A quick roundup of 10 links from the weekend to get you caught up on what’s going on all around the women’s basketball, from the pros to prospective collegians.
The question that pretty much everyone is asking after the Phoenix Mercury pummeled the Chicago Sky in Game 1 of the 2014 WNBA Finals: does this series have any chance of being competitive?
But the more immediate question right now might be whether we’ll miss out on seeing one of the “3 to see” in Game 2, which not only takes away one of the chief marketing pillars from this series but also makes it hard to imagine the Sky winning a game in the best-of-five affair. And there’s really not much point in doing much analysis beyond that as long as the back is an issue.
- Brian Sandlow writing for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that, “Everything that could go wrong for the Sky in their WNBA Finals debut did.” Among the things that went wrong was Elena Delle Donne’s back problems limiting her to just 10 minutes. “Still in pain; I told Coach to pull me,” Delle Donne said. “I’m not able to move, not able to do anything to help the team. If I want to play the rest of this series, maybe resting today would help for the next game.” Read more >>>
- Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune reports that Delle Donne is uncertain about whether she’ll be able to play in Game 2 after playing just 10 minutes in Game 1. As he wrote, the one big takeaway from the game was that, “The Sky have no chance against the Mercury if Elena Delle Donne’s lower back problem keeps her from contributing…” Read more >>>
- Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times caught up with Courtney Vandersloot to preview the Finals, but also included Pokey Chatman’s thoughts on playing Game 3 at UIC Pavilion instead of Allstate Arena: “I remember when we played in Atlanta during the regular-season and they played a few of their games at Georgia Tech. I can remember it felt like the crowd was on top of you and I enjoyed that. And the players commented about it. There will be some advantages to the move.” Read more >>>
- AZCentral had a photo gallery and two videos in recap for the game, including an exclusive post-game video interview with Candice Dupree to discuss her first trip the WNBA Finals, their defense, and how she would play against teammate Brittney Griner. Read more >>>
- Danny Ecker of the Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel wagered “a helping of Al’s Italian Beef, Vosges’ Haut-Chocolat bacon and chocolate bars and a six-pack of Lagunitas IPA beer (after the California-based brewer opened a 300,000-square-foot brewery here this year)” on the Finals with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. I’m guessing Stanton will be receiving that bounty unless the Sky can pull out a miracle. Read more >>>
- Tim Leighton of the Pioneer Press summed up where the Minnesota Lynx stand after losing to the Mercury in the Western Conference Finals and zeroed in on one need that became obvious: “One offseason need the Lynx could address: getting bigger in the low post, especially with someone who can tangle with 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner of Phoenix. Griner averaged 19.7 points and blocked seven shots in three playoff games.” Read more >>>
- Daniel Malone of MassLive reported that Yolanda Griffith was added to the UMass staff. UMass head coach Sharon Dawley summed up the hire simply: “Simply put, she can play, but more importantly, she knows how to coach. She understands the game of basketball and how to teach it. She has that innate ability to connect with players and we love the positive energy she brings to the court each day.” Read more >>>
- Keith Jarrett of the Citizen-Times reports that Appalachian State’s entire women’s basketball coaching staff is no longer with the team despite head coach Darcie Vincent leading the team to four straight 20-win seasons. Odd timing for that and seemingly a lot more to that story. Read more >>>
- As M Robinson has already detailed this morning, top 2015 recruit Asia Durr will announce her choice of college tomorrow. Her quote about the situation, as reported by espnW: “It’s pretty stressful, but I’m praying over it,” Durr said at the time. “I think I have gotten enough help from my parents and my coaches and trainers to guide me in the right direction.” Read more >>>
- Richard Crepeau of Huffington Post wrote a crushing commentary on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s “ludicrous” handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence fiasco, including this line that is relevant here more generally: “All of which shows that in the world of sport the place and role of women is seen by some of the most influential leaders in sport as something other than equal.” Read more >>>
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