Monday, August 31, 2015

Stats leaders

As of right now, stats leaders are................

Points per game:

1. Elena Delle Donne, 23.9
2. Maya Moore, 20.9
3. Angel McCoughtry, 20.1
4. Tina Charles, 17.8
5. DeWanna Bonner, 16.7
6. Riquna Williams, 15.6
7. Cappie Pondexter, 15
8. Jantel Lavender, 15
9. (tie) Brittney Griner, Kelsey Bone, Alex Bentley, 14.7

Rebounds per game:

1. Courtney Paris, 9.8
2. Elena Delle Donne, 8.8
3. (tie) Tina Charles, Brittney Griner, 8.6
5. Jantel Lavender, 8.5
6. Rebekkah Brunson, 8.2
7. Tamika Catchings, 7.2
8. Maya Moore, 6.9
9. Kiah Stokes, 6.8
10. (tie) Jayne Appel, Erika de Souza, 6.4

The entire stats page.

I was contemplating the most improved player award today. Jantel Lavender, Riquna Williams, Shenise Johnson, Kelsey Bone and Alex Bentley came to mind.

Days of Our Lives


Cappie Pondexter sustained a concussion in Saturday's game against the Dream, and is being evaluated.

Elena Delle Donne won the July WNBA Cares Community Assist Award. Delle Donne has also switched agents: from the Wasserman Media Group to Octagon.


Riquna Williams will miss Tulsa's road trip this week after sustaining a left leg injury in last night's game against Indiana.

The court battle around moving the team to Dallas continues.


Minnesota is happy to see August end after struggling much of the month.

Renee Montgomery is stepping up in the absence of Lindsay Whalen.


Indiana could clinch a record-breaking eleventh playoff berth with a win over the Sun tomorrow.

Today the Fever signed point guard Briann January to a multi-year contract extension.


We are: New York Liberty.

Behind the scenes with the Liberty.

Home court.

Tina Charles, Epiphanny Prince, Swin Cash, Essence Carson and Tanisha Wright filmed a commercial with Spike Lee earlier this month.


Rookie Jewell Loyd broke Lauren Jackson's free throw record for attempts without a miss - 14 of 14 - in Seattle's win last night.

Between two birds, episode five.


Tierra Ruffin-Pratt likes to bother opponents at all times.

Players of the week:

Epiphanny Prince in the East, and Odyssey Sims in the West. A more diverse line up of POWs in one season, we have not seen before.

Fantasy league?

Why doesn't the WNBA have a fantasy league? Great question.

College news:

Lamina Cooper, the 2015 #41-ranked player, didn't enroll at Purdue this summer and will not join the team. She signed with them last fall.

Haylie Linn has been promoted to assistant coach at South Dakota State.

Addie Lees is a new assistant coach at Texas State.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Playoff race brings unexpected results

Everything you might have thought was going to happen today, didn't.

The Shock handed the Fever their third straight loss, 76-70, and clinched a playoff spot in the process. Odyssey Sims put up a whopping 30 points for Tulsa, as the franchise prepares to leave town for Dallas.

The Sun edged the Sky, 72-68, keeping their playoff hopes alive.....

especially since the Storm downed the Mystics, 69-59.

Check out these standings. So very very close in the East.

But the most eyebrow-raising game might have been between two teams who have already clinched playoff spots.

The Lynx rallied past the Mercury, 71-61. Minnesota was behind at halftime, and they were without starters Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen. Yet, they exploded in the third quarter and never looked back.

The Lynx haven't been successful in their gut checks lately, so tonight's win is significant. To begin playing like they used to, without two of their main guns? That's a good sign for them. If they advance far into the playoffs, they might just look back on this game as the one that turned them around.

But Whalen is out until the playoffs......

In the fifth game of the day, the Sparks beat the Stars, 60-52 in commanding fashion. Jantel Lavender lead LA with 24 points, while Kristi Toliver had 15, and Candace Parker recorded yet another double-double: 10 points and 11 rebounds.

It was a star-studded affair in Los Angeles, which hosted "We Are Women" night. I'll have pictures and interviews up later.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chi Sky clinch playoff berth

The Sky hung on to edge the Dream, 98-96, which clinched a playoff berth for Chicago. They did it without Elena Delle Donne, who sat out with a foot injury.

In the evening's other match up, the Liberty handed the Sun their seventh straight loss, 80-66.

Tomorrow's games:

Fever at Shock

Stars at Sparks

Sun at Sky

Mercury at Lynx

Mystics at Storm


Excellent analysis of the Lynx's struggles of late.

Coach Cheryl Reeve, who counts this as her most difficult stretch since taking over the head job in 2010, says the team will "break out of this, and soon."

