Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top teams fall

Down went the Sun's seven-game winning streak, as the Fever defeated them, 92-84. Tamika Catchings, aka the goat, lead Indiana with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and notched 3,000 career boards in the process.

All five Sun starters were in double figures.

The Storm surged past the Shock, 74-69. Sue Bird was the high-scorer for Seattle with 17 points and Riquna Williams was critical for Tulsa, with 23.

The Shock were without Skylar Diggins, who sprained her knee in Sunday's win and will miss at least four games. Tulsa is now without several starters.

Storm rookie Jewell Loyd at last seems to be getting more confident. She had 13 points in the win, and showcased her athleticism on many plays. I suspect this is just the beginning.


The Mercury held off the Stars, 85-78. Brittney Griner lead Phoenix with 23 points in her first home game of the season.

The Liberty bested the Sky, 89-81. Tina Charles had 26 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Elena Delle Donne put up 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Chicago.

The Liberty activated Epiphanny Prince prior to the game, but did not play her.


Rookie forward Ramu Tokashiki is coming on strong for Seattle.


Tulsa is thriving behind the veteran leadership of Plenette Pierson.

Forward Glory Johnson revealed yesterday that is is pregnant with twins.


Phoenix and Brittney Griner are re-adjusting on the fly.


Newcomer Jasmine Thomas has been crucial to the team's early-season success.


Q&A with Seimone Augustus.

Players of the week:

Elena Delle Donne for the East, for the third straight week, and Lindsay Whalen for the West.

College news:

Lisa Carlsen is Northern Illinois' new head coach.

Jada Pierce is Niagara's new head coach.

Ball State has extended coach Brady Sallee's contract through 2019-2020.

Sasha Palmer is Wisconsin's new assistant coach.

Troy's new assistant coach is Neil Harrow.

Former Marist Red Foxes Kat Fogarty and Brittni Lai have transferred to New Hampshire.

Jasmine Jackson will return to Georgetown this year for her final season of eligibility.

USA Basketball:

The U19 team has opened training camp. Photos.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Is it game time yet?

Tomorrow's game schedule:

Fever at Sun

Liberty at Sky

Stars at Mercury

Shock at Storm


Tulsa has achieved an amazing turnaround this year, and is impacting their home city.


Brittney Griner kept her focus during her suspension with the help of a former Division II player.

Griner says when she steps on the court, nothing else matters.


Elena Delle Donne seeks more respect for women's sports.

College news:

Northern Illinois will introduce their new head coach tomorrow.

Niele Ivey has been promoted to associate head coach at Notre Dame.

All their recent transfers prove South Carolina is the place to be.

The Sun also rises

Sun is rising:

Chemistry plus unselfishness plus Ogwumike = Sun success, by yours truly.

Chiney Ogwumike is branching out during her time off the court.


Tamika Catchings is one of four finalists for the first Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award. Fever release.


....are still without a win after seven games.

Jasmine Lister is shining for Los Angeles.


Coach Bill Laimbeer is all smiles regarding New York's defense.

College news:

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley backs the removal of the confederate flag for reasons bigger than hoops.

Oregon has added Boston College transfer Kat Cooper.

Former North Carolina guard Jessica Washington has transferred to Kansas.

USA Basketball:

The World University Games team is ready for South Korea.

The U16 team won a bronze medal yesterday.

Lapchick Character Award:

Basketball pioneer Lucille Kyvallos of Queens College has won the Lapchick Character Award.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The good keep being good

Who's hot? The Shock.

They held off the Storm, 93-89, to make it eight straight wins. Seattle rookie Jewell Loyd had a career-high 21 points, while veteran Sue Bird did not play.

The Shock have tied their franchise record for consecutive wins.

Who's back? Kristi Toliver.

She notched a career-high 30 points for the Sparks in her season debut, but the Liberty prevailed, 79-70.

Who rebounded from a loss? The Mystics.

They put away the Sky, 86-71. Washington coach Mike Thibault became the most winning coach in franchise history.


Brittney Griner was happy to return to the court yesterday, and she's encouraged by the support she's received.

Griner is hoping to make up for lost time.


Alysha Clark is making an impact in Seattle.

Eurobasket tournament:

Serbia won its first title ever.

Sparks guard Ana Dabovic was tournament MVP.

College news:

Former Baylor guard Ieshia Small has transferred to Maryland.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Questions answered

Are the Shock for real?

Yes indeed: they hit ten three-point shots en route to downing the Liberty, 71-62. Tulsa is 7-1.

Are the Sun for real?

It seems so: they held off the Sparks in overtime, 80-76. They are 7-1. (Seven straight wins)

Can Elena Delle Donne score less than 30 points per game?

Yes: Superwoman was held to a season-low 14 points as the Sky beat the Fever, 83-77.

