Thursday, September 28, 2017

Prior to Game 3.......

Game 3 looms tomorrow:

Expect another fast and furious first quarter from both teams.

Both teams are continuing their history of close finishes in the Finals.

The year's series looks a lot like last year's.

The Minnesota-LA rivalry is the WNBA at its best.

It is 1-1 as the Finals move to LA.

Why this series is more intense than the NBA Finals series.

Practice report from today.

The Sparks say they'll likely stay in the locker room one again for the National Anthem tomorrow.

Essence Carson explain's LA's protest.

Pat Summitt's advice is resonating for Candace Parker in the Finals.

Parker's production could determine the outcome of the Finals.


Sue Bird is the winner of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award for 2017.


Around the Rim features Lin Dunn, Nneka Ogwumike and Allisha Gray.

Chelsea Gray had a shoe and clothing drive for foster children today.

Alana Beard has found a home on the waves.

Former WNBA player news:

Former guard Greeba Gamble has a new invention.

College team news:

UNCW welcomes a six-year-old honorary player with open arms.

Coastal Carolina will host the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off basketball tournament.

College player news:

Kelsey Mitchell is preparing for her senior year.

Brooke Burns hopes to make an early impact for Chattanooga.

College coach news:

Dan Nielson has been promoted to associate head coach at BYU.

Q&A with new Johns Hopkins coach Katherine Bixby.

In the wake of the recruiting scandal, Louisville's Jeff Walz is going to continue what he's been doing, he says.

Sharon Versyp has won the Title IX award at Purdue.

High school news:

These identical twins are striving for more greatness in Colorado.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sparks guard Chelsea Gray to host shoe drive

WHAT: Over 60 homeless youth from the west side of LA will be getting the opportunity to select new and gently used shoes thanks to Chelsea Gray. Chelsea has partnered with HavASole for the second year to provide p;hoes for those in need. This year, Adidas has joined the cause and donated over 40 pairs of sneakers. The Los Angeles Sparks held a shoe donation drive for Sparks fans to donate shoes during their recent WNBA semifinal Playoff home game against the Phoenix Mercury on September 12th. Gray will be on hand at the Safe Place for Youth in Venice, Calif. from 3:30-5 p.m. to distribute shoes to the recipients.

WHERE: Safe Place for Young
2469 S Lincoln Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291

WHO: Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles Sparks point guard
Christine Simmons, Los Angeles Sparks President & COO
Maddison Ornstil, Adidas Basketball

VISUALS: More than 60 children will be able to select a pair of shoes in their size and style of choice available.

EDITOR’S NOTE: There will be street parking as well as parking in the lot between McDonald’s and Safe Place for Youth.

The Los Angeles Sparks, presented by EquiTrust Life Insurance, finished the regular season (26-8) and will play against the Minnesota Lynx in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals at 6 p.m. Friday and at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center. Tickets are available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 844-GO-SPARKS. For more information on the Sparks, visit

The day after; college season storylines taking shape

More on Game 2:

Photo gallery.

Mini-movie of the game.

It was a tale of two halves and a total team effort for Minnesota.

WNBA player news:

Plenette Pierson has been a perfect addition for the Lynx.

Moriah Jefferson underwent successful knee surgery today.

Former WNBA player news:

Chantelle Anderson overcame challenges to become a confidence coach.

Kara Lawson is the Washington Wizards' new primary color analyst.

WNBPA news:

The player's union has selected charities to receive grants from the league's fines.

Final Four news:

Columbus, Ohio is already preparing for next year's Final Four.

College team news:

Notre Dame makes volunteering competitive.

The Big East's Transition Game Effected DePaul.

How Gonzaga's backcourt will look this season.

College player news:

Duke senior Erin Mathias will debut her fashion collection Friday.

Lucia Alonso is cooking up some leadership for Arizona.

Her teammate Taryn Griffey has retired to to career injuries.


The sacrifices you make the play the game you love.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The news flow ramps up

WNBA Finals news:

Refs for the Finals are: Sue Blauch, Eric Brewton, Cheryl Flores, Maj Forsberg, Roy Gulbeyan, Byron Jarrett, Billy Smith, Kurt Walker and Jeff Wooten.

The series is another chapter in the riveting Sparks-Lynx rivalry.

The Sparks are preparing for a war of wills.

The MVP showdown highlights the Finals rematch.

How the Lynx captivated a city and built from the ground up.

Why is Minnesota so good? They have a blast together.

The Finals are all about star power.

The Sparks and the Lynx are superteams.

With its quirks and acoustics, Williams Arena could give Lynx a distinct advantage over the Sparks.

Q&A with Candace Parker.

