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someone to the blog was “How do you tell a men’s jersey from a women’s jersey.”

Simple: one you can buy, the other you can’t.

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I did get to tromp around in the mud and see this beauty (ruddy turnstone), this beauty (black bellied plover) and this handsome guy (avocet) who shouldn’t even be in the neighborhood.

US 88, Czech Republic 61: Speaking of hot, the Czechs sure were hot from outside in the first quarter, huh? Didja get nervous? Me, not so much — I just feel a little like a little old grandpa backseat driving and yelling “Guard the damn three! I said GUARD THE DAMN THREE!” (Did you see this headline at the Detroit Free Press: U.S. women’s basketball routes Czech Republic, 88-61.” And here I’d heard the traffic wasn’t so bad…)

Fortunately, they listened to me (or maybe some Italian born coach), made the adjustments and started playing some beautiful ball to win the US’s 37th Olympic game in a row.

Oh, and congrats BUT the reason you got a new rebounding record is because YOU MISSED SO MANY DAMN BUNNIES I THOUGHT ELMER FUDD WAS SHOOTING! (note: wordpress has this cool stat thing that shows a map of where visitors to the site come from. I apologize to all those folks out there who are wondering who the heck Ethel, Fred, George and Elmer are…) From Auriemma: 

I think that when you get to the Olympic Games shooting percentages can go down – because players have a tendency to rush things. That one possession I think we had six offensive rebounds in one possession and couldn’t make a layup. The offense is going to go up and down depending on the day maybe but I know we are going to go on a couple of runs in the course of the game. We certainly need Diana to play the way she played today because when she does she is able to stretch the team’s defense like nobody else. The Czech team is very difficult to play against. Defensively the only chance we had was just to wear them down. I think that is exactly what happened they got worn down.

Nate is chillin’ over the US’s 3-shooting: USA Women’s Basketball Vs. Czech Republic: Why Poor Three Point Shooting Is Not A Major Concern In The 2012 Olympics

ESPN lets Loudy Foudy spend a whole 3:35 minutes on the USA basketball team: Maya Moore.

It’s ridiculous to thing how far the Brits have come in such a short time – remember, the team didn’t exist until 2006.

Initially, basketball was the only discipline in which the host country was not to be automatically awarded entry. This was because the Great Britain basketball teams did not exist until 2006, and FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, was concerned about the future of the unified British teams after 2012, as well as the claimed total lack of competitiveness of British basketball. However, in a meeting held in Lyon, France, on 13 March 2011, the FIBA executive board agreed to allow the British teams to qualify automatically

Tom Maher has been magnificent, and the team has really bought in to whatever he was selling. Crushingly enough, the French Assassin made sure Great Britain continued winless in the Olympics, as Les Bleus defeated England in “injury time.”

BTW, I recall speaking with Jo Leedham a couple years back, and Andrea Congreaves’ name came up. Here’s some WATN? news out of Ireland: Glanmire name former WNBA star as new coach

Canada, 79  Brazil, 73: Speaking of winless: Holy carp, how much of a hot mess is Brazil in and can they get it together before 2016? They go bye-bye, and Oh, Canada! Courtnay & Co. will play on.

Ooooo! Didja hear! We found new lyrics to the classic “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!”

You say CambAYge
And I say CamBAHge
You say garbAYge
And I say garbAHge

Australia 70, Russia 66: In the battle of the randomly prepared basketball announcers what’s-his-name on the sideline gets mispronunciation demerits, the whole group gets multiple demerits from turning Liz’s Olympic dunk into a story about Lauren v. Leslie. And Annie – -Love ya. You’re the most humble superb athlete I’ve ever met. But I believe Candace is going to ask you for the bonus money she earned with that mythical Championship.

Turkey 82, China 55: If you can figure out the Chinese team, please call. As for the Turkish team – cool! And, this settles it. I am covering the Worlds in Turkey in 2014 ’cause Turkey is the new hotbed and the place ought to be rockin’.

