Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's official: Karen Aston to Texas

Looks like someone finally made a decision to hire Karen Aston as the Longhorn's new coach.

Oklahoma State wins WNIT title

Oklahoma State won the WNIT title today, beating JMU 75-68.

I'm so happy for them. They've been through so much.

WBCA Division I Coaches' All-america Team

The big ten:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Bria Hartley
Glory Johnson
Shenise Johnson
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Chiney Ogwumike
Odyssey Sims
Alyssa Thomas

Nnemkadi Ogwumike also won the Lowes Senior CLASS Award, for being an outstanding senior student athlete.

Kim Mulkey is the AP's coach of the year, and Brittney Griner is their player of the year.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rumors and news


I heard this today too, that Texas is talking to Karen Aston about becoming head coach. But I also heard that the school's board of regents still needs to vote on it.

Is Auburn talking to MaChelle Joseph and Kellie Harper?

Another great tip I heard, but don't have a link for: Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles is down to four final candidates for head coach, to replace Julie Wilhoit.

Could Kate Paye succeed Tara VanDerveer?


Skylar Diggins has won the 2012 Nancy Lieberman Award.

Something I've always thought: Kara Lawson kicks major booty as an ESPN commentator.


Women continue to break stereotypes as athletes. Why can't they catch a break as coaches?


I'm in Denver for the Final Four, and will be posting updates via, that I will link here. Any questions? Post them and I'll do my best to answer.

And your 2012 USA Olympic team is......

.....named, except for one more slot. Who in the Brittney Griner could they be saving that spot for?

Sue Bird
Tamika Catchings
Diana Taurasi
Swin Cash
Seimone Augustus
Sylvia Fowles
Candace Parker
Tina Charles
Angel McCoughtry
Maya Moore
Lindsay Whalen

This team has a great mix of vets, mids and newbies. Gold is looking good right now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ashley Corral wins three-point shootout

No official release on the web as of yet, but the Twittersphere is abuzz with the news: USC guard Ashley Corral won the State Farm College three-point championship contest tonight. Corral was one of five women selected for the competition, which was broadcast on ESPN.

Congratulations to her.

Kenya and Michael Landers leave Trinity Valley CC for Ole Miss

Saturday they guided Trinity Valley Community College to an NJCAA National Championship. Today Kenya and Michael Landers resigned to be assistant coaches at Ole Miss. She will serve as recruiting coordinator and he will be director of basketball operations.

Kenya Landers, an alumni of TVCC, was co-coach with husband Michael Landers, who had coached at TVCC before, for the last two seasons. Last year they were national champion runners-up.

Monday Ole Miss announced the hiring of Adrian Wiggins as head coach. He was introduced at a press conference yesterday. Wiggins had served as head coach at Fresno State for 10 years.

On a social networking site, Kenya Landers said the couple felt "called" to the new job, and that they were excited.

Final Four previews

Dishin & Swishin podcast, featuring Stephanie White, Christy Winters-Scott, Mel Greenberg, Shimmy Gray-Miller and Doug Feinberg.

Preview with Ruth Riley and Renee Montgomery.

Coaching news:

Finally, UConn associate head coach Chris Daily gets some credit.

Two assistant coaches, as well as the director of basketball operations, are leaving Colorado State.


Oklahoma loses a third player this week - back up point guard DaShawn Harden, who will transfer.

Kim Mulkey has Bell's Palsy

Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey just learned that she has Bell's Palsy, a form of facial paralysis which is curable.

What this means for Baylor.

Tha mawnin news

Yesterday the Final Four coaches spoke on the upcoming games, and they had a lot to say. My favorites:

Geno Auriemma on Kim Mulkey:

A lot of people might not agree with what she does, how she does it, but her passion is undeniable. Her support of her team and her love of her players is unquestionable. Men, women, anybody should look at that and say I wish I had that much passion and that much caring for my job because it’s just fun to watch. It really is. I can see why the players play the way they do for her.

She bitches over every single call. I like that. Even the call that’s go in her favor, she bitches that the whistle wasn’t blown fast enough. I love that. To me she reminds me of Jen Rizzotti and Shea Ralph, guys that played a few years ago and had that chip on their shoulder and they were tough and just wouldn’t back down. I just think she brings a toughness to the profession. Her players, I think, are reflective of that.

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer

On playing in high altitude
You know, I think it was very helpful for our team to have played Colorado this year. Now, to play them at altitude, we played Utah and Colorado, and I was really pleasantly surprised that it was not an issue for our team. And you know I think that we will try to do the usual things of making sure we’re hydrated and getting plenty of rest.

And that’s where maybe playing a deeper team, having a deeper rotation, will be helpful. And we’re healthy right now, so we’re excited about that. But I don’t see it being an issue.

Let's play ball!

McDonald's All-American game:

East beat West last night, 79-78. I didn't like the way it ended - I disagree that a foul should have been called. It was a great game until that point.

Photo gallery.

Coaching issues:

Has Auburn found their new head coach yet?

Fired Cincinnati State coach Ron Harris speaks out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WNIT final: Oklahoma State vs. JMU

In today's semis, it was JMU over Syracuse, 74-71, and Oklahoma State defeating San Diego, 73-57. The winners face off for the tournament title 3 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma State.


As women dunk more often, some having trouble adapting to change

Great piece by Ramona Shelburne (the best writer at ESPN) on Brittney Griner and other women dunking. It seems that the Baylor center's latest dunks have been met with some uneasiness from fans. Shelburne talked to a handful of coaches and players for the story, and Lisa Leslie and Michael Cooper, in particular, nailed it.

Lisa Leslie:

She's not surprised, however, that the reaction to Griner's dunks has been mixed.

"People are never really satisfied," she said. "I dunked and people said it was just one-handed. Now Brittney's dunked two-handed and people are like, 'Oh, there's only one person who can do that.'

"I don't think any of us can ever live up to the expectations or things naysayers throw at us."

Michael Cooper:

Cooper, who has had the rare distinction of coaching both Leslie and Parker in their primes, said he thinks that Griner's dunks are rocking the boat a bit because dunking, and doing it consistently and easily, is one of the last things most men can do that women can't.

"The reason why some guys look at [women dunking] like it's no big deal is because they can't do it," he said. "If a woman can do something better than a guy, he's not going to make a big deal out of it because that's something he can't do.

I've had these same thoughts - and more - while contemplating the increasing commonality of women dunking.

That old saying that you need to be twice as good, if you're of a group that faces discrimination, to prove yourself, seems true here. Because Leslie is right: people always find fault with a woman's dunk, no matter what. Nothing is ever good enough.

Cooper is also correct in that it makes some men feel insecure that suddenly women can do something that's always been traditionally their province.

Griner is an easy target for the non-evolved and easily-threatened, because of her size. She is 6-foot-8, with a large frame and a 7-foot-4 wing span. But despite her soft baby face, some of the most hateful people have called her "a man," and other names. It's one of the oldest attempts at stripping the power of female athletes in the book - along with calling all women in sports lesbians. It has always amazed me how much fear and insecurity run the world.

The entire phenomenon highlights the plight of female athletes in general: if they're too "girly," they are made fun of for that; if they're super-athletic and/or "tomboys," they're called "men." You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

As far as dunking goes, Geno Auriemma has the right idea:

"I don't know why it's a big deal," he said of Griner. "She didn't seem to think it's a big deal. It's almost like everybody around her is making it a bigger deal than she is.

