Women's Hoops Blog: May 2009

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Will Stanford fans see Brooke Smith with the Merc?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rumor mill time: coaches say no more cuts till Monday, but Chantelle Anderson's blog and Twitter feed indicate that she's already been cut from the Dream. (I remember her as playing well, pre-injury, for the 2005-06 Silver Stars.)

Weirder rumor time: both the W and the NBA apparently plan some sort of major announcement on Monday, to be made in NYC, regarding Phoenix. David Stern will be there, along with Donna Orender, Cappie and Diana: likely we're looking at some sort of change in ownership-- one the league thinks will give good PR.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spoon gets a coach from the Terps and the Terps add a local coach.
Good news for USF -- Center Jessica Lawson gets a sixth year.
Hawaii has a new head coach.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Season's starting, so let's start complaining about the officiating. From the New York Times: Officials Consistently Inconsistent.
There are complaints from coaches and players about a lack of consistency, an unevenness in the application of the rules and lack of coordination among officials. These are not new complaints, just persistent and unresolved grumblings that encourage perceptions that the N.B.A. is a scripted league — a league with calls for stars, calls for the regular season, calls that change from game to game and from possession to possession.
Wait. What? From official-WNBA-complainers, I understood that the way to solve all our problems would be to import the NBA officials.

Now I'm confused. 'Cause if fans and coaches from other leagues complain, does that mean officiating in general is a more complex issue than, "It sucks! It's an embarrassment to the women's game!"

Major League Baseball's Astros celebrate team called the Comets.
Creative promotion/marketing Example #1
It takes great pains for the satellites — Yale, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, Fairfield, Central Connecticut and Hartford — to be heard individually from within the state’s UConn basketball vortex. But to the credit of the six athletic directors who made this happen on relatively short notice, the schools will meet for a college basketball season-opening triple-header at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Nov. 13. The event will move to Mohegan Sun Arena in 2010 and 2011.

It’s a terrific idea that should be a win-win situation for all the schools and state college basketball fans ... at least those who are not consumed by Huskymania to the exclusion of everything else.
What's on Cynthia Cooper's iPod?

Bell Biv DeVoe's "I Ain't Going Nowhere." (At least for the next four years.)
Violet Palmer is bringing her striped wisdom to the West Coast Conference.

Seems to me this is a good time to remind people that Dee Kantner reffed for the 'BA, too.
Sheryl Swoopes' Lubbock storage unit, going, going, gone.
The league says people are buying a lot more jerseys online than they did at this time last year: most of all, they're buying Candace Parker.
The Sun's Amber Holt will miss at least a month of play: last night in Atlanta she broke her hand.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Courtney Paris writes for SI.com.
WATN? with Marsha Sharp: She's been named Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund® Executive Director
As cut down time nears, Mechelle writes:
No chance that this phrase will ever be one of the WNBA's season slogans, but it does convey the truth that it's a high-talent league.

It is both a play on the inaugural "We got next" and a less-grandiose expression of the current "Expect Great."

Here's how it would go. The WNBA commercial would show a montage of stellar passing, ball handling, shooting, rebounding and shot blocking with pulse-racing music … then conclude with a group shot of the participants looking into the camera and saying:

"We got cut."
In Minnealpolis, Lea B. Olsen starts the season with a heavy heart.
As I prepare to do analyst work for the Lynx basketball games on FSN I am saddened that this season of WNBA basketball won’t be the same for me. I used to share my tickets and discuss the games, players, and anything else that happened at a game with my good friend Molly Tadich who passed away on Dec. 13, 2008 at the age of 43.
How's this for a warm welcome?

Angel McCoughtry broke free for a layup, floating toward the basket as she did so effortlessly during a college career that made her the University of Louisville's all-time leading scorer.

But before she could deposit the ball through the net, Michelle Snow, a 6-foot-5 center in her fifth WNBA season, closed in from behind. Snow pinned the ball to the backboard and sent McCoughtry tumbling to the court.

While standing over the WNBA's No.1 draft pick, Snow screamed to the rafters before looking down at McCoughtry and uttering with disdain, "Rookie."

Ticha is energized entering 12th (12th!!!!!) season.
No spelling for Whalen, just three questions.
This is no game of H-O-R-S-E.
Phoenix Mercury Guard Diana Taurasi is one of the top players in the WNBA, but we wanted to see how she could stack up with the kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Coach T goes a vistin'

She remembers it rather clearly -- sitting in the chapel at Buffalo Seminary listening to women who had graduated 20 or 30 or 40 years earlier addressing the student body.

That, she thought, would never be me.

But alas, there was Tara VanDerveer, standing on the stage addressing the students at her alma mater Tuesday afternoon.

And loving every minute of it.

The kid from Murray State is making an impression in the W.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kim Smith, no longer a Monarch, says she's psyched about the Canadian national team.
Holdsclaw seems happy in Atlanta, though she's kept that "Freedom" tattoo. Says Michelle Snow: "She's here because of her love for the game of basketball."

Snow played with the Claw for a year (1998-99) in college: the double-Vol presence in the Dream's starting lineup may help attract fans for the current WNBA franchise closest (a three-hour drive) to Knoxville, Tennessee.
WATN with Fran - that would be DOCTOR Fran to you - Harris.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jayda checks in on Storm training camp-- and provides her own link roundup, too.
You can see a preseason Indy game Thursday for free. If we lived in Indy...
Also from Mechelle: should the Olympics include-- not softball, but-- women's baseball?
From Mechelle, a monster lot of memories from Mizzou.

