Sunday, February 28, 2010
This is a picture from last week's Mersin-Tarsus game. There are new pics up on the Turkish League website, but this is the only one of Ivory Latta.
I don't remember Ivory Latta's hair being that long. It's a nice look. But isn't that Chantelle Anderson's hair?
Fenerbahce is at the top of the Turkish League - they were just eliminated by Spartak Moscow in Euroleague. Following Fenerbahce is Mersin (Ivory Latta's team), and after that comes Galatasaray. Galatasaray is comfortably in third place, and will remain there after an 85-61 home win against Besitkas.
Galatsaray advances to 13-3. Besitkas falls to 7-9. The box score is here.
Galatasaray galloped off to a 10-3 lead and led 25-12 after ten minutes. They'd win the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Leading 51-34 at halftime, Galatasaray faced little trouble. Galatasaray shot 10-for-20 from 3-point range.
Shavonte' Zellous led Besitkas with 18 points and six rebounds, most of her points coming from 10-for-11 shooting from the free throw line. (I still remember that game in Atlanta....) Nykesha Sales and Kelly Santos each scored 15 points for Besitkas.
Tamika Catchings had two 3-pointers on the way to a 14 point, four rebound game for Galatasaray. Yasemin Horasan had 12 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Yelena Leuchanka had 13 points and a good game.
21 minutes of play
Licking their wounds after being swept by Ros Casares in the Euroleague quarterfinals, Perfumerias made themselves feel better by beating Gran Canaria 78-67 in a Liga Femenina game in Salamanca.
Perfumerias advances to 19-2 and remains in second place. Gran Canaria falls to 9-12. The box score is here.
No pictures, and no write ups just yet. It looked like a close game initally, with the first quarter ending 21-20 and the first half ending 35-34 in favor of Perfumerias. It seems like Perfumerias established a good third quarter lead, holding Gran Canaria to just 10 points. The pendulum swung back in favor of Gran Canaria in the fourth quarter, but not by enough.
Rosuara Sanchez Lujan had 15 points and two rebounds for Gran Canaria, which was led by Morgan Warburton with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. Warburton graduated from Utah and was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs but didn't make the team.
Anke de Mondt and Emilija Podrug had 15 points each for Perfumerias. Sancho Lyttle had a good game, but only played 22 minutes:
22 minutes played
After knocking Spanish League rival Perfumerias out of the Euroleague on Friday, Ros Casares returned to Valencia and resumed their march through the Liga Femenina, ovrecoming a temporary third-quarter setback to defeat visiting Olesa 88-73.
WIth five games left in the Liga Femenina season, Ros Casares advances to 20-1 on the year, where Olesa falls to 10-11. The box score is here.
No game writeup as of yet, and no pictures. Ros Casares only put seven players on the floor, while only eight Olesa players saw any minutes. Olesa was held to only ten second quarter points and El Ros led 41-27 at halftime. However, Olesa exploded in the third quarter for 31 poitns and closed the gap to 60-58 at the end of thirty minutes. Ros Casares would prove to be the toughest team, scoring 28 points in the final quarter to seal the victory.
Michelle Maslowski led Olesa with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Maslowski is a graduate of Drexel University. Iva Perovanovic added 14 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.
Belinda Snell had 20 points for Ros Casares, but the player of the game was clearly Erika de Souza. Some writers are saying that Erika de Souza might challenge fellow Atlanta Dream player Sancho Lyttle for the MVP title of the Spanish League.
Erika de Souza's game:
30 minutes played
Good Angels Kosice 92, Ruzomberok 65. How crazy it is to play a possibly meaningless post season "Stage Two" game in Slovakia the day before what could be a decisive Game Two of Euroleague on Friday? However, both Angel McCoughtry and Candice Dupree took part in the Good Angels's ass-whooping of Ruzomberok. McCoughtry had 22 points and eight rebounds; Dupree added 21 points and nine rebounds.
Mersin 79, Botus 71. Mersin remains firmly in second place with a victory on the road against Botas. Ivory Latta lit up shooting with 26 points, hitting 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Erlana Larkins had 25 points and nine rebounds for Mersin. Chasity Melvinled the losers with an 18 point, 12 rebound double-double.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Ekaterinburg 65, Good Angels Kosice 60. Ekaterinburg wins the second game of the best-of-three series, knocking out Angel McCoughtry's Good Angels Kosice team.
According to Angel McCoughtry, ""It was a very good match. It was difficult, but I'm very proud of my teammates. We played well against a very tough opponent." The Good Angels were down by only one point after three quarters (42-41) and led 43-42 after a layup by McCoughtry, but after that the closest the Good Angels could get was two points. McCoughtry scored 16 points and had six rebounds in the loss.
Brno 87, Krakow 72. Brno's 87-72 win over Krakow in the Czech Republic forces a game three of the best-of three seres. Brno won every quarter and led by as many as 24 in the final ten minutes. Iziane Castro Marques led KRakwo with 19 points. Taj McWilliams had 20 points and nine rebounds for Brno.
Ros Casares 63, Perfumerias 57. Ros Casares sweeps the series 2-0, defeating Perfumerias on their home court. Tied at 57-57 with three minutes left, Perfumerias didn't score for the rest of the game.
Erika de Souza led Ros Casares with 21 points and eight rebounds. Her Atlanta Dream teammate, Sancho Lyttle had 17 points and 10 minutes.
So since I couldn't write anything in detail - long days at work Thursday, Friday and today! - here's what happened in Eurocup if you didn't already know.
Orenburg 66, K. V. Imperal 61: Orenburg wins the second game of its best-of-two Eurocup quarterfinals series, and moves on to the Eurocup semifinals. K. V. Imperial - Chamique Holdsclaw's team - is eliminated. K. V. Imperial led 51-40 late in the third quarter, but Monique Currie helped the Russians close the gap and the Russians went up for good with four minutes left.
Holdsclaw had 15 points and 7 rebounds, but the high scorer of the game was Currie who had 30 points for Orenburg.
Dynamo Kursk 76, Targoviste 55. Dynamo Kursk recovers from their loss in Romania to roll over Targoviste in Russia. Even though the series was split 1-1, Dynamo Kursk advances on total points.