Can the Dream pull off a big win?

They sure can: Atlanta edged the Mystics, 72-69.


Brittney Griner will make her season debut in tomorrow's game against the Lynx.

Griner is ready to move on past the suspension that took her away from the game.

She's more motivated than ever.


The Lynx are leaning on emotion, yet need more.


Alex Bentley and the Sun are making an early-season statement.


Jeanette Pohlen has been awarded the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of May.

A confident Marissa Coleman is enjoying a strong start this season.

Catching up with former coach Lin Dunn.


New Los Angeles guard Jasmine Lister, who is also a graduate assistant at UConn, is enjoying the best of both worlds.


Coach Mike Thibault's corner.


Danielle Robinson had an amazing experience playing overseas in the Czech Republic this past winter.

College news:

Despite recent protests, including those by past players, Tennessee is set to remove the Lady Vols nickname from every team except basketball.

Imani McGee-Stafford will accept the Honda Inspiration Award Monday.

Missouri State has extended coach Kellie Harper's contract through 2019-2020, and given her a raise.

Jon Silver is a new assistant coach at Vermont.

Roman Owen has joined Yale as an assistant coach.

At Ball State, assistant coach Rachel Galligan has resigned and director of basketball operations Audrey McDonald-Spencer will take her place.

Brendan Burke is a new assistant coach at Cornell.

Toledo's new assistant coach is Tiffany Swoffard.

Katelyn Linney is a new assistant coach at Fordham.

USA Basketball:

World University Games team: Opportunity knocked for Arizona State's Katie Hempen.

U16 team: crushed Mexico, 85-44.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Interesting evening of hoops

The Stars snagged their first win tonight, beating the Mercury, 76-71.

We all knew San Antonio would have to break their losing streak at some point. But against Phoenix?

The Lynx were down 18 points but rallied to edge the Storm, 76-73. Seimone Augustus lead the way with 24 points.

Minnesota has to shore things up so they don't come from behind if they want to make noise in the playoffs.

Seattle is coming together nicely.

Tomorrow's games:

Sparks at Sun

Sky at Fever

Mystics at Dream

Liberty at Shock


Coach Mike Thibault wants his Mystics to make hay in conference play.


The Sun have realized it's much more fun when you're winning.

Kelsey Bone and Alex Bentley have their team shining.

Defense is helping Connecticut.


The Shock's turnaround this season is amazing.

Plenette Pierson is excited to see her former coach, Bill Laimbeer, and Liberty teammates tomorrow night, as Tulsa hosts New York.

College news:

Questions abound for North Carolina.

Yale's new assistant coach is Melissa D'Amico.

Carolyn Riley is Mount St. Mary's new assistant coach.

NCAA rules:

A media timeout structure has been approved for college women's basketball.

The NCAA has extended family travel expense programs for DI basketball.

USA Basketball:

The U16 team pounded Honduras, 86-41.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Capping it off


Connecticut is finding their groove.


There are many reasons behind the ailing Stars' 0-6 record.


Veteran Sue Bird is showing patience as the Storm rebuilds with an inexperienced core.


Odyssey Sims' return is still uncertain.


Kara Lawson briefly joined the Sparks huddle during last night's game.

Tomorrow's games:

Mercury at Stars

Lynx at Storm

College news:

Northern Illinois is the last Division I college not to have yet chosen a new head coach.

Former Baylor guard Imani Wright has transferred to Florida State.

Former Penn State center Dominique Brooks has transferred to the University of Anchorage Alaska.


There is a strong Jewish women's basketball league in Pittsburgh.

Elena Delle Donne scores career-high 45 points in Sky win

The Sky edged the Dream in overtime today, 100-96, behind forward Elena Delle Donne's career-high 45 points.

Still looking like the MVP so far.

More WNBA news......


For the Minnesota Lynx, getting back into the top spot is a process, by yours truly.


Multiple issues are contributing to the Atlanta Dream's poor season start.


Stefanie Dolson has brought out the best in teammate Emma Meesseman.


Brittney Griner is ready to return to basketball.


Rookie Elizabeth Williams blogs.

World University Games team:

After sitting out the last year with injuries, it's game time for Mercedes Russell.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mystics hold on to beat Sparks, 84-80

Tonight's game result:

Mystics held off the Sparks, 84-80.

The Mystics are doing a great job this season of finishing; they have matured since last year, under coach Mike Thibault.

The Sparks are to be commended for keeping games so close of late, while they're missing most of their starting line up. Great mental toughness there. And nice debut for Nneka Ogwumike, with 11 points, six boards and five assists.

Today Los Angeles cut Courtney Clements and signed Jasmine Lister, who had four points and four rebounds in eight minutes of play.

