Friday, November 30, 2012

More injuries

The injury bug is biting Maryland hard. Now star guard Laurin Mincy is out for the season with a torn ACL.

I'm about to hit the road for the USC at San Diego State game, and the Aztecs' injury roll call is ridiculous.

Other stuff:

Chatting with Alexis Jones - the ACC rookie of the week, from Duke.

Chiney Ogwumike talks about Stanford's season.

Baylor Bear Destiny Williams hangs loose.

First-year Drake Coach Jennie Barancyzk is juggling work and motherhood.

Oklahoma State has adopted a strict new travel policy.

Chamique Holdsclaw:

Her lawyer is investigating the alleged assault, as revealed in a court date today.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The upsets keep rolling

Tonight's results:

Upset: Miami 69, #6 Penn State 65. I knew this was coming after Saturday's game.

#5 Notre Dame held off Central Michigan, 72-63.

Princeton 71, Rutgers 55.

Lots of other games still in progress, and ESPN has no score updates for most of them.

More news:

Oral Roberts guard Kevi Luper has been quietly racking up more points than most college women who have ever set foot on a court.

ESPN the Magazine Q&A with Brittney Griner.

UConn and Stanford will extend their series through 2014-2015.

Tulane is bringing the Big East to the Big Easy.

Florida is struggling from behind the arc this year.

Is this a breakthrough year for Notre Dame's Ariel Baker?

Oklahoma freshman guard Maddie Manning has torn her ACL, and is out for the season.

Illinois is trying to improve their on-court communication.

Former WNBA stand out Katie Feenstra Mattera says coaching may be harder than playing.

Polls:

ESPNW's mid-major top ten:

1. Dayton
2. Middle Tennessee
3. Delaware
4. Gonzaga
5. UTEP
6. Green Bay
7. Chattanooga
8. Duquesne
9. Hartford
10. Marist

AP and USA Today polls side by side.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some close games, and more news

Tonight's upset:

#22 North Carolina outlasted #15 Ohio State, 57-54.

Other results:

Tennessee rallied to beat Middle Tennessee State in overtime, 88-81.

South Carolina squeaked by Drexel in overtime, 58-55. The Gamecocks are undefeated.

Auburn slid by Tulane, 70-65, giving the Green Wave their first loss of the season.

Purdue pulled away from Georgia Tech for the 85-73 victory.

Delaware beat St. Bonaventure, 68-58.

Full scoreboard.

More college news:

Florida Atlantic is leaving the Sun Belt Conference for Conference USA.

UConn statements about being passed over by the ACC today.

Maryland's Alyssa Thomas is just getting started.

FGCU's Taylor Gradinjan tore her ACL and is out for the season.

Tennessee assistant coach (and former Lady Vol) Kyra Elzy points Meighan Simmons to defense.

UConn's starting five is not an easy decision for Coach Geno Auriemma.

Maine Coach Richard Barron and his team are walking the tightrope of expectations.

Arizona: what's working, what's not working.

Louisville moves to the ACC

Louisville replaces Maryland, who moved to the Big Ten.

AND.....

Middle Tennessee will join Conference USA.

New mid-major poll has Dayton on top

ESPN's new mid-major poll:

1. Dayton
2. Middle Tennessee
3. Delaware
4. Gonzaga
5. UTEP
6. Green Bay
7. Chattanooga
8. Duquesne
9. Hartford
10. Marist

Other college news:

There's no stopping Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe.

An injury to freshman guard Chandler Cooper has thrown a wrench into the Florida Gator's plans.

Bria Hartley is finding her way back into UConn's starting lineup.

Numerous top 25 match ups tonight, including #11 Maryland at #21 Nebraska, #15 Ohio State at #22 North Carolina, and Middle Tennessee at #16 Tennessee.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

USA Today poll says......

This week's USA Today poll:

1. Stanford
2. UConn
3. Baylor
4. Duke
5. Notre Dame
6. Louisville
7. Penn State
8. Kentucky
9. Georgia
10. Maryland
11. Cal
12. Oklahoma
13. Purdue
14. Tennessee
15. St. John's
16. Ohio State
17. Oklahoma State
18. Texas
19. Nebraska
20. Kansas
21. UCLA
22. Dayton
23. West Virginia
24. South Carolina
25. Texas A&M

More conference jumping

Tulane and East Carolina will join the Big East in 2014.

The University of Denver is leaving the Western Athletic Conference after only a year, to join the Summit League.

North Carolina is staying in the ACC.

Other NCAA news:

Former WNBA President Val Ackerman has been hired by the NCAA as a strategic consultant for women's basketball. Her focus areas will include:

Revenue generation
Marketing and television strategies
Image and branding
Youth/grass-roots tie-ins
Cost structures
Scheduling
Governance/management
Championships

Interesting.

Gonzaga has a new look this season. It's called defense.

Penn State's Maggie Lucas blogs about the team's weekend trip to Southern California.

Florida State guard Leonor Rodriguez is the ACC player of the week.

Cortney French of UC Davis is the Big West Conference player of the week.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday tip

Coach Brian Giorgis is right at home at Marist.

Florida State is better than expected.

Tulane senior Janique Kautsky blogs about the team's Thanksgiving tournament trip to Arizona, which included a Grand Canyon trip.

Pro news:

Temeka Johnson blogs from Europe about her team's first loss.

Lists of winners

This week's AP poll still has Stanford on top:

1. Stanford
2. Connecticut
3. Baylor
4. Duke
5. Notre Dame
6. Penn State
7. Louisville
8. Georgia
9. Kentucky
10. California
11. Maryland
12. Oklahoma
13. Texas
14. Purdue
15. Ohio State
16. Tennessee
17. St. John's
18. Oklahoma State
19. UCLA
20. Kansas
21. Nebraska
22. North Carolina
23. Dayton
24. Iowa State
25. West Virginia

ESPNW's player of the week is Tarik Hislop of James Madison.

