Monday, April 29, 2013

Not your average Monday


My Minnesota preview on Lynx lose Mama Taj, but still will be tough to beat.

Chiney Ogwumike blogs from Nigeria.

The Philipines will get their first Junior WNBA program next year.

USA Basketball:

Coaches have been announced for the U19 World Championship and World University Games: Matt Corkery, Bobbie Kelsey and Matilda Mossman. Trials will be May 16-19.

NBA player comes out:

Jason Collins has become the first active NBA player to be openly gay, following a Sports Illustrated piece today.

Reactions have varied in the media, but he's garnered some very prominent public support.

No, it's not about the WNBA, nor will it affect the league.

Jason Collins is incredibly courageous.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A couple of thoughts from the dust bowl

This is probably the driest period between college and WNBA season that I can remember, and today there is absolutely no news posted anywhere. I don't know when that's happened before. So here are a couple of random - though unrelated - thoughts:

1. The Washington Huskies - players, especially - feel like the elevation of Mike Neighbors to head coach is momentum maintained for the surging program. (This includes retaining assistant coaches Adia Barnes and Kevin Morrison). I have to agree. They had a great thing going under Kevin McGuff, who fled for Ohio State. With all but one piece still there, and all the recruits still committed, they probably won't miss a beat.

I'm glad. I've enjoyed seeing the Pac 12 come up, and I was worried when McGuff left that the UW would slide backwards. They were one of the fastest-rising conference programs this past season, along with Cal and UCLA. Now, barring major injuries, the Huskies should continue to climb next year. The rest of the conference looks promising, too.

Oregon State is poised to rebound from injury, and Arizona State may also be on the way back under Charli Turner Thorne. Colorado should still be top-notch, and Stanford should pick it up with their incoming freshmen. Utah is committed, but will they have the personnel?

Perhaps most intriguing is what will happen at USC. New coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has assembled an all-star coaching staff and has excited players, staff and fans alike with her vision for the program. If she can take all the athletic and coaching talent around her and fully manifest it, watch out.

The only schools in the Pac 12 that aren't up-and-coming are Oregon, Washington State and Arizona. And in each case, it's because the schools won't let go of the coaches there that don't work. It's sad.

2. I'm reading it so slowly because I've been swamped, but do get Pat Summitt's autobiography, "Sum it Up." It's an amazing history lesson, for one thing. Former Lady Vol Nikki Anosike tweeted the other day that she had no idea the pioneers of women's basketball had it so rough until she read Summitt's book. A lot of people would probably feel the same way.

Pick it up today.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Signings, Russian titles, and Milton-Jones speaks


Jay Z has signed Skylar Diggins to Roc Nation sports. That's pretty dope.

Brittney Griner has signed a deal with Nike.

Introducing the Mercury's new point guard, Samantha Prahalis.

Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville are hoping to pick up where they left off.

The truth comes out: Delisha Milton-Jones talks about her disappointment in her role with the Sparks last season, and how surprised she was to learn they were cutting her this year.

The WNBA has a broader identity.


Congratulations to Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, who lead UMMC Ekaterinburg over Spartak today for yet another Russian national championship, 84-68. Parker put up 14 points, and Taurasi and Bird each posted 10.

College news:

Dan Burt has been named head coach at Duquesne.

Indiana's Sasha Chaplin has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.

Jackie Stiles is thrilled with her new role at Missouri State.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lady Vol strengh and conditioning coach fired

Heather Mason has been relieved of her duties as associate strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee.

Mason was one of three employees who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the University last fall.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Los Angeles Sparks draft quotes

In the April 15 WNBA draft, the Los Angeles Sparks selected Kentucky guard A'Dia Mathies with their tenth pick, and Kansas State guard Brittany Chambers at pick 22. They also chose Ukrainian guard Alina Iagupova with their 34th pick. Sparks General Manager Penny Toler and Coach Carol Ross each commented on the selections, and Mathies made a statement on being drafted.

Toler on choosing Mathies:

"We have a great backcourt in Lindsay Harding, Kristi Toliver and Alana Beard, but we need some more scoring punch off the bench. This is why we drafted A'Dia Mathies - she's a guard that can do everything. When we take out Toliver or Beard, we won't lose a beat. Mathies runs and shoots, she can defend, and we need players like her.

