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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 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Series Note: The Storm was swept in the opening-round of the WNBA playoffs by Minnesota on Sept. 22. Game 2 was played at the Tacoma Dome due to a scheduling conflict at the team’s KeyArena court by one of its sponsors, Microsoft. Minnesota went on to win the WNBA championship as Seattle players dispersed to offseason destinations the following days after holding exit interviews with coaches and the media. This series will feature conversations from the 11-player roster.
The WNBA offseason won’t feel as long given news the league should generate on the business side. The league’s collective-bargaining agreement expired Sept. 30 and a new agreement will need to be in place before free-agency can open as tentatively slated in February. The 2014 WNBA schedule likely will be moved up to accommodate for the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Turkey from Sept. 27-Oct. 5.
Storm-wise, the team could remain the same in 2014. Here’s a conversation with rookies Tianna Hawkins and Joslyn Tinkle. Hawkins, 22, had a typical rookie season. The No. 6 overall draft pick, she was challenged by coach Brian Agler to earn her minutes in practice and had a few standout games for the Storm. She scored a career-high 17 points with four rebounds in a loss to Tulsa in June and contributed 13 points with six rebounds in a win against Phoenix in August. Hawkins was inconsistent in learning Agler’s system and didn’t play in Game 2 of the playoff loss. Tinkle, 22, a was a late add due to foot surgery after a standout career at Stanford. A 6-foot-3 post, she earned a spot on the playoff roster but only appeared in six regular-season games and two minutes in Game 1 of the postseason.
Seattle Times: What did you think of your rookie season?
Hawkins: It was a great season, just being part of a special team. Going into the season people had shaky predictions of how well we were going to do in the season. Just to make it to the playoffs and also be part of a special team has been great.
March 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM
As we saw on Thursday, President Obama has Pac-12 co-champion California, a No. 2 seed, upsetting top-seeded Stanford to advance to the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. On the eve of the most exciting tournament in women’s college hoops, I thought I’d share a few more picks since seemingly everyone has weighed in on their lucky final four and overall champion. Here are a few I’ve gathered starting with mine. As you know, nothing is scientific. My granddaughter (via marriage) pointed at No. 7 seed Texas Tech to win it all.
Jayda Evans, women’s basketball reporter
Final Four: Baylor, Stanford, Kentucky, Notre Dame.
Ashley Corral, Washington Mystics guard and former Prairie HS star
Final Four: Stanford, Kentucky, Baylor, Notre Dame.
Lindsay Schnell, sports reporter at The Oregonian
Final Four: Stanford, Notre Dame, UConn, Baylor.
Winner: UConn (I believe Griner is beatable).
June Daugherty, Washington State head women’s basketball coach
Winner: Notre Dame.
Mel Greenberg, former Philadelphia Inquirer women’s basketball reporter
Final Four: UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, Stanford.
Winner: Notre Dame.
March 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM
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.
March 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Mailbag: Gonzaga goes for five; Pac-12 final KeyArena attendance numbers; and Seattle University rakes in WAC awards
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.
March 7, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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 ESPN2′s coverage of its championship game on Sunday at KeyArena. The site of the Seattle Storm, KeyArena will host its first Pac-12 women’s basketball tourney after the event suffered for four years at Staples Center in the shadow of everything else Los Angeles.
To get you going, check out Brewer’s look at Seattle becoming a big-events city, again. I wrote about possible future WNBA players and fifth-seeded Washington’s outlook in the tournament. Seattle-based Associated Press reporter Tim Booth has the nitty-gritty about the conference and its determination to grab national attention, featuring four teams ranked in top-25 polls in No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 California, No. 14 UCLA and No. 18 Colorado. I also have some fun tourney tidbits to give you a little insight to the event then and now.
Here’s a link to the Pac-12′s official tournament site. Below is your TV lineup. I’m out to focus on daily stories. There won’t be any blog updates this week because this time, you can see for yourself and read about it in The Seattle Times. Enjoy.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT TV GUIDE
Thursday, March 7
Gm. 1: #7 USC vs. #10 Oregon State…..P12N…..12 p.m. PT
Gm. 2: #6 Utah vs. #11 Arizona…..P12N…..2:30 p.m. PT
Gm. 3: #8 Washington State vs. #9 Arizona State…..P12N…..6 p.m. PT
Gm. 4: #5 Washington vs. #12 Oregon…..P12N…..8:30 p.m. PT
Friday, March 8
Gm. 5: #2 California vs. Winner 7/10…..P12N…..12 p.m. PT
Gm. 6: #3 UCLA vs. Winner 6/11…..P12N…..2:30 p.m. PT
Gm. 7: #1 Stanford vs. Winner 8/9 …..P12N…..6 p.m. PT
Gm. 8: #4 Colorado vs. Winner 5/12…..P12N …..8:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 9
Gm. 9: Gm. 5 Winner vs. Gm. 6 Winner…..P12N…..6 p.m. PT
Gm. 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Gm. 8 Winner…..P12N…..8:30 p.m. PT
Sunday, March 10
Gm. 11: Championship Game…..ESPN2…..5 p.m. PT
(P12N = Pac-12 Networks, check your local listings for channel location)
March 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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.
February 28, 2013 at 7:10 PM
HUSKIES LOSE: UW lost its 14th consecutive game against Stanford, 71-36 before 1,911 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Card used an early 23-2 run to decide the outcome before halftime. Williams was impressive inside, finishing with team highs in points (10) and rebounds (13). It made you wonder what would have happened if the Huskies had Walton to help in the paint. But, there’s next season when even more enforcements in the post arrive. Or Walton could get her chance in the Pac-12 tournament. McGuff tried crowding Ogwumike defensively, admitting his team isn’t quick enough to guard against the All-American and stop Stanford’s three-point outburst. But Ogwumike has seen it all and remained impressive. She totaled her 23rd double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds. VanDerveer was upset at the suspensions and her team not getting much production out of anyone outside of Orrange and Ogwumike. Samuelson helped put the game away early with her four three-pointers then was 1 of 11 from the range to end the game. Kingma described Stanford’s defense as deceptively physical and she was knocked around a bit. She was 1 of 15 from the field. Wetmore also didn’t shoot well (1-for-11) but her and the team have been off offensively lately. The three players who don’t normally see minutes collectively didn’t contribute much. Gilling had the best game to show her steady progress this season. She finished with six points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes. Davis, Walton and Meeks will be back in the lineup and in their usual places for Saturday’s season finale against No. 6 Cal. I’m not ashamed to share my love of the Golden Bears, but they’re looking a little cuddly. Oregon State lost by a bucket to Cal last week and Washington State managed a respectable 13-point defeat against California at home on Thursday. With the suspended players getting a sneaky rest, who knows? UW (19-9, 11-6 Pac-12) drops to fifth in conference standings. Stanford (27-2, 16-1) remains tied with Cal for the regular-season conference title and travels to play at WSU on Saturday. Seeding for the Pac-12 tournament will be announced Sunday. For the first time it’ll be held in Seattle at KeyArena from March 7-10.
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 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM
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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