"A lot of teams expressed interest in my services this year, which was a little bit different from last year for me. I just had to figure it out, based on what’s best for me, where I wanted to go as far as the situation, somewhere my family would be happy to go to and hang out in. Knowing the history of Coach Reeve and myself, I looked at Minnesota more in depth than other places because I knew the style she play and I know her personally. I know a lot of the players and I remember talking with Coach Reeve about last year and their goals of taking another step forward this year. I thought it was a good place for me to be and help our team take the next step forward towards being in the position to make a run for the playoffs."Taj McWilliams-Franklin on her decision to sign with the Minnesota Lynx
Q: It sounds like quite an experience.... A: In Russia, it is just another world. The clubs are so rich that we had our own plane, so we chartered everywhere. Every player had their own individual translator and we each had our own driver. As a player, you do nothing over there. Your translator does it all for you. If I want my phone charged, she’d go charge it and I give her the money and she does it for me. They cook you lunch every day … it was just amazing.
For Cal to pull the upset they'll likely have to defend USC better than they did earlier in the year. Cal won in Berkeley in part because they went 9-18 from three point range, and I think anybody who has followed this team for the last two years knows that they will be hard pressed to repeat that performance. So if Cal isn't as red-hot from the field this time around they'll have to get more stops on defense. It was Cassie Harberts who surprisingly led USC's offensive charge with a 7-10 shooting performance, though Brianna Gilbreath led the Trojans in scoring. The pressure will be on DeNesha Stallworth and Talia Caldwell to do a better job on Harberts and Kari LaPlante, who combined to go 11-15 from the field.From Cal Women's Basketball @ USC Gamethread - California Golden Blogs.
Neither #17 Maryland nor #12 Florida State might be considered a national title contender, but both are currently ranked in the top ten in the Capital One Cup standings and can improve their standing by finishing with a top ten rank in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Alex the WNBA Guy (link above) had a nice roundup of Taurasi's words about her Turkish lab controversy, including our own BuiltByDays and Seth Pollack. As a side note, one of the things I appreciate most about working with the Swish Appeal team is the opportunity to not only email about different perspectives (particularly about Babi Mac), but also to feature multiple perspectives on a major mainstream news item like Taurasi's vindication. BuiltByDays' "More Than Words: Diana Taurasi Had Friends & Facts on Her Side", DishNSwish's "Why Diana Taurasi's Clearance Was So Important to Connecticut", and my "Appreciating Diana Taurasi After Being Cleared By The Turkish Basketball Federation" all presented similar yet very different perspectives on the matter thus resonating with people very differently and I think collectively summarize people's responses to the whole incident well. Bottom line: We all wish Taurasi luck..and as BuiltByDays said, feel sorry for this summer's competition.
Texas Tech uses a disciplined zone and an aggressive offensive attack to upset #1 Baylor. While the folks at SBN's Texas Tech site Double T Nation rejoice (please see link above), the rest of us can argue: who's number one? And should we entertain contenders outside of UConn or Stanford? And if TTU should be ranked - after knocking off Baylor and Iowa State - where?
These 11 finalists might be the expected choices by reputation, but there might also be a number of other point guards around the country who deserve the recognition. Any thoughts on these 11?
The good news is that UCLA isn’t generally the type of team to win in a blow out. Their slow down style generally keeps games low-scoring, so if they’re not hitting a ton of shots they won’t run away with things. The bad news is that UCLA’s defense makes it extremely difficult to score enough to win. Cal has certainly seen that in their last three games against Nikki Caldwell’s charges.From Cal Women's Basketball @ UCLA Gamethread - California Golden Blogs.
If you grew up in El Paso, Texas, you have to read this book. Bradburd does more than tell the story of Richardson, he also details segregation in El Paso. Whose life would better tell the story than the first African American student ever to attend Bowie High School? From a historical perspective, its essential reading for today's students who may know more or less about segregation in public places, but who may have trouble identifying with how it actually worked in El Paso. And, how it came about to change.From Rollin' With Nolan: Rus Bradburd's 40 Minutes of Hell is a Must Read - Miner Rush