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The Daily Swish: Serbia's our Cinderella team in the FIBA World Championships

The Serbian men's basketball team had a magical run to the 2014 FIBA World Cup Championship Game. The Serbian women's basketball team isn't far from doing something similar.

Happy Thursday everyone. The FIBA World Championships' quarterfinals field has been set. Let's start with links there, then head to the WNBA as a whole:

FIBA World Championships: SERBIA!!!!!

The Serbian national women's basketball team has never made an Olympic appearance since the breakup of Yugoslavia. They only made one previous FIBA World Championship appearance in 2002, where they finished in 12th place. But this team has risen within FIBA Europe, where they finished in 4th place in EuroBasket, and ultimately earned a berth in this tournament where they have earned their first-ever FIBA World Championship berth.

Coming into the FIBA World Championships, Serbia wasranked 29th in the FIBA rankings entering this tournament, and is the only team outside the Top 15 to make the final eight. The Serbians are also one of the youngest teams in the field. While that is something most teams avoid, including Team USA, it hasn't stopped Serbia from being the third highest team in scoring average (81.8%), and their defense has committed 12.5 steals per game, more than anyone else. These are just simple stats, and are major drivers for their success so far in the tournament. Sure, this team is not a strong rebounding bunch, at least statistically. But the Serbians help make up their rebounding deficiencies with the steals that they make. And it's working for them.

The Serbians have a trio in Jelena Milovanovic (who is on the Washington Mystics), Milica Dabovic (who is the 32-year old veteran leader), and Ana Dabovic (Milica's 25-year old younger sister). They have played with good chemistry together and are the leading scorers on the team. Ana has been very effective in the pick-and-roll game, and had a field day for a half against Team USA during group play. If she keeps this up, WNBA teams should take a chance on her in free agency, let alone offer her a mere training camp contract.

A video recap embedded above showing Serbia's latest win, this time over Team Cuba in the first elimination round, via FIBA's YouTube channel.

In addition, here's a congratulatory article from Serbian tabloid paper Kurir's sports section - This article's in Serbian, but after using Google Translate, the headline of the title here is "BRAVO GIRLS" and highlighted the Serbian team's Cinderella run to the quarterfinals.


Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson gave her take to on her experience trying out for the national team - Dolson enjoyed having a chance to shadow superstars and that it would help her in the future.

The WNBA has decided to talk about Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins and her offseason workouts - It's basically a copy of our post, minus the John Wall analogy.

College Basketball

Doug Feinberg of the AP writes about the college players who are in the FIBA World championships - UConn junior Breanna Stewart is a reserve on Team USA. She is taking three of her four classes online to manage her time effectively. She said ""Week by week I just have to organize myself and prioritize time management to get the work done. The one class I'm missing I know some people in it, and if there are notes they send them to me."

LSU announced that assistant coach Angel Elderkin was named the head coach at Appalachian State - The Official Website of LSU Athletics. - Elderkin replaces Darcie Vincent who resigned in September.

ESPN2 will have its annual seven-week "Big Monday" series of marquee women's college basketball games - Here is the rest of the schedule which starts on January 19 when Tennessee and Notre Dame play against each other.

Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal highlights Louisville's two games during Big Monday - On February 2, 2015, the Cardinals will play Duke on the road. Then on February 23, they will play Notre Dame.

And there's more

SB Nation's Tom Ziller had a list of 12 people who could be an NBA GM in the near future. - As you might have guessed, women were on the list. However, Ziller is "fully convinced that there will be a woman in a position of power in an NBA front office soon, and a female NBA general manager at some point in the not-distant future. I am, however, unclear as to who that would be because there are currently no women with apparent GM aspirations in NBA front office personnel roles." Which women could you see leading an NBA team's front office sometime in the future?

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