Saturday, April 30, 2016

Kelsey Bone speaks on Candace Parker omission

Connecticut Sun center Kelsey Bone says USA Basketball's omission of Candace Parker from the Olympic Team is due to a "personality conflict" between her and coach Geno Auriemma:

"Women's basketball and life in general is political. It's about who you know. I get it. Great. Fine. Dandy," Bone was saying Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena. "But when you are talking about a player like Candace Parker and what she's done for women's basketball, the attention she's brought to the game and the resume she has, you'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to put her on the Olympic team.".....

"There is a personality conflict," Bone said. "But they are there for a month. They're not going be together for a whole season. (Auriemma) isn't going to coach her for the next 10 years of her career. We're trying to win a gold medal for a couple of weeks. But, yes, I do think there's a personality conflict."

Now comes Bone's true bone of contention: Why do personality conflicts appear to affect women's basketball more than men's basketball? As Auriemma has said many times: Women's basketball's biggest issue is that everyone has to be lovey-dovey all the time.

"In my opinion, in my small little bubble, it's a part of what's hindering our game from making the jump to mainstream. It's not always about who's the best player. It's not always about who plays the best basketball. A lot of times it's about who likes you and who doesn't. And that's only with women," Bone said.

"DeMarcus Cousins is the best post player in the (NBA) right now. His attitude is not always the best. But I think he might be in Rio. It's about putting the best players on the floor to win. We're going to win regardless. The rest of the world is afraid of us. When they see those three letters across our chest, there's a dominance that goes with being on Team USA.

"But the message you send to other young players is that you can work your ass off your whole career and if somebody doesn't like you, it means nothing. When (Auriemma) has had his issues with other coaches, he has said 'we don't have to all be friends. We don't have to all sing 'Kumbaya.' Which is true. At the end of the day, we're talking about adults. No one is going to the Olympics with USA Basketball and just be an ass.

"Candace does have a very big personality. But at the end of the day, why is it only in the women's game does that matter? You can say it's her reputation. You can say a lot of things. But all of those things have been there. There's not anything new that wasn't there in 2012 when she was the MVP in London."

WNBA preseason starts tomorrow



Dallas Wings at Indiana Fever, 1 p.m. EDT

New York Liberty at Chicago Sky, 2 p.m. EDT

Not too many transactions have gone down so far since training camp opening day because most core and veteran players are still overseas with their teams, and aren't in training camp yet. As we see more return, and as preseason games begin, there will be more cuts and additions.

WNBA team news:

The Dream are banking on a new center combination.

WNBA player news:

Tamika Catchings blogs about her last first day of training camp.

Elena Delle Donne is relishing her Delaware homecoming this weekend with the Sky.

Q&A with Sun forward Kelsey Bone.

Adut Bulgak overcame many obstacles to reach the Liberty. She is a former Sudanese refugee.

The wait is over for the Mercury's Isabelle Harrison.

Rachel Banham has joined Connecticut with a shooter's mentality.

Storm guard Jewell Loyd aims to play without fear in her second season.

Fever guard Briann January is almost ready for battle.

Kelly Faris has more in mind with the Sun.

Mercury draftee Jillian Alleyne and her former college coach discuss the draft.

College player news:

Center Azura Stevens has transferred to UConn. She was Duke's leading scorer and rebounder this past season.

College coach news:

Ex-Loyola players say coach Sheryl Swoopes' coaching methods are behind the mass transfers of this spring.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick wants her team to have a more consistent work ethic.

Sparks coach Agler: “You’ve got to make basketball decisions based on basketball”

Sparks coach Brian Agler had some words today about Candace Parker's Olympic Team snub.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Like the sands through the hour glass........

WNBA team news:

The Mystics are waiting for more than half of their team to arrive home from overseas.

A new coach, a returning superstar and quality draft picks give the Sun a shiny new outlook.

WNBA player news:

Crystal Langhorne welcomes fellow post player Breanna Stewart to the Storm.

Stewart embraces the pressure to elevate the Storm.

Chiney Ogwumike came to the rescue when a reporter ripped his pants during Sun media day.

Connecticut rookie Rachel Banham has the green light in camp.

League news:

How the WNBA can succeed in North Texas.

First training camp cuts:

April 29, 2016

Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Roy, Tina Waived
Atlanta Thompson, Amanda Waived
San Antonio Martin, Brittney Waived
San Antonio Adams, Danielle Waived

Olympics news:

Best players who never made the Olympics.

College team/program news:

Valparaiso is extra-motivated after the departure of a key player.

Former Tar Heel Erlana Larkins says the NCAA's allegations against North Carolina are bogus.

College player news:

Guard Jasmine Cincore has decided to remain at Nebraska.

Brandi Harvey-Carr and Elri Liebenberg will transfer from DePaul.

College coach news:

Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly spoke today about the lawsuit filed against him by former player Nikki Moody, and said he wouldn't change anything about their relationship.

Fennelly isn't interested in settling the lawsuit.

Could South Carolina assistant coach Nikki McCray-Penson take the Vanderbilt job? It's up to the search committee.

Kentucky's athletic director is confident that coach Matthew Mitchell will get the program back on track.

State of the game:

One writer says there is too much drama in women's basketball. The bottom line, she says, is that the game is growing; these are the growing pains. I agree.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another day in basketball paradise

WNBA team news:

The Liberty is optimistic it can continue its recent success.

