Sunday, April 28, 2019

Intriguing questions

It's too early to rank WNBA teams, as they've not even begun training camp. But I'm most intrigued by:

Minnesota Lynx:

How will they rebuild a powerhouse?

Los Angeles Sparks:

So many posts, no guards. What will change before next weekend?

The Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun:

The Aces were powerful and gained more power with top pick Jackie Young. The Sun looked great at the end of the year and lost their No. 1 draftee. Will the seasons of each team follow that script?

Seattle Storm:

Who will the Storm sign to fill Breanna Stewart's huge shoes?


When will the league get a new president? Thursday marks seven months since Lisa Border resigned.

WNBA player news:

Why Tina Charles should re-sign with the Liberty.

Q&A with Kristi Toliver.

Erica McCall reflects on year two of overseas play.

Connecticut Sun podcast featuring rookie Kristine Anigwe.


The Toledo Threat is preparing for opening weekend of the WBDA.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This coaching carousel is something else

NCAA news:

2019 Final Four attendance and viewership, by the numbers.

DI, DII and DIII championships will all converge in Dallas next year.

The Big Ten hasn't won a title since 1999. Who has a chance next year?

College team news:

Penn State and Georgia Tech are ready to begin new eras.

Baylor has accepted an invitation to the White House.

College player news:

Iowa retired Megan Gustafson's number.

Ja'Tavia Tapley has transferred to Arizona State from USC.

Former UAB forward Talia Roldan has transferred to Arkansas State.

College coach news:

St. Francis has named Keila Whittington their new head coach.

Buffalo has extended Felisha Legette-Jack's contract through 2023-2024.

Longtime Wyoming coach Joe Legerski is retiring.

Michigan State has brought on Dean Lockwood and Kristin Haynie as assistant coaches. Lockwood will be associate head coach. What a win for that program.

Jackie Stiles is a new assistant coach at Oklahoma.

Georgia Tech's new assistant coach is Tasha Butts.

Bett Shelby is a new assistant coach at West Virginia.

Erin Grant joins USC as an assistant coach.

Furman's new assistant coach is Ashley Williams.

Texas Tech brings on Malikah Willis as an assistant coach, as well as Alysiah Bond.

New assistants at Xavier are Dan Lang, Mary Grimes and Candice Finley.

Matt Thune and Jackie Alexander have joined Eastern Kentucky as assistant coaches.

Missouri State's coaching staff has been announced.

WNBA player news:

Free agents Rebekkah Brunson, Tina Charles and Chelsea Gray remain unsigned.

WNBA GM news:

Q&A with Phoenix Mercury GM Jim Pitman.

High school news:

LaJeanna Howard is Duncanville's new coach.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Nothing happened today

It is the slowest time of the year for basketball, when pretty much nothing is happening except transfers and coaching hires......

WNBA player news:

Players don't owe the WNBA their bodies and souls.

College team news:

Oregon fans are hungry for more.

Arizona has lost two assistant coaches, but the program is on track.

College player news:

Motivated by her late father, Charlotte Whittaker is eager to play a role at Colorado.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A bit of post-draft mixing

WNBA news:

ESPN assesses draft grades.

The Sparks put an emphasis on Championship experience in the draft, and they think they found some good fits.

The Sun is happy with their draft.

Minnesota accepted a second round 2020 draft pick from the New York Liberty in exchange for Tanisha Wright.

Three-way trade: Nia Coffey to the Dream; Sugar Rodgers to the Aces; a second round pick to the Liberty.

Looking back at the high school playing careers of several draft picks.

Arike Ogunbowale is ready for her next shot, in the WNBA.

Ogunbowale is about to get a taste of Texas yee haw.

Wings CEO Greg Bibb talks about Megan Gustafson.

Liberty rookie Han Xu has been compared to Yao Ming.

UC Davis' Megan Bertsch says thanks and readies for the WNBA.

Sticking with the Sun won't be easy for Regan Magarity.

Chicago Sky coach James Wade considers the draft a success.

Bridget Carleton is the Swiss army knife of the draft, Sun coach Curt Miller says.