Take note, all managers and coaches: a team of All-Stars isn't must have team chemistry to go far. And to get that, the core of the team needs to be kept intact for a long time. Constant restructuring is a detriment to a team.


The Mystics are out West chasing a playoff spot.


A full day of events are on tap tomorrow for "We Are Women" day at the Stars at Sparks game. I will be among the media who will interview Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Laila Ali and WNBA president Laurel Richie before the game. (Woot!)

Friday, August 28, 2015

The East is tighter than stretch pants

Current standings:


New York Liberty, 19-8
Chicago Sky, 17-11
Indiana Fever, 17-11
Washington Mystics, 16-11
Atlanta Dream, 12-16
Connecticut Sun, 12-16


Minnesota Lynx, 19-10
Phoenix Mercury, 17-12
Tulsa Shock, 14-14
Los Angeles Sparks, 11-18
Seattle Storm, 8-20
San Antonio Stars, 7-22

Because of tonight's results:

The Liberty clinched a playoff spot in the East by dominating the Lynx, 81-68.

The Dream came from behind to beat the Fever, 90-84. Tiffany Hayes had a career-high 28 points for Atlanta, and Tamika Catchings posted 24 points for Indiana. Teammate Layshia Clarendon recorded a career-high 17 points, stepping up for Briann January, who left the game in the second quarter after a collision. The Fever could have clinched a playoff position with a win.

The Mystics handled the Mercury, 71-63, and bolstered their playoff chances.

The Shock ran their winning streak to four, with a 76-66 win over the Sparks. Tulsa is at .500, and solidly third in the West.

The Storm pushed past the Stars, 83-69.


Veteran forward Delisha Milton-Jones became the all-time WNBA games-played leader tonight, playing in her 497th game.


I got word from the Sparks this morning that Marianna Tolo tore her ACL in Wednesday's game against the Fever. Nothing yet on their website.


The Sun are refusing to dwell on their losses.

Tomorrow's games:

Liberty at Sun

Sky at Dream

College news:

Maryland has unveiled their new court design.

Danielle Parks has been promoted to assistant coach at Rhode Island.

Taylor Rooks has transferred from Stanford to Harvard.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Parity, or a tale of two halves?

I can't decide if this WNBA season should be called "parity-ville," or "a tale of two halves."

Tonight's result:

The Mercury squeaked past the Sun, 81-80, on a Leilani Mitchell buzzer-beater.

Five games on tap tomorrow:

Mercury at Mystics

Dream at Fever

Lynx at Liberty

Sparks at Shock

Stars at Storm


This is an important weekend for the Lynx, as they face two of the league's best teams.


Tayler Hill is the latest Washington player to be injured, as she sprained her ankle during practice today.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt discusses the Mystics' need to rebound after tough losses.


A playoff berth is within reach for Tulsa. They play Los Angeles at home tomorrow.


Tanisha Wright has come up big for the Liberty this season.


The Mercury's male practice squad is a key to their success.


Second-round picks.

College news:

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick has received a one-year extension and a raise. Kyra Elzy has been promoted to associate head coach.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NCAA holds mock selection

Nothing on the NCAA websites yet, but plenty on the NCAA's women's basketball twitter about today's mock selection exercise in Indianapolis. Hopefully they'll provide more detail soon. Here are today's tweets about the event:

- 55 coaches, administrators, media and women's basketball committee members will be taking part in today's #MockSelection exercise.

- #MockSelection attendees will work with same data that committee works from, with data current to this past March 16, Selection Monday.

- #MockSelection will explore selection, seeding, bracketing process; update on latest rules changes; how officials are selected and advance.

- Much talk on how coaches will adapt to new 4-quarter format that includes fewer stoppages in play and decreased physicality. #MockSelection

- Hope is new rules will strengthen connection of college basketball with women's basketball globally. #MockSelection

- For selection, team viewed for what it accomplished during year. For seeding, who's team without injured/unavailable player. #MockSelection

- To prepare for selections, committee members watch combined 1,200 games each season in-person, on TV/laptop or via archives. #MockSelection

- 32 auto bids determined by conf tourney/reg season champ. Committee picks 32 at-large teams. All seeded, placed in bracket. #MockSelection

- Committee works from "selection priorities" list, but each committee member determines what's most important on their own. #MockSelection

- Each conf appoints coach to participate as Regional Advisory Committee member & provide info/rankings from Jan thru March. #MockSelection

- 2016 championship in Indy will feature 3 division finals played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, April 3-5. #MockSelection

Basketball never stops.

A bit of shaking, almost record-breaking

Today's result:

The Dream cruised past the Sun, 71-57. Delisha Milton-Jones tied Tina Thompson's league games-played record in the process, at 496.

