Perhaps you read our piece on Seattle sub-regional coaches Gary Blair of Texas A&M;and Kelly Graves of Gonzaga in this morning’s newspaper. They are part of the legion of talented leaders North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said is improving the women’s game.
Today the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association honored one of their own, naming Nebraska guru Connie Yori (pictured right) as the overall Division I Coach of the Year. Florida State coach Sue Semrau of Seattle was the Region 2 winner and Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is tops in Region 8.
The top-seeded Cardinal plays No. 8 seed Iowa on Monday at 6:35 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA tournament while No. 3 seed FSU faces a tough task in No. 6 seed St. John’s on at 4 p.m. (PST). The Seminoles needed a rally to get past Louisiana Tech in the opening round. The inexperienced Red Storm seems to be clicking at the right time.
Nebraska became the first Big 12 Conference team to finish a regular season with an unbeaten record (29-0), and just the second Big 12 team to go 16-0 throughout league play. Yori’s record at Nebraska is 151-98 and her overall career mark is 346-238 in 20 seasons. She has led Nebraska to a record seven consecutive postseason appearances (2004-10) and three NCAA Tournament appearances (2007, 2008 and 2010).
A key ingredient this season – in addition to Player of the Year candidate Kelsey Griffin – is freshman PG Lindsey Moore of Kentwood High fame. Yori told ESPN that Moore wasn’t widely recruited, but blended into the Huskers’ system and has been consistent for them this season. Moore will make the start as No. 1 seed Nebraska faces eigth-seeded UCLA on Tuesday in the second round at 6:35 p.m. (PST) on ESPN2.
“Coach kept telling me we were going to be pretty good, we’re going to compete for a Big 12 championship and things like that,” said Moore of being recruited. “But I never knew we were going to undefeated (in conference play) and win the regular-season title. It’s cool to see how people pay attention more now and ask, ‘Are you Lindsey Moore’ or ‘Hey I saw you on TV, keep up the good work.’. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to come and play.”