Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another "upset city" night

Six upsets this evening, and among them, some dashed hopes:

Miami upended #5 Duke, 69-65, and prevented them from having an unbeaten ACC season.

Minnesota upset #7 Penn State, 89-81, preventing them from clinching the Big Ten title.

#24 Florida State squeaked by #9 Maryland, 72-71.

Mississippi State beat #11 Georgia, 50-38. It was their first win over a ranked opponent since 2010.

Missouri took down #14 South Carolina, 65-58.

Michigan State defeated #25 Purdue, 68-61.

Close one:

#20 Nebraska outlasted Wisconsin, 55-53.

SEC clinchers:

#8 Tennessee silenced doubters in beating #13 Texas A&M, 82-72, to clinch the SEC title. But their injury season continues.

Full scoreboard.

Big milestone:

Loyola Marymount topped BYU, 68-55. Lions senior Alex Cowling became the West Coast Conference's all-time scoring leader, notching 2,166 career points.

News cascade

Minnesota Coach Pam Borton got a two-year contract extension, courtesy of the outgoing athletic director.

Layshia Clarendon is California's Golden Bear.

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams and Taber Spani have formed an unlikely friendship.

Alyssa Baron is leading a surging Penn.

LSU is coming on strong.

The career of Penn State's Alex Bentley is not defined by numbers.

Nell Fortner stopped by Texas last week.

The WBCA has named its "so you want to be a coach" class.

ESPN is the last to get off the pot and comment about coaching at USC and Oregon.

The airplane crash that killed Oklahoma State Coach Kurt Budke wasn't caused by mechanical failure, says the NTSB.

Former Bowling Green assistant coach Ali Mann's resignation was due to a consensual relationship with a student in the program.

Wisconsin's leading lady is senior Tiera Stephen.

The transition of Iowa State's Hallie Christofferson to star is complete.

At Temple, it's Victoria Macaulay's time to shine.

Milestone watch:

Bryant's Danielle Douglas has notched 1,000 career points.

Tennessee State's Jasmin Shuler has reached that 1,000-point threshold.

USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee:

Cal Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has been given a four-year term on the USA Junior National Team Committee.

So has UCF Coach Joi Williams.

Full list of committee appointees.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The athletes of the 2013 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team®

More on the athletes named to this team, as well as my interview with voting panel member Tamika Catchings.

More going on

College news:

Thirty players remain in contention for the Naismith Women's College Player of the Year award.

UMaine players are happy and relieved after yesterday's bus crash.

Tenn questions with Lady Vol Andraya Carter.

Total access with Tennessee.

UConn's Brianna Banks will have knee surgery March 14.

By suspending four players, Washington Coach Kevin McGuff is building a program.

Terps guard Sequoia Austin plays drums in the school's pep band.

Gonzaga seniors Taelor Karr and Meaghan Winters are savoring every moment.

Auburn scoop: ballin with Blanche Alverson.

FGCU point guard Brittany Kennedy embodies dedication, and helps her team despite illness.

Oklahoma assistant Jan Ross has won the 2013 WBCA Carol Eckman Award.


The Liberty traded center Kia Vaughn to the Mystics for their #7 and #17 draft picks.

The Fever have signed Shyra Ely and Jessica Breland to training camp contracts.

Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve wants her team back on top this year.

High school:

Diamond DeShields is the Naismith Player of the Year.

Chamique Holdsclaw:

Chamique Holdsclaw was indicated by a Georgia grand jury today on six counts for an alleged attack last November on ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lacy. A trial date has not been set.

It's time for Oregon to let Paul Westhead go

The University of Oregon hired Paul Westhead as their women's basketball coach in the spring of 2009, to replace longtime coach Bev Smith. Westhead, known for a fast-break style of play, was seen as a burst of fresh air for a program that had been drowning in staleness.

The excitement lasted for the first year, which ended with the Ducks making a spirited run in the-then Pac-10 Tournament. But soon afterwards, Oregon became known as a "fast skid" team, starting out the season on fire and then completely collapsing.

This year the Ducks didn't even begin fast; they collected their first win Dec. 16, over a month into the season. Currently they are 4-24, and their average margin of loss is over 20 points. Westhead has not only failed to produce a winning season in his four years at the coaching helm, but the Ducks seem to have gotten worse every year that he's been there. Other college coaches have been let go for much less.

The University of Oregon needs to buy out the last year of Westhead's contract and fire him now. To be sure, he has had an extensive career with much success on both the college and pro levels. But that time has clearly passed. Not only do the current Ducks play with no energy, but Oregon has lost numerous season ticket holders and fans over the last two years, in particular.

Oregon has championship-level teams in almost every sport except women's basketball. There's no reason to set the bar lower for women's hoops. The University gets donations from Nike, and isn't short of cash. They have a responsibility to women's basketball fans to save the program. The players and fans deserve better than what they've been getting.

It's time for a change. Immediately.

Appreciating Georgia Coach Andy Landers and his 900 wins

This past Sunday, #13 Georgia routed Mississippi, giving Bulldogs Coach Andy Landers his 900th career win.

The NCAA doesn't count the first 82 wins of Landers' career, because they came at Roane State - a community college he coached at for four years before being hired in 1979 at Georgia. But the University - and many fans - count all of Landers' victories.

Landers is an inductee into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, his teams have made 28 NCAA tournament appearances, and there are 21 former Bulldogs currently in the WNBA.

Landers grew up in rural Tennessee, and decided he would be a coach at age 12.

Record book.

