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to the start of the 2015-16 season.

Utah: Under Lynne Roberts, Utes are pursuing new fans

Some people sketch out their vision on a napkin, or a whiteboard, or store it in the files of their mind.

As of Friday, Lynne Roberts has a website.

Utah women’s basketball rolled out a website dedicated to its players, coaches, tradition and home. The website, utahwomenshoops.com, features video interviews of everyone in the program, and images touting past success — implying success to come.

In Roberts’ profile, she quotes Henry Kissinger: “The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have never been.”

It’s what the 40-year-old head coach has in mind for the Utes: making the program a headline attraction.

Nebraska: With a deeper roster, Creighton women’s basketball has a good problem

There have been seasons in which Creighton women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery didn’t have enough healthy bodies to practice.

Not this season. Flanery has 15 players on the roster. He has more depth than he knows what to do with. Although not a big fan of redshirting, he’s going to ask two of his players to sit out this year.

Nebraska, too: Meet the Husker women’s basketball team

Iowa State: Johnson trying to be more vocal, show she’s an all-conference performer

“Her ability to rebound, her ability to get to the basket in situations — her numbers are eerily consistent,” Fennelly said. “But we have to find that solid starter as a sophomore, good player, that bumps to great, all-conference, unquestioned leader kind of thing. I think she’s capable.” 

More Iowa State: Buckley set to takeover at point guard

“This is the first year in a long time where we don’t have an incumbent point guard that you know is really, really good,” Fennelly said. “You look at that wall in there, and it’s full of really good point guards. I honestly believe Jadda Buckley could be the next one. 

Connecticut: UConn Women’s Insider: Gabby Williams Has Put In Extra Work – And It Shows

Last year was a busy one for Gabby Williams, filled with transitional tasks that would easily spin the head of any 18-year-old freshman.

She moved from high school to college, from Nevada to Storrs. She worked on mending after a second season-ending knee injury early in her senior season at Sparks High in Reno. And she accepted the challenge of a shift from guard to forward, presented by the UConn coaching staff during her first summer on campus.

And yet, from just about every imaginable perspective, her freshman season was a great success.

South Dakota: SD fervor for women’s basketball is unique and appreciated

The fervor for women’s basketball is a legend across South Dakota, and now nationally as teams from colleges across the state continue to draw record crowds, surprising the out-of-state spectators and lifting the players with the energy, enthusiasm and support the sport garners here.

“I try to make sure our players take a step back and appreciate it when we’re setting attendance records (in the Premier Center),” said USD coach Amy Williams. “Whether they go on to play (after college) or their careers are over, they probably won’t ever have another experience like that.”

Hoping for further growth in NY: New faces for Stony Brook women’s basketball team have winning pedigrees

New Jersey: Dynamic duo leads Rutgers into second year in Big Ten

New Hampshire: Coaches’ Corner With Maureen Magarity

North Carolina: Brown guides from the bench for Duke women’s basketball

Duke’s roster boasts several electric backcourt players this season, but the guard that may have the biggest impact on the team will never see the floor during a game.

Lexie Brown was a third-team All-American as a sophomore last year at Maryland, leading the Terrapins to back-to-back Final Four appearances before deciding to transfer to Duke in the offseason. She will have to sit out of competition this year due to NCAA transfer regulations, but the Suwanee, Ga., native will still practice with the team and challenge the Blue Devils’ young backcourt in practice all winter.

Kansas: Breaking down the WSU women’s basketball team

What will life after Alex Harden be like for the Wichita State women’s basketball team?

Harden is playing for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA and Wichita State is left with an average of just 5.3 points returning from the team that paired its third straight Missouri Valley championship with its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

It’s just the latest challenge for coach Jody Adams, who has taken on – and conquered – a myriad of them to build Wichita State to its current status atop the MVC.