Tomorrow's game:

Sparks at Fever.


How the Liberty became the league's best defense.


A look at Elena Delle Donne's spectacular season.

College news:

Minnesota coach Marlene Stollings has received a $75,000 raise.

Weber State's new coach is Matt Thune.

Karen Blair is a new assistant coach at VCU.

Former Illinois guard Amarah Coleman has transferred to DePaul.

Oregon completed an ideal summer conditioning program, and looks to the fall.

The NCAA lifted Savannah State's APR penalties, making them eligible for post-season play this year.

International news:

Storm rookie Ramu Tokashiki is in Japan practicing with the national team and eager to put her skills on display.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mercury-Lynx notes and quotes

Link. has all your women's basketball features, stories and news.

The East hot as fire; Mercury keep things interesting in West

All five of today's games were in-conference, and the results were wild:


The Fever slipped past the Liberty, 80-79. Indiana - which has lost only one game since the All-Star break - is now only one game behind first-place New York in the East.

The Sky edged the Mystics, 66-64, thanks to a Cappie Pondexter layup with six seconds to go. Chicago has beaten Washington four times this season, including once just a few days ago. The Sky hang on to third in the East.

Chicago forward Elena Delle Donne lost a shoe in the middle of the game, but got the rebound anyway.

The Dream ran past the Sun, 102-92, behind Angel McCoughtry's 33 points.


The Mercury beat the Lynx, 79-67, to clinch a playoff berth. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was ejected in the third quarter after picking up two quick technical fouls.

The Sparks crushed the Stars, 90-59. Jantel Lavender lead Los Angeles with 22 points, and Candace Parker had 20 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Current standings:

Eastern Conference

New York Liberty 18-8 0.692

Indiana Fever 17-9 0.654

Chicago Sky 17-11 0.607

Washington Mystics 15-11 0.577

Connecticut Sun 12-14 0.462

Atlanta Dream 10-16 0.385

Western Conference

Minnesota Lynx 19-9 0.679

Phoenix Mercury 16-11 0.593

Tulsa Shock 13-14 0.481

Los Angeles Sparks 10-17 0.370

Seattle Storm 7-20 0.259

San Antonio Stars 7-21 0.250


Liberty or Fever for the top spot? Or will it be the Sky?

What is wrong with the Lynx?

Is there something wrong with the Mystics?

Are the Mercury steady now?

Are the Shock for real again?

Can the Sparks catch up?

Should Coach Dan Hughes be relieved of duties?

Rethinking the sale of the female athlete

On-point essay by Tiffany M. Davis that discusses the way the WNBA markets itself:

The NBA is messy. With its array of reel-worthy dunks and the occasional dust-up, colorful personalities and controversial statements, it may not the best place to look for upstanding citizens or role models, the league’s community outreach efforts notwithstanding. All of the fines in the world won’t stop the player (and sometimes coach) antics that provide constant media fodder. And it’s expensive: The average price of a ticket for the 2014-15 season ranged between $30 and $124, based on the team’s location. But that’s what makes the men’s league fun.

In contrast, the WNBA has always walked a paradoxical tightrope between (female) professional athletes doing professionally athletic things, and the image of WNBA players as being too masculine in looks and deeds. Most players are not a Skylar Diggins, who has appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and is perhaps known more for her model-quality looks (and perpetual crush of rapper Drake) than her award-winning skills as a guard for the Tulsa Shock. Being camera-ready while doing a lay-up is not a priority for the rest of the league’s players, and expecting them to be is hypocritical. By perpetuating antiquated notions of ladylike behavior and appearance, and superimposing them on a sport that celebrates “unladylike” behavior such as sweating profusely, cursing and aggressive play, the WNBA not only sends confusing messages to the very girls it purports to want to lift up, but also sucks the fun out of the playing atmosphere by hindering the players from fully expressing themselves.

The men’s league understands that at the end of the day, games are entertainment—no more, no less. People attend and watch games to escape their everyday drama for a few hours; there is no escape value if the game environment replicates a certain part of one’s life. Perhaps if the WNBA treated its league as such, and not as a de facto breeding ground for athletic role models and a safe haven for the traditional family unit, it may attain the media conversational level that Richie seeks.


There have been too many instances that I can recount, whether in real life or in the movies, where a person finally started to get somewhere when she/he started being herself. The WNBA should never be afraid to let players be themselves, or to market a unique league. We need more individual expression - not less.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hot match ups on the horizon

Having that all-or-nothing feeling again:

No games today, but five tomorrow.....

Sky at Mystics

Sparks at Stars

Dream at Sun

Liberty at Fever

Lynx at Mercury

Both the East and West's top two teams facing each other at the same time? My computer screen is about to get another work out.


