Here’s the Northwest 11 weekly power ranking. The qualifying regional Division I schools are Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Idaho and Boise State. Idaho State will not be included due to Pocatello’s more eastern location. NORTHWEST 11 WEEK 6 (Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment) 1. (4) Washington (13-10, 6-6…More
The monthlong saga of what will happen to the Los Angeles Sparks appears to be over. Broadcaster Larry Burnett, the voice of the Sparks, wrote on his blog that NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be part of a group that purchases the franchise. Burrnett also posted on his Twitter account the…More
FOX cut from the Seahawks’ domination of Super Bowl XLVIII to show images of its interpretation of the city’s only other champion — the 1979 Sonics — and a nerve was pricked, again. Storm fans, leading executive Karen Bryant and WNBA three-time MVP Lauren Jackson (who watched the game from China where she’s currently…More
In this new Monday feature, I’ll take a look at the Northwest’s 11 Division I teams and give a weekly power ranking. The regional schools are Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Idaho and Boise State. Idaho State will not be included due to Pocatello’s more eastern location.
NORTHWEST 11 WEEK 2
(Rank/Last Week/School/Record: Comment)
1. (1) Gonzaga (14-3, 4-1 WCC): Guess this tweet from GU coach Kelly Graves says it all:
Contrary to earlier reports by some, the Zags are still alive & well in Spokane
Zags swept BYU and then-No. 24 San Diego at home last week. A big reason is the continued improved play of junior F Sunny Greinacher. She was named WCC player of the week after averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds, shooting 65 percent from the field.More
Rookies Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-8 Phoenix center, and Elena Delle Donne, the 6-5 Chicago forward, did their job in drawing more fans to WNBA seats and telecasts for the 2013 season. Delle Donne’s Sky saw a 17 percent increase in attendance from the averaged 5,573 fans Chicago drew in 2012.
Phoenix saw a 9 percent bump from its 7,815 in 2012 while the Indiana Fever was third in increased attendance, up 8 percent from its 7,582 average in 2012. The WNBA conveniently stopped providing the hardcore averages for its attendance this season — percentages without reference to actual numbers does look better in print, you know — so it surmised its total attendance saw a 1 percent increase overall. The league averaged 7,457 fans in 2012, an all-time low.
Because I have a calculator and time, the Storm, sans All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, averaged 6,980 fans in 2013. In Seattle, where KeyArena’s environment and fans are the envy of the WNBA, the figure is a dramatic dip from the 7,489 fans in 2012 – which ranked seventh in the WNBA. The Storm’s best season remains its inaugural one in 2000 when it averaged 8,912. But since Force 10 Hoops purchased the team in 2008, the Storm has averaged more than 8,000 fans in three seasons (2008, 2010, 2011).
I blame this season’s dip more on a failure to market more than Bird and Jackson in the past, fans not knowing players like G Tanisha Wright, F Camille Little and the addition of F Tina Thompson are worth seeing, too, hence the 10th consecutive playoff berth. But I digress.More
Seattle U. headed to Costa Rica to gain some international experience this week. The defending WAC regular-season champions, SU defeated the Costa Rican National Team, 59-50, in the first of three games while on its foreign tour. The Redhawks led through the majority of the game, which consisted of four 10-minute quarters….More
Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson returned to the court on Wednesday after a 10-month layoff due to hamstring surgery in January. A three-time WNBA MVP, Jackson joined her native Australian national team to defeat New Zealand 66-50 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Oceania championship.
Jackson, a 6-foot-6 center, scored 22 points and had nine rebounds in her first organized game since Seattle lost 73-72 to Minnesota in the decisive Game 3 of the WNBA playoffs opening-round in October 2012. Jackson finished that road game with nine points on 1-for-7 shooting with six rebounds, missing a possible game-winner with 1.2 seconds left. Immediately following the loss Jackson, 32, wondered if she’d play, again.
“I’m just happy I got that game out of the way. It feels so good to be out there pain free,” Jackson told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News after Wednesday’s game. “I couldn’t walk before I had the surgery. I’m feeling pretty good about things, now. There was a period where I thought I’d never play, again, but to come out here tonight…New Zealand is our neighbor, so it feels like home a bit and it feels good.”
The Opals face the Tall Ferns on Sunday in Canberra. The teams are vying for slots at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey from September 27 to October 5, 2014.More
Washington basketball coach Mike Neighbors will be busy Tuesday morning. In a new move, the first-year coach will announce the 2013-14 nonconference schedule via Twitter. It’ll take a while because he’ll also share thoughts about the opponents in the 140-character limit.
Here’s the full release about the experiment:
SEATTLE – The Washington women’s basketball program looks to continue its upward trend in 2013-14. It will all begin with the non-conference schedule where the Huskies hope to get off to a hot start and put themselves in position to be considered an NCAA Tournament caliber team.
The non-conference schedule we be announced on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. via twitter. New head coach Mike Neighbors will tweet each opponent from his personal account. You can follow Coach Neighbors (@coachneighbors) to get the news.
The Storm signed veteran guards Temeka Johnson and Noelle Quinn to its training camp roster on Thursday. No, not exactly what many may have had in mind as a free agency announcement following news that centers Lauren Jackson and Ann Wauters will not return for the 2013 season. But Johnson, who’s 5…More
Washington will be mid flight as the Super Bowl kicks-off in New Orleans. UW played an early game at Arizona State on Sunday, winning 74-61. Redshirt freshman Talia Walton had a season-high 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks to lead Washington (16-5, 8-2 Pac-12). Returning with a sixth consecutive win, the…More