The nation's current assists leaders:

1 Ny Hammonds Charlotte Jr. 5-5 33 8.3
2 Karly Roser Northwestern So. 5-10 40 8.0
3 Rmanii Haynes UNLV Jr. 5-6 7.8
4 Chelsea Gray Duke Jr. 5-11 7.5
5 Brittany Boyd California So. 7.4
6 Dequesha McClanahan Winthrop Jr. 5-8 36 7.2
7 Hazel Ramirez Loyola Marymount Jr. 5-5 49 7.0
Mo Moran Boston U. Sr. 5-7 42 7.0
Kacie Cassell Akron Jr. 5-4 35 7.0
Fantasia Hilliard Sacramento St. So. 5-3 28 7.0

Scoring leaders:

1 TreShonti Nottingham UC Riverside Sr. 5-4 35 13 55 138 27.6
2 Amy Patton Northern Ariz. Sr. 5-10 150 25.0
Devyn Christensen Utah St. Sr. 5-6 125 25.0
Jasmine Grice Florida A&M Jr. 5-9 100 25.0
5 Shalonda Winton Cleveland St. Sr. 5-11 124 24.8
6 Saadia Doyle Howard Sr. 5-11 145 24.2
7 Nneka Enemkpali Texas So. 6-1 96 24.0
8 Sugar Rodgers Georgetown Sr. 5-11 138 23.0
Diamond Ford Texas St. Sr. 5-8 92 23.0
10 Heather Butler UT Martin Jr. 5-5 114 22.8

Rebounding leaders:

1 Megan Herbert Central Ark. Sr. 5-11 63 15.8
2 Jillian Alleyne Oregon Fr. 6-3 76 15.2
3 Sammie Jensen Utah Valley Sr. 6-0 86 14.3
4 Brandi Brown Youngstown St. Sr. 5-11 57 14.3
5 Cheyenne Parker High Point Jr. 6-4 69 13.8
6 Angela Misa Portland St. Jr. 6-1 67 13.4
7 Nyree Williams Towson Jr. 6-1 53 13.3
8 Nneka Enemkpali Texas So. 6-1 52 13.0
9 Allyson DiMagno Cornell Jr. 5-11 77 12.8
10 Alexandra Williams Saint Francis (PA) Jr. 6-0 51 12.8

St. John's Shenneika Smith is the Big East player of the week. And Jewell Loyd of Notre Dame is the Big East freshman of the week.

Liberty's Devon Brown is the Big South player of the week.

Courtney Clements of San Diego State is the Mountain West Conference player of the week.

Houston's Yasmeen Thompson is the C-USA player of the week.

The Mid-American Conference West player of the week is Crystal Bradford of Central Michigan.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quickly

One upset today: Iowa over #12 West Virginia, 79-70.

Every other game in the top 25 was a blowout, or a solid win.

California fans:

Texas freshman Imani McGee-Stafford is finding her rhythm in the post.

Tournament championships

Cal over Georgetown, 72-56, for the Cal Classic title.

UConn stomped Purdue, 91-57, for the Paradise Jam crown.

Tulane bested Western Michigan, 66-48, to take the Hilton Garden Inn Thanksgiving Tournament in Arizona. The Waves are now 5-0.

Colorado overcame San Diego State, 67-53, for the Omni Hotels Classic.

South Carolina claimed the Reef Division of the Paradise Jam with a 55-46 decision over DePaul.

Southern Miss beat McNeese State, 68-59 in overtime, to take the Thanksgiving Classic in Mississippi.

Iowa State 68, Illinois 50 for the Junkanoo Jam Championship.

Penn State ground out a win over CSUN at the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic.

Other games last night:

Florida State upset #17 Vanderbilt, 73-59.

#25 North Carolina might be getting back to their winning ways: they crushed LaSalle, and are now 5-0.

North Carolina State bounced back from their first loss with a gut-check win over Arizona State, 72-68.

North Texas gets its first win, and St. Bonaventure continues to struggle. (Double-overtime game)

LMU rallied for their first road win, over Tulsa.

Full Nov. 24 scoreboard.

Other college news:

Ohio State's supporting cast is ready, if need be.

Maryland embraces their move to the Big Ten.

UConn sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has a concussion.

The terms of UConn Coach Geno Auriemma's upcoming five-year contract extension are almost complete.

Former Lady Vol Tonya Edwards is now the coach at Alcorn.

Pro news:

Despite his winning ways, Mike Thibault was sent packing.

Indiana Fever guard Erin Phillips' title fever has paid off.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Penn State "grinds out" tournament win over CSUN, 85-73

Penn State 85, Cal State Northridge 73.

My photo gallery.

What a great game.

The Matadors have some incredible mental toughness, as there were several points where they could have given up, but they didn't.

The Lions have some amazing players. Nikki Greene put them on her back the last few minutes to seal the win.

Coquese Washington and Jason Flowers are coaching stars.

I love the South Alabama coach, Rick Pietri. He's intense as hell during the game, and completely chill once it's over. He also cares a lot about his team.

Good day, good times.


Penn State's Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas wait to check into the game.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nebraska 74, USC 65


Destinie Gibbs tries to block the shot of Lindsey Moore


Coach Connie Yori talks with Meghin Williams

It was a game of runs, which Nebraska was only able to win in the last minute.

Ariya Crook lead USC, and all scorers, with 25 points. Lindsey Moore was the Husker's top point-getter, with 23, and Jordan Hooper added 19.

Box score.

My full photo gallery, including the pictures above.

Trojan Coach Michael Cooper credited what he called Nebraska's poise, patience and discipline at the end of the game, which he said "is what finishers do." His own team, he said, is still working on that.

"We're not finishers," he said. "Finishers make the plays that need to be made at the right times."

But he is optimistic.

"We're moving in that direction, and with practice we'll get better," he said.

The Trojans are also working on their defense, which Cooper said is a cornerstone of any elite team.

Notre Dame 76, UCLA 64


Skylar Diggins drives up the court in the second half.


Jewell Loyd prepares to make a pass. The freshman finished with a team-high 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

UCLA came to play today.

They began with suffocating defense and jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Notre Dame could return the favor. It wasn't until late in the first half that the Irish seemed to wake up, and a 15-2 run finally put them ahead. They lead 36-29 at halftime.

Notre Dame began the second period on an 8-2 run, stretching the lead to 13. They maintained a comfortable cushion throughout the rest of the contest, despite tough play from the Bruins, who were missing key player Thea Lemberger.

Markel Walker lead UCLA with 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals. Freshman Jewell Loyd headed up the Irish efforts wtih 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Box score.

