Friday, January 31, 2014

Dawn Staley Award watch list released

The Dawn Staley Award for the best point guard will be given out near the end of the season. The watch list was released today:

Odyssey Sims, Baylor University

Breanna Stewart, University of Connecticut

Maggie Lucas, Penn State University

Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt University

Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt University

Kayla McBride, University of Notre Dame

Shoni Schimmel, University of Louisville

Brittany Boyd, University of California

Tiffany Mitchell, University of South Carolina

Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan University

Brittany Hrynko, DePaul University

Jerica Coley, Florida International

Bria Hartley, University of Connecticut

Chikilra Goodman, Stony Brook University

Rachel Banham, University of Minnesota

Aaryn Ellenberg, University of Oklahoma

The unpredictable Pac-12

Funny things happen when a conference is on the rise: on any given night, any team can win. If you're a coach or a player, there's no night that you can just sit back and go through the motions. Case in point is tonight's results:

Oregon State lead #15 Arizona State the entire game, but lost in the last 32 seconds, 64-62.

Then Washington State beat USC, 79-75.

Washington has just topped UCLA, minutes ago, 70-58.

The only semi-predictable game was Oregon defeating Arizona, 84-72.

Full scoreboard.

More news:

UConn's Morgan Tuck had successful knee surgery yesterday. The biggest threat to a UConn title run may be injuries.

Colorado is focused on righting the ship.

UTEP players make the most of their playing time.

Brick by brick, Missouri is laying the foundation of success.

Milestones and honors:

Clemson's Nikki Dixon crossed the 1,000-point mark.

CSUN's Ashlee Guay notched 1,000 career points.

Oklahoma State will honor Andrea Riley.

Nebraska is honoring Kelsey Griffin.

Sparks season ticket holders left out in the cold

With the fate of the Sparks still in the balance, one group has been forgotten: loyal season ticket holders.

The way they've been treated is a travesty. And why has the WNBA has pretended this situation isn't happening, by not acknowledging it on their website (the Sparks website has no mention of the issue whatsoever)? The league won't respond to requests for comment.

As we go into February, there is no 2014 WNBA schedule. This is because, since Sept. 30, 2013, there has been no new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the Women's National Basketball Players Association. All WNBPA President Tamika Catchings can say is they haven't reached an agreement yet. The WNBA didn't respond to my request for a comment.

But hey, the location for the All-Star game has been determined.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My, my, my

BOOM:

Syracuse upset #6 North Carolina, 78-73.

#18 North Carolina State toppled #8 Maryland, 72-63.

Georgia edged #13 Kentucky, 58-56.

Missouri took down #16 Vanderbilt, 59-54.

Two atoms short of an upset:

A free throw put #3 Duke over Miami, 76-75.

#12 Penn State held off #19 Purdue, 75-72.

More results:

Clemson edged Georgia Tech, 80-79.

A Brianna Kiesel runner in the last seconds lifted Pitt over Boston College, 67-65.

High Point needed two overtimes to best Liberty, 94-89.

Northwestern defeated Indiana, 58-52.

Michigan State escaped Wisconsin, 71-67.

Saint Mary's beat BYU, 75-70.

West Coast games are still undecided at this hour - most notably, #21 Cal at #4 Stanford.

Full scoreboard.

More news:

Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie are both standing on the doorstep of making history at Vanderbilt.

Oregon State sophomore center Ruth Hamblin has been selected to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Purdue RIP Squad diaries: Midway point.

Top-scoring freshmen

Twenty frosh are leading their respective teams in scoring so far this season - a remarkable feat:

PLAYER SCHOOL PPG PLAYER SCHOOL PPG

Kelsey Plum Washington 20.0 Leticia Romero Kansas State 14.3
Malia Tate-DeFreitas Hampton 19.5 Sherranda Reddick Jacksonville 13.9
Sara Dickey Evansville 18.1 Erin Nelson Saint Louis 13.7
Larryn Brooks Indiana 17.4 Raven Benton Long Beach State 13.6
Kayla Keys High Point 16.8 Aerial Powers Michigan State 13.6
Jessica Jackson Arkansas 16.7 Feyonda Fitzgerald Temple 13.5
Fanni Szabo Dartmouth 16.5 Sara Tarbert UMBC 12.8
Diamond DeShields North Carolina 16.3 Olivia Healy Richmond 12.3
Nia Coffey Northwestern 16.1 Shawnte’ Goff Texas-Pan American 12.1
Cha Sweeney Eastern Michigan 15.0 Rhaiah Spooner-Knight Utah Valley 10.7

Mid-major top 15

ESPN's top 15 mid-major's:

1. Gonzaga
2. Middle Tennessee
3. James Madison
4. Chattanooga
5. Marist
6. Bowling Green
7. San Diego
8. Dayton
9. Central Michigan
10. Iona
11. Saint Mary's
12. Saint Joseph's
13. Witchita State
14. BYU
15. Duquesne

Loyola Marymount honors WCC champs of 2003-2004

Loyola Marymount hosted and honored their 2003-2004 team at halftime of last Saturday's game against Portland. The former Lions were West Coast Conference champions that year. Some pictures from the ceremony:


Members of the 2003-2004 Loyola Marymount basketball team, who won the West Coast Conference championship.



Kate Murry Dunn addresses the audience.



Members of the team react to compliments.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

They don't like missing games

Bethune coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis gave birth to a boy, but was able to watch the game her team was playing from a livestream feed. Her husband, NBA official Ed Lewis, walked to the arena, caught the game, and came back:

(AP) -- Bethune Cookman women's coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis and her husband, veteran NBA official Eric Lewis, don't like missing basketball games.