She won't have any pressure (to develop quickly), because those three guards in front of her are spectacular. She'll come in as already a really good player, and I look for her to develop because she'll be going against Toliver, Harding and Beard every day in practice. She's a tough player, but there's a difference from Kentucky, where she had to carry her team. Here she can just fit in and just relax and play her game.

We do need some help in the back court, and A'Dia Mathies is a spectacular player. She's only going to get better playing against the guards we already have.

The biggest need we had was for a point guard, and we got that through free agency with Lindsay Harding. This allowed for us to pick any way we wanted to today. We really don't have any holes now, we're just trying to strengthen what we already have.

The league is continuing to evolve faster, tougher, stronger. The league is full of incredible players."


On Chambers: "She's a gunner, a shooter. Chambers has a lot of offense to her game. She's just a big scorer and she's got very good feet, she's energy in motion. Let's see if she can do the same things she was doing at K State at this level. I'm excited to find out."

On their selections:

"We're just trying to build depth. You can't have too many guards in this league. For us it's about getting more handlers and getting more people in those guard spots - that was our big challenge."


"It's a blessing that Los Angeles would give me a chance. I had no idea where I would go in the draft.

The Sparks have top-notch players and a great history, in players like Lisa Leslie. I will come there and do my best, and the players there now will help me to become better."

The wheels keep turning

College coaching changes:

Alabama Coach Wendell Husdon has been reassigned to an administrative role in the school's athletic department.

Randy Norton is UAB's new coach.

The new head coach at Dartmouth is Belle Koclanes.

Michigan State Coach Suzy Merchant has elevated assistant Tempie Brown to associate head coach.

South Florida Coach Jose Fernandez's contract has been extended through the 2018 season.

More college news:

Texas A&M transfer Peyton Little has landed at Oklahoma.

Elena Delle Donne's dream has been realized.

Two sophomore guards are departing Austin Peay.

Pat Summitt's life is chronicled in the film "Pat XO."


Quanitra Hollingsworth is eying a return to the WNBA after her European season is over. She sat out last year to play for Turkey in the Olympic Games.

Liberty rookie Kelsey Bone embraces high expectations.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sadness topping the news

Tragedy in the news:

Michigan high school player Danielle Kidd-Robinson died Thursday after collapsing in practice. She was 17.

Former Florida State star Alicia Gladden died in a car accident Friday. She was 27.

College coaching changes:

The University of Alabama Birmingham will introduce their new coach tomorrow.

New Ohio State Coach Kevin McGuff is already working on getting more recruits.

Brittney Griner:

The Mercury have embraced Brittney Griner as a player and a person.

The number-one pick is on a whirlwind tour.

Friday, April 19, 2013

First viewing weekend of the year

College coaches are at tournaments across the country this weekend for their first crack at the class of 2014 and beyond.

April also marks the late signing period for the class of 2013, and several athletes have made commitments this week. Look for more to come.

College coaching changes:

Mike Neighbors is the University of Washington's new head coach. The Husky players seem to like the idea.

New Clemson coach Audra Smith has added two assistant coaches.


Draft all-access video.

Brittney Griner dunks (again).

Dance moves.


All draft videos.

ESPN finally weighs in on Griner coming out:

What does it mean to be an openly gay athlete?

Griner discusses her sexuality.

Her message is inspiring.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

San Diego State cancels team banquet

Fans are confused by the cancellation of the Aztec end-of-season banquet.

Lots of "the three to see" in the news

This story is really touching:

Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins all were bullied when they were younger. They became friends last year and supported each other throughout this season.


Swin Cash discusses the evolution of the WNBA.

The future of the WNBA.

Lynx draft pick Waltiea Rolle won't join the team until next season.

Thanks to Elena Delle Donne and Sheryl Swoopes, women's basketball is on the rise in Chicago.

Delle Donne is front and center for the Chicago Sky.

Skylar Diggins has social media appeal.

Griner's heart is set on helping others.

Sparks pick A'Dia Mathies has support from Ukari Figgs.

Kansas' Angel Goodrich is the highest-drafted Native American player in WNBA history.

Kelsey Bone and her mother talk about draft night and Bill Laimbeer.

More on Brittney Griner coming out:

Kim Mulkey and Mark Cuban have some very interesting things to say about it.

Griner's mantra "be who you are" came from her parents.

Brittney Griner came out, and the sports world shrugged.

College news:

Kevin McGuff will make $850,000 at Ohio State.

