Friday, December 31, 2010

A few scores before the new year

Today's scoreboard and hey, Coach Jason Flowers and Cal State Northridge got their first victory tonight. They opened up conference play by beating Pacific, 74-68.

UCLA had way too much trouble putting away Washington today.

USC beat Washington State 72-57, as to be expected. But Arizona State had a heckuva time putting away Oregon State. Final score was 49-46. Oh yes, the Pac-10 is heating up.

And further evidence of that: Arizona beat Oregon 109-94.

Bonus: hoopfeed has a bomb slideshow of the Baylor-UT-Pan American game yesterday.

Can't wait to see what 2011 brings in the worlds of hoops. Happy New Year, everyone, and thanks for reading.

SoCal high school tournament wrap up

#2 Long Beach Poly took the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree yesterday, in a thrilling rematch of last year's state championship game. UCLA-bound Sheila Boykin lead the way for the Jackrabbits with 13 points.

So Cal Holiday Prep Classic results:

Eastlake 62 Steele Canyon 39
OLP 61 Torrey Pines 54
Westview 63 Cathedral Catholic 43
CNAHMPIONSHIP: Hamilton 47 Red Mountain 32

Tesoro 62 Vista 25
Del Norte 43 Carlsbad 32
Bella Vista 55 Patrick Henry 53
CHAMPIONSHIP: Poway 44 MtCarmel 31

Cabrillo 42 Desert Pines 40
Serra 49 Lawndale 41
Great Oak vs Parker NO SCORE REPORTED
CHMAPIONSHIP: Escondido 60 West Hills 57

San Dimas 57 John Marshall 48
Canyon Crest 56 Santana 30
Northwood 65 Rancho Bernardo 41
CHAMPIONSHIP: Roosevelt 47 RBV 44

El Capitan 36 Parkland (TX) 32
Calexico 54 Valhalla 42
Southwest 47 Exeter 44
CHAMPIONSHIP: Mira Mesa 37 Valley Center 36

Today's final schedule of the West Coast Holiday Festival, held at Beverly Hills and Burroughs High Schools:

9am- SV Poly vs Simi Valley @BU
9am- Culver City vs Westchester @BH
1030- St Monica vs Bellflower @BH
1030- Los Osos vs Marymount @BU
12pm- Marlborough vs Oxnard @BH
12pm- Newbury Park vs Saugus @BU
130- Burroughs vs LACES @BU
130- Beverly Hills vs Pacifica Oxnard @BH
3pm- Norco vs Redondo @BH
3pm- Monroe vs Harvard Westlake @BU
430pm- St Bernards vs Ventura @BU
430pm- Brentwood vs Valencia @BH
6pm- West Ranch vs St Paul (Consolation Champ) @BU
6pm- Canyon vs Mira Costa @BH- 5th Place
730pm- Bell Jeff vs La Costa Canyon @BU 3rd Place
730pm- Troy vs Bishop Montgomery @BH Championship

Pac-10 play opens today

The Pac-10 is in full effect today:

USC @ Washington State
Oregon @ Arizona
UCLA @ Washington
Oregon State at Arizona State

More on Tennessee-Rutgers:

Rutgers Coach Vivian Stringer is upset that Tennessee couldn't reschedule their game yesterday. I'm wondering why this wasn't addressed a long time ago instead of this week.

Before the game, Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt spoke at the funeral services of Melissa McCray-Dukes, who died earlier this week from breast cancer. Vol players wore a black patch in her honor at yesterday's game.

Stanford win: preparation was the key

Whenever Stanford and UConn play, the outcome could go either way. Last night was no different, except that for the first time in two years, eight months and three weeks, it was the Cardinal in the winning column.

Stanford came out on fire and took an early lead, but it was more than just energy that kept them ahead for the entire game: it was preparation. Cardinal players double- and triple-teamed Maya Moore, and they anticipated her every move. Moore's shots and passes were blocked, she was screened out of rotations, and on one defensive assignment Stanford players had pushed her back five feet from the pass.

The Cardinal disrupted the Husky offense. When they tried to execute, a Stanford player was there. It threw them off their shot, and practically shut down their drives to the basket.

As the game unfolded, it became exceedingly apparent how much UConn game tape Coach Tara VanDerveer and her staff had watched to prepare for this matchup - how much planning and strategizing they had done. This was no accidental win: it was clinical, deliberate.

UConn made a few runs, as any good team would. But Stanford kept its composure and buckled down. Even freshman Chiney Ogwumike, who was bouncing from side to side like a prizefighter when she first got in the game in the first half, calmed down enough to completely stymie Moore several times. And aside from some initial jumping at the final buzzer before they stopped and got in the handshake line, the Cardinal and their coaches treated the win like "business as usual."

"She's probably thinking about what they could improve on," said my friend Daniel Uribe (who has written in this space before), as we watched VanDerveer walk across the court, expressionless, toward the ESPN reporters.

And sure enough, one of the things she said before the night was over was, "it's only December." There's a lot of season left.

I have renewed respect for VanDerveer and her knowledge of the game. My new name for her is the Buddha brain surgeon: she dismantled UConn with essentially a shrug.

The only time she smiled was after she put ESPN reporter Jimmy Dykes in check when he tried to turn the conversation back to the Huskies in the post-game interview.

"It's about Stanford tonight," she said grinning.

The star of the night was Brea, California's own Jeanette Pohlen, with a career-high 31 points and nine rebounds. Her three-pointers were deadly; her tenacity, potent. The Cardinal senior is an alumnus of the Brea Olinda basketball program, and Coach Jeff Sink said he and his wife were utterly thrilled at the end of last night's game. At the same time, Pohlen's performance didn't surprise him in the least.

"They say about great players that they always come with a new trick, and that's Jeanette," Sink said. "She may not always be fluid, but she's very clever and always plays extremely hard."

Sink said that the summer before she reported to Stanford, she'd go to the Brea gym and shoot for three hours.

"That was her work ethic, and it still is," he said.

Sink called Pohlen the greatest kid he's coached in 30 years, and half of that is because of the person she is - not just the player.

"She still emails or texts me after every win to congratulate me," Sink said. "She's never stopped doing that."

The strangest thing about the end of UConn's winning streak to me wasn't the actual loss, but the fact that history repeated itself. In 1971 Notre Dame was the last team to defeat the UCLA men until 1974, when they did it again to break their 88-game winning streak. Now the Stanford team are the bookends to UConn's record.

We'll see what other tricks that the Powers That Be have for us now. It's going to be a nice, long three months.

Stanford 71, UConn 59

Link roll call:

Jeanette had career-high 31 points and nine rebounds in upset.

Game highlights.

ESPNW columnist has mixed emotions to the end of the winning streak.

Ding dong, the streak is dead! Says C & R.

Mechelle Voepel dissects the game thoroughlly, via interviews with coaches and players from both teams.

Mel Greenberg thought the Huskies seemed doomed at the hands of the Cardinal from the start.

QMcCall sees Stanford's defeat of Xavier earlier this week as a blueprint for beating UConn.

Defense was the focus for Stanford.

Jeanette Pohlen's performance was "Wiggin-esque."

90 and done.

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer on Stanford's win.

UConn Coach Geno Auriemma on losing.

Rebecca Lobo on UConn's loss.

Key moments during UConn's winning streak.

The streak by the numbers.

The Hartford Courant's conversation with Auriemma: "Reality set in."

Game pictures.

The streak, chronicled.

Pictures during the streak, the last two-plus years.

In defeat, UConn can forge a new identity.

UConn looks ahead after end of streak.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A little pre-big game news

Before I head out the door to go to my private Stanford-UConn viewing party......

Tennessee stomped Rutgers 87-51 today. Angie Bjorklund broke Shanna Zolman's all-time three-point shot record. What has happened to the once-great Rutgers program?

Vol Coach Pat Summitt will get a star on Knoxville's new Riverwalk of Fame next week.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune asks five questions about the Big 10.

In Vanderbilt's win over Delaware last night, Hanna Tuomi reached the 1,000-point career mark. I was impressed with her when the Commodores came to Cal State Fullerton in 2009.