So after Blair-Lewis gave birth to a baby boy - Blair Eric Lewis - a few hours before Monday's game against Howard, she watched the game on the school's livestream feed from her hospital bed a few blocks away. Her husband did make the walk over from the hospital to watch the game and then came back to his family.


More news:

UConn sophomore Breanna Stewart is closing in on 1,000 career points.

South Alabama endured a 24-hour bus trip to Atlanta in the snow storm, trying to get to their game. Bless their hearts.

Q&A with Georgia State freshman Jamila Mayfield, who has a unique background.

Louisville's Shoni Schimmel shines from the outside.

North Carolina is going with a "Throwback Thursday" theme for games played on that day.

How the formerly-ranked have fallen:

Kansas State beat Oklahoma, 86-78.

Utah outlasted Colorado, 58-55.

More results:

#11 Oklahoma State escaped TCU, 49-48.

Nebraska creamed Michigan, 84-51.

Iowa topped Minnesota, 64-56.

DePaul stretched by Marquette, 91-85.

St. John's routed Xavier, 80-48.

Marist over Rider, 66-56.

#20 West Virginia bested #23 Iowa State, 67-56.

Full scoreboard.

WNBA:

Sparks play-by-play guy Larry Burnett said in his blog that there is more than one local ownership group interested in buying the team.

Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins will participate in the NBA All-Star Celebrity game.

McDonald's All-American teams named

East Team

Lynee’ Belton, Maryland
Sierra Calhoun, New York
Bianca Cuevas, New York
Sadie Edwards, Connecticut
Myisha Hines-Allen, New Jersey
Alexa Middleton, Tennessee
Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio
Mariya Moore, California
Shakayla Thomas, Alabama
Kathryn Westbeld, Ohio
Jatarie White, North Carolina
A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

West Team

Ariel Atkins, Texas
Recee' Caldwell, Texas
Jordin Canada, California
Mikayla Cowling, California
Lajahna Drummer, California
Gabby Green, California
Brooke McCarty, Texas
Jamie Nared, Oregon
Alyssa Rice, Ohio
Brianna Turner, Texas
Chatrice White, Nebraska
Gabby Williams, Nevada

Roster

Interesting facts on the players.

News release.

The game will be April 2, in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mater Dei back on top of high school rankings

Lots of movement in this week's ESPN high school top 25, after a week of upsets. Mater Dei is back at number one:

1. Mater Dei
2. Duncanville
3. Blackman
4. Incarnate Word Academy
5. Windward
6. Long Beach Polytechnic
7. Regis Jesuit
8. New Hope Christian Academy
9. Homewood-Flossmoor
10. Lawrence North
11. Myers Park
12. Bedford North Lawrence
13. St. Mary's
14. Riverdale
15. Etiwanda
16. Rock Bridge
17. Whitney Young
18. Riverdale Baptist
19. Saint Mary's College
20. Manvel
21. Joliet Catholic Academy
22. Sierra Canyon
23. M.X. Shabazz
24. Southwest Dekalb
25. Salmen

Dribbles

Today's news:

Cassie Harberts has USC surpassing expectations, by yours truly.

Mikayla Lyles of Cal and Toni Kokenis of Stanford are working together for social change, on an LGBT inclusion program that will tie together the schools.

Texas Tech redshirt freshmen Minta Spears and Ivonne Cook-Taylor will try to help their team against Baylor later this week.

The golden view: National Gonzaga Day.

Lady Vol hoops report for today.

Not too many games tonight, but here's the scoreboard.

USA Today top 25 poll: mostly the same

No drop outs in this week's USA Today top 25 poll, but Gonzaga goes up:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. North Carolina
7. Baylor
8. South Carolina
9. Maryland
10. Tennessee
11. Oklahoma State
12. Kentucky
13. Penn State
14. LSU
15. Texas A&M
16. Purdue
17. Gonzaga
18. Vanderbilt
19. California
20. Arizona State
21. Iowa State
22. North Carolina State
23. Nebraska
24. West Virginia
25. Florida State

Host city finalists for 2017-2020 named

The NCAA has pared the list of possible host cities for the 2017-2020 Final Four to: Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Notre Dame remains undefeated after holding off Maryland

The first Big Monday game did not disappoint, as #2 Notre Dame had to scramble to hold off #8 Maryland, 87-83:

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Notre Dame had just won a close game on the road to remain unbeaten, yet Irish coach Muffet McGraw wore a disgusted look on her face.

That's because second-ranked Notre Dame lost a 22-point lead and had to scramble to salvage an 87-83 win over No. 8 Maryland on Monday night.

"If it's possible to be disappointed after a (win), I'd say that's how I'm feeling right now," McGraw said. "I thought we completely lost our poise, which is so unusual for us."

Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 31 points and Kayla McBride had 20 for the Irish, who previously hadn't yielded more than 76 points in a game.


Alyssa Thomas put up 29 points for the Terps.

Game #2 wasn't so close, as #4 Stanford routed USC, 86-59, behind Chiney Ogwumike's 30 points and 12 rebounds.

Full scoreboard.

AP top 25 poll: Nebraska out, Middle Tennessee in

Well, well, well:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. North Carolina
7. South Carolina
8. Maryland
9. Baylor
10. Tennessee
11. Oklahoma State
12. Penn State
13. Kentucky
14. LSU
15. Arizona State
16. Vanderbilt
17. Texas A&M
18. North Carolina State
19. Purdue
20. West Virginia
21. Cal
22. Gonzaga
23. Iowa State
24. Florida State
25. Middle Tennessee State

Another Big Monday

Tonight's Big Monday match up:

#6 Maryland faces #2 Notre Dame for the first time in ACC play
.

Maryland's Alyssa Thomas is shy off the court, but dominates on it.

Thomas has found her home away from home with the Terps
.

Other news:

Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel is ESPN's player of the week.

Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike has found her way.

Jennifer O'Neill's chat with Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell yielded big results yesterday.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reshanda Gray leads #19 Cal past UCLA with 32 points, 15 rebounds

#19 Cal 69, UCLA 53:

BERKELEY – After Reshanda Gray scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead No. 19/16 California past UCLA 69-53 Sunday, California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb called the junior from Los Angeles one of the hardest working players in the Golden Bear program.

To the 2,060 in attendance at Haas Pavilion and the many more watching live on the Pac-12 Networks, it seemed like Gray could be the hardest working player in the entire Pac-12 conference. Her 32 points were one shy of her career-high of 33 set against Oregon earlier this season, and her 15 rebounds and two steals were both career-highs for the forward. One of the top post players in the country, Gray was 12-of-18 from the field and a stellar 8-of-9 from the free throw line to will the Golden Bears (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12) to the win after dropping a contest to USC Friday night.


No word from ESPN yet on their player of the week.

Result watch so far

Shoni Schimmel's got the performance of the day. The senior guard set a school record by making nine three-point shots in #5 Louisville's 88-61 rout of Memphis.

#10 South Carolina slipped by #16 Vanderbilt, 61-57.

#14 Arizona State edged Colorado, 68-66. The Buffs have my vote so far this season for the team that's fallen the farthest.

#12 Baylor upset #8 Oklahoma State in overtime, 69-66.

Northwestern upended #21 Nebraska, 63-59.

#11 Tennessee punished #17 Texas A&M, 76-55.

#3 Duke thrashed Pitt, 111-67.

#9 Kentucky bounced back from to beat Arkansas, 68-58.

#23 North Carolina State held off Georgia Tech, 80-73.

Alabama outlasted Georgia, 69-66.

Oregon defeated Washington, 101-85.

Oregon State took down Washington State, 72-57.

St. John's squeezed by Georgetown, 66-63.

#19 Cal leads UCLA 37-30 at halftime.

Scoreboard so far.

College news:

Cincinnati senior Dayeesha Hollins will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.

UConn beat South Florida today, 81-53, with just six players.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The completely loaded low down

Today's results:

Texas knocked off #18 West Virginia, 66-63.

#20 Iowa State beat Texas Tech in overtime, 85-76.

Iowa downed Indiana, 84-75.

Oklahoma recaptured their long-lost energy and squashed TCU, 63-52.

Rutgers used a strong second half to surge past Temple, 74-68.

#25 Gonzaga stomped Pepperdine, 69-39.

San Diego routed San Francisco, 76-58. The Toreros are 18-2.

San Diego State toppled Utah State, 88-72, behind the career-high 22 points of Deajanae Scurry.

Cal State Northridge throttled Long Beach State, 77-54.

Creighton dominated Marquette, 83-64.

Cal State Bakersfield rallied past Kansas City, 87-80. The Roadrunners are 10-8 and 4-2 in conference - a major improvement.

Loyola Marymount defeated Portland, 78-64.

It took two overtimes, but Southeastern Louisiana edged Houston Baptist, 85-84.

Full, 116-game scoreboard.

Milestones:

Chattanooga beat Samford, giving coach Jim Foster his 800th career win.

Bentley University coach Barbara Stevens got her 900th career win today.

Ebony Rowe has broken Middle Tennessee's 27-year-old scoring record. She has 2,158 points.

Fantasia Hilliard broke the Sacramento State school assists record in her team's 74-64 victory over Northern Colorado. Sac State is hot: they're 13-4.

Great story:

Tiffany Bias' Oklahoma State career has been marked by tragedy and steely resolve.

Bad news:

UConn forward Morgan Tuck will have season-ending knee surgery.

Looking ahead to Big Monday:

For the Stanford-USC game, alumni Candice Wiggins and Tina Thompson will tweet back and forth from buzzer to buzzer.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Pac-12 battle continues

The upset of the night so far has got to be:

USC over #19 Cal, 77-70. Ariya Crook lead the Trojans with a career-high 34 points - the first to score that many points since 2002.

Almost upset:

#14 Arizona State used free throws to squeeze by Utah, 65-62.

More results:

Oregon State topped Washington, 75-68.

Oregon routed Washington State, 82-66, for their first conference victory.

Colorado stormed past Arizona, 68-47.

#4 Stanford and UCLA are currently battling, so it remains to be seen whether the night will bring a second upset.

More news:

Chattanooga coach Jim Foster is on the verge of 800 career wins.

At UETP, Chrishauna Parker's work at the free throw line is paying off.

Ebony Rowe is poised to become Middle Tennessee's all-time leading scorer.

North Carolina's Diamond DeShields dares to dream.

Liz Brenner is leaving Oregon basketball to focus on volleyball.

The SEC has embraced the "We Back Pat" fundraising and awareness drive.

#25 Gonzaga gets past Loyola Marymount in overtime, 91-82

Los Angeles, Calif. - #25 Gonzaga used an overtime to get past Loyola Marymount Thursday night, 91-82, in a game that was hard-fought on both sides.

Each team had four players in double figures. Haiden Palmer lead the Bulldogs with 32 points, and Deanna Johnson headed up the Lions' effort with a career-high 25 points. The game featured 14 lead changes and nine ties.

Gonzaga began slowly, trailing their hosts at 13 minutes into the half. They battled back and went on a 19-4 run to take a 44-31 lead into the break.

The Lions opened the second period with a 10-1 run to cut the Bulldogs' advantage, and at 10:10 LMU took the lead. The back-and-forth continued through the rest of the half, until two Sunny Greinacher free throws put Gonzaga up 75-72 with four seconds remaining. Johnson dribbled coast-to-coast and was fouled on a three-point attempt. She made all three shots, sending the game into overtime.