All Targoviste had to do was not to lose by more than 18 points, their margin of victory in the first game. However, Dynamo Kursk went on a 14-2 run in the last ten minutes and both sides were looking at the scoreboard carefully - Dynamo Kursk needed an 19 point win. Allready up by 19 points, the last fourteen minutes generated into a foul fest with each team trying to secure the ball - apparently by unarmed combat. Targoviste ran out of fouls first and Sandra Linkeviciene hit a pair of free throws that put Dynamo Kursk up by 21. Monika Boriga of Targoviste tried a 3-pointer with four seconds left, but the ball didn't go in.
Michelle Snow had 18 points and seven rebounds.
Dynamo Kursk advances to the semifinals of Eurocup where they will play Greek powerhouse Athinaikos. Orenburg plays German team Saarlouis.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Chamique Holdsclaw sent a few tweets earlier about K. V. Imperial's (aborted) trip to Russia when two players on the team refused to get on the plane to Russia. Looks like that problem was solved:
@chold1 We bout to start this trip to Russia again. Those two girls that fcuked up our trip on Sunday got kicked off the team. They really did a # on us bc we had great chemistry now we will play w/o our 2 and 3 scorers who were vets.
I wish Chamique Holdsclaw and K. V. Imperial the best of luck.
Welcome to Valencia!
With the two best teams in Spain playing against each other, everyone expected a fantastic game between Ros Casares and Perfumerias. Instead, the crowd of 4,820 spectators in Valencia were treated to a happy anti-climax: Ros Casares led in every quarter and won easily, 74-50.
The game report, box score, play-by-play and a photo gallery for this game are right here.
El Ros pulled out to a quick lead, and only Sancho Lyttle's seven points in the first 10 minutes kept Ros Casares from running away from Perfumerias. Perfumerias got to 23-18 in the second, but Ros Casares was off again, and led 39-29 at halftime.
Perfumerias remained at least 10 points behind throughout the third quarter, and Ros Casares expanded the lead to 20 in the fourth. It really wasn't much of a game.
LeCoe Willingham had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Perfumerias in the defeat. Belinda Snell scored 21 points for Ros Casares with 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, and Delisha Milton-Jones contributed 14 points to the victory.
Erika de Souza got on the boards, but she didn't score a lot for Ros Casares:
33 minutes played
Sancho Lyttle didn't have a standout game, but she had nothing to be ashamed of - she was the second leading scorer on Perfumerias.
30 minutes played
Iziane Castro Marques was definitely needed in the Euroleague quarterfinals series against Brno - everyone was going to be needed, because most Euroleague observers figured this to be a close game. Krakow came back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and an exciting final two minutes ended with Krakow winning 78-74 in Poland in front of 2000 spectators.
The game report, box score, and play-by-play is here. There's no gallery of pics, not yet, anyway, but we do have...some film! (Check out Iziane Castro Marques at about 44 seconds in.)
Brno took the lead early in the first quarter but Krakow came back to tie the score at 19-19. DeWanna Bonner and Hollie Grima provided the offense punch for the Czechs and led 43-34 at halftime. Brno maintained the two-point lthrough most of the third quarter and led 62-56 at the end of thirty minutes.
Krakow came back. They held Brno to just five points in the first five minutes of the final quarter and retook the lead, 70-69. With four minutes left, Eva Viteckova hit a 3-pointer for Brno that tied the game at 72-72.
For the next four minutes, both teams tried to make something happen. Brno could get the rebounds, but couldn't take a shot. Krakow took shot after shot, and missed most of them. However, with Krakow up 76-74, Janell Burse hit a jumper with 16 seconds left that put Krakow up 78-74. With 10 seconds left, DeWanna Bonner tried to hit a 3-pointer for Brno, but Krakow got the rebound and the win.
Brno was led by Eva Viteckova's 22 points. DeWanna Bonner scored 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Taj McWilliams scored eight points and 10 rebounds.
Krakow had three players score 18 points. Janlle Burse shot 8-for-11 with 12 rebounds; Ewelina Kobryn shot 8-for-12 with 11 rebounds.
Iziane Castro Marques had 18 points in 26 minutes:
2-for-7 from 3-point range
Angel McCoughtry tries to stop Deanna Nolan.
Every team knew that Ekaterinburg would be tough, but some team would have to play them: that team was the Good Angels of Kosice. Unfortunately, they experienced exactly how tough Ekaterinburg was, as the Russians won at home 81-56 in front of 5,000 spectators.
The game report, box score, play by play and a small gallery are right here.
For the first three minutes, the Good Angels were in control and they marched to a 6-0 lead on Ekaterinburg's turf. Ekaterinburg caught up but only led by one, 17-16 after one quarter. In the second, Ekaterinburg managed to widen the lead out to ten points with a jump shot from Sandrine Gruda in the last minute: they led 47-39 going into halftime.
But the third quarter was a disaster for the Good Angels - they only scored five points in the quarter, and went 0-for-12 over their final twelve shots of the third. Ekaterinburg led 64-44 at the end of thirty minutes and there was no comeback from the Good Angels.
Candace Parker led all players with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and she hit 9 of 11 free throw shots. Sandrine Gruda scored 13 points for Ekaterinburg.
Candice Dupree led the Good Angels with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Ivaná Jalcová scored 12 poitns and had three rebounds and three assists.
For Angel McCoughtry, it was a poor shooting game - she got double digits, but took a lot of shots:
Monday, February 22, 2010
The big news: Euroleague and Eurocup Quarterfinals. Given Chamique Holdsclaw's recent Twitter messages, I wonder if they'll be able to get K. V. Imperial on the same plane together.
The BIG-ASS games of the week: Ros Casares (Erika de Souza) vs. Perfumerias (Sancho Lyttle). Not once, but at least twice (and maybe three times, because I suspect this series will go all three games). This is a preview of the Spanish League championship, with the winner going to the Euroleague Semifinals.
With 21 out of 24 games played, it looks like the Polish League, the PLKK, is going to take a few weeks off. Krakow doesn't play another Polish League game until March 10th. Iziane Castro Marques can recover from her injury, at least a little bit - she still has Euroleague.
Michelle Snow's Dynamo Kursk team doesn't play another Russian League game until March 1st.