Promise is on the horizon for the Sun.

WNBA player news:

Finally healthy, Storm guard Monica Wright is eager to begin her first season with her new team.

Sun rookie Jonquel Jones' long road to the WNBA.

Rookie teammate Jamie Weisner should prove to be one tough cookie.

A third Sun rookie, Morgan Tuck, already has a pro pedigree. She was thrilled to remain in Connecticut.

Transactions today:

Team Player Transaction

Chicago Lyon, Maggie Waived
Connecticut Baker, Brandie Contract Signed
Dallas Baugh, Vicki Waived

Candace Parker omission discussion continues:

ESPN's Mechelle Voepel weighs in again: still trying to make sense of Parker exclusion.

Maria Cornelius sums up the issues nicely in this piece.

Other Olympic team news:

Angel McCoughtry's college coach, Jeff Walz, is impressed with her adaptability.

College team/program news:

Kentucky's AD discusses issues within the women's basketball program.

College player news:

The NCAA has approved a medical hardship waiver for Gonzaga's Elle Tinkle.

It's another busy summer for UConn's Kia Nurse.

College coach news:

Louisville coach Jeff Walz is excited about the Cardinals.

Louisiana Tech's new coach says the team can capitalize on their recent notoriety.

Texas' new assistant coach is Jamie Carey. How poetic is that?

Jim Foster's contract at Chattanooga has been extended through 2021-2022.

Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks has made staff additions.

New Mexico coach Mike Bradbury is bringing energy to the team's offense.

Vanderbilt is looking at coaching options with in-state ties.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More "wow"s

What a week, and it's only Wednesday

WNBA team news:

The Dallas Wings want you to know they're not playing your mother's basketball.

WNBA player news:

Mystics guard Kara Lawson will sit out the first half of the season, and may retire.

Kelsey Minato is on leave from the Army while she tries out for the San Antonio Stars.

The Sky's Cheyenne Parker discusses the offseason and this season.

Elizabeth Williams and Bria Holmes are turning heads at Dream camp.

WNBA transactions:

April 27, 2016

Team Player Transaction

New York Lacy, Jennifer Contract Signed
Seattle Whyte, Davellyn Waived
Atlanta Braxton, Kara Waived
New York Tarakchian, Annie Waived
New York Ballard, Danielle Waived

College player news:

Why are so many leaving Kentucky?

Iowa transfer Whitney Jennings has landed at Butler.

Former Clemson post player Justice Wright has transferred to Auburn.

Evansville guards Camille Coleman and Taloni Reese are transferring.

College coach news:

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell takes the responsibility for the upheaval in the program.

Mitchell Q&A.

SMU coach Travis Mays has announced his coaching staff.

Geno Auriemma had been suffering from the flu and a bronchial infection when he was hospitalized after the Final Four earlier this month.

Camryn Whitaker said it was best she moved on from Kentucky's staff.

Olympics news:

Opals' coach Brendan Joyce believes Liz Cambage can deliver for Australia at the games.

He also says Candace Parker is one of the world's top three players. DUH.

USA Basketball names Olympic Team

My write up.

Hey, there's always Olympic track and field to watch.

Olympic team named

Olympic team named.

So, Breanna Stewart over two-time Olympian and two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker, huh?


But notice that some of the same folks crying foul now are the ones who hyped Stewart all season long.

First time in my life I am indifferent to the Olympic basketball team. I'm trying to feel differently, but so far no luck. I don't like it when people are used as political pawns.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The ups and the downs

Candace Parker reacts to being cut from Olympic team:

She kept it classy, of course.

The Olympic door has opened for Breanna Stewart since Parker was omitted. (No surprise there)

Former Mercury coach Corey Gaines is working with Japan's National Team. If you're not feeling as enthusiastic for Team USA anymore, you could always cheer for Japan.

WNBA player news:

Dream guard Shoni Schimmel has shown up for training camp out of shape for the second consecutive year, and coach Michael Cooper is extremely disappointed.

Storm guard Jewell Loyd wants to be among the greats.

Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles aren't at Lynx practice for a reason.

Chiney Ogwumike is pleased to be back with the Sun.

Becca Tobin is getting a second chance at the WNBA with the Sparks.

WNBA coach news:

New Sun coach Curt Miller is eager to get going.

College team news:

The Kentucky exodus continues, as a player decommits.

The NCAA is scapegoating North Carolina women's basketball for the school's academic fraud issues.

Another lawsuit: a former College of Charleston player is suing the school for gross negligence on the part of the coaching staff.

College player news:

Florida State's Leticia Romero aims to make Spain's Olympic team.

College coach news:

Vanderbilt has released coach Melanie Balcomb.

Guess who's back at Kentucky as an assistant coach? Kyra Elzy.

This move follows yesterday's resignation of assistant coach Tamika Williams-Jeter.

Full court press on Florida coach Amanda Butler.

Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina WBB, and true desolation.

Jimmy Garrity is Wofford's new coach.

Monday, April 25, 2016

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life

WNBA team news:

The Mercury opened training camp today.

For the Lynx and their new players, camp opened with introductions.

Two Minnesota starters Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson could miss all of preseason.

Youth is served for the Stars.

WNBA player news:

After missing last season, Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike is ready to go.

