Thursday, July 31, 2014

4.5 hours 'til tipoff

Is tonight's Lynx-Mercury game the most important of the season so far? One writer thinks so.

But Minnesota ain't worried 'bout nothin.'

The game has been picked up by NBA TV. It's at 5 p.m. Pacific/8 p.m. Eastern.

In other games tonight.....

It's Storm COO Karen Bryant's last.

Elena Delle Donne returns to the Sky lineup.

More WNBA news.......

Liberty:

Anna Cruz is a rookie as feisty as she is steady.

Shock:

How Courtney Paris got her groove back.

Hoopism is 6!!

Today marks the sixth anniversary of this blog. I started it on this date in 2008 with the intention of shining light on women's basketball, from the high school level to the pros. As of today, I've had almost one million page views.

The fun I've had blogging for the past six years has been worth at least a million dollars. Writing about basketball, both for this space and other websites, has taken me to arenas far and wide, three NCAA Final Fours, heart-stopping games and great WNBA events. I have met some fantastic and phenomenal people - both coaches and players.

It was captivating and gratifying to watch and chronicle Cal star forward Reshanda Gray ball out in high school, and to see her and USC star guard Ariya Crook play elite ball with club team Cal Sparks. To think they're both about to be college seniors messes with my mind.

Layshia Clarendon is another player who I watched in high school. She also went to Cal, and is now in her second year with the Indiana Fever. I talked with her the other night before they faced the Sparks here in Los Angeles, and she is a grown woman now - not a shy kid anymore. As a teacher, I can't think of anything more gratifying than to see that transformation.

Coaches at all the major colleges I cover have changed over these six years: UCLA, USC, LMU, CSUN, SDSU. I've watched each one of these teams have the ups and downs that go with the cycles of life, and not just basketball. The sport truly is a metaphor for life.

The WNBA keeps getting more talent-laden with each passing year. The game has truly evolved a lot. The new generation is very exciting to watch - Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, especially, for me. But with veteran Tamika Catchings, you can never go wrong. As the league has become more like a business, I appreciate those that play with intense heart and passion more than ever.

Thanks for your readership. I will be back later to blog more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Count 'em: 16 consecutive wins

Tonight's results:

Make that 16 consecutive wins for the Mercury - they beat the Sparks, 90-69. It's the second-longest streak in league history.

The Liberty slipped by the Mystics in overtime, 80-76.

The Shock got by the Storm, 80-74.

The Stars routed the Sky, 92-74.

More WNBA news.....

Lynx:


....are preparing for Thursday's showdown with arch rival Phoenix.

Today's practice report.

Shock:

Coach Fred Williams appreciates the talents of center Courtney Paris.

Sky:

Jessica Breland's story: from cancer to All-Star.

Liberty:

Essence Carson has received the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for June.

One down, four more games to go

Today's results so far:

The Dream downed the Sun, 89-80.

Four more games to go today.

Breast cancer awareness week:

The Fever's Krystal Thomas talks about losing her mother to breast cancer when she was 16.

More WNBA news....

Mercury:


The Mercury have shown they can score in a variety of ways.

Sparks:

A conversation with general manager/coach Penny Toler.

Lin Dunn plans to continue work in basketball after retirement from coaching

Had a chance to sit down with coaching great Lin Dunn last night, who talked about the future, the past and the present.

Wrote a song about it - like to read it? Here it goes.

Following that, the Sparks edged the Fever, 77-73. Four players from each side were in double figures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mediocrity or parity?

ESPN ponders the exact question that I have seen on twitter for the last two weeks: is there parity or mediocrity in the WNBA? Because only three teams have winning records: Phoenix, Minnesota and Atlanta. Power rankings for the week:

1. Phoenix
2. Minnesota
3. Atlanta
4. Washington
5. San Antonio
6. Indiana
7. Los Angeles
8. New York
9. Seattle
10. Tulsa
11. Chicago
12. Connecticut

It's definitely not mediocrity. This is probably the best-skilled WNBA we've ever seen, as showcased in the All-Star game.

It's some serious parity, as all of that talent is spread out amongst the league's 12 teams.

Players of the week:

....are Ivory Latta for the East and Maya Moore for the West.

More WNBA news.....

Lynx:


Maya Moore has become the face of the league.

Storm:

....have signed Waltiea Rolle to a second seven-day contract.

Eye of the Storm: Tanisha Wright.

Mercury:

Mistie Bass blogs.

Mystics:

Ivory Latta discusses a recent cancer scare.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Second half of the season off to a new start

Well now.....

The Mystics are now second in the East after knocking off the Dream, 77-67.

The Lynx are all back finally, and it shows: they beat the Sun, 76-65. Maya Moore lead the way with 17 points.

The Shock downed the Sky, 79-69. Birthday girl Glory Johnson was Tulsa's leading scorer, with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

More WNBA news.....

Storm:


Awesome interview with outgoing COO Karen Bryant.

College news:

Arkansas State coach Brian Boyer's contract has been extended through 2017.