Tomorrow's game:

Dream at Sky

Players of the week:

Elena Delle Donne collects her second straight Eastern Conference POY award, while Skylar Diggins takes it for the West.


Minnesota is getting defensive at practice.

College news:

TCU's new assistant coach is Aaron Kallhoff.

Julian Assibey has been promoted to assistant coach at Colorado.

World University Games Team:

Practices have tipped off. Check out the all-star photo gallery.

Mid-day madness

Tonight's game:

Sparks at Mystics


The Sparks are bringing more questions than answers this season.


Pokey Chatman discusses how she handles being both coach and general manager.


The Shock are rolling early.

Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike:

You know they're the future when SLAM writes a story on Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, and neither are playing.

College news:

Joni Crenshaw has settled in as Georgia's coach.

Ervin Monier is a second new assistant coach at Rutgers.

Shauna Green is Northwestern's new coach. She had the same position at Dayton.

Tiffany Sardin is a new assistant coach at Boston University.

Aneesah Daniels has transferred to Old Dominion. She previously played at Alabama and Clemson.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

WNBA schedule mellows out

After four- and five-game nights recently, the WNBA's schedule has slowed down the pace this week:

Tuesday: Sparks at Mystics

Wednesday: Dream at Sky

Thursday: Mercury at Stars and Lynx at Storm

Then there's Friday:

Sparks at Sun

Sky at Fever

Mystics at Dream

Liberty at Shock

Note: Alana Beard and Erin Phillips will not travel with Los Angeles, due to a foot and knee injury, respectively. Nneka Ogwumike, who has been out this season so far with an ankle sprain, will travel with the Sparks.

Which match up are you looking forward to most?


Amanda Zahui B. is slowly growing into her role in her rookie season.

College news:

You can't read the piece unless you're a subscriber, but Candace Parker and other former Lady Vols urged the University of Tennessee to keep the name.

Dawn Staley has lead South Carolina to elite status - now she'll try to keep them there.

Missouri player Madeline Stock sustained minor injuries in a car accident this weekend.

USA Basketball news:

Rebecca Greenwell will miss the World University Games, while teammate Nina Davis is on a mission.

Bexley Wallace is ready to represent for the U16 team.

Analysis: Contemplating the unpredicted

So this happened: The Shock upended the Lynx, 86-78. Skylar Diggins lead the way with 26 points.

The box score doesn't always tell all, but it does in this case: Tulsa dominated and shut Minnesota down. Several Lynx players didn't score and/or get in, while the Shock's Tiffany Jackson-Jones and Odyssey Sims didn't play due to injuries. Wow.

The Liberty ran past the Dream, 73-64. New York rookie Brittany Boyd had a career-high 18 points in the process.

The Sun came from behind to beat the Sparks, 76-68, with Alex Bentley putting up 21 for Connecticut.

The Mercury pulled away from the Storm, 84-72.

That leaves the standings like this:

Eastern Conference

Connecticut Sun, 6-1

Washington Mystics, 4-2

New York Liberty, 4-3

Chicago Sky, 3-3

Atlanta Dream, 3-5

Indiana Fever, 3-5

Western Conference

Tulsa Shock, 6-1

Minnesota Lynx, 5-2

Phoenix Mercury, 3-3

Seattle Storm, 2-4

Los Angeles Sparks, 0-4

San Antonio Stars, 0-6

Not what was predicted, right?

Not to mention that some of the more successful teams - the Sun, Liberty, Lynx and Mercury - are playing without personnel, who are either overseas, injured, not back to full speed or suspended.

It goes to show that predictions are only ever best guesses, and sports predictions are perhaps worse than meteorology.


I might be the only media member not surprised at how well they're doing, even without Chiney Ogwumike, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Connecticut team I saw last year was youthful, but so full of potential, and oh-so-close to being legitimately dangerous. They figured it out in a hurry. Even more scary is what they will be like when Ogwumike can play again.

Mystics and Liberty:

Both teams built themselves well after the draft. Washington coach Mike Thibault is known for carefully crafting good teams. New York is still without Eurobasket-playing Epiphanny Prince, and will be that much better when she returns.


When Sylvia Fowles didn't re-sign, and there was no one to take her place, fans knew the team was in trouble. Elena Delle Donne is arguably the best player in the league, but she can't do it all.


Many are surprised the Dream isn't doing better, after having been picked to top the conference. For whatever reason, I am not one of the shocked ones.


My only head tilt is here. I thought Indiana would be doing better.


This team has grown and matured into its present incarnation, which is a poised group that can handle adversity well. They have really persevered, and my hat is off to them.


I still think the former champs just need to remember who they are, and they'll get that trophy this season. When they clicked into another gear last week here against the Sparks, it was an awesome thing to witness, because it seemed effortless for them. If they can tap into that every game, other teams are in trouble.