Florida: 

Last season was the first time the Gators failed to make the postseason in eight years under coach Amanda Butler. A 5-11 SEC record doomed them and led preseason prognosticators to peg UF for a 12th-place finish in the SEC. The Gators have reasons to believe last year was a blip rather than a trend. UF has a strong five-member senior class and only two freshmen, so inexperience should not be a concern. Six players averaged at least 7.1 points per game last season, and five are returning.

Who’s in charge?

California: Mikayla Cowling set to lead Cal women’s basketball in 2015-16

Unlike years past, the Cal women’s basketball team won’t be entering the 2015-16 season as one of the contenders to win the title. While its three-point loss at home to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year was devastating, the more crushing blow to the future of the program was the loss of its top three scorers.

California, too: UCLA women’s basketball looks to bolster teamwork efforts

Sue has a preview of all the Pac 12 teams.

Fingers crossed in Minnesota: Banham’s return buoys Gophers’ lineup revisions – Guard back from knee injury nears scoring record. 

The thing that’s most exciting to me is the way the fan base has embraced us and what we’re trying to do,” Stollings said. “People have said, ‘You know, you’ve electrified the fan base again. You’ve instilled pride back into the program.’ For me, it’s been awesome being embraced by our fans.

In DIII hoops: No surprise, Thomas More is picked to repeat.

For most of our Top 25 voters, the easiest decision was the first one: putting Thomas More No. 1. The defending champions return four starters and seven players from their regular rotation, including D3hoops.com Player of the Year Sydney Moss, and were a unanimous No. 1 selection in the D3hoops.com preseason women’s basketball Top 25 poll.

Wisconsin: Johnson forgoes WNBA for one last chance with UW

For Michala Johnson, the training room became the place she resided during games almost as much as the bench. Thanks to two ACL injuries, the sixth-year senior has become as versed in the anatomy of a knee as the Wisconsin playbook. Twice, she has watched her team suffer on the floor knowing full well she could do very little to affect the outcomes of their games.

“The hardest part is just having to go through it again. Always being in the training room, when I want to be out, watching practice or being a part of the team,” Johnson said of her latest ACL injury, which kept her out of most of the 2014-’15 season. 

Audio: Dishin & Swishin 11/05/15 Podcast: Vanderbilt’s Melanie Balcomb on the transfer epidemic, returning to prominence in the SEC and more

Video: Auriemma on First Take

Video: Super Vol Fan Margo has her preview,

Like Margo, we’re wondering: Can Diamond DeShields lead Tennessee back to the Final Four?

Oooo – Reporter Flashback parallels WNBA fashback: Ailene Voisin: Monarchs join party for Women in Sports festivities

While the Kings limp through the opening weeks of 2015-16, their final season inside the soon-to-be archived Sleep Train Arena, the trip down memory lane continues.

Everyone has a personal favorite. Opening night against the Los Angeles Clippers in the temporary facility in 1985. Mike Bibby’s side jumper against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5. The sobfest finale in 2011 that gave NBA owners pause about relocating the franchise. The Oct. 28 regular-season opener against the Clippers, suggesting it was time to start prepping for the move into Golden 1 Center.

But there is no forgetting the Monarchs.

Never, ever, ever, ever.

Staying on the West Coast: Rhea finds home with Seattle Storm 

Talisa Rhea has always had a head and passion for the game of basketball.

Whether competing on the court or sitting on the sidelines, she was a student of the game, the 94-by-50-foot court serving as a classroom of sorts.

That classroom now includes a promotion to the position of manager of basketball operations for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the next best thing to playing, according to Rhea, a 2007 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate.

Texas: Dallas’ new WNBA team look to be ‘market disrupters’

From the video series “The Makers”: The WNBA’s Candace Parker On Winning at Work (Plus, Her Must-Try “24-Hour Rule”)

Adam Silver confident in WNBA, plans to be more involved. (Okay… how about asking Lin Dunn, “What’re you up to these days….”?) Writes Mechelle:

The league must look for someone who can build on what’s been accomplished, and remedy (or at least start to) some of the things that haven’t. I believe someone with both strong basketball and business backgrounds is the best target.