The Bulldogs outscored LMU 16-7 in the extra period to claim the win.

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said his team's difficulties were due to defensive lapses and over-preparing.

"We didn’t defend with much passion tonight," he said. "Offensively, we were pretty good, but defensively, we didn’t put the clamps down like we usually do."

"We planned a bit too much for these guys, and got discombobulated."

Second-year LMU coach Charity Elliott was pleased with the Lion's efforts, and said they've recently come together.

"The last three weeks we’ve realized who we are and who we can be," she said.

"Tonight I was really impressed with our composure and fight, and we didn’t back down. That’s a huge step for this program. To step on the floor against a great team and a great program and just compete. We just fought. The courage we showed tonight was incredible."

"I don’t have any other words to say except that I’m proud."

The silence on the Sparks situation continues

In the meantime, one of the co-owners of the Golden State Warriors has reiterated the franchise's interest in buying the Sparks.

Last night's college scoreboard.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Early evening upsets

So far we have:

Virginia knocking off #6 Maryland, 86-72.

Alabama over #9 Kentucky, 57-55.

And:

#3 Duke needed an overtime to put away #24 Florida State, 85-77.

Other games still in progress, and three are close. So we'll see if there are more upsets by the time I get home from #25 Gonzaga at LMU later this evening.

College news:

UConn is considering a redshirt for injured sophomore Morgan Tuck.

New Jersey girl Michaela Mabrey boosts Notre Dame.

Coach Gary Blair and associate head coach Kelly Bond-White remain a strong foundation for Texas A&M.

Iowa State freshman Jadda Buckley talks about college hoops life.

Surprising Michigan looks for national respect.

Stanford has a chance to pull away in the Pac-12.

The Michigan State-Illinois match up will mean a reunion for Madison Williams and Amber Moore.

Players at Ohio Dominion had the highest GPA last year of any Division I, II or III team.

WNBA:

It's official: Fred Williams is the new Shock coach.

Former Atlanta Dream coach Fred Williams expected to be named Tulsa Shock coach today

So says Tulsa World.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This week's high school rankings

A shake up in this week's ESPN power rankings, as Nazareth and Paul VI drop out and Etiwanda and Salmen drop in:

1. Incarnate Word Academy
2. Duncanville
3. Mater Dei
4. Long Beach Polytechnic
5. Blackman
6. New Hope Christian Academy
7. Homewood-Flossmoor
8. Regis Jesuit
9. Lawrence North
10. Windward
11. Myers Park
12. Bedford North Lawrence
13. St. Mary's
14. Riverdale Baptist
15. Joliet Catholic Academy
16. Etiwanda
17. Saint Mary's College
18. Riverdale
19. Rock Bridge
20. Manvel
21. Whitney Young
22. Southwest Dekalb
23. Sierra Canyon
24. M.X. Shabazz
25. Salmen

Jewell Loyd day-to-day with sprained knee

College player news:

Leading Notre Dame scorer Jewell Loyd is day-to-day with a sprained knee.

UCF's Sara Djassi, a Portugal native, is living the dream.

Virginia's Faith Randolph - gotta have faith.

Green Bay's Tesha Buck embraces her Native American heritage.

Feyonda Fitzgerald has made quite an impression at Temple.

Team news:

The SEC has risen as the dominant conference this season.

Tonight's results:

Oklahoma upset #20 Iowa State, 75-54.

#5 Louisville thrashed Houston, 93-52. Shoni Schimmel lead the Cardinals with 25 points, which included seven three-point shots. Louisville has won 12 straight.

Full scoreboard.

Event details about the Final Four released

The Final Four weekend calendar is out.

Business news:

Notre Dame has switched sponsorships from Adidas to Under Armor.

Other college news:

Chiney Ogwumike explains the meaning of her last name.

At Michigan State, Madison Williams' hip is bothering her.

Cinnamon Lister is proving to be a key ingredient for Cal State Northridge.

UTEP is looking to snap their slump.

Youth has lead to success for Michigan.

WNBA:

Angela Taylor has been named general manager of the Atlanta Dream.

For outgoing Storm CEO Karen Bryant, it's the right time to go.

USA Today top 25 poll

In this week's USA Today top 25, Colorado is out and West Virginia is in:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. North Carolina
8. Kentucky
9. Oklahoma State
10. Baylor
11. South Carolina
12. Tennessee
13. Penn State
14. LSU
15. Texas A&M
16. California
17. Iowa State
18. Nebraska
19. Vanderbilt
20. Purdue
21. West Virginia
22. Gonzaga
23. Arizona State
24. Florida State
25. North Carolina State

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Some news:

Who has benefited from conference play so far?

Chelsea Gardner of Kansas is ESPN's player of the week.

Rutgers and UConn want the series between their schools to continue.

Vanderbilt's Jasmine Lister is the College Sports Madness national Player of the Week.

Today's results (no upsets on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday):

#2 Notre Dame defeated #11 Tennessee, 86-70.

#4 Stanford rolled over #14 Arizona State, 80-56.

#19 California beat Arizona, 79-64.

UCLA held off Oregon State, 66-63.

Wake Forest defeated Clemson, 68-61.

Full scoreboard.

