root for and all 64 have a change.

Advertise bowl games all you want — folks in two camps get all wound up and posture and provoke — but the rest of the country knows they’re playing for third or fourth or 18th or 27th. There simply is no hope. It’s factual to a fault. But when the NCAA tournament dance cards are handed out, all 64 teams on the floor have a dream. And the campuses and the cities and the towns they represent carry that dream around on a pillow like a crown. The race may not be wide open, but every single squad has a sliver of hope. And I want to know, seriously, does it get any better than that? Rhetorical question, of course; but if it does, I gotta tell you, I want in on it.

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Texas Tech is 17-10, and all 10 of their losses, the latest one against a staggered Kansas, are in the Big 12.

Okay, so I jinxed’em. Tulsa (11-3, MAC) gets stifled by Eastern Michigan (12-2), 54-33.

What if the Big East Coach of the Year wasn’t Geno or Muffet, but Jamelle?

Amongst the many things I didn’t (and don’t) know: Pittsburgh is the youngest team in D-1 bball. They have nary a junior or senior. They might get a win against Seton Hall. Didn’t have a chance against a cranky UConn.

You know, when Ellenburg can give’em 23, the Sooners have a chance to beat ranked teams. Like tonight, in Norman, against #11 Texas A&M.

#25-with-a-bullet St. John’s keeps truckin’, taking down West Virginia, 63-54.

I know they were playing Baylor in Waco, and that is never a fun time for opponents, but really, Debbie? You think Gail is not in trouble? (True, Texas may not want to buy her out, but they do have the money.) Longhorns drop to 15-12 (5-10, Big 12) as the Bears earned the outright Big 12 title with an 80-59 win.

Double-take moment: Ms. Brittney “Player of the Year” Griner gets a double-double 4 out of every 10 games she plays.

Oh, and thanks to Hoopfeed: Coach Kim? Where’d ya get dem shoes? Fort Knox? (On edit: How did I miss this musical reference from Kirsty MacColl!)

Aaaand: Sonja Hogg in the House! (Hey! Where’s the white mink coat!)

But it’s not all grins and giggles in the arena: Baylor will be waiting on knee news for sophomore Shanay Washington — someone who’s had too much knee news already.

Coach Burns has her team sitting at 12-1 in the MWC. San Diego State’s five loses? Four were early in the season (one head shaker at Portland). I’m not going to jinx them by talking about how good their chances are in their conference tournament.

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Here ya go:

Jan. 11, 2012 — Every once in a while, you lose your ticket. I’ll bet it’s happened to you. I know it has to me. You’re in the airport, you’re good and early, you’ve bought a snack and a magazine and you’re just sitting, waiting patiently for your boarding call … then they make it and you can’t find your ticket.

You check your pockets. Your bag. The pocket inside your bag. The magazine you’re reading. The seat beside you. The floor around you. And then you start to sweat. Your heart rate speeds, your face goes flush and your mind pops out and slaps you over and over in the face, like the spare ribs and the corn dog do in that antacid commercial.

“How could you lose your ticket!?” your brain screams at you.

“You are so stupid!” Slap! Slap!

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Huge blow for the Catamounts as they lose their best player, Buschmann, to an ACL.

Oklahoma loses McFarland to a broken jaw. (OUCH!)

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Dagnabbit!

Lyndsey Cloman (ACL) out for year

And it’s not just a basketball scourge: fellow Sooner Ryan Broyles tears ACL, out for year

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Seems like more cable providers are offering ESPN3.com. If you get it, check out tonight’s game between Baylor and Oklahoma, 8pm EST.

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C&R watched the Huskies/Blue Devils game and wondered: How Did Duke Get to Be Number 3?

Mel was there, and writes: UConn Buries Duke With Opening Salvo

If one covers sports, no matter which types, and deals with coaches long enough, sooner rather than later they will tell you two things they don’t like to do is put an outcome of a closely fought contest in the hands of officials or place parts of their NCAA destiny in the hands of a committee.

No. 2 Connecticut inherently took care of both matters Monday night, blasting No. 3 Duke 87-51 in a nonconference matchup in the Huskies’ Gampel Pavilion before a near sellout crowd of 10,031 fans.

