Saturday, May 30, 2015

Liberty pound China in open scrimmage

Sugar Rodgers put up 22 points in New York's thrashing of China, 100-42, in an open scrimmage today.


Brittney Griner is tough-minded, but fighting doesn't define her.


Shavonte Zellous has won her case against her former Turkish team, Galatasaray, and will get $200,000 in back pay and bonuses.

Media day interviews.

College news:

Taj McWilliams-Franklin is ready for her new job, as head coach at Post University in Connecticut.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lynx media day interviews

Mike Peden, who writes for us at, did a great job at Minnesota Lynx media day earlier this week filming and conducting interviews. Enjoy:

Seimone Augustus

Maya Moore

Lindsay Whalen

Rebekkah Brunson

Amber Harris

Monica Wright

Devereaux Peters

Asjha Jones

Reshanda Gray

Shae Kelley

Jennifer O'Neill

Coach Cheryl Reeve

You can follow Mike @thesportsbrain

Several WNBA players to miss games for Eurobasket tournament

Among those who will miss games in upcoming weeks for a Eurobasket Tournament are:

New York's Epiphanny Prince (Russia), Los Angeles' Kristi Toliver (Slovakia), Indiana's Shavonte Zellous (Croatia), Atlanta's Celine Dumerc (France) and Minnesota's Anna Cruz (Spain) and Chicago's Allie Quigley (Hungary).

Today's preseason result:

The Fever edged the Mystics, 76-74.

Briana Butler proved her worth on Indiana's roster.


Angel McCoughtry has experienced a transformation lately - is "living my own life."

Q&A with Shoni Schimmel.


A healthy Rebekkah Brunson is a boost for the Lynx defense.

Youth is no longer on Minnesota's side.


Alyssa Thomas is showing off her versatility.

Forward Kelsey Griffin has undergone arthroscopic surgery on her left hip, and is out indefinitely.


Who will step up for Chicago if Sylvia Fowles doesn't play?


Candice Wiggins feels a sense of purpose with New York.

Today's transactions:

May 29, 2015
Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Ify Ibekwe Waived
Indiana Sydney Carter Waived
Indiana Alicia DeVaughn Waived
Indiana Chelsea Gardner Waived
Indiana Tyaunna Marshall Waived
Phoenix Promise Amukamara Waived

College news:

Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne's contract has been extended through 2018, and she got a $20,000 raise.

Ivory Latta has resigned as assistant coach at North Carolina to focus on her playing career.

Jermaine Woods is Old Dominion's new assistant coach.

Jannah Tucker is transferring to Villanova.

Pat Summitt:

Tyler Summitt says his mother is doing well, as is fundraising for the proposed Pat Summitt Alzheimer's Clinic at Tennessee.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Game action, player waives picking up

Today's preseason game results:

Shock 79, Stars 71

Sparks 64, Sun 57

Both Tulsa and Los Angeles are 2-0 in preseason now.

Mercury 79, Storm 73

Sky 92, China 59

Tomorrow's game:

Mystics at Fever

More WNBA news......


With a veteran core and Maya Moore, the time for Minnesota to win titles is now.

The Lynx are still working to get Asjha Jones healthy.


Even without Sylvia Fowles, the Sky see no limit this season.


Angel Goodrich is still on the team, for now.


Interview with coach Bill Laimbeer.


After dominating in Israel, Kayla Thornton is ready for another shot at the WNBA.

The latest transactions:

May 28, 2015
Team Player Transaction

New York Amber Orrange Waived
New York Shanece McKinney Waived

May 26, 2015
Team Player Transaction

San Antonio Nikki Moody Waived
San Antonio Davellyn Whyte Waived
San Antonio Brittany Hrynko Contract Signed

But a few hours ago, the Mercury tweeted that they'd waived Jasmine James and Promise Amukamara.

It's only going to get more painful from here on out.

College news:

The Academic Progress Rate for Division I women's basketball went up two points this year.

Kaela Davis has reportedly transferred to South Carolina.

Oregon State star Sydney Wiese is excited to play for the US at the World University Games this summer.

Heather Vulin is Virginia Tech's new assistant coach.

Xavier's new assistant coach is Kate Achter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Intriguing game results; a plateful of college news

Today's preseason results:

Dream 85, Liberty 72

Mystics 89, Lynx 63

Sparks 76, Sky 67

Sun 86, China 65

Hoping Atlanta all-star forward Angel McCoughtry is OK. She hurt her knee in today's game and had to be carried off the court.

Tomorrow's game schedule:

Shock at Stars

Storm at Mercury

China at Sky

Sparks at Sun


First-year coach Stephanie White wants a faster, more free-flowing style of play.

Versatile guard Shanise Johnson is embracing a new team and a new opportunity.


Sue Bird is ready for the rebuilding and mentoring that is ahead.

Renee Montgomery is welcoming a fresh start with the Storm.


Rookie Natasha Cloud is making the most of her journey so far.


New faces have joined camp, including Brittany Hrynko, who has a tight bond with her dad.