Nneka Ogwumike is stepping between the lines for the Finals.

Maya Moore hopes history doesn't repeat itself for her team.

Odyssey Sims is ready to embrace her first taste of the Finals.

The Lynx owner will stick with the team over going being with the Timberwolves in China.

Player news:

Sylvia Fowles donated some of her MVP bonus money to buy bikes for girls.

Former WNBA player news:

Chamique Holdsclaw is still advocating for mental health.

College team news:

Breaking down UConn's 2017-2018 schedule.

Cancer survivor Julie Taggart has become a Marquette superfan.

College player news:

Top prospect Charli Collier has decommitted from UConn and will go to Texas.

A'ja Wilson will be featured in a special halftime dance performance at tomorrow's South Carolina football game.

College coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma has offered to forego his salary next year, as Connecticut's education budget battle continues.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No news stone left unturned

Finals news:

Lindsay Whalen sees two great teams and a lot of great players in the Finals.

Relive the first Finals rematch.


Allisha Gray was named rookie of the year.

Gray reflects on a trophy-filled 2017.

WNBA team news:

The Mercury will go into 2018 with more pieces.

WNBA player news:

Odyssey Sims has stepped up her game in her first season with the Sparks.

Lindsay Whalen's pre-workout power meal.

Photos from the WNBA's inspiring women luncheon.

Chiney Ogwumike interviews the great Tamika Catchings.

Chiney also interviews Cappie Pondexter and Skylar Diggins.

Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson will play for the same team overseas this winter.

Ramu Tokashiki welcomes every chance to learn the game.

WNBA coach news:

The Sun have extended coach Curt Miller's contract through the 2021 season.

WNBA owner news:

Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder will join the "Pedal for Pat" cycling fundraiser.

WNBA Live18:

The WNBA has made its video game debut.

Women's National Team news:

Dawn Staley and the Women's National Team is set to begin training camp.

College team news:

The city of Norman is exploring building a new arena that could house Oklahoma basketball.

The Huskers will have their preseason opening event outside.

A former USC player is suing New Mexico State for allegedly rescinding a job offer after learning she is a former lesbian who now identifies as straight.

College player news:

JMU has dismissed senior forward Amber Porter for violating team rules.

College coach news:

Facing a massive budget cut, UConn fires back at the Legislature with Geno Auriemma.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Lynx and Sparks rematch set in WNBA Finals after semifinal sweeps

Our story.

The Finals are set: Lynx and Sparks to face off again

Today's results:

Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles pushed the Lynx past the Mystics, 81-70, to sweep the semifinal series between the two teams.

The Sparks' defense was too much for the Mercury, as they won 89-87 to sweep the semifinal series.

This sets up a Finals rematch many have been anticipating all season long. Both teams are looking more dominant than ever. The Sparks have now won ten in a row. It should be a close, exciting series.

Game one will be next Sunday in Minneapolis, followed by game two on Tuesday. The series moves to Los Angeles Friday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 1. If

WNBA team news:

The Mystics just saw what a super-team looks like in the Lynx.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Around the Rim, and officiating

I was part of the Around the Rim podcast this week, where we discussed the WNBA playoffs, and other related topics.

ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo was asked to comment on the officiating in last night's Sparks-Mercury match up, which featured 46 fouls, three technicals, six long referee reviews and three Phoenix players fouling out. She said the problem isn't so much with the officiating as it is with players needing to clean up their game.

A friend of mine who works in Division I basketball said he disagrees:

"Our rules hinder growth and respect, and the officiating in the WNBA is inconsistent. Basketball is a physical sport, and a lot of the calls last night in the paint were ridiculous. We're rewarding the offense in a sense. The new freedom of movement rule that's in place to "increase point production" and keep the game flowing does only one of those two things. Point production has increased because free throw attempts/makes have increased. No one wants to watch a 40-plus foul game like last night. These players have been playing the same way all year, but the officiating isn't even consistent during one game. It's frustrating to watch. How do you know what to coach or how to play if the officiating isn't consistent? I understand that referees make mistakes, but we're at a point of ridiculousness right now. Something has to change."

I thought Lobo's perspective was interesting and worthy of reflection. I also understand my friend's position on the matter. And I remember officiating in the early days of the WNBA, which to me was much worse than it is today.

What do you think????

The night before games two

WNBA playoff team news:

When the playoff Lynx score, they win every time.

If the Mystics want to remain in the playoffs, they can't play it safe again.

It was a season to remember for the Sun.

How a three-minute trade altered the life of two WNBA franchises.

WNBA playoff player news:

The evolution of Sylvia Fowles.

She's not perfect, but Renee Montgomery has her mojo back.

The Mercury need more scoring from Diana Taurasi in game two.