Mercury, Storm and Sparks:

....are doing about how I expected. All of them basically rebuilt their teams. They need time to adjust.

And no, I don't see Los Angeles magically (no pun intended) transforming into a championship team when Kristi Toliver and Candace Parker return. They need time to adjust.


Is it time for a coaching change? Just asking.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Close game night

The Sun stepped on the gas in the second overtime to defeat the Mercury, 90-78.

Angel McCoughtry's jumper lifted the Dream over the Sky, 74-73.

The Shock slipped by the Mystics, 86-82.

The Lynx beat the winless Stars, 74-59, lead by Seimone Augustus' 18 points.

The Fever took down the Liberty, 80-63, on the strength of Maggie Lucas' 23 points.

More WNBA news....


Tamika Catchings got her love of the game - and her defense - from her NBA-playing father Harvey.


A Father's Day letter to co-owner Isiah Thomas from his gay son.

College news:

The 2016 Final Four logo will be unveiled tomorrow.

Center Stephanie Mavunga has been released for a transfer from North Carolina. That means the entire #1 recruiting class of the Tar Heels in 2013 is now gone.

Ashia Jones has been dismissed from UT Martin for failing to live up to the program's standards.

Darryl Brown is the new associate head coach at Memphis.

Though it's not been made formal yet, Kelley Gibson has resigned her assistant coach job at Syracuse to take the same job at Rutgers, and Recee Caldwell is transferring from UCLA.

The rich get richer

Star guard Allisha Gray, who announced she was leaving North Carolina earlier this week, has transferred to South Carolina.

Perhaps not coincidentally, coach Dawn Staley's contract has been extended through 2020-2021, and she's been given a $200,000 raise.

NCAA 2015 Woman of the Year Award:

Nominees include several women's basketball players.

More college news:

Marwan Miller is a new assistant coach at Saint Francis.

Erica Williamson is Towson's new assistant coach.

Former Loyola Chicago forward Cortney Williams has transferred to Detroit.

WNBA news:


....will extend their partnership with Finish Line, as their sponsors.


Quick starts have lead to early-season success.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WNBA All-Star balloting open

WNBA All-Star ballot:

....will include all players in the league, for the first time. Love it.

How to vote.

Vote now.

General WNBA:

Player power songs.

WNBA president Laurel Richie visited the Shock this week, and talks Glory Johnson and Diana Taurasi.


Five torn ACLs later, Jacki Gemelos has made a WNBA roster.


Kara Lawson on being home, broadcasting and the WNBA.


Odyssey Sims probably won't play on Tulsa's two-game road trip.


The grand opening for the Lynx and Timberwolves courts happened today. What it means.


....have signed Cierra Burdick and Sydney Carter.

Transactions update:

June 17, 2015
Team Player Transaction

Chicago Victoria Macaulay Waived
Chicago Jacki Gemelos Contract Signed
Atlanta Sydney Carter Contract Signed
Atlanta Cierra Burdick Contract Signed

About last night:

Lynx beat Sparks, 67-52.

Sun routed Storm, 79-58.

College news:

Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell has been selected as a student member of the Women's Basketball Oversight Committee.

Alcohol-related charges against Kentucky's Makayla Epps have been dismissed.

Punishment is coming, but North Carolina is already feeling the pain.

Iowa State will try to continue their NCAA Tournament streak.

Eastern Michigan coach Tory Verdi's contract has been extended through 2020-2021.

New UC Santa Barbara coach Bonnie Henrickson has a sunny outlook.

Heather Ezell has left her assistant coach position at Missouri State to take the same job at Wyoming.

Mahogany Green has joined Loyola Chicago as an assistant coach.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some pre-game something

Today's results, so far:

The Fever held off the Dream, 90-79.

The Shock clubbed the Stars, 88-61.

Still on tap tonight:

Sun at Storm

Lynx at Sparks

Your truly will cover the latter game.

General WNBA:

The league is making a lasting impact on young girls.


Stefanie Dolson and Emma Meesseman came from Russia with love this season.

A minute with Kayla Thornton.


Elena Delle Donne leads the MVP race so far in this young season.

Chicago announced via email - but it's not on their website - that Allie Quigley will return to game action tomorrow night, after playing in Europe. Victoria Macaulay was waived to make room for her.


Again this year, center Tina Charles will donate half her salary to a charity she started.

College news:

Leading scorer Allisha Gray is leaving North Carolina. Coach Sylvia Hatchell expressed her love for the departing player.

Carly Truesdale will transfer from Wisconsin.