For now, rookie Elizabeth Williams is focused on basketball.


Tina Charles on peak ways to stay in shape year-round.


Tulsa had a complete turnaround last season.


Phoenix is ready to defend their title.

Brittney Griner:

....says other WNBA players want her to appeal her seven-game suspension after being arrested for domestic violence with partner Glory Johnson last month.

College news:

Illinois has hired a firm to investigate abuse claims against the school's basketball coaches.

Sybil Dosty is a new assistant coach at Seattle University.

Heather Butler has returned to UT Martin as an assistant coach.

Siena's new assistant coach is Shannon Bush.

Former Vanderbilt forward Khaléann Caron-Goudreau has transferred to Texas.

Former Cincinnati forward Marley Hill has transferred to Western Michigan.

Former DePaul guard ShaKeya Graves has transferred to Oakland.

The NJCAA is investigating Hutchinson Community College for possible improper benefits and eligibility issues.

Glory Johnson (finally) speaks

Tulsa Shock all-star forward Glory Johnson says the suspensions of she and wife Brittney Griner for domestic violence were too much:

Johnson said multiple triggers led to the dispute with Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury.

"We know how we care about each other, and we fought out of that," she said. "A lot of it was passion. We fought because we were mad that this person felt like this, or this person said this."

The league suspended them for seven games each -- just over a fifth of the season -- without pay. Johnson is appealing her suspension, and said her lawyer is ready if further action is needed.

"Do I think it was a little much? Yes," Johnson said. "Especially because of the way we are and the way we handled it."

Johnson reflects on an unexpectedly turbulent offseason.

Johnson has arrived in Tulsa for training camp.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Twenty years ago today.....

Twenty years ago today, the Women's National Team that would win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, and inspire the formation of the ABL and WNBA, was named:

One by one, in alphabetical order, each player received a knock on her door and were told they were up next and had to walk down the long hallway, replaying every moment of the trials in their heads. They all were nervous, emotionally spent and physically exhausted from the week-long trials process.

“I remember hanging out with Dawn (Staley) and Lisa (Leslie),” continued McGhee. “We were like the little crew. That was our little crew. I kept telling them that I knew they had made it. They said, ‘You made it Red, relax.’ I was like, ‘no.’ I was not feeling good about it. I went and cried. They were trying to make me laugh, but it was tough.”

Are we ever going to get an ESPN feature on this team?????

U16 team named:

The 12 players who will represent the USA as the U16 team are:

Jayda Adams (Mater Dei H.S./Santa Ana, Calif.); Desireé Caldwell (Johnson H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s H.S./Stockton, Calif.); Andra Espinoza-Hunter (Blair Academy, N.J./Ossining, N.Y.); Destiny Littleton (The Bishop’s School/San Diego, Calif.); Lauryn Miller (Kirkwood H.S./Kirkwood, Mo.); Alexis Morris (Legacy Christian Academy/Beaumont, Texas); Valencia Myers (Solon H.S./Solon, Ohio); Sedona Prince (Faith Academy/Liberty Hill, Texas); Honesty Scott-Grayson (Blair Academy/Brick, N.J.); Bexley Wallace (Pickerington Central H.S./Pickerington, Ohio); and Jade Williams (Prestonwood Christian Academy/The Colony, Texas).

Preseasons games start again tomorrow

General WNBA:

For Lynx and WNBA players - how much is too much?

There's plenty of WNBA news so far this season, and it's all bad.

Natalie Achonwa and Chelsea Gray are finally getting play time, one year after graduation.


One-on-one with coach Cheryl Reeve.

Minnesota will play a new kind of "analytic scrimmage."


Rookie Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is enjoying the learning aspect of training camp.


Q&A with rookie Cheyenne Parker.


Four things learned at the first week of training camp.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Mercury at Storm.

College news:

Alabama is continuing to make progress in rebuilding, says coach Kristy Curry.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Tonight's preseason game results:

The Sun dropped the Fever, 76-68, and the Mystics routed the Dream, 79-65.

Don't get too excited.....remember that teams have only been practicing for 4-6 days.


Tayler Hill is back in shape and ready to go this season.


Q&A with veteran Seimone Augustus.

Life is good for Minnesota assistant coach Jim Peterson.


Karima Christmas discusses her return to the team, and last night's game.


A camp/practice with coach Sandy Brondello is intense, players say.

College news:

Devanei Hampton graduated from Cal today. She worked long and hard to be able to do that.

Renee Jimenez has resigned as Cal State Bernardino's coach and will take the reins at Cal State San Marcos.

(Today's only downer) Former South Florida standout Shantia Grace was arrested last night for misdemeanor domestic battery.

High school:

Japanese leagues help Southern California high school players progress.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Two blowouts to open the preseason

Tonight's action:

Sky 83, Liberty 55

Shock 81, Stars 51


Many of you have had roster and player questions - namely, why hasn't Candace Parker been in training camp or media day, and why isn't rookie Crystal Bradford showing up on the roster yet?

A team spokesperson said Parker, a free agent, isn't yet signed. She isn't necessarily considering other teams; she's resting after playing year-round basketball for several consecutive years.

