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Topic: Kevin McGuff

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May 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Catching up with former Washington coach Kevin McGuff

McGuffOSU2

OSU coach Kevin McGuff
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Washington coach Kevin McGuff is still in Seattle, technically. He may have accepted a similar position at Ohio State in April, jetting to the school and quickly donning a Buckeyes tie for a press conference about the hiring, but trucking his family of six kids isn’t that simple. McGuff returns to his Bellevue home for family-time while he works out moving logistics with his wife, Letitia. McGuff even made time to take his oldest daughters to a Storm exhibition game to watch Tulsa rookie Skylar Diggins, a grad at Notre Dame where McGuff and his wife once coached.

In a recent conversation, however, McGuff said he’s is steering clear of his former Montlake territory. If it weren’t for UW athletic director Scott Woodward and senior associate AD Shondell Reed’s successful stopgap hiring of former assistant Mike Neighbors three-days after McGuff’s departure, the former coach could be persona non grata around UW. Neighbors, 44, signed a five-year, $1.9 million contract.

McGuff was hired in April 2011 to replace Tia Jackson. The latter compiled a Washington-low in four consecutive losing seasons (45-75) and couldn’t land talented in-state athletes. McGuff overhauled the program in two years with back-to-back 20-win seasons, two berths to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and signing All-American Katie Collier (Seattle Christian HS) while helping PG Jazmine Davis become the Pac-12’s freshman of the year in 2012.

In March, Woodward singed McGuff to a contract extension through 2020 after the success. Twenty-two days later, McGuff left for OSU.

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Comments | More in Washington | Topics: Kevin McGuff, Mike Neighbors

April 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Mailbag: No disrespect, but another assistant who’s a black woman could coach at Washington

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.

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Comments | More in Mailbag, Pac-12, Washington | Topics: Cal, Jazmine Davis, Kevin McGuff

March 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Washington coach Kevin McGuff agrees to a contract extension

HuskiesLogoIn two years, Washington coach Kevin McGuff has experienced success that the program hasn’t seen in decades. No wonder his contract was extended through 2020. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.

McGuff, whose team’s season ended Sunday with a second round loss in the WNIT, had back-to-back 20-wins seasons — a first for Washington since the 1990s. He also recruited the program’s first McDonald’s All-Americans in F Katie Collier and PG Kelsey Plum. Collier didn’t play this season, however, due to a knee injury while Plum was also selected as a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American.

McGuff replaced Tia Jackson in April 2011, after the latter dragged the school through four consecutive losing seasons — a first for UW. He originally signed a five-year contract worth $475,000 annually plus incentives. It makes McGuff the highest-paid coach in UW women’s basketball history. He’s also the program’s first male coach.

Jackson did recruit some eventual star players in PG Jazmine Davis, the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year in 2012. She’s just the second in UW program history to receive the honor. Jackson also recruited underclassmen forwards Talia Walton and Aminah Williams and senior Jeneva Anderson.

But the culture this season was vastly different than under Jackson. The current players that remained through the change from June Daugherty to Jackson in 2007 didn’t have any ill-will, but often admitted McGuff was more casual than Jackson. Senior G Kristi Kingma said the 2012-13 season was her favorite of the five years she spent in the program.

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Comments | More in Pac-12, Recruiting, Washington | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kevin McGuff, Kristi Kingma

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.

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Comments | More in Gonzaga, Mailbag, Northwest Ballers, Video, Washington | Topics: Chantel Osahor, Kelly Graves, Kevin McGuff

February 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Washington recruits make news and Huskies get NCAA tournament breakdown

Calling Washington signee Kelsey Plum about an honor is kind of boring. All she wants to hear about from the UW coaching staff is what she should be doing in order to be ready for her freshman season in 2013-14.

“I like a player like that,” UW coach Kevin McGuff said.

Whether Plum, a PG from California, wants to talk about it or not, she was named to her second All-American team on Thursday. She’ll represent the West in McDonald’s marquee game April 3 in Chicago. Plum is the second UW recruit to be named a McDonald’s All-American, post Katie Collier being the program’s first last year. Collier is out due to a season-ending knee injury, which could mean the pair play together for four years in Huskies purple.