AP top 25 poll

This week's AP top 25 sees Colorado and Rutgers fall out, while West Virginia and Gonzaga check in:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. North Carolina
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kentucky
10. South Carolina
11. Tennessee
12. Baylor
13. Penn State
14. Arizona State
15. LSU
16. Vanderbilt
17. Texas A&M
18. West Virginia
19. California
20. Iowa State
21. Nebraska
22. Purdue
23. North Carolina State
24. Florida State
25. Gonzaga

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wooden Award midseason top 20

The nominees for the Wooden Award have been whittled to 20:

Natalie Achonwa, Notre Dame
Rachel Banham, Minnesota
Brittany Boyd, Cal
Hallie Christofferson, Iowa State
Jerica Coley, FIU
Diamond DeShields, North Carolina
Stefanie Dolson, UConn
Chelsea Gray, Duke
Bria Hartley, UConn
Jordan Hooper, Nebraska
Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame
Maggie Lucas, Penn State
Kayla McBride, Notre Dame
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford
Theresa Plaisance, LSU
Shoni Schimmel, Louisville
Odyssey Sims, Baylor
Breanna Stewart, UConn
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
Elizabeth Williams, Duke

Why is it.......

Why is it that when an undefeated team finally sustains its first loss, that a cascade of losses then often ensues?

Witness:

Washington State's 70-60 upset of #21 Colorado.

#22 Purdue's 86-53 walloping of Indiana.

More results:

#19 Arizona State upset #15 Cal, 68-59.

Washington squeaked by Utah, 53-52.

Santa Clara 69, Portland 62.

#23 Gonzaga 68, San Francisco 40.

#4 Stanford 96, Arizona 52.

USC 81, Oregon State 60.

UCLA 88, Oregon 83.

Full scoreboard.

Other news:

Duke's Chelsea Gray had successful knee surgery today.

Next week is "We Back Pat" week in the SEC.

Rutgers is playing at a high level again.

Coach Sherri Coale is troubled by the Sooner's lack of energy.

UConn forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis admits she still has some work to do.

Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons was in a car accident last week.

The Purdue diaries: new year's update.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell is in remission

Tar Heel coach Sylvia Hatchell is now in remission from leukemia.

That's the best news I've heard in a long time.

There's just no end to the upsets this year, so far:

West Virginia took down #13 Iowa State, 73-59.

Michigan knocked off #22 Purdue, 65-49.

Other results:

Wisconsin grabbed a big one over Indiana, 65-60.

Middle Tennessee downed UTEP, 69-58.

East Carolina handed Tulane their first conference loss, 69-65.

St. John's squeezed by Butler, 58-55.

Full scoreboard.

Team news:

Number eight South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley are atop the SEC.

Georgia is stunned by their first 0-4 conference start.

Arizona State is back on the rise after coach Charli Turner Thorne's return.

Nebraska is rejecting the "sophomore slump" idea.

Player and other news:

Nebraska's Jordan Hooper is taking aim at the 2,000-point mark.

Virginia Tech's Uju Ugoka has turned hope into reality.

Duke freshman Katie Heckman will take a medical hardship and end her collegiate basketball career, after a torn ACL.

Gabby Hanson is gaining confidence for Oregon State.

North Carolina's Stephanie Mavunga is a warrior princess.

Michigan State all-access, episode five.

Vanessa Garner and September Oufutt are no longer with New Mexico State.

Nancy Lieberman Award:

The Nancy Lieberman Award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate point guard. Here are the nominees:

Kacie Cassell - University of Akron
Calli Berna - University of Arkansas
Odyssey Sims - Baylor University
Bria Hartley - University of Connecticut
Senee Shearer - University of Detroit Mercy
Jerica Coley - Florida International University
Yashira Delgado - Florida State University
Damika Martinez - Iona College
Samantha Logic - University of Iowa
Lexie Brown - University of Maryland
Valencia McFarland - University of Mississippi
Ashley Deary - Northwestern University
Brittany Boyd - University of California
Chelsea Gray - Duke University
Tiffany Bias - Oklahoma State University
Fantasia Hilliard - Sacramento State University
Keena Mays - Southern Methodist University
Amber Orrange - Stanford University
Natasha Cloud - St. Joseph's University
Jamierra Faulkner - University of Southern Mississippi
Ariel Massengale - University of Tennessee
Jasmine Newsome - University of Tennessee at Martin
Jordan Jones - Texas A&M University
Andola Dortch - University of Toledo
Joanna Harden - Troy University
Jennifer Schlott - Utah State University
Chelsea Douglas - Wake Forest University
Rebecca Henricson - Western Illinois University
Dequesha McClanahan - Winthrop University

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sometimes the news is heavy

College news:

Maryland has filed a $157 million counterclaim against the ACC, who sued them for leaving the conference.

Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons returned to his job today.

Florida sophomore forward Christin Mercer has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested for armed robbery.

It's tough to contain Notre Dame's star trio: Natalie Achonwa, Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd.

The pace, and three-point shots drive Sacramento State.

Florida is resting after seeing a 10-game winning streak snapped.

Maine is off to their best start in seven years.

San Francisco's Alicia Scafidi talks about her father's love.

Tonight's results:

Memphis upset #23 Rutgers in overtime, 74-73.

Georgia State pulled off the conference upset of Arkansas State, 76-74.

Full scoreboard.

WNBA:

San Antonio has dropped the "Silver" from their name, and will know be known as the San Antonio Stars. They also have a new sponsor and logo.

This week's high school rankings

ESPN's top 25 high school teams for the week:

1. Incarnate Word Academy
2. Duncanville
3. Mater Dei
4. Long Beach Polytechnic
5. Blackman
6. New Hope Christian Academy
7. Homewood-Flossmoor
8. Saint Mary's College
9. Regis Jesuit
10. Lawrence North
11. Myers Park
12. St. Mary's
13. Bedford North Lawrence
14. Riverdale Baptist
15. Windward
16. Joliet Catholic Academy
17. Paul VI
18. Riverdale
19. Whitney Young
20. Manvel
21. Nazareth
22. Rock Bridge
23. Southwest Dekalb
24. Sierra Canyon
25. M.X. Shabazz

USA Today poll: not unexpected

Like yesterday's AP poll, this week's USA Today poll sees Indiana and San Diego are out, and Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are in:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. Baylor
8. South Carolina
9. North Carolina
10. Tennessee
11. Iowa State
12. Kentucky
13. Oklahoma State
14. LSU
15. Cal
16. Nebraska
17. Penn State
18. Florida State
19. Purdue
20. Colorado
21. North Carolina State
22. Texas A&M
23. Gonzaga
24. Arizona State
25. Vanderbilt

Monday, January 13, 2014

UConn beats Baylor in first of "big Monday" series

#1 UConn ended #7 Baylor's 69-game home winning streak with a 66-55 decision.