The Tigers are finally doing well in other sports, from softball to football: will Cindy Stein's squad ever join the parade?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There are various options for college players who want to continue with the game they love -- even if it doesn't earn them a living. Here's where Villanova's Jackie Adamshick is playing.
See, it's NOT just me! Some comments from the Women's Sports Blog on Media Day (More at the site):
Hi y'all. So the league webite is so incredibly stupid that they are adding new photos to the beginning of the gallery, which in turn screws up the numbering of everything down the line. I am trying to keep the links up to date but it's an uphill battle. A snarker's work is never done. -FL

Why is this shot here...oh. The W's PR machine: almost a self-parody.

Bringin' back the 19th century, one pose at a time.

"She did it." "Yes, I did it. And it was awesome."

Sophia is under the impression she's auditioning for a spot on Rock of Love.

"We thought we'd go for the old, tired look. How's that working?"

"There's an angelic vision on our sneakers! It's Joseph Smith!"

"Want the Yankees to lose the pennant this year? Have I got a deal for you."

Just shield your eyes, people. As her design business goes down in flames.

Hmm, we've got a woman posing, can't imagine anything else to do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More sports economy news from USAToday: Schools, conferences rush to contain costs
The latest came Wednesday in the Big Ten. Wrapping up three days of meetings in Chicago, league officials opted to suspend the traditional allotment of luggage, electronics and other gifts to players at the conference's annual basketball tournament and other events — saving a projected $500,000. They also froze the salaries of higher-paid league employees.

The Atlantic Coast, meeting last week in Destin, joined a growing movement to shrink the size of team's traveling squads, capping football's at 72. Before that, it scrapped a plan to take next year's postseason baseball tournament to the hallowed ground of Boston's Fenway Park.

Playing the eight-team event instead in NewBridge Bank Park in more centrally located Greensboro, N.C., will save an estimated $125,000.
'cause it's never JUST about basketball: Both the Sports Economist blog and After Atalanta have noticed the Congressional Budget Office report on the tax-exempt status of athletic programs at colleges and universities. Notes the USAToday article:
As part of an overall concern with the commercialization of college athletics, Grassley said at the time that Congress needed to know whether schools actually used their tax breaks to improve education, or whether taxpayers are subsidizing "other priorities."

"The fact that congressional analysts had to rely on information collected by a major newspaper for source data highlights how little information is available about how these programs work," he said.
Chante Black has just started training with the Sun, but she's already familiar with eastern Connecticut: she used to work in a New London emergency room.

“A lot of those people forgot their illness when I’m standing over them, trying to take their blood pressure,” says the ex-Dukie. “They’re like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so tall. What are you doing here?’ I’m like, ‘No, you’re sick. Let me just take this, and stay still.’ ”
Coach Coyle says the Lib have a four-year plan.
President Orender stays upbeat as she visits Jacksonville, FL, her hometown.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ouch for Muriel and Phoenix.
Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Candace Parker and Virtual Greats Team Up to Provide Virtual Goods to Fans in Online

I wonder if they accept virtual money....
WNBA and adidas announced today the launch of the adidas WNBA Rookie Report Program. The program will include an adidas-branded section on WNBA.com, and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the newest WNBA players. adidas is entering its fourth season as the official on-court uniform and apparel provider for the WNBA.
Former University of Minnesota basketball player Emily Fox, a rookie with the Minnesota Lynx, will write an occasional diary for the Pioneer Press during the WNBA team's training camp.
Remembering how it used to be:

WHEN 23-YEAR-OLD Sylvia Hatchell drove her baby blue Volkswagen out of the Tennessee mountains into the South Carolina Pee Dee in 1975, she maneuvered her way into the great unknown.

In her mind, Hatchell was moving closer to heaven. She had just accepted the women’s basketball coaching position at Francis Marion College in Florence and would be paid $9,200 for nine months of work. That was big money considering her graduate school classmate at the University of Tennessee, Pat Summitt, had taken over the program a year earlier with an annual salary of $8,600.

As part of her coaching duties, Hatchell drove the team bus on road trips. She swept the gymnasium floor. She washed the uniforms. She was the director of the school’s intramural program. She served as advisor for the Francis Marion cheerleading squads. And she taught four classes.

Rutgers' April Sykes will be out 4-6 months as she recovers from surgery.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tough times for coach Plank - Ohlde is out, Humphrey is "unable to perform," and the player bios don't come up on the Mystics' web page.
The Shock sound a tad banged up and the Liberty say they're ahead of schedule.
UConn has a new assistant coach.
From Marie's Blog: Bloggers and ethical decision-making
A recent post on Eye on Sports Media outlines the response of a local paper (the Athens Banner Herald) and that of a blogger who learned about the DUI arrest of a local personality who provides play-by-play and analysis for UGA sports teams.

