Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Is college ball is the best time of a female player's life?

Connecticut Sun rookie Morgan Tuck, fresh from the UConn program, says she's still adjusting to the lack of exposure that WNBA teams get.

It's an issue that Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore and other players have discussed before.

But in researching this piece on the decline of women in college coaching, I heard an interesting story about this phenomenon.

An assistant coach at a Southern school told me that one alumni, who plays for a WNBA team, has come back to the university at least once to talk to current players. She told them to treasure their time in college basketball, because it will be the highlight of their careers. The WNBA, she said, doesn't get the props, the glory or the love that it should. Overseas play can be full of stress and homesickness. For women, their best time playing the sport is for their universities and colleges.

It's a sad reality, but true. It's not the fault of WNBA players, who put out their very best night after night, sacrificing the body. It is societal attitudes, which are so slow to change, and other factors.

It is also the complete opposite scenario for men, who go to college only as a formality - if at all - on their way to the NBA. There, even bench players who rarely log minutes make much more than any WNBA player.

I would echo the pro player that the assistant coach told me about. College hoopers, enjoy every minute. There is a freedom, a recognition and a fun factor in college ball that is like no other.

Sun, Mercury post Tuesday wins

Tonight's results:

The Sun routed the Stars, 89-62, with four players in double figures.

The Mercury took down the Fever, 79-65. Phoenix is 3-0 since the Olympic break.

WNBA team news:

The Wings are desperate for a win to right the ship.

Post play is alive and thriving in the WNBA.

WNBA player news:

Made official this morning: the Sparks have signed veteran forward/Center Sandrine Gruda, and waived rookie Whitney Knight.

With her recent shoe drive, Brittney Griner collected hundreds of pairs of shoes for the homeless of Phoenix.

Tamika Catchings:

Catchings won the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, and was presented with the honor before tonight's Fever game.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Wings at Storm.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sky, Mercury 2-0 after Olympic break return

Interesting opening weekend after the Olympic break.

Today's results:

The Dream dropped Connecticut, 87-73.

Dallas struggled to play a full game, as Chicago defeated them, 92-85.

The Lynx pulled away to beat the Storm, 92-80. Lindsay Whalen lead Minnesota with 24 points.

The Stars played a strong game and held on to beat the Mystics, 85-74.

The Mercury edged the Sparks, 70-66. That's two wins in a row for Phoenix, two consecutive losses for LA.


- I anticipated Dallas would have a better start after the break.

- The Sky look fresh and energized - especially Elena Delle Donne.

- Lindsay Whalen is underrated.

- The young Storm have a very bright future.

- The Stars were leading the Mystics by 23 points midway through the game. Wow.

- What's up with the Sparks?

- Why isn't Brittney Griner dominating?

- I like Swin Cash as a broadcaster.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Another day in the WNBA

Today's result:

The Mystics used a strong second half to rout the Fever, 92-69.

WNBA team news:

Will the Fever figure it out in time?

The Sky are looking good after the break.

The Bay Area needs its own team.

WNBA player news:

Leading the Storm to the playoffs is the next Olympic-sized task for Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.

Nneka Ogwumike is historically efficient, which is why the Sparks could win the title.

The Stars have signed Vicki Baugh for the rest of the season.

Tiffany Bias has signed with Dallas for the rest of the season.

Tomorrow's schedule:

How will Dallas contain Chicago's Elena Delle Donne?

The Mercury are set to take on the Sparks.

Sun at Dream preview.

Storm at Lynx preview.

Stars at Mystics preview.

College coach news:

Tennessee football is honoring Pat Summitt with a helmet sticker.

Former San Diego State coach Beth Burns' wrongful termination lawsuit against the University has gone to trial.

About last night (again)

Here's womenshoopsworld's story on last night's Storm victory over the Sparks.


Lynx's "Olympic rhythm" hits a stumbling block.

The Sparks drop post-Rio opener amidst playoff race.

And in view of their anemic performances before Olympic break, it seems the Mercury's Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi are done "saving themselves for Rio," as I'd heard they were from a very reputable source, and are playing Phoenix ball again.

Taking the WNBA for granted isn't something I'd do.


Several WNBA players reached milestones last night.


So much movement: Bria Hartley is pregnant and will miss the rest of the season, Leilani Mitchell has been signed, and Tianna Hawkins has been waived.

More on Mitchell.