University of Texas-Arlington regents approved the lease of their arena for WNBA games and practices, meaning the Shock's move to Dallas is taking shape.


The Mystics have come home hobbled, and ready to rebound.


Injuries are piling up for the Sun.


The Fever are winning more by playing Tamika Catchings less.


Allie Quigley has ice in her veins.


The Mercury's shooting woes are making life tough for Brittney Griner.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The playoff race continues

We're still number one:

The Liberty still leads the East, as they downed the Dream, 78-67.

The Lynx is still first in the West, after defeating the Stars, 78-61. Maya Moore went over 3,000 career points in the win.

Department of Wow:

An Allie Quigley three-point shot with 2.1 seconds to go put the Sky over the Mystics, 87-85.

The Shock outlasted the Sun in overtime, 84-76. Riquna Williams lead Tulsa with 22 points. They have now won three straight.

Impressive night caps:

The Fever used a third quarter 30-9 run to beat the Storm, 75-63. It's the seventh 30-point or more third quarter for Indiana this season. The Fever also set a franchise record with four straight wins, and recorded their first West coast sweep.

The Sparks dominated the Mercury, 78-68. It's the third consecutive loss for Phoenix, and their second in a row at home.


How guard Tayler Hill balances her career with raising a child.


What's wrong with the Lynx?


Coach Bill Laimbeer has set the tone for the team's hot streak.


Chicago signed a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy to a one-day contract, which she fulfilled in tonight's game. Check out the team's twitter account - too many sweet tweets, and I can't pick my favorite one.

For Elena Delle Donne, it's all Sky - no limit.


President Obama will honor last year's WNBA champs at the White House next Wednesday.

College news:

At Temple, Way Veney has been promoted to associate head coach.

Drew Muscatell joins the University of Portland as an assistant coach.

Roderick Woods is South Carolina State's new assistant coach.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Catchings, fans prepare for her final exit

Tamika Catchings is already getting a lot of love from fans, though she won't retire until after the 2016 season. Both athlete and the public are preparing for her final exit.

Marathon preparation

No games tonight *sniff*

But the entire league plays tomorrow:

Dream at Liberty

Sun at Shock

Lynx at Stars

Mystics at Sky

Sparks at Mercury

Fever at Storm

It's going to be a long but wonderful evening.


Stefanie Dolson is a straight ally in the battle for gay rights.


Maya Moore has exclusive Jordan shoes.


Jennifer Lacy is a true pro.


Rookie Ramu Tokashiki will face fines for missing time with the Japan National Team to play in the WNBA.


After a rough stretch, the Mercury will put their home court supremacy to the test tomorrow night against the Sparks.

Brittney Griner-Glory Johnson divorce hearing:

A judge today denied Johnson's request that Griner pay $20,000 per month for support.

College news:

Florida State coach Sue Semrau's contract has been extended through 2019-2020.

Siena coach Ali Jaques' contract has been extended through 2019-2020.

Texas State coach Zenarae Antoine's contract has been extended through 2017-2018.

Pepperdine's new assistant coach is Lacey Burns.

Reconciling faith and sexual orientation

Powerful essay by Fever guard Layshia Clarendon on reconciling her Christianity with the fact that she's a lesbian:

Christians have used the Bible to condemn and enslave multitudes, and now they’re using it again. There are minorities in this league who are oppressing other minorities. There’s no place for the binary between believers and non-believers — even between believers and believers — when it comes to social justice.

Here’s the truth of it: this was an issue because only when it comes to LGBT activism is there a moral stigma. When we’re talking about the gay community, that’s when people want to start talking about right and wrong.

Everyone is quick to put on a pink jersey for breast cancer awareness or wear green for environmental awareness. But for Pride? The moral issue is the barrier.

This isn’t about sexuality or God. This is about social justice.

The LGBT community doesn’t often get identified as one that needs help — but the statistics are staggering. We have to humanize these people. We have some of the highest suicide rates, particularly when you intersect that with racial identity. We need money for suicide prevention, for LGBT community centers, for homeless shelters. It all starts with awareness. Do you know how to make people aware?

Just, wow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Confounding all reason

The WNBA strains my sports psychology sensibilities.

Last year there was hardly a game when the Los Angeles Sparks didn't look disjointed and out of sync on the court. But after they lost in the playoffs, All-Star forward Candace Parker told reporters that she'd never been on a more close-knit team in her life.

Yesterday Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and her four team captains had a three-hour "get it together" meeting, in lieu of practice. Tonight the Mystics routed them, 79-61.

