Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey ball

Thirty-six games on tap today.

Those not playing today are likely on their way to a holiday tournament, or getting ready for one. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Player news:

Utah fifth-year senior Taryn Wicijowski is making the most of her playing time.

Iowa freshman Claire Ricketts is out 2-3 months with a fractured wrist.

Georgia Tech's Rodreeka Rogers is refining her interior game.

Team/coach news:

Notre Dame is learning it's a marathon, not a sprint. (That was an Ice Cube lyric some years ago)

Jacksonville coach Yolett McCuin talks motherhood, risky business and being Bahamian.

Louisiana Tech will be featured on a CBS-produced show called 60 Minutes Sports.

International news:

FIBA has suspended Japan from International and Olympic team competition for their failure to merge two professional men's leagues. The decision damages the women's team more.

This week's mid-major poll

The top 15, according to ESPN:

1. Green Bay
2. James Madison
3. Western Kentucky
4. Gonzaga
5. Florida Gulf Coast
6. Princeton
7. George Washington
8. Albany
9. UALR
10. Dayton
11. Middle Tennessee
12.Wichita State
13. Cal State Northridge
14. Pacific
15. Eastern Washington

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

USA Today top 25 coaches poll

This week:

1. Notre Dame
2. South Carolina
3. Connecticut
4. Stanford
5. Tennessee
6. Texas A&M
7. Duke
8. Maryland
9. Texas
10. Kentucky
11. Louisville
12. North Carolina
13. Baylor
14. California
15. Nebraska
16. Iowa
17. Michigan State
18. DePaul
19. Oklahoma State
20. Oregon State
21. West Virginia
22. Syracuse
23. James Madison
24. Rutgers
25. Georgia

Wade watch candidates announced

The candidates:

Jillian Alleyne, Oregon

Rachel Banham, Minnesota

Brittany Boyd, California

Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan

Nina Davis, Baylor

Nneka Enemkpali, Texas

Bashaara Graves, Tennessee

Allisha Gray, North Carolina

Reshanda Gray, California

Dearica Hamby, Wake Forest

Sara Hammond, Louisville

Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Bria Holmes, West Virginia'

Brittany Hrynko, DePaul

Samantha Logic, Iowa

Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut

Amber Orrange, Stanford

Kelsey Plum, Washington

Breanna Stewart, Connecticut

Rachel Theriot, Nebraska

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

Elizabeth Williams, Duke

USC Trojans lose two; roster down to 11

Destinie Gibbs and Chyanne Butler are no longer with USC. The roster is now at 11 players.

Monday, November 24, 2014

John R. Wooden Award preseason list released

The Wooden Award preseason list was released today:

Name School Conference Ht. Yr. Pos.

Jillian Alleyne Oregon Pac-12 6-3 Jr. F
Rachel Banham Minnesota Big Ten 5-9 Sr. G
Brittany Boyd California Pac-12 5-9 Sr. G
Crystal Bradford Central Michigan MAC 6-0 Sr. G
Lexie Brown Maryland Big Ten 5-9 So. G
Nina Davis Baylor Big 12 5-11 So. F
Kaela Davis Georgia Tech ACC 6-2 So. G
Nneka Enemkpali Texas Big 12 6-1 Sr. F
Bashaara Graves Tennessee SEC 6-2 Jr. F
Reshanda Gray California Pac-12 6-3 Sr. F
Allisha Gray North Carolina ACC 6-0 So. G
Dearica Hamby Wake Forest ACC 6-3 Sr. F
Sara Hammond Louisville ACC 6-2 Sr. F
Isabelle Harrison Tennessee SEC 6-3 Sr. C
Bria Holmes West Virginia Big 12 6-1 Jr. G
Brittany Hrynko DePaul Big East 5-8 Sr. G
Moriah Jefferson UConn The American 5-7 Jr. G
Samantha Logic Iowa Big Ten 5-9 Sr. G
Jewell Loyd Notre Dame ACC 5-10 Jr. G
Tiffany Mitchell South Carolina SEC 5-9 Jr. G
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis UConn The American 5-11 Sr. F
Amber Orrange Stanford Pac-12 5-7 Sr. G
Kelsey Plum Washington Pac-12 5-8 So. G
Aerial Powers Michigan State Big Ten 6-0 So. F
Breanna Stewart* UConn The American 6-4 Jr. F
Rachel Theriot Nebraska Big Ten 6-0 Jr. G
Courtney Walker Texas A&M SEC 5-8 Jr. G
Aleighsa Welch South Carolina SEC 6-0 Sr. F
Elizabeth Williams Duke ACC 6-3 Sr. C/F
Courtney Williams USF The American 5-8 Jr. G

What an amazing list.

Another almost-upset

Today's results:

#5 Stanford held off New Mexico, 70-65. (I predict the Cardinal and Cal will tie for first in the Pac-12 this season)

St. John's edged Marist, 49-48. What has happened to the Red Foxes? They're 0-3.

Tulane used defense to prevail over North Carolina State, 61-50.

The Gilbert sisters lead Chattanooga over Austin Peay, 76-65.

#4 Tennessee stuffed Tennessee State, 97-46.

All scores.

More news:

Texas is the NCAA team of the week. After seeing them in person yesterday, I must agree.

San Francisco forward Taylor Proctor is on a mission to lead her team to the big dance.

Junior guard Hannah Huffman is finding her role at Notre Dame.

Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey reflects on last week's tough losses.

Pro news:

The Atlanta Dream have signed Danita Knight as a strategic consultant to help increase team visibility.

AP poll: South Carolina is the new #1

The Gamecocks are #1 in this week's AP top 25 poll, for the first time:

1. South Carolina
2. Notre Dame
3. Connecticut
4. Tennessee
5. Stanford
6. Texas
7. Texas A&M
8. Duke
9. Kentucky
10. Maryland
11. North Carolina
12. Louisville
13. Baylor
14. California
15. Nebraska
16. Michigan State
17. Iowa
18. DePaul
19. Oregon State
20. Oklahoma State
21. Rutgers
22. Georgia
23. Syracuse
24. West Virginia
25. Mississippi State

Look at all the other changes, too.....it's going to be an interesting season!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jody Conradt, Billie Moore grace the Texas-UCLA game with their presence

Two coaching legends took in today's Texas-UCLA game: Jody Conradt and Billie Moore. I interviewed Conradt for this piece, and then met them both at the game (my media seat was right next to them).

Such nice people. And I hope I'm looking half as good as they do when I'm in my 70s.

I was a bit star struck. Still am.

An eye-opening day

Today's most compelling games weren't necessarily those of ranked teams:

Amherst won their 100th straight home game, breaking UConn's record of 99.

Rick Insell guided his Middle Tennessee State Lady Raiders past son Matt Insell's Ole Miss team, 71-65. It was the first time in NCAA history that a father and son coached against each other.

More results:

Reshanda Gray lead #14 Cal over Missouri, 82-70, to take the Wahine Classic in Hawaii. Gray had 28 points.

#10 Texas used rebounds to down UCLA, 75-65. (Story and photos by yours truly)

#1 UConn is back to their winning ways with a 96-60 rout of Creighton.

#24 Georgia held on to beat Georgia Tech, 64-57.

All scores.

More news:

First Lady Michelle Obama attended Princeton's home game against American today to watch her niece play for the Tigers. She talked to the team at halftime.

Stanford's Lili Thompson is EWPNW's first national player of the week for the season.

Michigan State is looking for a third scorer.

Ohio State's Amy Scullion is back from injury, and she's trying to adjust.

Sidney Cook is now eligible to play for Virginia Tech.