"Maybe at some point, if it happens a little more often, the novelty will wear off."

It will.

There are numerous girls and women who are capable of dunking. One, who I coached a few years ago, is only 5-foot-11. Breanna Stewart made the finals of the McDonald's All-American game dunk contest Monday night. Change is coming, whether some fans like it or not.

Lisa Leslie is a fan of Griner's.

Georgeann Wells threw down the first dunk, in 1984.

2012 State Farm® college slam dunk and 3-point championships roster

Tune in tomorrow night on ESPN to see the annual slam dunk and three-point shooting contest. Here is the roster of women who will participate:

The roster for the 2012 State Farm Women’s 3-Point Championship includes: Brittany Rayburn (Purdue); Jessica Jenkins (St. Bonaventure); Ashley Corral (USC); Becky Burke (Louisville); Taylor Alton (Michigan State); Courtney Ingersoll (Toledo); Markeshia Grant (South Carolina); and Alyssa Shoji (Santa Clara).

After the men’s and women’s competitions, the winner from each event will participate in the Pure Protein Battle of the Champions to crown an overall 3-point winner.

General admission tickets are $15, a Family Four Pack is $40 and groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $8 per ticket. Visit to purchase tickets.

The ESPN broadcast team includes Brad Nessler, Dan Dakich, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake. The program will have numerous encore airings on ESPN networks. Check local listings.

John R. Wooden All-American Team

A familiar list and a dream team:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Julie Wojta

Denver: the altitude factor

I hope all the Final Four teams are headed to Denver by tomorrow morning, at the latest. They will need time to adjust to the altitude of the city, at 5,280 feet. For those who live at sea level, which the Final Four teams do, it takes days, or even weeks to adjust to the thinner air.

High altitude - defined as between 4,900 and 11,500 feet - means air with less oxygen. To compensate for this, the heart beats faster and non-respiratory bodily functions are slightly suppressed. The body has to get used to making more red blood cells. Everyone responds to high altitude differently, but most have to make some kind of adjustment.

Running teams like Notre Dame and UConn may have a particularly tough time in Denver. It may make their showdown Sunday even more interesting.

Are high altitude cities appropriate for Final Fours? You make the call.

ASU AD is out

Lisa Love is out as Athletic Director at Arizona State University.

Other items:

The new Georgia Southern Coach is Chris Vozab.

Stasha Richards has resigned at UT-Tyler's coach.

St. Mary's Coach Tom Gonsalves has applied for the Fresno State job.

Florida Gulf Coast Coach Karl Smesko wasn't chosen for Illinois or Indiana.

Marjorie Heard will transfer from the University of Washington.

University of the Pacific will join the West Coast Conference in 2013-2014.

Two major coaching changes

Wisconsin-Green Bay's Matt Bollant has taken the head coaching job at Illinois.

Bowling Green's Curt Miller will be the new head coach at Indiana.

Miller's move makes sense, but Bollant's is puzzling. What happened to "the Green Bay way"?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

And then there were four

Tonight's remaining Elite 8 results:

UConn heated up in the second half to clobber Kentucky, 80-65.

Notre Dame throttled Maryland, 80-49. Skylar Diggins lead the Irish with a triple-double - her first: 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Unsurprisingly, the head band stayed on the entire game.

Notre Dame and UConn will have the first game this Sunday, and Stanford and Baylor will go at it in the second match up.

So....after a wild season of unprecedented upsets, we have four number-one seeds in the Final Four.

Some are saying that this means parity in women's hoops is still a long way off.

Others are saying that the NCAA finally seeded a tournament correctly.

(Someone's always going to have a complaint)

I don't necessarily agree with either of those hypotheses.

But, hopefully no one is naive enough to think that next week's Final Four will be boring. We already have the previously-mentioned delicious Stanford-Baylor tangle. Notre Dame vs. UConn will be just as fun.

Many trip out on the seedings every year. What causes me to stop and ponder are the placements in regionals. They pretty much determine the championship.

What if the pairings in five days were Baylor vs. UConn and Stanford vs. Notre Dame? Or Baylor vs. Notre Dame and Stanford vs. UConn? Who would win those, and then who would take the title in each case? Call it the fickle finger of fate.

Although the Tournament is far from over, I'll begin taking "favorite road to Denver" moments right now. Feel free to add yours, whomever your team may be.

More on McD's game

McDonald's All-American game and competitions:

Video of Breanna Stewart dunking last night.

In the meantime, Jordan Jones thrilled with her skills.

Rosters of the East and West teams. Game is tomorrow night at 6 p.m.

Seattle's Katie Collier, who battled leukemia this school year, made a special trip to the Ronald McDonald House.

Final Four extra:

Stanford's latest video, the "Nerd City Final Four Rap."

Coaching news:

Miami has extended Katie Meier's contract through 2018.

Memphis has extended Melissa McFerrin's contract through 2017.

Texas may search in-house for their new coach.

Julie Goodenough is Abilene Christian's new coach.

High school:

The final Powerade Fab 50 of the 2011-2012 season, and it doesn't look too much like it did for most of the year. The top 10:

1. Saint Mary's
2. McEachern
3. Whitney Young
4. Bolingbrook
5. Riverdale
6. Riverdale Baptist
7. Duncanville
8. Mater Dei
9. La Jolla Country Day School
10. Cicero-North Syracuse

AP All-American teams

The Associated Press has named its All-American teams:

First Team:

Brittney Griner
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Skylar Diggins
Elena Delle Donne
Alyssa Thomas

Second Team:

Chiney Ogwumike
Odyssey Sims
Shenise Johnson
Samantha Prahalis
Julie Wojta

Third Team:

Tiffany Hayes
A'Dia Mathies
Shekinna Stricklen
Elizabeth Williams
Riquna Williams

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pre-game contests

McDonald's All-American Game:

The games will be Wednesday, but two female players made big impressions tonight. Morgan Tuck of Bolingbrook High School won the three-point shooting contest. Breanna Stewart made it to the final four contestants in the slam dunk contest.

Winners list.

Defensive POY finalists:

The finalists for WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year are: Brittney Griner of Baylor, Glory Johnson of Tennessee, Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford, Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame and Elizabeth Williams of Duke.

More coaching changes:

Adrian Wiggins is Mississippi's new coach. He has coached the last 10 years at Fresno State.

Amy Stephens has resigned as Drake University's coach.

Emotional evening leads to intriguing Denver showdown

Baylor defeated Tennessee 77-58 to win the Des Moines regional. A physical game turned chippy at the end, when Baylor's Odyssey Sims and Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen had words. Brittney Griner and two other Bears left the bench, which got them ejected from the game, with 46 seconds to go. Watch that video all the way to the end, for Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey's comments.

The New York Times has a great piece that puts the evening in perspective: Summitt sticks to business as others celebrate her career.

Kara Lawson, Trey Wingo and Carolyn Peck discuss the game's controversial finish.

The extremes of the match up.

NCAA rules on ejections and suspensions.

On the other side of the country, Stanford beat Duke 81-69 to take the Fresno regional. Nnemkadi Ogwumike lead the Cardinal to their fifth consecutive Final Four with 29 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

This sets up an intriguing match up between Griner and Ogwumike - arguably the two best players in the country - and their amazing supporting casts.