Plum is one of three Pac-12 players named to the team of 24. Stanford signees Erica McCall and Kailee Johnson, both forwards, will also play for the West.

Plum was named a WBCA All-American earlier this month. She’s expected to play in the high school game at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans on April 6.

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Comments | More in Pac-12, Recruiting, Washington | Topics: Katie Collier, Kelsey Plum, Kevin McGuff

February 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Live game thread: USC at Washington

HUSKIES WIN: Davis knew she missed her defensive assignment late with UW up three points. “Just a little bit,” she said of how much closer she’d like to have been for Crook’s final three-point attempt. McGuff wanted a foul. Neither was disappointed with the final result, baring smiles as UW sealed a 61-58 win Sunday. Crook’s attempt with four seconds left clanked off the rim despite her having a clear look. She wanted another try, stealing the ball from Walton with two seconds left, time expiring instead. “In the first game she had six on us, so the coaches told us we had to be out there,” said Williams of Crook finishing 6-of-10 from three-point range in the win in LA. “Her or Bradley were going to be taking the last shot because they’re both really good three-point shooters.” Call it youth for the team forgetting. Davis, a sophomore PG, finished with 24 points and Walton added 13. Harberts had 16 points to lead USC. Washington, again, experienced offensive struggles. Stellar three-point shooters Walton and Kingma were a combined 2-of-15 from the spot on Sunday. The team was 4-of-25 overall.  But the defense was there. “Our defensive pressure made them take uneasy baskets or forced shots that maybe they aren’t used to taking,” Williams said. The Trojans shot 39 percent in the game and its biggest lead was three. The Huskies (17-6, 9-3) are fourth in Pac-12 standings after a solid weekend against the LA schools. UW heads on the road for its next four games, playing at Oregon (3-21, 1-11) on Friday. USC (8-15, 5-7) hosts No. 4 Stanford (22-2, 11-1) on Friday.

BREAK: There’s timeout on the floor and UW is slipping into an offensive funk. The shots are a little short as if the team is tired. USC is on a sputtering 16-11 run to opening the half and whittled the lead to 49-44 with 11:48 remaining in the half. Davis leads with 16 points and Walton had 13. I’m out to write the newspaper version.

SERIOUSLY?: Harberts raced to Desiree Bradley for a chest bump after a three-point play. The bench roared, too. Cooper must have brought his LA Sparks-type celebration tactics to college hoops. What are the Trojans’ celebrating so hard? They’re still down 45-40 and aren’t on some kind of roll. Back in the day, Coopers’ Sparks would pop confetti from the rafters after wins — mid-summer, regular-season wins.

SCOREBOARD: Arizona is giving No. 6 Cal a run for it, but is down 89-81 in the final seconds. No. 21 Colorado is up on Oregon 73-51 with five minutes left in the second half. No. 17 UCLA beat WSU 80-65, ending the Cougs’ four-game win streak. Utah started its game against Oregon State up 12-0 and won 66-40.

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Comments | More in Game Thread, Pac-12, Storm, Washington | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kevin McGuff, Lauren Jackson

February 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Live game thread: No. 17 UCLA at Washington

HUSKIES LOSE: A shot here or there and Montlake would be celebrating an upset Friday night. Instead, Washington shot 27.8 percent from the field in the second half of an eventual 65-61 loss to No. 17 UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies missed 10 consecutive FGs as the Bruins (18-4, 9-2 Pac-12) methodically stitched together an 11-0 run to take control of the game. It didn’t matter that it couldn’t hit a FG in the final four minutes of the game, Lemberger and Nyingifa combined for eight FTs — six in the final 33 seconds — to seal the win. Brewer led the Bruins with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Nyingifa added 15 points and 12 boards. UW’s Walton scored 14 of her final 18 points in the second half and Davis had 17 points. Washington (16-6, 8-6 Pac-12) hosts Southern California (8-14, 5-6) on Sunday. The Trojans lost to Washington State 57-54 on Friday, 57-54. As a side note, the Cougs (9-13, 5-6) are on a four-game win streak. UW’s six-game win streak was snapped and it suffered its second loss at home. But in terms of NCAA tournament outlook, the Huskies showed they can play but could still use a win against one of these quality teams to solidify the pitch. Its offense stunk, but UW did force 20 turnovers in the game and shot more than 50 points against a team that didn’t allow its past three opponents that luxury. “That was like a tournament-level game tonight,” McGuff said. “UCLA has a chance to make a really great run in March and could play on that second weekend. They have the size, athleticism and depth to be a tough out in the NCAA tournament…You can’t put everything into one game for us.”