After traveling the world, ex-Husker Yvonne Turner is playing on the world's biggest stage.

WNBA draft lottery:

The draft lottery, which was to be tomorrow, has been postponed.

College conference news:

The Big Sky Conference will move their tournament to Boise.

College team news:

Miami basketball is ready to turn the corner after Hurricane Irma.

Indiana's transfers are making their presence felt early.

Fordham is going with Under Armour.

College player news:

Colorado senior Brecca Thomas looks to be a mentor to her peers.

College coach news:

Amadou Koundoul is a new assistant coach at Pitt.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Upsets send Mercury, Mystics into semifinals

And then there were four:

Upsets prevailed in round two of the playoffs today.........

The experienced Mercury ousted the Sun, 88-83.

Kristi Toliver's WNBA-record nine three-point shots sent the Mystics past the Liberty, 82-68.

The playoff format dictated that lowest seed would head to Minnesota and the other seed would go to LA, so that means Tuesday's schedule looks like this:

Mystics at Lynx, 7 p.m. Central on ESPN2

Mercury at Sparks, 7 p.m. Pacific on ESPN2


Jonquel Jones is the most improved player of the year.

Curt Miller is the coach of the year and the WNBA executive of the year.

Sugar Rodgers is the sixth woman of the year.

WNBA player news:

Sugar Rodgers' story: defying the odds.

College coach news:

Muffet McGraw connects at Notre Dame and in South Bend.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A bit of everything after round one

Playoff news:

The Sun and coach Curt Miller are aware of the challenges the Mercury will present on Sunday.

The Lynx are spending big money and making big changes to convert Williams Arena into home.

Sugar Rodgers' sacrifice sparked the Liberty.

Jonquel Jones rose from the islands to the Sun. She's had a breakout season.

WNBA player news:

Front court players are dominating today's WNBA.

Sylvia Fowles is leading the MVP race.

WNBA coach news:

Curt Miller is the most successful out gay male pro sports head coach.

Basketball Hall of Fame:

Muffet McGraw reflects on her Hall of Fame induction.

McGraw is taking her rightful place with the best in the sport. She is ready for her moment.

Rebecca Lobo is set to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow.

Lobo enters the Hall 15 minutes from where she grew up.

College team news:

DePaul's home court has been installed at Wintrust Arena.

Wichita State will have a new-look atmosphere this year.

College player news:

Mississippi State seniors Morgan William, Victoria Vivians and Blair Schaefer talk about the upcoming season.

Brianna Turner's decision to sit out the season is in her best interests.

College coach news:

Just-graduated Dominique Dillingham will be a new student-assistant coach at Mississippi State.

Steve Pogue is a new assistant coach at Hartford.

Alexis Sherard has been promoted to associate head coach at Liberty.

High school news:

Class of 2018 No. 17 recruit Robyn Benton is soaring after surgery.

Pat Summitt documentary:

A documentary on Pat Summitt chronicles little-known contributions.

List of 30 for Women's National Team training camp announced

The list excludes Candace Parker.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Significant news day

The day began with this:

The Atlanta Dream fired Michael Cooper after a 12-22 season.

Not shocking, but big news.

WNBA player news:

Brittney Griner, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot are WNBA 2017 peak performers for scoring, rebounds and assists, respectively.

Sylvia Fowles is the AP WNBA player of the year.

Brittney Sykes is the August rookie of the month.

Brittney Griner and Tina Charles are the Western and Eastern Conference players of the week.

Angel McCoughtry will coach Atlanta's co-ed professional basketball team.

More WNBA coach news:

Bill Laimbeer is the coach of the month for August.

College player news:

Brianna Turner will miss the upcoming season at Notre Dame to rehabilitate her ACL, which she tore last spring.

Three players are transferring from Syracuse. So the Orange makeover begins.

College coach news:

Former WNBA guard Tanisha Wright is a new assistant coach at Charlotte.

Steve Fennelly - son of Iowa State coach Bill - is a new assistant coach at Northern Iowa.

Coaching equity:

Gender doesn't determine a coach's success, a study found.

College AD news:

Potential candidates to become Virginia's next athletic director include Big East commissioner Val Ackerman.

WNBA playoffs begin tomorrow


Mystics-Wings preview.

Storm-Mercury preview.

Karima Christmas-Kelly sees similarities between the 2012 Fever Championship team and the Dallas Wings.

Why Dallas and Phoenix are first-round favorites.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each take a record-breaking season into a showdown.

Player news:

Elena Delle Donne is back and better than ever for a postseason run.

Players to watch in the playoffs.

Six former Duke Blue Devils will compete in the playoffs.