Griner's height and arm span means she is a blocking machine. Ogwumike is quick and can score from anywhere. Griner has guard Odyssey Sims, who can shoot. Ogwumike has her younger sister Chiney, who is also a threat around the key, and both offensively and defensively. Griner and the Ogwumikes all rebound like mad.

It should be a hell of a game.

Up next tomorrow, it's Connecticut vs. Kentucky and Notre Dame vs. Maryland.

A bit of psychology

Sports psychologist Nicole Lavoi gives us some perspective on Notre Dame point guard Skylar Diggins' headband. Diggins will leave the headband on if she feels she's playing well, and take it off if she's disappointed in her own play. Lavoi says Diggins might want to be more consistent with these practices......interesting.

On another psychological/language/semantics note, UConn Coach Geno Auriemma reflects my perspective: "I don't coach women - I coach basketball players." Bravo.

On the high school tip, the April viewing period is just around the corner! I will be taking a brief rest after the Final Four before hitting the circuit. Here's the top 60 in the class of 2013 - some of whom I will see play next month.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

All one and two seeds in Elite 8

Results of today's games mean that it's all first and second seeds in the Elite 8.

Maryland had to rally twice to defeat defending champs Texas A&M, 81-74.

Notre Dame beat down St. Bonaventure, 79-35.

UConn took out Penn State, 77-59.

Kentucky ousted Gonzaga, 79-62.

It was sad to see Sydney Carter of TAMU and St. Bonaventure players so upset at the end of their respective games. I hope they're able to put their tremendous achievements into perspective soon.

We're almost there:

Monday's schedule features Tennessee vs. Baylor and Stanford vs. Duke.

Tuesday's schedule will see Kentucky vs. Connecticut and Maryland vs. Notre Dame.

Thinking of Denver.......

WNIT semifinals decided

Yesterday Syracuse beat defending champs Toledo 74-73 in overtime.

Today there were three other quarterfinals:

San Diego defeated Washington.

Oklahoma State overcame Colorado.

JMU bested Virginia.

So Wednesday, it'll be Syracuse vs. JMU and Oklahoma State vs. San Diego.


Today's quarterfinal recaps.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First half of the Elite 8 set

Tennessee overcame a slow start to take Kansas, 84-73.

Baylor soundly defeated Georgia Tech, 83-68. Brittney Griner threw down a two-handed, net-grabbing dunk at the end to excite the crowd.

Duke smashed St. John's, 74-47.

Game four featured a match up between head coaches Tara VanDerveer and Dawn Staley, who have a long history together. The Gamecocks played tough, kept it close, and never gave up. Stanford didn't get going until the second half, but thanks to Nnemkadi Ogwumike's 39 points, the Cardinal prevailed, 76-60.


Two players leaving Oklahoma.....Jacqueline Jeffcoat and Katherine Zander will transfer.

Championship night

Salina, Kan. - Trinity Valley Community College claimed the NJCAA Division I National Championship tonight on a court that was named after former Cardinal Coach Kurt Budke just before tipoff.

It is the sixth title for TVCC, and the first for head Coach Kenya Larkin-Landers - herself an alumni of the program. The Cardinals finished the season with a perfect 36-0 record. They played in last year's title game, but fell to Northern Idaho.

Budke, who moved to Oklahoma State, was killed in a plane crash last November.


Mater Dei claimed the state Division I title tonight, defeating Berkeley 57-40. UCLA-bound Nirra Fields put up 24 points and dished out six assists, while Jordan Adams, who is headed to USC, posted 13 points and 11 rebounds. It's the third consecutive state crown for the Monarchs.

"Kurt Budke Court" will be dedicated tonight

The court at the Bicentennial Center in Salina, Kan. will be named for former Oklahoma State Coach Kurt Budke, and will be dedicated in a few hours, prior to the NJCAA National Championship game. Budke, who died in a plane crash last November, formerly coached at Trinity Valley Community College - one of the teams playing for a title tonight. He is also a Salina native. Budke's entire family will attend the ceremony.

The dedication will be broadcast live on the Internet.

How it came to be.

Comments show that there is still much education on Alzheimer's Disease to be done

Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt announced on Aug. 23, 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's-type. Since then, she's been the subject of tributes and the recipient of numerous awards. None of it has been surprising, as we sometimes don't appreciate people until there's a tragedy. All of it has been well-deserved.

Today at halftime of the Tennessee-Kansas game, ESPN ran this segment on Summitt called, "A Legendary Career," narrated by former Lady Vol Kara Lawson. It is one of the best tributes yet.

But while recognition is welcome, hypothesizing about the end of the legendary coach's career is not. Yet, unfortunately, numerous game commentators and writers can't seem to stop doing just that. "This may be Coach Summitt's last year," has been a popular refrain, as well as speculation on her health, and who will be her successor. I have heard comments from both fans and coaches alike complaining that Summitt is being treated like she's already retired, or worse. They find it offensive.

For myself, the comments I've heard underscore the need for more public education on Alzheimer's Disease. It isn't like cancer, where you're down for the count right away. Alzheimer's Disease is gradual and develops differently in each person. There is no telling how it will progress in Summitt, or anyone else who has it.

Summitt has said repeatedly that she will step down when it's time. She has always been fiercely honest, so I don't doubt her for a moment. I also trust that associate coach Holly Warlick, who she's known for 36 years, and assistant coach Mickie DeMoss, who she's known for 27, would tell her if they thought she needed to retire. Commentators and writers need to butt out and stop the mindless speculation.

Let Pat Summitt handle her business, and enjoy every second of her.

Kim Mulkey: when one team clears their bench, the other team should too

As you likely just saw, Baylor beat Georgia Tech 83-68 for the rights to advance to the Elite 8. With about five minutes to go, the Bears lead the Yellowjackets 75-46, and Brittney Griner and several other starters were still in the game. I posed the question "why?" on twitter, and seconds later, Griner threw down a two-handed dunk to make the lead 31 points. Coach Kim Mulkey promptly pulled her and others, and put reserves in (some said the reserves were already at the scorer's table when Griner dunked).

In the post-game interview, Mulkey said she wasn't pleased with the performance of the reserves, who let a 30-point lead dwindle to 15. She also seemed to fault Georgia Tech Coach MaChelle Joseph for keeping her starters in the game until the end.

"I don't believe in that," Mulkey said. "If you clear your bench, they clear their bench."

What do hoop fans this of this philosophy? If you're down by 31 and the winning team finally pulls their starters, do you pull yours?

When should a winning or losing team pull starters and put in reserves?

Civil discussions only.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweet 16 and SO much more

Tomorrow's schedule:

Tennessee vs. Kansas, 9:04 a.m. PT/12:04 p.m. ET

Georgia Tech vs. Baylor, 11 a.m./2 p.m.

St. John's vs. Duke, 6:04 p.m./9:04 p.m.

South Carolina vs. Stanford, 7:32 p.m./11:32 p.m.

Sunday's schedule:

Texas A&M vs. Maryland, 9:04 a.m./12:04 p.m.

St. Bonaventure vs. Notre Dame, 11:32 a.m./2:32 p.m.

Penn State vs. Connecticut, 1:34 p.m./4:34 p.m.

Gonzaga vs. Kentucky, 3:30 p.m./6:30 p.m.

Upset predictions??


Finalists for the WBCA Division I Coach of the Year:

List released today......

Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
Brenda Frese, Maryland
Tom Collen, Arkansas
Curt Miller, Bowling Green
Kim Mulkey, Baylor
Coquese Washington, Penn State
Reagan Pebley, Utah State
Tara VanDerveer, Stanford

Coach hirings:

Laura Beeman will be Hawaii's next head coach. She's been assistant at USC the last two years, and before that was at Mount San Antonio College.

Western Kentucky has hired Michelle Clark-Heard as their new coach.

NCAA news:

Shaw won the Division II title tonight, outlasting Ashland 88-82 in overtime.

Interesting interview with UConn Coach Geno Auriemma.

Great news:

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame will remain in Knoxville for at least three more years, and likely much longer.


#1 seed and last year's championship runners-up Trinity Valley, lead by ShaKayla Caples, reached the championship semifinals last night. Tonight they defeated Hutchinson to again reach the final game, tomorrow at 7 p.m. They will face Hutchinson, who beat Central Arizona in the other semifinal.


Quarterfinals are set for this weekend, as Syracuse will face Toledo tomorrow, and on Sunday, it'll be Colorado vs. Oklahoma State, Virginia vs. JMU, and Washington vs. San Diego.


Tamika Catchings is blogging, and she's ready to go.

State Farm Wade Trophy finalists

The WBCA named the finalists today for the State Farm Wade Trophy:

Elena Delle Donne, University of Delaware
Skylar Diggins, University of Notre Dame
Brittney Griner, Baylor University
Shenise Johnson, University of Miami
Anna Martin, DePaul University
A'dia Mathies University of Kentucky
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford University
Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford University
Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State University
Odyssey Sims, Baylor University
Alyssa Thomas, University of Maryland
Julie Wojta, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Who will win?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two nights before the third round

NCAA items:

Dishin & Swishin podcast: a roundtable looks at the Sweet 16.

Left-handed guards prevail in this year's NCAA Tournament.

There's not much madness to this Sweet 16 for the Lady Vols.

Oklahoma State coaches have taken on extra duties in the wake of last fall's tragedy.

Sophomore guard Kelsey Harris and freshman center Kileah Mays will transfer from Iowa State.

Remember Stanford's "Nerd City Kids" video a few weeks back? Now the UConn Huskies have a video.

Coaching changes:

The list of openings.

A little pro:

WNBA draft prospects: stock up or stock down.

Miami senior guard Shenise Johnson is ready for the pros.

Book review: Chamique Holdsclaw's "Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot After Shot"

I had a chance to read Chamique Holdsclaw's new autobiography, "Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot After Shot."

My review.

This book is a must for every pure women's basketball fan. Holdsclaw's interesting stories, which encompass a lot of the history around the sport, are just one of the many reasons it is a great read. Be sure and pick it up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quiet night

New faces in the Sweet 16 are St. Bonaventure, Georgia Tech and St. John's. Both Gonzaga and Kansas were seeded eleventh, but also made it.

More coaching changes:

Molly Goodenbour's contract at Cal State Irvine wasn't renewed, and they're looking for a new leader.

Kelly Packard has resigned at Ball State.

National Junior College Athletic Association DI National Championship in full swing

Salina, Kan. - Seedings, daily schedule and game results here.

First two days results, with the final game still in progress:

Tuesday, March 20
Game 1: Central Arizona def. Southwest Illinois CC, 75-53
Game 2: New Mexico JC def. Northeastern Oklahoma, 52-42
Game 3: Walters State def. Otero, 61-51
Game 4: Hutchinson CC vs. Meridain CC, 75-42
Game 5: Trinity Valley CC def. Malcolm X, 88-51
Game 6: Shelton def. Snow, 85-62

Wednesday, March 21
Game 7: Georgia Perimater def. Jefferson, 57-50
Game 8: Pensacola def. Monroe CC, 72-60
Game 9: Southwestern Illinois def. Northeastern Oklahoma, 62-49
Game 10: Central Arizona def. New Mexico JC, 61-56
Game 11: Walters State vs. Hutchinson, 8 pm

Some brief write ups here.

Follow both the DI and DII tournaments.

Good luck to all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Second round, second day - the games and the flames

Once again, I'm not sure how I'm going to settle down this evening after these games.

#8 Cal scared #1 Notre Dame to death in the first half. Then the Irish turned it on in the second for the 73-62 win. True to form, the Bears never gave up.

During #1 Baylor's 76-57 route of #9 Florida, Brittney Griner dunked. It was only her first this season.

Newbie in the Sweet 16: #5 St. Bonaventure 66, #13 Marist 63.

At last: #4 Georgia Tech is in, after defeating #5 Georgetown, 76-64.

Tightest game of the night was #3 St. John's 74-70 victory over #6 Oklahoma.

#4 Penn State and #5 LSU battled closely for most of the game, but it was the Nitany Lions who turned on the gas down the stretch to gain the 90-80 win.

The Elena Delle Donne show is over, thanks to #11 Kansas' upset of #3 Delaware, 70-64.

#2 Duke smashed #7 Vanderbilt, 96-80.

Final Four predictions:

ESPN thinks it can predict who will be at the Four by counting the number of former McDonald's All-Americans on the roster. You will have to ignore the obnoxious headline and lead sentence to enjoy this story.

Talent-rich teams.

Coaching change:

Grambling's Donnita Rogers has been reassigned duties at the University.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's get ready to rumble.....second round

Just finished off the night with that insane Kentucky-Green Bay game. And I'm supposed to be getting ready for bed.

#2 Kentucky 65, #7 Green Bay 62. The Wildcats had 34 turnovers (!!)

Tonight's Tournament upsets:

#11 Gonzaga 65, #3 Miami 54.

#5 South Carolina 72, #4 Purdue 61.

Narrowly avoiding upsets:

#2 Maryland 72, #7 Louisville 68.

#3 Texas A&M 61, #6 Arkansas 59.


#1 Stanford 72, #8 West Virginia 55.

#2 Tennessee 63, #7 DePaul 48.

Not even close:

#1 Connecticut 72, #8 Kansas State 26. The Wildcats' point total is the lowest in Tournament history.

Tomorrow's games.

More coaching items:

The entire transcript from Gail Goestenkors' press conference today, announcing she's resigning her position at Texas. She says she'll stay in Austin and be a fan of the Longhorn team.

UMKC Coach Candace Whitaker will leave her position there to be an assistant at Oklahoma State.

Gail Goestenkors resigning?

Various news sources are reporting that Texas Coach Gail Goestenkors will resign, following the fourth consecutive year the Longhorns have lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sports Illustrated says.

Just, wow.

And...will top recruit/Texas commit Imani Stafford reopen her recruitment?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First day of the first round

One upset on opening day, as #11 Gonzaga toppled #6 Rutgers, 86-73.

#2 Kentucky avoided an upset by #15 McNeese State.

Never-say-die #7 DePaul held off #10 BYU to advance.

Another squeaker was #8 Kansas State's defeat of #9 Princeton.

Other scores:

#5 South Carolina 80, #12 Eastern Michigan 48.
#8 West Virginia 68, #9 Texas 55.
#2 Maryland 59, #15 Navy 44.
#4 Purdue 83, #13 South Dakota State 68.
#7 Louisville 67, #10 Michigan State 55.
#1 Stanford 73, #16 Hampton 51.
#1 Connecticut 83, #16 Prairie View A&M 47.
#6 Arkansas 72, #11 Dayton 55.
#2 Tennessee 72, #15 Tennessee-Martin 49.
#3 Texas A&M 69, #14 Albany 47.
#3 Miami 70, #14 Idaho State 41.
#7 Green Bay 71, #10 Iowa State 57.