Mike Thibault shook up the draft again by selecting Kiara Leslie for the Mystics.

Potential draftees need more than 24 hours to decide.

Four past and present WNBA stars weigh in on the league's "refresh."

College team news:

Where does South Carolina stand after transfers?

Arizona notebook.

UTEP was undone by injuries this season, but have hope for the future.

College player news:

Sabrina Ionescu returns to Oregon with twin goals: a National Championship and a Master's Degree.

Four years later, the legacy of Nicole Munger and Hallie Thome.

Brianna Tinsley is leaving Virginia for JMU.

College coach news:

Kellie Harper is eager to return the Lady Vols back to prominence.

Kim Mulkey has a history of putting her foot in her mouth.

Northern Kentucky coach Camryn Whitaker was told in performance reviews to be more positive with players.

Q&A with new Marquette coach Megan Duffy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Deep WNBA draft disperses talent throughout the league

The WNBA draft went down today, and it was DEEP

WNBA news:

A look at all the WNBA's new jerseys.

The Seattle Storm and Symestra have joined forced for a 10-year jersey deal.

The Dallas Wings and Texas Capital Bank have a new marquee partnership.

HSS is the New York Liberty's first jersey patch partner.

The Indiana Fever have a new partnership with Salesforce.

Kalani Brown's life is complete with her pick by the Sparks.

College season news:

Baylor's win capped an exciting college season.

College player news:

Sabrina Ionescu isn't a fan of the 24-hour deadline to declare for the WNBA draft.

Inside Ionescu's final hour before her decision.

Te'a Cooper will transfer from South Carolina.

College coach news:

Kellie Harper has returned home to coach Tennessee.

Marquette has named Miami Ohio coach Megan Duffy as their new head coach.

Matt Daniel has left Marshall to be the new head coach at Arkansas State.

Carly Kuhns is Samford's new head coach.

Brooks Williams is the new head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.

Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack says she never went looking for a new job.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder was on "Good Morning America" today.

WNBA: here we go again?

The WNBA draft is tonight, but it has been hard to tell.

Last year there was so much fanfare: videos upon videos of draftee arrivals and adventures in New York City, as well as draft night preparation. Yesterday the WNBA released the names of the 12 athletes invited to the draft, and posted 30-second "rapid-fire" video interviews from five of them on their Twitter feed. That was it.

The draft was moved up one week this year, so maybe league officials were in a hurry to get ready, and didn't have time for the fun stuff. They had also been busy on Monday when they revealed that the league is being rebranded with a new logo, and that there will be a push toward the 18-34 age group in marketing.

But that shouldn't have stopped them from pumping up the draft more. The full rebrand -including putting the logo on uniforms, balls and courts - won't be rolled out until 2020. So that couldn't have been what was taking their time from promotion of such a huge night.

Maybe it was their search for a league president, which has gone past six months now. Former president Lisa Borders, who resigned in October, has already left the job that she left the WNBA for, and still, no new leader for the best professional women's basketball league in the world.

I officially asked the WNBA two questions this week: When did they think they'd hire a new president? Who will hand out the jerseys to drafted players when their names are called? A spokesperson for the league sent me a link to an Associated Press story from two weeks ago that included an interview with interim president Mark Tatum on all the qualities they are looking for in a new president. "I think that'll lend some insight," the spokesperson said.

So apparently the answers to my questions are: "We don't know," and "Mark Tatum or COO Christin Hedgpeth."

I guess we will see when the draft begins. Hopefully whomever it is will be able to take great photos with the draftees.

Here we go again, I guess. The WNBA's 23rd season. Hope they (soon) find a president who can successfully negotiate the CBA, so there can be a 24th season.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The WNBA draft is tomorrow

Buckle up:

The list of draft attendees was released today.

The draft is loaded with talent and intrigue.

Draft overview.

No No. 1 pick for the Seattle Storm means progress, but a complicated draft.

Here's who the Storm could take at No. 12.

The Las Vegas Aces are looking at guards.