Oregon State completed a Civil War sweep of Oregon, 84-70.

Full scoreboard.

USA Basketball names its 2014-2016 talent pool

The 2014-2016 USA talent pool has been named.

The names:

Highlighting the returning veterans are three-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) and Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks); 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); and Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun) and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), who were members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Further, Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), members of the 2010 USA World Championship Team that won gold, have been named to the pool.

Also named to the 2013-16 USA National Team roster were: DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), Stefanie Dolson (University of Connecticut), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks), Briann January (Indiana Fever), Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (University of Notre Dame), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars), Odyssey Sims (Baylor University), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars).


College news:

Vanderbilt's Jasmine Lister is ESPN's player of the week.

Portland Pilots coach Jim Sollars will retire at the end of this season, after 28 years.

Baylor's Odyssey Sims is soaring through her senior season.

Colorado's Jasmine Sborov is out indefinitely with a fractured foot.

Former Virginia Cavalier Amanda Fioravanti will transfer to St. Joseph's.

Former Purdue center Taylor Manuel is transferring to Loyola Chicago, to play for Sheryl Swoopes.

Virginia's Kelsey Wolfe: anatomy of a student athlete.

Los Angeles Sparks:

More from swishappeal on the possible purchase of the team by the NBA's Golden State Warriors. This is interesting:

Now, back to my anonymous source. My source tells me that the WNBA has no interest in running the Sparks on its own dime. If the current negotiations with the Warriors' ownership fail, the WNBA will just fold the Sparks and deal with the disappointment. My theory is that the WNBA wanted to avoid the situation in 2008 when they were left running the Comets.

That's not what I heard happened with the Comets.

Injury ends Chelsea Gray's career at Duke

Sad, sad news for Duke senior point guard Chelsea Gray.

As predicted, AP poll sees changes

This week's top 25 has some changes.......Indiana, Georgia and San Diego are out, while Texas A&M, Rutgers and Vanderbilt enter:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. Baylor
8. South Carolina
9. North Carolina
10. Kentucky
11. Oklahoma State
12. Tennessee
13. Iowa State
14. LSU
15. Cal
16. Penn State
17. Florida State
18. Nebraska
19. Arizona State
20. North Carolina State
21. Colorado
22. Purdue
23. Rutgers
24. Vanderbilt
25. Texas A&M

Nikki McCray fighting breast cancer

The former Lady Vol and South Carolina assistant coach Nikki McCray has breast cancer.

She will continue coaching.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Teetering

Today's upsets:

Vanderbilt grabbed a rare upset of #8 Tennessee, 74-63.

#21 Purdue knocked off #14 Penn State, 84-74.

Texas A&M overwhelmed #25 Georgia, 58-44.

Very close to being upsets:

#2 Notre Dame 79, Virginia 72.

#5 Louisville 62, South Florida 54.

#10 South Carolina 72, Auburn 66.

#13 North Carolina 65, #18 Florida State 61.

#19 Cal 68, Utah 59.

#20 North Carolina State 62, Wake Forest 54.

#23 Arizona State 59, UCLA 57.

What is going on today??

Other battles:

Michigan State 79, Michigan 72.

Mississippi State 54, formerly-undefeated Arkansas, 50.

Miami 64, Virginia Tech 62.

Syracuse 76, Georgia Tech 70.

West Virginia 56, Texas 49 (OT).

Full scoreboard.

Other college news:

Georgia State junior center Brittany Logan juggles caring for her twins with her basketball and college career.

Witchita State has won 11 straight games - a school record.

Carolyn Peck:

The Vanderbilt alumni-turned-sportscaster was surprised at today's match up with Tennessee by being inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

WNBA:

Will the Sparks end up in San Francisco?

One source tells swishappeal that the Golden State Warriors are set to acquire the team in two to three weeks.

It's time for Paul Westhead to go, part 252

Finally, the Eugene Register Guard has got on the "let go of Oregon coach Paul Westhead" train with me:

The Ducks sit at 0-3 in Pac-12 play after an 88-80 home loss to Oregon State, a game the Ducks led by double digits in the first half. Their record stands at 9-5, and if that seems underwhelming, consider where they were a year ago.

Beset by injuries, Oregon finished 4-27 last year, the worst record in program history. This season has been better, but five years into Westhead’s tenure, the time for baby steps has passed.

For everyone, the question beckons: Why hasn’t this worked?

It’s not an answer, exactly, but Westhead said he entered conference play in previous seasons knowing he didn’t have the right mix of players to execute his system. He hoped this could be the team to pull it off, though those hopes might be fading after an 0-3 start in the Pac-12.

“You need the right kind of people, you need the right kind of motivation,” he said. “You need players who will reach the exhaustion level and not stop. Ultimately, if you just want to play pretty hard and get away with that — and you can — then you’ll never do this.”

It’s a misconception, Westhead said, to think players are interchangeable in his run-and-shoot offense. The system functions on a complex set of factors, all of which must be in balance to make it work.

In a 40-year career, he said, that magical mix might occur a handful of times.


Tell that to Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma, Tara VanDerveer, Sylvia Hatchell, Andy Landers and Mike Strong, just to name a few.