Tomorrow's schedule.

The WNIT bracket is narrowing, as five teams have already made the Sweet 16: Oregon State, Missouri State, Temple, Appalachian State, and South Florida. Action continues tomorrow.

"Bullies" and different standards

Late in the Tennessee-Tennessee Martin game that just ended a short time ago, ESPN commentator Brooke Weisbrod made a remark that has stirred some controversy. Vol forward Glory Johnson spun around under the basket to make a shot, and before she did so, she elbowed her defender to gain some position. Weisbrod called Johnson "a bully" for the move. And as ESPN rewound the tape to show the moment again, Weisbrod added, "that's just not necessary."

It didn't look like much to me - a slight jab to get room. (I've seen so much worse in my decades of watching hoops.) But neither did Johnson's throwing-of-the-ball during the Feb. 13 game against Kentucky that earned her a controversial technical foul.

Johnson is a very aggressive player who is not afraid to get in there and bang. I had to wonder today, would Weisbrod have said anything if Johnson were a male? Because I see men's basketball players making similar moves all the time.

Is Johnson a "bully," or simply a take-no-prisoners player?

Are female basketball players who play aggressively, judged?

Friday, March 16, 2012

The night before round one

WOW a few times:

Riquna Williams didn't make the trip with Miami to Spokane for their first-round game against Idaho State tomorrow, due to conduct detrimental to the team.

Duke's Elizabeth Williams has a lower-leg stress fracture, but will play Sunday anyway.

UConn senior Tiffany Hayes plans to play tomorrow as well, despite an ongoing foot injury.

Other headlines:

The Naismith Coach of the Year finalists are: Jim Crowley, Muffet McGraw, Kim Mulkey and Tara VanDerveer.

Notre Dame still finding time for some fun before the weekend.

Today's NCAA stars were once on the cover of ESPN Rise Magazine. Photos.

As a side note, I covered the 2009 WBCA High School All-American game, and interviewed both Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins in the locker room afterwards. Quite honestly, I had a feeling both of them would rise to the top of their respective games.

Other NCAA Divisions, plus Jucos:

WBCA Division III Coaches' All-American Team.

Finalists for DIII Coach of the Year.

WBCA NAIA Coaches' All-American Team.

WBCA Junior/Community Colleges Coaches' All-American Team.


Undefeated Trinity Valley and Hutchinson College highlight action at the NJCAA DI women's basketball championship in Salina, Kan. next week. Bracket.


Updated bracket.

First-round survivors so far are Oregon State, Saint Mary's, Washington, Utah, Texas Tech, Tulane, Illinois State, Villanova, South Dakota, Colorado, Missouri State, Memphis, Temple, Harvard, Drexel, VCU, St. Joseph's, NC State, Appalachian State, Richmond, Virginia, JMU, Wake Forest Florida International and South Florida. The remaining opening round games will wrap up this evening, with second-round play beginning tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More, more, more

NCAA action:

Queenie's dope Tournament capsule previews.

Super San Diego State point guard Chelsea Hopkins says the Aztecs are ready to take on LSU in first-round tournament action Sunday.

Three LSU coaches, plus the vice chancellor and director of athletics, donated money to ensure that students got in free to the game.

Pat Summitt hasn't made a decision about her coaching future.

Hampton University was upset with their Tournament seeding.

So was Ohio State.


The Los Angeles Sparks and Time Warner Cable have formed a multi-year broadcast partnership that will mean more Sparks games on TV.

Chamique Holdsclaw's book dropped today.

Firings and retentions reflect on schools

It's always interesting to see which colleges and universities choose to make a coaching change this time of year, and which opt to do nothing at all. Their choices, either way, reflect on the school and how they value women's basketball.

Firings or non-retentions are often not a surprise; fans could see it coming as losses mounted season after season - and as energy seemed to be sucked out of a program. But schools have different toleration rates.

Gina Castelli and Siena mutually agreed last week that she would leave the program after 22 years. Illinois coach Bruce Weber was let go after nine years. Diana Takahara-Dias was dismissed from Hawaii after only three.

Without doubt, there are subtexts, agreements and side stories in many of these cases that we'll never know. What I find even more interesting than the schools who fire a coach are those who opt to ignore poor coaches.

Until today, I thought Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles would keep coach Julie Wilhoit forever. But they decided not to retain her, after 17 seasons.

Wilhoit's last great season was 2003-2004, when she was West Coast Conference coach of the year, and her team went a season-best 24-6. Since then, the Lions have sputtered and stalled, and have racked up losing or .500 records. This past season, despite being stacked with talent, athletes seemed out of sync on the court.

LMU is doing what any college that cares about women's hoops would do, and they're making a coaching change. I wish I could say the same for a few other schools.

There are two Western universities, in particular, who I believe need to get rid of their coaches and start fresh. I'm waiting to see if they'll do that this spring.

What should be the criteria for removing a coach? Continuous losses. A good limit is five years; if a team has a losing record for five years - encompassing the entire careers of some athletes - and finish near the bottom of the conference each time, the coach should be removed, simple as that. How well a team does in their conference tournament should not suffice to negate the losing record and low conference standing of the previous years.

While my heart goes out to anyone who loses a job in this economy, the welfare of athletes needs to be put first. Athletes will have to live with memories of ineffective coaching and a wealth of losses for the rest of their lives. Competent coaches need to be put in place to grow a program. Coaches that can't do that don't necessarily need to be blamed, but they do need to be replaced.

Award and award finalist time

Cicero-North Syracuse-UConn commit Breanna Stewart is the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The lucky Stewart collected her trophy from Tamika Catchings. Story and cute photo.

The Naismith trophy will go to one of four finalists: Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griners, Skylar Diggins or Nnemkadi Ogwumike. I'm glad I don't have to make that choice.

The WBCA has named their All-Region nominees for the 2012 Division I Coaches' All-America Team.

Junior/community college awards have also been named by the WBCA.

They also announce finalists for the inaugural Russell Athletic "Together We R" Team Award.

Coaching change:

Boston College Coach Sylvia Crawley has resigned, citing health reasons.

Mel Greenberg says all the coaching changes thus far have added to the madness of March.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thinking about the Tournament

Who will be at the Final Four?

President Obama's picks: Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and St. John's.


Can any team stop Brittney Griner? Fun video.

First-round ESPN coverage map for the weekend.

More coaching changes:

Providence College Coach Phil Seymore has left to pursue other options.

Kent State isn't renewing the contract of coach Bob Lindsay.


The first scores are coming in tonight -

Washington 90, Cal Poly 71

Colorado 54, North Colorado 42

Keep an eye on the bracket.


The Chicago Sky plans to Swin "Cash" it in.

Indiana has signed Erlana Larkins and Jenna Smith to training contracts.

California high school section championships set

Last night's semifinals set up Saturday's finals:


Regional semifinals, Tuesday


Mater Dei 68, Summit 59

Long Beach Poly 64, Brea Olinda 50


Foothill 52, Lynwood 50 (OT)

Riverside North 71, Palisades 61


San Diego Mission Bay 66, Arroyo Grande 44

Laguna Hills 58, Alemany 49


La Jolla Country Day 81, St. Bernard 59

Serra 80, Windward 58


Mission Prep 64, Providence 28

Rolling Hills Prep 46, Villanova Prep 41


Regional semifinals, Tuesday, 7 p.m.