All eyes are on Breanna Stewart at Storm camp.

Q&A with Minnesota's Renee Montgomery.

Mystics guard Kara Lawson is pondering retirement.

Rookie Whitney Knight had a good start at Sparks camp, she says.

WNBA coach/GM news:

For Stars general manager Ruth Riley's second act.....

Q&A with Dallas Wings general manager Greg Bibb.

Mystics coach Mike Thibault talks about what to expect this season.

WNBA transactions:

April 25, 2016

Team Player Transaction

Phoenix Fields, Nirra Contract Signed
Minnesota McLaren, Kaili Contract Signed
Minnesota Wallace, Sydney Contract Signed
Washington Galdeira, Lia Contract Signed
San Antonio Thornton, Kayla Waived
Seattle Enemkpali, Nneka Waived

College team news:

North Carolina's women's basketball team might get hit hardest with NCAA sanctions - more than men's basketball and football. (WHAT?)

College player news:

Kentucky freshman Batouly Camara will transfer.

Shakeela Fowler has left Illinois State.

College coach news:

It's 2016, and coaches still don't feel comfortable coming out.

Nebraska's new assistant coaches will be paid $140,000 each.

USA Basketball leaving Candace Parker off the Olympic Team roster

They're leaving WHO off the Olympic Team roster?

USA Basketball has decided not to include Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker on the final 12-player roster that will represent the United States at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August, sources close to the situation told ESPN.....

When contacted Monday, USA Basketball declined to comment.

Parker is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008 and '12) and two-time WNBA MVP (2008 and '13).

She was informed of USA Basketball's decision not to include her for Rio last week, sources said.

Last October during USA Basketball's four-game European tour, Parker had a triple-double. She averaged a team-high 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in helping the U.S. women to a 4-0 record.


And more importantly, WHY?

So Parker is one of the weakest players on this roster?

Obviously not. I can name off each player who should be cut before her, but I don't want to be rude.

ESPN's Mechelle Voepel illuminates this:

But of the 10 players who competed, Parker was statistically the best overall performer. How do you go from that to six months later being left off the Olympic team? How is that possible?......

And explores possible reasons why she was omitted:

Others will say it came down to chemistry/personality clashes. To that end, some will see this as evidence that USA Basketball has turned into Club UConn in the past eight years with Huskies coach Geno Auriemma guiding the senior national team. And that Tennessee grad Parker was outside of that clique, and thus deemed more expendable. (Six of the 12 Olympians in 2012 were former Huskies.)

I'm sure USA Basketball will insist college affiliation was totally irrelevant in how the team was picked by the selection committee. I'm equally sure that many Tennessee and Sparks fans will believe the committee members rubber-stamped what they knew Auriemma wanted. And never the twain shall meet.

But even if you don't think this is some kind of personality conflict that goes way back, it's still jarring to think Parker will not be on the Olympic team.....

Still, this is Candace Parker. Can you picture an NBA player of her age, experience, ability and accomplishment being left off the men's Olympic team if he'd played in two previous Olympics and remained eager to be a part of it again? Can you imagine being Parker right now and not feeling utterly stunned and angry?

USA Basketball declined to comment, but politics come to mind immediately.

Parker was left out of game action in London for extended periods of time, and fans speculated it was because Auriemma didn't like her. As with poor officiating, we'll never know for sure if there was animosity involved. But it looks like it now.

Auriemma has been hinting at retirement of late. Perhaps having half of the Olympic Team comprised of former UConn players last time wasn't good enough for him as his career winds down?

If Auriemma/USA Basketball is upset about her taking half of last WNBA season off, then why aren't they carrying a grudge against Brittney Griner, who flat out turned down the invitation four years ago to tend to family matters?

There's no justification for leaving Candace Parker off the Olympic Team roster. Her skills and abilities are among the world's best. Is USA Basketball really that confident that we're so much farther ahead than the rest of the world's nations that they can omit one of our best players? With the decision to exclude Parker from the roster, they have leveled the playing field.

Idiotic. Unfathomable. Beyond reason. Shame on you, USA Basketball.

This is the first time in my life that someone has stunk up the Summer Olympic Games before they even began.

Fortunately, any ill feelings Parker likely had over this decision seem to be well under her control. I had a great interview with her after the first day of Sparks training camp yesterday, and she was relaxed and at ease. She gave no indication of getting any bad news last week.

Parker, who just turned 30 last week, seems to be settling into her ever-burgeoning wisdom with a lot of grace. And she hasn't commented on the situation today. I do appreciate that someone who has been so disrespected is demonstrating that much class.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dig if you will the picture

I've been so upset today after hearing Prince died. I grew up listening to the man, a true genius.

The Minnesota Lynx have turned their twitter icon purple to honor him, and had some nice tweets on his passing.

As you may recall, Prince hosted a party for the Lynx at his mansion last October after they won the WNBA Championship.

Team news:

The Seattle Storm had a press conference and welcomed fans today as they introduced Breanna Stewart and their new uniforms. reporter Joe Veyera will have a recap soon.

The Fever are gearing for training camp.

Player news:

The buzz surrounding the Storm is invigorating for Sue Bird.

Breanna Stewart is at the center of the Storm as their latest No. 1 pick.


Brittney Griner is eager to make her Olympic debut in Rio.