The spokesperson said Bradford is rehabilitating from injuries and will sign with the Sparks once she is healthy enough. There is no timetable on that.


Five burning questions.


Today's practice report.

The latest WNBA transactions:

May 22, 2015
Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Darxia Morris Waived

May 21, 2015

Atlanta Delisha Milton-Jones Contract Signed
Chicago Aleighsa Welch Waived
Tulsa Mimi Mungedi Waived

College news:

Kevin Morrison quits his University of Washington assistant coach job to take the same position at Georgia Tech. What?

Air Force has not three but four new assistant coaches: Stacy McIntyre, Erin Mills, Clare Fitzpatrick and Janean Jubic.

U16 trials:

Lessons being learned.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WNBA preseason opens tomorrow

It's already time for exhibition games? Well, now.

Tomorrow the Liberty and Sky face off at Elena Delle Donne's old stomping grounds, the University of Delaware.

The Stars also take on the Shock in Tulsa.

Saturday it's a double-header at the University of Louisville: Fever vs. Sun and Dream vs. Mystics.



The Women's Sports Foundation has filed a petition to deny Isiah Thomas ownership of the Liberty.

Media day photos.


Skylar Diggins talks new team leaders, season projections, and storms.

College coaching positions being filled quickly

College player news:

UCLA leading scorer Nirra Fields has been added to Canada's European Exhibition team.

Former Marist forward Madeline Blais has transferred to Dayton.

College team news:

Simmons College in Louisville will add women's and men's basketball within the next two years.

Seven families are upset by Illinois' internal investigation into coach abuse claims. One former player for coach Matt Bollant has come out in support of him.

Marist has begun reconstruction with international stand outs.

College coaching news:

Allison Guth is Yale's new head coach.

Brooklyn Kohlheim is Florida Atlantic's new assistant coach.

Kesha Watson is Loyola Chicago's new assistant coach.

Randi Henderson is a new assistant coach at Charlotte.

Jacie Hoyt-Capra has been promoted to assistant coach at Kansas State.

Zach Kancher is George Washington's new assistant coach.

Q&A with new Texas assistant coach Tina Thompson.

CSUN coach Jason Flowers enjoyed his Junior National Team coaching experience earlier this month.

College staff news:

Pat Summitt's former secretary, Katie Wynn, is retiring after 34 years.

Short but a lot


Glory Johnson may arrive at training camp this weekend.


The Sparks have a new jersey sponsor in Equitrust.


Epiphanny Prince will miss the beginning of the season to play for Russia.

Isiah Thomas wants people to keep an open mind about him.


Asjha Jones is back at practice.


Betnijah Laney returns to Delaware tomorrow night with the Sky.


Coach Sandy Brondello's contract has been extended through the 2016 season.


Q&A with Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel.

USA Basketball:

U16 team trials begin today.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Plenty of talent on hand for Sparks, despite two absences

Though WNBA teams are allowed 12 players this year instead of 11, cuts for the Sparks this year won't be any easier. Lots of great talent in camp.

Plenty of talent on hand for Sparks, despite two absences.

Pan American Games team announced

Pan American Games roster:

Linnae Harper (Kentucky/Chicago, Ill.); Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut/Glenn Heights, Texas); Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina/Brownsburg, Ind.); Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina/Charlotte, N.C.); Kelsey Plum (Washington/Poway, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Notre Dame/Fishers, Ind.); Breanna Stewart (Connecticut/North Syracuse, N.Y.), Sophie Brunner (Arizona State/Freeport, Ill.); Alaina Coates (South Carolina/Irmo, S.C.); Caroline Coyer (Villanova/Oak Hill, Va.); Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Maryland/Aliquippa, Pa.); and Courtney Williams (Texas A&M/Houston, Texas).

World University Games team named

Star-studded roster:

Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Diamond DeShields (Tennessee/Norcross, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Duke/Owensboro, Ky.); Erica McCall (Stanford/Bakersfield, Calif.); Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore), Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.); Chanise Jenkins (DePaul/Chicago, Ill.); Brionna Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.); Aerial Powers (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); Courtney Range (California/Manteca, Calif.); Sydney Wiese (Oregon State/Phoenix, Ariz.); and Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.).

I wanna see this team play soooooo badly.

Training camp opens, signaling beginning of WNBA season


Isiah Thomas and James Dolan met with Liberty players yesterday to discuss Thomas' hiring, and the sexual harassment lawsuit that Madison Square Garden lost in 2007. Athletes appreciated it and hope for the best.

Swin Cash, vice president of the WNBA player's union, said they will take a wait-and-see approach.

Thomas was at the team's first practice today.


Asjha Jones and Monica Wright were held out of practice today due to issues found in their physicals.

Jones is ready to fill Janel McCarville's shoes.


It was a fresh start for Seattle today.


Glory Johnson was absent, but Riquna Williams is back from injury.


The plan for this year is to elevate the pace.


Connecticut enters camp with many holes to fill.