The blogger reported the incident; the paper didn't. Eye on Sports Media comes down on the side of the blogger, arguing that the incident was newsworthy and that covering it gives media the chance to point out the recklessness of drunken driving. Non-coverage by the paper "also shows a little bit of media hypocrisy.
Lucky for the W et al, I don't know nothin' -- especially when it comes to lunches with Kia Vaughn.
Ohlde is injured.
Some Becky/Russia drama going on.
Iowa State oops.
An addition at Rutgers.
Carol Callan, women's Olympic team boss, talks about the Games and her new coach.
Slam: Original Old School: The Real Deal - There ain’t been no one better since.
You’ve never seen her play. You don’t know the depths of her hoopin’ ability. You simply know her as Cheryl Miller, a long-tenured sideline reporter. You don’t know that she once dropped 100 points. In a single game. You only know her as the Lady of the Sideline—sister of Reggie Miller. You see her, roaming the courtside like she owns it. She stalks the sidelines—kinda like the way she once stalked the court. Hear the story of Cheryl Miller as told to Scoop Jackson in Issue 72.—Tzvi Twersky
Dang - missed this: Wellesley's Kathy Hagerstrom has retired after 18 years.
Basketball and Kathy Hagerstrom have always been one and the same.

The game has defined her, been the focal point of her life since she was a little girl growing up in Wisconsin, through the years when she became the all-time leading scorer at the University of Nebraska, through eight years as an assistant coach and ultimately the last 18 years as the head coach at Wellesley College.

Hagerstrom is not yet 50, yet she's retiring. She's making a choice to walk away from the game that's been so central to her life, and choosing the life of another instead.
Jennifer Kroll, who is in her 11th year as a head basketball coach, will take over. She boasts an overall record of 167-95 (.637) at three Division-III institutions.
Asks "The Examiner" Jake Curtis: Will Westhead style challenge Stanford women's supremacy?
From Canada: Semi-pro league gives women's hoops a boost
From the KC Star: Cost cutting hits Big 12 meetings before they start.
From the AP: Few spots up for grabs as Storm opens training camp
So, what do WNBA players do for kicks during their downtime playing overseas?

Well, there's the standard shopping, Twittering and vegetating. But this offseason, with the WNBA eliminating 39 jobs through the folding of the Houston franchise and cutting the maximum roster number from 13 to 11, players found a new activity.
I don't think Helen has already linked to this one, but I wonder if she, or Rebecca, will know someone there: if you spend enough for Liberty season tickets this year, you can have lunch with Kia Vaughn.
Rookie profile time: in the Twin Cities, it's Quanitra Hollingsworth, who graduated from VCU at ae 20: she'll become the youngest American to play in the WNBA if she makes the team.

In Connnecticut, it's Illinois State alum Kristi Cirone.

Also in Connecticut, Sun beat writer Matt Stout asks how coach Thibault's team, with its still questionable frontcourt, will match up against the rest of the East.
Dreadful gimmick or neat attention-getter? Chicago will play an exhibition against a men's team made up of actors and singers. "Playing against guys is nothing new for me and most of my teammates," says Sylvia Fowles.

Chicago's NPF (pro fastpitch softball) team follows suit: the Bandits will play the Schaumburg Flyers, of baseball's Northern League.
In Sacramento, Donna Orender meets Voisin and tries to silence the doubters.

Are season ticket sales really up in NY and DC? If so, and if the upticks are significant, that's good news indeed.

Also good news (though just words) are new comments from Monarchs and Kings co-owner Joe Maloof: "We won a world championship with the Monarchs, and we don't forget that. Things are tough now, but you can break even if you make the playoffs. We're going to be fine."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keepin' up with USA Basketball:

The World University team finalists.

The U19 Championships team finalists.
An addition at Western Carolina and subtractions at Oregon.
Detroit get ready. Is Pitt alum Shavonte Zellous the next Nolan? "We call her mini-Deanna," says Cheryl Ford.

In Atlanta, Holdsclaw. says she's "excited" about her return to the league. "I don't think I've ever said that before," she adds.

In Sacramento, Courtney Paris adjusts to her role-player role. "We're not in a situation where we need her to be a savior," coach Boucek says.

In Seattle, Jayda's blog is back as Storm camp opens. "Every team is going to be better this year," says Phoenix GM Ann Meyers Drysdale. "They'll all be deeper."

No, they won't. On the other hand (as Brian Martin at the dot-com points out) the later start to regular season play means fewer conflicts with overseas seasons, and more time for new lineups to gel: maybe the first two weeks of regular-season play won't look as ragged as in years past.
Bad business news for the W as Discover opts not to renew their sponsorship deal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lisa Leslie and coach Cooper prepare for their final season (so they say) in the WNBA. Both veterans remember the ignominious playoff finale from '08: "We made it so much harder than it had to be," LLL says.

Leslie will have spent her whole W career in Los Angeles-- and Lauren Jackson, by the time she retires from US pro ball (her Australian pro, Euro and Olympic careers will almost surely last longer than her W stint) will have spent her whole W life in the Evergreen State. LJ tells Jayda that the fan support helped convince her not to sign anywhere else.

Want more on her return? See the Storm Defense blog, and a big long interview with Pelton (who else?) at the official Storm site.

In other Storm news, Scowlin' Brian Agler looks for Storm fans in Washington State, but outside Puget Sound... in Kitsap, to be exact. He finds some, too.
Also in DC for Mystics media day (or at least on the conference call) was the indefatigable Voepel.

Says Mechelle: "Devoting your last 11 summers to the Mystics has meant believing in one new system after another (or at least trying to); watching Chamique Holdsclaw come and go; getting up your hopes and having them dashed; not getting up your hopes and still having them dashed."