Euroleague Quarterfinals: Ekaterinburg vs. Good Angels Kosice, Game 1
Euroleague Quarterfinals: Krakow vs. Brno, Game 1
Euroleague Quarterinfals: Ros Casares vs. Perfumerias, Game 1
Slovakia Extraliga: Ruzomberok vs. Good Angels Kosice, "Stage Two"
Eurocup Quarterfinals: Orenburg vs. K. V. Imperial, Game 2
Eurocup Quarterfinals: Dynamo Kursk vs. Targoviste, Game 2
Euroleague Quarterfinals: Good Angels Kosice vs. Ekaterinburg, Game 2
Euroleague Quarterfinals: Brno vs. Krakow, Game 2
Euroleague Quarterfinals: Perfumerias vs. Ros Casares, Game 2
TBBL: Botas (7-8) vs. Mersin (13-1)
TBBL: Galatsaray (12-3) vs. Besitkas (7-8)
LFB: Ros Casares (19-1) vs. Olesa (10-10)
LFB: Prefumerias (18-2) vs. Gran Canaria (9-11)
I was hoping for a chance to get some more information about yesterday's game between Mersin and Tarsus in the Turkish League, but all I have is the box score. Mersin beat visiting Tarsus 67-62 in a reunion between Ivory Latta (Mersin) and Betty Lennox (Tarsus), the two major players of the 2008 Atlanta Dream.
The win puts Mersin up at 13-1 and in second place. Tarsus falls to 7-8. The box score is here.
It looks like a back and forth game: Tarsus led 16-15 at the first; Mersin led 32-27 at halftime. Tarsus closes the gap to 47-45 at the end of three quarters, but Mersin makes a final push at the end and gets over the top.
Chantel Black scored 17 points and 10 rebounds for Tarsus. Betty Lennox added nine points and 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes of play.
Erlana Larkins and Olympia Scott had double-digit games for Mersin. The leading scorer for Mersin? Ivory Latta:
There's a new article in the Enterprise News about new Chief Operating Officer Toby Wyman of the Atlanta Dream.
“Put people in the seats, at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to,’’ said Wyman, whose has a son and daughter with wife Nancy. “One of the things we have a shared vision of here is we have to widen our target. We want to build loyalty from the fan base.
“We have a good product from a family standpoint. We’ve got a team that people can feel good about. The players we have are educated women, they’re mothers, they’re Olympians. With everything that’s going on, that’s a good group of people to be part of.
If you want some background on the forces behind the Atlanta Dream, give the article a read.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Chamique Holdsclaw Twitters about an incident at her club K. V. Imperial in Cyprus:
At airport headed to Russia and 2 players decide they don't wanna fly. Next thing I know the president and coach talk tells us we not taking the flight. Come on now the other 8 players r pissed as hell
Man I'm so pissed and so are the other players. Coaches are even pissed this is just SELFISH. Man I wanna go up aside their heads for this stunt.
Man I just don't understand now we waiting for baggage and they at the crib. Wowzers. You know me so u know how I feel right now
Man right now I don't wanna hear no shit about no one is bigger than the team. Its obvious from actions that its not true or else we wud be on that plane.
head back home to my flat catch some zzz's and figure out with these folks gonna do.
Man this situation is crazy
Yelena Leuchanka gets some work in.
Let's talk about Galatasaray. I'm going to keep my eye on Galatsaray in the Turkish league for a little while as Yelena Leuchanka is playing there and the Dream have signed Leuchanka as a free agent.
The team had such big names as Sophia Young, Jia Perkins, Katie Douglas and Tamika Catchings. (I don't think that Young and Perkins are with the club now.) Leuchanka is averaging about 24 minutes a game, with 10.7 points/8.2 rebounds per game.
Furthermore, the team was a Euroleague competitor. Galatasaray finished 4-6 in a tough Group A that had Ekaterinburg and Ros Casares. The 4-6 finish was good enough for fourth place and the Turks moved on to the 8th Finals. Galatasaray took on Ekaterinburg out of their own group - this was Leuchanka's team during the 2008-09 season. It was an unhappy homecoming, as Ekaterinburg won 79-55 at home and then won 61-50 in Turkey, knocking Galatsaray out of Euroleague competition.
Over the 11 games Leuchanka played in Euroleague, she averaged 10.3 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.
As for Galatsaray, they had no problem with Kocaeli, leading 26-8 at the end of the first quarter and winning every other quarter. Kocaeil's strategy? Play each of their starters a full forty minutes, and pray. Yep - only five players played for Kocaeli. It didn't help.
The box score is here. The bulk of the scoring for Kocaeli came Ceyda Kozluca who scored 21 points...and had eight turnovers. Asli Sevinc scord 12 points and 13 rebounds.
However, Galatsaray shot 59 percent from the field. Six players scored in double figures. Bahar Caglar scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds for Galatasaray. Esra Sencebe scored 17 points. The big guns - Douglas and Catchings - didn't score much.
Yelena Leuchanka had a good game:
A couple of pictures of Ivory Latta from last week's Mersin-Kayseri Game. These were snagged from the TBBL website; you can find that website right here. The pictures are displayed in the upper left hand corner; these are #9 and #10 in the sequence.
1) I don't like those Mersin uniforms, and
2) It doesn't look like a well-attended game.
Krakow defeated Siemens 77-44 at home. The win moves Krakow to 14-6 in the Polish league. Siemens falls to 4-16.
The box score is here.
Iziane Castro Marques did not play in this game. Apparently, she "turned" her right ankle during practice before the game and did not play. Hopefully, Iziane Castro Marques will be back, because Krakow will need her for Euroleague.
Last year, Ibiza surprised everyone - or rather, the play of Sancho Lyttle on Ibiza surprised everyone. What a difference a year makes. Perfumerias picked up Sancho Lyttle's contract and they now stand in second play in the Liga Femenina. As for Ibiza, they've fallen to the bottom of the league. They've fired their coach in mid-season, and now relegation is a danger. Nothing changed during Sancho Lyttle's Ibiza homecoming, as Perfumerias won 69-55.
Perfumieras advances to 18-2 on the year and is by itself in second place. Ibiza falls to 3-17 and remains in the bottom of the league. The box score is here.
Ibiza stared with a 6-2 run that was answered with a 10-0 run by Perfumerias. Ibiza closed to 16-13, but Perfumerias answered with two 3-pointers that put the score up 22-13 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Perfumieras went up to a double-digit lead early on and stayed there for the rest of the game. As the Tribuna de Salamanca wrote:
"...the game was thick and lacking in quality. Until Lyttle went to the track, which reminded local fans why he was MVP last season and why is poised to be in it." Lyttle would only play 17 minutes of the game.
