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Links: Preseason AP poll, NCAA injury updates, Skylar Diggins vs. Kevin Durant in H-O-R-S-E

With the 2013-14 NCAA women's basketball AP preseason poll being released today, we take stock of some women's basketball links from around the web, which include Skylar Diggins challenging the NBA's Kevin Durant to a game of H-O-R-S-E.

Odyssey Sims' Baylor Lady Bears are ranked 10th in the recently-released AP preseason poll.
Odyssey Sims' Baylor Lady Bears are ranked 10th in the recently-released AP preseason poll.

The time to be doing links posts more often is nearing and with the AP's preseason poll being released today it was time for a second this week.

And in addition to the AP poll, there are a few others links of interest from the last couple of days.

  • Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register reports that UConn junior Brianna Banks will make her return to the basketball court after a long journey to recovery. "All I could do was smile, and the doctor said it was the first time I have seen you smile," Banks said. "I said, ‘You told me something I wanted to hear.’" Read more >>>
  • Jason Orts of the Waco Tribune reports that Odyssey Sims "...filled the stat sheet with 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals as the Lady Bears cruised to a 111-52 decision in their exhibition opener against Palm Beach Atlantic..." on Wednesday night. Although the loss of Brittney Griner is something still looming over the team, what's immediately obvious is that we'll probably learn a lot more about the extent of Sims' talent this year as the team's senior leader. Read more >>>
  • Max Cohen of the Michigan Daily reported that Michigan Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico is still trying to figure out who will fill all the minutes left behind by their talented senior class that took the team to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, injuries already look to be conspiring against them this year as sophomore Kelsey Mitchell and freshman Danielle Williams will both be missing time early on. Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times continues to do a great job following the Seattle Storm in the offseason and checked in today with exit interviews with rookies Tianna Hawkins and Joslyn Tinkle. Of note, Evans mentions how Tina Thompson was hard on Hawkins in practice this year, which Storm fans have to hope will help her development in the future. Read more >>>
  • Angelo Di Carlo of reported that former Notre Dame Fighting Irish star and Tulsa Shock rookie Skylar Diggins was in attendance for the first women's basketball exhibition at Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday night. Di Carlo reports that, similar to Chicago Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne, "Diggins is continuing to travel, train and do promotional work for the WNBA during the off-season." Read more >>>
  • Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman had one example of Diggins' offseason activities as she conducted an interview with Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, which included some time out for a community event, a game of H-O-R-S-E, and who his toughest matchup was. To further reinforce how humble Durant is, he expressed mild surprise when Diggins told him that Indiana Pacers star Paul George said he's his toughest guard in the NBA (as though he's not generally among the top 5 toughest guards in the league). And Diggins won H-O-R-S-E, which is good news for Shock fans if she can build some momentum to carry into the 2014 WNBA season. Read more & watch the video >>>
  • Bonsu Thompson of VIBE did another example of that "promotional work" with Diggins in a "Food for Thought" clip in which they discuss, "... her love for food, her "tomboy chic" fashion style and how to score some points on a first date." I can't say I knew what "tomboy chic" was prior to that video. I feel enlightened. Read more & watch the video >>>
  • Sean Gregory of TIME Magazine has an article describing the NBA's (public) launch of the Sport VU technology, which totally changes how people are able to think about basketball "analytics". To be clear, this is something that has been available to individual teams for some time: Golden State Warriors assistant general manager described the value of the technology last year in an interview with SB Nation's Golden State of Mind and Mike Prada of SBN's Bullets Forever touched on how the Washington Wizards have been thinking about analytics earlier this year (in other words, both me and Albert should be happy with where our teams stand). There's more data in that thing than any one person can mine, but - getting back to women's basketball - I do wonder how long it will be until WNBA teams begin to take advantage: will those not currently playing in NBA arenas even consider the expense of installing these cameras? Read more >>>

Obviously, there are more links out there than the ones posted above. Feel free to drop your favorite links in the comments or create a fanshot that we can place on the main page of the site. If you have a longer commentary to make, you can write up a fanpost.