The expectations on McGuff are high.

The University of Washington is already interviewing to replace him.

Kellie Harper's assistants at Missouri State will be Jackie Stiles, Jennifer Sullivan and Jon Harper.

North Texas loses two.

Peyton Little will leave Texas A&M.

Danielle Walczak is transferring from UMaine.

Former Clemson Coach Annie Tribble has passed away.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Brittney Griner comes out as being already out

Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins discuss sports and sexuality:

SI Video host Maggie Gray: "Another big topic in sports recently is sexuality, especially with the NFL. In football it was rumored that maybe one or more players were going to come out--that would become huge news in the sports world and in general. In female sports, women's sports, in the WNBA, players have already come out, and it's really accepted. Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue?"

Brittney Griner: "I really couldn't give an answer on why that's so different. Being one that's out, it's just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don't worry about what other people are going to say, because they're always going to say something, but, if you're just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don't hide who you really are."

Gray: "You're in a different position where you're not just a regular person, you're a famous athlete, you're the number one pick in the WNBA draft. How difficult was it for you to make the decision?"

Griner: "It really wasn't too difficult, I wouldn't say I was hiding or anything like that. I've always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasn't hard at all. If I can show that I'm out and I'm fine and everything's OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way."

It's been a very newsy week, and it's only Wednesday.

College coaching news:

Dawn Staley got a contract extension and a raise at South Carolina.

Former Ohio State coach Jim Foster is looking into another position.

New coach Barb Smith says Illinois State is a gold mine.

Dayton coach Jim Jabir has signed a seven-year contract extension.

Houston Baptist has named Donna Finnie head coach.

Tai Dillard will leave USC to be an assistant coach at Ole Miss.

Wednesday mish mash

I feel kind of "hungover," so to speak, from yesterday.


Top undrafted prospects.

The top draft picks are ready to become the faces of the league.

Arizona's Davellyn Whyte discusses being drafted.


The lawsuit against Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma has been dismissed, and an appeal has been filed.

Something fishy?

SDSU's Beth Burns retires unexpectedly:

In a sudden, unexpected, even bizarre announcement, San Diego State women’s basketball coach Beth Burns retired Tuesday, just eight months after signing a five-year contract.

SDSU issued a seven-paragraph release at 2:32 p.m. with no prior warning that included bland statements from Burns and Athletic Director Jim Sterk. It named Jualeah Woods as interim head coach while Sterk conducts “a national search” to replace the winningest coach in program history.

By late afternoon, Burns was no longer listed as head coach on the Aztecs web site and her bio had been removed.

An athletic department official said Woods, assistant coaches and players would not be made available to the media. Burns was unavailable for comment, and Sterk declined further comment.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

But of course, there's more

Coaching changes:

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was introduced as USC's new coach today.

Nyla Milleson is George Mason's new coach.

Terry Fowler will take over as coach for South Alabama.

Alabama A&M has fired Atherias Warmley.


Forward Kristi Mokube is transferring from Florida State to Florida.


The Mystics have invited Drey Mingo to training camp.

Missed this gem last week from Chiney Ogwumike:

Friendships make women's basketball special.

Coaching changes: big ones

Kevin McGuff is leaving the University of Washington for Ohio State.

San Diego State Coach Beth Burns is retiring.

Draft processing

ESPN bestowed draft grades, and of course the Liberty got an A.

Draft play-by-play.

Photo gallery.

Toni Young was motivated by her late coaches at Oklahoma State.

Whitney Hand was a surprise pick.

Nadirah McKenith and Shenneika Smith were the first St. John's players selected in a WNBA draft.

Another side of Brittney Griner came out last night.

Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins raise the bar.

What awaits the "three to see"?

College coaching news:

Illinois State has hired Barb Smith as head coach - the former associate head at Saint Louis.

Eastern Illinois coach Lee Buchanan has resigned.

Sheryl Swoopes has been introduced at Loyola Chicago's new coach. The University is rolling the dice on Swoopes.

The Ohio State coaching search now include Katie Meier of Miami and Tricia Cullop of Toledo.

Division I coaching changes so far.

College departures:

Two leave Missouri State.

Three leave Drake.

Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 WNBA draft

Full draft list


1 Phoenix Mercury (7-27), Brittney Griner
2 Chicago Sky (14-20), Elena Delle Donne
3 Tulsa Shock (9-25), Skylar Diggins
4 Washington Mystics (5-29), Tayler Hill
5 New York Liberty (15-19), Kelsey Bone
6 Seattle Storm (16-18), Tianna Hawkins
7 New York Liberty (15-19), Toni Young
8 San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Kayla Alexander
9 Indiana Fever (22-12), Layshia Clarendon
10 Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), A'dia Matthies
11 Connecticut Sun (25-9), Kelly Faris
12 Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Lindsey Moore


1 (13) Atlanta Dream (19-15), Alex Bentley
2 (14) Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Sugar Rodgers
3 (15) New York Liberty (15-19), Kamiko Williams
4 (16) San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Davellyn Whyte
5 (17) Washington Mystics (5-29), Nadirah McKenith
6 (18) Seattle Storm (16-18), Chelsea Poppins
7 (19) Washington Mystics (5-29), Emma Meesseman
8 (20) San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Diandra Tchatchouang
9 (21) Indiana Fever (22-12), Jasmine Hassell
10 (22) Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), Brittany Chambers
11 (23) Connecticut Sun (25-9), Anna Prins
12 (24) Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Chucky Jeffery


1 (25) Washington Mystics (5-29), Shenneika Smith
2 (26) Phoenix Mercury (7-27), Nikki Greene
3 (27) New York Liberty (15-19), Olcay Cakir
4 (28) Chicago Sky (14-20), Brooklyn Pope
5 (29) Tulsa Shock (9-25), Angel Goodrich
6 (30) Seattle Storm (16-18), Jasmine James
7 (31) Atlanta Dream (19-15), Ann Marie Armstrong
8 (32) San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13), Whitney Hand
9 (33) Indiana Fever (22-12), Jennifer George
10 (34) Los Angeles Sparks (24-10), Alina Iagupova
11 (35) Connecticut Sun (25-9), Andrea Smith
12 (36) Minnesota Lynx (27-7), Waltiea Rolle

Random thoughts:

1. Most exciting draft in years.
2. I was blown away by what Kelsey Bone said to ESPN after being selected: that she took a risk to come out of school for the draft because she wanted to be on the New York Liberty. Wow.
3. Good for Tayler Hill for going that high. Loved Tianna Hawkins tears of gratefulness, as well as Griner's inability to speak. Skylar Diggins is a true professional.
4. Destiny Williams, Talia Caldwell, Monique Oliver, Markel Walker and Carolyn Davis were mentioned to me on twitter as players who should have been picked. I tend to agree. But this was the deepest draft in a while.
5. As a SoCal resident, I'm very pleased for Layshia Clarendon. The Fever is a great fit for her. On the Pac 12 tip, I also congratulate Davellyn Whyte and Chucky Jeffery.
6. Bill Laimbeer isn't messing around.
7. Don't hand the trophy to the Mercury just yet.
8. Contemplating Sylvia Fowles and Elena Delle Donne....and it's scary.
9. Who looks stronger: Phoenix, Chicago or New York?
10. Is Whitney Hand really going to be able to play?
11. The Shock has already been tweeting ticket deals that involve Skylar Diggins. The Mercury has a campaign going that involves a 77-foot banner of Brittney Griner and temporary street renaming. Let the games begin.
12. Training camp begins May 5.

Your thoughts and comments, readers?

More on the impending draft

The copy doesn't stop:

Brittney Griner will be picked first.

One (and probably only one) news source says she shouldn't be first.

WNBA coaches are lauding Elena Delle Donne's skill set.

The Shock and two Tulsa stars are looking forward to the draft.

The Silver Stars have plenty of options today.

Penn State's Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene are looking to get drafted.

Oklahoma State's Toni Young could go in the first round.

Kansas' Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis await.

Brittney Griner will show off her unique fashion sense today.

Griner will also bring unprecedented talent and excitement to the league.

Kelsey Bone is expected to be picked high.

The Minnesota Lynx have draft challenges.

Nebraska's Lindsey Moore is ready for the draft.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

T'was the night before the WNBA draft

I'm excited about tomorrow's draft, which will be 5 p.m. Pacific on ESPN.

I'll be covering the event from Los Angeles Sparks headquarters, so check in with my twitter then:

Draft news:

The Sun is not in a position to draft an impact player.

Suffolk product Sugar Rodgers awaits Monday's draft.

Tianna Hawkins leads this year's group of interior forwards.