The Purdue freshmen are growing into their team roles.

Make sure you study, student athletes: one Missouri State freshman is academically ineligible for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Catching up with Loree Moore

Loree Moore took in the LSU-UCLA game Tuesday.

Loree Moore had a tumultuous year, to put it mildly. The longtime New York Liberty point guard was cut by the organization early in the spring, and was promptly picked up by the Seattle Storm. Two weeks into training camp she tore her left meniscus and was released there too, as the WNBA had instituted an 11-player rule per team.

Moore, who graduated from Narbonne High School in Los Angeles and played at Tennessee, has been home for the holidays from Russia, where she is playing for Chevakata. I caught up with her at Tuesday's LSU-UCLA game at Pauley Pavilion.

She had surgery on the knee May 10, and spent the eight-week recovery period in Seattle, rooming with Storm forward Ashley Robinson - a fellow Lady Vol alumnus. Moore said she recovered quickly; she had been on a similar road at Tennessee, where she tore her left ACL in January, 2004, in the midst of her junior year. She returned the following fall for her senior year and was selected tenth in the 2005 WNBA draft.

"You have to keep working and stay strong," she said.

After the WNBA All-Star break this past summer, Moore tried out for the Atlanta Dream but didn't make the cut. She headed to Russia Sept. 23 to begin her overseas year. So far, Chevakata is 4-5.

Moore said she can recover from injury quickly because she doesn't let worries fill her mind. She feels fully rehabilitated now, and said she's been playing well lately.

"I feel really good right now," she said.

Sometimes the distance between friends and loved ones can be a strain, but Moore said it's easier to keep in touch now with Skype. She will begin her journey back to Russia tomorrow.

Moore plans to try out for the WNBA next spring.

Mucho action

Looking at tonight's college scores, it's not always the ranked teams that are the most interesting.

Seton Hall took two overtimes to beat Rhode Island, 73-69.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and UNC-Wilmington beat Ohio 62-53. After a rough start to the season, including the disciplining of an assistant coach, they are 8-3 overall.

Louisiana Tech beat once-ranked Georgia, 77-62.

Sounds like a helluva game in Fresno, where USC squeaked out a victory over the host team, 82-78. Jacki Gemelos had a career-high 27 points in the Trojan's win. Jaleesa Ross lead the Bulldogs with 29 points, including an amazing seven three-point shots.

And in ranked news, #20 Maryland snapped #17 St. John's 11-game winning streak.

A bit of high school news:

At the inaugural Peach State Invitational in Duluth, Georgia, there was an upset.

LA shakeup: Winning Santa Monica Coach Marty Verdugo will step down after this season to pursue other interests. I have a feeling he'll go out with a bang.

Powerade Fab 50 rankings, week four - a shift in the axis

Nike TOC changed things in the national high school rankings this week. Namely, the incredible trinity of Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly and Brea Olinda of Southern California have switched spots:

Rank School (City, State) Record Prev

1 Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.) 11-0 2
2 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 6-2 9
3 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 9-1 1
4 Westbury Christian (Houston) 18-0 4
5 Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) 2-0 5
6 Buford (Buford, Ga.) 5-0 6
7 Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 8-2 3
8 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 11-3 25
9 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 7-1 8
10 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 15-1 11
11 Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 11-0 12
12 St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 3-2 43
13 Monarch (Louisville, Colo.) 4-2 14
14 St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.) 7-1 7
15 Start (Toledo, Ohio) 4-0 16
16 Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 7-0 18
17 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 10-1 13
18 Nazareth Regional (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 7-1 19
19 Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) 5-0 22
20 Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) 5-0 23
21 Spring Valley (Spring Valley, S.C.) 13-0 24
22 Goose Creek (Goose Creek, S.C.) 10-1 17
23 Overton (Memphis, Tenn.) 5-1 26
24 Clarksville (Clarksville, Tenn.) 14-2 28
25 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 4-3 20
26 Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.) 13-0 29
27 Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.) 9-4 10
28 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 8-0 30
29 Troy (Fullerton, Calif.) 6-2 NR
30 Butler (Matthews, N.C.) 9-0 31
31 St. John's (D.C.) 9-1 21
32 Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) 14-1 32
33 Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 7-1 33
34 Detroit Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 3-1 34
35 Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 13-2 36
36 Highlands Ranch (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 8-2 42
37 William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia) 9-0 38
38 Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1-3 15
39 Cypress Falls (Houston, Texas) 20-1 NR
40 Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 11-0 NR
41 MacArthur (Irving, Texas) 17-2 40
42 St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 6-0 44
43 Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 7-0 45
44 Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) 10-0 46
45 Fayette County (Fayetteville, Ga.) 8-2 37
46 Madison Academy (Madison, Ala.) 12-2 NR
47 Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 9-0 NR
48 Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 11-3 41
49 Marion County (Lebanon, Ky.) 7-2 39
50 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 7-1 NR

Regional rankings.

Big Thursday

The stage is set for two big showdowns tomorrow: Rutgers and Tennessee, and UConn and Stanford.

Yesterday, a helluva lot of folks showed up in Stockton to watch Pacific take on UConn.

Candice Wiggins' website is up, people!

Former Seattle Storm co-owner Anne Levinson plans to remain active with the team in coming years.

LSU 55, UCLA 53

LSU point guard Latear Eason sets up the play in the first half.

Katherine Graham pops a two.

More game pictures HERE.

The UCLA Bruins lost for the first time this season Tuesday night, falling to LSU 55-53 in a tight game that went down to the wire.

The Bruins trailed by 5-6 points throughout much of the latter part of the second half, but a Christina Nzekwe jumper with 38 seconds to go tied the game at 53. The Tigers' Taylor Turnbow hit a jumper at 14 seconds to put her team up by two. On the other end of the court, UCLA missed two shots but had one more chance to score at 2.3 seconds left on an inbounds pass. The ball went to Darxia Morris, who missed the shot as time expired.

Turnbow had a career-high 18 points and 13 rebounds. Morris lead the Bruins with 16 points.

LSU got off to a quick start in the game, reeling off the first seven points and holding UCLA scoreless until just under 17 minutes to go. The Bruins shifted into another gear and tied the game at 11 at the nine-minute mark. They then went on a run and lead by as much as seven for most of the remainder of the half, until the Tigers began to catch up. UCLA lead 25-21 at the half.

The score was knotted at 33 with 15:02 in the second half, and from there it was a battle, with LSU holding the slight edge to maintain a small lead until the Nzekwe two-point shot.

UCLA Coach Nikki Caldwell called it a lack of focus on the Bruins' part: "You miss layups two feet from the basket, it's just our lack of focus. You're always going to struggle offensively when you can't make layups. This is something that's plagued this team all season. We've been able to do enough on defense to masquerade it."

The Bruins shot better than the Tigers, but LSU had more rebounds. Box score.

Both UCLA and USC are headed up to Washington this weekend as Pac-10 play begins.


Former Bruins in attendence included Erika Tukianinen, Noelle Quinn, Lindsay Plummer, Allison Taka and Moniquee Alexander. Tuki is starting medical school, Quinn is back from playing in Russia, Taka's in grad school and Alexander is back from playing in Poland.

I talked with Van Chancellor, who I've always admired, briefly before the game. He said he really likes coaching at LSU and at the college level.

Nice crowd of 2,021 on hand.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick late recap

Stanford whooped higher-ranked Xavier, 89-52. It's their second consecutive loss.

Syracuse stomped St. Francis, 94-60.

Duquesne upset #12 Ohio State, 71-67.

And unfortunately, UCLA is no longer undefeated this year, as LSU edged them 55-53. I will post my game report and photos in the morning.

It's game on for high schools

The West Coast Jamboree in Northern California is the hottest tournament in at least two time zones right now. First-round play went down yesterday, with numerous college coaches present.

Numerous other tournaments are taking place right now, as well - check it.

I've said it in the summer and I'll say it in the winter......if I had a ton of money, I'd do a road trip to every major tournament. Guaranteed.

