December 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Pac-12 pride brimmed at Washington practice last week. While the Huskies enjoyed a Thanksgiving holiday without basketball due to a scheduling conflict, the conference was busy knocking down teams ranked in the AP top 25.
“They’re genuinely excited,” said Washington coach Mike Neighbors of his team’s reaction to the conference going 4-2 against ranked teams the past week after an 0-7 start. “They see that you have to make the most of your opportunities when you play a ranked team.”
UW’s first chance is Saturday when it plays at No. 23 Texas A&M (4-2). Washington plays at Houston (3-4) on Wednesday. Naturally, the Huskies (1-2) would like to sweep to flex its Pac-12 muscle like its rivals.
Washington State (4-4) made 12 three-pointers to defeat then-No. 10 Nebraska 76-72 on Saturday. Playing before 5,933 fans, it was the Cornhuskers’ first loss in its sparkling new Pinnacle Bank Arena. It was the Cougs’ first win over a Top 10 team in program history.
“A lot of our girls had never played in an arena this loud, so for us to keep our composure and poise when they came back on us showed that we can hang with some of the top teams,” WSU junior G Tia Presley told reporters in Lincoln, Neb. She scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, none from three-point range.
November 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Marketing to lure people — mainly students — to women’s college basketball games made a stir this month. Instead of a school t-shirt or even a hotdog, Louisville coach Jeff Walz offered a voucher for a free beer or soft drink to 2,500 fans legally old enough to drink. At Kansas State, 300 pounds of bacon was distributed.
Colorado students had to work the hardest for their freebie. They could get tickets to the Buffs men’s basketball team’s game against Kansas in December. But, as men’s coach Tad Boyle reminded in a pregame pep talk to the crowd adorned with wristbands for orderly distribution, they had to stay for the entire game. G Brittany Wilson put on a show as the women beat a competitive Iowa squad, but the stronghold for the freebie wasn’t well received among ardent women’s hoops fans nationally. Colorado did clarify it wasn’t the only promo for students to get tickets, however.
As the Associated Press reported, the point is similar to all giveaways — get people to see the product in hopes they’ll want to return on their own. But some commented that beer, bacon and tickets to see a men’s team were the wrong, ahem, carrots to dangle before a crowd in hopes they see women’s hoops is entertaining. Too easy a setup for the lipstick and pig remark, ya know.
“There’s always going to be someone complaining,” Walz told the Associated Press about his giveaway. “I’ve reached out to a few of them and called them. Once they understood what we were trying to do, they wished me a great year.”
November 26, 2013 at 10:53 AM
History won’t be televised, again. Mass exposure is probably the last nugget to change in Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer’s storied career. She’ll aim for her 899th and 900th career wins in Mexico as part of the Hardwood Tournament of Hope this week.
When VanDerveer reaches the milestone, she’ll join an elite circle of five coaches to reach 900 or more career wins in former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt (1,098), North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell (908), Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer (905) and former Texas coach Jody Conradt (900).
VanDerveer has led the Cardinal to 26 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and six consecutive 30-win seasons. The Card is the 13-time Pac-12 champion, winning the regular-season and conference tournament titles seven years in a row. Last season Stanford was a regular-season co-champion with Cal.
“She’s a legacy, she has an amazing legacy,” Washington State coach June Daugherty told the Associated Press. “She has mentored so many of us. I don’t think she gets enough of her due for what she’s done for Stanford basketball — Pac-8, Pac-10, Pac-12. She’s been innovative about her game. She is a first-class act.”
In speaking about the women’s basketball game for a feature on Pac-12 Networks, VanDerveer said the growth is beyond what she imagined. She also teased that her dad said she could never make a career out of basketball. Glad she was a rebel from the start.
November 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM
The NCAA hoops season not even being a month old may be the sole lifesaver for the way the Pac-12 made its 2013-14 debut. Cal got beat by George Washington, UCLA showed its obvious transition in losses to No. 11 Nebraska and No. 12 North Carolina, and Stanford looked out of its league against UConn.
Don’t play. The Cardinal’s showing on ESPN “Big Monday” had nothing to do with UConn being a given dominating team over the women’s basketball landscape. There are some glaring issues for the young Card.
Add Washington’s loss to Portland, giving up 91 points, and I wouldn’t blame the East Coast for heading to bed instead of staying up to catch a glimpse of the conference.
The stumbles led to the Card dropping three spots to No. 6 in the AP poll. The Golden Bears (2-2) did play without posts Gennifer Brandon and Justine Hartman due to illnesses, but voters weren’t forgiving and dropped them seven places to No. 17. Colorado (2-0) hasn’t played a competitive opponent (and won’t until it travels to No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 21,), keeping the Buffs at a respectable No. 16 ranking.