Skylar Diggins is ready for her next step in basketball.

Tayler Hill should go early, but to which team?

Kelly Faris will likely go in the first round.

The three to see will lead the picks.

Trio of former Connecticut stars hope to hear their names called.

Four Iowans could be selected.

The top picks would all be happy to go to the Tulsa Shock.

Other WNBA:

The Seattle Storm will enter training camp with major draft issues.

College news:

Hell yeah: Nebraska Coach Connie Yori says the game is over-coached and under-taught."

Baylor is Louisville's program-defining upset.

Brittney Griner has left a legacy in Waco.

Layshia Clarendon has left a legacy of leadership at Cal.

College conference realignments:

Loyola Chicago (Sheryl Swoopes' new gig) will leave the Horizon League and join the Missouri Valley Conference.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

WNBA rookies at orientation

The soon-to-be-WNBA-rookies are in Connecticut this weekend for an orientation. Skylar Diggins, Swin Cash and Candice Wiggins have tweeted pictures.


Elena Delle Donne Q&A.

Kelsey Bone Q&A.

Kelly Faris Q&A.

Tianna Hawkins Q&A.

Sugar Rodgers Q&A.

Toni Young Q&A.

General draft:

Monday there will really be two drafts in one.

Brittney Griner can be a game changer.

Will the Sky be the limit for Elena Delle Donne?

Sun Coach Anne Donovan foresees a change in the team's draft strategy.

And I was on the other side of the interview for this one, being interviewed: After the top three, the draft is a top-heavy toss up.

College news:

Holly and Geno are together at last - sort of.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oregon's retention of Paul Westhead shows that they don't care about women's basketball

The University of Oregon hired Paul Westhead as their women's basketball coach four years ago. As an experienced coach with success on both the college and professional levels, Westhead was known for producing quick teams that ran opponents into the ground, which excited fans. The UO gave him a five-year, $3.2 million contract that stipulated he'd be paid the full amount even if he was fired before the end date in 2014.

The Ducks' performance has declined each year Westhead has been coach. It's a situation I've written about several times before. This past season was the worst by far, as Oregon didn't win a game until mid-December, and finished 4-27 overall and 2-16 in conference.

Oregon had several injuries this year, which Westhead-excusers are quick to say was the heart of the problem. But the team had injury issues in 2011-2012, and it isn't that simple.

A pattern has emerged under Westhead's leadership: the Ducks start out strong and then skid, losing multiple games before they're able to snap the streak. That indicates he's not able to motivate them - particularly in his first two years, when he had talent at the ready. This year athletes took to blaming themselves for "not working hard enough." Jillian Alleyne said they "need more leadership."

That starts with the coach.

Beyond that obvious state of affairs I don't know what else is wrong, as I'm not on the team. But Westhead as coach isn't working, and UO fans have been unhappy for the last three years. Season ticket holder numbers have dropped, and those who are still hanging on sit in their seats and grumble. Women's basketball is the lone program at Oregon that is at a historic low point, as virtually every other sport is succeeding mightily.

Westhead needs to go now.

But he's not leaving anytime soon. A UO representative confirmed to me today that, "Coach Westhead is under contract and his status has not changed." (That's all he would say). Which means they don't want to pay him the $675,000 remaining on his over-priced contract, and then have to turn around and hire another coach for more money. This is strange to me, because the UO can afford it.

Nike CEO Phil Knight has built most of the school's athletic facilities:

The most telling move of all: Knight helped build a $15 million indoor practice facility for the football team. Because if Oregon was going to be among the national elite, it'd mean drawing elite talent to rainy Eugene from all over the nation. And elite talent doesn't like practicing in the rain.

Since then, the spending's continued. In 2003, Oregon built a two-story football locker room that cost $3.2 million, and includes ventilated lockers that cost an estimated $26,000-a-piece. In 2007, the Athletic Medicine Center was built with another $10 million in donations. And then in 2010, there was the academic center for athletes that Knight built.

So not only has Oregon been saving facilities and uniform monies, they rake in the cash during football season, when every game is sold out. Don't tell me they can't afford to boot Westhead and get a real coach in there. It's obviously not a priority for them.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because I haven't recognized the University from which I graduated for a long time. It used to be a track and field mecca with good women's and men's basketball teams. Now it's all about football. It feels like football was bussed in from across the country like they used to do with kids in schools - in other words, fake.