Just a smattering of news as we rev up on the runway

"Buck"ing up in the face of their loss to UConn last week, Ohio State is toughening up.

UConn's senior point guard Lorin Dixon is learning from assistant coach and former Husky Shea Ralph. Unfortunately, she won't be able to apply that knowledge in tonight's game, as she's out with a sprained foot.

Duquesne Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio has been named the "Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A miracle in the AP poll

In this week's AP poll it's a dream come true for me, as someone else in the Pac-10 is ranked higher than Stanford: UCLA is eighth and the Cardinal, ninth. I'm going to savor that for as long as possible.......

More sad news, as former Lady Vol Melissa McCray-Dukes died this morning after a long battle with breast cancer. She helped Tennessee win their first two national titles in 1987 and 1989. Fans react to her death.

On the upside, former Vol and Terp Sade Wiley-Gatewood is now coaching high school basketball in San Diego.

ESPN has their Nike TOC checklist. The class of 2011 hot players are all Californians, and I can vouch for the first one. Let's see which college is smart enough to scoop her up.

Downer Monday news

Saint Vincent College Coach Kristen Zawacki died Christmas Day of a heart attack. She is the only coach the Bearcats have ever had.

Women's basketball and fans:

Donna Orender reflects on fan levels past and present as she prepares to leave the WNBA this week.

An Ohio columnist notices that women don't support women's basketball very much.

Snow/weather effecting basketball travel:

Old Dominion can't get to New Orleans.

Because of these types of issues, Tulane has shortened their tournament.

Hoopfeed has a good summary of the facts surrounding the Diana Taurasi doping investigation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Retired life works for some

Imani Stafford - a 6-foot-7 junior at Windward High School in Los Angeles - is getting some extra coaching help lately in the form of Lisa Leslie.

Catching up on Southern Cali hoops: Troy lost in the final of the South Carolina tournament in which they were playing.

Thursday scores going into the holiday break.

The West Coast Holiday Festival begins tomorrow. Schedule:


Bell Jeff vs Bellflower 330 pm at Burroughs
Monroe vs Simi Valley 430 pm at Burroughs
Pacifica Oxnard vs West Ranch 3 pm at Burroughs
Newbury Park vs Burroughs 730 pm at Burroughs
St Bernards vs Culver City 9 am at Beverly Hills
Valencia at Mira COsta 1030 am at Beverly Hills
Troy vs Oxnard 12 pm at Beverly Hills
Redondo vs Marymount 130 pm at Beverly Hills


Beverly Hills vs Brentwood 730 pm at Beverly Hills
La Costa Canyon vs Sun Valley Poly 6 pm at Beverly Hills
Norco vs Westchester 430 pm at Beverly Hills
Ventura vs St Monica 3 pm at Beverly Hills
Canyon vs St Paul 11 am at Burroughs
Harvard Westlake vs Marlborough 1230 pm at Burroughs
LACES vs Saugus 2 pm at Burroughs
Bishop Montgomery vs Los Osos 6 pm at Burroughs

Back to business

Great to hear this: Purdue junior forward Drey Mingo is seeing increased playing time after a frightening bout of bacterial meningitis a month ago.

Nice Big Ten preview from a Michgan news source.

Former players, coaches and others reminisce as Mac Court in Eugene, OR is about to shut down. :(

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Diana Taurasi update

The WNBA star may face an Olympic ban in 2012 if she is suspended for the customary two years for her positive drug test.

Taurasi tested positive for the stimulant modafinil: "a drug that enhances wakefulness and vigilance and is designed to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea and sleep disorders related to shift work. Modafinil is also used off-label to combat jet lag and attention deficit disorder and recreationally to enhance alertness. The stimulant does not cause the anxiety and jitteriness associated with amphetamines."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Diana Taurasi tests positive for banned substance

Phoenix Mercury forward Diana Taurasi has tested positive for some banned substance in Turkey, where she's been playing. Her lawyer will only say that it's "not a steroid or a recreational drug." She's been suspended from play in definitely.

What other banned categories are there besides steroids and recreational drugs??

Update at 10:47 p.m.: lab that analyzed Taurasi's results has questionable history. (I knew it!)

The calm after the storm

.....literally and figuratively. Southern California has been pulverized by storms for a week, and the basketball world has been turned upside down with earth-shattering news for about the same length of time. This morning, however, the sun and the sky are out in LA, and basketball players are on their way home for the holidays. Thank goodness for both of those circumstances.

Mechelle Voepel talks about Tara VanDerveer. The Universe has such a great sense of humor most of the seems appropriate that the coach's 800th win would come against one of her proteges, Jennifer Azzi.

Candace Parker is pumped about the 2011 WNBA season: she put up the LA Sparks' schedule on her website.

Swin Cash has joined the slamonline writing crew.

And it's hard for me to take fanhouse seriously, even those these are some good lists, when they misspell Meighan Simmons' name in the last list. Especially after it was spelled correctly in the list above it. And I'm told they misspell names a lot. What's up with that?

Gonna go and enjoy this thing they call "the sun" with one of my former players. Have a great day, everyone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ESPN Brea-Poly story

"She is unreal." :

Sink only had four of his Ladycats score, led by the UCLA-bound Hartman, with 14 points and three blocked shots in the first half and finishing with a game-high 22 points. How sweet it is for her, after spending 14 months on the sideline, with ACL surgery and micro fractures. She's been back in the game for just a month.

"She is unreal,'' Sink said.

Right behind Hartman was senior point guard Alexis Riley-Perry with 19 points. Perry calls herself "the best unsigned guard in the country," and hopes her performance here in Arizona will persuade a few more recruiters to look her way.

"Can't say enough about her,'' Sink added. "Friday she dislocates her shoulder, then come backs Wednesday to help lead us to a championship. She's terrific.''

You gotta respect young athletes with that kind of mental toughness.

Big ups to Poly, as well. All players from both teams repped Cali exceptionally in this game.

Finals tip sheet.

More milestones

In the process of whoopin' the San Francisco Dons, Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer became the sixth NCAA women's coach to achieve 800 wins. Congrats, coach.

As Tennessee beat on East Tennessee, Angie Bjorklund tied her school's all-time three-point shot record. With 12:30 to go, Bjork hit her 266th trey, tying her with Shanna Zolman.

This has got to be a December for ALL the books.

Brea over Poly again, and Southern California teams take over Nike TOC

They did it again tonight, to take the Joe Smith Division at Nike TOC:

Brea Olinda 56, Long Beach Poly 48

Of course Brea fans twittered minute-by-minute game reports live. I got them via text while I was watching a junior college game in person, and it was a nail-biter even by phone.

Poly was up 31-26 at the half, but Brea surged and were ahead 43-39 at the end of three. Poly made a comeback and pulled to within two, 50-48, and then apparently Brea turned on the gas and finished hard. Looking forward to reading the game story on ESPN tomorrow.

Justine Hartman of Brea was MVP and Alexis Perry, dislocated shoulder and all, was on the all-tournament team.

So I'm contemplating this Bermuda Triangle thing......if Long Beach Poly has beaten Mater Dei twice, and Brea Olinda has beat Poly twice......when the hell are the two Brea Olinda-Mater Dei games????

Brea Olinda champs team picture.

Showcasing one of the reasons I love living in the Los Angeles area, several other California teams were also in battle for their divisions today:

They played in the Anderson, Blue, White and Red divisions, and won almost all of them.....

Anderson Division: Huntington Beach Edison 58, Etiwanda 54

Blue Division: Villa Park 54, La Jolla Bishop's 50 (OT)

White Division: Clackamas (Ore.) 48, Narbonne 41

Red Division: Huntington Beach 75, Sierra Canyon 54

ESPN division roundup.

Day four full results.

In other California team news, Troy is at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC. Tonight they upset Norcross, of Georgia, 55-51. Complete schedule, plus streaming of games with a "W" on the tagline. (Why don't they have that for TOC?)

Viva Cali hoops.

Wednesday items

OOO, upset: Arizona State defeated #16 DePaul, 65-55.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay racked up his 400th career victory.