Oregon began preconference play on a roll, but now they're winless in Pac-12 play. It follows the same pattern of Westhead's last five years. This is the last year of his contract. One good preconference schedule doesn't make up for five crap seasons.

A friend of mine who was at last night's game at the UofO said Oregon State had more fans there than Oregon. This is because the Ducks have steadily been losing season ticket holders and fans as Westhead's tenure has progressed.

Another Pac-12 coach who needs to go is Washington State's June Daugherty. The Cougars have enjoyed being the upsetters of late. They've taken down Nebraska, Arizona State, and the University of Washington, twice. They currently have a winning record for the first time in about a billion years.

But one great half of a season doesn't make up for the past six years. Before this year, Daugherty's losses at WSU outnumbered her wins by 3-1.

The rest of the Pac-12 conference has been stepping up. Oregon State is a contender, and USC is getting back into the mix. It's time for Oregon and Washington State to get serious about their women's basketball programs and get into the 21st century.

Paul Westhead and June Daugherty must go.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

And then there were two

Upsets galore again today, and two mean the end of undefeated seasons.

#15 Oklahoma State upended #11 Iowa State, 69-62. It was the Cyclone's first loss of the year.

Ohio State downed #22 Indiana, 70-51, giving the Hoosiers their first defeat of the season.

The only unbeaten Division I teams left are Connecticut and Notre Dame.

Also:

#24 San Diego just suffered their first loss Wednesday. Tonight, Gonzaga routed them for their second, 79-50.

Earlier this week, Washington State beat Washington for the first time in 36 years. Tonight they did it again, 85-76.

Oregon State bested Oregon, 88-80, for their sixth straight victory. Ruth Hamblin had the post-game interview for the Beavers.

There were 116 games today. Check the scoreboard.

Other news:

In January, it's just basketball for Green Bay.

Fresno State's Taylor Thompson crossed the 1,000-point mark today.

Division III:

Coach Mike Strong has been at the University of Scranton for 34 years. Today he got his 800th win - the tenth coach in all divisions to reach the mark.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pac-12 excitement

Fun night in the Pac-12:

#19 Cal rallied to beat #17 Colorado, 57-55.

#23 Arizona State held off USC in overtime, 94-86.

#4 Stanford routed Utah, 87-61.

UCLA slipped by Arizona, 67-61.

Full scoreboard.

Contemplating stats

From the NCAA website. Stats are good through Jan. 9.

Points leaders:

Rank Name Team Cl Height Position G FGM 3FG FT PTS PPG

1 Odyssey Sims Baylor Sr. 5-8 G 14 150 41 108 449 32.1
2 Jerica Coley FIU Sr. 5-7 G 14 137 22 93 389 27.8
3 Chiney Ogwumike Stanford Sr. 6-3 F 14 159 0 55 373 26.6
4 Damika Martinez Iona Jr. 5-7 G 12 102 39 64 307 25.6
5 Rachel Tecca Akron Sr. 6-1 F 13 118 5 75 316 24.3
6 Joanna Harden Troy Sr. 5-8 G 14 117 19 83 336 24.0
7 Hanna Luburgh Akron Sr. 5-10 G 13 106 31 64 307 23.6
8 Shereesha Richards Albany (NY) So. 6-1 F 14 134 1 60 329 23.5
9 Chrishae Rowe Oregon Fr. 5-10 G 13 112 41 40 305 23.5
10 Jennifer Schlott Utah St. Sr. 5-6 G 13 104 14 82 304 23.4
11 Robyn Parks VCU Sr. 6-0 G 16 143 12 72 370 23.1
12 Amanda Hyde IPFW Sr. 5-10 F 15 105 25 109 344 22.9
13 Alexandra Williams Saint Francis (PA) Sr. 6-0 F 13 94 23 84 295 22.7
14 Tracey Carrington Morgan St. Jr. 5-9 G 14 99 15 104 317 22.6
15 Ebony Rowe Middle Tenn. Sr. 6-1 F 15 128 5 76 337 22.5
16 Tierra Hawkins Delaware St. Jr. 6-2 F 11 97 0 53 247 22.5
17 Jazzmin Parker Texas Southern Jr. 5-10 G 12 95 20 55 265 22.1
18 Jasmine Grice Florida A&M Sr. 5-9 G 15 108 27 87 330 22.0
19 Heather Butler UT Martin Sr. 5-5 G 16 113 43 81 350 21.9
20 Maggie Lucas Penn St. Sr. 5-10 G 14 90 31 93 304 21.7

Rebounds leaders:

Rank Name Team Cl Height Position G REB RPG

1 Danielle Mauldin St. Mary's (CA) Sr. 6-0 F 16 225 14.1
2 Jillian Alleyne Oregon So. 6-3 F 13 182 14.0
3 Jessica Kuster Rice Sr. 6-2 F 14 194 13.9
4 Joy Adams Iona So. 5-11 F 13 176 13.5
5 Artemis Spanou Robert Morris Sr. 6-2 F 13 174 13.4
6 Natalie Butler Georgetown Fr. 6-5 C 15 198 13.2
7 Rachel Gordon Norfolk St. Sr. 6-0 F 13 161 12.4
8 Batbe Zempare Bakersfield So. 6-2 F 14 168 12.0
9 Ashley Southern Lipscomb Jr. 6-1 F 14 167 11.9
10 Chiney Ogwumike Stanford Sr. 6-3 F 14 163 11.6
11 Ebony Rowe Middle Tenn. Sr. 6-1 F 15 173 11.5
12 Catrina Green Gardner-Webb Sr. 6-2 C 15 172 11.5
13 Jessica Winfrey Murray St. Sr. 5-10 F 14 160 11.4
14 Teanna Robinson Mercer Jr. 6-5 C 14 158 11.3
15 Schaquilla Nunn Winthrop So. 6-3 C 12 135 11.3
16 Kendall Kenyon Pacific Jr. 6-2 F 15 167 11.1
- Amanda Zahui B. Minnesota Fr. 6-5 C 15 167 11.1
18 Ashley Luke Western Ill. So. 6-1 F 15 166 11.1
19 Alyssa Thomas Maryland Sr. 6-2 F 15 165 11.0
- Katherine Plouffe Marquette Sr. 6-3 F 11 121 11.0

This is why I love stats, is because they surprise. The top players sometimes aren't who fans necessarily think they will be.