Shannon Johnson led all scorers for Ibiza with 13 points and four steals. Lorena Nunez scored 11 points, Nakia Sanford added 10 points and five rebounds, and Vanessa Blue had seven points, nine rebounds and three assists for Ibiza.
Le'coe Willingham and Alba Torrens each added 12 points for Perfumerias. The player of the game for the visitors was Sancho Lyttle - and that always seems to be the case....
17 minutes played
The Ros Casares team has been dealing with different injuries during a grueling season both in the Spanish League and in Euroleague. Amaya Valdemoro has a bruised inner calf. Erika de Souza is experiencing knee discomfort. Furthermore, Zaragoza had lost three straight coming into the match and were looking for a victory.
They wouldn't find it in Zaragoza. The visiting El Ros team defeated Zaragoza 75-68, advancing to 19-1 for the season. Zaragoza falls to 11-9 on the year. The box score of the game is here.
Ros Casares got on the scoreboard early, leading 21-14 after the first quarter. Zaragoza answered with a 12-3 second quarter run, tying the game 26-26. The visiting Ros Casares barely hung on with a 40-39 lead at halftime.
The second half started fast, and Erika de Souza got the benefit on the offensive glass - Ros Casares went on an 8-0 run and led 47-42. Unfortunately, Erika picked up her fourth personal foul in the third quarter but Ros Casares held on to a 53-48 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Paula Palomares scored nine points to lead Zaragoza on a comeback, closing to 61-58 and then to 68-68 with just one minute left. However, Erika de Souza added four points, Belinda Snell added three free throws and Zaragoza was shut out during the final minute of play.
Paula Palomares led Zaragoza with 17 points. Allison Feaster scored 16 points and six rebounds for Zaragoza with nine points in the last ten minutes. Unfortuately, she also had five turnovers during the game.
Belinda Snell was the player of the game for Ros Casares, with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Erika de Souza had a good game as well despite knee discomfort:
It can be understood that you might lose a best-of-two series on the road - you can always make up any deficits when you meet again at home. Unforunately for K. V. Imperial, they had home advantage playing in Cyprus - and lost to Russian team Orenburg 71-64. The two teams will meet again on Thursday, and this time the Russians will have home court advantage.
The game report, box score, and play-by-play are all here. Unfortunately, there is no photo gallery.
After struggling through an almost even first quarter, Orenburg continued an 11-0 run through the second that put them up 29-19 at one point. K. V. Imperial fought back in front of the crowd of 400 spectators and with two minutes left before halftime, took the lead again. K. V. Imperial led by one basket, 38-36, at halftime.
With just three minutes to go in the third, K. V. Imperial still led 45-41. However, the Russians tied a couple of times and scored the final layup of the third quarter, giving Orenburg a 52-50 lead with ten minutes to go. They managed to keep this lead with K. V. Imperial hot on their trail. A basket by Daliborka Vilipic with 1:53 to go in the game closed K. V. Imperial to three points, 67-64. Unfortunately, K. V. Imperial would miss their next two shots. Down 69-64 with 1:05 to go, Chamique Holdsclaw would turn over the ball and Orenburg would hang on for victory.
Tatiana Burik led all Orenburg players with 20 points and five rebounds. Superplayer Anastasia Veremeenko would contribute six points, seven rebounds and eight assists for Orenburg.
Daliborka Vilipic scored 11 points for K. V. Imperial and Sherill Baker added 21 points. Chamique Holdsclaw had a great game, but also had six turnovers:
Tina Thompson works her way through the Dynamo Kursk dance floor.
Well, it's a problem in a best-of-two series when you go on the road. You're on a different court, with fans shouting stuff at you in a completely different language. And then, there's the travel. All of that might have combined for a 75-57 loss by Dynamo Kursk in the "best-of-two" Eurocup Quarterfinals. The next game takes place in Kursk on Wednesday in Russia.
Michelle Snow sums it up on Twitter:
@snowtyme Our game plan matched the definition for insanity. If we don't change we're done next week leaving me 3 months in Russia w/ no travel
The photo gallery and a write-up, box score and play-by-play can all be found here.
Dynamo Kursk scored the opening basket and then gave up an 11-0 run to Targoviste. The Russians came back and closed to within three points by the end of the first quarter, 19-16. Unfortunately, the Romanians would put together a 14-3 run in the second quarter for which Dynamo Kursk had no answer. Targoviste was up 45-29 at halftime. Dynamo Kursk was never able to get back into the game or put together a run that lowered the gap to single digits.
Nothing to be ashamed of - Targoviste is a really good team. You might have heard of Tina Thompson and Shay Doron, or maybe Linda Frohlich? They all play for Targoviste. Tina Thompson has 15 points and 10 rebounds for Targoviste and Linda Frohlich had 14 points and nine rebounds.
For Dynamo Kursk, only two players scored in double figures, but Varvara Psareva got close to a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Jiillian Robins led all scorers with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Michelle Snow didn't have a good game, but she did hit double digits.
Tamecka Dixon announces her retirement from the WNBA.
"I always wanted to go out on my own terms," said Dixon. "After the Houston franchise disbanded (in 2008), I was at a crossroads because I thought I would finish my career there. I was contemplating retirement then, but I still felt I had a little left to give the game and wanted to go out on my own terms. I had a very short list of teams that I considered playing for last year and Indiana was my first option. I always thought it was a class organization and a place where I would love to finish my career."
Vickie Johnson and Lisa Leslie have retired. There's an outside chance that Swoopes, or Byears or Mabika could come back, but I don't think it's going to happen.
This leaves Tina Thompson as the final member of the inaugural 1997 WNBA season who is still playing in the W. The only members of the 1996-97 inaugural ABL season still in the game are Katie Smith and Taj McWilliams.
If no one else from the 1997 season comes back, then when Thompson retires the WNBA should award her a fine bottle of wine, 1997 vintage, as the final survivor of that 1997 WNBA tontine.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The 2010 WNBA preseason schedule has been released. Lots of interesting venues and teams. The full list of games is right here.
* The preseason will be 15 games long.
* Action starts on April 30th when the Chicago Sky take on the Minnesota Lynx in St. Paul.
* The China Women's National Team plays three games - against the Sparks, the Silver Stars and the defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury.
* The Polish Women's National Team will be visiting to play the Connecticut Sun.
* All in all, five games will be played in non-WNBA arenas, including a Dream-Mystics matchup on May 9th in Cookeville, TN.