Croatia 75, Angola 56.

Up next: China at 11:45 EST. Check out Doug’s preview and email me thoughts about this quote:”The U.S. is a very tough team and we will do what we can against them,” China coach Sun Fengwu said through a translator. “We will try some special things against them.”

Oh, and the Washington Times has this: The real Dream Team: USA women’s basketball and the Bleacher Report has USA Olympic Women’s Basketball Team 2012: How Team Ranks Against Best All Time

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(Hey, it’s Friday — we all need a bad pun or two) I’m sure you read Doug’s preview:US women’s hoops team faces Czech Republic next

The rematch of the 2010 Worlds Championship will not be on NBC, but MSNBC.

Oh, dear, what on EARTH have Jo and company started? Women’s basketball catching fire with British fans (Hopefully there are not jerseys to be purchased)

While the venue, like most others in the London Games, has had its share of empty seats, it would be tough to tell from noise the crowd generates. Each session in the 12,000-seat arena is averaging just over 8,500 fans.

“It’s been awesome to see every single game, the energy, not just that the place is filled, but there is a great appreciation for women’s basketball,” said U.S. assistant coach Doug Bruno, who has seen the crowds while scouting the Americans’ future opponents. “The crowd is really into it. Growing this game is a process we’re working on back home, it’s not a quick process but it’s something everyone needs to work on.”

On the “local” level – a counter voice to Clay: Olympic gold could bring fans to WNBA

For basketball junkies, these Olympics provide an even greater opportunity: the chance to see international players compete in an accessible and clearly broadcast form. The Lynx currently own the draft rights to Rachel Jarry of Australia, Nika Baric of Slovenia and Damiris Dantas of Brazil, and these games are the best chance for fans to get a taste of what might be to come in the Lynx’s future.

A little WATN? with Ruthie Bolton: Writin’ books:Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist shares her ‘Ride of a Lifetime’

Speakin’ of reading: You can find the words of longtime WHB contributor Stephen Burt here – We Can Be Heroes: Poetry at the Olympics

What do these Olympic women — and the women’s side more generally — add to such accounts of poems and hoops? We might say they put poetry back on the ground: they remind us that the kind of effort that makes poems memorable, and makes elite games winnable, involves something that by its nature has to be shared. For poets it’s language, a set of expectations, a history of forms, a context of usage; for women’s hoops it’s the basketball itself, as well as the game plan, on offense and defense, and boards. People who watch the men but not the women like to talk about dunks, individual shows of strength; the woman best known for dunking, Brittney Griner, is the best U.S. player not in London, and women’s hoops — with or without Griner, even at its highest levels — generally takes place on the ground. The women’s game, more than the men’s, is a game about teamwork, shared defense, picks and thread-the-needle assists; it’s about making the right number of passes, moving the ball inside, and perhaps back out.

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available.

I mean, sheesh, if there were, someone might actually BUY an Angel jersey and, you know, wear it around, promoting the game and then, you know, people might actually get to know about US women’s basketball. Wouldn’t want that to happen.

I mean, LOOK at what’s happening in the UK with their women’s soccer team: Once banned, women’s soccer thriving at Olympics

The same historic venues that kept women off the field are seeing support ranging from decent to robust, topped by the 70,584 that watched Kelly Smith and Britain beat Brazil 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night, a record British crowd and the third-largest to watch a women’s game anywhere in the world.

“I think we’re breaking boundaries,” British forward Eniola Aluko said. “And the people who are in control of the game can recognize now that women’s football is essentially a sport. So get more people out to see us like this and it will grow.”

Wasn’t it better in the olden days?
In 1921, England’s Football Associationbanned women from playing soccer on Football League grounds because the game was deemed “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.”