Ex-Notre Dame guard Danielle Green will receive the Pat Tillman Award for service.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ready for more

I'm hot for more games. Tomorrow's schedule:

Fever at Dream

Stars at Shock

Sun at Storm

Lynx at Sparks

General WNBA:

The first players of the week honors of the season go to Elena Delle Donne for the Eastern Conference and DeWanna Bonner of the Western Conference.


Forward Tamera Young is out indefinitely after having surgery today to repair a torn thumb ligament.

Coach Pokey Chatman is delighted with Chicago's defense.

Cappie Pondexter blogs.


Post player Kelsey Bone likes to mix it up in the paint.


Veteran Plenette Pierson is still a force.

The Shock is ignoring history and will try to keep winning as San Antonio visits.


There are good vibes from the new-look Mercury.

Q&A with Leilani Mitchell.

College news:

Will South Carolina be the team to dethrone UConn?

Former Maryland guard Lexie Brown has transferred to Duke.

Former Duke guard Sierra Calhoun is set for a fresh start at Ohio State.

Jeff House has joined Dayton as an assistant coach.

Chessie Jackson is Princeton's new assistant coach.

Interesting Monday morning tidbits


The surprising Sun sit atop the Eastern Conference.


Tiffany Hayes and Aneika Henry will each miss five games while they compete in the European Games.


Isiah Thomas appears to be a glorified point guard tutor.

College news:

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley blogs.

Former Nebraska point guard Ashley Ford has been named an assistant coach to Connie Yori. On the player side, freshman Jess Shepard is ready to shoulder a load.

Sophomore Azura Stevens may be ready to fill Elizabeth Williams' shoes in the post at Duke.

Lauren Hill:

Lauren Hill's family has their ups and downs in the wake of her death, and continues their cancer fight.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Storm 60, Sparks 54

I had a good talk with Sue Bird about the Storm rebuild, Jewell Loyd and more:

Rebuilding Storm surges in second half to overtake the Sparks, 60-54.

Great crowd at Staples Center today for the home opener: 10,205.

One week in, and not sure what to make of it

The biggest eye-opener today was that the Mercury handled the Lynx, 81-66. This after Minnesota routed Phoenix last week.

The Sun was supposed to be underachievers this season, but they pounded the Dream, 82-64. Connecticut is now 3-1.

The Shock was predicted to be under the radar too, but they put away the always-average Stars, 73-62.

The Sky, which have struggled, thrashed the Fever, 98-72. But of course, Indiana was without their leader, Tamika Catchings.

The Mystics took the upper hand on the also-hot Liberty, beating them 74-59.

The Storm used a third quarter surge to run past the Sparks, 60-54, in their second meeting of this young season.


- One game does not a tragedy make. I hope Lynx fans can calm down. There was a lot of movement league-wide this off-season. Players are still adjusting to each other.

- I'm enjoying the spunk of the Sun and Shock. Last year Connecticut was particularly young, but they played so hard and showed flashes of brilliance. Maybe veteran Camille Little's presence is the extra push they needed. Tulsa keeps getting better every year.

- I have no idea what to expect out of the Sky.

- The Stars are the only team in the league without a star or a recognizable stand out. Dan Hughes is a fine coach. I wonder what holds them back.

- The Mystics and Liberty are getting their respective fan bases excited again. Season ticket holders in both those cities really deserve it. The Eastern Conference is on the rise.

- What cuts will be made once players on some of these teams return from the Eurobasket games? Are we going to have to scrap everything we know so far and have a different season?


....paid tribute to Lauren Hill at today's game. Photos.

Almost $10,000 was raised toward cancer research.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

Big performances

Tamika Catchings put up 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to guide the Fever over the Mercury, 77-74.

Angel McCoughtry scored five of her 21 points in the final 27 seconds, including a game-winning three-point shot, to put the Dream past the Mystics, 64-61.

More WNBA news......


Glory Johnson will stay in Tulsa with teammates during the season.

Brianna Kiesel is finding her way in the WNBA.


Players talk about coach Bill Laimbeer.


Q&A with rookies Ally Mallot and Natasha Cloud.

College news:

Former USC guard McKenzie Calvert has transferred to Kansas.

Tessa Holt is a new assistant coach at Austin Peay.

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame:

A look at the inductees.

Lisa Leslie's career is the gold standard.

A spate of college news; Jacki Gemelos re-signed

Diamond DeShields is ready to be a better version of herself at Tennessee.

Former Harvard forward Temi Fagbenle will play her final year of eligibility at USC.

Jenny DeGraaf of Penn State and Janea Williams of North Florida have transferred to UNCW.

Lauren Tibbs has transferred from Marquette to Bowling Green.

Jade Redmon has transferred from Eastern Washington to Portland.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is looking for the right player fit going forward. The summer can't slow Staley.

A healthy Jatarie White will make the Gamecocks even better.