College coach and player landings

Player news:

A former Iowa State player says her experience there was similar to Nikki Moody's.

Washington State transfer Bianca Blanaru has landed at Georgia.

South Florida reportedly has added Hungarian star Dorottya Nagy.

Coach news:

Belmont coach Cameron Newbauer has signed a five-year contract extension.

Erin Grant returns to New Mexico as an assistant coach.

Scott Stoehr and Lindsay Hicks have joined Louisiana Tech as assistant coaches.

New Wagner College coach Heather Jacobs has a big hill to climb.

Campbell coach Ronny Fisher has named his coaching staff.


Why college coaches are getting a second shot at Mi'Cole Cayton.


What is up with the new trend of female head coaches hiring their husbands as assistants?

I really want to know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What's up with these young people? Part II

Two more indicators today of the times we live in, following ESPN's commentary yesterday on the same issue.

First, a piece on the recent slate of lawsuits and allegations against college coaches for "mistreatment," saying women's basketball is in a 'scary' era.

Then there is a column by high school girls basketball coach Trisha Kellogg, wife of Stephen F. Austin coach Mark Kellogg. She says that girls/women's basketball culture is annoying her beyond belief.

I wrote about this issue almost a year ago, when the first of these incidences began to take place:

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

At the time, a few people said I was being too harsh. But with the accusations that have flown this spring, all I hear now is the same alarm that I sounded in 2015.

What's going on with this generation? Where did parents and coaches go wrong?

I like what Kellogg wrote here:

We need to start the discipline early. Get back to the fundamentals of what sports are about. Club basketball needs to take a step back and let all of the players know that they will not always be the best and they will face adversity and it’s time to work hard not for the spot light, but for the love of the game. Parents need to step back and hold their kids accountable and teach them the importance of work ethic in the classroom and on the court. Quit bailing them out!

I'm praying that the schools involved in the current cases can tell the difference between discipline and mistreatment.

San Antonio Stars dominate pro news

San Antonio Stars coach Dan Hughes has announced that the 2016 season will be his last.

Former Stars stand out Ruth Riley has been named General Manager and will take the head coach position when Hughes leaves.

Great plan.

WNBA team news:

Seven things to expect in the Fever's upcoming season.

WNBA player news:

Mystics guard Ivory Latta will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Elena Delle Donne laughs at those who "get in their feelings" in the rim height debate.

Delle Donne says higher WNBA revenues mean higher pay.

Delle Donne aims for the Olympics, despite the risks.

Adut Bulgak's work ethic lead her to the WNBA.

So many transactions:

April 20, 2016

San Antonio Minato, Kelsey Contract Signed
New York Bulgak, Adut Contract Signed
New York Alston, Ameryst Contract Signed
Connecticut Butler, Heather Contract Signed
Connecticut Handford, Aliyyah Contract Signed
Minnesota Williams, Courtney Contract Signed
Dallas Hamblin, Ruth Contract Signed
Dallas Richardson, Shakena Contract Signed
Los Angeles Houser, Michaela Contract Signed
Los Angeles Hines, Jasmine Contract Signed
Los Angeles Williams, Kaylon Contract Signed
Phoenix Cheslek, Shelby Contract Signed
Phoenix Williams, Courtney Contract Signed

April 19, 2016

Washington Copper, Kahleah Contract Signed
Washington Grant, Danaejah Contract Signed
Washington Lee, Chelsea Contract Signed
Washington Payne, Jada Contract Signed
Los Angeles Tobin, Rebecca Contract Signed
Los Angeles Walton, Talia Contract Signed
Los Angeles Butler, Brianna Contract Signed
Atlanta Roy, Tina Contract Signed
Atlanta Hollivay, Rachel Contract Signed
Atlanta Holmes, Bria Contract Signed
Dallas Schimmel, Jude Contract Signed
Dallas Jarosz, Tori Contract Signed
Dallas Powers, Aerial Contract Signed
Minnesota Graves, Bashaara Contract Signed
Connecticut Banham, Rachel Contract Signed
Connecticut Tuck, Morgan Contract Signed
Connecticut Weisner, Jamie Contract Signed
San Antonio Gwathmey, Jazmon Contract Signed
New York Ballard, Danielle Contract Signed
Minnesota Liston, Tricia Waived by Minnesota

DI teams improve their Academic Progress Rate by three points

Progress is being made, academically.

College player news:

Nebraska transfer Natalie Romeo will visit the University of Washington.

Syracuse's Brittney Sykes had less than a day to decide her future.

Former Minnesota center Josie Buckingham has transferred to Loyola Marymount.

The NCAA has denied Green Bay's Ashley Luke a medical hardship waiver.

The mother of one of Nikki Moody's former teammates at Iowa State "knew" Moody would sue coach Bill Fennelly.

College coach news:

New Arizona coach Adia Barnes has stepped into the rebuilding stage. She announced her coaching staff today.

Tamara Inoue is UC Irvine's new coach.

The search for a new South Dakota coach is progressing.

Mike Bradbury has settled in at New Mexico.

Syracuse assistant Vonn Read has a deep interest in FGCU's offense.

Assistant coach Allison Clark will remain on staff at Tennessee Tech.

Ty Evans has been promoted to assistant coach at Auburn.

