In times like this you wish you could push pause on life. Take a moment to gather yourself and then resume as a sudden lost one would want you to do. Reading stories about Oklahoma State coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna, surely this is how people who really knew them must feel.
ESPN columnist Mechelle Voepel’s article is a must read in describing Budke, 50. Serna, 36, was a dedicated juco player for him who later accepted an assistant coaching position to continue to help Budke build champions. She had an infectious smile, he had a booming personality.
Since the news broke early Friday morning, teams across the country decided to wear orange ribbons in Budke and Serna’s memory. Washington coach Kevin McGuff wants to do the same as UW hosts Cal State Northridge on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Edmundson Pavilion.
McGuff admitted to having trouble concentrating on Friday because of the horrible news. He met Budke in 2009, staying in constant contact. In fact, when the Huskies hired McGuff, Budke was among the first congratulatory calls.
After sharing that story, though, McGuff was off to practice with his team. No time to really pause. Instead, the job, the game, life becomes in memory of those lost ones.
Despite the Huskies (1-1) averaging 46.5 rebounds, McGuff wants to see even better control of the boards. UW also needs to trim the turnovers (16.5) and players like C Regina Rogers have to watch getting tacky fouls.
CSU-N (2-1) lost to Oregon State 83-63 on Thursday. Reserve Camille Mahiknecht led with 14 points. Senior Jasmine Erving is the team’s scoring leader this season, averaging 14 points and 10 boards. Matadors freshman Ashlee Guay has 13 steals on the young season.
McGuff hasn’t officially named his starters, but freshmen PG Jazmine Davis appears to have earned that slot. Sophomore G Mercedes Wetmore has been a nice complement in the backcourt. They already have the Huskies averaging 20 more points than at this point last season (70).
Washington is the only Pac-12 game on Saturday. No. 23 Southern California (1-1) was upset by Nebraska (3-0) 68-50 on Friday. Kentwood High’s Lindsey Moore scored 15 of her 22 points in the second half to ensure the win. Meanwhile Washington State (2-1) began its 10-day road trip with a stop in Wisconsin, defeating the Badgers 69-51.
UW is coached by former Stanford assistant Bobbie Kelsey. It’s a position McGuff interviewed for before accepting the position at Washington.
The Cougs, which play at South Dakota State on Sunday, were led by senior Jazmine Perkins’ 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Senior G April Cook reached the 1,000-point plateau with her 11 points. WSU shot 58 percent overall, compared to Wisconsin’s 33.3 percent.
Locally, Seattle University (1-2) is part of a double-header at KeyArena, hosting San Diego at 12:15 p.m. The Redhawks lost back-to-back games and want to snap out of the lull of what could be a promising season.
On the national level, anticipation is building for the No. 4 Connecticut-No. 5 Stanford showdown at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. on Monday. The game will be aired on ESPNU at 4 p.m. (PST).
Everyone knows the Cardinal (3-0) as the team that ended the Huskies’ (2-0) historic 90-game win streak. But a youth movement has taken over both teams. And this is an early matchup of a favored rivalry.
“It feels a lot different to me,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer told The Hartford Courant. “It’s so early in the season. We’ve played in December (in the past) when we’re at least 10 games into the schedule. This is like the early round of a fight. It does not have the same feel.”
No. 1 Baylor (3-0) hosts No. 2 Notre Dame (3-0) for the WNIT title on Sunday. An obvious prediction for the NCAA title in Denver this spring, the game is set to air on the CBS Sports Network at 11 a.m. (PST).
“Any player loves to play these types of games, knowing that it’s going to be a battle every play,” Baylor C Brittney Griner told reporters. “You have to execute. One play can cost you in a game like this, a 1 vs. 2. We’re just excited to play.”