* On May 6, Chicago and Minnesota have their pre-season rematch at AllState Arena in Chicago, the first game in the Sky's new home.
* On May 9, Tulsa hosts the Seattle Storm at the BOK Center in Tulsa for the first ever game played by the Tulsa Shock.
Damn. April 30th. I'm looking forward to it.
The Atlanta Dream will be playing two preseason games. The second one will be Sunday, May 9th, in Cookeville, TN as indicated in the post below this one.
The first will be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday, May 4th at 11 am against the Connecticut Sun.
I'm glad we get two preseason games this year. I might road trip that game against the Mystics in Tennessee; the game in Uncasville, Connecticut is a slightly longer trip and a little more out of our way.
More has been revealed about the 2010 Atlanta Dream season. The Dream will be playing a preseason game on Sunday, May 9th at 3 pm. However, it will not take place at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Rather, it will take place at the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tennessee - the home of Tennessee Tech basketball. The Dream will take on the Washington Mystics in their second pre-season game of 2010.
The Mother's Day game will be the first professional basketball game ever played at the Eblen Center.
Why there? Well, let the article tell you:
Meadors was a head coach at Tennessee Tech and Florida State for a combined 30 years. She was the first head coach in Tech history, establishing the women’s program and posting a .723 winning percentage. She was twice named OVC Coach of the Year, leading Tech to four Ohio Valley Conference championships and was the first major women’s college coach to win 350 games at one school.
Meadors wasn't just a head coach at Tenneseee Tech, she started the women's basketball program there, along with other sports programs. She's virtually the Founding Mother of Tennessee Tech women's sports.
The game does have some Dream fans riled up, particularly those who don't want to make the trip. Furthermore, with the threat of a relocation hanging over the Dream's head at the end of 2009, fans are undoubtedly hesitant about the Dream showing itself off to Tennessee.
However, you have to remember that fans from the University of Tennessee came out to fill Philips Arena during the Atlanta/Los Angeles game last year. The people of Tennessee showed interest and it makes sense for the Dream to cater to that interest. Coach Meadors gets to help out her former university. It all makes sense to me.
And of course, it also means...ROAD TRIP!
Friday, February 19, 2010
As you might have guessed, it has been a busy last couple of days. And trust me, today isn't going to be any better - straight after work, I'm heading off to watch the Duke-Georgia Tech game. So my long-suffering readership will just have to wait until Saturday for any updates.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Angel McCoughtry represented not just the Atlanta Dream, but the city of Atlanta and the WNBA during the NBA All-Star Weekend. Her Atlanta team didn't win the shootout challenge, but she participated in the NBA Celebrity Game.
There's a gallery of pictures right here. Jog by and give it a peek.
Chamique Holdsclaw, enjoying life in Cyprus.
Chamique Holdsclaw has a nice long post about what she's been doing in the off-season at Dream Diary, the official blog of the Atlanta Dream.
We get some hints of what happened in Slovakia and why the Good Angels Kosice team might have let Chamique Holdsclaw go so quickly:
When I didn’t pass my physical in October with the team in Slovakia, I was disappointed. I felt this way because as an athlete, all you want to do is compete, and for a short time I was unable to do so. This whole experience has been really humbling.
Holdsclaw decided to stay home and work on her health. She worked with Dorian Lee, her trainer, who was happy with her training and told her:
“If the doctor said you are fine and you and I know the progress you are making every day, Mique go ahead and take advantage of the opportunity.”
From there, Holdsclaw went to Cyprus where Sherill Baker is on her K. V. Imperial team.
Out of all the countries and places I have been, I like this one the most and could see myself living here. The weather is beautiful, it’s filled with people of several nationalities, and everyone speaks English. With all of that said, it makes things a lot easier when I am trying to find my way around. We work hard, but we also really enjoy life off the court too. It’s close to being home in the U.S.A.
Holdsclaw also provided a gallery of pictures. She's looking happy and healthy. If you're a fan of Chamique Holdsclaw, you have some reading to do.
Monday, February 15, 2010
A certain coach from the Atlanta Dream. First name, last name, same initial. Used to coach Florida State.
One of the things she did over the break is have knee surgery. Recovering nicely.
We're both happy about how rapidly Angel McCoughtry is coming along. This certain coach says that McCoughtry's hoping to dunk - I don't know if the ol' coach is pulling my leg - but she confirmed that McCoughtry dunked once in Slovakia. Wow.
Training camp? That starts on April 25th, 2010. She thinks that with many Dream players going deep into Euroleague, they'll definitely be ready to play come tip-off.
at 11:28 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Eurocup play takes place over the next couple of weeks, wehre eight teams are whittled down to four. Each series is an aggregate "best-of-two" series.
Chamique Holdsclaw's K. V. Imperial play earns a bye in Cyprus League play. Over the weekend, Keravnos and Etha will play each other for the right to play K. V. Imperial in the semi-finals. Michelle Snow's Dynamo Kursk team has no regular season games this week, and Angel McCoughtry's Good Angels Kosice are not playing in that weird "1-6" group in Slovakia this week.
Eurocup Quarterfinals: Targoviste (Romania) vs. Dynamo Kursk, Game 1
Eurocup Quarterfinals: K. V. Imperial vs. Orenburg (Russia), Game 1
LFB: Zarazoga (11-8) vs. Ros Casares (18-1)
LFB: Ibiza (3-16) vs. Perfumerias (17-2)
PLKK: Krakow (13-6) vs. Siemens (4-16)
TBBL: Mersin (12-1) vs. Tarsus (7-7)
Mersin got a tough road win against Kayseri on Valentine's Day, winning 69-66 The win gives Mersin its 12th game in 13 tries (they're still looking for a chance for a make-up game against Fenerbahce). Kayseri falls to 7-7.
Interestingly, Ivory Latta at Mersin got to say hello to Tamera Young over at Kayseri. Both of those players were on the 2008 and 2009 Atlanta Dream. The box score is here.
Mersin must have been surprised as Kayseri got off to an 8-4 start and led 19-10 in the first quarter. However, Mersin exploded in the second quarter - they held Kayseri to just seven points and turned a nine-point lead into a seven-point defiicit, with Mersin leading 33-26 at halftime. The third quarter was an even quarter, with Kayseri closing the gap to five points, 54-49 at the end of thirty minutes of play.
