Monday, May 22, 2017

Plenty of story lines in WNBA week two

Tomorrow's schedule:

The short-handed Mercury look to slow the short-handed Liberty tomorrow.

The Sun travel to face the Lynx, who historically start strong.

WNBA team news:

The Liberty are weighing options in filling the Brittany Boyd void.

The Mercury is unhappy with Diana Taurasi's suspension.

Things are coming together quickly for the Lynx.

Erin Phillips is the Dallas Wings' new director of player and franchise development.

Western Conference teams came out strong this past week.

WNBA player news:

Making it out, by Sugar Rodgers.

Epiphanny Prince took on demons, and now takes on the WNBA.

Double-double machine Jonquel Jones added physicality after playing in South Korea. She is currently the league's leading rebounder.

A healthy Rachel Banham returns to Minnesota to take on the Lynx tomorrow.

Alaina Coates is still waiting for her turn to suit up for the Sky.

A record four former Baylor Bears have made WNBA rosters this season.

Layshia Clarendon and Sylvia Fowles are the league's Eastern and Western Conference players of the week.

Former WNBA player news:

LaChina Robinson interviews Chamique Holdsclaw about her mental health advocacy work.

Bonus:

Hot moments around the league this past week.

College team news:

Oregon State is reloading.

Cal State Bakersfield adds four transfers, including Kandis Barber from Rutgers. Coach Greg McCall is DeWanna Bonner and Erica McCall's dad.

College player news:

Lulu McKinney will transfer from UTEP.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Just a sprinkle on a slow news day

Today's results:

Caught napping, the Dream dropped their home opener to the Sky, 75-71.

Jewell Loyd stepped up when Breanna Stewart was out to score 26 points and lead the Storm over the Mystics, 81-71. It was Sue Bird's first game of the season, and she dished ten assists.

WNBA team news:

Against the Lynx, the Wings proved they can hang with the best.

WNBA player news:

Mercury forward Diana Taurasi is suspended for one game without pay for elbowing Stars forward Dearica Hamby in the head during Friday's game.

USA Basketball news:

The U19 team was unveiled today.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

WNBA season, day six

Tonight's result:

The Lynx topped the Liberty, 90-71. But New York guard Brittany Boyd might have torn her Achilles. Prayers for her.

Last night's game:

Brittney Griner put up a career-high 32 points to lead the Mercury over the Fever, 85-62. Diana Taurasi surpassed 1,500 career rebounds.

Tomorrow's game schedule:

Phoenix travels to San Antonio, who is still waiting for the debut of Kelsey Plum.

Dream at Sky

Mystics at Sparks

WNBA team news:

The Los Angeles Sparks' ring ceremony will be streamed live on Twitter and Periscope tomorrow night.

The Mystics' road trip will serve as a get-to-know-you retreat.

San Antonio is betting its small stars can be supernovas.

The Sun have reached a TV deal with CSN New England for 15 games.

WNBA player news:

Tina Charles previews her special edition Black History Month sneakers.

Big things are expected from Kiah Stokes this season.

Amanda Zahui B enters her third season with confidence.

Leilani Mitchell has had two strong performances for Phoenix.

Stars vet Monique Currie still has game.

Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray are making a fast impact on Dallas.

Why Alaina Coates' pro career is still on hold.

Five on five with the Mercury's Cayla George.

Terps in the WNBA.

College player news:

Once homeless, Kimijah King has found a niche with UAA basketball.

College coach news:

New UMKC coach Jacie Hoyt gets her competitive drive from her mom.

Christie Sides has been promoted to associate head coach at Northwestern.

High school news:

Top recruit Jordan Horston would rather dish assists than score any day of the week.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Movement afoot

While we await the finish of Fever at Mercury......

WNBA team news:

Consistency and camaraderie make the Lynx contenders.

Meet chief marketing officer Nicole Smith, the Dallas Wings' brand pioneer.