College news:

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey donates to her Louisiana hometown in the wake of flooding.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A bit of this, a bit of that

WNBA news:

Will the WNBA strike gold after Rio?

After the Olympics, the WNBA seeks to seize the spotlight.

Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm lead the WNBA's most popular jersey and merchandise lists. (Stewart says it's a big deal to her).

WNBA team news:

How I spent my Olympic break, WNBA style.

WNBA player news:

How burn out helped Elena Delle Donne's career.

Mercury center Brittney Griner has her eye on the defensive player of the year award.

The Lynx have re-signed guard Anna Cruz.

Penny Taylor is heading into her Mercury swan song.

Keisha Hampton took the winding road to the WNBA.

LaToya Sanders has rejoined the Mystics, and Jamie Weisner has been waived.

Ranking the Mystics' roster based on underperformance.

WNBA coach news:

As Wings coach Fred Williams approaches 100 wins, his legacy is that of superstars influenced.

College team news:

Are happy days here again at Kentucky?

(Check out picture three, in which assistant coach Lin Dunn is learning to dab)


Vermont has canceled their December trip to North Carolina in light of that state's anti-LGBT laws.

College player news:

Senior Jessica Thomas is fueling the fire for Miami.

College coach news:

Georgia coach Joni Taylor reflects on her first year as a head coach.

Morning tipoff

WNBA news:

Which teams will join the Sparks and the Lynx in the playoffs?

The league resumes with five games tomorrow: Lynx at Sun, Liberty at Stars, Dream at Sky, Wings at Mercury and Sparks at Storm.

League president Lisa Borders wants teams to have community conversations.

For some teams, the music says it all.

WNBA team news:

Phillips Arena renovations forced the Dream's move.

WNBA coach news:

Q&A with Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer.

College coach news:

Pat Summitt's will specifies that son Tyler Summitt receive all her personal property.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A bit of everything on Olympic semifinals eve

Tomorrow's semifinals:

Spain vs. Serbia at 11 a.m. Pacific

USA vs. France at 3 p.m. Pacific

Olympic team news:

Coach Geno Auriemma says Team USA is on a mission.

Ball movement is key.

This year's team is outperforming the 1996 team.

Olympic player news:

Huge, huge sigh of relief, as Sue Bird's knee injury last night was diagnosed as a knee capsule strain and not an ACL tear. She is listed as day to day.

Geno Auriemma talked to Tamika Catchings about playing less time in these Olympics, and called her "an unbelievable human being."

Angel McCoughtry is putting her twist on the Olympic basketball experience.

Other Olympic news:

Lauren Jackson says Australia's early exit in the Olympics "really is a disaster."

Aussie officials are doing damage control.

The veterans pass the torch as dejected Canada looks ahead.

WNBA GM news:

Shock and sadness have been some of the reactions to the departure of former Connecticut Sun general manager Chris Sienko.

WNBA team news:

The Sun is ready to get back into action.

College coach news:

Former San Diego State coach Beth Burns' lawsuit against the University for wrongful termination is set to go to trial soon.

Elaine Elliott has joined Cal State Fullerton as an assistant coach.

That last spot? Another stunner

France edged Canada, 68-63, to claim the last semifinal spot last night.

So Australia and Canada, who many thought would medal in these Games, are both out.

Who will be left at the end now?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

In times of change, progress is a mixed bag

The world is in the midst of massive change, so it is no surprise that evidence of such would be found at this summer's Olympic Games. And as usual with growth, progress seems like a one-step-forward-one-step-back tango.

On the one hand you see growing acceptance of female athletes, as Brazil is celebrating its judo star, Rafaela Silva, and its soccer phenom, Marta Vieira da Silva.

There is also more diversity in the Olympics, with athletes of all nationalities in every sport. The most visible examples of this change might be with gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Simone Manuel, who each grabbed gold in traditionally white sports.

Then you have the bad side.

Global media coverage of female athletes still includes a lot of sexist remarks this year:

But then South Korea got in the game. The English-language Korea Times ran a story speculating on the love life of 6-foot-3 Kim Yeon-goung, headlined: “Boyfriend a tall order for 192cm South Korean volleyball star.”

Kim, 28, led her team to victory in its first match, over rival Japan, and plays professionally in Turkey. The newspaper reporter claimed Kim was “looking for a boyfriend,” but was unlikely to find a South Korean man willing to date such a giant. “Regrettably, it would be better for her to look for a boyfriend somewhere outside the country,” the reporter concluded.