My full photo gallery, including the two pictures above.

Game notes:

- UCLA senior guard Mariah Williams did a great job defending Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins. Coaches of both teams acknowledged the effort to the Associated Press.
- Jewell Loyd made a big impression on me in the WBCA High School All-Star Game at the Final Four last April. She impressed me again today when she started, and was the top point-getter for the Irish. She is a complete player - does it all.
- The Bruins are a tough team. If they keep working and stay healthy, they could get to the NCAA tourney.
- The Irish are learning to cope with being a shorter team. They don't have Devereaux Peters, and are noticeably shorter. But players are stepping up to fill the gap.
- The game was well-attended, including lots of green-clad Notre Dame fans. They were very polite.
- Musical artist/rapper Common was in the house to see Diggins and Notre Dame (see photo gallery). While he was waiting for the Irish to come out of the locker room post-game, fans were hitting him up for pictures and autographs. It was a humorous scene.
- Notre Dame is reportedly staying in town through tomorrow night so they can see their school's football team play.

Eighty four-game day

Today's notable results:

#11 Cal is unbeaten after rolling over Eastern Washington.

Virginia upset #17 Vanderbilt.

#8 Georgia blew out St. Bonaventure.

#13 Oklahoma slipped by Arkansas, 73-70.

#24 Dayton's win over Buffalo makes them undefeated - their best start in 20 years.

LSU upset #12 West Virginia, handing them their first season loss.

Indiana over IUPUI, 70-49.

San Diego State 78, Auburn 57.

Georgetown squeaked by Fullerton, 53-51.

FIU 66, Iowa 65.

Florida 66, North Carolina State 64.

Syracuse 75, Georgia Tech 72 (OT).

DePaul 68, Hampton 67.

South Carolina 65, Florida Gulf Coast 46.

UC Davis 66, Navy 63 (OT).

CSUN tournament:

#6 Penn State 80, Detroit 72.

CSUN 47, South Alabama 40.

Tomorrow at noon, Detroit will face South Alabama. At 2:30, Penn State and CSUN play for the championship. I will be there.

Full scoreboard.

Other college news:

Early thoughts on the Lady Vols. Tennessee is on a roll since their losing debut.

Arizona State needs to speed up their offensive improvement.

A rehabilitated Carlie Needles boosts Florida.

Pro news:

Indiana Fever veteran Tammy Sutton-Brown brings the world to kids.

Shock guard Temeka Johnson blogs Thanksgiving wishes from Europe.

No fun: Lauren Jackson's courtside pain.

High school:

Linnae Harper is second fiddle no more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Loyola Marymount wears down Cal State Fullerton, 85-73

My story link, which includes a gallery from my photographer, Gregory Major.

Mid-major top 25, by CollegeInsider

Where's San Diego State?:

1. Green Bay
2. Gonzaga
3. Delaware
4. Princeton
5. Middle Tennessee
6. BYU
7. Florida Gulf Coast
8. Hampton
9. Chattanooga
10. Marist
11. Toledo
12. Appalachian State
13. Bowling Green
14. Missouri State
15. McNeese State
16. San Diego
17. Creighton
18. Boston University
19. South Dakota State
20. James Madison
21. Hartford
22. Quinnipiac
23. Liberty
24. UT Martin
25. Sacred Heart

CSUN welcomes #6 Penn State, South Alabama and Detroit for tournament this week

Youth under 17 get in free both days:

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-1) hosts the Radisson Chatsworth Hotel Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament 2012 at The Matadome this weekend. The Matadors welcome South Alabama, Detroit and nationally ranked Penn State to The Matadome for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The Lady Lions and the Titans start the event on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a 5 p.m. contest between CSUN and South Alabama. The next day, the two losing teams will play in the consolation game at noon followed the championship contest at 2:30 p.m.

Holiday tournaments in full swing

Tonight's results:

#7 Louisville handed Gonzaga their first loss of the year.

Oregon State beat Winthrop in the semifinals of the Hardwood Tournament for Hope in Mexico. They will play for the championship tomorrow night.

USC defeated Arkansas State, avenging their loss from a year ago.

Full scoreboard.

There are 12 games tomorrow, in countries that don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

College news:

C. Vivian Stringer is looking forward to revisiting her Iowa roots in the Big Ten.

I am beyond excited that #6 Penn State is coming to LA for a tournament this weekend. They are a deep team.

Wisconsin's Nicole Bauman doesn't do indecision.

High school news:

Alice Barron is a girls basketball pioneer in Colorado. Awesome.

Joe Lang has been coaching girls hoops in Ohio for 32 years. Much respect.

Miami Country Day School shut out Miami Doctors Charter School Monday, 82-0.

Pro news:

Candace Parker is balling her butt off in Russia. She had 19 points and 10 rebounds for UMMC Ekaterinburg today.

Two courageous young women

It doesn't seem that long ago that Tierra Rogers started at Cal, and had to retire almost immediately after a heart condition was discovered. Now that Bear is a senior, and she talks about all she's learned over the last four years.

Ieshia Small signed her National Letter of Intent the same day she was formally adopted.

Bonus - a fascinating adult woman:

Pat Summitt's bodyguard Clarella Thomas has a life of her own.

MaxPreps 2012-2013 preseason high school top 25

MaxPreps preseason rankings:

1. Bishop O'Dowd
2. Whitney Young
3. Science Hill
4. St. Mary's (Phoenix)
5. Our Lady of Good Council
6. Riverdale Baptist
7. Riverdale
8. Norcross
9. Long Beach Poly
10. Dreher
11. Duncanville (Tamika Catchings' former high school)
12. McDonogh
13. Central Catholic
14. Rockbridge
15. Fairmont
16. Shabazz
17. Hathaway Brown
18. Marion County
19. Nazareth
20. Hoover
21. Oregon City
22. Seton LaSalle
23. Mater Dei
24. Cedar Hill
25. Hopkins

Teams off to tournaments

Many college teams are on their way to tropical locations for tournaments, or are already there. Safe travels to them, and in the meantime.......

The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten will pose a challenge to Michigan.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco's statement regarding the departure of Rutgers to the Big Ten.

Purdue: it's their time.

"Jail time" is paying off for Cierra Burdick and the Lady Vols.

Stefanie Dolson is stronger and fitter for UConn.