A former player speaks out about Loyola Chicago coach Sheryl Swoopes. The NCAA was aware of the allegations against her since 2014.

Louisiana Tech went with the safe and solid hire in Brooke Stoehr.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Go on, girl, get with the program, girl

You know how I was saying last night that women's basketball isn't short on male fans, but needs female fans.

New York Knicks guard Jerian Grant makes my point today in an awesome essay: Get With the Program.

He also had a phenomenal tweet about it:

Jerian Grant ‏@JerianGrant 15h15 hours ago
So you think women’s basketball is “boring”? I have thoughts on that … @PlayersTribune @ndwbb

Thanks, Jarian. You are amazing. And you're right on.

Introducing, WHW's new weekly podcast

Along with the new page design of Womenshoopsworld comes our new weekly podcast.

This week my colleague Brian Schwartz and I discuss last week's WNBA draft. In coming weeks, beginning May 2, we will put up a few broadcast each Monday that will feature player Q&As, features, hot topics and much more. Stay tuned.

WNBA player news:

The Lynx signed second round pick Bashaara Graves and waived Tricia Liston. Wow, Minnesota's roster is that packed already?

Adut Bulgak had "one thousand emotions" as her WNBA dream came true last week.

Stars coach Dan Hughes is very confident in rookie Moriah Jefferson's abilities.

WNBA coach news:

Katie Smith has been promoted to associate head coach for the Liberty.

NCAA's new ruling will change college recruiting

The NCAA has voted to allow schools to pay for up to two guardians to accompany recruits on official visits.

Is this an attempt to curb the number of transfers?

College coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma was released from the hospital today and is at home resting.

Louisiana Tech's new coach says the program is ready to move forward.

Nebraska's contract for new coach Amy Williams lacks some of the perks of her predecessor.

Katrina Merriweather is the new head coach at Wright State.

Todd Starkey is Kent State's new head coach.

Army coach Dave Magarity has signed a five-year contract extension.

UT Arlington has extended coach Krista Gerlich's contract two years.

Sharrona Reaves is Tennessee's new assistant coach.

Syracuse recruits know coach Quentin Hillsman is serious about building a winner.

Mickie DeMoss wasn't interested in the Louisiana Tech head job.

ESPN echoes my thoughts from yesterday, that the recent slate of coach mistreatment allegations is troubling.

College player news:

Former Iowa State guard Nikki Moody's attorney and the school disagree on the institution's ruling about her mistreatment complaints.

Her lawyers have one signed affidavit from a teammate, and says other players support her complaints.

Former USC forward Drew Edelman has transferred to UCSB.

Schools news:

NCAA president Mark Emmert owes the University of Washington $49,000 on a salary pledge he made over a decade ago.

U17 trials:

The U17 trials in June will feature 35 athletes trying for spots.

WNBA draft illustrated

Great draft night photos by my ace photographer/friend.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Women's basketball needs female fans

Oregon's Bev Smith (#24) puts up a shot against Louisiana State while teammate Allison Lang (#52) looks on. Dec. 16, 1981 (I was there). Photo by Brent Wojahn.


Much has been made of the fact that the popularity of women's sports lags far behind men's sports - particularly in basketball, and more specifically, in the WNBA. It has been widely thought that what the league needs to do is to capture the attention of the male sports fans, as they constitute the vast majority of the sports viewing audience.

But the gap issue doesn't seem to stem from male sports fans. Rather, it is the lack of female fans of women's sports that is a major contributor in the sport stalling in popularity. There are simply not enough women supporting women in basketball.

I attend every WNBA game in Los Angeles each summer, and like other WNBA crowds, the fans consist mostly of younger kids, middle-aged folks and seniors. There are some teens there of both sexes, but not many. I see more men in their 20's and 30's in the crowd than women of the same age groups.

It's men who I talk to about women's basketball. Male hoops fans know who the WNBA players are, as well as many of the top college ballers. Meanwhile, women and teen girls are clueless.

It has been men who have been willing to write for my website, All the new women's basketball websites and blogs seem to be mostly staffed by men, if not operated by men, as well.

I work at a high school and deal with young athletes. In 2010 I traveled with the Cal Sparks to a summer club ball tournament. I asked each one of the girls on the premiere team who their favorite player was, and all but one named an NBA player. One girl named Diana Taurasi as her favorite.

If I went out and did the same experiment right now, the result would still be the same. Most girls aren't raised to watch women's sports - not even women playing their own sport. It saddens me deeply.

My Dad is and was a progressive thinker. He began taking me to women's basketball games at our local university during the 1981-1982 season, when I was a young teen. I watched star forwards Bev Smith and Allison Lang smash records, and lead the team to the first-ever NCAA Tournament for women that year. Though they lost in the early rounds, I was inspired for life.

It was because of the influence of those women that I began not only watching basketball, but other sports. Then I began playing sports, and I slowly morphed into an athlete, which I remain today. The toughness and resilience I acquired in becoming an athlete has got me through many a tough time, and past many obstacles where I have seen others fall. Seeing examples of strong women playing sports changed the trajectory of my life for the better.

If I were the WNBA, I'd make a concerted effort to get women - and especially girls - to games. Let them witness all the possibilities. Show them what strength and confidence and beauty all wrapped up together looks like. Help them to witness and appreciate all the different types of women there are on the planet, and not just the distorted views of media. The world would open up to become a much bigger place, along with their own possibilities.