Other cringe-worthy comments have followed. While watching a women’s weightlifting event, a TV announcer from South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting remarked, with a tone of awe, “It’s amazing to see women, not men, do this.” An announcer from SBS, another South Korean TV network, remarked that one Vietnamese judoka, at 28, was “old, for a woman.”

The number of comments has ballooned to the point where South Koreans have launched a Google Docs spreadsheet to catalog the latest remarks.......

The drumbeat of awkward and insulting commentary this week prompted journalist Lindy West to pen a column for the Guardian, titled, “How to talk about female Olympians without being a regressive creep – a handy guide.”

Don’t, she advised, “spend more time discussing female athletes’ makeup, hairdos, very small shorts, hijabs, bitchy resting faces, voice pitch, thigh circumference, marital status and age than you spend analyzing the incredible feats of strength and skill they have honed over a lifetime of superhuman discipline and restraint.”

And don’t, she added, refer to women in terms of men they know, are related to, work with or have sex with. “Women are fully-formed, autonomous people who do things,” she said. “We are not pets or gadgets or sex-baubles.”

Do, she advised, write about female athletes “the way you write about male athletes – i.e. without mentioning their gender except maybe in the name of the sport.”

“Can you imagine if we brought up gender every time we wrote about men?” she asked. “‘Perky male point guard Isaiah Thomas, stepping out in a flattering terrycloth headwrap, proves that men really can play ball and look cool-summery-sexy doing it!’ See how unbearable that sounds?”


I've been watching the Olympics pretty much non-stop, and I've heard it too.

During yesterday's track and field coverage, announcers repeatedly called the heptathletes "girls," and the sprinters "ladies," while male competitors were always referred to as men.

Today the man narrating men's gymnastics coverage said one of the top performers had revealed to him his two role models. He said "these two guys" like he was talking about two men, but the second role model was gold medalist Simone Biles. The announcer seemed surprised.

"He said it was because she's so aggressive," the emcee said, incredulity in his voice.

With change, it seems many people are grappling with how to view female athletes. For longtime fans, it's a no-brainer, but for others, they don't understand that it's more than possible to be strong, fierce, pretty, aggressive, kind and tough at the same time. They don't get that as a woman can bring a human being into the world, so can she run a marathon, dunk a basketball, throw someone in judo, or clean and snatch 250 pounds.

Old ideas and stereotypes die hard, unfortunately. But on the bright side, this year people are getting on media for out-of-line comments, and are thus changing the conversation and the coverage.

Two sports where women and men are regarded pretty much equally are track and field and swimming. Wins and world records are wildly celebrated in both sports, regardless of the gender of the athlete. Traditionally male sports and team sports, on the other hand, have a way to go.

If fans keep advocating, making noise about wrongs and educating when possible, someday we will see some love for women's basketball. Change is here, but we've got to keep pushing.

USA smashes China to end first round at Olympics

On the last day of pool play:

The U.S. blew by China, 105-62.



Spain rolled past Canada, 73-60. What?

Serbia beat winless Senegal, 95-88.

Play resumes Tuesday:

Australia vs. Serbia

Spain vs. Turkey

USA vs. Japan

France vs. Canada

Olympic team news:

This year's squad is on pace to break the points record set by the 1996 team.

Dominant USA is ready after pool play ends.

All they do is win: the Americans continue to dominate.

The team hopes for more LGBT acceptance in the NBA.

Olympic player news:

Seimone Augustus' 100th game with USA Basketball brings joy and heartbreak.

Other Olympics news:

Rio is a learning process for Senegal.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

UCLA ready to take new team 'down under'

Fun open practice at Pauley Pavilion last week that gave donors/alumni a chance to see the new Bruins.

They're looking good, too. And they're on their way to Australia for a fantastic voyage.

USC is in Italy.

Last day of pool play is tomorrow

Today's Olympic results:

Australia rallied to defeat Belarus, 74-66.

Turkey edged Brazil in double overtime, 79-76.

Japan beat France, 79-71.

Tomorrow's schedule, which will wrap up pool play:

China vs. United States

Senegal vs. Serbia

Spain vs. Canada

Olympic team news:

Team USA has been doing some sightseeing in Rio.

Tamika Catchings, Tina Charles and friends took in the Selaron Steps.

Pat Summitt:

A new book about the coaching legend is in the works.