Berkeley 49, El Dorado Hills Oak Ridge 38

Sacramento Kennedy 44, Palo Alto Gunn 40


Stockton St. Mary's 68, San Francisco St. Ignatius 45

San Jose Mitty 54, Concord Carondelet 51


Oakland Bishop O'Dowd 76, Modesto Christian 46

Orinda Miramonte 71, Sacramento 64


Richmond Salesian 53, McKinleyville 35

Albany St. Mary's 62, San Andreas Calaveras 38


Stockton Brookside Christian 60, Los Altos Hills Pinewood 37

East Palo Alto Eastside Prep 47, Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame 41

And last night's missing Windward star center Imani Stafford and fellow starter Kristen Simon? It's being called "a personal and private matter" by the team's coach.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

As preparations go on.........

Hear the DVD players? Hear the squeak of shoes on the court?

Lots of film watching and practicing going on now. Which gives us time to focus on some other issues for a nanosecond......

Should NCAA athletes be compensated? ESPN's Jay Bilas thinks they should.

Swish Appeal's Rebecca Rider says the system needs to be fixed, and it needs to work for all players - not just the stars.

Great debate.

One thing the NCAA will fund is a major study on concussions. Nice to hear about that.


The LA Sparks have hired Jim Lewis to complete the coaching staff, which still includes Sandy Brondello, who was assistant coach last year. Lewis has been coach at George Mason University, for the Washington Mystics, the Minnesota Lynx and the Indiana Fever.

California high school basketball championships:

Mater Dei advanced to the Division I regional final tonight, defeating Fontana Summit.

The Division IV semifinal featured Windward and Gardena Serra in a much-hyped season rematch. One of my correspondents, who was at the game, reported that Serra blew Windward out, 80-58. Windward was without star center Imani Stafford and sophomore forward Kristen Simon.

Wonder what happened to them????

OK, nanosecond is over and we're back to the NCAA:

The thing that brought Elena Delle Donne back to basketball was family.

Delle Donne is one of five players who will blog for the tournament. The others include Samantha Prahalis, Chiney Ogwumike, Chelsea Gray and Skylar Diggins.

The new Mississippi State coach is Vin Schaefer.

Breanna Stewart is the McDonald's All-American Morgan Wootten Player of the Year

From McDsAAG headquarters:

Breanna Stewart, the 2012 Naismith and WBCA Player of the Year from Cicero-North Syracuse High School in North Syracuse, N.Y., is the 11th annual female winner, joining Elizabeth Williams (2011), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), Candace Parker (2004) and Ivory Latta (2003), among others. Stewart won the honor over finalists Malina Howard (Twinsburg High School – Twinsburg, Ohio), Moriah Jefferson (Home Schooled – Glenn Heights, Texas), Alexis Jones (MacArthur High School – Irving, Texas), Jewell Loyd (Niles West High School – Lincolnwood, Ill.) and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook High School – Bolingbrook, Ill.).

The Morgan Wootten Award is given to the best male and female McDonald’s All American players who exemplify outstanding character, exhibit leadership and embody the values of being a student-athlete in the classroom and the community. McDonald’s established the award in Wootten’s honor to pay tribute to his unprecedented achievements as a teacher and coach. The official award presentation will take place at the McDonald's All American Games awards banquet on March 27 in Chicago, Ill.......

“Being named a McDonald’s All American is a great honor, but to be chosen as Player of the Year makes it even more special,” said Stewart. “This is an award I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and I’m so grateful to my coaches, trainers and family members who have been right behind me every step of the way.”

Monday, March 12, 2012

WNIT bracket is out


First-round action starts Thursday, with the championship March 31.

Five Pac-12 teams are going, including Oregon State, Colorado, Washington, Arizona State and Utah.

The CSUN Matadors are in, as is the Tulane Green Wave. So is Central Arkansas, Harvard, Syracuse, Temple, UNC-Wilmington, Virginia, Cal Poly, UNLV, Howard, North Carolina State and Saint Mary's, among many other hard-working teams.

Congratulations to all, and good luck.

Contemplating the Division I bracket


I'm not one to bemoan the exclusion of various teams, nor wonder why so-and-so wasn't selected. I like to look at intriguing match ups.

Kingston Regional

#5 LSU vs. #12 San Diego State

It should be a fast-paced game, featuring two teams who like to run the ball. LaSondra Barrett is recovered from the March 4 SEC championship game, where she suffered a concussion. SDSU's Courtney Clements averaged 17.4 points per game this season.

#6 Rutgers vs. #11 Gonzaga

Though there is a difference in seeds, this game could go either way. Rutgers has stumbled a bit lately, while Gonzaga has improved.

Fresno Regional

#8 West Virginia vs. #9 Texas

Really? A #9 seed for the Longhorns? That was generous. The upsetters of WVU should take care of them.

Des Moines Regional

#7 DePaul vs. #10 BYU

Should be a fun game to watch. Both teams are resilient as heck and dig in for the fight.

#1 Baylor vs. #16 Santa Barbara

Poor Gauchos.

#8 Ohio State vs. #9 Florida

OOO. I won't even make a prediction.

#6 Nebraska vs. #11 Kansas

This is one of those games where you wonder how two teams get to play one another.

Raleigh Regional

#5 St. Bonaventure vs. #12 Florida Gulf Coast

This game may be closer than the seeding would indicate, as FGCU is no joke.

#7 Louisville vs. #10 Michigan State

This could easily be an upset.

#8 Cal vs. #9 Iowa

This game should be a dogfight to the end.

Pac-12 Tournament moves to Seattle, and away from men's tournament

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced today that the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament will be in Seattle, for at least the next three years, to create a great experience for the athletes. And for the first time, the women's and men's tournaments will be in separate locations.

Check out my story, with exclusive coach interviews.

More coaches, dropping like flies

Indiana has let go Felisha Legette-Jack.

Joli Robinson is out at North Carolina Central, after 16 seasons.

Michael Murphy has been relieved at Troy University.

I also heard a rumor about a possible huge move to the SEC.

Coaching changes impact recruits.

(Long) list of effected recruits.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goin to the Dance

Check out my Pac-12 Championship story and accompanying (incredibly dope) slideshow.

Full Pac-12 Tournament PHOTO GALLERY, 76 images strong.

Today's championships decided the last five auto bids going into Selection Monday:

Liberty is in after claiming the Big South title, beating High Point.

Punch the ticket for Sacred Heart, who defeated Monmouth for the NEC crown.

Creighton took the Missouri Valley final, over Drake.

Wisconsin-Green Bay are Horizon League champions after putting away Detroit.

Delaware are Colonial Athletic Association champs after a win over Drexel.

"Bracketology" update.

Printable bracket!

The selection show is 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT. We're ready!!

Just a lil bit


Two Washington State Cougar players have been invited to a pro scouting camp.

Oregon State is still hoping for an NCAA bid tomorrow.

Cal players have high performance expectations.

Other NCAA:

The injury-hobbled Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners pulled out their last game yesterday, beating Seattle University 89-87.

High school:

Second-wave class of 2012 signees.

A West Virginia billionaire coaches girls basketball. (I wonder if his girls ask him for McDonald's the way they asked me....they probably ask him for the Ritz-Carlton instead).