ESPNW high school top 25

This week's top 25 high school squads:

1. Mater Dei
2. Riverdale
3. Duncanville
4. Windward
5. Saint Marys
6. Saint Johns College
7. Marion County
8. Incarnate Word Academy
9. North Gwinnett
10. Pflugerville
11. New Hope Christian Academy
12. Fairmont
13. M.X. Shabazz
14. Dutch Fork
15. Martin Luther King
16. Millbrook
17. Blackman
18. Bishop O'Dowd
19. Good Counsel
20. Centerville
21. Bedford North Lawrence
22. Saint Marys
23. Science Hill
24. Paul VI
25. Portland Central Catholic

Nice to see Portland in there repping the Northwest.

Maine Black Bears survive bus crash


A bus carrying the Maine team ran off a highway north of Boston last night en route to their game at Boston College. Guard Milica Mitrovic broke her hand and Coach Richard Barron was treated for facial cuts. Tonight's game has been cancelled.

Texas Tech:

Texas Tech is inspired by their 1993 championship team.

Lady Raider point guard Monique Smalls has started every game in her career.

Wisdom corner:

Collected wisdom from San Francisco's Whitney Daniels.

Tamika Catchings breaks it down for a panel of college players.


Nykesha Sales will return to the Connecticut Sun to assist the coaching staff and serve as a community liaison.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® named

The first 2013 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® has been named, and here they are:

NCAA® Division I

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown

Blanche Alverson Senior Guard Auburn University Andalusia, Ala.
Whitney Hand Senior Guard University of Oklahoma Fort Worth, Texas
Caroline King Senior Forward Brown University Valencia, Pa.
Drey Mingo Graduate Forward Purdue University Atlanta, Ga.
Gizelle Studevent Senior Guard Penn State University La Jolla, Calif.

NCAA® Divisions II, III and the NAIA

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown

Amanda Deal Senior Guard California State University Costa Mesa, Calif.
Kathryn Ganser Senior Guard Merrimack College Needham, Mass.
Logan Frederick Senior Forward Skidmore College Arlington, Va.
Kayla Wheeler Junior Forward Rochester Institute of Technology Clifton Park, N.Y.
Emily Huber Senior Guard Ave Maria University Indianapolis, Ind.

The effort to name the team began earlier this year.

More on this later from me, so stay tuned.

Milestone season

In beating South Florida, Vivian Stringer became the fourth coach to achieve 900 wins.

This is one of the most milestone-rich basketball seasons that I can remember. I've chronicled every player and coach milestone I've come across this season, so scroll through the entries the last two months for more.

ESPN analysis of Stringer's record.

A look back at Stringer's career.

Personally, I believe more should have been made of Georgia Coach Andy Landers' 900th win. He did it in less time.

Tonight's other main event:

#2 Notre Dame came from behind - yes, behind - to stuff Syracuse, 79-68.

Full scoreboard.

Other college news:

Tomorrow night for Tennessee, the SEC title is on the line. And it's senior night.

Towson Coach Joe Mathews' contract won't be renewed for next year.

Uh oh - three Washington Huskies suspended for Thursday's game for violating team rules.

Michigan State's Jasmine Thomas has grown through adversity.

Georgia's Merritt Hempe is ready to hit heights.

This last week will tell the tale in the SEC, Pac-12 and Big East.

Idaho State's senior class will leave a lasting legacy.


The Sparks have re-signed Jenna O'Hea and signed Paola Ferrari from Paraguay to training camp.

The Silver Stars have signed Julie Wojta and Yvonne Turner to training camp.

Sparks forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, playing in Poland this winter, has had a heck of a year since graduating from Stanford.

Q and A with newly-signed-to-the-Liberty Katie Smith.

More for Diamond DeShields:

Georgia stand out Diamond DeShields is the 2013 Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year.

USA Today top 25 poll

Oklahoma State and Oklahoma drop out, and Green Bay and Nebraska drop in.

The list:

1. Baylor
2. Notre Dame
3. Connecticut
4. Duke
5. Stanford
6. Cal
7. Penn State
8. Tennessee
9. Maryland
10. Kentucky
11. Georgia
12. Dayton
13. South Carolina
14. Louisville
15. Texas A&M
16. UCLA
17. North Carolina
18. Delaware
19. Colorado
20. Syracuse
21. Iowa State
22. Purdue
23. Wisconsin-Green Bay
24. Florida State
25. Nebraska

USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale midseason watch list

The list:

Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Yr. Hometown

G 40 Kayla Alexander, Syracuse 6-4 Sr. Milton, Ont.
G 20 Alex Bentley, Penn State 5-7 Sr. Indianapolis, Ind.
C 3 Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M 6-4 Jr. Houston, Texas
F 25 Gennifer Brandon, California 6-2 Jr. Sylmar, Calif.
G/F 11 Elena Delle Donne, Delaware 6-5 Sr. Wilmington, Del.
G 4 Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame 5-9 Sr. South Bend, Ind.
C 31 Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut 6-5 Jr. Port Jervis, N.Y.
G 34 Kelly Faris, Connecticut 5-11 Sr. Plainfield, Ind.
G 3 Angel Goodrich, Kansas 5-4 Sr. Tahlequah, Okla.
G 12 Chelsea Gray, Duke 5-11 Jr. Manteca, Calif.
C 42 Brittney Griner, Baylor 6-8 Sr. Houston, Texas
F 21 Tianna Hawkins, Maryland 6-3 Sr. Clinton, Md.
G 33 Maggie Lucas, Penn State 5-10 Jr. Narberth, Pa.
G 1 A'dia Matthies, Kentucky 5-9 Sr. Louisville, Ky.
F 23 Kaleena Moaqueda-Lewis, Connecticut 6-0 So. Anaheim Hills, Calif.
F 13 Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford 6-3 Jr. Cypress, Texas
G/F 24 Niveen Rasheed, Princeton 6-0 Jr. Danville, Calif.
G 0 Odyssey Sims, Baylor 5-8 Jr. Irving, Texas
F 25 Alyssa Thomas, Maryland 6-2 Jr. Harrisburg, Pa.
C 1 Elizabeth Williams, Duke 6-3 So. Virginia Beach, Va.