On the West Coast, Jayda notes: Washington guard Kristi Kingma wins Pac-10 weekly award

As good as Washington SG Kristi Kingma is, it’s hard to believe Monday’s announcement that she’s Pac-10 Player of the Week is a first in her career. But it is, the junior getting the nod after scoring a game-high 29 points in UW’s 64-52 win against cross-state rival Washington State on Sunday.

Sue at They’re Playing Basketball has news of the Riley trade to Tulsa.

Speaking of Cowgirls, at Swish Appeal, freelantz writes Bedlam – Oklahoma’s experience trumps youthful Cowgirls 82-77 and Q explains UConn’s Blowout Of Duke: Why McCallie’s Boxing Metaphor Is Perfect

I know very little about boxing.

And to some extent, I realize it’s odd – and someone once even told me stupid – for a writer to explain one sport with another sport.

But in searching for explanations for what happened in UConn’s 87-51 blowout of Duke last night, the boxing metaphor of how to roll with a punch and respond to it seems to work as well as any explanation I’ve seen anywhere.

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Coach Coale’s been writing again and I only NOW find out about it? Catch up time!

The Write Space and Time: Aug. 3

For 20 days in July, college coaches get to evaluate. It always reminds me of Easter and the dead sprint for the most eggs — with your fingers crossed that you’ll stumble upon the golden one with the cash inside. We all run out, and about, and around desperately searching for our savior, the perfect missing puzzle piece, while the clock ticks mercilessly as we scour.

The Write Space and Time: Sept. 1

In the span of a mere 24-hour period, I moved my son into his college dorm, dropped my daughter off for her first day of high school, and found out Whitney Hand couldn’t play basketball for five more months. It didn’t surpass Nov. 26, 2003, (a.k.a. Black Tuesday) on the list of disconcerting landmarks, but I can say without reservation that I’ve lived through better days.

The Write Space and Time: Oct. 11

Our football team is undefeated, my Japanese maple trees have a few crimson leaves, and basketball practice is underway. Seriously, does it get any better than this?

The Write Space and Time: Nov. 3

The dog days of pre-season are over, the adrenaline kick of early practices has passed, and we’re just a day away from our one and only chance to make a first impression. Ready or not, on Thursday we go.

We’re a long way from being good right now, but I have to admit that this bunch has me. I like them. I like their hunger. I like their wide eyes. I like their diligence in little things. And I enjoy teaching them because they want to learn.

The Write Space and Time: Jan. 25

Just a couple of weeks ago I sat glued to ESPN, like most college women’s basketball fans, waiting to see if history would happen. UConn was at Stanford and college basketball’s longest trail of wins was in potential jeopardy. Early in the game as the broadcasters attempted to define the phenomenal Maya Moore’s game: they proclaimed her “the best catch and shoot player in the world.” And they reminded us often. “She’s the best catch and shoot player in the world! ” “In the world! In the world! In the world!” And the truth is: she very well may be. But I couldn’t help but laugh, thinking about the verbal gyrations we in sports go through sometimes to talk about ball. Why must everything be quantified? Why must a player or a play or a move be smothered in hyperbolic gibberish? Why can’t we just talk about what it is that makes it worth talking about instead of drowning the play or the player’s art form in gush?

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Watch to watch for in the week ahead

Iowa at Ohio State: The schedules are favorable for both of these Big Ten preseason favorites after this week, which also includes Iowa hosting Michigan State on Thursday, but that will be small comfort for Monday’s loser.

Miami at Florida State: The polls differ on which team should be favored, but Miami seems to have the most to gain in this ACC clash.

Abby Waner has a piece about Oklahoma’s Hand: Sooner or later, this Sooner would recover

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Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale wins a UN NGO Positive Peace Award

Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale was selected as a recipient of a United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award for the sports coach category. The award honors and recognizes individuals around the world for their positive contributions.

“This is really a program award,” said Coale in a statement. “I accept it on behalf of our current staff and players and all of our former coaches and players who continue to give back and lead through service in their respective communities. I so appreciate the recognition for our program but, as our players past and present can attest, the rewards come from the doing. It is truly an honor to have such a platform from which to serve.”

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From Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel: Bradley Tech pays tribute to fallen star Ross

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We’ve read stories about how other coaches/programs have done it in the past. (Well, “past” if you consider the Sooner resurgence under Sherri “past.”)