Kayseri closed the gap to three points, 56-53 with eight minutes left to go. Kayseri kept fighting hard, and the last minute was nerve racking for Mersin. Vickie Johnson scored with four seconds left to close the game to 67-66, with Mersin getting the ball. The ball ended up in Ivory Latta's hands, Kayseri was forced to foul, and Latta sank the remaining free throws to get the win. Latta had this to say on Twitter:
@IvoryLatta12 Tough Road win tonight but we got it done. Love and Basketball on V-Day a st8 classic :). I hope yall have a good nite and be safe
Latoya Pringle and Vickie Johnson were scoring machines for Kayseri. Pringle had 25 points and 12 rebounds; Johnson scored 20 points and had five rebounds. Tamera Young had zero points in 13 minutes of play; shooting 0-for-6. However, she had five rebounds.
Three players had big games for Mersin. Barbara Turner had 11 points and five rebounds. Erlana Larkins had a ludicrous box score line: 16 points, 18 rebounds, and eight turnovers. The leading scorer, however, was Ivory Latta:
7-for-7 at the free throw line, including the final two free throws
New article in the Baltimore Sun about Angel McCoughtry's multiple successes.
Rookie of the Year.
USA Women's Team Candidate.
WNBA Rep at the NBA All-Star Game.
The Best Angel of the Good Angels in Kosice, Slovakia, which is her European team.
From Marynell Meadors:
"People recognize her, people relate to her," said Marynell Meadors, coach and general manager of the Dream. "Little kids love to watch her play. Angel is the star waiting to happen.
"I don't know how many second-year players get the opportunity to do what she's doing. Everybody in the league recognizes her potential and her strength. Down deep she's a shy person, but she's getting more extroverted every day."
There was also this little tantalizing nugget:
McCoughtry added the dunk to her game in Slovakia and has enjoyed playing in Europe.
Dunking? At 6'1"? If McCoughtry throws down during a WNBA game, Philips Arena will levitate.
In the 14th season....
..of Major League Baseball (1889) theree were still two leagues - the National League and American Association.
The National League was still an unstable league. The Indianapolis franchise was $30,000 in debt ($700,000 in 2010 money) and ownership basically walked away from their franchise, saying "here you go, league, see if you can make baseball work in Indianapolis". An ownership group led by John T. Brush took over the franchise.
Even big teams like the New York Giants had to face their own humiliations. The City of New York wanted to build new streets through the Polo Grounds. Supporters of the Giants tried to get a bill passed in the New York State legislature that would block the construction, but New York Governor David Hill vetoed the bill after
it passed - the right of a city over its domain was to be respected, regardless of what he thought of the act.
The Giants had to move to Staten Island to the St. George's Cricket Grounds; the right fielder was basically playing on open soil that served as a stage in the off-season.
Players were unhappy with their low pay, and trouble was brewing. John Montgomery Ward was planning on a strike, but was going to hold off - for now. His plan would be to start a brand new league that would give players greater control over their sport. Players were assigned to look for capital, as it were, in their home cities. Later in the season, the players would issue a manifesto. In November, the National League would denounce the manifesto, and the war was on.
In conservative Cincinnati, church was considered more important than baseball, and the Red Stockings were kept twice by police from playing on Sunday. The American Association, founded by brewers, was the Beer and Whiskey league that played on Sunday; the NL was the league that didn't. Cincinnati and Brooklyn jumped from the American Association to the National League. Kansas City left the AA to join the Western League, and then the Baltimore Orioles dropped out, leaving a four-team league. The American Association would be scrambling for teams at the end of the 1889 season.
Particularly damaging was Brooklyn jumping to the National League - the Bridegrooms were the American Association champions! But the American Associations biggest test would come the following year.
In the 14th season....
...of the National Football League (1933), the league decided to split into two divisions following the success of the 1932 playoff game. "Hey! We shouldn't give the championship to whomever finishes at the top of the league! We should have a playoff!" I'm surprised that the league didn't think of this earlier.
There was a lot of NFL franchise movement. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Cincinnati joined the league. Staten Island suspended operations for the 1933 season, in hopes of coming back the following year. It didn't happen.
Furthermore, the NFL made a decision to separate itself from the college game. For a long time, both the NFL and big-time college football followed the same rules. Now, there would be new rules. Inbounds lines. Hashmarks. The goal post placed on the goal line. The most important rule was that the forward pass would be legal anywhere behind the line of scrimmage. Before that, one had to be five yards behind the line of scrimmage to throw a legal forward pass.
The year ended with the first real NFL Championship Game, with the Chicago Bears beating the New York Giants 23-21. The title game was still being held in December, weeks before Christmas.
In the 14th season....
...of the National Basketball Association (1959-60), the NBA was doing better than the year before. There was a brand new kid playing in the NBA called Wilt Chamberlain. He was not just the Rookie of the Year, but the Most Valuable Player, sort of the Candace Parker of his era.
However, the Minneapolis Lakers still weren't making money in Minnesota. Given that Bob Short couldn't make basketall work in Minneapolis, and given that Los Angeles was interested, Short relocated the Lakers to Los Angeles. For two years, the Lakers would be all alone out on the West Coast.
And the league was still an eight-team league.
In the 14th season....
...of the WNBA (2010), there will be twelve teams. A new team in Tulsa. I just keep telling myself, "three more months"...!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Iziane Castro Marques should have bought a ticket.
Krakow might be the sensation of Euroleague - but Gydnia is one of the queens of the Polish League, so it was going to be a big game. Krakow fought hard but fell apart in the fourth quarter as Gydnia beat Krakow 65-54 to stay on top of the league. Krakow falls to 13-6 and fourth place.
The box score is here. A photo gallery of pictures can be found right here.
Gydnia jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first quarter, but Krakow fought right back. The score was 17-14 in favor of Krakow at the end of the first quarter, and Krakow lead 32-30 at halftime. In the third quarter, Gydnia had the lead - briefly - at 36-34, but Krakow would lead 46-43 with thirty minutes over.
Leading 52-50 in the fourth quarter - Krakow collapsed. Gydnia went on a 13-0 run and with three minutes left, the score was 63-52. The writeup from the PLKK website:
If anyone would seek answers to the question how best to characterize the English term "team spirit" should watch the last 6 minutes of the match. Gdynianki fought with great sacrifice, in defense worked like ants, helped each other, as they could. Formed a team in which one after another goes into the fire!