I'll have my Sparks camp story up shortly, so stand by.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

WNBA training camp begins tomorrow

.......and it's oddly quiet.

Today marks one month since the WNBA draft, and yesterday was a huge news day. So maybe it figures.

The Dream's training camp roster is set.

I wish the WNBA had all the team training camp rosters listed prominently on the website.

Q&A with Liberty rookies Amber Orrange and Laurin Mincy.

Chelsea Gray is excited to be a rookie with the Sun this year - and with her former teammate Elizabeth Williams.

U19 team:

Trials are in the books, and the 34 participants are waiting until tomorrow morning to see if they made the final cut of 12.

Proposed Lady Vol name change:

Supporters of Tennessee retaining the Lady Vol name rallied today.

Charlotte Smith:

Former Tar Heel standout and current Elon coach Charlotte Smith will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

It's U19 team's turn

Eighty-five athletes began camp Thursday for the USA Basketball U19 team. Try outs run through tomorrow.

Great expectations are placed on this group.

Participants have traveled various paths to the trials.

Last year's U18 members seek to finish what they started.

Day one gallery and highlights.

Day two gallery.

Catching up with Ali Patberg.

Nneka Ogwumike looks back at her stint on the National Team.

Friday, May 15, 2015

WNBA season a mystery

So who will win the WNBA title this year?

It won't be the Phoenix Mercury again.

Returning starters and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve are focused on the trophy, and they just might get it again.

Jenny Boucek is in her "natural spot" as the Storm's coach.

The Fever's media relations guy tries to explain players sitting out.

More on Griner-Johnson suspensions:

Defending Glory: Mercury may want to revisit slogan.

The punishment was firm but fair, one columnist says.

Isiah Thomas hire:

The WNBA player's union hope he's changed.

The union plans to keep an eye on the Liberty now.

College news:

Guard Jessica Washington is leaving North Carolina.

Former Drake star Kyndal Clark has transferred to Nebraska for her final year of eligibility, as a grad student.

Danyelle Snelgro and Wesley Brooks are new assistant coaches at Utah.

Stacy Cantley has returned to Western Carolina as an assistant coach.

Florida International's new assistant coach is Brianna Skeens.

Tom Goehle is South Dakota's new assistant coach.

New Haven coach Ty Grace has resigned.

NCAA rules committee recommends moving games to four-quarter format

The NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee has recommended that women's basketball games be played in four-quarter format next season:

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee recommended the proposal following its meeting May 12-15 in Indianapolis. All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss the recommended women’s basketball rules changes via conference call June 8.

Before the vote, committee members thoroughly debated the concept of moving the game away from the 20-minute halves format that women’s basketball has always used in NCAA competition.

The committee believes the four-quarter format will enhance the flow of the game.

“The rules committee is very excited about the change to the four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season,” said Michael Shafer, chair of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee and women’s basketball coach at the University of Richmond. “We believe this change, along with the associated changes to the timeout and foul rules, will address flow of the game and physicality. The overall format will strengthen the connection of college basketball with women’s basketball globally.”

The proposed format change is also endorsed by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Board of Directors.


WNBA suspends Griner, Johnson for seven games without pay for domestic violence incident

From the WNBA, moments ago:


NEW YORK, May 15, 2015 -- Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury and Glory Johnson of the Tulsa Shock were arrested at their home in Goodyear, Ariz., on April 22, 2015, on identical misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct. WNBA President Laurel J. Richie issued the following statement today regarding the incident:

The WNBA takes all acts of violence extremely seriously. It is our strong belief that violence has absolutely no place in society, in sports or in this league.

As president, it is my responsibility to protect the league and uphold its values. Our athletes represent the WNBA, and they all must abide by the league’s standards of conduct. In this case, Brittney and Glory failed to do so, and that is unacceptable.

The WNBA immediately initiated its own investigation into the incident. It was extremely
important for us to review the events thoroughly and carefully. Over the course of three weeks, the league conducted interviews with both players and three witnesses present for much of the altercation, and reviewed the police report, medical records, photos and other materials in order to determine the facts. Based on the WNBA’s investigation, the following summary of facts is largely undisputed.

Brittney and Glory were involved in a physical altercation with each other at their home. It began when Glory pushed Brittney in the shoulder and Brittney pushed Glory in the back of the neck. The confrontation escalated to include wrestling, punches, and the throwing and swinging of various objects. Brittney received a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist, and Glory received a scratch above her lip and was diagnosed with a concussion.

On April 28, Brittney pleaded guilty in Goodyear City Court to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and entered a diversion program. The assault charge was dismissed. Brittney is required to complete a 26-week domestic violence course, and if she successfully completes the course (and meets other standard conditions), the disorderly conduct charge will be dismissed. Glory’s case was transferred to county court and is still pending.

ln the course of the WNBA's review of the incident, I received guidance from a group of domestic violence experts: Dr. Valli Kalei Kanuha, Professor of Sociology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, a national consultant and trainer on gender violence, including same-sex partner violence; Linda Fairstein, former Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office; and Kalimah Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of SASHA Center, a Detroit-based healing and awareness center focusing on sexual assault. I also consulted with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and an internal group that focuses on education and counseling of players, including Kathy Behrens, the NBA's President for Social Responsibility & Player Programs, and Renee Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations.