Oregon women's basketball made the first NCAA Tournament in 1982. I'll never forget it; it's what got me into the sport, and into athletics in general. Fast forward 31 years and they have another bad coach that they won't fire, when they could. They should be ashamed of themselves.

The UO owes it to their women's basketball program, and the athletes in it, to step up and help the program by getting a new coach. Their failure to address the problem shows how little they care about the sport.

Post-college glow

I'm still getting over the fact that college season has ended.


President Obama called UConn Coach Geno Auriemma yesterday to congratulate the team.

The Husky victory parade will be Sunday.

Cardinal fans welcomed their team home.

Louisville Coach Jeff Walz says he has a great situation.

UConn wasn't a unanimous number one selection in the final USA Today poll.

Breanna Stewart is as good as advertised.

Kiah Stokes' father says she's at UConn for the long haul.

Florida Gulf Coast is ready to move on after a disappointing end to their season.

Iowa's Morgan Johnson has been selected to play with the NetScouts Basketball United States All-Star Team.

Shooting hoops with Santa Clara's Megan Fulps.

New Missouri State Coach Kellie Harper delivers the right message.

North Carolina Coach Sylvia Hatchell is savoring her Naismith selection.


Documents reveal that Iowa State's NCAA violations were major. They involve 33 coaches, and every athletic program at the University. Wow.

Final USA Today poll.

Coaching changes:

Krista Gerlich is the new coach at UT-Arlington.

Mary Gleason has resigned at Houston Baptist. Donna Finnie is the interim head coach.

High school news:

The MaxPreps Basketball Coach of the Year is Duncanville's Cathy Self-Morgan.

Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year Jackie Kemph is building her legacy.

Detroit's Antania Hayes has fought past tragedy and into a bright future.

My college thoughts:

1. There's plenty of parity in the game. But stacking the brackets the way they were makes it look like there isn't. Why put Notre Dame and UConn on the same side? The Championship game was a let down after a great season.

2. It's ironic to me that on one hand, Skylar Diggins gets backlash because she is attractive, while Brittney Griner gets clowned for being big. Women just can't win.

It's WNBA time

Excellent team-by-team analysis by fullcourt of who needs what in the draft.

Indiana Fever draft preview.

Atlanta Dream draft preview.

The Mercury have signed DeWanna Bonner to a multi-year contract.

Tianna Hawkins draft profile.

Husker Lindsey Moore awaits the draft.

The Mercury has a list of mock drafts.

Monday's draft will be the first time in prime time.

WNBA draft invitees announced

Smart list:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Alex Bentley
Layshia Clarendon
Kelly Faris
Tayler Hill
Lindsey Moore
Sugar Rodgers
Tianna Hawkins
Toni Young
Kelsey Bone

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is USC's new coach

Finally, an announcement.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wrapping it up and looking forward

More on last night's championship:

UConn's Caroline Doty persevered.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis broke the three-point championship game record.

Stefanie Dolson epitomized toughness for the Huskies.

Maya Moore was on hand to witness title eight.

Dolson and Brit Hartley saved their best for last.

Fans greeted the Huskies upon their arrival at home today.

Three keys to UConn's dominance.

Success is nice, but Louisville still has work to do.

The Cardinal's deflating loss won't diminish their Tournament run.

Shoni Schimmel and Louisville will grow from the experience.

Coach Jeff Walz on the journey.

Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt paid respects to each other last night, and Tennessee Coach Holly Warlick appreciated it.

Other college news:

Nashville is getting ready to host next year's Final Four.

Kelli Harper is Missouri State's new coach.

Cal is building a legacy.

Catching up with Holly Warlick.

Alexis Jones seized the moment for Duke.

Dara Taylor will transition to point guard for Penn State.

Oklahoma Sooners: as good as it gets.


Brittney Griner, right? The Mercury is 99.9 percent sure of its pick.

Iowa State's Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins are optimistic about the draft.

Final Four draft prospects.

High school:

Becca Greenwell, injured in last week's McDonald's All-American game, had to have ACL reconstructive surgery.

Diamond DeShields is the MaxPreps 2013 National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Maxpreps crowned Riverdale the national high school champs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

UConn beats Louisville 93-60 to take the National Championship

UConn routed Louisville to win their eighth national title.

Freshman Breanna Stewart was Most Outstanding Player.