Says coach Plank: "I looked at Washington as a challenge. But I didn’t look at it like we could not win, or win right away, because I think we can. I want to build it the right way. I want to get some stability here.”

Also present, and also optimistic: the indefatigable Basket Cases.
Hi, Lindsay!
Bad news, I guess, for people who care about trading cards.
It was Media Day in Washington D.C. and Minnesota on Friday.

The Lynx allowed fans to submit questions and view interviews with all of the players. The Minneapolis paper's only coverage of the day is through Roman's Twitter.

The Pioneer Press writes about the deep talent pool. "It is the most talented, the quickest and most athletic training camp roster we have ever had,'' executive vice president Roger Griffith said. "As much as I believe in this roster, and as much as I believe in what they can do, I am not going to take pride in theoreticals. I am going to take pride when we clinch a playoff spot and go from there. "

SPM was there and talked to Coach Z and former Gopher Emily Fox. “I’m going in with the attitude that I’m going to make the team. I’ve got nothing to lose. I work hard and we’ll see what happens. It is exciting but nerve wracking nonetheless," said Fox.

WaPo talks to returning Mystic player Chasity Melvin, who believes in the new direction of the team.

The Washington Times talked to Angela Taylor and Julie Plank about training camp and the final roster selection process. "It's going to be extremely competitive every day," Plank said. "We evaluate things in the weight room, in the training room and in individual work. It's going to be a challenge for them to compete every day, but our coaches are also going to have a challenge cutting it down to an 11-player roster."
Coco is back in Georgia, as she signs with the Dream.
Yo announced that this season will be her last.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Has Geno found a new assistant coach to replace Jamelle Elliott?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cool! The New Haven Register has sent Jim Fuller to Colorado for the USA Basketball trials. Check out his blog.

Gotta say, just thinking about Jayne Appel playing alongside Tina Charles gives me chills...
The Rebkellians weigh in on the new W ads.
Looks like Monique Oliver will trade one red uniform for another.
Jane Schonberger, who runs Pretty Tough, writes in response to yesterday's questions:

"The site’s mission is to promote girls and women in sport and to empower readers to feel beautiful because of their incredible athletic abilities.

"PrettyTough.com was established as a voice for girls who kick butt on and off the field, the track, the slopes and elsewhere....

"The site is not specifically meant to promote Liz’s books, however the books (published in association with Penguin) are certainly an extension of the brand in that they represent one of the few examples of YA books targeted to sporty girls."

Schonberger also runs Women Talk Sports, a a well-designed and very busy site with a blog aggregator, a Twitter aggregator, and its own feature bloggers. It has almost the same design elements as Pretty Tough, but it's got a very different, no-nonsense look, and an intended audience of grownups: I like it.
Ashley and Courtney report to training camp; they're sad to miss ceremonies for OU graduation.
Will Coco Miller join her twin sister in Minnesota? (If not, will Coco play this year at all?)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I can't figure out if this site is first of all an efficient, if maybe too pretty, aggregator for news and links about women's sports, or whether it's first of all meant to sell Liz Tigelaar's, and other people's, girls'-sports-themed YA books.

By the way, is this pretty good book from 20 years back still the only novel written primarily for grownups in which girls' or women's basketball drives the plot? (Which, if any, of the many YA books are fun for adults to read?)
I got my hair cut today (and got rid of the winter beard) here, thanks to the Internet coupon Jessie found. It's a good haircut (and a really good shave); it's also an almost comically "manly" salon, with brown leather, nearly bare walls, and Sports Center going all day.

The friendly barber-- also one of the owners-- follows the NBA very, very closely: we talked about last night's Celtics result, and then he told me about the Lakers and the Nuggets and the Cavaliers' results. And then he wanted to talk about Candace Parker. He's a Lakers fan (yes, in Boston), and he watches the W sometimes, and he likes the Sparks, especially now that they've got CP: he likes Michael Cooper too.

He wanted to talk about how the W's level of play has improved; he said he wanted to watch more WNBA games, if he could only figure out when they were on. (This year it's almost all Tuesday and Thursday nights, for those without local TV or NBATV.) He didn't know that he could drive down (or take a bus) one state away to see a game; nor did he know about Lindsay Whalen. (He does now.)

The other athlete on the women's side whom he wanted to talk about was Brittney Griner. He knew she could dunk, but not that she's going to Baylor.

The morals of the story?

1. The male NBA fans who would watch the W, if they could find it more easily, really are out there-- some are in cities where the W has no team.

2. Some are the same NBA fans who might not have enjoyed the W in, say, 1998, because they're seeking a certain level of athleticism, or a certain speed of play, and they're more likely to see it, more often, now than they were then. (I'd rather watch Lindsay than Deanna Nolan, but I'm kicking myself for not telling my barber about Nolan: she has just the kind of eye-popping highlight-reel game that should draw new fans in, and she's never been the focus of a nationwide publicity tempest, so far as I know.)

3. I wish the casino were closer to Boston. Or maybe in Boston.

4. SportsCenter matters, a lot.

And speaking of venues that mostly cover the men, but do seem to be trying: will Adrienne Goodson keep writing for SLAM? Hope so.
Speaking of internet coverage: from HokiesSports.com - Media organizations battle tough economy to cover Hokies
So how do media organizations balance increased Hokie fan interest with declining budgets?