With consideration of all the facts and circumstances of this matter, we are suspending Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson each without pay for a period of seven regular-season games. Brittney and Glory’s conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA and violates applicable law. We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline. Accordingly, each player will be required to attend individual counseling sessions with a counselor satisfactory to the WNBA. If either player fails to comply with this condition or any of the conditions imposed by the court, we reserve the right to revisit this matter.

The WNBA will continue to focus intently on the issue of domestic violence. Along with our partners in the Players Association, we will continue to educate our players so that they are equipped with the appropriate tools and resources and provided with necessary support systems. As such, we will be conducting education sessions with all WNBA players and team personnel throughout the season focused on domestic violence and related issues. We recognize that our league has an obligation and an opportunity to set an example for people around the world, and we will continue doing everything we can to ensure that situations such as this do not happen again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Today's young ball players: self-righteous and soft

It's been well-documented that the transfer rate of Division I basketball players the last few years has become epidemic on both the men's and women's side of the sport. Try googling "transfer rates in college basketball" and see how many stories you find on the subject.

As if that wasn't bad enough, now we have a new trend: filing complaints against coaches. Athletes are alleging abuse and mistreatment by their coaches left and right. But so far this year, those allegations haven't panned out for the accusers.

Last month Wichita State investigated coach Jody Adams for such complaints, and decided to keep her as coach and facilitate improved communication between her and her players. Kennesaw State made a similar conclusion this week, after looking into accusations against coach LaNitra Perry.

Of course there have been abusive coaches. And with the ever-increasing pressure of NCAA compliance and potential litigation, universities are happy to get rid of such coaches, which they have. But in the vast majority of these cases of supposed mistreatment, there is no abuse going on. The problem is that much of today's younger generation is self-righteous and soft.

Here's why: Your AAU coach won't make you a starter? Fine, then your parents put you on another team, or they create their own and make you the star. You're dissatisfied with your high school coach or the school itself? No problem - just fill out those transfer papers and you can go wherever you want.

It happens all the time, and I've seen it over and over and over. Where I work, two male basketball players left the school just before the season to go play somewhere else, for no particular reason. One came back after the season was over because he missed his friends. And I've seen the AAU exodus/creation of a specialized team for one or two kids.

Many of today's young people were coddled, and as a result, feel a sense of entitlement that their elders never experienced. I see it in how quickly they give up on things: sports, academics, life. I see it in the kids I teach, the kids I've coached, the kids who I talk with who aren't even in my classes. They don't seem to have the same concept of fighting through adversity and obstacles that previous generations have - not to mention their complete lack of resilience.

Today we got news that five players from Eastern Washington are leaving the team. While they don't accuse 14-year coach Wendy Schuller of abuse, they do blame her for their departures. When I read one of the reasons, I busted out laughing:

Locked out

Two of the departing players said one of the turning points of the season came during a losing streak in January. The Eagles lost at home to Sacramento State before losing on the road at Northern Colorado, North Dakota and Idaho.

When the players returned to Cheney, “we got our locker room taken away for a couple weeks,” Redmon said. Coaches “thought it was a privilege and we didn’t deserve to have that privilege.”

Brown said the locker room lockout made her start to question whether she wanted to stay.

“From there on … we were pretty successful,” Brown said of the team that won six straight games. “But a lot of things happen behind closed doors. You could tell the relationship between the team and the coaches took a turn for the worse.”

Pat Summitt wouldn't make it as a coach today - she'd be accused of abuse. Because among other tactics she used over her 38 years of coaching, she locked the Lady Vols out of their locker room from time to time to prove a point. And just as in Eastern Washington last season, it always worked. The difference was that Tennessee players were smart enough and tough enough to understand what she was doing.

There's also this about the EWU players:

Schuller said each of the reasons for the players leaving was different. Some of them wanted to be closer to home and others weren’t happy with the minutes they were getting on the court.

Poor wittle babies. The homesickness and having to earn your playing time is sure rough. I'm sure no collegiate athlete has ever experienced that before.

I really respect Schuller for not giving the canned "we appreciate their contributions" speech and keeping it real:

“In terms of the young ladies who don’t like my coaching style, I guess that’s why they are leaving. I don’t know what to say about that,” Schuller said. “We had a lot of success doing what I do. I try to treat my players like young women.

“If they don’t feel like it was a great place, maybe it’s good they are moving on.”

Go on, girl. And the same to Jody Adams. Is it any wonder a protege of Summitt was accused of being abusive? I think not.

I'm hoping today's young people get a grip soon. I can't keep busting chops for the rest of my life; I'm going to have to retire eventually.

The heart of the matter

Janel McCarville says her body is "a little broken down," and she needs this summer to rest.

Female pros have been playing 11-12 months annually for years. They get paid higher to play in Europe and Asia than they receive in the U.S. That's why financially, they're deciding to skip the WNBA season.