Monday, February 25, 2013

WNBA power moves


The Liberty have re-signed Essence Carson and acquired Katie Smith. Well, well, well.

The Dream's new assistant coaches are Julie Plank and Joe Ciampi.

The Sun have signed British Olympian Johannah Leedham.

Mercury employee and writer Ben York encourages males to "man up."

College news:

Vanderbilt's Tiffany Clarke is ESPNW's player of the week.

Len'Nique Brown has found her niche at North Carolina State.

Ohio State's offense has been Tayler Hill, and not much else.

Felicia Barron is a true comeback kid for Quinnipiac.

For one last time at home for the seniors yesterday, it was a thriller for Cal.

I said this yesterday: South Florida is surging.

Erica Morrow is the new director of basketball operations at Syracuse.

Book excerpt from Pat Summitt's new memoir, "Sum It Up."

Hearing some news about a couple of firings, but nothing official yet. Stay tuned.

Milestone watch:

Marquette's Sarina Simmons has joined the 1,000-point club.

High school:

Diamond DeShields is the 2013 State Farm/WBCA National High School Player of the Year.

Nice bonus:

Miss Basketball's son carves out his own stellar career.

This week's AP poll

Top 25 sees Oklahoma State out and Iowa State in:

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's never too late in the season for an upset

So many senior days and last performances on a home court going on this weekend. But one constant is the upset, such as today's:

LSU upended #8 Kentucky, 77-72.

Vanderbilt put away #10 Texas A&M, 61-51.


#6 Cal rallied to take Oregon State, 58-56.

#11 Tennessee came from behind to beat Arkansas, 60-54.

#12 Louisville held off Villanova, 55-49.

#17 UCLA fended off USC, 63-58.

#18 Delaware slipped by James Madison, 61-60.

#20 Colorado surged to beat Washington, 68-61.

Several other close games throughout the country - check the scoreboard.

The milestones keep raining down:

Georgia Coach Andy Landers earned his 900th victory today as the 'Dogs beat Ole Miss.

In Stanford's win over Oregon, Chiney Ogwumike broke the school record for single-game rebounds with 24 (the old record was 23, by her sister Nnemkadi). She also posted her 52nd double-double - another record.

SMU's Alisha Filmore crossed the 1,000-point mark.

Big day on tap for the Pac-12

The most significant match up today is arguably Washington (11-4) at Colorado (10-5). Fourth place in the conference is on the line.

The Huskies want that fourth spot.

So do the Buffs.

WSU and Utah have the same record, and will face each other today.

Ditto Arizona and Arizona State.

Today is senior day at Cal, and Tierra Rogers is among those who will be honored.

The Pac-12 Tournament is coming up quickly, March 7-10.

Numerous top 25 games today. Another notable one is #5 Duke at #8 Maryland.

More college news:

On the verge of setting a Kentucky wins record, Coach Matthew Mitchell wants much more.

Florida Gulf Coast has already clinched the A-Sun championship.

ODU's Mairi Buchan is a woman for all seasons.

Wearing the West Virginia jersey: Linda Stepney.

Even more milestones:

UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kelly Faris have both notched 1,000 career points. Only two players in school history have reached that milestone faster than Mosqueda-Lewis.

Brown's Sheila Dixon has joined the 1,000-point club.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Delivering the goods


What is it about South Florida? Today they upset #21 Syracuse, 68-66.

Full scoreboard.

A triumph for Cal State Fullerton:

Cal State Fullerton beat UC Davis today, 60-42. It's the first victory for the Titans since assistant coach Monica Quan was killed earlier this month.

The game was even more significant because Pacific is tied for first place in the Big West Conference.

Quan and her fiancee, Keith Lawrence, were laid to rest last weekend.

A memorial for the couple will be tomorrow at Concordia University.

Milestones, and not:

Milwaukee's Angela Rodriguez has scored her 1,000th career point. And she's only a junior.

Oklahoma State's Toni Young eclipsed 1,000 rebounds.

Gonzaga Coach Kelly Graves racked up his 350th win with the Bulldogs 65-55 decision over BYU.

St. John's beat Rutgers today, denying Scarlet Knights Coach Vivian Stringer her 900th win for the fourth time.

More college news:

Middle Tennessee State Coach Rick Insell hasn't lost faith in his team.

Sara Hammond and Louisville lift weights.

Pat Summitt's soon-to-be-released memoir was a team effort.

Lisa Leslie:

..Talks performance index, college players and WNBA.

More milestones and much high school news

About last night:

Stanford's Joslyn Tinkle crossed the 1,000 career-point threshold last night in the Cardinal's routing of Oregon State.

Cal's Talia Caldwell was honored before the team beat Oregon for notching 1,000 points last weekend. Last night was also Cal's 12th straight win - a school record.

Late free throws lifted LSU over Missouri in overtime, 78-74.

Today there are 100 games on tap.

More college news:

Georgia Coach Andy Landers is trying for his 900th win.

Cal's Brittany Boyd is day-to-day with a groin injury that she sustained last weekend against USC. That's not surprising to me in seeing how she was limping around during the game after the impact.

Susan Robinson Fruchtl remains relentless and positive about rebuilding Providence.

Kastine Evans has re-energized Kentucky.

Oklahoma State's Toni Young looks ahead.

For Colorado, a fiery spirit is in Arielle Roberson's blood.

UConn's Heather Buck eyes the finish line.

Bowling Green assistant coach Ali Mann has resigned for personal reasons.

Sooner report: weight lifted.

Abyee Maracigan overcame the odds to play at Idaho State.

Wisconsin is battling to the end.

High school:

Recee' Caldwell blazes a trail of her own.