Minnesota and New York will square off tomorrow after unsatisfactory wins over the weekend.

WNBA player news:

Sun forward Alyssa Thomas has a concussion.

Nneka Ogwumike had an MVP kind of opening weekend.

Both the Fever and Candice Dupree think she'll be a great fit in Indiana.

Bria Holmes is ready for a breakout year in the WNBA.

Jordan Hooper is happy to earn a spot with the Sun.

Allisha Gray has made a seamless transition to the WNBA.

WNBA coach news:

Mystics coach Mike Thibault has signed a four-year contract extension.

Former WNBA player news:

Chamique Holdsclaw is educating others about mental health.

College team news:

Oklahoma has announced a four-year series with UConn.

College player news:

Ohio State's Kiara Lewis is transferring to Syracuse.

Iowa State's Tee Tee Starks and FAU's Kat Wright have transferred to Arizona.

Ohio State transfer Tori McCoy has landed at Marquette.

Auburn guard Tyra Johnson has left to play at a junior college.

Janie McRae is enjoying a fresh start at Montana State.

College coach news:

Dawn Staley has won the Winged Foot Award.

Toledo coach Tricia Cullop's contract has been extended to 2025.

Rob Norris has been promoted to assistant head coach at Georgia Tech.

Abi Olajuwon has been promoted to recruiting coordinator at Eastern Michigan.

Marty McGillan is Minnesota's new assistant coach.

Stephanie Edwards has returned to Jacksonville as an assistant coach.

Dominique Bryant is a new assistant coach at Vermont.

Vanessa Taylor is Coastal Carolina's new assistant coach.

Todd Schultze has been promoted to associate head coach at SIUE.

John Marcum is Butler's new assistant coach.

Bonus:

WNBA athletes trapped in unfair comparisons with men.

Bonding over basketball and chemistry at a Target deli.

WNBA, NBA leaders on the value of Duke connections.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Absences highlight opening day

Game roll call:

The Liberty topped the Stars, 73-64, but New York coach Bill Laimbeer called his team's performance "awful."

During the game there was tension between Liberty guard Brittany Boyd and Stars vet Monique Currie. They had to be separated.

Kelsey Plum and Moriah Jefferson sat out of San Antonio's first game with injuries.

On a positive note, San Antonio coach Vickie Johnson was honored at Madison Square Garden in her coaching debut.

Storm forward Breanna Stewart and point guard Sue Bird missed today's opener against the Sparks with knee injuries, and both are day-to-day.

Los Angeles, missing Candace Parker, Jantel Lavender and Essence Carson overseas, still beat Seattle, 78-68.

In the third game of the day, the Angel McCoughtry-less Dream held off the Sun, 81-74.

Tomorrow's quadruple-header schedule:

Stars at Mystics

Wings at Mercury

Fever at Storm

Sky at Lynx

WNBA team news:

Strong finish, continuity have Storm on cusp of greater success.

The Stars could be poised for another breakthrough season.

WNBA player news:

Maya Moore renewed her spirit and then upped her game for the Lynx.

Skylar Diggins has added a husband and a hyphen. She is a player to watch.

The Liberty's Rebecca Allen has found direction as the season tips off.

The orange trio is set to begin the WNBA season.

Former Cal Bears are also ready to start the season.

Temi Fegbenle has an opening tip for the Lynx.

UConn players in the WNBA.

WNBA coach news:

Podcast with Sparks coach Brian Agler.

College player news:

The sky is the limit for UConn's Kia Nurse.

Friday, May 12, 2017

WNBA season starts in 5...4...3...2...

Opening weekend:

Tipoff weekend preview.

Five questions going into the season.

The league's 21st season begins as a worthy follow up to No. 20.

Three things to watch as the season begins.

Team preview capsules.

The WNBA has found ways to grow their fan base.

WNBA team news:

San Antonio is angling for respect with a new veteran presence.