ESPN's Johnette Howard says that if UConn coach Geno Auriemma still needs validation after last night's 89th win, he should go coach men.

ESPN's Graham Hays has an updated list of the top mid-majors.

Wait, stop the presses - maybe Long Beach State isn't as down and out as they seemed.

Last but not least, the WNBA has released its 2011 schedule.

More on TOC Day 3

So many gems in this piece, such as calling Poly's Tajanae Winston a "firehose," and this great quote:

"Carl and I are close friends,'' Brea coach Jeff Sink said. "We won't be able to come up with anything to surprise each other."

Indeed, it's basically the high school national championship tonight. Wish I had Candace Parker's frequent flier miles and could get there by tipoff.

Day three soundslides.

Day three Fab Four.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes, there are other things going on besides UConn and TOC

Crucial: #3 Duke eeked out a victory over #4 Xavier, 46-45.

#9 UCLA remains unbeaten after beating East Carolina last night.

Up-and-coming Tulane is 8-2 going into conference play.

Jennifer Azzi's San Francisco Dons are coming along.

San Diego State is playing catch up.

Tierra Rogers accepted the Maggie Dixon Courage Award Sunday, at the close of the Maggie Dixon Classic in New York City.

It's Long Beach Poly vs. Brea Olinda (again) in one Nike TOC final bracket

There is no schedule posted yet for tomorrow - only today's at this hour. But with the respective victories of Long Beach Poly and Brea Olinda, it appears that the two teams will face each other tomorrow for the second time in three weeks in the finals of the Joe Smith bracket.

In the first game today, Poly beat Mater Dei for the second time in five weeks, 61-56. After I got over my surprise at that, I decided that Brea's turn at being Mater Dei's kryptonite was lifted last March when the Monarchs beat them. Now Poly is kryptonite for the Dei.

Beaten up but unbowed Brea held on to beat Bolingbrook in the second game, 59-54.

All results.

I guess I'd just like to know how Carl Buggs and Jeff Sink motivate their teams.

UConn makes history and gets win 89

In beating Florida State 93-62 tonight for their 89th consecutive victory, UConn became the NCAA team with the longest winning streak in history. Maya Moore had a career-high 41 points.

ESPN's highlight of the night.

President Obama called Coach Geno Auriemma to offer his congratulations.

The Hartford Courant has a lot of good details.

Mechelle Voepel gives the credit to Moore.

Graham Hays gives the credit to Auriemma and Moore.

John Wooden would have loved this UConn team, says his grandson.

Lisa Leslie attempts to congratulate UConn.

More on TOC Day 2

Holy crap - now Mater Dei's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is hurt. That and other great day 2 coverage and pictures are here.

Soundslides from the day.

Day two "Fab Four." California players got it goin' on.....

Big news doesn't rest for the holidays

It never stops, does it?

UConn is poised to break UCLA's streak record tonight.

Sports Illustrated says Geno Auriemma needs to shut up and appreciate his team's record.


Louisville beat Nebraska 65-51. Freshman Shoni Schimmel lead the way for the Cardinals.

UTSA whumped Kansas State, 72-55.


Bentley University Coach Barbara Stevens, who garnered her 800th career win last week, was appreciated last night.

USC 74, SDSU 64

Check out my game story, which includes a post-game interview with USC Coach Michael Cooper, and the slideshow that goes with it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nike TOC day 2 results

Check out page two.

No surprises yet.....Mater Dei, Brea Olinda and Long Beach Poly are all still standing, for one thing.

And speaking of that, Brea twittered just a short while ago that point guard Alexis Perry, who was featured on the ESPN website screaming in pain after a game injury Saturday, played tonight:

A lot of credit needs to be given to Lexi Perry for bravely playing a great game two days after having a completely dislocated shoulder.

She barely came of the court the whole game and lead her team past a feisty St. Mary's who pressured the ball full-court the entire 32 mins.

And not one school wants this kid? I'd take her.

Southern California's Windward barely beat defending state champs Carondelet, 42-41, and they did so without top recruit Imani Stafford. The 6-foot-7 junior was at the Women of Troy Basketball Classic at USC this weekend. She told me she's been injured.

AP Top 25, week six

Lots of changes:


1 Connecticut (40) 10-0 1,000
2 Baylor 10-1 959
3 Duke 11-0 903
4 Xavier 10-0 889
5 Tennessee 10-2 787
6 West Virginia 11-0 782
7 Texas A&M 9-1 770
8 Stanford 6-2 697
9 UCLA 9-0 696
10 North Carolina 11-0 674
11 Kentucky 8-1 552
12 Michigan State 11-1 507
13 Ohio State 8-2 506
14 Iowa 10-1 440
15 Oklahoma 9-2 399
16 DePaul 13-1 381
17 Notre Dame 8-3 365
18 St. John's 11-1 337
19 Maryland 10-1 256
20 Georgetown 9-3 201
21 Iowa State 7-2 179
22 Florida State 9-2 143
23 Syracuse 8-0 128
24 Boston College 11-0 115
25 Arkansas 11-0 111

More bad luck for Long Beach State

Freshman center Janae Coffee has quit the team.

"She said she doesn't want to play basketball anymore, that her heart's not into it," Wynn said after the 49ers' 72-62 victory over Florida A&M at the Walter Pyramid on Sunday. "And that she doesn't want to practice, doesn't want to train, doesn't want to run."


Bonus: Maggie Dixon Classic wrap up, including Rutgers' butt-whoopin.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

#6 Tennessee 82, #2 Stanford 72 (OT)

Wow, what a bloodbath. Just reading the sequence of events in this game report is enough:

Jennette Pohlen, who led Stanford with 24 points, hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:07 to go to give the Cardinal a 70-67 lead, but Simmons charged down the floor and answered with her own 3 that sent the crowd of 14,197 into a frenzy.

Glory Johnson stole the ball back on a sloppy pass from Kayla Pedersen, but Stanford got the ball back on a tie-up when Shekinna Stricklen lost control of it. VanDerveer called a timeout, and Kokenis drove the court and attempted a mid-range jump shot just before the buzzer against Kelley Cain, who blocked it.

Stanford struggled with sloppy play early in overtime. Pohlen fouled out less than a minute into OT, and Sarah Boothe committed two turnovers before committing her fifth foul and joining Pohlen on the bench 16 seconds later.

"We just needed to lock down on defense, not foul," Pohlen said. "We needed to keep our hands up, box them out and not let them get second shots."

The Lady Vols (10-2) went 8 of 14 from the foul line in overtime. Cain missed back-to-back foul shots with 2:41 left but grabbed the rebound off the second and hit a jump shot in the middle of the lane to give Tennessee a 75-70 lead that again had the crowd screaming. The Cardinal's only overtime points came on a pair of free throws by Pedersen.

"I thought we got some good looks, and we didn't knock down shots that we needed to," VanDerveer said. "When they got good looks, they made shots."

I'm not sure which I'm happier about - Stanford losing two in a row or Tennessee winning. It's a toss up.

Mechelle Voepel discusses Stanford's loss.

But if Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer is having trouble getting her 800th win, Bentley University Coach Barbara Stevens did not. Stevens has coached at the Division II school outside of Boston for 25 years. Today her team beat C.W. Post to help her reach her milestone - only the fifth NCAA coach to do so. Congrats, coach.

UConn ties UCLA men's 88-game winning streak

The other day, ESPN's Mechelle Voepel wrote a piece in which she compared John Wooden to Geno Auriemma, as UConn prepared to break the UCLA men's 88-game winning streak. The idea of comparing the two was so insulting to me that I didn't even read Voepel's piece. Today, as the Huskies beat Ohio State for win 88, there is much more copy flowing on ESPN - including comments from Auriemma himself:

"I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record," the Connecticut coach said Sunday near the end of his postgame news conference. "The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it.".....

"All the women are happy as hell and they can't wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women's basketball are all excited, and all the miserable bastards that follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they're pissed," Auriemma said. "That's just the way it is."

I don't know if I agree with that. I see people as more indifferent than hostile. But you gotta love the way Auriemma speaks up.