Loyola Marymount coaching staff changes.

Kentucky's A'dia Mathies is blogging for SLAMonline.

Maryland Coach Brenda Frese is excited to return to the Big Ten.

Paradise for DePaul would be a tournament title.

Today's top 25games......I smell upset potential in Gonzaga vs. Louisville.

Pro news:

The Sun is eying a return.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A record on a big hoops night

Georgia Coach Andy Landers chalked up his 800th career win tonight in the #8 Bulldog's 94-57 rout of Savannah State. His first victory was in 1979. Think about it.

Elena Delle Donne, who missed Delaware's first three games with Lyme Disease symptoms, returned to the court to help the Blue Hens beat Providence, 64-46. She put up 22 points.

Natalie Achonwa is indeed stepping up for #5 Notre Dame. She recorded 22 points in their 93-36 thrashing of Mercer.

There are two Nneka's?? #15 Texas has Nneka Enemkapali, and she scored 24 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Longhorn's 80-53 defeat of Jackson State.

Jordan Hooper lead #23 Nebraska over Sam Houston State, 85-72, with her second double-double on the year.

BYU handed Arizona their first loss, 62-48.

Oregon State rallied from a 10-point deficit to upend Cal State Santa Barbara, 49-46. The teams are playing in the inaugural Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Middle Tennessee 65, Tennessee Tech 59.

Louisiana Tech survived Central Arkansas, 65-63.

Other college news:

ESPN continues its fascination with Tennessee's coaching transition.

UTEP senior center Kristine Vitola will miss the season with a torn ACL.

Pro:

USA Basketball talks with Nneka Ogwumike.

High school:

The Lovett Lions of suburban Atlanta are ready to defend their state title.

Thibault let go for failure to deliver a championship

The Connecticut Sun acknowledged why they released Mike Thibault as coach earlier today, and it's even on the WNBA's website (for once): he failed to produce a championship in ten seasons.

In talking with ESPN, Thibault revealed himself as an evolved individual:

"I was fired because we didn't win a championship this year," Thibault said in a phone interview with espnW on Tuesday. "I've been in this business long enough to know that this stuff just happens. I think their feeling was, 'We've given him 10 years to do it; let's give someone else a chance.' That's their prerogative......

But Thibault didn't sound the least bit angry. He was matter of fact, and very complimentary of the Sun's organization and how the franchise has been operated.

"People here have been great; I have no complaints," Thibault said. "I've been treated well; my family has been, too. I've liked working here, and I have no bitterness about this at all. The only thing I can say is I don't know if what they did will change things.

"It may; it may not. Depends on who they hire, how the players accept the new coach, all those things. The team is poised to continue to improve. It's still in a very good situation."

USA Today poll: two changes

This week's USA Today top 25 has UCLA and Dayton stepping in, and Delaware and Miami dropping out:

1. Stanford
2. Connecticut
3. Baylor
4. Duke
5. Notre Dame
6. Louisville
7. Penn State
8. Kentucky
9. Georgia
10. Maryland
11. California
12. Purdue
13. Oklahoma
14. West Virginia
15. Tennessee
16. St. John's
17. Ohio State
18. Oklahoma State
19. Vanderbilt
20. Nebraska
21. Texas
22. UCLA
23. Kansas
24. Texas A&M
25. Dayton

Connecticut Sun fire Mike Thibault and staff

Mike Thibault, the only coach the Sun has ever had, has been let go along with his two longtime assistants.

The Sun will begin interviewing replacements immediately.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday wrap-up

Tonight's results:

#11 Cal soared past Cal Poly, 87-61. Sophomore forward Reshanda Gray lead the Bears with 22 points, in just 20 minutes of play.

#14 Purdue overcame Bowling Green, 59-45.

LSU is struggling: Georgetown 71, LSU 69.

All scores.

Many games tomorrow. I'll be at the Cal State Fullerton-Loyola Marymount match up. Wishing the Oregon State-UC Santa Barbara game was on TV.

News:

Taking the lead from the WNBA, ESPNW is naming a college player of the week this year. First week's winner: Chiney Ogwumike.

In Storrs, they are waiting by the phone for the ACC.

Yesterday's preseason WNIT final was a weird deja vu for two Iowa seniors.

Texas A&M is looking to Kelsey Bone to turn their winless season around.

Cal State Northridge signed four.

Big shake ups in AP top 25 poll

In this week's poll, UCLA, Kansas, Dayton and North Carolina enter, while Delaware, Texas A&M, Miami and Georgetown fall out:

1. Stanford Cardinal
2. Connecticut Huskies
3. Baylor Lady Bears
4. Duke Blue Devils
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
6. Penn State Lions
7. Louisville Cardinals
8. Georgia Bulldogs
9. Kentucky Wildcats
10. Maryland Terps
11. California Golden Bears
12. West Virginia Mountaineers
13. Oklahoma Sooners
14. Purdue Boilermakers
15. Texas Longhorns
16. Ohio State Buckeyes
17. Vanderbilt Commodores
18. St Johns Red Storm
19. UCLA Bruins 2-0
20. Tennessee Lady Vols
21. Oklahoma St Cowgirls
22. Kansas Jayhawks
23. Nebraska Cornhuskers
24. Dayton Flyers
25. North Carolina Tar Heels

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer's comments.

Maryland, Rutgers to join Big Ten

The Big 14?

Maryland and Rutgers have joined the Big Ten.

Big Ten statement on Maryland.

The ex-ACC commissioner is shocked.

The expansion of the conference likely won't stop there.

Big 16?

When will the madness end?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

American players trapped in Israel

Maybe, like me, you've been reading the tweets of American players currently in Israel, and you have been frightened for them. ESPN covers the issue:

It's 3 a.m. in a small city just outside of Tel Aviv and Alexis Gray-Lawson answers the phone.

"I'm up," Gray-Lawson. "All the Americans are up."

Just the night before, an air-raid siren -- warning of a possible incoming bomb -- woke up Gray-Lawson.

The former California standout and All-Pac-10 first-team honoree, along with the other American basketball players who are contracted with teams in Israel for the season, are now finding themselves in the middle of an international conflict, as the Palestinians in Gaza and the Israeli military drop bombs on the other's territory. And the conflict is threatening to escalate.

