Women's basketball links: Kentucky beats rival Louisville, Natalie Achonwa's homecoming, Bria Hartley's development

Louisville senior Shoni Schimmel will leave college having had a significant role in the growth of women's basketball in Kentucky and Native American communities. - Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

10 links from the holiday weekend that might be worth a read.

With James back on the GIWIS beat and Queenie covering seemingly every game in New York over the last few days in addition to some help from our friends around SB Nation, there's not much need to catch you up on key scores from the weekend.

Nevertheless, there were a number of additional stories from the holiday weekend that might be worth a read as you try to get back into the swing of things.

  • Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader opined on what it will take for women's basketball to become more of a mainstream sport in Kentucky with so many ingredients in place: great games similar to last year's meeting (which still stands out in my mind even as someone with no stake in the rivalry). Read more >>>
  • Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader reported after Kentucky's win that at least one person believes that yesterday's game fit Story's vision: "It is an electric atmosphere here; it's an electric atmosphere over there," [Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell] said. "It is tremendous for women's college basketball that in the Commonwealth of Kentucky two of the best teams in the country are 60 miles apart. ... It's a good time for women's basketball in the Commonwealth of Kentucky." (Sidebar: Bria Smith can really jump.) Read more >>>
  • Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal wrote a nice feature about Louisville sisters Jude and Shoni Schimmel and their importance to the Native American community as role models. An interesting tidbit from the article, placing the Schimmel sisters in the broader spectrum of Native athletes: "Rickert mentioned St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury as two other famous American Indian athletes, but he believes the Schimmels might be the ones who resonate the most with their people, especially females." Read more >>>
  • Steve Rogers of the AP was recapped Natalie Achonwa's homecoming in Ontario yesterday, where the senior had a double-double in helping Notre Dame beat Duquesne at Ryerson University. Achonwa is hoping that her appearance along with the four Canadians on Duquesne's roster helps to inspire more Canadian girls to play basketball. Read more >>>
  • Duane Watson of TSN interviewed Achonwa for a preview of the big event in Toronto and got some candid words on her thoughts on playing in the WNBA: "There's a great difference between the WNBA and NBA. If you're not a top five pick, you're trying out for a team, you're not on the team. If I make a team, I would love to be in the WNBA, but I would play overseas." Read more >>>
  • Carl Adamec of the Journal Inquirer wrote about UConn senior Bria Hartley's development from an inefficient ball handler to the AAC leader in assist-to-turnover ratio. Adamec reports that coach Geno Auriemma no longer has to complain about her ball handling inefficiency. Read more >>>
  • Jeff Fuller of the New Haven Register looked at the expanded role that sophomore Moriah Jefferson has taken for the UConn Huskies, which is primarily about being more of a scorer. ""I think kids set their own limitations on themselves," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We just had this conversation with the coaches that you can’t be a real high-level guard in college — certainly not one of those ones we had who are up on that (Huskies of Honor) wall — if you can’t score. So I think it is up to Moriah." Read more >>>
  • Makers has a series of videos up about legendary Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, including one tweeted yesterday about the value of women's basketball players being coached by other women and how the evolution of women's basketball has affected who's coaching. Read more >>>
  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Leilani Mitchell - "one of the brightest stars in the WNBL this year" - on Thanksgiving about one reason for her playing in Australia: her mother is from Australia, meaning it's something of a home away from home. She noted that the biggest difference between the WNBA and WNBL is the athleticism and size in the U.S. whereas the players in Australia understand the game better from "top to bottom". Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times polled readers about whether beer and bacon are good for the growth of women's basketball, looking at the recent promotions at Colorado, Kansas State and Louisville. There's a poll there - vote (and give us your thoughts on these promotions she describes in the comments). Read more >>>

Drop your thoughts on any of the themes from these articles in the comments or create a fanshot if you have an additional link to share. If you have a longer commentary to make, write up a fanpost to engage the community in a conversation.

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