Graham Hays says celebrate - don't compare - the UConn and UCLA streaks. I like that approach.

Voepel also admits that perhaps Penn State's volleyball team - who just won their fourth NCAA title yesterday - is a better team to compare the Huskies to than John Wooden's Bruins.

UConn-Ohio State game recap.

Next UConn victim: Florida State.

More on TOC Day 1

Oh no - Brea Olinda point guard Alexis Riley-Perry probably dislocated her left shoulder in her team's win yesterday, from the looks of the picture attached to this piece. Check this out:

The most star-crossed Ladycat, hands down, is Riley-Perry, who has suffered torn ACLs in both knees and injuries to both shoulders during her career at Brea. She had a spectacular run at last year's TOC, leading Brea to the brink of a title matchup against Mater Dei, even without Hartman. Colleges have been scared off by the senior's pile of physical ailments and Sink calls her "the best unsigned point guard in the country."

Poor kid.

And I didn't know this:

Brea Olinda wasn't sounding any alarms, but it would not have been faulted for being tempted. After all, just Friday it learned that top reserve Amber Van Duedekom, their leading scorer at 14.3 points a game, suffered a torn anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee during a 60-53 victory over Poly on Dec. 4. The Ladycats' star post, Justine Hartman, a UCLA signee, missed all of last season with an ACL tear, and had her playing time limited for precautionary measures during her team's first eight games.

The fact that Brea has done as well as they have the last few years is a miracle. Jeff Sink is a hell of a coach.

ESPN named their Fab Four of Day one, and three of them are from California.

Another Californian - St. Mary's Coach Tom Gonsalves - is a colorful character.

Soundslides of the day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nike TOC day 1 results

Several Cali teams are still standing, but several fell.

Day one results.

Participating teams have the day off tomorrow, and action continues Monday.

Upset city

The biggest upset of the night has got to be Yale's win over #14 Florida State, 91-85.

Houston beat #21 Nebraska, who are now 8-2 overall.

Fresno State continues to struggle; UC Santa Barbara defeated them 64-62.

UC Irvine continues to surprise; they whooped on Loyola Marymount 60-39.

Marist beat Louisville 74-68.

Today's scores.

Other game-related news: #13 Kentucky forced Alabama A&M into 31 turnovers.

#8 West Virginia is on a 26-game winning streak at home.

Iowa surged to avoid an upset.

San Diego State 74, University of Dayton 62

This is my first day of winter break and I'm still recovering from 16 weeks of school, so I'll let the San Diego State PR people that I met before the game tell tonight's game story. They did it well.

This was my first time seeing the Aztecs, and I was especially impressed with Courtney Clements, who seems to be able to do everything. Big ups to Coco Davis for her career high, and I think they should call Paris Johnson "the natural," because she makes it look so easy. Dayton's Justine Raterman lead Dayton with 17 points.

Box score.

Dayton has a lot of team spirit; they did long team cheers in the tunnel before the game.

SDSU Coach Beth Burns crouches a lot when she coaches, and she conducts timeouts the old-fashioned way: she grabs a clipboard and sits down. Those currently not on the court then walk behind the bench and stand behind the seated players for the choir effect, to listen to Burns.

Both teams are talkers, so there was a lot of talking and screaming and yelling on court tonight. Loved it.

Dayton has some nice defense, but they miss a lot of easy shots and layups. I was surprised they had a 5-4 record going into tonight's game. But IM in OC, who was chillin with me, looked up their past opponents and they were smaller schools. That made sense.

The Aztecs are a very tall team that likes to block and deflect shots. I wish they'd count shot and pass deflections in the stats, because they had so many tonight.

Another thing I like about SDSU is they have both an inside and outside game - sometimes they'll drive, and sometimes they'll shoot. Quite often teams just have one or the other (think LA Sparks), so the Aztecs are refreshing.

The other game in today's tournament at USC was the host team vs. Colorado. I didn't see that one, but IM said the Trojans had a 20-point lead that they let dwindle when bench players were given time. Nevertheless, USC pulled it out 68-54.

Tomorrow Dayton and Colorado will play at 3 p.m. and SDSU and USC will play for the championship at 5:30 p.m.

Two game photos are below, and more pictures are HERE.

Los Angeles' own Gabby Clark triple-threats it in the second half.

Melissa Sweat tries for two, but it doesn't go.

Awards, games, talks, brackets

Award department:

Cal's Tierra Rogers will receive teh Maggie Dixon Courage Award. Great choice. And it's even harder not to respect this young woman if you follow her on twitter.

Game department:

The Louisville Cardinals are in Las Vegas for business, not fun.

Talk department:

Seattle Storm Coach Brian Agler talked to the West Seattle girls basketball team this week. The most pertinent gem of this piece:

Coach Agler enlisted the seniors to lead the other girls. and to help implement the steps in a three=point plan he laid out for success: Work ethic, attitude, and togetherness. One of the main tenets of the plan is “no drama,” because according to Coach Agler, “drama will kill a girls-basketball team.”

Wiser words were never spoken.

Tournament department:

In Southern California, high school students are out of class, and winter break tournaments are on tap:

Oaks Christian Holiday Hardwood Invitational.

Best of the West at Ayala.

Santa Barbara High School Tournament of Champions.

Costa Mesa Winter Classic.


New York Liberty Coach John Whisenant is bringing back some former staffers to round out his new staff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

#22 DePaul 91, #3 Stanford 71

Cardinal Coach Tara VanDerveer's 800th win was denied.

Kayla Pedersen didn't start for Stanford due to a head injury she sustained in Sunday's game. It ended a string of 121 starts since 2007.

DePaul is very happy, and tonight's defeat was the worst for the Cardinal since 2003.

Once again.....

ESPN's Mark Lewis has another tasty look at next week's Nike TOC.


Hoopfeed's amazing slideshow of the Baylor-Tennessee game.

Powerade Fab 50 rankings, week 3


Rank School (City, State) Record Prev
1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-0 1
2 Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.) 7-0 2
3 Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 3-0 3
4 Westbury Christian (Houston) 15-0 4
5 Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) 0-0 5
6 Buford (Buford, Ga.) 4-0 7
7 St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.) 4-0 8
8 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 6-1 9
9 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 3-1 10
10 Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.) 9-2 6
11 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 10-1 11
12 Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 9-0 14
13 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 6-0 15
14 Monarch (Louisville, Colo.) 1-0 16
15 Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1-0 17
16 Start (Toledo, Ohio) 4-0 18
17 Goose Creek (Goose Creek, S.C.) 5-0 19
18 Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 4-0 20
19 Nazareth Regional (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 5-1 13
20 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 1-1 21
21 St. John's (D.C.) 6-0 40
22 Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) 0-0 24
23 Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) 3-0 27
24 Spring Valley (Spring Valley, S.C.) 7-0 28
25 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 8-2 12
26 Overton (Memphis, Tenn.) 5-1 29
27 La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla, Calif.) 5-0 30
28 Clarksville (Clarksville, Tenn.) 8-2 33
29 Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.) 10-0 34
30 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 8-0 35
31 Butler (Matthews, N.C.) 6-0 36
32 Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) 10-1 22
33 Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 4-1 23
34 Detroit Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 2-1 37
35 Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 1-1 26
36 Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 7-2 38
37 Fayette County (Fayetteville, Ga.) 5-1 39
38 William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia) 3-0 41
39 Marion County (Lebanon, Ky.) 4-0 44
40 MacArthur (Irving, Texas) 14-2 42
41 Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 8-2 43
42 Highlands Ranch (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 4-1 NR
43 St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 1-0 45
44 St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 4-0 46
45 Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 4-0 47
46 Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) 7-0 48
47 St. John the Baptist (Islip, N.Y.) 3-0 49
48 Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) 2-0 50
49 Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 4-1 NR
50 Cy Fair (Cypress, Texas) 5-1 NR

Regional rankings

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More on Tennessee-Baylor

Hoopfeed's nice wrap up.


Vol freshman Meighan Simmons has earned her school's CAREacter award. Her passion reminds me of the old Vols.

