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Woman's basketball 
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So, anyone want to talk about the woman's basketball tournament?


Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:27 pm
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Two years ago I would have been able have that conversation, but now, the worst time of year at work is right in the midst of March Madness & I've not seen a single game. :-(


Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:37 am
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Some very good match-ups tonight. I haven't taken the time to study the teams much this year, but i could see both DePaul and St John's pulling off upsets (the lady Vols being fantastically athletically gifted but so inconsistent on the court). Oklahoma State always seems to struggle in the NCAA tournament but i think they should be able to out rebound Purdue and physically wear them down. And Baylor will probably have a fight on their hands tonight in the battle of the Bears, as well, so they're lucky to be playing on their home court. If i was the Cal coach, once she has initially given up the ball, defensively it would be all about keeping the ball out of O. Sims hands. What i really want to thank ESPN for is the assigning of R. Lobo (even if she is a Uconn alum) into the studio for analysis. Nothing against C. Peck's basketball knowledge, but recently she hasn't shared it with viewers well, smoothly or in-depth as a studio commentator. Lobo gladly talks X's and O's; she's funny, candid and not particularly inhibited in her discriptive word choices; and she expresses the enthusiasm she has for the game well. I'm also enjoying the changes that have come about in play due to the new rules. The prohibiting of hand checks on the guards' hips especially has been a plus in picking up the tempo of the games and giving the quicker guards more opportunities to score inside. We'll see, as the tournament progresses, how the refs will handle the physical play under the baskets.

I was very sorry to see USC knocked-out in the first round (and the Akron U Zips, my local MAC team). If Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is their coach, then I'm a fan; and in the few games i saw this year, defensively they were an impressive team. Given a couple years of recruiting, the Trojans could very well return to being a Women's basketball force to consistently contend with; which would probably also be a plus for Standford because they need tougher competition to regularly face in their conference.


Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:41 pm
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Red, in Saturday's games you picking Baylor or Kentucky? That game will probably be a real test for the refs. Kentucky is practice trained to intentionally beat the opposition into a pulp if the officials will let them and Baylor can give as well as they get, so if it takes 20 or more combined foul calls in the first half of the first half for the refs to get their point across, i hope they equitably call every one of them against "star" players as well as others. The other three matches i don't think will even be close, which is probably selling DePaul short, but Texas A&M is such an experienced team with more size inside, playing in a tough conference with a coach who is so smart and crafty. And one thing to say for BYU, as opposed to a "religious" school like Baylor or Notre Dame, the Cougars' undergrad student body is 98% Mormon. Those players may very well all be actual practicing Latter-Day Saints (don't know about the coaches) going up against the Goliath that is Uconn. Not to knock schools that have athletes of various and sundry faiths and philosophies on their squads, but it does add an unique quality to their storyline.


Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:51 pm
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Yeah Wrinkles I think there are few to no surprises in this year's tournament. I do think there have been some great games. USC and Cooper have come up fast, they should be a force next year. You know my favorite coach to keep an eye on these days is Dawn Staley, she has done an extraordinary job at S Carolina. She was one those skilled fast guards that are fun to watch.

Right now I am watching the Division II championship game. A local school (Drury University) competes at that level so the local stations follow it. Drury is out of it and the team that beat them is losing right now. Update: damn good, down to the wire game.

I have seen some lop-sided reffing this year. They do need to clean up the play under the basket, sometimes it seems like a brawl out there.

Lobo can talk the game better than most and she bounces off of Kara Lawson well. Speaking of Lobo, I have seen her talking with President Obama filling out the brackets a couple of times. Can you remember if he is the first president to do that? C Peck has been off a bit all season, made me wonder what was going on.

I am doing a rescued dog transport tomorrow, so will not be home until about 4 PM. So, I think I will miss the best game of the day. Since I will not be driving I will try to find it on ESPN radio on my phone. I have noticed how scrapy Kentucky is, not necessarily a big fan of street ball. Let's hope the refs can tone it down, keep it under control and no one gets hurt.

At the end of tournament, can ND beat UCONN?


Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:44 pm
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Yes, Dawn Staley was/is fantastic, but according to the loose-lipped Lobo, she's sooooo competitive she cheats! (at least at cards) What's great is to see women coaches being openly applauded for being competitive, demanding and successful. i remain ever worried about more-and-more men filling the wbball coaching ranks, whether they are the best candidates or not. And could we see some women hired as men's teams coaches?!! They can't coach men/boys because...wait for it...they never get the chance!! QED (i have actually seen some women coaching boy's AAU teams.)