Ivana Matovič had 18 points and seven rebounds for Gydnia to lead the home team. " Tanasha Wright" (or so her name is spelled on the PLKK website) scored 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
For Krakow, Janelle Burse led all players with 14 points and an amazing 14 rebounds. Ewelina Kobryn added 12 points and seven rebounds for the visitors.
The comment about Iziane Castro Marques from the PLKK website?
"Iziane Castro Marques had almost a hundred percent neutralized."
Perfumerias returned to play in the Liga Femenina after playing the concluding game of a best-of-three against Bourges on Wednesday. In Europe, three days between games is considered tough. Perfumerias must have certainly cought their second wind as they won easily at home 77-53.
The box score is here. Perfumerias advances to 17-2, one game behind 18-1 Ros Casares. Olesa falls to 10-9 in the tough Spanish League.
Perfumerias either won or tied every quarter. All Perfumerias needed was two good quarters, where Perfumerias won the second and fourth quarters by eleven and ten points.
The only player to score in double figures for Olesa was Shona Thorburn. Thorburn scored 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Silvia Morales had nine points and three rebounds for Olesa.
Four players scored in double figures for Perfumerias. Anke de Mondt and Alba Torrens each had 15 points. Le'coe Willingham had 10 points and six rebounds. But, as usual, the best game belonged to Sancho Lyttle:
No pics. If there are pics to find, they haven't been posted yet.
De Souza making someone else miserable.
There are below average teams like Cadi la Seu - and there are superteams like Ros Casares. Despite Cadi la Seu's 7-11 record, Ros Casares crushed Cadi la Seu in Valencia like an old soda can by a score of 91-48.
The box score is here. A gallery of pictures can be found here.
What's to say? Ros Casares won every quarter but the second one - and they only lost that quarter by one point. They started out the game 13-3, they led 46-29 at halftime and held Cadi la Seu to 19 points over the second half.
Cadi la Seu's statistical woes:
* They only shot 27 percent for the game. El Ros shot 54 percent.
* They were out-rebounded 50-26.
Only two players scored in double figures for Cadi la Seu. Jasmon Covington, a graduate of Louisville, scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds for the game's only double-double. Brooke Reves had 12 points for Cadi la Seu. Reves is a graduate of Kansas.
Not much to report. Delisha Milton-Jones led Ros Casares with 23 point and eight rebounds. Belinda Snell scored 19 points and Anna Montanana had 16 points and eight rebounds. Erika de Souza only played 18 minutes, but she had a good game:
3 blocked shots
It looks like Tulsa's roster won't be "two short" in the 2010 season - it will be "four short".
From the Tulsa World:
Unrestricted free agents Taj McWilliams and Nikki Teasley are not expected to join the team in Tulsa.
Teasley is expecting a baby and will not play this season. McWilliams could sign with another team.
Hmm. Oh well, congratulations to Nikki Teasley! (and thanks to Sue F. for clueing me in!)
Friday, February 12, 2010
The first new WNBA commercials are right here at this link. They'll begin airing over All-Star Weekend.
Here's the thing about these commercials. I like them. I don't know why I like them - I can't quite identify the reason - but I like them.
Just my luck to find out about this after it started on TV. It started at 7 pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 12th and was shown on ESPN.
The two teams were:
Doctor Oz (Host, The Dr. Oz Show)
Chris Tucker (Actor/Comedian)
Joel Moore (Avatar)
Pitbull (Musician, I Know You Want Me)
Terrell Owens (Six-time NFL Pro Bowler)
Flight Time Lang (Harlem Globetrotters)
Big Easy Lofton (Harlem Globetrotters)
Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream forward)
Rick Fox (Three-time NBA Champion)
Nancy Lieberman (Basketball Hall of Famer)
Coach: Alonzo Mourning (Five-time NBA All-Star)
Assistant Coach: Mario Lopez
Anthony Kim (PGA Tour Pro)
Terrence J (Host of BET's "106 & Park")
Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks Owner)
Michael Rapaport (Actor)
Special K Daley (Harlem Globetrotters)
Scooter Christensen (Harlem Globetrotters)
Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars guard)
Chris Mullin (Five-time NBA All-Star)
Robert Horry (Seven-time NBA Champion)
Coach: Magic Johnson (Basketball Hall of Famer, ESPN analyst)
Assistant Coach: Drake (Musician)
(* * *)
I'm glad to see Angel McCoughtry get some recognition. So, did anyone see this? How was it?
P. S.: When Angel McCoughtry found out that Mario Lopez would be her assistant coach, this was her quote:
Are you serious? I still watch that show, I love to watch that show…I’m star-struck – I can’t even focus now. He had that little Jherri Curl back in the day, the little Hammer pants. That’ll be fun.
(Thanks to Swish Appeal for cluing us in.)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The Tulsa Shock had what just about any relocated franchise would love - a returning team that had contended for the Eastern Conference championship in the WNBA the year before. However, two important Tulsa players have stated - either to the press or through their agent - that they will not be coming to Tulsa.
The first player is point guard Katie Smith. She said on December 3rd that she didn't want to finish her career in Tulsa. There's nothing hostile or even strange about this - Smith was playing professional basketball before the WNBA started, as a member of the Columbus Quest of the old American Basketball League in the 1996-97 season. (The WNBA started in 1997; Smith didn't make the jump until the ABL folded).
Smith strugged a little bit last year and you have to wonder how many good years of basketball are left in her. She would turn 36 years old in the 2010 season. One can understand that Smith wants to be in a comfortable situation and doesn't want the pressure of starting all over in Tulsa. She's earned the right to go wherever she wants.
Deanna Nolan is a different story. Nolan is only thirty. The last time she missed more than one regular season game is 2003. After her rookie season in 2001, Nolan has started every game for the Shock. She's a four-time All-Star and one of those players that is capable of dropping 30 points on you every night. Trust me, you want Deanna Nolan playing for your team. Mike Cound, Tweety's agent, states that "[Nolan] is under no contractual obligation to compete for Tulsa or any other WNBA team at this time".
So why is Nolan threatening not to come and play for Tulsa? You can choose four reasons - pick whichever one satisfies you the most.
1) She's exhausted. The years of playing in Europe in winter and the United States in the summer have just worn her out. She needs a year of rest.
2) Nolan has a Russian passport. The Russians want to compete for the FIBA World Championships in 2010. Her home team, Ekaterinburg, is making it worth her while ($$) to hold out.