For the newspapers in Norfolk, Richmond and Newport News, writer relocation has been a first step.

“Five years ago, we were renting a car, driving to Blacksburg and staying in a hotel a couple nights a week,” said Virginian-Pilot [Norfolk] writer Kyle Tucker. “But for the last couple of years, I’ve lived in Blacksburg during football season, which has been a big cost saver. And amazingly, I shared a house with Daily Press writer Norm Wood. It’s unusual that writers from competing papers, on the same beat, would share a house, but it worked for us, and it worked for both of our papers.”
From the Sports Journal: NCAA Website Coverage: Do Athletic Departments Provide Equitable Gender Coverage on Their Athletic Home Web Pages?

I bet you can answer the question without reading the research -- but you should anyways, just to get a clear sense of the numbers.

Here's the abstract, if you can't bear the suspense:
The purpose of the current research was to perform a content analysis on the gender coverage provided on intercollegiate athletic home Web pages. One of the primary reasons why the research is necessary is because it focuses on a not-for-profit media outlet with Title IX and ethical constraints due to the fact that the athletic departments are a part of their coinciding universities. Overall, when in comparison to the NCAA athlete and team independent standards, the results demonstrated that women were underrepresented in comparison to men within each of the units of measurement (e.g., advertisements, articles, multimedia, and photographs) presented within the study. The implications of the results are discussed further within the text. The data within the current study was collected from a dissertation that was performed by the author while attending Indiana University.
Thoughts on money, athletics and the economy from the Knight Commission.
Almost 20 years after the Knight Commission first convened to push for reform and a reduction of expenditures in college athletics, cost containment is still a major topic of discussion.

Zemsky ruefully told the commission: "Since you've been in business, things have gotten a lot worse. … A set of values is not present to hold athletics accountable, so the competitive pressures of the market give you what you have."

With athletic expenditures increasing by an average of about 7% a year, about double the rate of increase for non-athletic endeavors on a typical campus, athletic opportunities could be reduced as schools struggle to find revenue sources.
'cause Kris over at the Title IX blog nails it, I'm stealing it:
This editorial out of Fresno State wraps up the university's year in athletics noting the good, the bad, and the ugly.

After mentioning that he heard the word Title IX more times this year than ever in his life, and how it was blamed for the loss of sports and all the lawsuits, he writes that: "ironically, the women’s sports brought most of the glory the school saw this year."

The success of women's sports at Fresno State is not ironic, it's poetic.

It's not women's sports that generated the controversy, it's the administration that refused to support them. I guess a little support does go a long way.
"The WNBA today announced the launch of WNBA LiveAccess, a new feature on WNBA.com that will provide fans with free access to more than 200 live game Webcasts - the league's most comprehensive offering - throughout the 2009 WNBA season."
It's a graduation!
It's a girl!
So you think you want to be a high school coach? (Or, perhaps, a better question would be, "So you think you want to diss a high school coach?) From the Seattle Times: Coaches struggle to find balance between work and family

It took 70-hour weeks and 16-hour days. It took year-round devotion, from the exhausting summer leagues in June until the open-gym sessions in May. And that realization has hit many Seattle-area high-school coaches. The arduous demands of being a coach, with long hours often reserved for lawyers and emergency-room doctors, have caused many to struggle to balance coaching with a family life.

Those who stick around, despite low pay and parental pressure, are the ones who love it too much to kick the habit.

Three questions for Anne Donovan about the 2012 Olympics and coaching.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nice news for the Brits: Great Britain's women's hopes of qualifying for London 2012 have received a massive boost following the Board of FIBA Europe's decision to reinstate them as a Division A team.
You'd think athletic departments that wanted to violate Title IX would be... well... not such dumb shits.

Notes the Title IX blog re: the evidence presented in the case for injunction to prevent Quinnipiac University from eliminating the women' s volleyball team.

Coach Robin Sparks testified yesterday that the athletic department had engaged in some doctoring of team rosters in an attempt to make their participation numbers seem more equitable. She claims that some men's teams cut players days before the start of the season and then reinstates them a few days after the season has begun. First day numbers are the ones reported for public information.

She would not say which teams engaged in this practice and the athletic department would not comment on the allegations. If she is right, though, it should not be too difficult to prove: look at the numbers QU reports and then look at other things like game programs that list players, or how many student-athletes need hotel rooms for away games, or plane tickets, etc.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hmmmm... none of my fellow long-time Lib season subscribers got a Moore jersey FedExed to them... So, ya think the Lib are trying to shut me up with a bribe?

Little do they know me.

Now, if I'd gotten a real, honest to goodness Sue Wicks jersey, like my pal Queenie lords over me, mum would be the word. *hint, hint*
It's not that I object to "Female basketball players and their children -- how DO they balance it all???" stories, it's just that I wonder, how many fathers are on the Lakers and how on earth they manage to balance it all?

Oh, now I see:
Based on 2005 data, which have been compared to those from national time diaries, the research shows women, of all ages with no children, on average do 10 hours of housework a week before marriage and 17 hours of housework a week after marriage. Men of all ages with no children, on the other hand, do eight hours before marriage and seven hours afterwards.

"The situation gets worse for women when they have children," says Stafford.