Missouri's Bri Porter and Kayla McDowell can see the light at the end of the tunnel in ACL rehab.

Niagara coach Kendra Faustin has resigned to take the same job at Ferris State.

Amaka Aguagua has been promoted to associate head coach at Michigan State.

Nicci Kelly is Kennesaw State's new assistant coach.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology joins the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Lauren Hill:

A Lauren Hill brick has been added to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

WNBA news.......


...have re-signed Jacki Gemelos! Joy.


They have a way to go, but the Shock's start is encouraging.


Lindsay Whalen understands her impact.


Coach Stephanie White is forward-thinking.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Starting to get a better picture

The Liberty is looking good. They move to 3-1 by downing defending champs Phoenix, 68-57.

The Lynx are showing strong, to no one's surprise. They are 3-0 after routing the Storm, 94-70. It was Asjha Jones' first game back for Minnesota.

The Dream got their first season win by defeating the Stars, 72-69.

What's up with that Chi-town team? Are they missing Sylvia Fowles? The Sun edged the Sky, 67-65.


Shavonte Zellous has returned earlier than expected from Europe, and will suit up for tomorrow's game. Briana Butler was waived today to make room for her.

One-on-one with Layshia Clarendon.


Guard Odyssey Sims' knee injury in Tuesday's game isn't as serious as feared.


The Sun is happy with the leadership newcomer Camille Little has provided.


Did you know assistant coach Marianne Stanley was part of the "Mighty Macs" team? They were trailblazers.


"Between two birds" coming soon.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Dream at Mystics

Mercury at Fever

Brittney Griner-Glory Johnson:

The capacity and need of humans to analyze situations is never-ending. Thus we have this piece on the Griner-Johnson relationship.

Rebecca Lobo:

Then and now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The calm before the action

Four games on tap tomorrow:

Sky at Sun

Mercury at Liberty

Stars at Dream

Storm at Lynx

(Wondering why the Sparks have eight days off before they play their second regular-season game, when other teams have two and three games notched already)


Amanda Zahui B. is adjusting to life with the Shock.


....honored a young girl's Make-A-Wish Foundation dream of meeting Maya Moore.

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame:

Six people will be inducted into the Hall this weekend: Janeth Arcain, Janet Harris, Lisa Leslie, and coaches Kurt Budke, Gail Goestenkors and Brad Smith.

College news:

Loyola Marymount's new assistant coach is April Phillips.

Former Detroit coach Auturn Rademacher is a new assistant coach at Arkansas State.

Western Carolina's new assistant coach is Tierra Rudd.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A break in the action

Two games on tap tomorrow:

Fever at Liberty

Storm at Shock


Bria Hartley is anxious to get her second pro season going.

A minute with Kara Lawson.

One-on-one with Stefanie Dolson.

The Mystics' new team intro video.


Brittney Griner is emotional after an intense week.


Connecticut is searching for positives in the season's infancy.


Rebekkah Brunson is back healthy and dominating again.


Allie Quigley will miss several games this month while she plays for Hungary in the Eurobasket tournament.

College news:

Former Long Island University coach Gail Striegler is Minnesota's new assistant coach.

Matthew Layman is a new assistant coach at Purdue.

Austin Peay's new assistant coach is Chelsea Turner.

Chanté Crutchfield and Jauwan Scaife are new assistant coaches at Southeast Missouri.

Colorado assistant coach Jenni Benningfield has resigned.

Kansas State will have a number of new players on next year's roster.

NCAA adopts four quarters format, other rule changes

The NCAA Playing Rules Panel has voted that games be played in four, 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves. There are other rule changes, as well:

Advancing the ball

The panel approved a rule that allows teams to advance the ball to the frontcourt following a timeout immediately after a made basket in the last 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter and any overtime periods.

Teams also will be allowed to advance the ball to the frontcourt after securing the ball from a rebound or a change of possession. In these scenarios, the ball would be inbounded at the 28-foot mark on the side of the court where the scorer’s table is located.

The committee made the initial recommendation because it felt this change would add more excitement to offensive possessions at the ends of games because teams would no longer be required to travel the length of the court after inbounding the ball.

10-second backcourt exceptions

NCAA women’s basketball implemented the 10-second backcourt rule during the 2013-14 season.

For the upcoming season, a team will not be subject to the 10-second backcourt count when a throw-in results from the following:

• The ball is deflected out of bounds by the defense.
• There is a held ball, and the possession arrow favors the offensive team.
• A technical foul is called on the offensive team while the ball is in its backcourt.

Post defense

The panel approved a new rule that allows defenders to place a forearm or an open hand with a bend in the elbow on an offensive post player with the ball whose back is to the basket.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Salute to those who never give up

Patience levels seem to be at an all-time low in this country. Young people, in particular, don't seem to be as resilient as in times past, and giving up is the norm for many.