There are five more automatic bids, and two games currently in progress, but I'm going to take a timeout for a bit....gotta last the next three weeks.

Springfield Millers repeat at Oregon champs, in the lowest-scoring game in state history

16-7 in a championship game?

Turns out 5A contenders Willamette were just trying to stall, because it was the only way they could deal with star center Mercedes Russell.

Still didn't work, though.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Championship Saturday

San Diego State beat New Mexico for the Mountain West Conference title.

What a chair-gripper for the Mid-American Conference crown: a last-second layup by senior Paige Redditt gave Eastern Michigan the 72-71 win over Central Michigan.

In another close one, it was Hampton over Howard for the MEAC, 54-53.

Baylor whomped Texas A&M for the Big 12 title.

Santa Barbara downed Long Beach State for the Big West crown.

Albany defeated UMBC to take the American East 'ship.

Fresno State thrashed Louisiana Tech, and set a tournament record for three-pointers in the process, to take the Western Athletic Conference.

Prairie View downed Alcorn State for their second SWAC honor.

Navy upended Holy Cross for Patriot League honors.

UTEP squeaked one out over Tulane for C-USA.

Idaho State put away Northern Colorado for the Big Sky Conference title.

And Stanford beat Cal for the Pac-12 crown. My story will be up on tomorrow, with pictures.

Still to come tomorrow: Delaware vs. Drexel for CAA bragging rights, and Wisconsin-Green Bay and Detroit in the Horizon League.

It's tournament championship day

I was at the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals yesterday, where both Stanford and Cal struggled to achieve wins. They match up in the championship game today at 11:30 a.m. PST.

In other championships today:

San Diego State and New Mexico will fight for the Mountain West Conference title.

Tulane and Memphis will battle for C-USA.

It's UNC-Wilmington and Delaware for the Colonial crown.

Wisconsin-Green Bay and Detroit face off in the Horizon League.

It's Baylor vs. Texas A&M (again) in the Big 12.

Match up list and TV schedule.

Yesterday, McNeese State repeated as Southland Conference champs.

Yesterday's Western Athletic Conference semis were marred by a brawl between Utah State and Louisiana Tech.

Western Kentucky could lose some recruits after the firing of Mary Taylor Cowles.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pac-12 might move tournament location to Seattle

Not too shocking that a day after Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer dissed Los Angeles as a location for the Pac-12 Tournament, that the conference announced they're considering moving it - possibly to hoops-loving Seattle.

Pac-12 day two results, and who's the best

Lots of action at yesterday's Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.

Notes and impressions:

- Colorado is a tough, passionate team. Their coach, Linda Lappe, credited them afterwards with never giving up - particularly Brittany Wilson and Chucky Jeffery. I agree. They have much fight, and are not shy about attacking the basket; nor were they afraid to D-up all of Cal's bigs. There was a moment in the second half when Wilson took a charge and got the foul, and still sitting on the ground, she yelled. I like that.

- You know when a player passionately insists on getting the ball that she's about to do something big. Such was the case in the second half with Cal freshman forward Reshanda Gray. The team's second-leading scorer was fronting her defender to the right of the basket about four minutes in, and her teammate Brittany Boyd was debating where to throw the ball.

"ME!" Gray said emphatically, holding up her hands while digging her rear further into the defender. "Give it to ME!"

So of course Boyd did, and Gray missed the first shot. She somehow got the ball, leaning out of bounds, facing the basket post and the crowd. And despite three people on her back, she took a step backward and muscled up through them to throw up a crazy shot that went in
The crowd screamed. My eyes bugged out.

Gray is ridiculous. I love that.

- USC never seemed in it. WSU came out of the locker room yelling, and seemed like they were in it from the moment they woke up that morning. Seeing Trojan senior forward Briana Gilbreath cry at the press conference was not fun.

- Lisa Leslie and Ann Meyers were there last night and will be back today. Nice to see two greats in the building.

- Nice crowd of almost 3,000 on hand for the evening games.

Currently Stanford and Arizona State are playing in semifinal one. I will be leaving shortly for Staples Center to cover the second semi, Cal vs. WSU. Full report coming soon, plus photos.

Other NCAA news:

A short time ago in the Big 12 Tournament, Baylor's Brittney Griner broke her own career record: 45 points, to go with 10 rebounds and seven blocks, in a route of Kansas State.

ESPN writers make their picks for player of the year, coach of the year, freshman of the year and All-Americans.

ESPNW has turned Skylar Diggins into sports science. They also go behind the scenes with the dynamic point guard.


Taj McWilliams-Franklin blogs from overseas.

Erin Phillips talks about recovery from injury.

Delisha Milton-Jones reflects on International Women's Day.

The Sparks just signed guard Ashley Shields to a training camp contract.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pac-12, Big 12 tournaments

Long day at the Pac-12 Tournament.......

#1 Stanford beat #8 Washington, 76-57.
#4 ASU defeated #12 Arizona, 68-53
#2 Cal beat #10 Colorado, 68-59
#11 WSU defeated #3 USC, 69-55

More on and here tomorrow.

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer says there's got to be a better place for the tournament than Los Angeles:

There probably will be many empty seats for the Galen Center games, and VanDerveer wishes the tournament were held at "a place where they appreciate women's basketball."

That's not L.A., she said, even though she enjoys the opportunity to see the Pac-12 men's tournament, also taking place at Staples.

"I think we're all stepchildren in L.A. to the Lakers," she said. "It's more of a pro-basketball place than a college place."

On the heels of last year's "I got bounce," the Stanford team's latest video is "Nerd City Kids."

So dope.

Big 12 Tournament results today:

#5 Kansas St. 67, #4 Iowa St. 63
#1 Baylor 72, Texas Tech 48
#2 Oklahoma 70, Missouri 59
#3 Texas A&M 78, #6 Kansas 63

More coaching changes:

Western Kentucky has let go Mary Taylor Cowles.

Siena Coach Gina Castelli and the University have decided to part ways after 22 years.

WNBA news:

The Atlanta Dream re-signed Erika de Souza and Armintie Price to multi-year deals.

High School:

Gatorade players of the year, state by state.

Pac-12 Tournament first day: upsets galore

All but one game on opening day yesterday resulted in an upset.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NJCAA poll: if only more things in life were this consistent

Hill College drops in, but not too many other changes in this week's poll:

1 Trinity Valley Community College
2 Hutchinson Community College
3 Central Arizona College
4 Casper College
5 Gulf Coast State College
6 Shelton State Community College
7 Pensacola State College
8 Northern Oklahoma College-Enid
9 North Idaho College
10 Walters State Community College
11 Northwest Florida State College
12 Jefferson College
13 Weatherford College
14 Otero Junior College
15 Palm Beach State College
16 Monroe Community College
17 Tyler Junior College
18 Hill College
19 Arizona Western College
20 Independence Community College

More coaching changes

Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Errol Rogers has resigned.

Hawaii Coach Diana Takahara-Dias' contract won't be renewed.

Jennifer Graf has resigned as coach at Northwestern State.

NCAA news:

Southland Conference awards:

First Team

Megan Herbert, Central Arkansas
Britni Martin, Sam Houston State
Ashlyn Baggett, McNeese State
Kalis Lloyd, Lamar
Diamond Ford, Texas State

Player of the Year - Megan Herbert, Central Arkansas
Newcomer of the Year - Ashlee Mells, Stephen F. Austin
Freshman of the Year - Porsha Roberts, Stephen. F. Austin
Defensive Player of the Year - Megan Herbert, Central Arkansas
Coach of the Year - Matt Daniel, Central Arkansas

Texas was humiliated in their Big 12 Tournament loss to Texas Tech....score was 81-58.