The Sparks will launch their title defense with key pieces missing.

Five things to watch for this Storm season.

Ten things to know about Dallas.

Can Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner lead the Mercury's new wave of talent?

The Lynx are old, but they're ready to vie for another title.

Minnesota season primer.

The Lynx now have the deepest bench in coach Cheryl Reeve's tenure.

WNBA player news:

Kelsey Plum talks sexism, launching shirts and other topics in this Q&A.

Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd form a dynamic duo similar to Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird.

Elena Delle Donne had to hate basketball before she could love it again.

Sugar Rodgers went from riding the bench as a rookie to a three-point specialist for New York.

Maya Moore is one of the best. Can she be even better?

Emma Meesseman returned for her first practice.

Breanna Stewart is poised for bigger and better things in her second year. She wants to improve.

Stewart was finally able to catch her breath this year.

With a new team and a new baby, Bria Hartley has something to prove.

Saniya Chong is living her dream after securing a roster spot with Dallas.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is glad Lindsay Whalen's toughness is being acknowledged.

Mother's Day:

Bria Hartley is balancing being a mom with playing for the Liberty.

WNBA moms are grateful for a lot, but there is more work to be done.

Allison Feaster: life as a pro and a mom overseas.

Lauren Jackson loves being a mom.

NCAA news:

The Women's Basketball Rules Committee has proposed changes to the four-foot restricted arc, and for inbounding.

College player news:

Louisville transfer Mariya Moore has landed at USC with her sister Minyon.

UNLV twins Dylan and Dakota Gonzalez will forego their final year of eligibility to pursue other professional opportunities.

Rosters finalized

Liberty roster

Sparks roster

Sun roster

Wings roster

Fever roster

Storm roster

Mystics.....don't appear to have a roster release up anywhere.

Stars roster

Sky roster

Lynx roster

Dream roster

Mercury roster

The final list of transactions.

Roster cuts reflect an increasingly elite WNBA

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bracing and preparing

WNBA rosters must be finalized by tomorrow. There were only three cuts today, which means tomorrow will end with a long list of broken dreams. Brace yourselves.

The season is two days away:

TV schedule.

National TV schedule.

Predictions:

It's known that I don't fancy predictions. Last year the WNBA GMs tabbed the Mercury to win the title, and we saw how that went. This season they're picking the Lynx. We'll see.

The league has MVP preseason rankings.

Fantasy game:

The WNBA and FanDuel have announced a one-day fantasy game. First time for that.

In lights:

The Empire State Building will be illuminated in New York Liberty colors for the season opener.

WNBA team news:

Get ready for the season with major additions and subtractions.

The Lynx could squeeze an extra player on to their roster before their opener.

The Sun roster is in flux as the season approaches.

All access at Dallas Wings practice.

All-access at New York Liberty practice.

All-access at Seattle Storm practice.

All-access at Minnesota Lynx practice.

The Sparks are postponing their Championship ring ceremony until Candace Parker, Essence Carson and Jantel Lavender return.

WNBA player news:

Cappie Pondexter is set to lead the young Chicago Sky.

Lindsay Whalen is staying ahead of the game.

Tayler Hill values playing over a paycheck.

Breanna Stewart shares the best advice from her mom and a training tip from her dad.

Isabelle Harrison is getting her groove back.

Moriah Jefferson is back.

Jonquel Jones: the Sun also rises.

Exciting duos to watch this season.

Has Saniya Chong made the Dallas Wings?

College player news:

The NCAA has granted another year of eligibility to South Dakota's Caitlin Duffy.

Former Florida State guard A'Tyanna Gaulden is transferring to Arkansas.

LaKyesha Stennis has transferred from Alabama to Oakland.

College coach news:

Jacie Hoyt is UMKC's new head coach.

Niki Washington is Illinois State's new assistant coach.

Former WNBA player news:

Tamika Catchings is ready to help players with their "second acts."