Wednesday night, I spoke at length with NBA commissioner Adam Silver about where the WNBA goes from here. And although you don’t typically see the word “passionate” used in regard to Silver, he genuinely sounded that way about his commitment to the WNBA. And frankly, that was very good to hear.

Following up on the post below: From David: Black Mizzou Football Players Are Going on Strike Over Campus Racism – In a game changer that could bring down a university president, the Missouri football players are showing just how powerful their labor is.

The power of this action cannot be overstated. These football players have forced people to educate themselves about a campus environment that has been on fire for months, if not years. (Here is a timeline.) This year activists on campus have protested over the rights of adjunct professors, the cutting of health care benefits, the rolling back reproductive rights for women, and a hostile climate for students of color. And a recent series of ugly racist incidents led the football players to take collective action. For a team that two years ago stood in solidarity with teammate Michael Sam when he told the world he was gay, they again made the lionhearted decision to rise to the moment.

I spoke with Dr. Rebecca Martinez, an assistant professor in women’s and gender Studies. She said, “The football program here at Mizzou is a central part of the university culture.  The collective athletes of color who made the decision to go on strike do so with conviction for social justice for marginalized students on our campus. Given the importance of football here, they are taking a significant stand. They are not thinking of themselves, their play, and their careers at this moment. It is not an easy thing to do on a football-centered campus like ours, especially around the issue of racism. There will likely be no shortage of those who put football above humanity and who are convinced that racism doesn’t live here. And they are wrong.”

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By yours truly, over at Full Court: Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Yolanda Griffith – Perennial underdog arrives at pinnacle

Tracing Yolanda Griffith’s route to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, one sees a career that might have been de-railed but was, instead, constantly re-railed. Those who watched the 6-4 center play in the ABL and WNBA will remember her as fierce, focused competitor. But, said Griffith, “That happened later.”

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

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

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

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

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

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From Wisconsin News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for your support and see you at The Rock!

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John Whisenant returns in dual role

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

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

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WATN? Edna Campbell

Texas!

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Ticha Penicheiro playing as well as ever – 35-year-old point guard has become so much more than a flashy passer

Actually, very early on, in newspaper stories in Virginia, she was sometimes still referred to by her given name, “Patricia,” before her nickname was firmly established.

As for her last name … well, I’ve told this story before, but this is how I learned to spell it correctly. My best friend from college worked with me at a newspaper in Newport News, Va., across the water from Norfolk. And one day, he pointed out that you just needed to think about the song “Old MacDonald” to correctly remember the order of the vowels in “Penicheiro.”

EE-I-EE-I-OH!

And so it is, some 16 years later, that I still sing “Old MacDonald” when I spell Penicheiro, even when I really should no longer need to. It’s just automatic.

This is the kind of story that reminds me why it’s important to me to have people with a history in covering the women’s game, well, covering the women’s game. A reporter can come in, (hopefully) do research, and write a competent, even great piece.

But the flavor that someone who’s been around for years can bring to a piece is unmistakable.

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From Joseph D’Hippolito: After 12 years with Monarchs, Penicheiro gets used to L.A. life

At 35, the point guard leads the WNBA in assists per game (6.7), total assists (200), assists per 40 minutes (10.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.18).

“Her play has been huge for us,” Sparks forward DeLisha Milton-Jones said. “What Ticha brings is something that a lot of point guards wish they had: her height (5-foot-11), her court vision and her savviness with the ball. Ticha gets it in transition and just rams it down the defense’s throat.”

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From Odeen Domingo at the AZ Republic:

She’s the greatest female basketball player Arizona has ever produced. Voted The Republic’s Player of the 20th Century.

Nicole Powell, a Phoenix Mountain Pointe graduate in 2000, is a no-brainer for the 2010 class of azcentral.com’s High School Sports Hall of Fame members just on her basketball accomplishments alone.

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