November 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM
The final preseason predictions are being announced across the nation, the Pac-12 releasing its media poll on Tuesday. Washington junior guard Jazmine Davis was named to the five-player, preseason all-conference team. Already a two-time All-Pac-12 player, Davis’ squad highlights two high school All-Americans and is projected to finish fourth by media. Washington State was predicted to finish 10th.
UW is encouraged by its preseason predictions, aiming to advance to the NCAA tournament where its home court, Alaska Airlines Arena, was selected as one of the 16 sites for opening-round play. Some in WSU’s camp are irked. The Cougs only lost one starter and talented SG Tia Presley is back from a torn ACL suffered during conference play last season.
My preseason predictions are below. Although I’m eager to see the Cougs compete, sophomore Lia Galdeira being an early favorite player to watch, WSU has a gaping hole in the paint. C Carly Noyes, the program’s record-holder in blocks (158), graduated and junior Shalie Dheensaw is the projected replacement. A 6-foot-4 post, Dheensaw averaged 2.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 29 games off the bench last year.
“You would think we’re all mad and everything but it doesn’t matter until we actually start playing,” said Galdeira, whose team’s season-opener is Sunday against Syracuse at Beasley Coliseum. It’s WSU’s third annual Native American Appreciation Game. “At least it doesn’t matter to me until something really happens.
The Seattle Times began its college previews on Tuesday. Washington was up first. More on WSU is slated for Wednesday’s publication.
November 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM
The Associated Press poll was released Friday and Gonzaga is ranked 25th. The Zags return 12 players, including four starters, from its squad that finished 27-6 overall, 15-1 in the West Coast Conference last season. It won its ninth-straight WCC title and made its fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags are predicted to win the WCC, again, this season.
I had the Zags ranked 25th, too, but will admit I don’t even give much weight to the rankings. There are already some key injuries and untested returns that could make a huge difference in how the season begins for some of the ranked teams. But below is the way I’m starting my season outlook and you can keep track of all 40 media members’ votes throughout the season.
In our state, preseason predictions are promising. The NCAA tournament sites were announced earlier and Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena was selected as one of the 16 cities for open-round play. And it looks like one of the state’s five Division I programs will be seeded at UW’s host site. Along with Gonzaga’s conference prediction, Eastern Washington is predicted to win the Big Sky and Seattle U is projected to repeat its regular-season title in the Western Athletic Conference. Washington was pegged fourth in the Pac-12 while Washington State is motivated by being snubbed, again, and picked to finish ninth in the conference.
August 9, 2013 at 10:10 PM
On the heels of Friday’s 77-56 Seattle clunker to San Antonio, we ask you this…
July 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Seattle tips the second-half of its WNBA season on Thursday. The Storm (7-10) hosts Phoenix (9-9) at KeyArena. Due to rocky starts by both teams, there’s a possible battle for the third playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Seattle won the first meeting against Phoenix 75-72. The rivals will play a four-game, regular-season series.
Naturally, our question is whether you think the Storm has enough to really make a WNBA-record 10th consecutive playoff appearance.
Well, vote below.
May 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Caught up with Storm All-Star C Lauren Jackson (way) early Tuesday morning to get her thoughts about the WNBA season without her and Sue Bird due to injuries. More from the interview (and a chat with Bird) later, but Jackson did give some insights to what would be a successful season for the Storm considering all of the changes. None of ESPN’s prognosticators have Seattle advancing for a WNBA-record 10th playoff appearance and league general managers pretty much feel the same, only giving Seattle a nod for its staple fan support and coach Brian Agler’s strategies the final two minutes of a tight game.
“Obviously a successful season is dictated by wins and losses,” Jackson said. “But when teams are rebuilding or dealing with injuries, you’ve just got to get your players better and stronger and ready. You never know what can happen. Stranger things have happened. The girls could come out and win every game, you never know. Chemistry is a really important thing. I’ve played sport long enough to know you can’t really rule anybody out.”
Maybe, but here’s a release of what the league’s GMs think. The full tally can be found on the WNBA’s website:
2013 WNBA.COM GM SURVEY TAPS PHOENIX MERCURY TO WIN TITLE
– L.A. Sparks’ Candace Parker Picked to Win MVP Honors –
– Seattle Fans Again Provide Storm Best Home-Court Advantage –
– Minnesota Lynx Selected as Team that’s Most Fun to Watch –
May 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM
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