For three years, the NCAA has awarded grants that have helped schools market and advertise.

Now, at Full Court Press, Mark Bradford writes: Who Says Women’s Hoops Can’t Draw a Crowd? The Irish Have Found the Right Formula

When Muffet McGraw first took over the Notre Dame Women’s basketball team in 1987, she could almost count the number of fans in the seats during a time out. At its best, the number could be counted during pregame warm-ups.

Today, however, it is a far different story.

Over the past month and change since the exhibition season commenced, I have attended 14 of the 17 basketball games—both men’s and women’s—played at Notre Dame’s Purcell Pavilion. As a general rule, for the men’s games, I drove unimpeded into the parking lot, parked in the nearest lot, and had an unobstructed walk into the arena. In contrast, for the women’s games, I had to endure a 15-minute (or longer!) traffic backup that extended for a good half a mile, parked in an outer lot (the closer ones long since full), and then had to wend my way through the crowds to get to my seat at the press table.

My, how things have changed.

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Sooner News

Video and a OU Q&A with Whitney Hand

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Roz’s murder, but after hearing it, she writes about the issues that surround the tragedy: Love and Basketball: Not Always a Happy Ending

In many ways violence in lesbian and gay relationships is no different than violence in heterosexual relationships. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well we deal with relationship conflict, infidelity, or just growing apart. Our ability to cope with the anger, jealousy, anguish and depression that often go with a break up has nothing to do with whether we are gay or straight. Though we hear more about violence in heterosexual relationships, relationship violence of any kind, whether the relationship is straight or gay, is a problem.

On the other hand, many gay relationships must be negotiated without the institutional and personal support that are taken for granted by heterosexual couples. Coping with the relationship issues that are inherent in being in one are often exacerbated by isolation fear, and discrimination that many LGBT people face every day in a culture that tells them they are sick, sinful, immoral or crazy.

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Mechelle does, and it’s from the Big 12 Media Day: OU’s Sherri Coale, Baylor’s Kim Mulkey, Brittney Griner speak at Big 12 media day

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From Dishin’ and Swishin’:

Today on Dishin & Swishin, www.wstrradio.com after 1 pm ET

A very special tribute to Rosalind Ross, featuring her friends Etta Maytubby and LaNeisha Caufield-Daniels and her brother Spencer (the brother Voepel wrote about a few years back that idolized his sister). A fitting and moving tribute to a tragic loss.

LaChina Robinson, color commentator for the Atlanta Dream and I discuss the team’s emergence from expansion laughing stock to near WNBA champion in a fun piece

and

Clay Kallum (sic) and I discuss the USA Basketball FIBA World Championship squad, and a look at a couple of challengers to the team.

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in the wake of her murder, check out the Rebkell thread.

Of note:

Photo gallery

Donations:
Rosalind Ross Memorial Fund
Landmark Credit Union
5825 W Hope Ave Milwaukee, Wi 53216
CALL TO CONFIRM: (262) 796-4500
Make it out c/o the Memorial Fund.

Bruce Levy Associates has provided the following information: here’s the address they suggest sending donations to.

A charity game in her honor will be played at Bradley Tech High School at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

A Facebook Page was created to recognize and remember Rosalind Ross: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=160857227258378&ref=ts

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From Mechelle: In the midst of life …

I was writing late into the evening about the Seattle Storm’s triumph and the Atlanta Dream’s also-fine season when I got a message about Rosalind Ross’ death.

The former Oklahoma standout was fatally shot outside a restaurant in her hometown of Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Police said a 27-year-old woman was in custody, and knew Ross.

I wanted to write a column today about my memories of Ross, the kid who played despite a torn-up ACL that never was really fixed, who always seemed to be smiling, who stood up the best she could, along with her OU teammates, against the greatest women’s college basketball team I’ve seen, 2002 UConn, in the championship game.

But I found that this morning, as I tried to write it, tears kept stopping me. For Ross, and for every other young woman I’ve covered in my career who I knew dealt with difficult circumstances that were beyond anything I’d ever experienced. Young women who found basketball as a ticket away from hardship. Some of them really, truly got out of bad situations permanently. Others were out for a while, and maybe experienced the best days of their lives while on a college team, but then went back to struggles they’d always had to deal with.

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