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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

November 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM

TV Alert: ESPN marathon and possible European classic

SummittAction.jpgTwo things could be the cause of blurry eyes around Seattle today — the return of a beautiful morning sun or hoop fanatics staying glued to the television since Gonzaga defeated Washington State on Monday to revel in ESPN’s tip-off marathon. I want to say thanks to the NBA for clearing attention for this early March Madness feel, but I’m an American, I want them playing, too, so we can have more.
The network didn’t include many women’s games in its onslaught. In fact, there’s only one in No. 3 Tennessee hosting No. 7 Miami at 3 p.m. (PST) on ESPN2. It was already a good matchup given the players on the court. Add Vols coach Pat Summitt’s courage to continue her profession while handling early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, and there’s an overflow of intriguing story lines. Did I mention UM coach Katie Meier considers Summitt a mentor?
Tennessee won its season opener against Pepperdine 89-57 on Sunday to remain third in AP rankings. Miami defeated Texas Pan American 83-37 on Friday. The Hurricanes are using Tuesday’s national exposure to prove last season’s 28-5 record wasn’t an anomaly.
“It’s going to be fun,” Miami All-American Shenise Johnson told The Associated Press. “I really think it’s probably one of the highlights of the year for women’s basketball. We both like to run up and down. They like to press. We like to press. I think it’s going to be a very intense, competitive, hard-fought chess match. You’ve got two great coaches, the AP coach of the year, and I think it’s going to be a great game, honestly.”
On the global stage, a heavyweight showdown between EuroLeague leaders UMMC Ekaterinburg (4-1) and Ros Casares (4-1) is set for Wednesday at 11:20 a.m. (PST) in Spain. Familiar Storm stars Svetlana Abrosimova (UMMC) and Lauren Jackson (Ros Casares) will meet for the first time.
You can read an in-depth preview here and get a link to view the game.
Storm coach Brian Agler was in Europe recently watching Jackson and others play. Nearly all Storm players are overseas, Camille Little playing in Shanghai instead of Israel because of better pay, according to her agent. G Tanisha Wright remains in Israel despite a player strike because her team, Elitzur Ramla, plays on the EuroCup level. C Ashley Robinson landed a contract in Czech Republic.
PG Sue Bird is stateside, continuing her rehabilitation from hip surgery in September. She attended Washington’s one-point loss to UC Davis on Friday at Edmundson Pavilion, returning east on Monday. G Katie Smith is in Ohio while F Le’coe WIllingham is in Kentucky.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt yells instructions/Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press



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