In the US, two years later:
The WDNAAF holds its first conference. It attacks competitive athletics, especially basketball as being unhealthy and inappropriate. Concern that women’s scholastic athletics will begin to resemble men’s (quasi-professional, corrupt, promoting betting) they promote a “Sports for Sports sake” philosophy.
I appreciate how retro USA Basketball and their marketing partners are, don’t you?

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engine, it’s clear this team will be cookin’ with gas – ’cause the “second” team is rockin’ the house.

It’s likely “Las Segundas”  will eventually have their own struggles, and that the Bird-Parker (ooo, Jazz!) – Taurasi- Charles (uniform malfunction aside) and the (still hobbled)-Fowles quintet will find their rhythm, but whoever they put on the court, the US is a damn tough out. There’s just no drop off. Writes Doug: Depth leads U.S. women’s basketball team past Turkey

Coming off the bench is a new role for McCoughtry, who has started for almost her entire career since high school. It’s a role she thrives in.

“Honestly not starting has been the best thing for my career,” she said. “I’ve gained discipline and I think before I didn’t have the discipline. This took my game to another level.”

From USA Basketball: USA Women Remain Unbeaten With 89-58 Rout of Turkey the box and extra quotes.

The Baltimore Brew is proud: Another Baltimore Olympian to cheer for: Angel McCoughtry – A member of the 2012 U.S. women’s basketball team, she honed her skills at a city rec center

The other games: The Czech Republic, the US’s next opponent, finally got a win, taking down Croatia 89-70. Check out Lee’s discussion of why

with 1.6 seconds left in the game, the score stood at 89-70 in favor of the Czechs, when Croatia’s Anna Lelas turned the ball over on a traveling violation. But instead of simply inbounding and allowing time to expire, Czech coach Lubor Blazek called time out, and the television cameras that are ubiquitous in Olympic arenas showed him in the huddle drawing up a final play.

China downed Angola, 76-52.

It certainly ain’t pretty — and I’ve got to believe some Aussie fans are pulling out their hair, even if LJ is amongst the scoringest (all hail Janeth) — but the Opals managed to dispatch Brazil, 67-61. As for Brazilian fans? Something’s got to change…

Similar score — and the Brits must be so proud, even in their lossRussia 67, UK 61.

France squeaked by Canada, 64-60.

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I still think it’s cool that, at the official online shop of the US Olympic team, you can get a Lebron jersey but you can’t get a Taurasi jersey.

If that doesn’t send a clear message to all dem wimmen athletes, nothin ‘ will.

I’d give Doug a nickel to ask Diana what kind of respect the USOC was showing….

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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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early.

With a h/t to Nan, which team won by 19?

USA Plucks Victory From Upset Minded Turkey

SA Men’s Fast Start Paves Way To Win Against Argentina (now updated to: Kevin Durant’s 27 Points Lead USA To  Win Over Argentina)

ESPN, oddly enough, said NOTHING about the women’s game, but plenty of time to the men’s game — as well as their upcoming game against Spain. Yah, there’s the expected disrespect — but, I’m also hearing echoes of Athens (Tell us: Should close games concern USA [men’s] basketball team?). Those of us who followed the women’s team will remember Dawn pointedly commenting how the women finally were getting covered – but in REACTION to the men, not on their own merits. Might that happen this year?

Nice to see ESPN could send Marc Stein to cover the men. Where’s Mechelle?

Moving on… Some post-game quotes: On Seimone Augustus …

A: “That’s why you have somebody like that. You bring her in the game because you know offensively; she’s got it going every night. Some players they know what they are good at. They know what their specialty is, and everybody on the team knows, if we go to her, something good is going to happen and she didn’t disappoint, which she rarely does. So, I was happy for her because going into the Olympics, she’s going to be that designated hitter. You are going to bring her off the bench, and you are going to get instant offense from her. So, this is a good send-off for her.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The 2012 U.S. Olympic team is one of the strongest ever. It includes an eclectic mix of some of the biggest stars in international sports and a group of bright-eyed and little-known teenagers who shouldn’t be little-known for long. Here are 20 Americans you can expect to see and hear a lot from during the next three weeks.