A bit of everything

College news:

UTEP's Kayla Thornton has broken the school rebounding record, and may do the same for the scoring mark.

Morgan Tuck's knee is bothering her again, and the UConn sophomore may miss tomorrow's game against Temple.

Former Husky assistant coach Tonya Cordoza is growing up fast as head coach of the Owls.

Get to know UConn's Breanna Stewart.

North Carolina's Xylina McDaniel brings optimism and enthusiasm to the game.

Sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson has left UCF.

Oklahoma senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg said the Sooners "haven't been playing our best basketball."

Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly's phone has been ringing more these days.

Kansas is planning a $17.5 million apartment complex for the school's basketball teams.

Michigan forward Cyesha Goree is staying out of foul trouble lately.

High school:

In Florida, nine-year-old Jaden Newman plays high school varsity basketball like a boss.

Three journals, singular resolve for Virginia sophomore Anna Wilson.

USA Today 30th anniversary girl's basketball team. Check the picture of Dawn Staley.

WNBA:

Can the WNBA survive without the Sparks?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Another one bites the dust

Less than an hour ago, Portland upset #24 San Diego, 72-51, ending their undefeated season.

That leaves only four unbeaten Division I teams:

Connecticut
Notre Dame
Iowa State
Indiana

Other scores:

#11 Iowa State routed Texas Tech to go 14-0 - the longest winning streak in program history.

#15 Oklahoma State edged Kansas State, 58-51.

Odyssey Sims put up 48 points in #9 Baylor's 78-62 win over West Virginia.

Texas nudged Oklahoma in overtime, 79-74.

Iowa 78, Minnesota 71.

TCU squeaked by Kansas, 52-50.

Maine's Ashleigh Roberts crossed the 1,000-point mark in her team's victory over UMBC.

Full scoreboard.

The good and the bad

News, in no particular order:

Sophomore Rachel Theriot is stepping confidently into the point guard role for Nebraska.

Rebounding and Siera Thompson are the keys to success for Michigan so far this year.

Alabama freshman Karyla Middlebrook is out for the season with a hip injury.

North Carolina is in the spotlight, like it or not.

A pair of freshmen have helped Iowa State get a hot start.

North Carolina State is off to a winning start.

UConn's Breanna Stewart has her eye on making the 2016 Olympic team.

Colorado's Arielle Roberson blogs.

Washington State beat Washington last night for the first time in 36 years.

Rest in peace:

Penn State's former associate sports information director Mary Jo Haverbeck has passed away.

USA Basketball:

Miami coach Katie Meier is a co-recipient of the 2013 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.

WNBA:

Seattle Storm assistant coach Jenny Boucek has been promoted to associate head coach.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

There is always more news

College news:

Q&A with Duke senior guard Chelsea Gray.

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair may have found what he's looking for in sophomore guard Courtney Williams.

Virginia guard Raeshaun Gaffney talks about her delayed rookie season.

Middle Tennessee senior forward Lauren March is out for a month with a broken finger.

Significant issues have surface for Notre Dame, after their win over Clemson.

Christmas with Penn State's Maggie Lucas.

Iowa State's Jadda Buckley talks about the team's phenomenal start.

Fresno State's Alex Sheedy blogs.

Tennessee hoops report for today.

Tennessee attendance will surpass the five million mark at Thursday's game.

Today's results:

Arguably, the most nail-biting game tonight was SMU's 80-75 victory over Memphis in double overtime.

Then there was Delaware State's 75-72 win over NJIT in overtime.

There were a few other close ones today, too.

USA Basketball:

USA Basketball has named UConn's Breanna Stewart their 2013 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

High school rankings this week: a new number one

ESPN's high school power rankings this week sees a new number one:

1. Incarnate Word Academy
2. Duncanville
3. Mater Dei
4. Long Beach Polytechnic
5. Blackman
6. New Hope Christian Academy
7. Regis Jesuit
8. Lawrence North
9. Homewood-Flossmoor
10. Saint Mary's College
11. St. Mary's
12. Myers Park
13. Bedford North Lawrence
14. Riverdale Baptist
15. Windward
16. Joliet Catholic Academy
17. Riverdale
18. Paul VI
19. Whitney Young
20. Nazareth
21. Manvel
22. Southwest Dekalb
23. Rockbridge
24. M. X. Shabazz
25. Sierra Canyon

USA Today top 25: new additions

Like yesterday's AP poll, there are new entries into this week's USA Today top 25:

1. Connecticut
2. Notre Dame
3. Duke
4. Stanford
5. Louisville
6. Maryland
7. Baylor
8. Tennessee
9. Iowa State
10. Kentucky
11. South Carolina
12. North Carolina
13. LSU
14. Nebraska
15. Penn State
16. Oklahoma State
17. Florida State
18. Colorado
19. California
20. Purdue
21. Georgia
22. Oklahoma
23. North Carolina State
24. San Diego
25. Arkansas

Can the WNBA survive if the Sparks fold?

Swishappeal contemplates that scenario.

(But the people I know who are in the business say: probably not)

McDonald's All-American nominees announced

The list (girls and boys are mixed together.....yikes)

Monday, January 6, 2014