The 16 officials assigned to the playoffs are listed here.

Monday, September 4, 2017

And on Labor Day, they rested

Ending the WNBA's regular season the day before Labor Day is one of their best ideas in years. Players across the country are not in practice today but resting, as they should.

Writers seem to be enjoying the holiday too, as there are only a few news bites today.

WNBA team news:

Great Lynx records don't always lead to WNBA titles.

No playoff run for the Sky, but their teamwork showed.

WNBA player news:

Lindsay Whalen will return to Lynx practice Wednesday.

College team news:

The Lady Vols aren't boxed in by team unity issues.

Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport deeply values the Lady Vol name.

California's travel regulations are only a small complication for Cal State Bakersfield.

Elite junior recruit Sammie Puisis has verballed to Florida State.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Non-playoff news

WNBA team news:

Despite the Fever losing their last regular-season game, fans were left with smiles.

WNBA player news:

Courtney Vandersloot set a single-season league record for highest assists average.

Kelsey Plum reflects on her first WNBA season.

Former WNBA player news:

Kate Starbird’s research on social media in the wake of disasters uncovers a web of disinformation.

Sammy Prahalis is now a high school coach.

College player news:

Three years after she got shot, a former New Jersey college player will play professionally.

Playoffs are set

After today's games, the seeds and 2017 WNBA playoff bracket is set.

Wednesday is single-elimination night:

#8 Storm at #5 Mercury

#7 Wings at #6 Mystics

Storm-Mercury winner plays #4 Sun and Wings-Mystics winner plays #3 Liberty, both on Sunday.

Finals begin Sept. 24.

WNBA playoff team news:

A confident Lynx lead the way into the postseason.

Championship expectations make Minnesota more tense than loose.

Why the Wings got an ideal playoff draw in Washington.

The Mercury raised $66,100 for Houston hurricane victims today

WNBA playoff player news:

Jonquel Jones set a new WNBA single-season rebounding record today.

Breanna Stewart broke the Storm franchise record for most 20-plus points in a game in a single season. She had 21 this year, eclipsing the record by Lauren Jackson.

Today's game results:

The Liberty slipped by the Wings, 82-81. Tina Charles led them with 18 points and 18 rebounds. It's the tenth straight win for New York.

The Sparks cruised past the Sun, 81-70.

Brittney Griner scored 30 points to lead the Mercury over the Dream, 84-70.

The Lynx topped the Mystics, 86-72.

The Storm rallied past the Sky, 85-80, fronted by Breanna Stewart's 29 points.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Playoff teams decided

Tonight's game results:

The Lynx thrashed the Sky, 110-87, to move toward their goal of getting the top seed in the playoffs. Chicago is now eliminated from postseason play.

The Mystics edged the Storm in overtime, 110-106, to secure a home playoff game.

The Mercury dominated the Sun, 86-66, to clinch a home playoff berth.

The Sparks pounded the Dream, 81-56. It looks like Seattle will get that eighth spot now, due to Atlanta's loss.

The Liberty took care of the Stars, 81-69, for their ninth straight win.


WNBA news:

The WNBA and music and entertainment service TIDAL will livestream Sunday's match up between the Liberty and and Wings. It is a benefit for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Poor officiating is still the bane of the WNBA's existence.

WNBA team news:

The Sparks haven't put up their first two videos from last week back on Instagram, but they have a part three.

The Lynx and Sparks are vying for the top seed.

Minnesota had a record night on several fronts, including notching a franchise-record 35 assists.

The Liberty have announced their playoff schedule.

Hmong dance team mentor accuses Lynx of using 'exploitative' sales tactics.

WNBA player news:

Sue Bird passed Ticha Penicheiro tonight to become the WNBA's all-time assists leader.

Bird has always been the consummate point guard.

Alana Beard's top toughest players to guard.

Sylvia Fowles signed a multi-year contract extension with the Lynx.

Jonquel Jones is rebounding her way into WNBA history and seizing her moment.

Tina Charles meets the man who says she saved his life.

Bria Hartley on her covetable sneaker collection.

Q&A with Cierra Burdick.

College team news:

Kentucky women's basketball has launched an app.

Georgia Tech continues a global trend.

College player news:

Sophomore Araion Bradshaw will transfer from South Carolina to Dayton.

Lacrosse star Marisa Romero joins Syracuse basketball.

Southeast Missouri State's Carrie Shephard will miss the season after tearing her ACL and meniscus.

College coach news:

Dish N Swish interviews the producers of "Pat: a legacy of love."

UCpnn coach Geno Auriemma is betting the Huskies' Italy tour will pay off.

Recruiting news:

Top recruit NaLyssa Smith has chosen Baylor over several other major schools.