Pac-12 Networks will re-air Washington’s 70-65 upset of No. 18 Cal on Monday at 12:30pm (PT) in Washington. Freshman G Kelsey Plum scored 22 points, including four key shots from the foul line in the waning minute, to seal the win. The Bears, however, played without floor-leader Brittany Boyd (knee). The…More
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
The midseason Wooden Award top 20 list was released on Friday. Washington G Jazmine Davis was part of the preseason players named but didn’t advance when the list was whittled down by voters. The Seattle Times does have a vote and yes, I voted for Davis. Players not chosen to the midseason team…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 1
1. Gonzaga (12-3, 2-1 WCC): The WCC has worked hard to build parity within its conference and whether this is the season for it to blossom could be determined this week. The Zags face a competitive lineup in hosting BYU on Thursday and undefeated San Diego on Saturday. The Toreros (15-0, 4-0) defeated now-No. 24 Arizona State to open the season and Saint Mary’s, 80-70, last week. It jumped into the AP poll at N0. 24 on Monday, the program’s first-ever ranking. GU’s sole conference loss was 79-78 in overtime to SMC. So, somebody is good in this conference, maybe two teams are among the nation’s best. But who is it really?
2. Washington State (8-6, 2-0 Pac-12): The Cougs collected its second win against a nationally ranked team, beating No. 24 Arizona State 85-78 in a sweep of the desert schools last weekend. Will that matter in basketball’s Apple Cup this week? WSU has a 36-game losing streak against UW.More
Washington has begun its search to replace women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff. And already I’ve heard rumors that because Tia Jackson failed as a coach, the Huskies wouldn’t hire another black woman assistant for her first head-coaching job.
This isn’t fair to coaches like Charmin Smith, the longtime assistant at California, and others who should receive consideration for the job. Or to UW, which, I assume, will hire the coach it thinks is best for the position.
True, UW’s hire of Jackson didn’t work out. She is a talented recruiter, earning praise for the skill at Duke and now as an assistant at Rutgers. Jackson recruited good players to Washington, too, including PG Jazmine Davis, the Huskies’ leading scorer last season and the Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2012.
But the example of Jackson’s unsuccessful run as a first-time head coach should not be a sweeping assessment of black women first-time head coaches. Nearly all current black women head coaches were assistants first. C. Vivian Stringer, Dawn Staley and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke are the only exceptions I can immediately remember.
Staley and Cooper-Dyke entered the field with instant credibility because of their success as Olympians, WNBA and college players. Staley, now at South Carolina, started her career at hometown Temple. Cooper-Dyke, after coaching the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, coached in college at Prairie View A&M, UNC Wilmington, then Texas Southern, before being hired at USC last month. Stringer was the trailblazer. She coached and taught at Cheyney State College (now Cheyney University), a historically black school.More
The NCAA women and men’s tournament brackets are out. The Pac-12 advanced four teams to the NCAA women’s tourney, its most since sending four in 2009. While you’re filling the brackets out, here’s a poll for you to ponder.More
UPDATE: The Zags cliched a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. Read all about the win here.
Top seeded Gonzaga (26-5) faces No. 2 seed San Diego (21-8) in the West Coast Conference tournament championship game in Las Vegas on Monday. The game will air at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Zags are vying for a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament berth. The team was awarded an at-large bid last year, losing the WCC tourney title to BYU.
Gonzaga could play USD without PG Taelor Karr, the WCC Player of the Year. She fell hard on her back during Saturday’s tournament semifinal win over BYU. She took it easy at practice Sunday and is “really questionable” for the game, according to GU coach Kelly Graves.
“She’s a tough kid,” Graves told reporters of Karr. She hasn’t missed a start this season and is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.7 points on 43.2 percent shooting.
“I know she’ll do the best she can to try to play,” Graves continued. “But the reality is she’s not in good shape right now.”
FINAL PAC-12 ATTENDANCE NUMBERS
The four-day total attendance for the inaugural Pac-12 conference tournament at KeyArena was announced at 26,465 spectators. There were 3,927 for the championship game alone on Sunday. The figure averages to 2,405 for the 11 games, which is still better than numbers reported in Los Angeles in 2012.