Anthony Epps on his daughter, Makayla Epps.

Buchholz is one win from a state championship in Florida.

Diamond DeShields and Shayla Cooper are ripping it up in Georgia.

Reno High are Nevada state champs.

Mason City is headed to the Iowa state championship for the third straight year.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Shake it

College news:

Marist is keeping their focus forward.

Youngstown State has returned to their winning ways.

Stanford's Joslyn Tinkle is about to have a senior moment this weekend.


Northwestern's Kendall Hackney has surpassed 1,500 career points.

Maryland's Alyssa Thomas has 1,500 career points, and teammate Tianna Hawkins reached 1,000 rebounds.

SMU Coach Rhonda Rompola has reached 400 wins.

Missouri State freshman Tyonna Snow set a school record 18 free throws in a game. The old record was 17, set by former great Jackie Stiles.

The Harlem Shake:

No idea why this dance craze has taken the nation right now, but has compiled some great videos featuring basketball teams.

Washington's got to be my favorite for the player doing the worm, but Stevens Point Area High School is a close second.


The Shock have signed Doneeka Lewis, who is the twin sister of Shock guard Roneeka Hodges.

Tina Thompson blogs about her experiences during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Everything, of course

College news:

Arizona State is regrouping after Coach Charli Turner Thorne's sabbatical.

Chiney Ogwumike says she's becoming a California girl.

An unremarkable vibe is part of an extraordinary feat by Michigan State.

Kyra Elzy has been selected as UT's SEC Legend. She'll be honored at the conference tournament.

UConn's Breanna Stewart is hoping to think less and play more.

Are the Huskies ready for more than a cameo in New Orleans? Not yet.

Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie discusses Chelsea Gray's injury, her book and more.

Penn State's seniors have elevated the program.

With a strong cup of coffee, Colorado's Jen Reese is ready to go.

Nebraska's "Mad" Emily Cady is ready for Michigan.

Megan Bowen's impact on Princeton basketball will be felt for years to come.

Virginia guard Kelsey Wolfe has torn her ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

An inside look at San Diego's K-Mac.

Oakland Coach Beckie Francis has received the Pat Summitt most Courageous Award.


Connecticut has signed Natasha Lacy, Ashley Walker and Latoya Williams to training camp contracts.

Sun guard Kara Lawson said the firing of former coach Mike Thibault in November surprised her.

High school:

The Newtown girls have fulfilled their mission this season.

Super bonus:

Granny basketball in Iowa.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

UCLA at USC photo gallery

Photographer Gregg Major has struck again, with a photo gallery from last night's UCLA at USC match up. Final was Bruins 68, Trojans 54.

At the end of the album are some photos from Saturday's recognition ceremony of players from USC's national championship teams of 1983 and 1984.

A night for upsets

Three - count 'em - three upsets this evening:

South Florida took down #12 Louisville, 73-62.

Indiana upended #22 Purdue on a late basket, 62-61.

TCU got by #23 Oklahoma State, 64-63.

All scores.

More college news:

Cal's quest for a number one seed.

George Washington's Megan Nipe has won a WBCA broadcasting scholarship.

Colorado's Lexy Kresl is day-to-day after separating her shoulder in Sunday's game against Arizona State.

Princeton senior Niveen Rasheed is focusing on wins - not milestones.

Duke's Tricia Liston has developed into a top three-point shooter.

Sacramento State takes pride in forcing turnovers.

Colorado State is gaining momentum as the season winds down.

Tennessee is pumping up the defense.

In the wide-open Western Athletic Conference, New Mexico State could be dangerous.

A spark from their sophomores has ignited Penn.

Increasing maturity is helping Florida point guard Jaterra Bonds during this trying season.

Why you should care about Villanova.

South Carolina's Shelbretta Ball talks about her heart condition.

Transfer Mia Nickson is just right for Penn State.

Coach and player have developed a bond at Gallaudet.

Kansas is wary of complacency after beating Oklahoma.

For Minnesota, missed shots have turned into a lost season.

Senior guard Jenny Ryan leads Michigan, but a brutal schedule looms.

Helsinki native Janniina Koivunen is making an impact for VCU.

Oakland's Zakiya Minifee will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Many leagues are down to the wire.


Caitlyn Baggett is now McNeese State's all-time career assists leader.

Hartford's Ruthanne Doherty is the newest member of the 1,000-point club.

School news:

The NCAA is accusing Miami of "lack of institutional control."


ESPNW's mid-major top ten:

1. Delaware
2. Dayton
3. Green Bay
4. Chattanooga
5. Princeton
6. Florida Gulf Coast
7. Gonzaga
8. Toledo
9. Marist
10. Creighton

Pro news:

The Seattle Storm has signed Nakia Sanford.

Ziomara Morrison has re-signed with the Silver Stars.

Temeka Johnson blogs: from Tulsa to Seattle.

ESPNW top 25

Power rankings, week 10:

1. Mater Dei
2. Riverdale
3. Duncanville
4. Windward
5. Saint Marys
6. Saint Johns College
7. Marion County
8. Incarnate Word Academy
9. North Gwinnett
10. Pflugerville
11. New Hope Christian Academy
12. Fairmont
13. M.X. Shabazz
14. Dutch Fork
15. Martin Luther King
16. Millbrook
17. Blackham
18. Edwardsville
19. Bishop O'Dowd
20. Paul VI
21. Good Counsel
22. Centerville
23. Bedford North Lawrence
24. Saint Marys
25. Science Hill

2013 class rankings analysis.

More high school news:

Elite posts in South Carolina have pushed the boys to secondary status.

Small-town talent Victoria Vivians draws big-time attention.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A night cap

Vivian Stringer was denied her 900th win again tonight as #21 Syracuse beat them, 58-45. The score at halftime was Rutgers 19, Syracuse 15. Really.