Most interesting Final Four quote to me was that of UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis on Breanna Stewart: "That's Stewie - she's emotionless."

1. That could make for a brilliant career.

2. I always thought KML emotionless when she was playing at Mater Dei.

More Final Four stuff:

Monday's best quotes.

The Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis-Breanna Stewart partnership could be special.

Expectations were not fully met in the Final Four.

With Lindsay Gottlieb at the helm, Cal had a breakthrough season.

Muffet McGraw has swept the national coach of the year honors.

Lisa Leslie on Louisville-UConn and the future of Skylar Diggins.

Other college news:

In an interview, Brittney Griner admitted to being bullied.

Griner, part II: life off the court.

Purdue's Drey Mingo will receive the Brady Sports Achievement Award this week.

Elena Delle Donne made a TV appearance.

Junior Kionna Kellogg has been granted a release by Minnesota and is leaving the team.

College coaching news:

Audra Smith almost played at Clemson. Now she's their need head coach.

New NC State Coach Wes Moore is aiming high. He offers a link to the Kay Yow era.

Toledo has extended Coach Tricia Cullop's contract through 2021-2022.

Shawnee State Coach Robin Hagen-Smith is retiring.

Missouri State will announced their new coach tomorrow.

Phil Stern will remain at UMBC, instead of going to Seton Hall.

WBCA coaches of the year:

Barbara Stevens of Bentley University was named NCAA Division II national coach of the year.

Kris Huffman of DePauw University was named NCAA Division III national coach of the year.

George Wilson of College of the Ozarks was named NAIA national coach of the year.

Kate Lynch of Community College of Rhode Island was named junior/community college national coach of the year.


Liz Cambage won't play for the Tulsa Shock this summer, either.

A few minutes with Connecticut Sun guard Kara Lawson.

Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve says the WNBA's financial picture is getting brighter.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

USC coach search

Rumor has it that Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was introduced to the University of Southern California team as their new head coach a week and a half ago. But after that, Princeton Coach Courtney Banghart was interviewed for the position. Word today is that one of those candidates might be removing her name from consideration.

And then there were two: 2009 Championship rematch

Louisville rallied in the second half to beat Cal, 64-57. They're the first fifth seed to reach the title game.


Louisville interviews.

Cal is disappointed, but not devastated.

It was Antonita Slaughter's house.

Cal analysis.

After a slow start, Louisville rose to the occasion.

Cal is taking positives away from the experience.

Game two:

UConn got revenge on Notre Dame by dominating them and shutting down point guard Skylar Diggins. Final: 83-65.

The Huskies broke the Irish spell.

Analysis. (Why didn't ESPN analyze the first game??)

Diggins interview.


The Championship game is 5:30/8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

It is the same title match up as 2009.

Other college news:

Fullcourt All American and Freshman teams.

Dawn Staley will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Brittney Griner isn't shying away from Mark Cuban's proposal.

WBCA All American game:

The Black Team beat the Purple Team, 74-70.

Subs lead the way.

Other high school news:

Jordin Canada is Southern California's basketball player of the year.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Final Four news load

Notre Dame:

Skylar Diggins is ready for her final shot at a championship.

Hustle is making it happen for Jewell Loyd.

There was nothing simple about getting to New Orleans.

The Irish are bracing for another close encounter.


Coach Geno Auriemma says whatever he can to motivate players.

For the Huskies, the frosh might be the key.

UConn doesn't want Notre Dame to get in their heads.

One columnist says the Huskies will win this one in the first 39 minutes.


Point guard Brittany Boyd sets the pace for the Golden Bears. She has matured.

Cal is expecting the unexpected from Louisville's defense.

Cal is a bear of a team when it comes to rebounds.

The Bears are happy to be part of the Big East invitational.

Coach Lindsay Gottlieb's approach has lead her team to the Final Four.


Coach Jeff Walz keeps the Cardinals believing.

He is also basking in the Final Four glow.

Monique Reid's heart makes up for a bum knee.

Far from the reservation, the Schimmel sisters lead Louisville.

Shoni Schimmel blogs.

Yesterday's parade:



Layshia Clarendon interview.

Sara Hammond interview.

Skylar Diggins interview.


Final Four practices.

The Final Four offers a good mix.

The Four is an intersection of fading eras.

Cal and Louisville aim to take away each other's strengths.

Great moments in UConn-Notre Dame history.