The Sparks are looking for a good fit, and the Aces might pick Jackie Young.

Four candidates for the Chicago Sky's first-round pick.

Trading Liz Cambage before draft day might be best, but the Dallas Wings have needs they can address with their first pick.

The Indiana Fever should explore all options with their No. 3 pick.

The draft outlook is cloudy for the Sun, but their roster is in good shape.

Asia Durr is headed for stardom in the WNBA.

Teaira McCowan is expected to be a top three pick.

Passion and work ethic is buoying Megan Gustafson's stock ahead of the draft.

Gustafson draft diary.

Notre Dame's entire lineup could be picked.

Two Bay Area stars are projected as first-round picks.

Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson turn their attention to the draft.

Han Xu might be the first Chinese player to be drafted since 1997.

Central Michigan's Reyna Frost and Presley Hudson are eager to know if they'll be drafted.

Cierra Dillard could make it a first for Buffalo.

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame:

Teresa Weatherspoon will be inducted this year.

Big coaching hires

Lots of exclamation points on the day:

Tennessee has named Kellie Jolly Harper its new coach.

Four reasons Lady Vol fans should give Harper a chance.

It's a risk for both her and Tennessee.

Georgia Tech has named Nell Fortner their new coach.

College player news:

Three are leaving South Carolina, including veteran Mikiah Herbert Harrigan.

The Lady Vols three 2019 recruits have reaffirmed their commitment.

Colorado's Makenzie Ellis has transferred to Colorado State.

College team news:

These five teams missed out on their regional final, but could win it all next year.

Oregon is reloading for 2019-2020.

Miami Ohio looks to sustain their success next season.

More college coach news:

Kim Mulkey's next stop should be the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Mulkey will be on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

Is NKU coach Camryn Whitaker abusive or fun?

Alisa Kresge is the new coach at Vermont.

Monday, April 8, 2019

WNBA rebrands

WNBA news:

The WNBA announced a partnership with AT&T. It is the first non-apparel partner to have its logo featured on the jerseys of all 12 teams.

Introductory video.

But the logo won't be featured on uniforms until 2020.

The idea behind the rebrand is to connect with a new generation of fans.......

The league partnered with Sylvain Labs, an innovation and brand design consultancy last year, to learn more about its existing fans and potential new fans. They developed a long-term growth strategy and identify new marketing opportunities.

“We’ve engaged very, very closely throughout this process,” Hedgpeth said. “Six months working with Sylvain Labs to develop what the new brand will stand for.”

The two groups, along with player input, came up with the league’s new logo.

Also in the WNBA....

Aces GM Dan Pandover relishes his role ahead of the WNBA draft.

China's Han Xu is unsure about the WNBA draft because of her nation's workforce responsibility.

Rebekkah Brunson's vegan food diary.

More on the National Championship:

All-Final Four team.

Reaction to the game is that it was a battle for the ages and a win for Lauren Cox.

Chloe Jackson made sure no obstacle stood in her way.

The Bears' hard-fought season got them the title they deserve.

Notre Dame's seniors left a legacy.

Sights and sounds from the game.

Viewership on ESPN was up 11 percent from last year.

College team news:

Arizona has unfinished business.

College player news:

Notre Dame's Jackie Young will forego her final year of eligibility to enter the WNBA draft.

Lauren Cox sprained her MCL and sustained a bone bruise and won't require surgery. Thank goodness!

College coach news:

Rumors have it that Kellie Jolly Harper will be the next Lady Vols coach.

Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack is considering other jobs.

Angel Elderkin has signed a four-year contract extension with Appalachian State.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Are you ready for this National Championship?

Championship game is tomorrow!!!!


How Baylor plans to stop Notre Dame.

The back court battle will be key in the match up.

Notre Dame is one win away from an exclusive club.

Player news:

Why Marina Mabrey is a key cog in Notre Dame's quest to repeat as champions.

Here's what we learned from Arike Ogunbowale leading the Irish last night.

Jessica Shepard is making the most of her final season at Notre Dame and hopes to cut down the nets one more time.