I feel like a traitor towards Peck. I'm a big fan and would love to see her coach college again, though if she doesn't want to deal with the endless recruiting, who can blame her. I really wanted Tenn. to dangle a big check and visions of home state glory in front of her, and tempt her back to the Lady Vol bench. It would have been a perfect fit and great PR. But it's the women's game so the AD (who has caused THREE sexual discrimination law suits from fired females in the sport department since he arrived and the mens/womens athletic departments were merged) has his proper priorities in order. (Not to dis Holly Warlick. I agree with the hire, but they pay her on the cheap. If we're looking at any other program but Tenn. or Uconn, could anyone complain about her record so far. And, clearly, she can recruit. But if coach K. left Duke, would they hire a long-term assistent head coach without even trying to snag a proven NCAA tournament winner?) There have been over these last few years sporadic illuminating moments when C. Peck seemed to be talking like a coach not a commentator and she'd come out with brilliant analysis that someone should have forwarded to the teams immediately but generally her comments were bland and often garbled. very frustrating to listen to.

As far as i can recall, Obama is the first Oval Office bracketteer. Very savvy of him to take precious time away from the links. And i think Bush the elder was the first to invite the tournament winning ladies to the White House. Michelle O. seems rather athletic and, when she's not first-ladying, remarkably intelligent. Does anyone ever ask her for her picks? Maybe she was better things, in her position of power and responsibility, to do.

Can ND beat Uconn. Absolutely! My favorite quote so far of the tournament was Coach McGraw's remark about Uconn not being able to find room on their schedule for the Irish this year. Just a nice little dig towards the dominate Huskies from the one team with a winning record against them over these last 2 seasons. If they meet in the final this year, I'm expecting a much better match then last years semi, but i haven't given much thought yet as to what, player-for-player, that contest might look like. I want to see how both teams will respond in these next rounds.

Hope the dog transport goes/went well. My beast would agree that that takes priority over TV basketball, as does anything that involves retrieving targets from cold, choppy waters. Tomorrow's games are more compelling and i wouldn't be surprised to see an upset in any of the four except for the South Vs. North Carolina game (though LSU now has yet another player out injured). In good part because of the S.C. coach? -well yes! Everyone knows (who's an ex-guard), retired p.g.'s make the best coaches, except for Coach Summitt of course.

(as for that other roundball tournament taking place this spring - (way to)Go Dayton!)


Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:27 am
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wow, can i not pick em, or can i not pick em? Lady Vols never should have been a first seed (but they will be better next year, if healthy, minus Simmons who i think stands to be a much better and controlled fit in the WNBA than she was at Tenn. At that level, she'll either take better shots and use her teammates more or she won't play.), and now Baylor has to pay the price for that facing ND on their home court. That should be an exciting game (with the two head coaches vying for the "sharpest dressed" award as well) and it's unfortunate it's not being played at a neutral site. Just watching both Loyd and Sims go to work tonight should be a pleasure no matter which team wins, but i think the Irish, with their depth, team work and defensive composure/intensity will advance.

as for coaching, well there's Arkansas now. Maybe the fellow was the best candidate, he certainly has his merits, but would a woman ever be hired for that head coaching spot with the same resume? All those successful associate head coaches out there who have worked the women's game for years -not one interested or worthy of a SEC head coaching job?


Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:43 am
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Woo eee! We got a game right now. Mulkey is rather toned down tonignt. Baylor does not seem phased by ND's home court advantage.

Yeah I was disappointed by the Arkansas coaching pick. Really?!!

I was kind of surprised by Tenn being a number one, so I was not surprised with the outcome. I was disappointed S Carolina went down.

Back to the game. Drinking lemonade right now, I may have a beer before the night is over.


Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:11 pm
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What an exciting game and what a great, vocal crowd. Here's the thing about home court advantage -it's been proven in numerous studies to show in the calls. Baylor ended up with 10 more fouls against them than ND. I don't think those refs did that intentionally with any biased motives (and the ref mid-signal not calling the fifth foul on O. Sims for an offensive charge probably saved Mulkey from having a stroke right there on the court, or saved herself from being attacked. Since it took the entire Baylor bench to keep Mulkey off the court earlier, i don't know what they could have done to protect the official for that call.) but psychologically the crowd effects reffing. A game like that (and both games tomorrow!!) needs to be played on a neutral site. The NCAA, ESPN and teams should figure out a way to fill up those seats. Put the games in locations with strong women's basketball followings. Do something about the ticket prices. Get more younger fans/players into the seats. It can be done!

ND with Achonwa can beat the Huskies, but without the Canadian Olympian....sure hope the injury isn't serious, but it looks to be an ACL tear.


Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:15 pm
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Dang, I just heard ND will not have Achonwa on the floor for the rest of the tournament. I agree that will swing it to UCONN entirely. I am not sure I will even watch the final game.

That was a great game last night, it was amazing Mulkey made it as far along into the game before getting the technical. That call reversal was horrible, really at this level the refs have to do better. And the home court advantage should not include the refs.

I agree the sites have to be neutral. It is really stupid for ND and UCONN to be playing at home. They are trying something different next year. Come visit and we will road trip to OKC for the regionals.


Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:11 pm
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Red, don't give up on the underdogs yet. These are all tough, talented, very well coached teams. I want to see how Maryland looks against ND, and how the Irish will adapt and run their offense without Achonwa. Either one of those two teams can beat Uconn, however at this point i think Maryland would have the better chance. Without Achonwa, the Irish really have only one other big post player and she's a freshwomon who tends to get into foul trouble and is a bit flat-footed when it comes to dominating the (Peck and Ward's favorite term this year) "plane of verticality". Plus, to lose their Senior floor leader in the tournament.... Injuries are part of the game, but one sure hates to see it happen for both the player's and fans sakes. Standford, the perennial also ran, probably won't topple the Huskies because they lack enough offensive threats and their defense looks to be a step-or-two too slow to keep up. However, the coaching staff will design a plan to try and compensate for that. Every team can have an off day -even the incredibly disciplined Huskies- and the Cardinals have the ability to rise and exploit an opportunity. No matter what, every one of these teams will play all-out and with an attitude and composure that they can win.

On the coaching front, what do you think about Tyler Summitt (all of 23 years old and two years assistant coaching) taking over as the Head Coach of La. Tech.? Where and how exactly does a head coach with that experience get excellent assistants to work well with him? How does he deal with the alumni? The women's game is not as it was back when his mother became a head coach at age 22. (added later) OK, now i get it. Mickie Demoss, a La. techster herself (the womon who really should have taken over the Lady Vol program when Pat left) is to be his associate head coach. That can both work and, given time to recruit, win. Demoss is a brilliant, highly articulate basketball coach. She is probably still one of the best in the sport, and i'm very glad to see her back in the college game from the Pros. Plus, what loyalty these people have shown to each other, flowing both ways, over the years!

I think it would be very interesting and equitable if ESPN could add an ex-zebra or two to their commentating crew. You and i have both reffed basketball in the past. (I worked in both men and women's recreational leagues, and those players were fast and active enough to deal with.) It's a challenging sport to call. I would love to hear from a retired, well-respected NCAA ref on his/her views towards the rule changes and the challenges of their job.


Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:56 pm
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Red, are you going to read Brittney Griner's book, "My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court"?

(i really like ESPN's country womyn muscians promo and tagline for the final four's host city this year: "Nashville, a place for strong womyn who can play" -that would work very well for the festival, too)


Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:51 am
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Wrinkles, have you read Griner's book? Let me know what you think. I have read Pat's three times.

At this level anything can happen on any given night. We have seen UCONN have some weak first halfs (halves?), so I think they can be beat. I thought ND had a good chance to wear them down, not so confident about that now. In fact I am thinking Maryland might have a chance to take ND down. Brenda Frese is a canny coach, like how she pulls the team away from the bench and on to the court for timeouts.

I think that is an interesting idea to talk to a ref about calls. Not sure we are going to see that anytime soon.

And yeah I notices the C&W promo, I think it is pretty funny. LIke minds I thought someone should sing that from night stage.


Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:29 pm
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Wow! ND is such a fun team to watch. Is it possible that they could be better without Achonwa playing? (no) What's that old saw? "rebounds win championships". The Irish really looked smooth, especially in the first half, and the Terps seemed off and hesitant tonight. I want to go back later and look at that game again to see exactly what ND was doing to keep Maryland off the boards so well.

Yes, Red, i will read B.G.'s book and post you a short review, but it may take a little while because I'm buried in time sensitive reading material right now. (To add for any lurkers who might read this but don't follow womyn's hoops: Brittaney Griner is an out lesbian and her book also talks about her experiences with bullying, ect growing up.) Since you're such a long time womyn's bb fan you probably already know, but just in case, Pat Summitt has written/co-written a few other books, if you are looking for some different material to read. (If you haven't checked it out, C. Vivian Stringer's memoir is very good as well. Mulkey, McGraw and Cooper all have books out there, too: & J. Woodens are all classics. ya, i'm a student and fan of the game.)


Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:09 pm
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ND is a great team this year, I love to see them win a hard fought game. I was disappointed in this game. Maryland just was not there and not competitive. At this level it is fair to expect a competitive game.

Another book you may have already read is Tara's Venus to the Hoop, about the Olympic team.

Uconn's seems to be on their game tonight, and I think at this point the only team that can beat Uconn is Uconn. Stanford is making it a game though and I appreciate that and it is not over yet.

Like you I am a fan of the game, not of any particular team. I root for a good game, I root for parity. If we do not see that, then those seats at regionals are going are to remain empty. The fans have got to believe that their team has a chance, right now that is not true.

On another note: Muffet and Geno are both Philly products. I kind of like that, since that is where I spent my adolescence. It is where I learned to play and learned to ref the game.


Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:33 pm
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