Women's basketball doesn't need more male fans; it needs the support of its own people.

An unfortunate new trend

Last year it was Illinois and Wichita State. This year it's Duke, Loyola-Chicago, and now Iowa State.

What's up with all the mistreatment allegations??

Iowa State embroiled:

Former Iowa State star Nikki Moody is suing coach Bill Fennelly, alleging racial harassment.

Moody's lawyers call the alleged conduct "upsetting."

Iowa State takes issues with the allegations.

Former players and parents have come out in support of Fennelly.

A surprisingly good season under first-year coach Lynne Roberts has built the Utes' ambition.

College coach news:

Louisiana Tech alumni Brooke Stoehr has been named the program's new head coach.

South Carolina doesn't want to be denied next season, coach Dawn Staley says.

Staley is looking ahead after a "step back" this season.

IFPW's new head coach is Niecee Nelson.

Suzy Barcomb is Seattle University's new coach.

Carrie Moore is a new assistant coach at Princeton.

Valerie King is New Mexico's new assistant coach.

George Washington coach Jonathan Tsipis will retain Sasha Palmer as an assistant coach.

Western Kentucky coach Michelle Clark-Heard says the team's WNIT run will help them next season.

College team/player news:

Duke has landed a late but interesting recruit.

Bradley transfer Whitney Tinjum has landed at Minnesota.

Undrafted DePaul players Megan Podkowa and Chanise Jenkins will take their games overseas.

FGCU has added a pair of Juco standouts.

Ole Miss guard A'Queen Heyes has been arrested for DUI.

More movement in the pro ranks

WNBA news:

Nike has signed Breanna Stewart.

The Phoenix Mercury think Jillian Alleyne will be worth the wait.

Imani Boyette has reached the Sky.

Sun forward Jonquel Jones is ready for the WNBA.

Adut Bulgak has gone from college to the WNBA, with her eyes on the Rio Olympics.

Tiffany Mitchell will feel right at home in Indiana.

New Los Angeles Spark Talia Walton is out to prove her doubters wrong.

Pam McGee is the first parent of both a WNBA and NBA player.

WNBA transactions (look who's back):

New York Annie Tarakchian Contract Signed
New York Alisa Jenkins Contract Signed
New York Lindsey Harding Contract Signed
San Antonio Shamela Hampton Contract Signed
San Antonio Zahna Medley Contract Signed

Also.....Mystics signed Jada Payne.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Most college athletics programs outspend themselves

One evening during the Final Four in Indianapolis, I went to the hotel fitness center. Before starting my workout, I turned the TV to the comedy channel. I didn't catch what country the first comedian was from, but he was commenting on how seriously Americans take sports. Every broadcast, he said, was an unrivaled recitation of statistics.

He dramatized a typical soccer game broadcast in Latin America, where one commentator asked the other one what he thought would happen, and the other replied, "no one knows." A similar conversation on TV in the US would get this response:

"The last time a left-handed black man rose to this level of competition was in 1972....."

We're the only country on the globe that marries sports with higher learning institutions. Which makes this article pertinent:

Most college athletic programs outspend themselves. Can they keep up this pace?

Check out this paragraph:

“A very small number of the 1,100 (NCAA members) have a positive cash flow on college sports, so those schools are making a decision that having a successful athletic program is valuable to them despite the fact they have to subsidize it with institutional money,” Emmert says. “The same thing is true for a lot of academic programs. So every school has to sit down and say, 'What is this worth to us?’ ”

I'm quite sure that before any college sports are shut down, there would be a Congressional act with a new budget designed to keep them afloat.

College coach news:

Trina Patterson has been named head coach at North Carolina-Greensboro.

New George Washington coach Jen Rizzotti is excited about the future.

WNBA news:

Army's Kelsey Minato may get a shot at the WNBA.

New WNBA president Lisa Borders has energy, a vision and a plan

New WNBA president Lisa Borders is on the ball. Read about it in Fortune's interview.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The entire basketball spectrum

More on the draft:

Relive the top 10 picks.

The WNBA's team-by-team analysis.

The new Dallas Wings should get you excited about the WNBA.

The Wings look to become the WNBA's dominant team.

The Dream added depth with the draft.

The transformation of the Connecticut Sun roster continues.

Meet Breanna Stewart.

Stewart Q&A.

Stewart coming to Seattle is "crazy good."

Stewart talks draft outfit, transitioning to Seattle, and more.

A day with Moriah Jefferson.

Imani Boyette's letter to basketball.

Four Canadian players were picked last night.

Shereesha Richards wasn't drafted.

College basketball news:

Women's hoops is back on the rise in the Northwest.

Women's basketball in North Carolina has bottomed out.

College player news:

Alexis Peterson is locked in on improving at Syracuse.

Chatrice White is transferring from Illinois.

A'Lexus Harrison is leaving Maryland.

Vanderbilt transfer Kristen Gaffney has signed with East Carolina.

College coach news:

Loyola will investigate coach Sheryl Swoopes after allegations of player mistreatment.

George Washington's new coach is Jennifer Rizzotti.

Albany likes hyphenated names....Joanna Bernabei-McNamee is their new coach.

Santa Clara's new coach is Bill Carr. And he has no women's basketball coaching experience.

