Monday, December 22, 2014

Changes in AP poll

Cal and DePaul drop out of this week's AP top 25 poll, and Green Bay and Arizona State drop in:

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

This has got to be the highest ranking for Oregon State in program history, and it might be the lowest for Stanford in many years. Just, wow.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Unbeatens dropping like flies

Wild day so far, on the first full day of games since finals........

Undefeated no more:

An Empress Davenport layup with 4.2 seconds to go sent #3 Texas over #4 Texas A&M, 67-65. It was the first loss of the year for the Aggies.

Indiana State upset St. John's in two overtimes, 73-67. SJU had been undefeated.

Arizona State gave Northwestern their first loss with an 88-75 trouncing.


#13 Duke routed #8 Kentucky
, 89-68.

Other notable results so far today:

#23 Iowa survived Drake, 100-98.

#18 Michigan State downed #19 Syracuse, 89-76.

#19 Oklahoma State rallied to beat USC, 66-62.

South Florida outlasted Penn State, 90-87.

#10 Louisville defeated #24 Cal, 70-57.

Arkansas over Oklahoma, 71-64.

Minnesota slipped by Central Michigan, 67-64.

Full scoreboard.


Iowa State is looking for a consistent scorer.

Colorado's Lexy Kresl is playing better due to assistant coach Jamie Carey.

Off-season workouts have paid off for Maine's Anna Heise

Pro news:

Lauren Jackson is back in action, playing in Australia.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

High school rankings, Nike TOC

This week's rankings:

Maxpreps Xcellent 25:

1 McEachern (Powder Springs, GA)
2 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, CA)
3 Blackman (Murfreesboro, TN)
4 Chaminade (West Hills, CA)
5 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)
6 Oakland (Murfreesboro, TN)
7 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, FL)
8 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, PA)
9 Rock Bridge (Columbia, MO)
10 St. Mary's (Stockton, CA)
11 Bishop McNamara (Forestville, MD)
12 Elizabethtown (KY)
13 Bedford North Lawrence (Bedford, IN)
14 Myers Park (Charlotte, NC)
15 Northside (Fort Smith, AR)
16 Miami Country Day (Miami, FL)
17 Paul VI (Fairfax, VA)
18 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, IN)
19 Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, WA)
20 Leavenworth (KS)
21 Konawaena (Kealakekua, HI)
22 Braintree (MA)
23 Millennium (Goodyear, AZ)
24 Oregon City (OR)
25 Cypress Woods (Cypress, TX)

Maxpreps computer rankings:

1 Cypress Woods (Cypress, TX)
2 Cedar Ridge (Round Rock, TX)
3 Vista Ridge (Cedar Park, TX)
4 North Shore (Houston, TX)
5 Liberty Christian (Argyle, TX)
6 Bedford North Lawrence (Bedford, IN)
7 Argyle (TX)
8 Georgetown (TX)
9 Hillside (Durham, NC)
10 New Hope Christian Academy (Thomasville, NC)
11 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, IN)
12 Clark (San Antonio, TX)
13 Ponchatoula (LA)
14 South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX)
15 St. Ignatius (San Francisco, CA)
16 Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, TX)
17 Miami Country Day (Miami, FL)
18 La Vega (Waco, TX)
19 Karr (New Orleans, LA)
20 Blackman (Murfreesboro, TN)
21 Noblesville (IN)
22 McEachern (Powder Springs, GA)
23 ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch, CO)
24 Bowie (Austin, TX)
25 Dekaney (Houston, TX)

In Arizona, the Nike Tournament of Champions heads into its final day tomorrow. Blackman and Mater Dei will play in the title game.

Day one recap.

Day two recap.

Photo gallery.

The strong stay strong....for now


#11 Tennessee routed #7 Stanford, 59-40. The Lady Vols are on a roll; that was their fifth straight win.

More results:

#15 Georgia survived Furman, 58-51.

#25 St. John's outlasted Auburn, 56-49. They are undefeated.

#9 Baylor had to rally to beat #18 Michigan State, 84-65.

#16 Oregon State continued its domination with a 73-50 thumping of Nevada.

Minnesota is hanging tough. They downed Liberty, 74-60.

Washington edged UC Riverside, 74-71.

Utah took down Louisiana Tech, 67-52.

CSUN defeated San Diego State, 65-54.

Washington State pulled away from Montana State, 82-61.

Long Beach State won their own tournament with a 53-43 decision over Pacific.

Wisconsin rolled over Oral Roberts, 70-52.

Full scoreboard.

Player news:

Duke freshman Lynee Belton tore her ACL in Wednesday's game against Oklahoma, and will miss the season.

Three surgeries later, Becca Greenwell is "back to normal" as Duke's point guard.

Coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma feels that the Huskies have a quirky schedule this year.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw will face her alma mater tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Contemplating the one-loss teams

Undefeated is great, but I've always thought there is a slight advantage to being a team with only one loss. For one thing, there's no more pressure to remain unbeaten. For most teams, there is something to prove after the insult of one loss.

Which teams are the most dangerous right now? There are the obvious ones in Connecticut, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, Baylor, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma State.

But I submit these other teams:

Long Beach State, which beat both Cal and LSU this week.

Indiana, who are playing so strongly this season.

Washington, who are feeling themselves.

James Madison, who have not faltered but for their lone loss.

Tulane almost has be convinced. San Diego and West Virginia, maybe.