Southern extra: Kristin Nash has returned to the Texas basketball team for her final season.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

VanDerveer closes in on 800th win

If it wasn't for Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer's work horse father, she would have been a lawyer. Fortunately, the winning coach is about to notch 800 instead.

In other Stanford news, Candice Wiggins returned to Cardinal land this fall to complete her communications degree. She was your average student until her public service announcement on World AIDS Day two weeks ago. The cause is a passion for her.

Big bonus: the annual Maggie Dixon Classic is this weekend at Madison Square Garden.

Baylor is a monster

#3 Baylor 65, #6 Tennessee 54

The Vols, who are no small team, were overmatched tonight. The Bears were led by Odyssey Sims' 24 points, five rebounds and four steals, and Brittney Griner's 21 points and nine blocks. Amazing freshman Meighan Simmons was tops for the Vols with 22 points and five boards.

Griner loved that the Baylor football team was there, and cheering loudly.

Hoopfeed was there and provided excellent running commentary and detail, via twitter. Simmons was so upset about the loss that she was shaking afterwards, but had regained her composure by the post-game conference and was "fierce."

I'm becoming a fan of this young woman.

There was also Kim Mulkey bobbleheads, and Pat Summitt's orange leather jacket. Mechelle Voepel talks about/shows this and more.

Looking forward to the Hoopfeed write up on this game.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This week's AP poll

This week's AP top 25 is out, and UConn is number one for the 49th week. Syracuse and Boston College are also in, at 24 and 25, respectively.

1. Connecticut
2. Baylor
3. Stanford
4. Duke
5. Xavier
6. Tennessee
7. West Virginia
8. Texas A&M
10. North Carolina
11. Ohio State
12. Oklahoma
13. Kentucky
14. Michigan State
15. Florida State
16. Iowa
17. Notre Dame
18. St. John's
19. Maryland
20. Georgetown
21. Iowa State
22. DePaul
23. Texas
24. Syracuse
25. Boston College

Bermuda Triangle in SoCal; Nike TOC coming up

Great piece by ESPN on Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei and Brea Olinda - three national high school basketball superpowers who are all very close to one another. The bottom line: Mater Dei and Brea ponder each other often, while Poly tries not to think about it all. An added dimension is a transfer, who played a prominent role in Brea's win over Poly last weekend:

The rivalry added another dimension when Taylor Spears, a significant hit of speed in the backcourt, transferred mid-season from Mater Dei to Brea Olinda for what she says were "basketball and financial reasons." Eligible to play for Brea this season, Spears says the rivalry looks dramatically different from each side.

"When I played at Mater Dei, we looked at Brea as a team we could beat easily," Spears said. "Now that I'm at Brea, we know Mater Dei can beat us and we need to play as well as we can to have a chance. The girls here are not big-headed; I've not met one who is. It's just a different group of girls here. They want to win, but they are not cocky. At Mater Dei, they are used to having success, expect it, and so there are some cocky girls there."

But Mater Dei is still the favorite, with all the pressure that goes with it:

The fact that Mater Dei has been unable to shed the role of overwhelming favorite, in spite of the two losses to Brea, continues to weigh heavily on the Monarchs.

"We've been the greatest thing that's happened to Brea," Kiernan said. "They've been able to play the underdog role for the past three years because we've received a little more attention, media-wise. They've never been the underdog before. Brea has been the team everyone wants to beat, that everyone has feared or hated. It's a tough position to be in. We've relieved them of that pressure. Jeff owes me."

Sink readily concedes the point, saying, "We've played that to the hilt the last two years. I feel for them. Brea's been amazing. We've been good for a long time, but I do like hiding in the woods. We can go into a game against Mater Dei and they will have a little more pressure on them because of who they are. I want them to be like Yoda on top of the mountain. We'll be happy just to trek up the mountain and play with them."

Of course all three teams will be at the Nike Tournament of Champions next week. Everyone who's anyone goes to that tourney.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Big ballin' weekend

In the Pac-10, the Ogwumike sisters are already a force for Stanford. Freshman Chiney had 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Nnemkadi put up 17 in the Cardinal's defeat of Fresno State today.

UCLA beat St. Mary's, 75-59. Rebekah Gardner lead the Bruins with 16 points. I'm wondering if she's mad competitive, because she's done much better than ever since her sister joined the team this fall.

Earlier today, the LA Times shocked us all by having a story on Coach Nikki Caldwell. Any coverage of women's hoops by that publication is appreciated, but the reporter makes some good points:

Caldwell is more than a coach, she's a personality, owning the cameras while stalking the sidelines with a swagger not been seen in women's college hoops around here since Cheryl Miller.

"She has this kind of roar demeanor," says senior guard Doreena Campbell. "It's like, you know she's there."

Imported here three years ago from that women's college basketball temple known as Tennessee, Caldwell has taken a moribund operation and goaded it into a top 10 national ranking with a 7-0 record entering Sunday afternoon's game at St. Mary's.

Yep, personality.

Elsewhere, fifth-ranked Duke handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season.

Tennessee senior Angie Bjorklund guided the Vols past Texas with 20 points, which included four first half three-pointers. Freshman Meighan Simmons was just behind Bjork with 18.

Candace Parker and daughter were on hand for the 92-77 win, and Parker interviewed beforehand.

The Vols need to stay at it, as they face Baylor and Brittney Griner on Tuesday.

In SoCal basketball news, Brea Olinda prevailed last night in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, beating Memphis Central 74-58. It was a tight game for the first quarter and a half, and then the Ladycats started to pull away. Forward Justine Hartman sat out to rest her knee, but her teammates stepped up in her place; Keitra Wallace had 21 points and point guard Ana Kim dropped 20.

Edison clobbered Woodbridge 63-36 in the South Coast Holiday Classic in Orange County.

At the "Battle of the Beach" tournament at Redondo Union High School, Santa Monica outlasted Bishop Montgomery 62-54 for the championship.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two great quickies

Lady Vol senior writer Maria M. Cornelius has some special practice photos and video from today, as Tennessee prepared to face Texas Sunday. Namely, Candace Parker and daughter Lailaa are visiting, and the 19-month-old toddler shot the ball and spent some time with Coach Pat Summitt. Lots of great stuff on that page.

Jayne Appel discusses her unique insight into schizophrenia, (a realative has it), and her consequent major in psychology at Stanford.

Coming up and already went down

#6 Memphis Central and #2 Brea Olinda will play for the championship of the Iolani Classic tonight. Both teams were expected to make it there in the annual Hawaii tournament.

Scary reality: Brittney Griner is still growing and getting better.

Tennessee assistant coach Mickie DeMoss will have yet another reunion when the Vols meet Texas tomorrow.

Syracuse shocked #6 Ohio State today, 75-66.

West Virginia is 10-0 and off to its best start ever.

In Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Bishop Montgomery will face off tonight in the "Battle of the Beach Classic" at Redondo Union High School.

Friday, December 10, 2010


What a strange split: The University of Hawaii's sports teams, including women's basketball, will join the Big West Conference in 2012. The UH football team will join the Mountain West Conference.


Tamika Catchings is blogging for ESPNW, and the topic is workouts. She has many.

Baylor guard Shanay Washington has a positive attitude about her ACL recovery.

Kentucky's Rebecca Gray has a new lease on life after a medical scare.


South Carolina loses another one, as freshman Kayla Brewer decides to leave. Is she going anywhere, or is she giving up the game?

Former Lady Vol Faith Dupree lost her appeal to play this year for UT Chattanooga, and will have to sit out a year.


In Tennessee vs. Texas, it's a freshman thing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

From the heavy to the light-hearted

I am constantly lamenting the lack of female coaches in basketball. Blogger Nicole M. LaVoi has a theory - Explaining the scarcity of female coaches: Homophobia still pervasive.

Long Beach State has much to work on. They are 1-8 on the year.

One of DeWanna Bonner's fans lays out a nice case regarding why she's such a fun player to watch.