Olympics: day 8

Olympic player news:

Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are relishing their shared Olympic experience.

Olympic coach news:

Coach Geno Auriemma is getting support for his defense of U.S. dominance.

Other Olympic news:

Canada showed growth in their loss to the U.S. yesterday.

A "high level of excellence" is helping coach Lisa Thomaidis lead Canada in Rio.

Leilani Mitchell is a hit with the Australian team.

WNBA player news:

With confidence, Karima Christmas is boosting the Wings with career-high numbers.

WNBA coach news:

Sun coach Curt Miller is preparing his young team for a playoff run.

NCAA news:

A judge has granted the NCAA's motion to dismiss them from a lawsuit by two former North Carolina athletes suing for academic fraud.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Another U.S. team takedown

Today's Olympic results:

The USA vaulted past Serbia, 110-84.


Spain took care of China, 89-68.

Canada beat Senegal, 68-58.

The U.S. and Canada are now both 3-0.

Olympic team news:

Get to know the Olympic team.

Team USA is working their way to gold one pass at a time.

They are a world away from the competition.

A familiar foe may stand between the U.S. and gold.

They are having fun practicing.

Olympic men's team members Jimmy Butler, DeAndre Jordan and Kyrie Irving love the U.S. women's team as much as you do.

More from the men.

Olympic player news:

Diana Taurasi has been asserting herself and breaking records.

The Tamika Catchings story, part I.

Catchings and Maya Moore mix hoops and help for the less fortunate.

How Elena Delle Donne eats for the Olympics.

Breanna Stewart is eager to add a gold medal to her resume.

Catching up with 1996 team member Ruthie Bolton.

Other Olympics news:

Former Wisconsin-Green Bay basketball stand out Megan Lukan is playing for Canada in the Olympics first rugby competition.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Belarus vs. Turkey

France vs. Brazil

Japan vs. Australia

WNBA news:

Hey.....player trading cards!!

WNBA team news:

The Lynx are enjoying the Olympic break.

WNBA player news:

Sky rookie Imani Boyette has grown to love being the daughter of Pam McGee.

The rise of Chicago guard Jamierra Faulkner.

Get to know Mystics rookie Kahleah Copper.

College coach news:

Dewayne Burroughs is Coppin State's new coach.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

USA dominates again in second game

The USA dominated again today, wiping out Spain, 103-63.



Only this box score available that is non-PDF (??).

More results:

Canada roared back from an 18-point deficit to top Serbia, 71-67.

Japan took care of Brazil, 82-66.

China thrashed Senegal, 101-64.

Headlines I don't like:

Tamika Catchings is "at peace" with coming off the bench for Team USA.

Elena Delle Donne is also fine with her non-starting role.

In case you've missed it, the starters have been Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Sue Bird, Maya Moore and Brittney Griner. That's four former UConn athletes, and Griner.

And Phoenix Mercury fans are wondering where this version of Taurasi and Griner has been all season long. Word has it they have been "saving themselves" for Rio during the WNBA season.

I watched Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike playing today in Los Angeles. Not Rio.

Olympic basketball has become too political for me this year.

Team USA news:

The secret to this U.S. team's success? Never forget.

Twelve "must-see" plays.

The team has been overwhelming opponents with depth.

Player news:

Brittney Griner is finally at peace with herself.


Team USA plays next on Wednesday, as they'll face Serbia.

While we wait for the U.S. to finish routing Spain......

Olympic player news:

Tamika Catchings says her time with Team USA has been "a dream come true."

It's Catchings' last shot.

Brittney Griner is pleased with her Olympic debut.

Lindsay Harding and LaToya Pringle are rivals again at the Olympics, under the flags of different nations.

Olympic coach news:

Cheryl Reeve is enjoying her break from being "the bad guy" at these Olympic games, where she's an assistant coach.

How Reeve prepares for games.

Other Olympics news:

Katie Ebzery is stepping up for struggling Ausralia.

Kia Nurse is bringing energy to the Canadian team.

WNBA team news:

The Indiana Fever will use the Olympic break to finish building chemistry.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Basketball day one in the books; USA plays tomorrow

Olympics opening day results:

France beat Turkey, 55-39.

Canada routed China, 90-68.

Australia rallied to top Brazil, 84-66.

Japan edged Belarus, 77-73.