Seattle’s total is the event’s second-highest mark since the conference tournament’s debut in 2002 when it totaled 27,415 at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore.More
No hard feelings. It’s hard to boast about something most can’t see. So, the West Coast’s finest women’s hoops tourney, to steal a phrase from Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer, is making a reintroduction. All of its games will be aired nationally, unless you have DirecTV, via its new Pac-12 Networks channel and…More
UPDATE: The Pac-12 released the conference’s media awards. I’m in total disagreement with my peers. No surprise there. Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb was voted Coach of the Year while Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike was the media’s pick for Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Oregon F Jillian Alleyne was named Freshman of the Year. Washington’s Kristi Kingma and Jazmine Davis were part of the All-Pac-12 team and F Talia Walton is an All-Freshman Team member.
No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Connecticut are deciding the Big East Conference regular-season championship on ESPN2′s Big Monday lineup at 4pm (PT). But the Pac-12 is chilling. With its dual champions in No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 California already crowned, focus has turned to the inaugural Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena from Thursday to Sunday.
Fifth-seeded Washington (19-10, 11-7 Pac-12) hosts last-placed Oregon at 8:30pm on Thursday. Cross-state rival Washington State (10-19, 6-12) is seeded eighth and plays Arizona State at 6pm. Day 1 action begins with No. 7 seed USC (7-11, 10-19) against No. 10 Oregon State (4-14, 10-20) at noon.
Postseason awards should be announced this week. My ballot is below. If I could give an award for sportsmanship or most heart, UW G Kristi Kingma would be my first pick. But other more talented players made the list of top-15 ahead of her. Kingma, a redshirt senior, was voted All-Pac-12 as a junior.
I debated Huskies coach Kevin McGuff for Pac-12 Coach of the Year. But, until someone handily beats the Cardinal, it always feels like punishing coach Tara VanDerveer for being a good leader, recruiter and constantly winning if I don’t vote her as conference COY.More
HUSKIES LOSE: UW finished its season on a four-game losing streak after a 78-50 defeat to Cal. Caldwell took over from the beginning and didn’t stop regardless of the score. She finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. The Bears outrebounded the Huskies 56-22 overall. Washington was slightly out of character but it offensive problems have tailed the team in nearly every game since the second half of Pac-12 play. It was easier to simply focus on the seniors. “It’s the best five years of my life,” Kingma said of playing her final game at Hec Ed. She plans to remain around the program and her sister Kelli Kingma committed to the UW and will be part of the 2014-15 class. “They can use that as motivation,” Kingma said of Cal celebrating its title on the Washington court. The Bears (27-2, 17-1 Pac-12) were given gray T-shirts emblazoned with “Pac-12 Champions” on the front. “You never want a team to celebrate on your own court,” Kingma said. “Especially Jaz being from that area and how competitive she is, she’ll take that to heart.” Davis agreed. She finished with a team-high 19 points. “I really wanted to get that win just being from that area,” said Davis, a native of San Jose, Calif. McGuff plans to give the team a two-day break before prepping for the inaugural Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena. UW (19-10, 11-7) will play Oregon on Thursday in the opening round and possibly rematch against No. 20 Colorado. The Huskies swept the Ducks during the regular season.
BREAK: I’m out to write the newspaper version. Walton is 1 of 12 from the field and Davis is 5 of 15, those are two of your top three scorers. UW is down 57-36 with 8:43 remaining. Cal will win its first Pac-12 championship in program history. Gottlieb is the fifth conference coach to win one within their first two seasons. Stanford coach Tara VanDeerver (1988-89), Washington’s Chris Gobrecht (1987-88), and USC’s Cheryl Miller (1993-94) are the others. Because VanDerveer was on tour to prep the 1996 Olympic team, assistants Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley shared the 1995-96 regular-season conference championship.
TECH: OK, so smiles don’t work. Caldwell worked hard for a putback, teammates celebrating on the sideline when the ball finally dropped through the hoop. Stevens wanted none of whatever junior reserve Mikayla Lyles was saying, immediately calling a technical foul that silenced the Cal bench. Gottlieb tried to argue, but… It’s 51-36 Bears.
CLOSE: UW closed within seven points (41-34) with some solid ball movement to get Kingma good looks. Cal responded with Caldwell drawing fouls and making tough shots. A made FT by Brandon out of a timeout makes the score 45-34 with 15:36 left in the game.More
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.More