Full scoreboard.

It's all about the next game for Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins.

Profiling Nebraska's Jordan Hooper.

Defensive lapses are crippling Purdue.

Is Coach Paul Westhead to blame for Oregon's losing season?

Will Duke make it to the Final Four now?

Chelsea Gray has dislocated her kneecap and will miss the rest of the season.

How does her injury affect Duke?

Other college news:

Florida's Jennifer George is struggling to return to form.

Michigan Coach Kim Barnes Arico and her athletic director are getting along well.

Kentucky and Texas A&M showed off the competitive SEC last night.

One of Cal State Northridge's top players, Marta Masoni, has left the team for personal reasons.

FGCU's Betsy Adams has joined the 1,000-point club.

One of nine Title IX films this summer will feature legend Pat Summitt.


The Dream has acquired Jasmine Thomas from the Mystics in exchange for Atlanta's first- and second-round draft picks. Wow.

The Shock has signed Tiffany Jackson-Jones to a multi-year deal.

Bill Laimbeer does the WNBA a lot of good.

High school:

Mater Dei's Katie Lou Samuelson shares some of her hoopin secrets.

USA Today top 25 poll

This week's USA Today top 25:

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

Sharnee' Zoll signs with the Sky

Free agent Sharnee' Zoll has signed with the Chicago Sky.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Baylor wins the showdown with UConn

After an epic battle, #1 Baylor topped #3 UConn, 76-70. Brittney Griner passed the 3,000-point mark in the process.


Other results:

#8 Kentucky kept #10 Texas A&M at bay, 70-66.

#14 Dayton survived Duquesne, 58-57.

Washington bested Oregon State, 49-44.

Illinois ground out a win over Wisconsin, 60-53.

More college news:

Short-handed Virginia is struggling to gain traction.

Utah State leads the nation in free throw shooting percentage.

Injuries have hurt Bowling Green.

Don't ask Georgia State's Gaby Morris where she's from - it takes too long.

Arrested Development - Is its own growth forcing women's basketball to leave one of its founding principles behind?

You may remember my favorite Division I assistant coach for his previous analyses here, including this piece, which turned out to be prophetic last year.

He and I have been discussing player development - or rather, the lack of development in the high school and college ranks the last several years. It's a trend that deeply disturbs both of us.

Here, he addresses the issue in detail on the college level:


Newly-focused attention on college women’s basketball has spawned new generations of fans and unprecedented growth. Increase in television opportunities, more and more funding by colleges and universities and ramped up media coverage has signaled the undeniable expansion of the sport of women’s basketball over the past thirty years. And as with most endeavors, with unprecedented growth comes the problem of unprecedented growing pains.

As I’ve had conversation with various college and high school coaches and parents this season on of the most disturbing ‘growing pain’ seems to be a recurring theme that seemingly has become more prevalent in women’s basketball: Lack of player development.

Blame Game

First, let’s get thing out in the open: There is plenty of potential blame to go around with deficiencies in development.

Often college coaches, off-the-record, will state that high school coaches are at fault for not developing student athletes well enough prior to arriving on campus and kids are too far behind as first year college athletes. But, with a reduction of budgets and a de-emphasis on the importance of physical education in schools, high school coaches get less floor time than ever to teach players. For those high school coaches, there’s becoming more and more of premium of putting in schemes or systems and less time devoted to practices and developing on court habits.

High School coaches are losing more access to their own kids during summer as well as many are now playing AAU basketball and not with their own high school teams. Which leads to an additional shifting of blame by many college coaches lamenting the growth of AAU and summer exposure events.

Many college coaches also find cause in the increasing influence of girls’ AAU and travel teams, stating that they do not providing a proper foundation to prepare young women adequately before they get to a college campus. Some college and high school coaches believe rather than teaching young players the skills necessary to be successful players and students at the collegiate level, these teaching concepts have been forsaken of exposure and winning games at spring and summer basketball events.

Perhaps there is merit to that argument, the “exposure vs. teaching” debate, but it’s currently something college coaches can’t control. There are larger questions that young coaches should be asking: What should we as college coaches be doing develop student-athletes within the confines of their own programs?

Is an assistant’s focus simply on advancement or is it developing student-athletes that we’ve helped bring on campus? Do head coaches focused just on winning games and winning percentage, or are we also genuinely interested in advancing or our game by developing the assistants, support staff and young people who make those wins possible?

Foci of Development

Those involved in college athletics is in the unique position of influence. The typical college age of seventeen to twenty is often the last opportunity for educators to influence young people before they are independent and out into the real world. As athletics is an extension of education development of student-athletes should consist of four areas:

· Court Development - Skill work with and without the ball and mental aspects of the game of transferring those skills on to the court to solve problems created by an opponent

· Academic Development - Progressing to an academic degree that will be functional in society

· Career Development - Nurturing the requisite skills and networking opportunities to have a career post graduation and playing career

· Social Development - Expanding young people’s perspectives about how the world works around them beyond what they came into college understanding to add to society upon graduation

An honest self-evaluation of where a basketball programs stand in these four areas may a go a long way in determining where they may be deficient and doing a disservice to student athletes and help a program move forward in developing concrete strategies in improving.

Who’s developing the developers?

Another consideration in improving development for student athletes in women’s basketball is cultivating the coaches that are doing the daily developing of players. Head coaches are charged with the responsibility to recruit, raise funds, manage budgets, and perform public relations duties AND win games. But at its core, a head coach’s job should be to develop the people he or she leads (student-athletes and their staff and support staff).

As I talk to high school coaches, more and more they’re mentioning a trend with the younger generation of coaches as being great recruiters and relationship-builders. But the feedback they get from their former players is that these same coaches are lacking when it comes to skill development on the court and post-playing career development in terms of employment.