For whatever reason, team chemistry, cohesion and winning patterns in the WNBA remains elusive, and contradictory to any sports study I've read, or produced in getting my Master's degree.

The playoffs are wide open, and so are the conference titles. The next few weeks will be truly interesting.

In tonight's other match up, the red hot Liberty hammered the Stars, 73-45.


How Elena Delle Donne is handling the pressure of her monster season.


Candace Parker is filling the box score like few have before her.


The Shock are still in good shape for the playoffs.


Rookie forward Ramu Tokashiki will miss four games to play for the Japanese National Team in Asia's championship.


Amid personal and professional tragedy, Jeanette Pohlen has persevered.

College news:

Martina Wood is a new assistant coach at Bucknell.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The playoff plots thicken

The Shock beat the Mercury, 74-59, snapping a five-game home losing streak. They've now won two in a row.

The Fever rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to down the Sparks, 79-68. Candace Parker had an LA franchise record for single-game steals, with eight. The Fever won at Staples Center for only the third time in franchise history.

The Fever are now in sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference, and the Sparks are still hanging in there at fourth in the West.



Coach Cheryl Reeve and her four team captains had a three-hour meeting today, skipping practice, in the wake of Sunday's loss at Washington.


Emma Meesseman will play through a finger injury as the Mystics fight for a playoff spot.

EDD still in the lead for MVP

MVP race:

Statistically, it's EDD, Maya Moore and Tina Charles in the top three.


Elena Delle Donne was on Sports Nation yesterday, where she participated in a dribbling contest.


Marissa Coleman has gained confidence from first-year coach Stephanie White.

Brittney Griner-Glory Johnson divorce:

Brittney Griner testified yesterday in court yesterday in the couple's divorce hearing.

Johnson is expecting twin girls.

WNBA players union:

Q&A with WNBPA director of operations Evie Goldstein.

College news:

There's a double-standard for North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell and the men's basketball coach.

Alexis Pace has joined South Carolina State as an assistant coach.

Alex Glasgow has transferred from Northwestern to Penn.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A couple more things

International news:

Canada qualified for the Rio Olympics next year with an 82-66 win over Cuba in the FIBA Americas women's basketball championship today. The team features UCLA's Nirra Fields, UConn's Kia Nurse and the Indiana Fever's Natalie Achonwa.


Katie Douglas was added to the team's banner of honor today.

Alternative universe day

Strange basketball day today:

The Dream ignited in the third quarter to defeat the Sun, 90-77. Angel McCoughtry and Reshanda Gray each had 18 points for Atlanta. (Go, Too Tall!)

The Mystics beat the Lynx, 77-69, behind Ivory Latta's 20 points. Houston, we seem to have a problem in Minnesota.

The Sparks dominated the Sky, 76-64. Candace Parker lead the way for LA with 21 points and 10 assists, and Chicago shot so poorly they probably would have missed the ocean if they tried.

The Fever knocked down the Mercury, 75-63. The non-odd part of this game: Fever forward Tamika Catchings grabbed nine rebounds to put her career total at 3,079, and move her past Tina Thompson on the league's all-time rebounding list. Amazing.

The Seattle rookies took over to vault the Storm past the Stars, 72-63.

These results mean that we have nutty situations in both conferences. The standings at the moment.....

Eastern Conference

Liberty: 16-7, .696

Fever: 14-9, .609

Mystics: 14-9, .609

Sky: 15-11, .577

Sun: 12-12, .500

Dream: 9-15, .375

Western Conference

Lynx: 18-7, .720

Mercury: 15-9, .625

Shock: 11-14, .440

Sparks: 8-16, .333

Stars: 7-18, .280

Storm: 7-19, .269

East thoughts/questions

Last night the Sky needed one win to at least tie for first in the East; now they're fourth. That's just wild.

The Mystics and Fever have come on quietly and with great stealth, haven't they?

I've heard fans doubt the Liberty, but I still say the East is theirs to lose. They have too much chemistry going on right now.

West thoughts/questions

What's going on in Minnesota? "They have all that talent, yet..." sounds like what fans say about the Sparks.

Speaking of Los Angeles, I'm not doubting they'll take at least fourth in the conference. But will they surpass the Shock for third?

Pondexter-Prince trade paying dividends for all

The Sky and Liberty's trade of Cappie Pondexter and Epiphanny Prince has paid dividends for all.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Shock snap long losing streak by taking down top East team Liberty

Things that make you go hmmmm:

The Shock snapped a long losing streak by beating the Liberty, of all teams, 81-76.

Odyssey Sims put up a season-high 27 points for Tulsa, and Brittany Boyd had a career-high 22 for New York.

Kymora Johnson and the Charlottesville Cavaliers made the trip to Madison Square Garden for the game. Story.