The roads for Kelly Faris and Skylar Diggins lead to the same place.

Final Four tidbits. (Writer Richard Kent misspells Brittney Griner's name, though)

Brittney Griner is sad that the Baylor Bears aren't there.

The collected wisdom of Rebecca Lobo.

Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie analyzes the Final Four.

Fullcourt's mid-major All-American team.

Other college news:

Pat Summitt is proud of Holly Warlick and the Lady Vols.

Former Volunteer-turned Denver Bronco Peyton Manning will donate $500,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Elon Coach Charlotte Smith has written a book.

Will the resignation of the Rutgers men's coach affect Vivian Stringer?

The fear and loathing behind the Brittney Griner NBA tryout backlash.

Ohio Coach Bob Boldon has added Tavares Jackson and Kate Schrader as assistant coaches.

Penn State Coach Coquese Washington credits the outgoing seniors with the Lions' revival.

Minnesota Coach Pam Borton says she has her AD's support.

Drexel tops Utah for WNIT title, 46-43

Hollie Merson's layup with 21 seconds remaining proved to be the difference maker as Drexel held on to edge Utah, 46-43, on Saturday to earn the 2013 WNIT title.

From the WNIT site.

WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team

WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Stefanie Dolson
Chelsea Gray
Brittney Griner
Kayla McBride
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Chiney Ogwumike
Odyssey Sims
Alyssa Thomas

AP awards:

Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw is Associated Press Coach of the Year.

Baylor's Brittney Griner is Associated Press Player of the Year.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

US Basketball Writers Association All-America Team


Player, School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown

Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M C 6-4 Jr. Houston, Texas
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware G/F 6-5 Sr. Wilmington, Del.
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame G 5-9 Sr. South Bend, Ind.
Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut C 6-5 Jr. Port Jervis, N.Y.
Brittney Griner, Baylor C 6-8 Sr. Houston, Texas
Maggie Lucas, Penn State G 5-10 Jr. Narberth, Pa.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut F 6-0 So. Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford F 6-3 Jr. Cypress, Texas
Odyssey Sims, Baylor G 5-9 Jr. Irving, Texas
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland F 6-2 Jr. Harrisburg, Pa.

Final Four and so much more

Final Four items:


Louisville is moving to elite status.

The Louisville mayor has declared tomorrow "Cardinal Red Day" to honor both the women's and men's teams for making the Final Four.

The "party crashers" are enjoying their run.

The Schimmel sisters united to push the Cardinals to the Final Four.

Notre Dame

Skylar Diggins' teammates get her message.

Natalie Achonwa strives for balance.


Coach Lindsay Gottlieb is making a remarkable impact in just her second year.

The Golden Bears have a legit shot to win the title.

Berkeley's mayor is betting on Cal.


Coach Geno Auriemma says the Huskies couldn't have played better in the last two games.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has become much more than just a shooter.

General Final Four:

Nothing friendly but the coaches in Notre Dame-UConn battle.

The buzz on Bourbon Street.

Recruits from all four schools are keeping a close eye on this weekend's games.

Final Four features good story lines without Baylor.

Not having Brittney Griner in New Orleans means star power is taking a serious hit.

Non-Tournament college news:

Creighton is entering the off-season with confidence.

Illinois has a bright future despite some key losses.

Oklahoma returns three starting guards next season.

Nerves factored in Lady Vol Meighan Simmons struggles.

Purdue aims to find a "go-to" player for next season.


Asjha Jones will sit out the season to recover from nagging injuries.

Danielle McCray may be out too.

Will Kelsey Bone's pro career be better than her college run?

Coaching carousel, 2013

Larry Tidwell is leaving Lamar to be head coach at Texas-Pan American.

Niki Geckeler has left Howard to coach at Towson.

Cindy Stein is Southern Illinois' new coach.

Still open, courtesy of Helen:

1. UT-Arlington
2. Clemson
4. Dartmouth
5. Jacksonville
6. Coastal Carolina
7. USC
8. Radford
9. South Alabama
10. Missouri State
11. Loyola (IL)
12. William & Mary
13. Ohio State
14. George Mason
15. St. Peter’s
16. Iona
17. NC State
18. UMBC
19. Incarnate Word
20. Youngstown State
21. Illinois State
22. Pittsburgh
23. Pepperdine
24. Howard
25. Miami (OH)
26. Lamar

Ah, the Madness.