O-FER: Williams was wide open under the hoop, but Davis didn’t spot her and until the UCLA defense also recovered on the botched assignment. Well covered, Williams missed two attempts under the hoop and UW is 0-for-7 from the field. Brewer is getting easy looks in the paint on the other end, scoring the past six points to help build a 48-47 Bruins lead. There’s 10:58 remaining in the game. I’m out to write the newspaper version of the the story.

FOUL TROUBLE: G Mariah Williams is one of my favorite players to watch in the Pac-12 and I’m not seeing much of her tonight due to foul trouble. She’s back on the bench with four. two consecutive buckets by teammate Brewer have closed the gap to 47-46 UW. There’s 13:25 on the clock.

DAWG PACK: Fans are living and dying with every play, signifying the importance of the game. Right now they’re booing at the officials for an obvious tipped ball out of bounds by UCLA that was instead called the visitor’s way. There’s a season-high 3,204 fans in attendance. A Walton three-pointer brought them to their feet. It’s47-42 UW with 14:17 on the clock.

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Comments | More in Game Thread, Pac-12, Washington | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kevin McGuff, Kristi Kingma

February 5, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Poll: Which team has a better chance of making it to the NCAA tournament

Here’s a fun one. I believe it’s the only time a woman’s sport in Seattle is the overwhelming favorite in our unscientific polls. Vote below. Be sure to also read our latest journal entry on Washington post Katie Collier, who’s working her way back from a season-ending knee injury. In other news, UW…

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Comments | More in Final Four, Pac-12, Polls, Recruiting, Washington | Topics: Chantel Osahor, Katie Collier, Kelsey Plum

February 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Around the Pac-12: Washington’s run helping conference grab more respect

Washington forward Talia Walton shoots a jumper
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington was already elated after a needed sweep of the desert schools to remain tied with No. 17 UCLA for third in Pac-12 standings. Now the Huskies are getting national looks by Associated Press reporters.

A panel of 40 vote weekly to determine the top-25 teams in women’s basketball. UW (16-5, 8-2 Pac-12) received four votes. I didn’t make it five because I’m waiting for Friday’s matchup against the Bruins (17-4, 8-2) at Alaska Airlines Arena. UCLA defeated Washington 85-68 at Pauley Pavilion in January.

Washington led at halftime and used a 17-7 run to take a 59-58 lead with 9:30 remaining in the game. UCLA responded with its own 11-2 spurt to prevent UW from getting any closer than five points the remainder of the game. The loss was part of a disappointing road trip, Washington also losing 81-72 at USC (8-13, 5-5).

The Huskies defeated the Bruins 67-59 last season at Hec Ed behind C Regina Rogers’ 22 points and 11 rebounds. PG Jazmine Davis added 18 points.

If UW were to defeat UCLA there’s no question I’d vote for them. I consider my last five spots in the poll “guest appearances” for teams I’m eying to possibly move up. It’s difficult to really see all of the women’s basketball teams due to lack of television coverage compared to the men. The team’s I have in those slots this week all have RPI’s higher than Washington in Wisconsin-Green Bay (19), Villanova (14), Pacific (28) and Michigan (39) — although I have seen those teams play.

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Comments | More in Pac-12, Washington, Washington State | Topics: Cal, Kevin McGuff, Stanford

February 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Washington beat Arizona State for sixth consecutive win, hosts No. 18 UCLA next

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…

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Comments | More in Pac-12, Twitter, Washington | Topics: Jazmine Davis, Kevin McGuff, Russell Wilson

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