Tomorrow is a five-game day!

Sun at Dream

Lynx at Mystics

Sky at Sparks

Fever at Mercury

Stars at Storm

More WNBA news:


A request from Candace Parker's daugher Lailaa hastened her return to the Sparks.

Fashion report from Nneka Ogwumike.


Elena Delle Donne has the Sky thinking about a title.


Shenise Johnson is making a case for the league's most improved player.


Noelle Quinn and Marta Xargay are finding a mutual comfort zone in the Phoenix back court.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Maryland assistant coach charged with sexual abuse against a player


Maryland women’s basketball assistant coach Bryce McKey has been charged with sexual abuse against a player he coached while serving as an assistant with the Xavier women’s basketball team.

McKey will be arraigned Friday morning in Kenton County (Ky.) District Court on a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse in the third degree, which stems from a May 2 incident involving a Xavier women’s basketball player.

Maryland indefinitely suspended McKey on Thursday evening, according to a school spokesman.

Another take:

The 20-year-old player alleges that on May 2, McKey asked her to come to his Covington residence, according to a complaint. After the player arrived at McKey's residence, he "offered her alcohol and after a few drinks, he touched her buttocks on two occasions without her permission," according to the complaint.

While she was leaving, McKey asked for a hug and "pulled her close to him and she felt he was trying to kiss her at which time she pushed him away and left the residence," according to the complaint. In the days following the incident, court records say, McKey contacted the woman through a mutual friend and offered money in exchange for not pursuing charges.

On the positive tip


The Liberty and the city of New York have formed the Junior Liberty Basketball League, to help fill gaps in public sports/activities availability.

Q&A with center Carolyn Swords.

Tina Charles and Epiphanny Prince have gone from high school rivals to pro teammates.


Can the Sparks still make the playoffs?


Elena Delle Donne hopes to break the Seattle "curse" and play at Key Arena tomorrow night.


Get to know Tayler Hill, Bria Hartley and Natasha Cloud.


Layshia Clarendon is a new pro ambassador for Athlete Ally.


Seimone Augustus could return to the Lynx line up soon.

Assistant coach Jim Petersen podcast.

Sylvia Fowles podcast.


The Sun will honor Katie Douglas in a banner-unveiling ceremony prior to tomorrow's game.

Chelsea Gray is shining for Connecticut after conquering injury and doubt.

Connecticut has signed Nikki Greene to a seven-day contract.

Three games on tap tomorrow:

Liberty at Sun

Lynx at Dream

Sky at Storm

Glory Johnson-Brittney Griner:

The WNBA has subtle machismo, says one writer.

College news:

Missouri is restructuring its staff.

Santa Clara's new assistant coach is Alex Earl.

Marist has lost freshman point guard Jordyn Jossart for the season.

International news:

African referee Dorothy Okatch is tough as nails.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Off-the-court news

Tonight's results:

The Sun topped the Shock, 80-74, to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tulsa, on the other hand, has lost ten straight.

The Mercury took care of the Storm, 83-66.


Lindsay Whalen became only the third player to notch 2,000 career assists in last night's game against the Stars, joining Sue Bird and Ticha Penicheiro.


Tamika Catchings wants to bring her non-profit work to Chicago.


One-on-one with Tina Charles.

Three factors in the Liberty's return to prominence.


Elena Delle Donne's letter to her sister Lizzie.

WNBA draft lottery:

How the new lottery will work.

Basketball's gender wage gap: huge.

College news:

Morgan Valley is Washington's new assistant coach.

Kelsey Florian is a new assistant coach at Cornell.

Cleveland State has extended the contract of coach Kate Peterson Abiad through 2020-2021.

International news:

Lauren Jackson is going to try for next year's Rio Olympic team, for Australia.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Comeback kids

The Lynx rallied from behind to down the Stars, 83-76. Minnesota clinched a playoff spot with the win.

The Storm came back from 16 down to beat the Sparks, 85-77. Seattle swept this year's four-game series with Los Angeles.

The Fever topped the Mystics, 73-62. The two teams are now tied for second place in the Eastern Conference.

The first-place spot belongs to the Liberty, who routed the Sky, 84-63. Chicago was without Elena Delle Donne, who sustained an ankle sprain in Sunday's game.

Tomorrow's games:

Shock at Sun

Storm at Mercury

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Playoffs: still wide open

Today's results:

Elena Delle Donne is at it again, leading the Sky past the Mercury, 74-64, with 33 points.

The Dream downed the Shock, 98-90.

The Mystics beat the Sun, 84-73, snapping their two-game winning streak.

