December 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM
No. 23 Gonzaga (8-1) returned to Spokane early Wednesday morning, so a groggy coach Kelly Graves hadn’t turned his full attention to playing at No. 6 Stanford (7-1) on Saturday. The series between the top programs out West will air at 1 pm (PT) on Pac-12 Networks.
Graves mentioned this morning that two tapes were waiting for him in his home office to view. It’s the beginning of the week’s prep for the Zags’ toughest nonconference game, yet. GU hasn’t defeated Stanford since the annual series began in 2010.
“One of these days we’re going to get them,” Graves quipped. “We’re not going to change too much with the way we play. We’re going to change defenses as often as we can. We’ve done a nice job of pressuring people.
“Obviously (Stanford All-American) Chiney Ogwumike is going attract attention. I haven’t watched enough to see what they’re doing to get her to spots where she’s kicking everyone’s butt. Their point guard, Amber Orrange, is going to be better than the two point guards we played this past week. But we’re really good at guarding in the backcourt. Jazmine Redmond is terrific and so is Hadien (Palmer), so we matchup pretty well there.”
The Zags’ final game prep was a pair of wins on the road against quality Big Ten programs Ohio State (59-58) and Wisconsin (70-55). GU saw big leads dwindle late but was able to secure the win. The Zags also received solid play from its bench. Redshirt sophomore F Shaniqua Nilles nailed a buzzer-beater against OSU on Sunday. GU’s bench outscored UW’s 18-7 on Tuesday, junior G Danielle Walter scoring a season-high 10 points in the win at Wisconsin — eight in the final six minutes.
December 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Washington State (4-4) hosts Cal State Northridge (2-5) on Saturday at 7pm (PT) at Beasley Coliseum. Cougs coach June Daugherty will know what type of team she has after the matchup.
Yes, WSU defeated then-No. 10 Nebraska (6-1) on its home court — one of the toughest places to play in the country. But if the Cougs don’t display the same intense focus against the Matadors this weekend, then the upset means little.
“The key for us right now is to be able to build upon this,” Daugherty told reporters on Tuesday.
Following Saturday’s matchup, WSU has an 11-day break for finals until a matchup at Dayton (2-3) on Dec. 15. Here’s more from Daugherty on the win:
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 21, 2013 at 7:02 AM
Lauren Jackson should be dizzy by now. I just spent 30 minutes shaking the global hoops star, cracking up with every “Oh my God” she deadpanned.
What the? Exactly. There’s this new wave of virtual branding for celebrities and marketers called “HeadCasts.” As if Twitter, Instagram, Podcats, personal websites and Facebook weren’t enough, now in an animated app you can sort of interact with stars — if you have a smart phone, of course.
And you thought video games were the only way to toy with athletes.
To quote the company, HeadcastLab, “We’re a team of media professionals and animation obsessives with years of experience stretching from Spitting Image to Lara Croft. We develop characters and environments that beguile audiences, whoever or wherever they may be.”
Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP, recently played her first game in China. Through this crazy technology, she chats with you about her experience so far (like watching a friend eat duck beak) while making face gestures. Tap her, poke her or shake her — while creepy — makes her bounce a basketball or spout “Oh my God” like she knows it’s completely insane to shake your phone to get a reaction from a virtual her. Jackson is an advocate against domestic violence, making the whole taping her face thing weird, but you gotta love the “realness” of the image down to her bad hair dye. And it’s cool to actually hear from her.
Yeah, I could call, but you probably can’t. And she’s in China!
October 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM
UPDATE: Atlanta showed more fight in Game 3. But the Dream also made some curious decisions late in the fourth quarter, costing them a chance to avoid elimination in the WNBA Finals. Instead it was posts Janel McCarville (10 points and three assists) and Rebekkah Brunson (15 points and 12 rebounds) making repeated highlight plays to assure Minnesota its second championship in three years with an 86-77 road win on Thursday. Lynx F Maya Moore was named Finals MVP, “We were just too much for them,” she said. The victory parade is Monday. Washington connections in rookie PG Lindsey Moore, a former Kentwood HS star, and Lynx assistant coach Shelley Patterson, a standout PG at Washington State, were key pieces to the title run. Congrats at all…
I’m really disappointed in this WNBA Finals matchup between Minnesota and Atlanta. Not because I bought into any false hype. The pieces are there for Atlanta to avoid a sweep but it’s so disappointing to watch All-Star Angel McCoughtry attempt to do everything herself and the Dream as a whole ditch what got it to the WNBA Finals anyway.
The Storm’s one-bucket loss to the Lynx in Game 2 of the opening-round series has me convinced the only way to defeat Minnesota is to never think about scoring. Seriously. The objective should completely be on stopping the Lynx defensively. Not that it’ll be easy, but Seattle kept All-Star Seimone Augustus to 2-for-10 shooting through three quarters before she hit a killer jumper to regain the lead en route to Minnesota’s win. In fact, it was F Rebekkah Brunson who had to win Game 2 late for the Lynx. Seattle’s entire game plan was defense-first and it almost worked, holding Minnesota to 58 points. The 58-55 win remains the only competitive game Minnesota has played this postseason.