Here's the list:

Florida State 11-1
Seton Hall 11-1
Kentucky 10-1
Long Beach State 10-1
Louisville 10-1
North Carolina 10-1
Notre Dame 10-1
Baylor 9-1
Indiana 9-1
Minnesota 9-1
Nebraska 9-1
San Diego 9-1
Tulane 9-1
Washington 9-1
Arizona State 8-1
Illinois-Chicago 8-1
Indiana State 8-1
James Madison 8-1
Oklahoma State 8-1
West Virginia 8-1
Connecticut 7-1
Kansas State 7-1
Louisiana-Lafayette 7-1
Southern Utah 6-1

Parity abounds in college hoops

Yep, we noticed.

Today's results:

#9 Baylor edged #19 Syracuse, 74-72.

#16 Oregon State stays perfect after beating Southern Illinois, 71-55.

Tulane got by Miami, 70-65.

Full scoreboard.

Player news:

Georgetown transfer Natalie Butler will serve UConn well.

Ohio State transfer Shayla Cooper is eager to make her debut.

One writer sees greatness in Indiana freshman Tyra Buss.

Basketball opened doors for former Oklahoma stand out Tamyra Rogers.

Team news:

Notre Dame will meet with police officials after their "I can't breathe" protest last weekend.

South Carolina has been hanging tough in a number one spot that's hard to hold.

Tennessee and Stanford are inside unfamiliar territory - outside the top five - after early-season losses. They face off Sunday in Knoxville for their annual match up.

Auburn players donated supplies to the day care of a local community center this week.

Coach news:

Q&A with Oregon State coach Scott Rueck.

WNBA news:

Owners of the New York Liberty are reportedly considering selling or moving the team.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

West coast teams building something

Today's results:

#19 Oklahoma State held off Weber State, 55-49.

Oregon got by Santa Clara in two overtimes, 92-88. The Ducks have finishing power these days.

The University of Washington topped San Diego State, 69-48. The Huskies have won nine in a row.

Cal State Northridge beat Northern Arizona, 77-71.

South Dakota State routed ULAR, 67-42.

Miami took down UCLA, 74-67.

Marquette defeated Vanderbilt, 80-67.

Full scoreboard.

More news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma and DePaul coach Doug Bruno enjoy a solid friendship. Their teams face one another tomorrow.

South Carolina is building to contend.

A strong opening month has set the tone for Green Bay.

Lady Vol hoops report: Tennessee prepares to host Stanford this weekend.

Gonzaga senior guard Lindsay Sherbert is out until mid-to-late January with a sprained PCL.

WNBA announces rule changes

The WNBA has announced several rule changes that will take effect next season. Most deal with instant replay, but there are a few other interesting odds and ends, too:

• The shot clock will no longer be reset to five seconds when a held ball is caused by the defense with fewer than five seconds remaining on the clock.

• On any midcourt throw-in, the ball shall be put in play from the sideline one step in the backcourt, allowing the team to pass the ball into either the back or frontcourt. (Under pre-existing rules, the ball could only be passed into the frontcourt).

• Teams may freely substitute players whenever any timeout is called. Prior to this change, there were limited circumstances in which a team couldn't substitute for certain players at timeouts.

• If a team has too many players on the court while the ball is in play, (i) the offending team would be assessed a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul and (ii) the non-offending team would continue to have the option of either accepting or nullifying the game action that occurred during the violation and, if the ball is put back into play via a throw-in, would be awarded the ball. Previously, if the offending team had possession, it would keep possession of the ball despite the violation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LSU's Sheila Boykin defeats life-threatening illness

Here's a day-brightener:

As the effects of the syndrome left her body, Boykin was determined to come back. Collins and the team’s staff put her on an aggressive rehab program, as the muscles in her legs had wasted away. She started lifting weights to get the muscle back, and soon, she was practicing again.

Her coach was impressed, but not surprised. “Sheila has a different level of fight in her,” says Caldwell. “That’s one of the first things that attracted us to her when we were recruiting her. She’s not a quitter. Even when things were looking as bleak as they were, she still found a way to get back.”

More biting the dust

Tonight's upset:

Chattanooga took down #7 Stanford, 54-46. It's the second major upset for the Mocs this season:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The star power of the opponent doesn't concern Chattanooga. As long as the Mocs are playing at home, they believe they are going to win.

Still undefeated/no longer unbeaten:

Undefeated #21 Mississippi State handed Lousiana-Lafayette their first loss, 66-51.

#1 South Carolina, #3 Texas, Youngstown State and Northwestern all won, and remain among the 12 Division I teams without a loss.

Other notables include Montana's 70-64 win over Seattle University, which makes me wonder whether Redhawk coach Joan Bonvicini is on the hot seat.

North Carolina nipped Liberty, 67-64.

Full scoreboard.

Player and team news:

The rich get richer.....Imani McGee-Stafford has been cleared to play for Texas.

Rutgers senior forward Betnijah Laney will sit out Saturday's game with a sprained thumb.

UConn coaches weren't surprised by the departure of Sadie Edwards.

Kentucky assistant Christian Stefanopoulos has resigned due to an undisclosed illness.

Baylor has a deep, talented young roster.

It's a women's movement in Gonzaga country.

Iowa is staying focused this month.

Lauren Hill:

The Mount St. Joseph's freshman has retired as a player and will serve as an honorary coach for the team.