Married women with more than three kids recorded an average of about 28 hours of housework a week, while married men with more than three kids logged only about 10 hours of housework a week.
Having trouble keeping up with the adds and waives? Don't forget the W's Transactions page.

A quick peek'll show ya Katie nolongerFeenstra is visiting San Antonio and that, now that the Lynx have renounced the rights to her, Kristi Harrower seems to be visiting LA.
The Washington Mystics have released guard Coco Miller and signed free-agent center Kelly Schumacher.
Great Britain has a new Olympic women's basketball coach.
Tough news for the Virginia program: two assistants have left. One, Jeff House (who Lib fans will remember), is considered an up and coming assistant with a head coaching gig in his future.
Tales of the drafted: George Washington University's student newspaper catches up with Jessica Adair.

""I thought it was just, you get drafted, you go, you play," Adair says. "I'm realizing that there's a lot of work I have to put in to be ready to go down there and actually play against these older, more experienced girls... I want to go down there [to Phoenix] and wow them."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Greensboro's New & Record's Glenn Chavis discovers early black female basketball teams.
Where's Wanda? In the University of South Florida's inaugural Hall of Fame Class.
More on Mr Gladwell and Girls' Basketball from, of all places, David Adesnik at The Moderate Voice blog. Opens Mr. Adesnik:

There has been quite a backlash against the story by Malcolm Gladwell that I praised on Thursday.

Perhaps the real lesson is this one: Woe unto him who cites Malcolm Gladwell as an authority on any subject without some serious fact-checking first. (asks the "Lady" at WHB: Why do people who know little or nothing about women's (girls') basketball think that it's okay to do this stuff without fact-checking?)

Most of it has focused on Gladwell’s profound misunderstanding of basketball and reckless generalization about basketball strategy based on the example of one junior girls team. Rush the Court explains:

Gladwell completely misses the mark on this one - the full court press as a strategy works great when you’re dealing with 12-yr old girls whose teams are generally all at roughly the same skill and confidence levels (i.e., not very good), but as you climb the ladder and start to see the filtration of elite talent develop in the high schools, it actually becomes a weapon that favors the really good teams, the Goliaths, more than that of the underdogs.
By the way, this is Adesnik's bio:
David Adesnik is a defense analyst in Washington DC. He is a contributor to Doublethink magazine and its blog, Conventional Folly. David worked full-time on the foreign policy staff of John McCain’s presidential campaign from April through November of 2008. Before joining the campaign staff, he spent four months in Iraq as a civilian analyst with the Coalition’s counter-IED task force. David received his doctorate in international relations from Oxford, writing his dissertation on democracy promotion in the Reagan era. Beginning in 2002, David was a contributor and later editor-in-chief of OxBlog, on behalf of which he covered the GOP convention in 2004. David has published articles in The Weekly Standard, The Washington Quarterly and Foreign Policy and provided commentary for NPR and the BBC.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Q likes Noelle Quinn.
What's Doris up to between seasons? A New Courtside Voice: A Rare Female NBA Analyst, ESPN's Burke to Work Mavericks' Game.
The USA Basketball Women’s U19 National team trials invitees have been announced.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Yes, she stole our blog's name, but she's done a lot of reporting: if you haven't been following Jayda Evans' Seattle Times hoops blog, you can catch up now, since she's been taking a break till the W season starts.

Earlier this month she analyzed most of the draft. (Here she is on the Sky and its picks.)
Tamecka Dixon joins the Fever, and meets the Indiana press: "I've been blessed," she says. "My mom and dad had me at the right time, and I was able to play in this league right from the beginning."
Via Mark Hyman: national TV coverage for a girl who pitches high school baseball, very very well.
Pleasant Dreams fires back, in a way, at the W's haters. (A bit unfair-- the good NBA teams do seem to play some defense!-- but fun to read anyway.)
Clay Kallam responds (as I was hoping he would) to Malcolm Gladwell's praise for "innovative" twelve-and-under girls who press all the time.

Says Clay-- who literally wrote the a book about coaching girls' basketball:

"We have run that exact press at the high school level with great success, and won some state titles along the way. But there are limitations to its effectiveness, and an experienced coach can make a simple adjustment that will pretty much eliminate its ability to dominate a game.

"Gladwell's conception that this strategy is David vs. Goliath... is completely off base. It is a common strategy used by many teams at lower levels to dominate opposition without having basketball skills -- and is generally, as indicated in the article, felt to be a wrongheaded devotion to winning above teaching the game.

"Conditioning is important in such a system, but if you're looking to get your kid in top shape, send them to the gym or put them on track team. If you want 12-year-olds to learn how to play basketball, you try to teach them skills -- even if you lose....

"All in all, an awful article, boosting the worst parts of youth sports and youth basketball coaching. Let's win at any cost, let's press and press and press and destroy teams that can't handle it. Oh, and if we don't learn anything about basketball, who cares?"

You know what would be cool? If Gladwell were to respond.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This one came out last week, but I think we missed it: Bob Corwin has some plausibly gloomy predictions for the business side of the 2009 WNBA.
Should you teach your team of eleven- and twelve-year-olds to press all the time, every game? Will they win if you do? Malcolm Gladwell, in this week's New Yorker, appears to say yes.