The WBCA-created initiatives like the “So You Want To Be A Coach?”, and Assistant Coaches Roundtables programs at the Final Four seem the best way to develop future coaches and staff. Head coaches provide a crucial link in developing staff around them, and it is a critical link in becoming caretakers of our game. Eventually these assistants will become head coaches and the habits and attitudes learned as assistants will serve as their templates for leadership when they become head coaches.

Tipping Point or Pivot Point

As women’s basketball has evolved, it’s producing more talented athletes and coaches. And as it evolves, challenges have arisen that all involved with the sport should take a critical and objective analysis of its issues. The majority of problems on the horizon (the unsustainable economic model in coaches’ salaries, tournament attendance/seeding, recruiting access and reform, etc.) are all complex and will require agreement amongst all coaches and conferences to solve.

There are some problems, however, that coaches can address within their own programs. There’s a potential danger of coaches that are seemingly more interested in recruiting talent than developing talent, and who are focused more on strictly winning rather than winning through developing the student-athletes under their care. Fortunately, we’ve reached not yet reached a tipping point as a younger generation of coaches begin to take the reins from some of long-established icons in our sport who are nearing retirement.

Another Big Monday

Tonight #1 Baylor visits #3 UConn.

Rebecca Lobo analyzes how Baylor could be stopped.

Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck preview.

Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey is not a fan of the timing of this game.

Today's 35-game schedule.

Chelsea Gray's injury could change everything for Duke.

AP top 25 poll

This week:

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

Photo gallery time

Stanford at USC photo gallery from Friday, which includes the picture below.

Cal at USC photo gallery, which includes the picture below.

Photos by Gregg Major.

Chiney Ogwumike and Alexyz Vaioletama fight for the box out

Desiree Bradley tries to get around Brittany Boyd

My Cal at USC photo gallery, which features pictures from the halftime ceremony that honored members of USC's National Championship teams of 1983 and 1984.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Play For Kay Day is a big one

First, the sad news:

Duke's Chelsea Gray dislocated her knee cap in today's game and will miss the rest of the season.

So many games today.....let's start with the upsets:

#19 Florida State over #14 North Carolina, 80-73.

Iowa pounded #18 Purdue, 72-52.

Angel Goodrich became Kansas' all-time assists leader as the Jayhawks powered past #22 Oklahoma, 81-71.

West Virginia knocked off #24 Iowa State, 68-66.

Almost-upsets, close games and crazy games:

#13 Georgia pulled it out over Florida, 62-57.

Houston beat Tulane in double overtime, 71-70.

UNCW came from 10 behind to force overtime and beat Georgia State, 84-83.

Central Florida bested UTEP in overtime, 76-69.

Oregon grabbed their fourth win by topping WSU, 65-60.

Texas Tech 69, Texas 62.

Clemson came from 11 down to top Virginia Tech, 51-46.

Saint Joseph's pulled one out over Temple in overtime, 49-41.

Today I went to the Cal at USC match up, and I'll post more on that later, with pictures.

All of today's scores.


Richmond's Rachael Bilney has notched 1,000 career points.

Other college news:

Duke's Tricia Liston is ESPNW's player of the week.

Princeton's subs are producing.

The Oregon Ducks are taking the blame for their poor season, saying they're not trying hard enough. Are you sure it's not the coaching, ladies?


For Chelsea Gray and Alexis Gray-Lawson, great basketball runs in the family.

Play For Kay and more

College news:

UNC Asheville's Kelli Riles has achieved 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Amazing.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti addresses Coach Vivian Stringer's recent controversial interview.

Ariel Massengale's willingness to get down and dirty is paying dividends for the Lady Vols.

Nicole Griffin is leading the Sooners.

Play for Kay:

North Carolina State's game will be special.

Hannah Linz's battle with Hodgkins lymphoma once again has been a test of strength for North Dakota State.

Play for Kay has a special meaning for Virginia trainer Stephanie Aronson.

A fight with cancer hasn't sapped the spirit of Purdue's aide.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gooooood morning

There are 110 games today, sports fans. Buckle up.

College items:

During halftime of the Cal at USC game tomorrow, nine players from the Trojans' 1983 and 1984 NCAA Championship teams will be honored. You know I'll be there.

Natalie "Ace" Achonwa is upping her game for Notre Dame.

Yale senior Megan Vasquez has tallied her 1,300th career point.

A season-ending ACL injury hasn't stopped Cassidy Wright from helping to motivate her Arkansas-Pine Bluff teammates.

The Harlem Shake has taken hold at Eastern Michigan.

Pro news:

Mystics Coach Mike Thibault talks about his latest off-season moves.

Liberty Coach Bill Laimbeer does the same.

It's time to get the Chicago Sky roster settled.

High school news:

Nazareth (Brooklyn) star Bianca Cuevas has been suspended for fighting after a game.

Last night in the Pac-12

Kacy Swain and Reshanda Gray fight for position

#6 Cal completed a season sweep of #15 UCLA last night, beating them in Pauley Pavilion, 79-51. It was Cal's first win on UCLA's court since 2008.

The Bruins didn't necessarily look bad - it was just that the Bears looked so good. They out-shot, out-rebounded and out-stole their opponents, while forcing more turnovers. Cal looked confidence on both sides of the court.

Guard Brittany Boyd had a season-high ten steals.

Boyd post-game.

My photo gallery, which includes the above picture.


Kristi Kingma put up a Pac-12 record 11 three-point shots in leading Washington over Oregon, 97-71.

Chiney Ogwumike headed up Stanford's efforts in taking down USC, 79-55, with her 20th double-double of the season.

Washington State slipped by Oregon State on a last-second shot, 51-49.

#21 Colorado put away Arizona, 55-42.

Utah defeated Arizona State, 54-46.