From the Star-Tribune: Maya Moore: Wherever she goes, titles follow

Maya Moore feels blessed and thankful about being on the U.S. Olympic team. At age 23, the second-year Lynx forward is the team’s youngest player.

“This is the biggest stage that I have played [on],” Moore said. “I probably need to take more moments to think about — wow — how cool it is to be where I am.”

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unless, of course, you’re the Chinese National team.

US women’s basketball team routs China 100-62 in an exhibition game and Starters, subs shine for U.S. women

“We gave up too many points in the first half,” he said. “But we talked about this in the locker room — not one player on this team was picked because they’re a great defensive player. We have all these good offensive players that are going to moan when we make them play defense. Defense is going to be the last thing that we get right, but as the weeks go on, we’re going to get it right.”

Speaking of which : For women’s basketball stars, representing their country is worth its weight in gold – In men’s basketball, the NBA ring is the thing, and a gold medal is cool if it happens. But in women’s basketball, the pursuit of Olympic gold remains a priority.

Four years ago, a flight attendant recognized Sue Bird on her trip home from the Beijing Olympics. It didn’t take long before everyone on the airplane was applauding the world champion and asking the question.

Can we see your gold medal?

Bird pulled the precious item — the second Olympic gold of her career — out of her carry-on bag, and the next thing she knew, the medal was being passed around the plane. Even the pilot begged to see it.

“Nothing compares to that,” Bird said, explaining the importance and the joy of playing on the United States women’s basketball team.

Mechelle’s been busy:

Little looks for big impact in Seattle

If you called Seattle’s Camille Little a successful scavenger in the WNBA, she’d rightfully take it as a compliment. She specializes in picking up the loose ball here, the missed shot there, and trying to turn them into something valuable for the Storm.

“I’m not the first, second or even third option,” Little said. “I get my shots where they fit in. I get rebounds and putbacks and steals. I don’t get my number called a lot, but I get things done in a different way.”

However, during this past winter, Little played in China. As the only American on the team, she had a very different role than she has in Seattle.

M did a little chatting:

Jan (Kentucky): How did UNC land such a haul in Women’s college basketball recruiting? Who does Tennessee need to get them back to the Final Four?

Mechelle Voepel: Yeah, that’s something isn’t it? Clearly assistant Trisha Stafford-Odom has been a boost to UNC, having come over last summer from Duke. (What intrigue *that* is!) Carolina has usually recruited well over the years, but this is quite a haul. The questions remain, though: How exactly to they find spots for all those currently on the team, the 2012 signees, and those from the class of 2013 who’ve given verbal commitments? Aren’t we sure to see a few transfers from Carolina over the next 1-3 years? And will this talent actually develop well enough and play well together?

As for Tennessee, I know a lot of Orange fans were – and maybe still are – apoplectic over the UNC windfall, and worried that they are really falling behind in recruiting. But the new-look Tennessee staff is only now really just in place … they are going to have to hit the trail -figuratvely speaking – hard now and try to catch up, if you will. Tennessee has good recruiting coaches in place.

She also did a little podding: WSC Radio Show: May 11, 2012: Brenda and Mechelle talk about the WNBA, Brittney Griner’s injury, NCAA softball and more

Oh, ain’t this… funny: NJ kicks NY out of NJ so NJ can play NY so the Liberty Open Season at MSG

You know, those coaching changes are still happening.

Ditto with those WNBA transactions.

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What are you doing July 16th? (Starts pondering her next “stalking” trip…)

 The 2012 USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s exhibition schedule was announced today and will include exhibition contests against Brazil in Washington, D.C., on July 16, and Great Britain in Manchester, England, on July 18. Additionally, the USA is scheduled to play in a four-team tournament hosted by Turkey in Istanbul, July 21-24. The remaining two teams and the tournament schedule will be announced at a later date.

What do you think of the new logo?

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