Time is at a premium for the Irish seniors.

Graduate transfer Chloe Jackson has brought leadership, poise and clutch performances to the Bears.

Coach news:

Muffet McGraw and Kim Mulkey are on center stage for this title game.

McGraw's words have people talking, and that's a good thing.

Mulkey says her hiring mantra is "best person for the job."

Mulkey mixes family with winning.

Mulkey and Baylor post Kalani Brown have a long history, and Sunday will add the latest chapter.

WNIT Championship:

Arizona won it, with a 56-42 thumping of Northwestern. A Pac-12 record 14,644 fans were on hand.

More college news:

The Naismith player and coach of the year is Iowa's Megan Gustafson and Lisa Bluder, respectively.

After their first taste of the Final Four, Oregon is hungry for more, and they now have unfinished business.

Sabrina Ionescu left her mark on the Final Four despite the Ducks' loss.

Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson left a legacy at UConn that isn't going anywhere.

No one at Arizona has ever scored more points in a season than Aari McDonald. Here's how she did it.

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell faces a reckoning.

Sherri Coale is energized for a second Sooner rebuild.

Final Four losses are becoming common for UConn.

High school news:

Tyler Summitt has returned to coaching as a girls high school basketball assistant.

Sabrina Ionescu to return to Oregon for senior year

Breathe easy, y'all: Sabrina Ionescu is staying for her senior year and won't enter the WNBA draft.

I can't say I'm surprised. She is the kind of person who likes to finish what she started. And interviewing the Oregon team for four rounds of the Tournament, I could see how tight they are.

So glad she made this decision.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Storylines aplenty


Oregon vs. Baylor, 4 p.m. PT

Notre Dame vs. Connecticut, 6 p.m. PT is what they say, but it'll be about 6:30 p.m.

Both on ESPN2

Final Four match ups:

Nine storylines to follow.

USA Today breaks down both match ups.

The New York Times has a preview.

Does offense or defense win championships?

Sabrina Ionescu and Oregon look to topple Kalani Brown and Baylor.

The Ducks will focus on the Bears' post presence.

Baylor knows Oregon is good and dangerous.

Oregon and Baylor are a match up of contrasting styles.

UConn looks to make their way back to the Championship game.

The Huskies and the Irish bring out the best in each other.

Team news:

The Final Four has taken the Ducks from local heroes to the national limelight.

Player news:

Arike Ogunbowale strives for greater fame, but first, another title.

After a year sitting out, Oregon's Erin Boley is ready to make her mark on the big stage.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa's sixth sense is arriving at the right time for UConn.

Jillian Alleyne's legacy lives on at Oregon.

Coach news:

Irish coach Muffet McGraw wants more women in power.

Her cry for equality resonates.

A history of the beef between McGraw and UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

McGraw and Auriemma would be buddies if they weren't rivals, says Baylor coach Kim Mulkey.

Auriemma said the media should focus more on the game and less on coach personalities.


The Naismith starting five.

Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu has won the Wade Trophy.

Megan Gustafson is the AP player of the year and has won the senior CLASS award.

Kim Mulkey is the AP coach of the year.

Other college news:

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell has been accused of making racist remarks.

Ole Miss has extended the contract of Yolett McPhee-McCuin through 2023.

Samantha Williams was introduced as Eastern Kentucky's new coach.

What's going on with Kellie Harper and the open Tennessee job?

Jeff Walz says he's staying at Louisville.

UCLA rebuilt after a rocky start and secured a foundation for next year.

Stanford will have an embarrassment of riches next season.

Arizona is inspiring the city and a new generation of fans.

More accolades solidify Bridget Carleton as an Iowa State legend.

Kianna Smith will transfer from Cal.

Former Arizona State Jill Noe is carrying twins for her twin sister Whitney.

A petition demands Nike make Oregon women's basketball jerseys.

South Carolina has approved an A'ja Wilson statue.

High school news:

How a newborn in a crammed elevator affected the girls national high school basketball championships.

Suspended Cathy Self-Morgan tells her side of the story.