I'd like to know what people more familiar with youth sports at that level think about Gladwell's exemplary team: Mark Hyman might worry about the conditioning involved, though it does sound like the girls enjoyed it. As Gladwell tells it, their season-ending loss came not when opponents figured out how to break a press, but when referees-- on an opponent's home court-- decided, in effect, to disallow their style of play.

Gladwell looks at those twelve-year-olds, and at Lawrence of Arabia, and at Rick Pitino, and at computerized wargames, but not at the women's college teams who more or less do what he says almost nobody does: at least two pretty good ones come to mind.
Jamelle Elliott is introduced as the Cincy coach -- and Mechelle takes a moment say it's good time to mark progress.
If you select assistant coaches to become head coaches based on pedigree, Cincinnati’s athletic department went straight for the top shelf. Couldn’t be clearer why the Bearcats believe Elliott is a very good choice to be in charge of the program.

But here is also where the “progress” part comes in. We are not that far removed from the days when people like Jamelle Elliott were not getting these opportunities. That is to say, when African-American women were so underrepresented in the coaching pipeline that it was shameful.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

As we noted previously, Chantelle Anderson's been bloggin' and talkin'

Pat Griffin over at It Takes a Team also has noticed:
Chantelle, whether she intends to or not, is expanding the conversations about sexism and homophobia in sport to include some folks who probably are not visiting my blog or some of the other excellent blogs that also address these topics, like After Atalanta or the Title IX Blog or this new one, One Sport Voice. And that is a good thing. Welcome to the blogosphere, Chantelle. I’m looking forward to seeing what you take on next.
Earnesia Williams has decided to come back for one more year at Texas.
Charlie says: Here are 64 teams to watch in 2009-10.
Q reflects on former WNBA draft pick (and Olympian) Marion Jones on Title IX & race
Now that the decision has been made, Mechelle asks: Ready to rank LJ with the greatest players?
The Sparks, Lib and Lynx make a trade.
Cincinnati’s Katie Bushman and Kansas State’s Jenny Gilbertson land at UW-GB.
Well, this is unpleasant and sad: Chaminade Julienne High School girls basketball coach Marc Greenberg arrested. Notes the article:
On Jan. 26, Marc N. Greenberg watched his Chaminade Julienne High School girls basketball team lose to Beavercreek High 56-46.

That same day, someone using the screen name bballguy5555@aol.com started a string of 47 lurid computer chat room conversations with investigators posing as teenage girls. The conversations became more sexually explicit as time passed “as he persistently suggested and requested that (the investigator) perform sexual acts for his own gratification,” according to an affidavit filed in federal court May 1.
This is a good a time as any to remind anyone involved in sports that having a clear, proactive policy about appropriate conduct between players and coaches is A MUST. I'm looking at you, WNBA. I'm looking at you, NCAA institutions.I'm looking at you, AAU teams.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Take it from someone who knows -- there is NOTHING like basketball in the US Virgin Islands. Take a peek at the 10th anniversary Paradise Jam schedule and start packing.
Island Division: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, San Diego State, South Carolina
Reef Division: Mississippi State, Rutgers, Southern California, Texas
This sounds like it was fun:
The University of Tennessee hosted “Pat Summitt’s Day of 1,000 Stories” at the Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville. For more than two hours, Summitt found herself surrounded by past and present players, along with family and friends, to relive some of her 1,005 career victories at Tennessee.
The NYTimes picks up on the budget cuts in college athletics.
Even the wealthiest universities are pinched. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it was cutting eight teams — Alpine skiing, competitive pistol, golf, wrestling and men’s and women’s ice hockey and gymnastics — as a way to trim $1.5 million from its athletic budget.

Taken together, the cuts could deeply alter the college sports landscape. The gap will widen between the haves with television and sponsorship deals, and the have-nots that rely mostly on alumni and their universities for financing.

“One of the things we have to worry about is competitive equity,” said Myles Brand, the president of the N.C.A.A. “If some schools have too small a budget, it could affect their play, and that isn’t fair.”
The Title IX blog makes an interesting comment:
Some departments remain solvent, however, some so much so that they have been able to divert revenue back to the university. (Of course this idea of "back to the university" implies that athletic departments are separate entities; a problematic paradigm most of the time.)
Sales Lessons from the WNBA
Just about one year ago I personally “discovered” the WNBA—the Women’s National Basketball Association—as embodied by my local team the Indiana Fever. I say “discovered” tongue in cheek, because the Fever celebrate their tenth season this year, so I can’t claim to have been out in front on noticing them or attending to the powerfully good sports entertainment they provide.

Here’s the thing. Once I went to a game, I was literally amazed by the quality of the performance by the Fever and their opponent. I promptly signed up for courtside season tickets for the upcoming season that kicks off in June. Because I’ve become a big evangelist for women’s professional basketball, they’ve named me to their community advisory board and given me lots of opportunities to be involved. That’s all good.

But it’s not my point. My point is, why was I amazed? Why was I surprised? Why didn’t I assume that the WNBA would put high quality athletic talent on the basketball court?
UConn will be looking for a new assistant coach -- and Cincy has a new head coach.
LJ is staying in Seattle.
Mechelle picks up on the USC-Cooper oddness:
I suppose I should not be blogging about something that Southern Cal obviously doesn’t really want anyone to know about, but …

The Los Angeles Sparks’ Michael Cooper is taking over the women’s hoops program at USC as soon as the WNBA season is over. OK, yeah, I know. I just proved I can’t keep my big mouth shut. I can’t be trusted with a secret.

