Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Post-game press conferences from game 2


Q. It took Maya 13 minutes to get a basket and the five points at halftime. How much of a concern was that and how much did you need to do to get her going?

COACH REEVE: It was a big concern. She was just awful early, just awful. Shot selection, the way she was playing. It was a case where I think our team was so amped up to play, Maya being probably the one that was the most amped up, and she just had to settle down, settle down. It wasn’t for lack of wanting to do the right thing, but it was just not good.

So I thought she was going to let the game come to her. I thought Syl opened things up for us. Frankly I thought when our defense turned it up a notch, we were able to play with some flow and get some easy shots. Maya was flying around, getting some transition baskets and she just really got going from there.

Q. You talked about going small and that kind of changed the dynamic. Do you think the insertion of Renee Montgomery assisted their perimeter defense and made things more difficult for you?

COACH WHITE: I think Montgomery and Cruz both. Anna Cruz reminds me of Debbie Black for all the people that were covering the league back then. She’s just like a little gnat that’s all over you. It’s exhausting and it’s irritating, and you just want to slap her away.

I mean that with the utmost respect because Debbie Black is one of the all‑time greats that played in this league because of that. So to have Cruz, somebody who just hounds you and hounds you and she never gets tired, and then Montgomery as well, certainly it absolutely makes a difference.

Q. The series now reverts over to Indiana. What can we see out of you guys on Friday?

MAYA MOORE: First two games, so it’s set up to be a very entertaining Game 3. It will be a dog fight just like it has been these first two games. It’s set up to be a very entertaining Game 3 with both teams very hungry. I think after the horn blew both teams were still wanting to go. We’re ready to go for Game 3.

Q. The intensity, you were very animated throughout the game. How much did that intensity help you guys on the defensive end, especially in the second half?

MAYA MOORE: It’s huge. We’re connected. We’re invested. Everyone’s focused, communicating, people coming in off the bench doing the same thing, increasing the level of energy even. Playing hard and sticking together and end up making our own breaks. You see that emotion from us. Yeah, you probably have some pretty entertaining pictures from tonight because we were pretty animated.

Q. The series is going to revert back to Indiana on Friday. What can we expect to see with you playing in front of your home crowd?

TAMIKA CATCHINGS: The best fans in the WNBA are going to be in the house.

BRIANN JANUARY: That’s right.

TAMIKA CATCHINGS: And we’re going to come and we’re going to be ready. I told our team and we told our team, we are going to bottle up every sense of frustration, every sense of anger, every sense of knowing what we didn’t do and what we didn’t accomplish tonight, put that in a bottle and let it explode when we get back home.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

More college seasons sprouts

Purdue is energized for the season.

It's the same basketball, but a new story at Cal.

Florida is focused on improving their toughness this season.

Montana is thinking reload, not rebuild.

There's a "new feeling in the air" at Colorado.

Clay Crothers has been promoted to assistant coach at Lipscomb.

Competitive Katrina Pardee is ready for a challenge at West Virginia.

International news:

Lauran Jackson is confident of playing soon for the Canberra Capitals.

Spaniard Jose Maria Buceta has been named head coach of Britain's women's basketball team.

USA National Team:

Candice Dupree hopes to elevate her profile during the team's current European tour.

Lynx take game 2 and even the series

The Lynx downed the Fever, 77-71, to even the series. The tenacious Lynx needed Maya Moore's finishing touch.

The game was so physical that I feel like I need an ice bath just from watching. And it was tense due to officiating:

"This game was a bloodbath," White said. "I've never seen a player, of Tamika Catchings' caliber get so disrespected in my life. Never. And to me that's a travesty. That's a travesty."

Reeve spent the day between Games 1 and 2 publicly chiding the officials for allowing Indiana's defenders to get so physical with guard Lindsay Whalen. She wouldn't comment on if she received a fine for her remarks, but the rookie coach White said Reeve the veteran showed her how to control the narrative.

Tamika Catchings post-game interview.

Maya Moore post-game interview.

Box score.

Three techs on Indiana.

Game 3 in Indianapolis Friday will be very interesting, to say the least.

Season in review:

A conversation with WNBA president Laurel Richie.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Division I schools begin practice this week (!!)

Among the schools with first practices in the books yesterday, or today:

Ole Miss

Georgia Tech

Western Carolina

St. Bonaventure





North Dakota State


Washington State

Boston University

North Carolina-Greensboro

Saint Louis

Illinois State

Southern Miss

Central Michigan


Long Beach State


Bowling Green


Air Force

Southeast Missouri




Indiana State

George Washington







Saint Mary's

Green Bay

Northern Illinois

Story lines:

Nebraska's Rachel Theriot and Jessica Shepard are coming back from injuries together.

New Mexico State is looking to build on last season.

Getting ready for game 2 tomorrow

Game 2 on tap tomorrow, 5 p.m. Pacific/8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

The match up:

Rebekkah Brunson and the Lynx look to rebound in game 2.