Former Liberty star Sue Wicks has found her calling.

Former college coach news:

What Marsha Sharp is up to now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why aren't women's basketball fans following their players to the pros?

The title of the story, above, says it all. There are far more fans and there is much greater media coverage for college women's basketball than there is for the WNBA. Writer Lyndsey D'Arcangelo cites two main factors:

- A lack of tradition/history because the league is only 20 years old.

- A lack of media to cover teams and lack of interest in the league in non-WNBA cities.

LaChina Robinson is quoted as saying, “Take the NBA. It’s constantly there, in your face, reminding you that it exists."

Yes to all of the above.

I will add:

- Fans and many of WNBA players themselves don't seem to know much about history of women's basketball, nor the history of the league. Newer WNBA fans have surprised me with their ignorance of the league's founding players, as have college players. I asked one current DI player last season if she knew who Chamique Holdsclaw is, and she didn't. You have to know history to have tradition. How can anyone expect newcomers to become fans of the WNBA if those who watch it and play in it don't know much about it?

- I've been the only reporter at pregame warmups more times than I can count. I'm always one of two or three on opening day of training camp. I'm used to lots of open seats on press row.

People in non-WNBA cities don't talk about the league like NBA fans in non-NBA cities do. It gets back to what LaChina said about marketing: the NBA is always in your face. In the meantime, the WNBA is chilling in the corner.

I've written about the need of the league to market before, and then followed it up. I didn't see much, if any, WNBA marketing this past winter.

I've heard some former players say college is the highlight of their basketball lives, and I can see why they'd say that as the WNBA seems largely forgotten for now. Hopefully Connecticut Sun vice president Amber Cox is right, and we need to have patience.

A bit of reading up and marketing would help, too.

Veterans waived as WNBA season tipoff looms

WNBA team news:

Welcome back, New York Liberty.

WNBA player news:

Lynx teammates Renee Montgomery and Jia Perkins put in the fun and the work.

Breanna Stewart is getting help from Sue Bird as she prepares for her second WNBA season. She is refreshed and ready.

Jewell Loyd keeps looking forward in the WNBA.

Chicago's Cheyenne Parker is ready to surprise people.

Imani Boyette has learned from experience and is ready for an enhanced role with the Sky.

Elena Delle Donne's love letter to Washington D.C.

Kristi Toliver has joined the Mystics and Delle Donne already loves playing with her.

Washington's sunny outlook has a Philly-area accent.

Nneka Ogwumike and Brittney Griner are gearing up for the season.

Erin Phillips' next step is uncertain after being waived by Dallas today.

The WNBA and ESPN have dueling preseason MVP rankings.

Today's transactions:

....sees veterans Allison Hightower and Erip Phillips cut. Roneeka Hodges was waived yesterday.

Stuff is real right now. And two more days of cuts to go.

College player news:

Purdue forward Dominique McBryde is transferring.

College coach news:

Dawn Staley isn't slowing down in her quest to keep the Gamecocks on top.

Jeff Cammon is the new head coach at Long Beach State.

Gayle Coats Fulks is the new head coach at Davidson.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cuts are only going to get tougher

Today's preseason results:

Sun 79, Liberty 57

Mercury 72, Storm 55

Only one more preseason game left, and that's tomorrow as the Lynx visit the Mystics.

Yesterday's game stories from WomensHoopsWorld writers:

Wings take a defensive stance to close out preaseason with a win

Sparks victorious, but still missing key pieces in final preseason tune up

WNBA team news:

The Mystics will only get a partial look at their line up in tomorrow's last preseason game against the Lynx.

The Sun are 3-0 in preseason.

WNBA player news:

How NBA competition shaped this year's No. 1 pick.

Elena Delle Donne's home debut is tomorrow.

Today's transactions:

....are tough.

And they're only going to get more brutal over the next five days, as teams have to trim down to 12 by Friday. Be braced for it.