More WNBA news:

The Sky have a new jersey sponsor: the Magellan Corporation.

Storm center Angel Robinson will miss the first part of the season, as she plays for the Montenegro National Team.

Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike is helping start a basketball development program in Nigeria.

The Isiah Thomas hire is worse than you think, one ESPN writer says.

Today's WNBA transactions:

May 14, 2015

Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Brittany Hrynko Contract Signed
Minnesota Asjha Jones Contract Signed
Minnesota Janel McCarville Not Playing the 2015 Season - Suspended
Minnesota Rachel Jarry Not Playing the 2015 Season - Suspended
San Antonio Sydney Colson Contract Signed
Seattle Kristen Mann Contract Signed
Seattle Angel Robinson Not Playing the 2015 Season - Suspended

College news:

New UC Santa Barbara assistant coaches are alumni Mia Fisher and Drew Markowitz.

Former Colorado forward Arielle Roberson will use her final year of eligibility at West Virginia.

Tiffany Lewis has transferred from Clemson to Auburn.

Former Delaware State guards and sisters Raven and Raine Bankston have transferred to Towson.

Former St. Bonaventure forward Hannah Little has transferred to Oakland.

Pat Summitt:

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is naming its south rotunda after legendary coach Pat Summitt.

NCAA creates Women's Basketball Oversight Committee to evolve the game

The NCAA is taking steps to implement recommendations of the White Paper by forming a Women's Basketball Oversight Committee.

It was fascinating talking to Val Ackerman, Anucha Browne, Carol Callan and Danielle Donehew for this story.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I'm confused by a couple of stories from today.

For Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, a complicated match:

“Plus, Glory is straight,” Ms. Griner said. “That was another reason why I thought this could end really bad.”.....

Ms. Johnson said she wasn’t sure what was happening, but that was O.K. She was not attracted to women, but she realized she was attracted to Ms. Griner.

“I’m not a lesbian,” Ms. Johnson said. “But Brittney is different.”


“It was weird, but it was so comfortable it didn’t feel like it was wrong,” Ms. Johnson said. “But I didn’t know how I was going to tell my family and my friends.”

When she did tell them, Ms. Johnson said they didn’t believe her. A week later her parents and siblings came to visit her in Tulsa, while Ms. Griner was also visiting.

“When they actually met Brittney for the first time, they were like, ‘Oh, we get it now,’ ” Ms. Johnson said. “They were extremely welcoming.”

The couple’s fathers chose not to attend the wedding.......

The couple, who will use the surname Johnson-Griner, wrote their own vows.

Lots to digest there.

Then there's this:

Isiah Thomas has filed for partial ownership of the New York Liberty.

Still no statement from the WNBA regarding domestic violence, punishments for Griner and Johnson, or whether or not the Board of Governors will approve Thomas' hire.

And has Sylvia Fowles found a team yet?

Let's recap who is not playing for all or part of the 2015 WNBA season:

Diana Taurasi

Penny Taylor

Candace Parker

Liz Cambage

Shavonte Zellous

Natalie Achonwa

Janel McCarville

I've said it before: interesting times in the WNBA right now.

More shakin'

Sun coach Anne Donovan isn't happy with the Liberty's decision to hire Isiah Thomas.

Diana Taurasi still seems to feel that the Mercury are title contenders this year. Mercury camp questions.

The Dream studied the patterns of success prior to this year's draft.

The latest WNBA transactions:

May 13, 2015

Team Player Transaction

Connecticut Inga Orekhova Contract Signed
Connecticut Asjha Jones Rights traded to Minn. in exchange for a 2016 2ndround draft pick
Minnesota Darxia Morris Contract Signed

College news:

Former Texas Tech guard Minta Spears has transferred to Vanderbilt.

Former Oregon forward Tatum Neubert has transferred to LSU.

Aqua Franklin is Kansas' new assistant coach.

Tiara Malcolm is Florida International's new assistant coach.

Why Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer tried to seize a former player's restaurant.

Janel McCarville's decision to sit out an indication of the future?

The Minnesota Lynx announced earlier today that center Janel McCarville won't play this season, and they've already replaced her with Asjha Jones:

The Lynx starting lineup will look a little different this season.

Center Janel McCarville told the team that she will not play in 2015. The reasons behind that decision have not been revealed by either McCarville or the Lynx, who released the information Wednesday.

The Lynx have acquired the Connecticut Sun's veteran center, Asjha Jones, and she will be in a Lynx uniform when training camp opens Sunday.

First Diana Taurasi sitting out, then Candace Parker sitting out for a part of the season. Shavonte Zellous and Natalie Achonwa also announced today that they'd miss the season with the Indiana this.

Women who play professionally have been playing year-round for years, to the detriment of their own bodies. Just yesterday Lauren Jackson announced she'd be sitting out her third consecutive WNBA season, for injuries.

Given the choice of playing overseas for more money, it's hard to knock players who choose financial stability. But where is this trend going? Is this about to get ugly?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Two great videos

Tamika Catchings on her love of basketball and the importance of great coaches

Chiney Ogwumike on building a successful career as an intellectual athlete

Ya gotta love these women.