All coaches Stephanie White and Cheryl Reeve have in common is mutual respect.

Fever story lines:

Indiana has claimed their lockdown defense in the postseason.

The Fever had an all-access practice today in Minnesota.

Briann January, Shavonte Zellous and Marissa Coleman share a bond that dates back to 2009.

Shenise Johnson has made an immediate impact for Indiana.

Maya Moore talks about Tamika Catchings.

Lynx story lines:

Coach Cheryl Reeve called out her stars after yesterday's loss.

Lindsay Whalen aims to make a bigger impact in game 2. The Lynx need her back on track.

Whalen doesn't get the calls she used to, Reeve says.

Whalen and Seimone Augustus need to get going for Minnesota. Because the Lynx need them.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Umpqua CC team trying to move on after campus shooting, close call

Thursday morning I got back to my desk and randomly brought up There was a short sentence at the top of the page, next to red lettering to denote an emergency. It said there had been a shooting in Douglas County, Oregon about a half hour before, and that they were still waiting for more news. I read through the rest of the sentence and saw that the incident was at Umpqua Community College.

"No, no, no!" I said to the computer screen.

I picked up my phone and called my friend, Umpqua coach Dave Stricklin. There was no ring; it went right into voicemail. He didn't answer his office phone, either. This scared me, and I spent the next few hours worrying and waiting. When I finally got hold of him a few hours later, my relief turned to alarm: at the time I'd called, he was on the phone with his point guard, who had been trapped in the classroom next door to where the shooting was taking place. He'd stayed on the phone with her until the gun man ultimately killed himself and ended the nightmare.

Now, the team is trying to move on, and have a good season.

Jasmyne Davis' story is amazing. And so is Stricklin. He has built a power house program in the Northwest Athletic Conference, and that includes not only court skills but the kind of caring he exhibited three days ago. It didn't surprise me that he had a team meeting the same day; I had written about this phenomenon in his program before.

This story reminds us all to celebrate life each and every day. To be careful no matter where we are. And it reminds us that some of the finest coaches in all of basketball aren't necessarily at the big schools.

Here's hoping that the Riverhawks have a fantastic season. They deserve it.

Fever down Lynx in finals game one, 75-69

A balanced effort, some gritty performances - especially by Briann January - and a lot of determination made for an Indiana win in Finals game one today.

The gritty Fever topped the Lynx, 75-69.

Briann January lead Indiana with 19 points. She was part of her team's wicked perimeter game.

Little things added up to a big win for the Fever.

The Lynx were shaky in the effort, as they struggled offensively. Center Sylvia Fowles posted 21 points and 11 rebounds.


Box score.

The Fever say their mentality will remain the same for game two, Tuesday at Minnesota.

The Lynx will need a more balanced effort and to "play way better."

More WNBA news:

Liberty president Isiah Thomas continues to deny wrongdoing in a 2007 sexual harassment case, saying it "didn't happen."

Phoenix and New York are picking up the pieces after losing in conference finals.

Q&A with Sheryl Swoopes, who wisely declines to bet against Tamika Catchings.

USA National Team begins European tour with a win

USA 94, Uni Girona, 52:

GIRONA, Spain -- Candace Parker had a triple-double with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to help the U.S. women's team open its European tour with a 94-52 victory over Uni Girona on Sunday night.

The Los Angeles Sparks star was 7-of-11 from the field and had three steals and two blocks.

"I didn't know I was even close to a triple-double," Parker said. "This is my first one. I've always been really close, but never got it."

Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky had 21 points in her first game for the national team.


Friday, October 2, 2015

College season cometh

It's just a little over a month until college season, and some teams began practice today. Can you believe it?

College news:

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has finished its investigation of Title 9 violations at Minnesota. The results should be made public this winter.

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman is UMass Amherst's executive-in-residence for fall term.

Missouri has given coach Robin Pingeton a five-year contract extension.

Sitting with Florida State coach Sue Semrau.

Pam Huntley is a new assistant coach at UIC.

Louisiana-Lafayette's new assistant coach is Amber Gregg.

FGCU's Whitney Knight is on an elite path in her senior year, and beyond.

Poetry helped Texas center Imani Boyette overcome a troubled past.

Alabama junior forward Ashley Williams will sit out the season due to medical reasons.

J'Kyra Brown is bringing a new element to Virginia's back court.

Pitt is not doubting themselves after a stellar 2014-2015 season.

Wyoming's roster is dominated by young, inexperienced players.

WNBA non-finals news:

WNBA president Laurel Richie says that as business increases, player salaries will be raised.

Interesting piece: in the end, former Sun coach Anne Donovan never let any of us in.

For female athletes, 35 might be the new 25.

James Dolan is a friend of women's basketball.

International news:

Brittney Griner has signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg.

In the wake of big signings, Australia's WNBL ranks behind only the WNBA for talent.