College player news:

Tori McCoy has transferred from Ohio State to Marquette.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Preseason games don't mean much, but the box scores have hints

Tonight's preseason results:

Breanna Stewart sat out for the Storm with a knee injury, but Seattle routed the Mercury, 86-64. (Phoenix didn't have Brittney Griner or Diana Taurasi, either)

Another lopsided score that's likely due to none of the Sparks starters being back yet: Sun 79, Sparks 62.

Sky 86, Liberty 75.

WNBA team news:

Dallas hopes to erase their injury-plagued first season.

The Liberty are hoping perimeter changes will help the franchise win its first title.

Off-season work is already paying off for the Lynx.

The Sun are taking stock up front as they open preseason play.

Five reasons to watch the Sky work this season.

WNBA player news:

New mom Bria Hartley is thrilled with her move to the New York Liberty.

Five post players are fighting for two spots on the Connecticut Sun.

Second-year Sun forward Jonquel Jones is primed for a breakout season.

Morgan Tuck is healthy and raring to go for Connecticut.

Mystics rookie Shatori Walker-Kimbrough was nervous for her preseason debut yesterday.

Lynx forward Plenette Pierson sustained a concussion at practice today.

Former Washington stand out Sami Whitcomb is trying to make the Storm roster.

College team news:

South Carolina has won an NCAA Public Recognition Award for academic excellence.

Vanderbilt has landed two transfers: Bree Horrocks from Vanderbilt and Mariella Fasoula of Boston College.

College coach news:

Brooke Atkinson is New Mexico State's new head coach.

Old Dominion coach Karen Barefoot is the new coach at UNC Wilmington.

Wichita State coach Keitha Adams has completed her coaching staff.

Coach Robyn Scherr-Wells is mysteriously out at Davenport.

USA Basketball:

Thirty-three invitees for the U19 team.

Vets slow to return, but for Sparks it’s business as usual

Our great Sparks story.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Preseason indicators.....and more transfers

Today's preseason results:

Elena Delle Donne looked sharp as the Mystics routed the Fever, 87-67. Box score.

The Liberty took care of the Sparks, 81-65.

The Sun pulled away from the Sky, 81-72.

WNBA team news:

Dallas hopes a new culture will build a foundation for a championship.

Liberty president Isiah Thomas has a plan to put the team over the top in their title chase.

The Sky now have their own app.

Fun, follies and stories at Lynx media day.

Minnesota is primed for another title run.

The Connecticut Sun are celebrating 15 years as a franchise.

WNBA player news:

Six Years, three Teams and six coaches later, Jasmine Thomas is home with Connecticut.

The legacy of Lynx forward Seimone Augustus is as a "humble superstar."

Augustus feels like herself again after an offseason of rest.

Maya Moore wants to make this season her best yet.

College player news:

Auburn has added Duke transfer Crystal Primm.

Parise Rossignol will rejoin UMaine.

AJ Alix from TCU has transferred to Florida State.

Emoni Jackson from Michigan and Tiffany Suarez from Fordham have transferred to Eastern Michigan.

UCF transfer Christian Hithe has landed at Charlotte.

Oklahoma guard Chelsea Dungee is transferring.

College coach news:

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick has received the state's "women of distinction" award.

New UTEP coach Kevin Baker is happy to have landed his dream job.

Angie Nelp is Arizona State's new assistant coach.

Lauren Ellis has been promoted to assistant coach at Colgate.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Comparing female athletes to male athletes, revisited

Today the WNBA unveiled their latest "Watch Me Work" promo spot, which features star NBA players proclaiming their love for the league and its athletes:

NBA stars show their love for the WNBA

This afternoon ESPN posted a story by Michelle Smith called "The pros and cons of male athletes lending support, appreciation to their female counterparts."

