Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WNBA news, college coaching movement

WNBA news:

The Indiana Fever have announced a broadcast partnership with MyINDY-TV23.

The Liberty's Tina Charles says she's "just a city kid."

The Mystics are happy to have both rookies Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley.

Dream overseas update.

The Sparks have announced their training camp roster.

What can rookies do for the Lynx?

Theresa Plaisance is excited to have been drafted by the Shock.

College coaching news:

Boston University has let go of coach Kelly Greenberg.

Tyler Summitt has completed his coaching staff hires, bringing on Amber Smith and Bernitha Johnson as assistant coaches at Louisiana Tech.

South Carolina's investment in coach Dawn Staley is paying off.

Nadine Morgan has been promoted to associate head coach at Purdue.

U17 training camp roster named

Thirty-nine players will try out for the U17 team May 22-26:

Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.), as well as DeJanae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.); Kalani Brown (Salmen H.S./Slidell, La.); Chassity Carter (Dickson County H.S./Dickson, Tenn.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Chelsea Dungee (Preston Public School/Okmulgee, Okla.); Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte H.S./Walnut Creek, Calif.); Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas); Taylor Murray (Annapolis Area Christian School/Odenton, Md.); Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.); and Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.).

Also participating in the 2014 USA U17 trials will be Tori McCoy (The H.S. of St. Thomas More/Champaign, Ill.), who was named to the 2013 USA U16 National Team before being forced to withdraw due to a concussion, and 2013 USA U16 trials participants; Erin Boley (Elizabethtown H.S./Hodgenville, Ky.); Jaelyn Brown (Vista Murrieta H.S./Murrieta, Calif.); Kennedy Burke (Sierra Canyon School/ Northridge, Calif.); Amari Carter (St. John’s College H.S./Washington, D.C.); Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas); Te’a Cooper (McEachern H.S./Powder Springs, Ga.); Nicole Ekhomu (Joliet Catholic Academy/Bolingbrook, Ill.); Kysre Gondrezick (Benton Harbor H.S./Benton Harbor, Mich.); Ashley Hearn (Sachse H.S./Rowlett, Texas); Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas); Stephanie Jones (Aberdeen H.S./Havre de Grace, Md.); Krystaline McCune (duPont Manual H.S./Louisville, Ky.); Teniya Page (Marian Catholic H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Amber Ramirez (Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Caliya Robinson (McEachern H.S./Marietta, Ga.); Kylee Shook (Mesa Ridge H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.); Celeste West (Garces Memorial H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.); and Anna Wilson (Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.).

Taking part in their first USA Basketball trials will be: Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Kiah Gillespie (Capital Preparatory Magnet School/Hartford, Conn.); Kasiyahna Kushkituah (Saint Francis H.S./Alpharetta, Ga.); Calveion Landrum (La Vega H.S./Waco, Texas); Leaonna Odom (Mater Dei H.S./Los Alamitos, Calif.); Jada Underwood (John Horn H.S./Mesquite, Texas); Megan Walker (Monacan H.S./Chesterfield, Va.); and Jackie Young (Princeton Community H.S./Princeton, Ind.).

Monday, April 21, 2014

MaxPreps high school players of the year

It looks like MaxPreps left off the headings beyond "first team" on their list of the nation's top high school players this year, or they really just couldn't pick. But it's an impressive group of ballers:

First team

A'ja Wilson
Jordin Canada
Napheesa Collier
Katie Lou Samuelson
Victoria Vivans

Everyone else

Ariel Atkins
Kelsey Mitchell
Mariya Moore
Jaime Nared
Brianna Turner
Kalani Brown
Sierra Calhoun
Te'a Cooper
Crystal Dangerfield
Asia Durr
Bianca Cuevas
Sophie Cunningham
Taylor Rooks
Azura Stevens
Shakayla Thomas
Mikayla Cowling
Sadie Edwards
Brittany McPhee
Gabrielle Ortiz
Jatarie White
McKenzie Calvert
Marina Mabrey
Dominique McBryde
Ali Patberg
Calveion Landrum
Erin Boley
Kennedy Burke
Ayanna Clark
Lauren Cox
Gabby Green
Kelli Hays
Jordan Hosey
Sabrina Ionescu
Brianna Jones
Aliyah Mazyck
Natalie Romero
Jessica Shepard
Asha Thomas

Coach of the year is Dan Rolfes of Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis.

Lack of female coaches in the NCAA

A recent report, “Women in Intercollegiate Sport: A Longitudinal National Study," found there are more female athletes, but fewer female coaches in the college ranks.

More college news:

Interview with new Louisiana Tech coach Tyler Summitt.

Former Florida State assistant Ron Hughey is the new head coach at the University of Houston.

A game and a plan: Wright State's Courtney Boyd. What a story.

WNBA news:

Liberty guard Leilani Mitchell will sit out the season to stay in Australia and play and train.

The Mercury's Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner have collected Euroleague awards.

Chalk talk with Sparks coach Carol Ross.

Profiling Sky rookie Gennifer Brandon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hot seats

When you announce that a coach whose contract runs through 2018 will be back next year, that coach might be on the hot seat:

Three of Bonnie Henrickson’s underclassmen have decided not to return to Kansas University next season, but the KU women’s basketball coach will be back for her 11th season, determined to land her first winning conference record in Big 12 play.

Earlier this month, KU announced the transfer of sophomore Lamaria Cole, a point guard headed to Prairie View A&M, a school closer to her hometown of Bryan, Texas. The transfers of twins Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez of Pocatello, Idaho, have not been announced, but Henrickson confirmed it Tuesday, saying, “Is that where it’s headed? Yes, that’s where we’re headed.”