Heather Jacobs is Wagner's new head coach.

San Francisco's Jennifer Azzi, the lone out gay/lesbian coach, draws support.

Amy Williams' staff is taking shape at Nebraska.

The task of new UMass coach Tory Verdi is more than rebuilding.

Dane Sparrow has been promoted to assistant coach at Wake Forest.

High school to college:

What are the top recruits bringing to college this fall?

Nera White:

Women's basketball pioneer Nera White has died at age 80.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

More on draft and transfers galore

More on the draft:

WNBA draft picks draw their new team logos.....funny stuff.

Why all the draft picks gave the same fist bump to league president Lisa Borders.

Savvy and skill made Breanna Stewart the No. 1 pick.

College news:

Sources say Jen Rizzotti is negotiating with George Washington for the head coach job.

Tahnee Balerio and Isoken Uzamere are coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson's new assistant coaches at UCF.

Erica and Olivia Ogwumike have transferred to Rice from Pepperdine.

Brittney Sykes was calm under pressure in deciding to return to Syracuse.

Cal's Kristine Anigwe is taking the world of basketball by storm.

Nebraska's three recruits are sticking with the team after the coaching change.

Kentucky didn't renew the contract of assistant coach Adeniyi Amadou.

Sydney Brackemyre has left Louisville.

Whitney Johnson and Jannon Otto are leaving New Mexico.

Two are transferring from Pitt.

WNBA draft grades

The draft went down, and either you were surprised, or you weren't. Here's the board:

Round one

1. Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

2. Moriah Jefferson, San Antonio Stars

3. Morgan Tuck, Connecticut Sun

4. Rachel Banham, Connecticut Sun

5. Aerial Powers, Dallas Wings

6. Jonquel Jones, Los Angeles Sparks

7. Kahleah Copper, Washington Mystics

8. Courtney Williams, Phoenix Mercury

9. Tiffany Mitchell, Indiana Fever

10. Imani Boyette, Chicago Sky

11. Bria Holmes, Atlanta Dream

12. Adut Bulgak, New York Liberty

Round two

1. Rachel Hollivay, Atlanta Dream

2. Jazmon Gwathmey, Minnesota Lynx

3. Whitney Knight, Los Angeles Sparks

4. Courtney Walker, Atlanta Dream

5. Jamie Weisner, Connecticut Sun

6. Ruth Hamblin, Dallas Wings

7. Lia Galdeira, Washington Mystics

8. Jillian Alleyne, Phoenix Mercury

9. Brene Moseley, Indiana Fever

10. Bashaara Graves, Minnesota Lynx

11. Brianna Butler, Los Angeles Sparks

12. Ameryst Alston, New York Liberty

Round three

1. Brittney Martin, San Antonio Stars

2. Lexi Eaton Rydalch, Seattle Storm

3. Aliyyah Handford, Connecticut Sun

4. Niya Johnson, Atlanta Dream

5. Talia Walton, Los Angeles Sparks

6. Shakena Richardson, Dallas Wings

7. Danaejah Grant, Washington Mystics

8. Nirra Fields, Phoenix Mercury

9. Julie Allemand, Indiana Fever

10. Jordan Jones, Chicago Sky

11. Temi Fagbenle, Minnesota Lynx

12. Shacobia Barbee, New York Liberty

Then the Sparks traded Jones to the Sun for Chelsea Gray and the 15th and 23rd picks in the 2016 WNBA Draft and the first round pick in the 2017 draft.

The Lynx traded Gwathmey to San Antonio for veteran Jia Perkins.


They drafted Breanna Stewart and Lexi Eaton Rydalch, which gives them an A grade. Stewart is Lauren Jackson 2016, and will most likely make a seamless transition to the pros. Rydalch is a good fit with Seattle and should make the final roster.


Moriah Jefferson will fill the point guard role that has been empty since Becky Hammon retired, and Brittney Martin and Jazmon Gwathmey are both high-scoring guards who are used to leading on court. Grade: A.


Morgan Tuck, Rachel Banham, Jonquel Jones and Jamie Weisner with Chiney Ogwumike and the other great players on this Connecticut team? That's a slam dunk - and an A+ grade.


Aerial Powers brings a complex skill set; Ruth Hamblin brings height and size; Shakena Richardson is an electric guard. Grade: B.


Coach Mike Thibault's reputation for making maverick picks didn't disappoint, as he chose Kahleah Copper, Lia Galdeira and Danaejah Grant. Copper was rumored to be going first round, but Galdeira and Grant were a surprise. Grade: don't know yet.


Chelsea Gray, Whitney Knight and Brianna Butler are the guard presence Los Angeles needs, and Talia Walton adds a bit of size. Guess what? The Sparks done A good (grade).


Bria Holmes, Rachel Hollivay, Courtney Walker and Niya Johnson? Holy moly, they will be loaded. A grade.


Courtney Williams is a great fit with Phoenix. And their decision to take and wait for Jillian Alleyne will pay big dividends for them. Nirra Fields could make the roster too. With Diana Taurasi's return this season, the Mercury didn't need much; they get an A-.


Tiffany Mitchell will help with their guard needs, as will Brene Moseley. But Julie Allemand too? Why three points guards? Grade: C.


If she comes along fast, Imani Boyette will help replace the hole left by last year's trade of center Sylvia Fowles. Jordan Jones has a smooth game, and could be a good fit. Grade: B-.