Swin Cash will be a U.S. Basketball Envoy to England for the State Department later this month.

High school:

One New Jersey school has an international lineup.

Oregon's Amanda Johnson "very, very smart"

I love this story: Oregon senior Amanda Johnson has maintained a near-perfect GPA while leading the Ducks in points all season long. Best part:

"She's got something about her that's very unique and different," Westhead says. "She's driven. She's talented. But there's even more." For example, for the 2011-12 basketball media guide, each Duck was asked to list something under the heading MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT I ...

Laura Stanulis, a junior guard, confesses she has "a small case of OCD." Senior guard Jasmin Holliday "snores only on Wednesdays." Sophomore guard Ariel Thomas loves "to read." For her part, Johnson is "currently exploring Buddhist philosophy."

Uh ... what?

"I'm fascinated by the way different people approach life," she says. "It tells you a lot about the world."


Other Pac-12 news:

Everyone wants to knock Stanford off its perch. (An understatement!)

Wooden Award finalists

Star studded list:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Tiffany Hayes
Shenise Johnson
A'dia Mathies
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Chiney Ogwumike
Samantha Prahalis
Odyssey Sims
Shekinna Stricklen
Alyssa Thomas
Elizabeth Williams
Riquna Williams
Julie Wotja

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big East title belongs to UConn

Tonight's NCAA action:

UConn overpowered Notre Dame for the Big East crown. Video.

South Dakota State grabbed their fourth consecutive Summit League title by defeating UMKC.

Various college news items:

Hey, looky here....someone else decided to write something on ODU star center Tia Lewis, giving her credit for being a highlight of the team's season. It is well-deserved.

LSU Coach Nikki Caldwell gave birth earlier today, to a daughter. If the Tigers are selected for the NCAA Tournament, Caldwell will coach.

Baylor means business this year.

St. Louis University has let coach Shimmy Gray-Miller go.

Tennessee State has fired coach Tracee Wells.

Kansas just may make the Tournament, despite losing star forward Carolyn Davis to injury a few weeks ago.


Matee Ajavon re-signed with the Mystics.

Pac-12 coaches awards

The Conference's 12 coaches awards look like this:


Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown

Jazmine Davis Washington G Fr. San Jose, Calif.
Layshia Clarendon California G Jr. San Bernardino, Calif.
Ashley Corral*** USC G Sr. Vancouver, Wash.
Rebekah Gardner UCLA G Sr. Upland, Calif.
Briana Gilbreath**** USC G Sr. Katy, Texas
Chucky Jeffery Colorado G Jr. Colorado Spring, Colo.
Amanda Johnson Oregon F Sr. Santa Rosa, Calif.
Toni Kokenis Stanford G So. Oak Brook, Ill.
Earlysia Marchbanks Oregon State G Sr. Salem, Ore.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike*** Stanford F Sr. Cypress, Texas
Chiney Ogwumike** Stanford F So. Cypress, Texas
Regina Rogers Washington C R-Sr. Seattle, Wash.
Markel Walker UCLA G/F Jr. Philadelphia, Pa.
Davellyn Whyte*** Arizona G Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Taryn Wicijowski Utah F R-So. Regina, Saskatchewan


Name School Pos. Hometown

Brittany Boyd California G Berkeley, Calif.
Ariya Crook USC F Los Angeles, Calif.
Jazmine Davis Washington G San Jose, Calif.
Ali Gibson Oregon State G Woodridge, Calif.
Reshanda Gray California F Los Angeles, Calif.

Coach of the Year: Tara VanDerveer

Player of the Year: Nnemkaki Ogwumike

Powerade Fab 50: week 13

This week's rankings are much the same, but Windward drops like a stone, and out of the top 10, after a playoff loss last week:

1. Saint Mary's
2. McEachern
3. Whitney Young
4. Bolingbrook
5. Riverdale
6. Clarksville
7. Riverdale Baptist
8. Hoover
9. Mater Dei
10. La Jolla Country Day

USA Today/ESPN poll: some big changes

This week's poll sees Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Purdue taking huge jumps, while Gonzaga and St. Bonaventure both dip. For once, no one dropped out or in:

1. Baylor
2. Stanford
3. Notre Dame
4. Connecticut
5. Maryland
6. Duke
7. Tennessee
8. Delaware
9. Miami
10. Wisconsin-Green Bay
11. Kentucky
12. Penn State
13. Georgia Tech
14. Texas A&M
15 (tie). Georgetown and Purdue
17. Ohio State
18. Georgia
19. Louisville
20. Rutgers
21. St. John's
22. Nebraska
23. DePaul
24. Gonzaga
25. St. Bonaventure

Monday, March 5, 2012

Big East and SEC tournament pictures

Thanks to a couple of great women, we have some really dope pictures from yesterday's action at both the Big East Tournament in Hartford, Conn. and the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

Queenie's got the Big East gallery.

Kim Hersh has the SEC gallery.

Outstanding work.

Tis the season

Today's tournament results:

BYU dethroned Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference crown.

Dayton University defeated St. Bonaventure to win the A-10 title.

Marist smashed Fairfield for their seventh consecutive MAAC 'ship.

College news:

On campus with Delaware's Elena Delle Donne. ESPN has a retro video of Delle Donne.

George Washington University released coach Mike Bozeman. The assistant coaches got the boot, too.

More conference and media awards:

Pac-12 media awards (conference awards will be announced tomorrow):

Coach of the Year: Scott Rueck, Oregon State

2012 Pac-12 Media All-Pac-12:

Gennifer Brandon, CAL; Layshia Clarendon, CAL; Ashley Corral, USC; Rebekah Gardner, UCLA; Briana Gilbreath, USC; Chucky Jeffery, COLO; Toni Kokenis, STAN; Earlysia Machbanks, OSU; Michelle Plouffe, UTAH; Chiney Ogwumike, STAN; Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN; Regina Rogers, WASH; Markel Walker, UCLA; Davellyn Whyte, ARIZ; Taryn Wicijowski, UTAH.

2012 Pac-12 Media All-Freshman Team (six members because of a tie for the fifth spot):

Brittany Boyd, CAL; Jazmine Davis, WASH; Ali Gibson, OSU; Reshanda Gray, CAL; Lexy Kresl, COLO; Amber Orrange, STAN.

2012 Media All-Defensive Team:

Kali Bennett, ASU; Patricia Bright, OSU; Briana Gilbreath, USC; Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN; Jazmine Perkins, WSU.

Mountain West Conference honors...lotta San Diego State in there:

First-Team All-Mountain West

Name, Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Team

Courtney Clements Jr. G 6-0 San Diego State
Chelsea Hopkins Jr. G 5-8 San Diego State
Kim Mestdagh Sr. G/F 5-10 Colorado State
Caroline Durbin Jr. G 6-0 New Mexico
Natalie Ventress Fr. G 5-11 TCU
Lenita Sanford Sr. F/C 6-3 UNLV

COY: Beth Burns, San Diego State

High school:

Class of 2013 #1 ranked Mercedes Russell is leading her Springfield, Ore. team back into the state playoffs this week.