The latest defections do not have athletic director Sheahon Zenger contemplating making a change.

“No,” Zenger said. “Bonnie will be back next year.”

On another note, I'm wondering what's up at Rutgers.

It was reported Feb. 28 that longtime coach C. Vivian Stringer was in final contract negotiations with the school.

It's been almost two months. Have they reached a deal, or not? Will Stringer be there next year?

On a professional note: WNBA training camp begins one week from today (!!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

More earth shaking

Coaching movement:

Jodie Kaczor Berry and Nicole Powell are leaving Gonzaga to be assistants for Kelly Graves at Oregon.

Cheryl Sorenson is Portland's new head coach.

Greg Todd is the new coach at Morehead State.

Chris Johnson has been added to the Arkansas staff as an assistant coach.

Landon Bussie has joined Prairie View A&M as an assistant.

Other movement:

WBCA CEO Beth Bass is resigning.

Drake starter Ashley Bartow has left the team.

WNBA news:

Sky center Sylvia Fowles will miss time at the beginning of the season after having hip surgery.

USA Basketball:

Furman coach Jackie Carson and Navy coach Stefanie Pemper are the court coaches for the U18 team trials, May 23-27.

Championship games schedule.

Diamond DeShields reasons for transferring from North Carolina are unclear

You probably know that earlier today, the rumors that had circulated yesterday that Diamond DeShields was leaving the North Carolina program proved to be true:

CHAPEL HILL — Diamond DeShields, the top freshman women’s basketball player in the country, is transferring from North Carolina.

DeShields’s decision is a stunning blow to a program that expected to return every player from this year’s team. The Tar Heels went 27-10 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 despite the absence of Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell, who was undergoing treatment for leukemia.

DeShields scored 648 points, more than any freshman in ACC history, and set a UNC freshman record with 38 points in a win at N.C. State. The Norcross, Ga., native averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game and was named the freshman of the year by espnW and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Coach Sylvia Hatchell "doesn't know or understand" why DeShields is leaving.

DeShields tweeted yesterday that "There's no price on your peace."

I don't know yet why the young star is leaving, but I do know that right now it's looking like she'll next be a Georgia Bulldog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Draft, signing and plenty of college news

WNBA Draft and trade-related news:

With the draft over, surgery is next for Fever draftee Natalie Achonwa. She is a step closer to living out her dream.

Storm draftee Michelle Plouffe is a hoops trailblazer.

Jennifer Hamson may need a hook in the WNBA.

Rookies Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley are already getting praise from Mystics coach Mike Thibault.

The Lynx signed Tan White and traded Suger Rodgers to New York.

Three statistical trends among the draft prospects.

Monday night's draft was the most-watched ever.

(Unofficially I can vouch for that, as several of the guys at the gym stopped to watch it with me on TV. And some knew the players and talked with me about it. I was so pleased.)

More WNBA news:

Awesome piece profiling Brittney Griner's life playing in China this winter:

When teammates talk about Griner, they smile often, quickly bringing a hand to cover their mouths, because in China it is poor etiquette for women to show their teeth. "She never eats vegetables," Chen says, almost giggling. "She plays video games like she is a kid."

"She is always happy," adds Shen Binbin, a starting guard. "I never see her get angry. When the season is over, I'd like to go back to America with her."

"Me too," Chen says.

They both smile, keeping their heads down.

High school:

Top 2014 recruit A'ja Wilson announced today she is choosing South Carolina.

Her peers were happy for her.

College news:

Jaime White is Fresno State's new coach.

Louisville and coach Jeff Walz are working to remain elite.

Expectations are skyrocketing for South Carolina.

Purdue coach Sharon Versyp will take her time finding a new assistant coach after the departure of Christy Smith, who went to Arkansas.

Tom Hodges returns to Middle Tennessee State as an assistant after a four-year absence, during which he was head coach at Morehead State.

Former Husker Hannah Tvrdy has landed at Colorado State.

Another former Nebraska player, Sadie Murren, is transferring to Wayne State College.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WNBA Draft day after

Tina Charles addresses her decision to leave the Connecticut Sun:

"You are going to have ups and downs with a team, every day is not going to be perfect. I faced that my rookie year and I faced it my previous year. Connecticut has great parts but I looked at the bigger picture and the bigger picture was Coach Laimbeer, Cappie (Pondexter), the New York Liberty and the opportunity that they presented.

"My decision to leave the Sun is based on winning and being in New York. Coach Laimbeer and the Liberty organization is headed in the right direction and I very much want to be a part of that."

Some are bitter about Charles' departure.

Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer is happy:

''Acquiring Tina is one of the cornerstones of this franchise moving forward,'' said Laimbeer, the Liberty coach and general manager. ''She's a scorer and rebounder and wants to win very badly in front of her family and friends.

Essence Carson is happy too.

Other draft-related news:

ESPN gives teams draft grades, and the Eastern Conference leads the way.

Nneka Ogwumike is proud of sister Chiney's number one pick selection.

LaChina Robinson talks with Kayla McBride and Odyssey Sims.

Shoni Schimmel is excited to play with former Cardinal star Angel McCoughtry.

The top undrafted players.

College news:

Kansas State freshman Leticia Romero is requesting a release due to the coaching change, but the school refuses. Romero likens it to blackmail.

High school news:

Top recruit A'ja Wilson is at last going to reveal her college choice tomorrow.