So I have to give a lot of credit to the players who try out for WNBA teams year after year, and aren't giving up on their dreams. There are a few who have shown that their faith is granite rock, and I respect that a lot.

Jacki Gemelos is one such player. By now everyone knows the story of her repeated ACL tears in college, which kept her at the University of Southern California for six years and two degrees. She was cut by the Lynx in 2013, and since then has been balling her tail off in Greece, where she is a bonafide star. This year she was cut by the Sky on the very last day, just before the cuts deadline. As someone who followed Gemelos through college and interviewed her many a time, that really hurt me. I hope she continues to give it a try next year.

Darxia Morris and Sequoia Holmes are also two who seem to try out every year, and come very close. Morris, a UCLA graduate, and Holmes, who played for UNLV, were both cut by Atlanta last week.

Alyssia Brewer, another former Bruin, has tried out for several teams. She was waived by Connecticut last Tuesday. Others who were in camp but cut this season for the second or third consecutive time were Louisville's Alicia DeVaughn, Iowa State's Chelsea Poppens, Tennessee's Meighan Simmons and San Diego State's Chelsea Hopkins. Ify Ibekwe, who played at Arizona, also tried out yet again, and was cut last week.

These athletes remind us to never give up on ourselves, and to always try. Much love to them. If more people had their courage, this world would be such a better place.

Five thoughts on opening weekend

1. Elena Delle Donne came to play this season.

The Chicago Sky forward has begun the year like a beast, lighting it up for 31 points Friday night and throwing down a career-high 40 yesterday. Apparently she missed playing in 2014.

MVP this year?

2. Who are these teams that you call the Mercury and the Storm?

Wow, what transformations. Literally only three players from last season taking the court right now for each squad. With Seattle it was necessary, but I'm still trying to figure out why Phoenix dismantled one of the most precise and synchronized WNBA teams I've seen in years.

I hope fans know who the players are without having to look at the program.

3. The Mystics may have something this year; the Dream may not.

Many picked the Dream to top the Eastern Conference this season, but they are 0-2 in preseason after some mediocre performances (not to mention missing players). The Mystics, on the other hand, looked crisp in their two wins. Is that what coach Mike Thibault was cooking?

4. Did the Shock figure out how to keep a lead?

Tulsa held off Chicago yesterday to take an eight-point win, and they looked solid doing it. Maybe the Shock finally figured how to take and lead and hold off an opponent. They look more fluid together.

5. Is there any team deeper than Minnesota?

Not by a long shot.

The Lynx already have trophies in their eyes - you can see the glimmer.

Today's result:

The Sun surged in the third quarter to down the Dream, 75-70.


Canada's Natalie Achonwa made an impact in her WNBA debut yesterday.

Indiana set the world record last night for most glow sticks lit simultaneously.


Lindsay Whalen has embraced her leadership role.


Sugar Rodgers discusses her upcoming autobiography.

Rookie Kiah Stokes blogs.


...have a new intro video for home games.

USA Basketball:

The U18 3X3 team captured the silver medal at the world championships today.

Friday, June 5, 2015

First night, pretty tight

The Mystics edged the Sun, 73-68.

The Liberty surged past the Dream, 82-73.

The Lynx came back to down the Shock, 83-75.

Elena Delle Donne scored 31, and the Sky pounded the Fever, 95-72.

The Mercury outlasted the Stars, 76-71.

The transactions continue, unfortunately:

June 5, 2015
Team Player Transaction

Seattle Jazmine Davis Waived
Seattle Vicky McIntyre Waived

Tomorrow's game schedule:

Liberty at Mystics

Lynx at Fever

Sky at Shock

Sparks at Storm

College news:

Former Duke guard Sierra Calhoun has transferred to Ohio State.

Guard Imani Wright has become the third player to leave Baylor this spring.

Guards Brooke Allemand and Brea Mitchell are leaving New Mexico.

Former Montana State standout Kati Burrows is now an assistant coach there.

Protestors speak out against Isiah Thomas; Garden denies sexual harassment

Protestors gathered outside Madison Square Garden tonight to protest the hiring of Isiah Thomas.

Madison Square Garden said WHAT?

The Garden released yet another statement Friday afternoon, hours before the start of the WNBA season, claiming Browne dropped her complaint and “accepted that MSG and Mr. Thomas did not admit guilt or concede any wrongdoing,” despite a federal jury awarding Browne punitive damages before the two sides settled.

“Nothing’s changed,” Caple said about the statement. “I’d like to believe in a positive outcome, but I don’t trust the leadership. Until Thomas gives me and the community and the players a reason to trust him, he doesn’t deserve it. They’re still in denial.”