And for all you Southern Californians, here are Wednesday's high school scores around the region......a very good snapshot of where things are heading.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

There is news again

It's been a wee bit dry lately, but today is better...........

High school:

Leta Andrews of Granbury, TX has become the winningest high school basketball coach, male or female. Last night she notched her 1,334th win. Video here.


It's Rally For Girls Sports Day, and Ann Gaff has a great post about it.


The Lady Techsters have a show now. Here's the opening segment.

UC Irvine might have a good season this year.

The pros speak:

Episode two of Kara Lawson's show.

Lisa Leslie says the media, including ESPN, has not covered the WNBA as best they could.

Week 2 Powerade rankings

Regional rankings.

National rankings:

Rank School (City, State) Record Prev

1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 2-0 1
2 Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.) 4-0 2
3 Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 2-0 3
4 Westbury Christian (Houston) 14-0 4
5 Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) 0-0 5
6 Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.) 2-1 6
7 Buford (Buford, Ga.) 2-0 7
8 St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.) 2-0 8
9 Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 3-1 10
10 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 3-1 9
11 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 6-1 11
12 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 6-1 12
13 Nazareth Regional (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 3-0 21
14 Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-0 13
15 Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 2-0 24
16 Monarch (Louisville, Colo.) 0-0 14
17 Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1-0 16
18 Start (Toledo, Ohio) 2-0 18
19 Goose Creek (Goose Creek, S.C.) 1-0 19
20 Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 3-0 20
21 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-1 15
22 Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) 8-0 23
23 Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 2-0 25
24 Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) 0-0 26
25 Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minn.) 2-1 17
26 Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 1-0 29
27 Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) 1-0 30
28 Spring Valley (Spring Valley, S.C.) 4-0 31
29 Overton (Memphis, Tenn.) 3-1 32
30 La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla, Calif.) 5-0 33
31 Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) 2-1 22
32 Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 1-0 34
33 Clarksville (Clarksville, Tenn.) 6-2 36
34 Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.) 7-0 37
35 North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 5-0 38
36 Butler (Matthews, N.C.) 3-0 39
37 Detroit Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 2-0 40
38 Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 7-2 27
39 Fayette County (Fayetteville, Ga.) 4-1 28
40 St. John's (D.C.) 3-0 41
41 William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia) 1-0 42
42 MacArthur (Irving, Texas) 14-2 35
43 Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 6-2 NR
44 Marion County (Lebanon, Ky.) 1-0 43
45 St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 0-0 44
46 St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 2-0 45
47 Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 2-0 46
48 Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) 4-0 47
49 St. John the Baptist (Islip, N.Y.) 1-0 49
50 Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) 0-0 50

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ESPN's new website imcludes Kara Lawson

ESPNW today features a blog by pro player/commentator Kara Lawson, who provides five reasons (athletes and teams) to watch college ball.

Alyssia Brewer is back in practice at Tennessee after Achilles surgery in the fall.

Boston College posts this fantastic twitterphoto that shows the passion of the team's players.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big item Monday

The AP's top 25 list for the week is out:

1. Connecticut (40) 8-0 1,000 1
2. Baylor 9-1 943 2
3. Stanford 5-0 929 3
4. Xavier 8-0 851 4
5. Duke 8-0 841 5
6. Ohio St. 7-0 805 6
7. Texas A&M 6-0 738 7
8. Tennessee 8-1 700 9
9. West Virginia 8-0 698 10
10. UCLA 7-0 595 13
11. Georgetown 7-1 591 12
12. North Carolina 8-0 570 14
13. Oklahoma 7-1 548 11
14. Kentucky 5-1 467 8
15. Michigan St. 7-1 386 25
16. Iowa St. 6-1 337 19
17. Florida St. 7-1 333 15
18. Notre Dame 6-3 313 16
19. Iowa 8-1 289 18
20. St. John’s 7-1 254 20
21. Texas 4-2 216 17
22. Maryland 7-1 206 22
23. Wis.-Green Bay 7-0 146 -
24. DePaul 8-1 70 -
25. Georgia 6-2 53 21

Congrats to UCLA for cracking the top 10 - that's fantastic.

ESPNW has been launched.

The amazing Tamika Catchings can add one more thing to her resume: she's been nominated for a United Nations peace award. Wow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Triumphs and stumbles

Maya Moore became UConn's all-time leading scorer today. Her 17 points in the Huskies' win over Sacred Heart gave her 2,355 points, which surpassed the record Tina Charles set last season by nine points.

Nebraska's 37 regular-season game win streak is OVER, after they were upset by Indiana today. Wow.

Denver University upset Vanderbilt, ranked 23. (Given how they played Georgia last week, I'm not surprised).

Amber Harris lead Xavier past Cincinati to maintain a perfect 8-0 record.

#25 Michigan State upset #20 Texas.

Georgia Tech upset #22 Georgia.

Such wildness.......

Brea Olinda 60, Long Beach Poly 53

The scoreboard tells the story at the end of the game.


For the first two quarters, it seemed that the much-anticipated matchup between #2 Brea Olinda and #9 Long Beach Poly would be a dud.

After a sloppy, nervous start on the part of both teams, Poly took control of the game behind point guard Ariya Crook-Williams, who had 10 of her game-high 22 points at the end of the first period. The Jackrabbits played smothering, stifling defense to shut Brea out of the key on most possessions. Poly lead 34-26 at halftime.

But the Ladycats came out of the locker room on fire. They went on a 14-0 run that culminated at the 2:03 mark in the third quarter, when Justine Hartman and Keitra Wallace free throws gave the 'Cats a 40-38 lead - their first since the opening period. A Taylor Spears steal and layup pressed the lead to four, but Poly rallied to tie the score at 44 at the end of three. They were helped in their quest by the fact that Poly starters Sheila Boykin and Destiny King sat for most of the quarter in foul trouble.

Things continued to be tight in the fourth, with the teams trading slight leads, and the score was tied at 51 with 3:21 left. Then the Jackrabbits went ice cold on both shooting and the free throw line. Boykin fouled out. But it was a Spears three-pointer from the left corner that put the 'Cats up 56-51 at the 1:31 mark, and Poly was never able to recover. Brea stayed strong down the stretch and claimed their first Ladycat Classic tourney win since 2005.

Brea Coach Jeff Sink said the strategy for his team in the first quarter was to set up a three-quarter press and a 2-2-1 zone to force Poly to set up their offense.

"You know Poly's going to be deep, you know they're going to run and you know they're going to get the boards," he said.

Sink said forward Jeanier Olukemi's foul trouble, which caused her to sit all of the second quarter, aided the Jackrabbits in their run. In the second half, the Ladycats' goal was to slow the game down.

"Poly was getting second- and third-chance shots," Sink said. "So we did slow the game down in the third quarter, which made Poly nervous."

Sink said winning their tournament for the first time in a while doesn't mean much, because it was about five years ago that he increased the size of the bracket and began inviting higher-level teams.

"It's too early in the season - no team is going to be up to full speed yet," he said.

Wallace lead Brea with 19 points. Spears added 14 and Hartman, 13.

Box score.

Dopetastic game photos HERE.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Donna Orender steps down as WNBA president

For once, someone is resigning who has a reason for doing so: Orender will start a marketing, media and strategy company of her own. She has been the WNBA president for six years.

"There comes a time, when it's time," Orender blogs.

Wonder who they'll get next?

Washington Mystics change colors, logo

From Mystics HQ:


Washington Mystics Chief Operating Officer Greg Bibb announced yesterday that the team has changed the club’s official colors. During an event to introduce new general manager and head coach Trudi Lacey in front of a crowd of invited Mystics season ticket holders, the new colors were revealed in the logo at 7:00 pm. The new official Mystics colors are red, navy, silver and white and are more aligned with the Mystics’ parent company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, overall brand. The new changes can currently be seen on the Mystics website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“We are excited to introduce the new color palette of the Washington Mystics,” Bibb stated. “The red, navy, silver and white scheme provides a fresh look of our organization while moving us closer in alignment with the overall Monumental Sports & Entertainment brand. We look forward to a series of announcements and unveilings around our new colors during the coming months, including new home and road uniforms as a well as a new court design.”