"The siren went off and my teammates went running to the windows and you look out and people are walking outside like it's normal," Gray-Lawson said. "When it goes off, you are supposed to have three minutes to get into the bomb shelter. Ours is downstairs. Everybody is kind of frantic."

Knock knock, more upsets

This is happening earlier in the season than last year.

Today's upsets:

#24 Tennessee 79, #23 Miami 67. The Hurricane's 41-home game winning streak was snapped.

South Dakota State 60, #15 Nebraska 55.

Dayton 71, #13 Vanderbilt 66.

And all the other top 25 games were blowouts (no middle ground today):

Stanford cruised past Tennessee Martin, 92-67, to win the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Hawaii.

Baylor routed Hawaii to take third place.

#2 Connecticut 81, #16 Texas A&M 50.

#7 Notre Dame 94, UMass 50.

#3 Duke 100, Iona 31.

#9 Penn State 75, Lafayette 34.

#22 Oklahoma State 101, Weber State 49.

#11 Oklahoma 68, Saint Louis 33.

#10 Georgia 70, Belmont 38.

Other notable games:

North Carolina won the preseason WNIT by defeating Iowa 77-64.

USC 65, Pepperdine 56.

Georgia Tech 76, Marquette 72.

Kansas 64, Wake Forest 58.

UTEP 60, Arizona State 54.

Key match ups for tomorrow:

LSU at #25 Georgetown

Cal Poly at #12 California

Bowling Green at #18 Purdue

News:

Ha-what? Are Maryland and Rutgers headed to the Big Ten, and will UConn go to another conference too?

UConn's Bria Hartley continues to progress.

Shock stands behind Jennifer Lacy

Two days after an alleged attack, Tulsa Shock forward Jennifer Lacy was fulfilling team duties. The franchise stands behind her.

The WNBA says the Shock were a bright spot for the league this year.

Today's biggest match up:

#24 Tennessee at #23 Miami.

The Vols are still tough without Pat Summitt.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An upset and a couple milestones

Tonight's results:

Ouch....St. Joseph's 50, #5 Maryland 49.

With their 78-53 victory over Winthrop, Ohio State has a home game winning streak of 23.

#1 Baylor beat Tennessee-Martin 82-67, and in the process Bear center Brittney Griner set an NCAA record for dunking with her eighth.

Loyola Marymount shattered several records, both individually and as a team, in taking down Utah State 98-81.

Cal State Fullerton squeaked one out against San Francisco, 60-55.

Arizona beat CSUN in a slug fest.

Tonight's scoreboard makes me ponder how weird it is to see Green Bay, Marist and DePaul unranked.

Other NCAA news:

Ohio State's Raven Ferguson dropped some weight and stepped up her game.

For the College of Charleston's coach Natasha Barnes, basketball runs deep in the family.

Tennessee freshman Bashaara Graves likes her nickname: "beast."

For UConn freshman Moriah Jefferson, home is where the game is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stanford snaps Baylor's 42-game winning streak

The best game that wasn't televised: Stanford 71, Baylor 69.

Other college news:

The UConn-Notre Dame game in January is almost sold out.

Can Delaware find an identity without Elena Delle Donne?

More on Chamique Holdsclaw:

From ESPN.

More class of 2013 signings:

Two top picks for St. John's.

Auburn gets six.

Pro:

Tamika Catchings talks about overcoming personal obstacles and this year's Fever, the WNBA champs.

No rush for the Mystics to hire a new coach and general manager.

Chamique Holdsclaw will be released today

The latest, as of five minutes ago.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tonight's results

Beat downs:

Tennessee crushed Rice, 101-48.

Cal whooped St. Mary's. 89-41.

Florida State annihilated Florida, 98-67.

North Carolina State beasted Longwood, 102-49.

Louisville 90, Austin Peay 52.

Full scoreboard.

Other college news:

Rutgers is seeking stability. And Briyona Canty is progressing.

The sky is the limit for Notre Dame.

UConn's Bria Hartley is still out.

Duke's Haley Peters says the Blue Devils can't wait for their first game.

Three questions for Arizona.

More class of 2013 signings:

Kentucky has landed three big fish.

Alabama netted four.

Oregon State inked three.

IUPUI got three.

Duquesne signed six.

Chamique Holdsclaw in custody for alleged assault on former girlfriend

Story link:

Former basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw turned herself in Thursday night after an arrest warrant was issued following a dispute with a woman that allegedly turned violent, Atlanta police said.

Holdsclaw, 35, of Smyrna, was booked into the Fulton County jail shortly before 9 p.m., according to jail records. She was charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and reckless conduct, police said. Her bond was set at $10,000, jail records show.

Jennifer Lacy, 29, who described herself as Holdsclaw’s former girlfriend, told police she was working out at a church on Ponce de Leon Avenue on Tuesday when Holdsclaw approached her and said she wanted to put some items in Lacy’s car......

After breaking the driver’s side window, a rear passenger’s window and the rear window, Holdsclaw produced a handgun, fired inside the SUV and fled the scene, the report said.


Another story link.

Surprisingly little on this incident, which has rocked the women's basketball world, at this time, despite the news being out for more than five hours.

Statement from Jennifer Lacy.

Much news, and more signing reports

Geno Auriemma's lawyers have withdrawn their request to dismiss the employee discrimination complaint against the UConn coach.

In last night's win, Georgetown's Sugar Rogers became her school's all-time scoring leader.

Penn State guards Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas are at their best working together. Lucas blogs.

Florida will be tested at Florida State.

Sophomore Erika Ford is important to the Georgia Bulldogs.

DePaul Coach Doug Bruno said thank you in his own special way Tuesday night.

Arizona is ready to bounce back from last season.

Bad luck for Oregon: sophomore forward Lexi Petersen is out for the year with a torn ACL.

Temple senior Ketara Chapel was inspired by another coach's goals for her.

More National Signing Day news:

Penn State signed seven.

Michigan inked four.

Old Dominion took two.

Gonzaga got two.

Baylor signed four.

Oklahoma State inked six.

Missouri took three.

Stanford got four.

LSU signed two.

Colorado inked four.

Mississippi State took four.

Illinois got six.

Minnesota signed two.

Maryland inked four.

