Monday, May 30, 2016

Pause for the cause

WNBA teams have Memorial Day off, as they should.

In the meantime, the league has named eight breakout players for the season, thus far:

Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta; Tayler Hill, Washington; Kayla McBride, San Antonio; Jewell Loyd, Seattle; Layshia Clarendon, Atlanta; Sugar Rodgers, New York; Jamierra Faulkner, Chicago; Dearica Hamby, San Antonio.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Lynx at Liberty

Sun at Mercury

Player news:

The Sky isn't the limit, as Allie Quigley is an integral part of the Chicago Sky.

USA Basketball news:

The U18 team has been named.

Finalists for the U17 team have been announced.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

While we wait for this game to be played.....

Currently the Sun are battling with the Storm, and it's a good one.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Fever at Dream

Sky at Wings

Mystics at Mercury

Team news:

The Mercury enter a "must-win" game against the Mystics tomorrow.

With their big four, the Lynx are looking even better.

Player news:

Tamika Catchings is providing signature visits on her 2016 legacy tour.

Catchings says it's time for a celebration.

Dirty jobs with the Stars, Alex Montgomery.

College coach news:

The SEC has a Purdue flavor in its coaching ranks.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie battles on and off the court.

Texas State coach Zenarae Antoine is part of a coaching couple.

A pretty good discussion about the WNBA's struggles

Despite the (to me) offensive headline, the New York Times offers a pretty good analysis of the struggles of the WNBA to get a fan base:

Sue Bird, the Seattle point guard who is playing in her 14th season, said, "There's a weird disconnect between college players and W.N.B.A. players in terms of how people view us."

It is as if fans need to be reminded, she said, that "we're actually the same players."


I've been puzzled about this for years.

And:

“I’m optimistic, but I’m not naïve,” said Michael Alter, the owner of the Chicago Sky. “It’s not easy to get the word out. We don’t have the support of all the free media; we have to work really hard. It’s a grind, and we’re just plugging away. But we’ve got great athletes, and we’re doing everything possible to expose them to the media.”

And:

The small Arlington arena needed most of the first half of a preseason game between the Wings and the Connecticut Sun before the crowd appeared to reach its paid attendance of 2,326. The first regular-season home game, a victory over the San Antonio Stars in a sellout arena, was a better early indicator of local interest in the relocated team that will try to break through in a crowded market. The region features the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys and Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, who play nearby, as well as the N.B.A.’s Dallas Mavericks and the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars.

For more than a quarter, even as the Wings took a big lead, fans were quiet, many with arms folded, as if sending a message to the players: Show me. The recorded exhortations to shout “Defense!” were not being followed. Slowly, the fans came alive. They started razzing Sun players at the free-throw line. A white-haired man jawed at the visiting team.


Three things:

1. As I've said previously, the WNBA needs to tweet and promote EVERY SINGLE STORY about a player, team or coach in the league. They still don't do it. They'll tweet their own stuff and ESPN stuff, but not much else. Treat media, like myself, who love and write about the league like gold.

2. The public still needs to be educated about the game, and about athletic women in our society.

I'd be happy to help out.

3. Fans of the college game need to pay attention to the WNBA. WNBA fans need to pay attention to college ball.

I'm trying to help as hard as I can.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What a night

WNBA week two: still intense.

The Storm forced an overtime with a frantic fourth quarter comeback, but the Mystics won, 84-82.

The Sparks shook off a slow start to edge the Sun, 77-72.

The Sun are making progress.

It's the best start for Los Angeles since 2003.

Player news:

Liberty center Tina Charles said NBA commissioner Adam Silver has done a good job of strengthening relations between that league and the WNBA.

Coach news:

Q&A with Lync coach Cheryl Reeve.

Afternoon delight

One of tonight's two games pits Ogwumike against Ogwumike, as the Sparks visit the Sun.

It will be a reunion on many levels.

The Mystics also visit the Storm.

Washington-Seattle preview.

WNBA news:

WNBA's power rankings, week two. (Hint: Sparks are moving on up like the Jeffersons). And (the WNBA is now using my theme idea too, as ESPN did last week).

The league's "race to the MVP" has Candace Parker in the top slot now.

Team news:

The Wings are looking to string together a complete game.

But Dallas is quickly putting together some chemistry, despite setbacks.

The Storm's offense has featured a balanced attack in their first three games.

The Liberty are remaking their small forward position.