Tomorrow's schedule:

USA vs. Senegal

Serbia vs. Spain

Australia vs. Turkey

France vs. Belarus

Team USA news:

The Dream team is ready to live up to the hype.

Practice quotes from today.

USA Olympic player news:

Tamika Catchings prepares to say farewell to the Olympic stage.

Catchings has found her voice.

Sue Bird is feeling the pressure.

Elena Delle Donne originally fancied gymnastics.

Lynx players take pride in returning to chase more gold.

Fans like dunks, but Brittney Griner has her eye on the shot block mark at the Games.

Breanna Stewart Olympic diary.

Seimone Augustus is keeping her hometown of Baton Rouge on her mind during Olympic competition.

Other Olympics news:

Marianna Tolo recovered from an ACL tear last summer to hit the court for Australia in the Olympics today.

Canada's women could teach the men some things about sacrifice.

LaToya Pringle Sanders has taken a unique path to the Olympics, playing for Turkey.

An ankle injury has sidelined France's CeLine Dumerc for the Games.

Why are all the U.S. LGBTQ Olympians women?

WNBA player news:

Dallas wings guard Skylar Diggins is conquering Asia on a Nike basketball tour this Olympic break.

WNBA coach news:

WNBA coaches are making good use of Olympic break time.

College team news:

An early start could pay dividends for Oklahoma.

Seton Hall is focused on chemistry as they head to Canada.

Louisville is excited for their trip to Cuba.

College coach news:

Shannon Schweyan will be named Montana's new coach.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Delle Donne's low-key announcement is still a game-changer

Some has been written since Elena Delle Donne came out in a Vogue magazine article yesterday, which also revealed she is engaged.

One writer pointed out that Delle Donne was sitting next to Brittney Griner three years ago when she came out, implying Griner made it easier for Delle Donne to do the same thing.

For many, Delle Donne's revelation is not a big deal.

But it is.

Delle Donne and her partner have been more open about their relationship in recent months, whereas in the past, the popular star forward has shied away from questions about her love life. This piece explains why Delle Donne's coming out, ironically in its relative insignificance, is a game-changer:

What makes Delle Donne different is that she hews to the establishment’s idea of what a star woman athlete should like — classically feminine and media-friendly enough to get prime placement alongside men’s basketball stars in Nike ad campaigns. (It obviously doesn’t hurt her that she’s blonde and white, either.) If nothing else, Delle Donne can show that there is no set template for a professional athlete, gay or otherwise. As one of her sport’s most visible stars, she can lead the fight for acceptance by example.


Delle Donne has been touted as the face of the WNBA; has been lauded for her charity work; is known as a kind soul and a great person. She undoubtedly surprised many with her announcement because she's an attractive woman, as the general public doesn't tend to put lesbians in the "beautiful" or "feminine" boxes.

A homophobe can't even get mad at Delle Donne because she's such a sweetheart. It would be like kicking puppies or being mean to Tamika Catchings.

Several WNBA players have cracked the closet door this year. I'm very impressed - especially when I note that numerous others have chosen not to come out (who can blame them?). It takes a lot of courage, and now that bravery extends to the league's gorgeous MVP.

In her honesty, Delle Donne may have expanded some minds.

The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are upon us

It's time for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad opening ceremonies tomorrow, can you believe it?

Olympic Team news:

Team captains Tamika Catchings, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi can make it four straight gold medals this summer.

Though strongly favored, the team takes nothing for granted in Rio.

Coach Geno Auriemma says expectations are "through the roof."

Minnesota's championship nucleus hopes to have the same success in Rio.

The UConn Olympic contingent is aiming high.

Team members have a combined 17 gold medals.

Their exhibition dominance shows they're the real "dream team."

More on the team's stay on a cruise ship during the Games.

Both the women and men are ready to get to work in Rio.

Olympic player news:

Tamika Catchings hopes to win - and enjoy - the Olympics.

Former UConn classmates Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are ready to make a final run at gold together.

Bird is seeking a fourth consecutive gold.

Player by player preview.

Other Olympic team news:

Canada has legitimate medal hopes.

Olympic basketball 101:

....courtesy of the WNBA.

WNBA news:

The league looks at some outstanding 30-plus point performances so far this season.

Jewel Loyd and Breanna Stewart are showing why they're the next great Storm duo.

NCAA and Twitter:

Rules for college coaches have changed on Twitter, to allow them to retweet tweets from players they're recruiting.