Friday, February 15, 2013

On the way out the door, I hit you with more

I'm getting ready to hit the road to see #6 Cal at #15 UCLA, which should be a great match up.

In the meantime, there is news.......


Old Dominion volunteer assistant coach Sara Jones passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer.

College news:

Louisville is finding success among injuries.

Niagara Coach Kendra Faustin is balancing coaching and pregnancy.

Gonzaga and Seattle University have secured key conference wins.

Times are tough for Rutgers and Coach Vivian Stringer.

Texas Tech players from the 1993 championship team have found success as coaches.

North Dakota State finds solace in basketball.

Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli talk to Princeton's Naveen Rasheed and Florida State Coach Sue Semarau.

Green Bay's Sarah Eichler has joined the 1,000-point club.

Illinois State's Candace Sykes' suspension is in the past.

Miami Hurricane focus: Krystal Saunders.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Newsworthy day

Tonight's results:

North Carolina State took down #19 Florida State, 76-69.

#24 Iowa State upended #22 Oklahoma, 72-68.

#9 Kentucky had to rally to top #16 South Carolina, 78-74.

#20 Delaware beat Old Dominion for their sixteenth consecutive win.

Lots of other games still in progress at the moment.

Full scoreboard.

College news:

For Oklahoma, Play For Kay is personal.

Adversity and talent have helped Gennifer Brandon shine at Cal. What a story.

This year's seniors are stars alright, but there are several juniors waiting in the wings to take over.

The heartbeat of Penn State begins with Marisa Wolfe.

A strong finish is possible for the Colorado Buffs.

The return of Amber Stokes from injury has sparked Ohio State.

University of Washington news.

Kentucky is always taking their best shot.

Injuries have paved the way for Maryland's Chloe Pavlech.

Badger guard Morgan Paige is drawing praise for her dogged play.

Princeton has learned from Ivy League blowouts.

UTEP seeks to keep momentum on the road.

Anne Donovan, who is also 6-foot-8, on Brittney Griner.

Kara Wolters on Brittney Griner.

Former Lady Vol Paula Towns Jones passed away last weekend.

Pro news:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike's dominating performances in Poland this winter have made her a EuroLeague favorite.

Kristi Toliver scored a season best 28 points to lead Dynamo Moscow to the EuroCup final.

The Atlanta Dream has re-signed Aneika Henry and signed Le'Coe Willingham.

Former WNBA star Olympia Scott will be featured at a weekend winter festival.

McDonald's All-American game rosters announced

Rosters for this year's McDonald's All-American game were released today. The game will be April 3 in Chigaco.


Name Pos. Ht. Hometown College

Lindsay Allen G 5-8 St. John's College (D.C.) Notre Dame

Lexie Brown G 5-9 North Gwinnett (Ga.) Maryland

Alaina Coates C 6-4 Dutch Fork (S.C.) South Carolina

Nia Coffey F 6-1 Hopkins (Minn.) Northwestern

Kaela Davis G 6-2 Buford (Ga.) Georgia Tech

Diamond DeShields G 6-2 Norcross (Ga.) North Carolina

Makayla Epps G 5-8 Marion County (Ky.) Kentucky

Kai James C 6-4 Dwyer (Fla.) Florida State

Stephanie Mavunga F 6-2 Brownsburg (Ind.) North Carolina

Taya Reimer F 6-2 Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) Notre Dame

Ieshia Small G 6-0 Dr. Krop (Fla.) Undecided

Ronni Williams F 6-0 Atlantic (Fla.) Florida


Name Pos. Ht. Hometown College

Oderah Chidom F 6-3 Bishop O'Dowd (Calif.) Duke

Kendall Cooper C 6-3 St. Anthony (Calif.) Duke

Rebekah Dahlman G 5-9 Braham (Minn.) Vanderbilt

Rebecca Greenwell G 6-1 Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) Duke

Linnae Harper G 5-6 Whitney Young (Ill.) Kentucky

Kailee Johnson F 6-3 Central Catholic (Ore.) Stanford

Erica McCall F 6-3 Ridgeview (Calif.) Stanford

Kelsey Plum G 5-9 La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) Washington

Jordan Reynolds G 6-1 Central Catholic (Ore.) Tennessee

Mercedes Russell C 6-5 Springfield (Ore.) Tennessee

Tyler Scaife G 5-8 Hall (Ark.) Rutgers

Jessica Washington G 5-8 Jenks (Okla.) North Carolina

By the numbers.

UConn committ Saniya Chong wasn't selected.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Many items

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves: the fire within.

Playing for Kay has a special meaning for Lady Vol Coach Holly Warlick.

Andy Landers' wife Pam is mom and provides support for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Injuries are taking a toll on Scarlet Knight Monique Oliver's season.

Samantha Morrow has stepped down as UT-Arlington coach.

Cal player spotlight: Layshia Clarendon.

Oregon State's slow start is plaguing them.

Vanderbilt guard Christina Foggie is out 7-10 days after sustaining a knee injury.

Auburn is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

Dartmouth's sophomore class has grown.

Michigan State's Annalise Pickrel has found her shooting rhythm.

Rutgers guard Erica Wheeler has grown under the watch of Coach Vivian Stringer.

Weber State is nearing the mark of futility.

Texas Tech is turning the page on turnovers.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton is settling into her new role as Boilermaker assistant coach.

Purdue notebook: no zone outs.

"Finish strong" guides Wisconsin.

Iowa is living in the present.

Columbia shoots well from beyond the arc, but struggles in the paint.

Getting to know Northwestern freshman Lauren Douglas.

Seton Hall/Connecticut Sun Coach Anne Donovan is working to master her juggling act.


Sacred Heart Coach Ed Swanson notched his 400th career victory.

