Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A little late to the party, but the Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson asks, "How Should We Feel About UConn? As the Huskies Dominate the NCAA Tournament, Some Wonder—Is the Women's Game Broken?"

Still, many members of the sport's establishment insist the carnage is good for the game, since it drives interest. "Right now, everybody is watching and following Connecticut," says Ms. Summitt of Tennessee. "It means we're going to have people fixed to their TVs to see what happens. That's good."

Supporters of the women's game mention that no one ever questioned the dominance of UCLA's men's basketball team, which won 88 straight games in the early 1970s under coach John Wooden. The legendary coach himself agrees. "I think it's good for the game," says Mr. Wooden, now 99. "There's more incentive for others to come up to Connecticut's level."

As for anyone who might venture to criticize his team, Mr. Auriemma, the UConn coach, has this to say: "I don't think anybody can say that being this good is bad," he says. "I guess only in America could people make comments like that."

and Dave Biderman of The Couch says, "Let's Put Connecticut in the WNBA." (Did they have to use a photo of mini-Mi? The Lib fans aren't living with enough pain?)
Tt's tough to figure out exactly what a college team would do in the WNBA because the leagues have different rules and team sizes. But a model built for The Wall Street Journal says this year's UConn team might win nearly half its games in the WNBA. Basketball statistician Keith Goldner came to this conclusion after running a regression analysis to estimate how college players would perform in the league based on their statistics from their final college seasons.

This UConn team could have had a winning percentage as high as .441 in the 2009 WNBA. That's better than three other teams in the league and is tied with the San Antonio Silver Stars, who made the playoffs.

Jay Mariotti writes like he wants to slap some sexist idiots upside the head over at Fanhouse (and a pretty funny story about Wooden and Auriemma):
This is neither the time nor place for sourpusses to advance diatribes about women's basketball's meager place in the world, or the lack of balance in the game. Like it or not, neanderthals, what we're watching is the most dominant team in recent memory in any American sport. The UConn freight train is so unstoppable, it has spawned a chorus of critics who say the journey has become too predictable, monotonous, boring and, believe it or not, detrimental to the women's game. That is complete baloney, of course, in that Auriemma and his 37-0 team have generated by far the most mainstream attention in the history of the women's game. There were national media types at the University of Dayton Arena who haven't covered a women's basketball game -- myself included -- in eons. ESPN placed the game front and center in its early prime-time programming slot. When Auriemma and UConn meet Griner and Baylor in San Antonio on Sunday night, the off-night between the men's semifinals and final, expect the largest TV audience ever for a women's game. Other games, too, have attracted mass interest, including Stanford's last-nanosecond victory Monday over Xavier on a court-length drive by Jeanette Pohlen, who needed only four seconds to dash 94 feet -- didn't UCLA's Tyus Edney need 4.7 seconds in 1995? -- and launch a layup just as the red-bordering light flashed on the backboard.

Bad for the game? Just as we couldn't stop watching Tiger Woods when he was winning virtually every golf major, just as we couldn't stop watching Michael Jordan and the Bulls go 6-for-6 in the NBA Finals, just as we couldn't stop watching the New England Patriots when they were attempting a perfect season, we watch UConn try to run the table again. We do because we're witnessing something the world might never see again, because dynasties help define our place in time -- testosterone snobs be damned.
See, I told ya I could forgive a "Lady Huskies" reference.....