Asked about the statement before the Liberty’s season-opening 82-73 win over the Atlanta Dream, Thomas tried to shift the focus to the players.

“I’m not here to talk about the past,” he said. “I’m only here to talk about the New York Liberty.”

He said “the statement speaks for itself,” when asked about the protest outside the building. Pressed on it again, Thomas replied “If you have Liberty basketball questions, that’d be great.”

Brittney Griner files to annul marriage to Glory Johnson

ESPN's account:

"Last Wednesday, Glory and I agreed to either legally separate, get divorced, or annul our marriage," Griner said in a statement Friday. "I can confirm that today I filed for an annulment. In the week prior to the wedding, I attempted to postpone the wedding several times until I completed counseling, but I still went through with it. I now realize that was a mistake."

Despite Griner's statement that the couple had discussed a divorce or annulment, Johnson told TMZ that she was blindsided by the news that Griner had filed paperwork for an annulment.

People Magazine's write up:

A request for comment from Johnson was not immediately answered. However, Johnson's sports marketing agent, D.J. Fisher, tells TMZ: "Glory was unaware of the filing and still loves and cares for Brittney. Glory loves Brittney and made a huge sacrifice to carry a child, put her career on hold, to invest in their relationship and their future. As a result she won't be playing this season."

He continues, "Glory wouldn't intentionally do anything to hurt Brittney and has tried her best to protect her and their marriage. Obviously this marriage was about them starting their life together. Glory is the sweetest thing in the world and she was dedicated to their partnership. She knows how important marriage is and made a lifetime commitment and decision to spend the rest of her life with Brittney."

Adding just a hint of confusion, Johnson used her Instagram account earlier Friday to post a virtual love note to Griner, writing, "One day until I'm reunited with my wife @brittneygriner. . . This is about to be one CRAZY SUMMER!!! #TooExcited #NewLife #NewAdditionToTheFamily."

Sports Illustrated's take.

Johnson announced her pregnancy yesterday. She got pregnant by in-vitro fertilization.

A bit of confusion:

"The entire process, from learning our fertility options, to making sacrifices necessary nine months before the child is born, is merely preparing me to become a great wife and an even better mother."

Hey hey hey, it's opening day

General WNBA:

Team-by-team preview.

From bad ideas to blown opportunities: why the Lynx and the WNBA aren't a bigger deal.

Australians continue to make their mark on the league.


The Sky set a record for home opener ticket sales for tonight.

Even in their tenth season, Chicago is experiencing firsts.

The Sky looks to build off their postseason success from last year.

Cappie (Pondexter) new year.


Minnesota is loaded with talent and depth going into the season.


The Fever will attempt a glowstick lighting record in their home opener tomorrow.

First-year coach Stephanie White says she's a work in progress.


Tina Charles and new-look New York are eager for a fresh start.

Essence Carson is finally back to her old self.

How the Liberty aim to turn the Isiah Thomas hire into a positive.


Coach Mike Thibault on what to expect from Washington this season.


Phoenix begins their title defense with a new look.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

NCAA charges UNC with lack of institutional control

North Carolina academic fraud:

The NCAA has charged North Carolina with lack of institutional control over academic departments:

Here are the five allegations:

1. From 2002-2011, the school provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes in the form of “requesting certain course offerings within the AFRI/AFAM department on behalf of student-athletes, contacting individuals within the AFRI/AFAM department to register student-athletes in courses, obtaining assignments for classes taught in the AFRI/AFAM department on behalf of student-athletes, suggesting assignments to the AFRI/AFAM department for student-athletes to complete, turning in papers on behalf of student-athletes and recommending grades.” The NCAA also alleges that Independent Study classes were misrepresented, allowing 10 student-athletes to graduate with more than the allowable 12 Independent Study hours.
2. From 2007-2010, Boxill provided the women’s basketball team with a myriad of impermissible academic assistance, ranging from adding a conclusion or quotation into an athlete’s paper to turning the paper in for the player and requesting a specific grade.
3. and 4. Deborah Crowder, a former student services advisor in the African Afro-American Studies department, and Julius Nyang’Oro, a former professor in and chair of the African Afro-American Studies department, were both hit with ethical conduct charges as they refused to speak with the NCAA during the investigation.
5. This is the lack of institutional control charge, which specifically mentions the failure of the university to monitor the way that Boxill handled her academic counseling duties as well as the ‘paper classes’ in the African Afro-American Studies department, in which athletes were enrolled in a disproportionate number.

More college news:

UNCW welcomes two transfers: Jenny DeGraaf of Penn State and Janea Williams of North Florida.

Former Wake Forest guard Mykia Jones has transferred to Georgetown.

Joya Whittington is a new assistant coach at Lamar.