New logo.

Marianne Stanley will "return to the Mystics bench" next year. What does that mean? Will she be a coach or a water girl?

Two of the nation's finest to face off at Brea Olinda Ladycat Classic

Long Beach Poly and Brea Olinda will meet in the finals of the Brea Olinda Ladycat Classic tournament at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. The semifinals and consolation semis yesterday looked something like this:


Troy 54, Hanford 43
Narbonne 57, Orange Lutheran 42


Brea Olinda 77, Summit 43
Long Beach Poly 64 , Canyon Springs 37

What a great opportunity to see these two great teams.

More info.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teresa Edwards takes corporate position with Tulsa Shock

One of the game's greatest is the new player personnel director for the Tulsa Shock.

The Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi is ballin it up in Europe.

Atlanta Dream forward Allison Bales blogs about her Thanksgiving in France.

Meanwhile, on the college scene, is Italee Lucas the answer for North Carolina's stagnation?

Sadly, Louisiana College's Janice Joseph-Richard has died after a long battle with breast cancer.

Updated ESPN Powerade Fab 50 regional rankings

Feast your eyes on this list of teams:

East Region Top 20
(Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)

1. Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 2-1 (1)
2. Neptune (Neptune, N.J.) 0-0 (2)
3. Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0 (3)
4. Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 0-0 (4)
5. Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 0-0 (5)
6. Nazareth (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 2-0 (6)
7. Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) 0-0 (7)
8. Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) 0-0 (8)
9. St. John's (D.C.) 0-0 (9)
10. William Penn Charter School (Philadelphia, Pa.) 0-0 (10)
11. Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 1-0 (11)
12. John the Baptist (West Islip, N.Y.) 0-0 (12)
13. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.) 0-0 (13)
14. Trenton Catholic (Hamilton, N.J.) 0-0 (14)
15. Sanford (Hockessin, Del.) 0-0 (15)
16. Archbishop Carrol (Radnor, Pa.) 0-0 (16)
17. Holy Cross (Kensington, MD.) 0-1 Lost to Mary Louis (17)
18. North Marion (Farmington, W. Va.) 0-0 (18)
19. Smyrna (Smyrna, Del.) 0-0 (19)
20. H.D. Woodson (D.C.) 0-0 (20)

Southeast Region Top 20
(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)

1. Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.) 1-1 (1)
2. Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 4-1 (2)
3. Buford (Buford, Ga.) 0-0 (3)
4. Goose Creek (Goose Creek, S.C.) 0-0 (4)
5. Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) 3-0 (6)
6. Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 0-0 (7)
7. Hoover (Hoover, Ala.) 5-1 (5)
8. Fayette County (Fayetteville, Ga.) 3-0 (8)
9. Overton (Memphis, TN) 3-1 (NR)
10. Clarksville (Clarksville, Tenn.) 4-2 (9)
11. Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.) 2-0 (10)
12. Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.) 5-0 (11)
13. Butler (Matthews, N.C.) 2-0 (12)
14. Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) 7-0 (NR)
15. Redan (Stone Mountain, Ga.) 1-0 (13)
16. Ehret (Marrero, La.) 0-0 (14)
17. Helen Cox (Harvey, La.) 4-0 (17)
18. Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 2-0 (18)
19. Mount Juliet (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) 4-0 (19)
20. Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 1-1 (15)

Dropped Out: New Albany (New Albany, Miss.) 1-3 (16), Bishop McGuinness (Kernersville, N.C.) 0-1 (20)

Midwest Region Top 20
(Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

1. Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 2-0 (1)
2. Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 1-1 (2)
3. Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 5-0 (3)
4. Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minn.) 1-0 (4)
5. Start (Toledo, Ohio) 0-0 (5)
6. Detroit Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 0-0 (6)
7. Marion County (Lebanon, Ky.) 0-0 (7)
8. Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) 2-0 (8)
9. Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.) 2-0 (10)
10. McKinley (Canton, Ohio) 0-0 (11)
11. Martin Luther King (Detroit, Mich.) 0-0 (12)
12. Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.) 0-0 (13)
13. DuPont Manual (Louisville, Ky.) 0-0 (14)
14. Inkster (Inkster, Mich.) 0-0 (15)
15. Nicolet (Glendale, Wis.) 2-0 (16)
16. Racine Case (Racine, Wis.) 1-1 Lost to Vincent (9)
17. Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) 0-0 (17)
18. Twinsburg (Twinsburg, Ohio) 0-0 (18)
19. Lake Ridge Academy (North Ridgeville, Ohio) 0-0 (19)
20. Fort Wayne Canterbury (Fort Wayne, Ind.) 2-1 (20)

Southwest Region Top 20
(Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)

1. Westbury Christian (Houston, Texas) 13-0 (1)
2. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 0-0 (3)
3. North Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.) 5-0 (5)
4. MacArthur (Irving, Texas) 9-2 (2)
5. Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 7-2 (4)
6. St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 2-0 (6)
7. Midwest City (Midwest City, Okla.) 0-0 (7)
8. DeSoto (De Soto, Texas) 8-1 (12)
9. Georgetown (Georgetown, Texas) 7-1 (9)
10. Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) 7-2 (8)
11. Pflugerville (Pflugerville, Texas) 7-2 (10)
12. Heights (Wichita, Kans.) 0-0 (11)
13. Fayetteville (Fayetteville, Ark.) 1-0 (13)
14. Blue Springs (Blue Springs, Mo.) 0-0 (14)
15. Seward (Seward, Nebr.) 1-0 (15)
16. Santa Fe (Edmond, Okla.) 0-0 (16)
17. Cy Fair (Cypress, Texas) 5-1 (18)
18. Olathe South (Olathe, Kans.) 0-0 (20)
19. Cibola (Albuquerque, N.M.) 0-1 (17)
20. Skyline (Dallas, Texas) 4-1 (NR)

Dropped out: Bellaire (Bellaire, Texas) 2-6 (19)

West Region Top 20
(Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)

1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 0-0 (1)
2. Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.) 0-0 (2)
3. St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.) 0-0 (3)
4. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 0-0 (4)
5. Monarch (Louisville, Colo.) 0-0 (5)
6. Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) 0-0 (6)
7. Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 0-0 (7)
8. La Jolla Country Day (la Jolla, Calif.) 0-0 (8)
9. Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0 (9)
10. St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) 0-0 (10)
11. Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) 0-0 (11)
12. Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.) 0-0 (12)
13. Clackamas (Clackamas, Ore.) 0-0 (13)
14. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 0-0 (14)
15. Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0 (15)
16. Tolleson Union (Tolleson, Ariz.) 0-0 (16)
17. Federal Way (Federal Way, Wash.) 0-0 (17)
18. Syracuse (Syracuse, Utah) 0-0 (18)
19. Highland (Pocatello, Idaho) 4-0 (19)
20. Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 0-0 (20)

Here's the overall top 50 rankings.

Agree or no??

Australian team visits El Toro High School

The National Antherm is played before the game. Two of the Aussie player's moms hold their flag while the Australia Antherm was played by a horn musician.

#12 for Box Hill, Ashleigh Borthwick, at the foul line early in the game.

Girls basketball spans the globe, as Orange County was host to an international match up Wednesday night.

El Toro High School of Lake Forest hosted Box Hill Secondary College of Melbourne, Australia. (They are a high school team with a college name). Box Hill is currently ranked one of the top teams in Australia, and have two teams visiting the USA. There is another Box Hill team in Northern California that will play in some tournaments later this week. I believe the elite players for Box Hill were on that team.

Though El Toro won 63-40, Box Hill played hard throughtout the game. El Toro's press caused many turnovers, which was the main reason for the point differential. Both teams seemed to enjoy the game, and the they had a pretty good crowd turn out.

- IM in OC

Half time and one of the Box Hill players takes a rest, on the floor.

The crowd was pretty good size. There was a boys game afterwards with a boys Box Hill team playing the El Toro boys team. There was also a JV game before the girls varsity game.

After the game the Box Hill Girls(dark blue and white shirts) and the El Toro Girls(lighter blue shirts) co-mingled and watched the guys play.