Lauren Jackson to miss 2015 season

Lauren Jackson will miss the 2015 WNBA season - her third in a row.

Is her career over?

Right-hip surgery in September was supposed to get Jackson back on the court by November. Instead, she’s had multiple follow-up surgeries on her right knee.

“I’m sure people doubt whether I can make a full comeback, but I can’t think like that,” Jackson said after her hip surgery. “I know I have potential, and I want to go out on a good note. I don’t have anything to prove. I’ve just had too good of a career there (Seattle) to let that fall by the wayside.”

This is interesting:

She said she regrets playing for the Storm in 2012, when she appeared in nine regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs. She missed the 2013 WNBA season because of a right-hamstring injury.

To me, Lauren Jackson is one of the greatest players ever. She's still sixth on the WNBA's all-time points list and fourth in points per game, despite that she hasn't played a full season since 2011.

Lauren Jackson, we didn't know you long enough.


Just a bit of jostling

It's time for WNBA players to speak out against the Liberty's Isiah Thomas hire.

Four WNBA players got married over the weekend.

Skylar Diggins can be both a beauty and a beast.

Women's National Team:

Highlights from last week's camp.

College news:

Dawn Staley received the Willie Jeffries Ambassador for Sports Award at the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame annual banquet and induction ceremony Monday night.

UALR's new assistant coach is Steve Wiedower.

Former South Dakota State University forward Chynna Stevens has transferred to San Diego.

Former Michigan guard Paige Rakers has landed at St. Louis.

UConn's Breanna Stewart gives new meaning to the word busy.

Samantha Allen is the new head coach at Southern Maine.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Six days 'til WNBA training camp

It's too quiet.

Will the WNBA punish or sanction Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson for their April 22 assault arrests?

Will the WNBA announce a policy on domestic violence?

Will the WNBA Board of Governors approve the Liberty's Isiah Thomas hire?

Will Sylvia Fowles sign with a team?

We're waiting.

In the meantime:

The Mercury's championship trophy traveled a lot in the off season.

The Dream's new in-arena host is none other than Babi Mac, aka former Lady Vol Cait McMahan.

Q&A with Dream rookie Samantha Logic.

College player news:

Texas center Imani McGee-Stafford has won the Honda Inspiration Award.

Baylor guard Ieshia Small has been granted a release, and post Micayla Buckner is transferring to a community college.

College coaching news:

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley delivered Saturday's commencement address. She urged graduates to live passionately.

North Florida's new assistant coaches, under Darrick Gibbs, are David Lowery, Jessica Ridgill and MaryLynne Schaefer.

Amy Starr is Pacific's new assistant coach.

Wyoming's new assistant coach is Bojan Jankovic.

Wichita State coach Jody Adams comments about the recent investigation of her program.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dance lessons, rookies and vets, and always college news

WNBA news:

Relationships can be acknowledged in the WNBA.....and more interestingly, Geno Auriemma gave Seimone Augustus some dance lessons to close out USA Basketball camp Wednesday. Augustus is finally marrying longtime partner and fiancee LaTaya Varner tomorrow.

With two highly-coveted rookies, the Storm is ready to usher in a new era. Loyd, the #1 pick, awed AAU coaches early on with her competitive drive.

Q&A with Dream rookies Brittany Hrynko and Ariel Massengale.

Auriemma feels good about the team homes of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes.

Mercury forward Diana Taurasi was on a talk show yesterday.

The Chicago Sky is taking heat for replacing its female announcer crew. One of those replaced says the men who were hired in their steed are higher-paid.

Q&A with the Minnesota Lynx's Asia Taylor.

Nike women presents: Skylar Diggins.

Mercury draftee Isabelle Harrison is taking the next step after her injury.

Isiah Thomas fallout continues:

The Seattle Storm have expressed concern about the Liberty's hiring of Isiah Thomas.

The backlash continues.

Coach Bill Laimbeer would be OK with the Liberty being hated because of Thomas. (Wow)

College news:

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has added Fred Chmiel as an assistant coach.

Gamecock Tina Roy talks about being the first person in her family to graduate from college.

Tennessee's graduation legacy continues.

In-depth interview with Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who discusses her career.

Lafayette coach Theresa Grentz has returned.

Oregon's Jillian Alleyne has been "pedal-to-the-metal" since the season ended.

Wisconsin senior forward Michala Johnson has been granted a fifth year of eligibility, and will return next season. She tore her ACL in December.

Duke's Rebecca Greenwell blogs about the Blue Devil Kentucky Derby takeover.

Nettie Respondek is Denver's new assistant coach.

Eboniey Jeter:

The North Texas freshman's death earlier this week has been ruled a suicide.

USA Basketball news:

CSUN coach Jason Flowers and Northern Colorado coach Kamie Etheridge have been named court coaches for this year's Women's Junior National Team trials.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Diggins to host Jay Z digital talk show

Hey, this sounds like an idea of mine:

Jay Z is set to launch a new digital talk show, and Skylar Diggins is the host.