WNBA:

The best coverage of a WNBA team seems to belong to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which reports that Lynx players are currently playing around the world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Upsets

First night of upset city this season:

North Carolina 63, #25 Georgetown 48

Duquesne 51, #17 Delaware 47

UCLA 86, #11 Oklahoma 80

Epic battle:

#9 Penn State 63, #16 Texas A&M 58

College news:

Friday at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Hawaii, it'll be a Final Four re-match between Stanford and Baylor.

Basketball is still a family affair for North Carolina State Coach Kellie Jolly Harper.

Princeton forward Kate Miller is relishing her senior season.

Petition seeks to change the name of NCAA Championship trophy to bear Pat Summitt's name

Like this idea, sign the petition.

National Signing Day excitement

Hoopgurlz A-Z......S is interesting: Tyler Scaife and Ieshia Small have yet to announce.

Check out the 2013 list.

Individual schools 411:

Tennessee signs two big recruits.

UConn's got one.

North Carolina's four are all-stars.

Notre Dame lands four.

Purdue adds two.

Five sign to Kansas.

Cal inks four.

Georgia Tech lands a big fish.

Xavier grabs six.

Vanderbilt adds one.

San Diego State gets a quartet.

Texas with four.

Tulane takes three.

USC signs two.

Middle Tennesse's got four.

DePaul inks four.

University of Washington grabs three.

Illinois State signs five.

Wake Forest inks five.

Florida State with one.

McNeese State lands four.

Wisconsin signs two.

Arizona State takes two.

Long Beach State adds three.

Long Island University gets two.

Kent State has three.

Rice inks two.

Oregon with two.

UNLV signs two.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day three recap

Tennessee won their first game under Holly Warlick, with a 71-54 defeat of Georgia Tech.

Stanford's Amber Orrange is getting straight to the point. Which is apparent, as Stanford crushed Santa Clara today.

UConn killed Charleston, and freshman Breanna Stewart knotted 21 points.

Georgetown upset #11 Delaware, which was without Elena Delle Donne.

Rutgers dropped their season opener, to Georgia.

Only three top 25 games tomorrow.

Pro:

Globetrotting jocks (including Candace Parker) pack smart, stick to routines.

Greats:

Debbie Black was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Gonzaga 63, USC 52

Gonzaga dominated USC from the opening tip today, and closed out a 63-52 win.

Keani Albanez lead the Bulldogs with 17 points, Haiden Palmer added 13 and Taelor Karr, 10.

Cassie Harberts notched a double-double for the Trojans, with 18 points and 10 rebounds. But she was the only player in double figures in a game that saw only eight of 16 on the roster play.

Box score.

Game recap.

My game photos.

UCLA 66, San Diego State 52

The UCLA Bruins pulled away in the second half of a sloppy game last night to beat visiting San Diego State, 66-52.

Markel Walker lead the Bruins with 15 points, while Alyssia Brewer added 12. Freshman Kari Korver had 11, which included a trio of three-point shots.

Erimma Amarikwa was the high point-getter for the Aztecs, with 14. Chelsea Hopkins put up 10 and Deajanae Scurry had eight.

There wasn't much difference in the statistics for each team except for the shooting percentage: UCLA shot 40.3 on the night and SDSU shot 28.1.

Box score.

Both teams had players out for the game.

SDSU has two key players out injured for another three or four weeks. UCLA's Rhema Gardner and Lauren Holiday didn't play for a second straight game, and Corrine Costa was dressed in street clothes. The Bruin athletic department has a policy of not discussing the injury status of players, so I don't know what the deal is.

Bright spots for the Bruins are Walker, who is strong as ever, and Brewer, who sat out last year after transferring from Tennessee. Each played a solid game, and the entire team was poised and composed no matter what the score. Korver also shows much potential as a freshman with a deadly trey-shot.

Dixon, who sat out last year after tearing her Achilles tendon, still doesn't look quite herself. Others on the bench will have to step up - especially when more than one player is out.

The Aztecs had a rough shooting night; it one was of those where there seemed to be a lid on the basket. But the fact that Amarikwa, a sophomore, and Scurry, a freshman, lead the scoring effort, is exciting. Scurry was one rebound short of her second double-double of the week.

Hopkins is invaluable to her team as a classic point guard. Not only does she do it all - scoring, assists and even rebounds - she is the boss. She takes players aside to talk to them (see below photo), knows exactly where the ball should be, and never comes out of the game.

Each team showed much potential, but both will have to step up from tip off instead of waiting until the second half of the game to really start playing.


Nae Scurry (#12) blocks Antonye Nyingifa's (#11) shot


Jasmine Dixon (#33) scores over Chelsea Hopkins


Point guard Chelsea Hopkins confers with Courtney Clements, left, and Erimma Amarikwa


Chelsea Hopkins receives the ball in transition

College hoops, day two, and more

Notable results:

#25 DePaul goes down to Dayton, 92-80, in the Maggie Dixon Classic.

#16 Vanderbilt over Oklahoma State, 82-71.

Green Bay barely survived Northern Iowa, 54-53.

Minnesota needed two overtimes to put away Washington State, 87-83.

UMass senior center Jasmine Watson topped the 1,000-point mark in the team's thrashing Kent State.

North Carolina State 85, Auburn 71.

UCLA 66, San Diego State 52.

Other news:

The Lady Vols lost their season opener Friday, but they are ready for Georgia Tech today.

Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee face off today, and the head coaches are quite familiar with one another.

UConn is number two for now, and that's not bad.

Talia East is "the mayor of Penn State."

Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer says her team will be special this season.

Commitments:

Ronni Williams, #13 in the class of 2013, chooses Florida.

Pro news:

Maya Moore dropped 60 points in a win yesterday in China. She's averaging 43 per game.

Today's NCAA schedule.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Erica McCall commits to Stanford


Erica McCall celebrates with her father Greg, right, at her signing announcement party earlier this evening. The eleventh-ranked player in the 2013 class chose Stanford over UConn and UCLA.

____________________

Class of 2013 #11 Erica McCall announced a few hours ago that she will sign with Stanford. The 6-foot-3 forward from Bakersfield, Calif. chose the Cardinal over UConn and UCLA.

Though she is excited about her decision, McCall said it was a hard choice to make.