Adut Bulgak fills their need for a center, and Ameryst Alston and Shacobia Barbee are both prolific scorers who could each contribute right away. Grade: A.


Minnesota got a great veteran leader in Jia Perkins, and Bashaara Graves is a good fit with the Lynx. Temi Fagbenle will forego the season to finish school. The defending champs are already loaded and didn't need much, so tonight's acquisitions are just cake icing. Grade: A-.

There are more A's this year than in previous years because this was such a deep and talented draft class. You pretty much couldn't make a bad pick with so many fantastic ball players available. As there was only one head-scratcher pick for me, the only amazing - albeit tragic - circumstance for me is that there are still many great athletes that didn't get picked: Shereesha Richards, Janee Thompson, Nicole Seekamp, Kelsey Minato, Tori Jarosz, Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Jada Payne, Tina Roy and Khadijah Sessions, to name a few.

I sure wish the league were bigger.

Alright, let's start training camp and get this thing rolling.

One final draft post

Team news:

The Seattle Storm and Swedish Medical Center have inked the largest partnership deal in team history.

Player news:

George Washington's Jonquel Jones is likely to go in the first round. She might be the school's first first-round pick.

Albany's Shereesha Richards hopes to be picked today.

Texas A&M's Courtney Walker is expected to be picked.

South Florida's Courtney Williams is headed to the next level.

Oregon's Jillian Alleyne is ready to take the next step.

Oklahoma State's Brittney Martin is excited about the draft.

West Virginia's Bria Holmes is closing in on her WNBA dreams.

East Carolina's Jada Payne is staring at a WNBA career.

WNBA Pres:

This is how the WNBA president plans to mix business and sports.

This is how she plans to address the pay gap.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A dribblin' of college items

Player news:

Louisiana Tech recruits are in limbo after coach Tyler Summitt's resignation.

Defense-minded Kamera Harris has signed with Tennessee.

South Carolina has signed elite guard Victoria Patrick.

Valparaiso transfer Jasmyn Walker has landed at Western Michigan.

Former Illinois guard Brooke Kissinger has transferred to Creighton.

North Florida has added transfers Jonell Williams and Jaiveonna Norris.

Coach news:

UMaine has given coach Richard Barron a four-year contract extension.

The qualities of new Nebraska coach Amy Williams should help in a tough situation, one columnist says.

Just-hired Tory Verdi is ready to rebuild UMass.

Brittney Marshall has been promoted to assistant coach at Illinois State.

High school news:

Why everyone is waiting on a sign from unsigned Sabrina Ionescu.

Night before WNBA draft prep

Draft overview, including invited prospects:

Name College/University Position Height

Rachel Banham Minnesota Guard 5-9
Imani Boyette Texas Center 6-7
Kahleah Copper Rutgers Forward/Guard 6-1
Moriah Jefferson Connecticut Guard 5-7
Jonquel Jones George Washington Forward 6-6
Tiffany Mitchell South Carolina Guard 5-9
Aerial Powers Michigan State Forward 6-0
Breanna Stewart Connecticut Forward 6-4
Morgan Tuck Connecticut Forward 6-2
Courtney Walker Texas A&M Guard 5-8
Talia Walton Washington Forward 6-2
Courtney Williams South Florida Guard 5-8

Meet the 12 invitees.

The WNBA draft "original three" are back together. Wow.

ESPN's logistics.

Mock draft roundup, including mine.


Breanna Stewart will be great right away for the Seattle Storm.

Moriah Jefferson's pre-draft diary. She could make Dallas-area history in the draft.

Stewart and Jefferson seem a 1-2 lock, but what about Morgan Tuck?

South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell will learn her pro fate tomorrow.

South Florida's Courtney Williams aims high in the draft.

Texas' Imani Boyette prepares to take the next step in the family business. She may soon follow in her mother's footsteps.

How Talia Walton snapped out of a senior slump and upped her draft stock.

Aerial Powers should live her dream, Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant says.

Rachel Banham aims to be great in the WNBA.

Oregon State's Jamie Weisner and Ruth Hamblin are expected to be drafted.

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves is ready for the draft, but she isn't stressed about it.

Kentucky guard Janee Thompson hopes to earn a spot.

FGCU's Whitney Knight is excited and nervous for tomorrow.

Marist's Tori Jarosz is hopeful.

South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp awaits her fate.

South Carolina’s Sarah Imovbioh, Tina Roy and Khadijah Sessions attended a WNBA combine last week and are hopeful to be drafted or invited to camp.


The Lynx are looking for help in the draft. They probably won't get a chance to draft Rachel Banham.

Four picks the Mystics could realistically select. Coach Mike Thibault loves defense, but will select the best available player.

The Sun are still debating their options. Coach Curt Miller shed light on what they might do.

The Sky's pick centers on one position.

What will San Antonio do?

2014 draftee Natalie Achonwa offers her advice to this year's class.

Recent transactions:

April 13, 2016

Team Player Transaction

Connecticut Victoria Macaulay Contract Signed
New York Talia Caldwell Contract Signed
Seattle Krystal Thomas Contract Signed
Seattle Quanitra Hollingsworth Contract Signed

April 12, 2016

Team Player Transaction

San Antonio Haley Peters Contract Signed