McCoughtry and crew have that capability, already forcing 20 turnovers in Game 2 on Tuesday. Instead, the lack of focus on defense is naturally allowing the Lynx to put on a show offensively — and what a jaw-dropping show they’ve displayed. The shoot-first mentality the Dream appear to have is McCoughtry going solo early in the shot clock that just creates a turnover or missed opportunity. I give you Air Maya (Moore) as an example.
April 26, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Washington introduced Mike Neighbors today as the school’s 20th women’s basketball head coach.
He replaced Kevin McGuff, who left last week for Ohio State.
The Huskies promoted Neighbors, who had been a UW assistant the past two seasons, in a move that’s somewhat risky considering he’s never been a head coach. The decision to promote Neighbors had as much to do with his maintaining the status quo than anything else.
Neighbors every non-senior on the roster will return to UW next season, including leading scorer Jazmine Davis, a two-time all-Pac-12 point guard, forward Talia Walton, who made the all-conference freshman team and Katie Collier, a McDonald’s All-American post player who redshirted last season due to a knee injury.
Neighbors retained a recruiting class ranked 11th nationally by ESPN that includes four-star prospects Kelsey Plum, a McDonald’s All-American point guard, guard Briana Ruiz and forward Chantel Osahor.
Neighbors also kept the previous coaching staff intact. Kevin Morrison and Adia Barnes will return as assistants and the Huskies hired Fred Castro from Tulsa.
“The fact that we were able to keep the band together … that is a huge momentum keeper,” Neighbors said.
February 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Mailbag: Washington wants fourth place in Pac-12; Gonzaga goes for outright WCC title and other notes
Once again, Washington coach Kevin McGuff will be watching for the “hangover” with his team. UW lost 60-46 at Utah on Friday, a game it needed to win to keep NCAA tournament hopes alive. Washington continued its poor shooting stretch against Utah. The Huskies shot 30.5 percent from the field overall, 8 for 32 in the second half.
“That was as good as we’ve played defensively in a long time,” Utes coach Anthony Levrets told reporters on Friday. Former Cleveland HS standout Cheyenne Wilson had five points in the game.
Washington didn’t have a “hangover,” sulking its collective head in playing USC the following Sunday after the four-point loss to No. 17 UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena, however. Aside from McGuff’s concerns, UW beat USC 61-58 the following Sunday. Will that be true this Sunday at No. 20 Colorado?
Sure, the Utah loss is a prick in Washington’s NCAA bubble, but UW (19-7, 11-4) still has plenty it needs to accomplish.
The Huskies are tied for third with the Bruins (19-6, 10-4) in Pac-12 standings. UCLA hosts rival USC (8-17, 5-9) on Sunday. A UW win against CU (21-5, 10-5) would clinch at least fourth-place for the Huskies, which includes a bye in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament in March at KeyArena. Third place would mean UW could stay out of No. 4 Stanford’s bracket.
And there’s always the National Invitation Tournament, which has its own seeding process. UW needs a strong finish to seal a good seed there if overlooked for the NCAA tourney.
February 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM
Gonzaga hits the national scene with a matchup against West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara on NBC Sports Network at 6pm on Thursday. The Zags (22-5, 12-1) are riding a 10-game win streak and are primed to win a ninth consecutive WCC regular-season championship.
Thursday’s game is the first of Gonzaga’s final road trip of the season. It plays at BYU (18-7, 9-3) on Saturday. That game will air live on BYUtv at 1pm.
GU defeated SCU 79-50 at McCarthey Athletic Center in January. Talented backcourt veterans Haiden Palmer (17 points) and Taelor Karr (15) led the Zags in scoring while junior PG Jazmine Redmon had six assists. The Broncos (13-12, 5-7) were led by senior forward Lindsay Leo’s 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting in a game-high 32 minutes.
Gonzaga held Santa Clara to 28 percent shooting in the opening half and outrebounded Santa Clara 45-29 overall. The Broncos have since lost six of their past seven games.
SCU coach Jen Mountain played at Gonzaga from 1987-91 and served as an assistant coach under Julie Holt from 2001-08.
Here’s a clip of a Zags’ behind-the-scenes road trip.
February 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM
In a 101-65 home win against San Francisco on Saturday, the Zags shot a season-best 55 percent (44 for 80) from the field and reached triple figures for the first time since November 2011, against Hofstra. GU is on a 10-game win streak and holds a 2.5-game lead in WCC standings. USF dropped to 10-16, 3-10.
Here are some highlights.
February 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Gonzaga (21-5, 11-1) is on an eight-game win streak and moving closer to its ninth consecutive West Coast Conference championship. The regular-season title wouldn’t have been as close without a key 69-54 win against Saint Mary’s (16-7, 8-3) in Spokane on Thursday. The game was the Zags’ fifth sell out of the season.
GU lost to SMC 54-51 early in the WCC season, sounding alarms that coach Kelly Graves’ revamped, youthful squad possiblly couldn’t hold up the Zags’ storied reign on the conference. But Gonzaga has since moved to a 2.5-game lead in WCC standings and is primed to be part of the NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed, according to ESPN’s latest bracketology release.
The Zags are hosting the NCAA first and second rounds in March at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Below is video of Thursday’s postgame interviews. Gonzaga hosts San Francisco (10-15, 3-9) on Saturday at the MAC.
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