"It was very difficult - all are great schools," she said. "But what made Stanford stand out was the combination of great academics and great athletics. Not to mention the chance to play for Tara VanDerveer, who is a coaching great."

McCall said another strong pull toward the Cardinal was that the school is relatively close to her home.

"It's nice to think that I won't be that far away from my family," she said.

Though her father Greg McCall is head coach at Cal State Bakersfield, McCall said he will try to make games when he can. She suspects some of her high school teammates and friends will, too.

"They were preparing for me possibly going away to college far away, to the point where some were teary-eyed," she said. "They were happy I picked Stanford."

McCall first turned heads in 2010, when she played a prominent role in helping club ball team the Cal Sparks win a FILA National Championship within a month of joining the team.

Last year she was a member of USA Basketball's gold medal-winning U16 team, and this past summer she achieved the same goal with the U17 squad. Additionally, she was part of the U18 3X3 team, which won a gold in September.

Both of McCall's parents were athletes and her sister, DeWanna Bonner, is one of the WNBA's top players. But McCall said there is more to the story than possibly good genetics.

"I've worked really hard the last few years to become a better player," she said.

McCall plays for Ridgeview High School, where she averaged 25.8 points, 16.7 rebounds and 7.1 blocks per game last year, as she lead the team to a league championship.

Interesting first day

New NCAA world:

Stanford struggled a bit to put away Fresno State, 72-61. As expected, Chiney Ogwumike lead the way with 23 points and 17 rebounds.

Chattanooga dropped Tennessee, 80-71.

Texas over #14 St. John's, 70-60.

Gonzaga pulled one out over Riverside, 60-53.

Even without Elena Delle Donne, Delaware thrashed Sam Houston State, 63-31.

Notables:

#9 Louisville 47, #15 Texas A&M 45.

#7 Notre Dame 57, #19 Ohio State 51.

#13 Cal 80, Lehigh 48.

The Terri Williams-Flournoy era began at Auburn with a win.

Is Long Beach State done sucking? They pulled it out against Sacramento State, 74-71.

#18 Nebraska 68, North Carolina A&T 50.

Full Friday scoreboard.

Other news:

Bridgeport, Conn. will host the NCAA regionals next spring, in lieu of New Jersey.

Ole Miss self-imposes post-season ban.

Bria Hartley will not play in UConn's opener Sunday.

Michigan won last night, but their lack of height and depth was exposed.

The Gophers are chasing 20 wins, and Lindsay Whalen.

Old Dominion is off to an entirely brand new start.

Today's schedule:

San Diego State at UCLA (I'm going).

Auburn at North Carolina State.

Loyola Marymount at UTEP.

Oklahoma at Creighton.

McNeese State at Vanderbilt.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Previews and predictions

ESPN's preseason mid-major top 10:

1. Delaware
2. Middle Tennessee
3. BYU
4. Gonzaga
5. Princeton
6. Marist
7. Green Bay
8. San Diego State
9. Davidson
10. Tennessee-Martin

ESPN previews the Pac-12.

As I have stated here, Stanford will go through some changes this year.

Three predictions for 2012-2013.

All-American predictions.

Brittney Griner predicted to repeat as player of the year.

Tennessee Tech is set to soar.

Brown season preview.

UCLA is getting a fresh start with a full squad, and a freshman trio.

Nebraska has high hopes for the season.

West Virginia hopes to meet expectations in the Big 12.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tennessee Lady Vols 2012-2013: still Tennessee


Jasmine Phillips gets off the ground, while #2 Jasmine Jones prepares to make an outlet pass

Photo by Maria Cornelius
______________________

My annual tradition of interviewing scout.com writer/reporter Maria Cornelius continues this year. The longtime Lady Vol beat writer has a tremendous amount of knowledge about the team, the coaches and the program from years of covering them. She took time out to fill me in on this season's outlook.

Sue Favor: What has the transition from Pat Summitt to Holly Warlick been like?

Maria Cornelius: About as seamless as could be expected, which makes sense since Holly Warlick was at Pat Summitt’s side for 27 seasons. When it was apparent last season that a change could be made, I was adamant that Warlick deserved that shot to be the head coach at Tennessee. She did have opportunities to leave – Indiana and Clemson had seriously pursued her in the past – and she stayed in her hometown.

Warlick also was the fair choice for the returning players. Their world was jolted when Summitt’s diagnosis was announced before last season, and Warlick provided that bridge for the program. Bringing in a completely new staff would not have been fair to the current team.

As it turned out, Warlick being retained – and her asking Dean Lockwood to stay – was critical for the class of 2013 recruiting. Bill Wagner, the high school coach of the top recruit in the country, Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Ore., has said the retention of Warlick and Lockwood were key to securing her commitment.

Lockwood deserves a shoutout for his loyalty to Tennessee and his recruiting prowess. He was the lead recruiting assistant for all three players who committed to Tennessee – Russell, Jannah Tucker, the wing from Maryland, and Jordan Reynolds, the guard from Oregon. His presence on the staff can’t be understated.

Warlick also showed that she learned from Summitt that a head coach is only as good as the people she surrounds herself with on her staff.

She stayed within the Lady Vol family and hired Kyra Elzy, an excellent recruiter and floor coach, and then went outside the long orange line and brought in Jolette Law, also an excellent recruiter and a former head coach.

The three verbals from the class of 2013 all mentioned the relationship formed with Elzy and Law as also being key to their decisions.

So, given that a program had to make a new hire after Summitt had prowled the sidelines since 1974, it went about as seamless as possible. Warlick was the right choice.

Sue Favor: How often does Pat come to practice, and what does she do when she’s there?

Maria Cornelius: She comes to nearly all of them, even the ones that are held pre-dawn. She can’t coach on the floor, but she watches closely and will yell some encouragement to players from her spot on the sideline or perched against a basket support.

Her mind remains so engaged by basketball, and the players like having her there. Taber Spani beams when asked about Summitt being there. She is in Knoxville for one reason – Summitt. So to have her still around the program is a godsend for Spani.

This is another reason why Warlick was the correct choice. Some new head coaches might have flinched at having a legend hovering nearby. But Warlick worships Summitt, her former head coach at Tennessee, a mentor and a maternal figure.

Warlick wants her there, talks to her often and is completely at ease with Summitt’s presence. She has said it is her job to protect Summitt and take care of her.