Oh, wait … you mean it wasn’t a secret? It’s supposed to be public information? Really? See, you wouldn’t know that by the way USC has handled it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Compare this opening:
As she strolls into the foyer of her old high school gym, dressed casually in shorts, a long-sleeve T–shirt and flip flops, Courtney Paris is immediately recognizable as a tall, somewhat overweight basketball player. She has broad shoulders and a thick upper body. She has strong hands – her handshake is firm and confident – and long, slender fingers. Her large calves taper into thin ankles, and she moves with the powerful grace of an accomplished athlete.

An athlete.

Not a savior.
To this one:
Candace Parker is beautiful. Breathtaking, really, with flawless skin, endless legs and a C cup she is proud of but never flaunts.
it's not QUITE like the Sox and Yanks going after Teixeira, but mostly 'cause I don't think the Merc are able to throw $180 mill at LJ... But it is getting interesting.
From Q and Rethinking Basketball:

“The biggest problem holding back the game is the female athlete”
Brian McCormick, whose writing about coaching and training I have enjoyed and respect, posted an article yesterday exploring the training habits of some Division I female athletes.
Sir Charles takes a subtle dig at the WNBA...
Last night I was at a bar with a friend casually watching the Hawks-Heat “game” and talking about random stuff when I thought I heard Charles Barkley say something about the WNBA during the halftime show…

…This ain’t the WNBA…

Of course the volume was low and people’s voices were high so I couldn’t really make out much more… but fortunately, the TNT half-time shows are available online at NBA.com. And sure enough, Sir Charles did take a subtle dig at the WNBA...
Kathleen Sebelius: A college athlete who went pro in something other than sports…
Newly confirmed Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius is yet another of those female athlete role models that President Barack Obama referred to in his comments about the University of Connecticut basketball team on Monday.

This may be an old story to some, but I didn’t realize she played college basketball and I think her own thoughts on sports exemplify the importance of encouraging girls to play sports.

Although she graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1970 -- two years before Title IX was signed -- Sebelius has cited the opportunity to play sports as an important part of her personal development.
From the Daily Breeze:
Friday should have been one of the biggest days in USC women's basketball history. A big news conference, TV news cameras, the whole team sitting in the audience behind a row of distinguished alumni such as Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson and Paula McGee.

Michael Cooper, the former Lakers star and two-time WNBA champion coach of the Sparks, is the Trojans new women's basketball coach.

A splashy, flashy hire if there ever was one.

But instead of pomp, there was a whole lot of weird circumstance.

Instead of flashy, there was a huge splash of cold water.

Everything about the way the exit of the previous coaching staff and hiring of this new one was handled poorly.
From Mechelle:
Obviously, the big, big, big news in the WNBA is the question of where Lauren Jackson will go: Seattle or Phoenix? But as we watch and wait for that drama to play out, something else with the Mercury merits mention from me.

Phoenix signed guard Laurie Koehn to a training-camp contract. With 13 teams and 11-player rosters, of course, securing a job in the WNBA is hard enough, let alone when you are a “specialty” player such as the 3-point wizard Koehn. So it’s going to be tough for her to grab a spot alongside her former Kansas State teammate and best friend, Nicole Ohlde.

They have played together overseas. But the news of them being in the same WNBA camp - Ohlde was traded from Minnesota in January _ made me try to remember what stood out as the best combined game I saw the two of them play at K-State. And what came to mind right away was one particular clobbering of Missouri.
Maya says "Thanks, Mr. President!."
Harper settles in for tough task at NC State
Kellie Harper is tough, determined and full of tenacity. It shows in the half-dozen scars in the surgically repaired right knee of North Carolina State’s women’s basketball coach.

She’ll need all her grit to succeed in her new job.

Harper has taken the reins of an emotionally spent program in need of a delicate touch as well as an infusion of energy. She’s competing with nearby Duke and North Carolina. And she’s following a legendary Hall of Famer in Kay Yow, who was known for more than just her on-court success.

There’s plenty for Harper to be nervous about, but just not right now.
Cool! Twelve players from the Exodus AAU girls’ basketball team are competing this week in the first annual Spartak Cup in Moscow, Russia. Allysia Rohlehr, a sophomore at St. Michael Academy and a shooting guard for the Exodus dozen, will be providing FiveBoroSports.com journal entries from the trip.
NJ.com's story on the Lib's really, really tall "secret weapon."

Friday, May 01, 2009

The .com has an LJ Watch going.

I must say, I'd be pretty peeved if I were a Storm fan. Of course, all would be forgiven if she returned to the W in forest green, mustard and ketchup.
It's official: Coop to USC.

Anyone thinking this may be the wrong Coop?
Interesting: Former Iowa State forward Ashley Arlen is one of three Iowans to commit to the Division II Wayne State women’s basketball team for the 2009-10 season.

You may recognize the name of the Wayne State coach, Chris Kielsmeier, from previous posts tracking his success at Division III Howard Payne.
WATN? Michelle Marciniak a driving force in the business world.
Don't forget, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame 2009 Induction is set for June 13,.
Thanks to USA Basketball, Charli Turner Thorne is going to be busy this summer.