The Lynx snapped their two-game losing streak by snapping the Sparks' four-game winning streak, 72-64.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Midsummer night's update

Tonight's result:

The Stars got past the Storm, 88-81. Jia Perkins lead San Antonio with 32 points....she's been ballin' out lately.


DeWanna Bonner set a new WNBA record last night for single-season consecutive free throws, as she put up her 59th.


Coach Cheryl Reeve remains positive despite her team's two consecutive losses.


Tamika Catchings talks about who she looked up to in her early playing days.


Coach Anne Donovan and the Sun are clawing for a playoff spot.

Fun stuff:

Would you rather complete in a marathon or a triathlon?

Tomorrow's game slate is hot:

Arguably the biggest match up is Sparks at Lynx. Will the Lynx lose three in a row? Will the Sparks be able to keep up their winning streak?

Other games on tap include Mercury at Sky, Sun at Mystics and Dream at Shock.


With Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman coaching men, it's time to make room at the table.

College news:

Marist players react to a rocky offseason.

NC State plans to build a "boutique" dorm for its basketball players.

Pitt is on the right track in extending coach Suzie McConnell-Serio's contract.

Penn has extended the contract of coach Mike McLaughlin through 2020-2021.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Liberty stay in East top spot; Lynx lose two in a row

Tonight's results:

The Liberty continue to be hot, outscoring the Sky, 77-63. Epiphanny Prince lead the way with 30 points.

The Mercury held on to beat the Lynx, 73-66. This is the first time this season Minnesota has lost two in a row.

Alex Bentley's career-high 31 points paced the Sun past the Mystics, 86-72.

The Fever thrashed the Dream, 106-77.

College news:

Illinois is trying to turn a corner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mystics win, and Stars coach Hughes OK

Tonight's result:

The Mystics escaped the Stars, 66-63. San Antonio coach Dan Hughes was knocked over the sideline chairs by Danielle Robinson, chasing a loose ball. He was taken off the court in a stretcher and to the hospital. He sustained a low back injury, and is expected to coach Saturday's game.

Thank goodness.


Elena Delle Donne has better stats than LeBron James, Steve Nash and Kevin Durant.


Stefanie Dolson and Emma Meesseman are building a foundation together in the WNBA and abroad.


The patience of Jewell Loyd's coaches helped her overcome a slow start to her rookie season.


Rookie Cierra Burdick will miss the rest of the season after having surgery today to repair a stress fracture in her foot.

International news:

Liz Cambage responds to teammate Rachel Jarry's criticism of her for missing national team camp.

College news:

Illinois coach Matt Bollant spoke for the first time since being the subject of a coach abuse lawsuit.

Recee' Caldwell has transferred from UCLA to Texas Tech.

Former Indiana guard Taylor Agler - Sparks coach Brian Agler's daughter - will transfer to Ohio University. Originally she had planned to play at Texas Tech.

WNBA announces rules changes to draft lottery format

Interesting change to the WNBA draft lottery rules announced just a bit ago:

Under the new format (which begins with the lottery following the 2015 season), the drawing will still be held among the four teams that did not make the playoffs (the “Lottery Teams”) in the immediately preceding season. Instead of assigning the odds based solely on the records of the teams in the immediately preceding season, the odds will be based on the cumulative records of the Lottery Teams over the two most recent regular seasons.....

The new format will also guarantee that the Lottery Team with the worst two-year cumulative record will end up with at least the third pick. Under the previous format, the Lottery Team with the worst single-season record was guaranteed to pick no worse than fourth.

I wonder how long the league had been thinking about this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One thing isn't looking like the other

The second half of the season isn't resembling the first half too much so far. Tonight's results:

The Sun smashed the Stars, 82-51. Connecticut's victory gave coach Anne Donovan her 200th win - the first female coach in the league to reach the mark. Danielle Adams was back for San Antonio after suspension, but didn't play. The Stars haven't won on the road this season.

The Sky crushed the Fever, 106-82.

The Sparks routed the Lynx, 83-61. Candace Parker lead LA with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Jantel Lavender's 14 points and 13 boards make her the league double-double leader, with 11. Astoundingly, the Sparks held Lynx all-star Maya Moore to 2 points in the second quarter and scoreless for the entirety of the second half. LA had 54 points in the paint to Minnesota's 22.

The Mercury prevailed in overtime thanks to a last-second trey by DeWanna Bonner, beating the Shock 87-84.


Is Sue Bird's latest milestone her last?


Chelsea Gray has battled back from multiple injuries to flourish with Connecticut.


Erika de Souza is excited to be in Chicago.

July players of the month:

Tina Charles and Maya Moore.

College news:

Illinois plans no personnel changes in the wake of a school investigation into abuse allegations.

Family means everything to Montana coach Robin Selvig.