WNBA and pro:

The Sparks signed Kristi Toliver to a multi-year contract extension.

The Fever signed Laura Harper.

Temeka Johnson blogs from Siberia.


ACL surgery may not shorten a WNBA career.


The NCAA is being sued over the rule that bars felons from coaching NCAA-sanctioned events.

Mixed bag

About last night:

DePaul downed Rutgers and denied C. Vivian Stringer her 900th victory.

UConn scored 100 or more last night for the fourth time this season.

More college news:

Kim Barnes Arico, breaker of streaks.

Total Access Tennessee: Coach Holly Warlick addresses the Lady Vols on the day they played Missouri.

Tenn questions with Ariel Massengale.

Cal State Fullerton:

The Titans addressed the media last Saturday after their game, dedicated to slain assistant coach Monica Quan.

After a standoff yesterday, investigators are trying to determine if charred human remains belong to the man suspected of gunning down Quan and fiance Keith Williams.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What do you get when your wife is a pro player?

You get some good coaching chops.

Ebony Hoffman's husband Ron Cass has taken his high school team to the playoffs.

Kentucky's Kastine Evans creates an after school program for kids

Why don't we hear more about young people like this: Kentucky junior guard Kastine Evans has started an after school program for kids in Lexington.

In January, Evans started a non-profit after-school program called "Shooting at Success." The organization`s focus is a 10-week program that runs on Mondays at two local churches in the Fayette County area. Evans rotates every other week between Broadway Christian Church and Crossroads Christian Church where she teaches groups of 50 kids from low-income households between the grades of second and fifth life lessons on building character.

"I came up with the idea of `Shooting at Success' by realizing that basketball or sports in any way are a great tool to get through to young kids," Evans said, who has partnered with the Lexington Leadership and Urban Impact to found the program. "It's very fun, but at the same time you can teach them discipline, you can teach them hard work, you can teach them different things that they will learn in the classroom but also on the basketball court. It's a great way to reach out to kids on a common level and just at the same time be able to be important figures in their lives because they are looking forward to something that's coming up in the week and just being able to relay any message that you try to get through in a sport like basketball."

In an effort to build character in the kids, Evans repeatedly references honesty, discipline, sacrifice and opportunity - the four pillars of the UK program instilled by head coach Matthew Mitchell. She even brings in guest speakers to talk to the students about the meaning of each word. What this does is give the children a viewpoint from student-athletes and other college students who have persevered through trying circumstances themselves.

This restores a bit of my faith in the human race, and in young people. Good for Kastine.

A little bit of everything

About last night:

In beating Louisville last night, Notre Dame's message was "get out of the way."

Maryland Coach Brenda Frese was ejected during last night's battle with Duke. Frese said she will always fight for her players.

More college news:

Catching up with Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie.

A chat with Cal Coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

When Michigan's Kate Thompson catches fire, the Wolverines follow.

Kansas freshman Chelsea Gardner is learning from teammate Carolyn Davis' injury.

Oklahoma junior center Nicole Griffin is emerging just in time.

"Oh how the mighty have fallen," one news source says of Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer and her program.


Northern Iowa senior Jacqui Kalin, the infamous lead lip-syncher, became her school's all-time leading scorer.

Cleveland State's Shalonda Winton notched 1,000 career rebounds this week.

Play for Kay:

ESPN has a great map of this weekend's Play for Kay games.

Colorado's Lexy Kresl has only to look to her brother for inspiration in the fight against cancer.

A cancer patient will join Illinois for their Play For Kay game.


Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer is on the verge of her 900th win.

Former Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt has received the Winged Foot Legends Award.

High school:

Top recruit Kaela Davis has Meneire's Disease.

WNBA and pro:

The Chicago Sky have resigned head coach Pokey Chatman and assistants Christie Sides and Jeff House to multi-year contract extensions.

Sue Bird will sit out the upcoming EuroLeague playoffs because of a rule stipulating only two active non-European players.

This week's ESPNW high school top 25

This week's rankings:

1. Mater Dei
2. Riverdale
3. Duncanville
4. Windward
5. Saint Marys
6. Saint Johns College
7. Marion County
8. Incarnate Word Academy
9. Pflugerville
10. New Hope Christian Academy
11. North Gwinnett
12. Fairmont
13. Good Counsel
14. M.X. Shabazz
15. Dutch Fork
16. Paul VI
17. Martin Luther King
18. Millbrook
19. Blackman
20. Edwardsville
21. Bishop O'Dowd
22. Regis Jesuit
23. Centerville
24. Columbus North
25. Saint Marys

Girls basketball scholarship will honor slain couple

A girls basketball scholarship has been established to honor Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, who were gunned down ten days ago.

A manhunt continues throughout California and surrounding states, as well as Mexico, for their alleged killer.

USA Today top 25 poll

This week:

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

Division II poll.

Division III poll.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Big Monday

#5 Duke powered past #7 Maryland, 71-56. Chelsea Gray put up a career-high 28 points. This puts her over the 1,000-point mark for her career.

#2 Notre Dame is in the process of whipping on #10 Louisville, so check that final score later...........

Other college news:

Rachel Hargis is making an unexpected contribution for Colorado.

Fordham is turning heads in the Atlantic-10.

Oklahoma-Oklahoma State notebook.

Georgia Tech is more on the ball than they were a month ago.

Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie talks about her game.

Q and A with South Alabama senior Mary Nixon.

What do the NCAA's new recruiting rules mean for women's basketball recruiting?


Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen has left her Turkish team over a contract dispute.

San Antonio has re-signed Jia Perkins.

Minnesota has signed Australian Rachel Jarry.

Cal State Fullerton:

The Titans are trying to move on in the wake of coach Monica Quan's death.

Quan and her fiance, killed Feb. 3, shared a love of basketball.

The Titans remember "tough, warm" Quan.