Balance is the name of the game for the Fever.

Player news:

Sparks forward Ana Dabovic can score on anybody - even USA Basketball.

Breanna Stewart and Fat Joe came "all the way up."

Liberty center Tina Charles has had early season success.

Get to know Lynx veteran Jia Perkins.

College player news:

Gabby Green will transfer from Cal.

College coach news:

Lin Dunn's relationship with Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell lured her from retirement.

Stephanie White was introduced as Vanderbilt's new head coach yesterday.

St. Bonaventure alum Jesse Fleming is the new head coach of the women's program.

International basketball:

Lauren Jackson is keen to lead the charge for female athletes.

Edmonton's Plouffe twins are anticipating an Olympic appearance together.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

4-0, and 0-4

Just moments ago, the Lynx held off the Mercury, 85-78.

Minnesota is now 4-0 and Phoenix, 0-4.

Player news:

San Antonio will retire Becky Hammon's jersey June 25.

Ivory Latta will soon return from injury to settle the Mystics.

By making the final Storm roster, rookie Blake Dietrick realized a dream that seemed impossible.

Dallas rookie Ruth Hamblin is one month a pro.

Wings forward Theresa Plaisance is not expected to play this weekend after spraining her ankle.

Dream forward Angel McCoughtry has a drive for more gold.

Q&A with Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike.

Coach news:

A slow start and many fouls have marked Sun coach Curt Miller's first season with the Sun.

College player news:

Florida guard Isis Young is transferring to Syracuse.

Omaha has landed Indiana transfer Jess Walter.

Richmond guard Lauren Tolson has been granted an extra year of eligibility.

College coach news:

Newly-hired coach Stephanie White plans to speed up play at Vanderbilt.

One writer says White was worth the wait.

New Commodores associate head coach Carolyn Peck will oversee the program while White finishes coaching the Indiana Fever.

Kentucky's new assistant coaches have strong bonds and a common goal.

Kim McNeill is Hartford's new head coach.

Wendale Farrow is Cal's new assistant coach.

Edgar Farmer has joined Clemson as an assistant coach.

Darren Guensch is East Carolina's new assistant coach.

Decline in women coaching issue is complex, with solutions

I began researching the decline in women coaching issue about two months ago, after social media flare ups. I found a whole heck of a lot of discontent - even despair - in the assistant coaching ranks. So I dug deeper, and deeper, and deeper......

Almost a dozen studies and countless interviews later, we have this piece.

So much to think about. Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Every crayon in the Crayola box

Look who's 4-0:

The Sparks cruised past the Sky, 93-80. Candace Parker led the way for Los Angeles with 26 points.

In the meantime, the Dream outlasted the Liberty in overtime, 85-79. Tiffany Hayes had 27 points and 11 boards for Atlanta. The W says Hayes is having a breakout season.

Transactions:

Swin Cash is back with the Liberty, after being waived May 11 to meet salary cap requirements.

The Mystics waived Zoi Dimitrakou yesterday and signed Jamie Weisner today.

Team news:

The Mercury will try to avoid going 0-4 tomorrow, as they host the Lynx.

Player news:

Storm rookie Breanna Stewart has begun a new chapter in the WNBA.

How Sky rookie Imani Boyette beat the odds, and her depression.

Indiana Fever's Erica Wheeler has had a journey to the league.

Moriah Jefferson is quickly becoming a shining star in San Antonio.

College player news:

Stasha Carey has left Pitt and transferred to Rutgers.

Batouly Camara has officially transferred from Kentucky to UConn.

Southeast Missouri has added Missouri transfer Carrie Shepard.

College coach news:

Coach Felisha Legette-Jack has signed a new five-year contract at Buffalo.

Tamika Williams-Jeter joins Penn State as an assistant coach.

Jason Glover is a new assistant coach at New Mexico State.

Sally Higgins has joined Samford as an assistant coach.

College athletic director news:

The University of Washington's new athletic director is Jennifer Cohen. Yes, a woman!

College program news:

UCLA has signed a $280 million deal with Under Armor - the biggest deal in NCAA history.

College recruiting rankings:

South Carolina has crept into the top 20.

Stephanie White:

Money influenced Stephanie White's move to Vanderbilt.

Another journey begins for White.

International basketball:

Canada is relishing its new status as a threat on the International stage.

Lauren Jackson to the rescue for the Melbourne Boomers.