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's one of those daaaaays

It's catch your breath day, and tomorrow there are four games on tap:

Stars at Sun

Fever at Sky

Shock at Mercury

Lynx at Sparks


Rookie Ramu Tokashiki is blossoming in the WNBA.

Jewell Loyd is starting to feel more comfortable in the league.


Team president Isiah Thomas is Mr. Fix-It.

Tina Charles is eyeing a strong finish for New York.


The Mercury have toughened up during their three-game winning streak.

Coach Sandy Brondello talks about the streak.


Maya Moore podcast.

WNBA players of the week:

Tina Charles for the East and Maya Moore for the West.

Rookie of the month for July:

None other than Storm #1 draft pick Jewell Loyd.

Becky Hammon:

Becky Hammon is paving the way for women in men's professional sports.

College news:

An independent University of Illinois investigation into alleged discrimination and racism by coaches found no wrong doing.

Tennessee's Mercedes Russell will continue her comeback from injury on the team's Italy trip, which starts this week. Injuries will prevent Diamond DeShields and Bashaara Graves from playing.

The character of UConn star Kia Nurse was forged in a family of intense athletes.

Ray Caldwell is a new assistant coach at Texas Tech.

International news:

Liz Cambage has been denied reinstatement to the Australian National Team.

WNBA history 101, part I

Fans of men's basketball tend to be walking history books. They can cite players, stats, trades and the like from decades ago, and relate them to current team situations.

Not so for many women's basketball fans.

Current aficionados of the WNBA, in particular, know the major players of the past, like Lisa Leslie and Ticha Penicheiro. But they are less likely to know Ukari Figgs, Andrea Stinson or Janeth Arcain.

Today's WNBA fans take for granted LiveAccess, which allows them to see games broadcast online, in real time. In 2001, I remember working out at the gym one night and listening to a radio broadcast of a Seattle Storm away game on my Sony Walkman.

The past creates the present, and not knowing the history of the league is disrespectful. So let me introduce this website, It's filled with a lot of great information.

In 2002, the WNBA had 16 teams:

Eastern Conference

Charlotte Sting
New York Liberty
Washington Mystics
Indiana Fever
Orlando Miracle
Miami Sol
Cleveland Rockers
Detroit Shock

Western Conference

Los Angeles Sparks
Houston Comets
Utah Starzz
Seattle Storm
Portland Fire
Sacramento Monarchs
Phoenix Mercury
Minnesota Lynx

By 2003, there were 14 teams.

In 2004, there were 13 teams.

Check out the rosters and coaches of the:

2002 Sparks

2002 Charlotte Sting

2002 Houston Comets

2002 New York Liberty

.....just for starters. (And knowing that you can click on any player on the site to look up their stats)

It's a trip, isn't it?

Some of us long-time fans do miss those early days of the league.

The WNBA will celebrate its 20th year in 2016, so it's time to read up on it.

More later.......

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Close games, big moments

Some close games today:

The Mercury escaped the Dream, 71-68, behind Candice Dupree's 27 points.

Jantel Lavender's 20 points, and Candace Parker's crucial last-second block, lifted the Sparks past the Stars, 80-78.

The Sky edged the Mystics, 71-68. Elena Delle Donne was the high-scorer for Chicago, with 22 points.


Tina Charles' 29 points paced the Liberty past the Storm, 78-62. New York honored Becky Hammon at halftime, inducting her into the franchise's "ring of honor."

Seattle veteran Sue Bird joined the 5,000-point career club in the loss. She also has 2,000 assists, making her the first WNBA player to reach both those milestones.

The Fever beat the Sun, 83-70.


Rookie forward Cierra Burdick will have surgery Wednesday to repair a left foot stress fracture. She'll be out 4-6 weeks.


Point guard Sydney Colson is grateful for a heavy workload.

WNBA president Laurel Richie:

Q&A topics include tanking, Becky Hammon and expansion.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

More big things poppin'

Tonight's result:

The Lynx outlasted the Shock, 86-80. Maya Moore paced Minnesota, scoring 16 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. Tulsa guard Riquna Williams had a career-high 35 points.


Epiphanny Prince took a long and troubled road to the Liberty.


Q&A with Kelsey Bone.


Catching up with rookie Jewell Loyd.

Rookie Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is learning what the WNBA is all about.


Elena Delle Donne talks about playing in her first All-Star game last weekend.


Reshanda Gray blogs: new beginnings (again).

WNBA ambassadors:

Former WNBA players Ruth Riley, Ebony Hoffman and Clarisse Machanguana were in South Africa this week for Basketball Without Borders.

College news:

The rumors are true - former North Carolina center Stephanie Mavunga has transferred to Ohio State.