More WNBA news:

Maya Moore has re-signed with the Minnesota Lynx for an undisclosed period of time.

Elena Delle Donne and Mo'Ne Davis met up. Awwwwww.....

San Antonio Stars rookie Dearica Hamby is headed to the next level.

More on the Liberty's hire of Isiah Thomas:

Anucha Browne rips Thomas and Madison Square Garden for trying to re-write history with denials. Her attorney issued a statement.

An open letter to the WNBA Board of Governors from the Women’s Sports Foundation.

If the WNBA Board of Governors approves this hire, they are insane.

National Team camp wrapped up yesterday:

The will to win drives the veterans.

Q&A with old-timers Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.

Renee Brown is still helping the U.S. mine gold.

College news:

North Texas freshman forward Eboniey Jeter is remembered fondly, while the autopsy report hasn't yet been released.

Getting in the mood for Mother's Day

Letter from Candace Parker to daughter Lailaa.


WNBA still reviewing Isiah Thomas hire

The New York Liberty's hiring of Isiah Thomas is not yet final:

WNBA president Laurel J. Richie told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday night that Thomas' hiring was "first and foremost a team decision, but there's ultimate responsibility with the league and that rests in my office.".....

Richie said she was surprised by the Liberty's announcement and that the league wasn't given much advance notice.

Thomas also was given an ownership stake in the team, but Richie said the WNBA hasn't received a completed application yet.

"The announcement came out (Tuesday), we're less than 48 hours" into the process, Richie said. "I'd say both on behalf of the league and personally, I'm in the process of gathering information. Ultimately this is a decision in terms of ownership that is a board-level decision. I will participate in that discussion."

Well, now.

The league also says it has yet to make a decision on punishments for Brittney Griner and/or Glory Johnson, after both were arrested last week for domestic assault.

In the meantime, the lovely Mr. Thomas denies his culpability in the 2007 sexual harassment case that came about due to his behavior.

Interesting times.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top WNBA players using new leverage, flexing muscles

Leverage: WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker are using their clout to sit out, and Sylvia Fowles is demanding a trade.

Anyone who has a problem with this: you can't have your cake and eat it too. You want the league to grow up - these are the kinds of issues that will come up. Why don't you grow up, too.

More WNBA news:

Storm center Lauren Jackson had had yet another knee surgery. It doesn't sound like she'll be back this year.

Mystics rookie Ally Malott on being drafted.

Updated WNBA transactions:

May 6, 2015

Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Matee Ajavon Contract Signed
Atlanta Martha Alwal Contract Signed
Connecticut Danielle McCray Waived
San Antonio Chelsea Poppens Waived

May 4, 2015

Team Player Transaction

Chicago Victoria Macaulay Contract Signed
Chicago Betnijah Laney Contract Signed
Connecticut Katie Douglas Waived
Seattle Vicky McIntyre Contract Signed

Isiah Thomas hire:

Some see Thomas bring brought on board as an insult to WNBA fans.

There's no place for Isiah Thomas in the WNBA, one columnist says.

James Dolan gave Isiah Thomas a job again. Really.

USA Basketball:

The road to Rio is just beginning.

Elena Delle Donne interview.

Photo gallery.

Canadian National Team tryouts:

Several NCAA stars will try out for the Canadian team, including Natalie Achonwa, Nirra Fields, Ruth Hamblin, Kia Nurse and Jamie Weisner.

College news:

Kentucky has suspended guard Makayla Epps after she was cited for alcohol-related charges in her hometown.

U19 trials roster unveiled

Trying out for USA Basketball's U19 team next week will be........

Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); De’Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.); Kalani Brown (Salmen H.S./Slidell, La.); Alliya Butts (Temple/Edgewater Park, N.J.); Batouly Camara (Blair Academy/New York, N.Y.); DiJonai Carrington (Horizon H.S./San Diego, Calif.); Chassity Carter (Dickson H.S./Dickson, Tenn.); Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.); Te’a Cooper (McEachern H.S/Powder Springs, Ga.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Sophie Cunningham (Rock Bridge H.S./Columbia, MO); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.); Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan/Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.); Keiana Gilbert (Chattanooga/Pulaski, Tenn.); Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas); Alexis Jennings (Kentucky/Madison, Ala.); Paris Kea (North Carolina/Greensboro, N.C.); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Louisville/Richmond, Calif.); Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas); Gabbi Ortiz (Oklahoma/Racine, Wis.); Ali Patberg (Columbus North H.S./Columbus, Ind.); Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Destiny Slocum (Mountain View H.S./Meridian, Idaho); Azurá Stevens (Duke/Raleigh, N.C.); Shakayla Thomas (Florida State/Sylacauga, Ala.); Mikayla Venson (Virginia/Arlington, Va.); Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep/Orlando, Fla.); Chatrice White (Illinois/Shelby, Neb.); Gabby Williams (Connecticut/Sparks, Nev.); Anna Wilson (Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.).

Coach Dawn Staley has built an impressive legacy with USA Basketball.