The problem is when appreciation of the women's game from an NBA superstar, or an NFL quarterback, is interpreted as validation for the sport. Or when a male athlete becomes a centerpiece in a women's space -- during a game broadcast, a draft telecast or a postgame interview -- so that he becomes the focus rather than a fan.

Kelsey Plum made an amazing comment:

"At first, it was so cool because people had noticed me, and James Harden noticed me, and it's great, and for that I was very appreciative," Plum said. "But it continued to go further, and I think people struggled to find a woman to compare me with, so they went to men as the default. And that's fine, but I also want to be compared with Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird and players like that. And for those comparisons to never shift over to that, it's a little disheartening. It started out as a huge compliment and then it just got redundant.

"For people to come out to watch me and expect that I'm going to be like James Harden, or any current NBA player, it's not realistic. I don't want to emulate them. That's not the goal. I want to play like me."


That last sentence - "I want to play like me" is the main reason I'm against female comparisons to male players.

This is also beautiful from Plum:

"A lot of girls grow up watching guys, and that's all they see. We watched Misty May and Kerri Walsh. Diana Taurasi was the one who always stood out for me," Plum said. "I walked up to Monique Currie at practice today and told her my dad and I used to sit on the couch and watch her play in college. It's crazy for me to be playing with her now."

Sue Bird also nails an important point:

"It is a huge disconnect," Bird said. "I was the same way when I was a young player, so I don't want to make it sound like I wasn't. Now, more so than ever, you hear stories about young players who talk about wanting to play in the WNBA since they were 10 or 11 years ago, but a large percentage of them don't follow the league. Yet they strive for it."

Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb brings it home:

"But we also need to do a better job of promoting our stars. We want people to see that Diana Taurasi and Elena Delle Donne are great players, and not just because Kobe said so. Right now, more girls in Seattle want to be Kelsey Plum. And we've got to continue to push, to get the exposure and the branding and the media coverage."

I've made the same point as Gottlieb over the years. I've encouraged the WNBA to step up their offseason marketing efforts. The NCAA tries hard to grow the game; we all should. And both entities - especially the W - need to do a better job of putting out information and publicizing the legitimate press that they do get.

What we really need is more education about female athletes.

WNBA games will be streamed live on Twitter

Twenty WNBA games per season will be streamed live on Twitter for the next three years, beginning May 14.

WNBA team news:

Does this year's Storm have the depth to be contenders?

The Lynx see permanent pluses to their temporary den.

Fever training camp, week one.

Five reasons to watch the Dream work this season.

Today was the Lynx's media day.

WNBA player news:

Sky guard Jamierra Faulkner is out for the season after tearing her ACL overseas.

Mystics guard Tayler Hill was injured over the weekend.

Tina Charles is ready to lead a deep Liberty team into a new season.

Q&A with Storm forward Breanna Stewart.

Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore say their game 5 loss to the Sparks last year was the toughest defeat ever.

DePaul rookie Jessica January is quietly making her mark at Sun training camp.

Rookie Brionna Jones is looking to catch on in Connecticut.

Australian Stephanie Talbot has arrived at Mercury training camp to replace Penny Taylor.

Q&A with Lynx forward Shao Ting.

WNBA coach news:

Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer likes what he's seen so far in camp.

Can Amber Stocks take the Sky to the next level?

Storm coach Jenny Boucek is excited to see how her team has grown, in preparation for Wednesday's preseason opener.

WNBA GM news:

Stars GM Ruth Riley sees much potential in her young team.

Former WNBA player news:

Lauren Jackson said she used to need painkillers to play the game at the end of her career.

More from Fox Sports Australia.

College player news:

Former Maryland stand out point guard Destiny Slocum has transferred to Oregon State.

Colorado transfer Makenzie Ellis has landed at SMU.

College coach news:

Dawn Staley talks about how she became a Championship-winning coach.

ODU coach Karen Barefoot is expected to take the UNC Wilmington job.

High school news:

A 15-year-old Canadian that Syracuse has their eye on can dunk.