In terms of loyalty, Warlick is special.

Sue Favor: How does Warlick’s system differ from Summitt’s?

Maria Cornelius: To be honest, not much as of now. Warlick stresses defense and rebounding, the tenets of Tennessee basketball.

She demands efforts and won’t coach it. If a player won’t put out effort, Warlick won’t play them. Game minutes are earned in practice, and no starting slots are ever guaranteed.

Warlick also is returning to the style of defensive play that Tennessee got away from recently because of personnel not suited to play it, although a lot of that was caused by injury. From 2008 to last season, nine significant players were out with serious injuries. Tennessee was constantly having to put together patchwork lineups with players out of position, including the most critical spot of point guard.

Warlick wants the team to go back to full court pressure, suffocating defense. Summitt was always a man-to-man defense coach and she had to get away from it recently and rely more on zones.

Tennessee’s recruiting targets are agile, athletic and defensive-minded. They can play the old school version of Tennessee defense, the kind that Elzy played for the Lady Vols and can teach.

Warlick also doesn’t want Tennessee to lock into set offensive plays. She wants players to have offensive freedom, to read the defense, adjust and make decisions with and away from the ball. She is emphasizing player movement and spacing.

Tennessee will have set plays in the half-court setting, but the primary goal this season is to run, run, run. Warlick said she intends to use every player on the roster.

Sue Favor: What changes in the returnees stand out the most, both collectively and individually?

Maria Cornelius: Cierra Burdick used the summer to get in basketball shape. That first full summer from freshman to sophomore year is so vital in terms of game improvement and conditioning, and Burdick earned raves from the coaches for her summer work ethic and dedication.

Meighan Simmons is a better defender as a junior. She is using her speed, always an asset on offense, to her benefit on defense.

Ariel Massengale is more vocal, noticeably so. She is just a sophomore but she realizes she has to take ownership of a young team from the point spot.

Taber Spani has fully embraced the role of senior leader. If she can stay healthy, she can be a force for the Lady Vols because of her shooting ability and her natural leadership skills.

Kamiko Williams seems to understand that her defense can get – and keep her – on the floor. She is so athletic and skilled and needs to fully buy into the system into her final year.

Isabelle Harrison used the summer to get stronger. She worked out with her older brothers and then returned to campus and mentored the younger posts. She is already showing more poise on the court and making better decisions with the ball.


Andraya Carter lofts a jumper. Bashaara Graves is at left. Both are very athletic freshmen for the Lady Vols who will have to be ready this season

Photo by Maria Cornelius
______________________

Sue Favor: You and others have said Andraya Carter is the most athletic Lady Vol you’ve seen in a while. What kind of things does she do to make her special?

Maria Cornelius: Her jumping ability is eye-popping. Her vertical leap – standing still, no step – has been measured at 30.5 inches, which puts her above the best ever recorded in college by Candace Parker and Glory Johnson.

She has natural quickness, laterally and north-south. She also has work ethic and attitude to match her skill set, which can take her from a very good player to a great one.

It is never a good idea to put too many expectations on a freshman, but Carter gives the Lady Vols depth at the guard spot, and she will keep the returning players honest. Coaches always want enough depth to push players into earning minutes, not getting them because of circumstances, and Carter will push for playing time.

The other three freshmen, forwards Jasmine Jones, Bashaara Graves and Nia Moore, also bring the same work ethic to the team. When freshmen help to set the tone, coaches feel a lot better about their team.

Sue Favor: What are some attributes about the other newcomers that Lady Vol fans can look forward to seeing?

Maria Cornelius: Bashaara Graves is a beast on the boards. She believes every rebound has her name on it, and she will fight for good position and hold onto the ball. It is rare to see a freshman that poised in the paint. She also has a left hand. She developed it before she got to campus.

Jasmine Jones has potential All-American skills. How she was rated No. 39 in her class I do not know. She has moves and counter moves in the paint and a silky smooth jumper, floater and up-and-under move. She has been well coached along the way. Her mother LaTrish Jones played for Alabama so she is a player’s daughter and grew up around the game.

Nia Moore is a coach’s dream – great attitude, listens, makes the most of her game minutes. She has a knack for being around the ball and making timely plays. She can help this team this season. She is also very athletic and agile so she can adapt to the team’s running style, as can Jones and Graves. None of the forwards are the type of players who have to set up inside to score. They can score in transition and early offense.

Sue Favor: How is the team coming together?

Maria Cornelius: They seem to be very close on and off the court. They know they are young and they know expectations have been lowered, and they feel challenged to show they are still Tennessee.

I think after the ordeal of last season – hearing your beloved head coach has early onset dementia was crushing – they can just focus on basketball now. The constant questions about Summitt’s status won’t be asked. Warlick has established that she can recruit and there is reason to believe the Lady Vols program will not just survive but continue to thrive.

Sue Favor: Do you think they deserved their recent #4 ranking by the SEC media?

Maria Cornelius: To be honest, yes. I voted them at #4. The coaches actually went lower and picked Tennessee at #5.

Preseason votes are based on rosters – who is coming back – and a host of unknowns. Who will develop? Who will stay healthy? Which freshmen will step up right away? Which newcomers will hit the proverbial first-year wall? Which upperclassmen will live up to expectations or exceed them? Who will fall short?

I actually had South Carolina in the top four, which Dawn Staley didn’t even believe when I told her at SEC Media Day. I told her the email was sent to the SEC office, and I had proof of my pick. I think her teams get under-ranked each year in the SEC, and she exceeds expectations. So I ranked them high. We shall see.

I also think that Tennessee has the potential to finish higher than fourth. I also know it’s a long season and the Lady Vols should be better in March than they are in November. They could take some hits along the way, and the SEC is a brutal conference. There are no easy games along the way and especially on the road. Even league champ Kentucky lost at Alabama last season. The players in the SEC are athletic and tough, and the games are physical.

It should be an interesting season to cover Tennessee with a new head coach for the first time in nearly 40 years and a team made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores.

It is still Tennessee.


From left: #21 Nia Moore, #5 Ariel Massengale, #2 Jasmine Jones, Assistant Coach Kyra Elzy (hands on hip), Taber Spani and Kamiko Williams

Photo by Maria Cornelius