3) She doesn't want to play for Nolan Richardson. Not that Richardson isn't a nice man if you get to know him, but his system is called "Forty Minutes of Hell" for a good reason. Nolan doesn't want to wipe herself out during the WNBA season.
4) (Fill in the other reason).
Erika de Souza, Sancho Lyttle, Iziane Castro Marques, and Angel McCoughtry are all playing on teams in Europe this year. They're playing on very good teams, since the teams that they play for are taking part in the Euroleague quarterfinals.
Here are the matchups for the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals are a best-of-three series. The team listed first in each matchup has home field advantage.
Spartak Moscow vs. Fenerbahce.
Ekaterinburg vs. Good Angels Kosice - Angel McCoughtry is going to face a top-league team in Ekaterinburg
Krakow vs. Brno - Iziane Castro Marques's team has home field advantage
Ros Casares vs. Perfumerias - Erika de Souza plays against Sancho Lyttle in a battle of Dream posts.
The quarterfinals take place over February 23rd-February 26th-March 3rd.
Sancho Lyttle is looking ahead to the quarterfinals, obviously.
If you think it's cold in the United States, Europe has had some cold weather as well - it snowed on Wednesday night in Salamanca in Spain. No pics. Perfumerias didn't mind the cold weather - they managed to win the deciding game of the best-of-three series, knocking Bourges out of the Euroleague post-season with a 64-55 win.
The game report, box score, play-by-play and photo gallery are all here.
The game report has an amusing paragraph:
"Avenida meanwhile struggled mightily, especially their leader Sancho Lyttle who was frustrated by the physical play of the Bourges defense, and showed it on several occasions looking skyward in disbelief.
(I think I've seen that look before during Dream games.)
Bourges started with a 14-5 lead early on but Perfumerias answered with six straight points to close to 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. However, Bourges was able to build a double-digit lead and took a 32-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half, however, belonged to Perfumerias. Perfumerias began to whittle away at the lead and took off on a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter, with a Sancho Lyttle jump shot putting Perfumerias up 37-35 for the first time in the game with two minutes left in the third quarter. Ilona Burgrova, however, hit a jumper with five seconds left, letting Bourges regain the lead 41-40 at the end of the third quarter.
From that moment on, it was a fight through most of the fourth quarter. With Perfumerias up 54-43 with three minutee left, the French team ran out of gas. They would only score two more points for the rest of the game - they took all five shots - and Perfumerias secured their visit to the Euroleague quarterfinals.
Endene Miyem scored 15 points and had five rebounds in 27 minutes of play for Bourges. No other player scored in double figures for Bourges.
Le'coe Willingham scored 16 points and seven rebounds for Perfumerias. However, Bourges had the right idea - the way to beat Perfumerias is to stop Sancho Lyttle. And when you look at Lyttle's stats, it's clear that Bourges had failed.
10-for-12 free throw shooting
15 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds
37 minutes played
With the folding of CSKA, the Krakow team had been folded in as a last-minute replacement. However, Krakow has played like a Russian team, at least in the Euroleague, and the miracle season won't be coming to a stop soon - Krakow defeated Hungarian team Pecs 69-57 in Krakow in the deciding game of the best-of-three series. Krakow will be moving on to the Euroleague quarterfinals.
All of the good stuff - the game report, the box score, the play-by-play and the pictures - are right here.
Krakow managed to control the lead during the first quarter, leading 21-18 after the first ten minutes. Pecs, however, kept after Krakow and managed to briefly lead a couple of times in the second quarter. At halftime, the game was virtually tied, 38-37 in favor of home team Krakow.
Krakow took the lead again in the third, but Pecs was close behind. A 6-0 run to end the third quarter put Pecs in the lead by one point, 49-48. The teams continued the struggle in the fourth quarter, with the score tied 55-55 with five minutes left.
From that point, however, it was all Krakow. Krakow outscored Pecs 14-2 for the rest of the game. Pecs took nine shots and only hit one of them. The last six points from Krakow came in the form of free throws.
Dalma Ivanyi for Pecs had an interesting double-double - 10 rebound and 11 assists. She also had four points and six steals. Anna Vadja had 18 points and five rebounds for Pecs.
Marta Fernandez had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists for the winners. Janelle Burse had seven points...and 16 rebounds for Krakow.
For Iziane Castro Marques, it wasn't much of a day.
1-for-9 shooting (0-for-5 from 3-point range)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Despite having 1200 fans and home court advantage, Dynamo Kursk ended up losing the thread and fell to Orenburg by the score of 69-56.
The box score is here. The loss drops Dynamo Kursk to 5-7. Orenburg advances to 9-4.
Kursk got off to a 16-12 start in the first quarter, but it fell apart in the second quarter, with Dynamo Kursk limited to just nine points. Down 34-25 at halftime, Dynamo Kursk couldn't get a break in the third quarter either and Orenburg built their lead to 15 points: it was just too much for Dynamo Kursk to overcome.
There was blame, both self-blame...
@snowtyme Okay I'm over the loss. Preparation was the difference. They were prepared and we were not. You have 2 practice how ur going 2 play.
...and blame from others....
"The efforts of some Kursk Americans, apparently, lacked."
Sheana Mosch out of Duke scored 23 points despite six turnovers. She played the full forty minutes of the game. Anastasia Veremeenko, one of the most heralded players in the world, scored 12 points and 11 rebounds in just 28 minutes. Dynamo Kursk was out-rebounded 41 to 29.
Jillian Robbins scored 17 points and four rebounds for Dynamo Kursk. Unfortunately, only two players scored in double digits for Dynamo Kursk. The other player? Michelle Snow.
4 personal fouls
Monday, February 8, 2010
Regular seasons games in progress, and two deciding games in Euroleague mark games this week. Tomorrow, the two top teams in Turkey play in a regular season rematch.
Russia Superleague A: Dynamo Kursk (5-6) vs. Orenburg (8-4)
TBBL: Mersin (11-1) vs. Fenerbahce (12-0)
Euroleague 8th Finals: Krakow vs. Pécs, Game 3
Euroleague 8th Finals: Perfumerias vs. Bourges, Game 3
LFB: Ros Casares (17-1) vs. Cadi la Seu (7-11)
LFB: Perfumerias (16-2) vs. Olesa (10-8)
PLKK: Gydnia (17-2) vs. Krakow (13-5)
TBBL: Kayseri (7-6) vs. Mersin (11-1) (*)
(*) - Standings as of February 8th, 2010.
In the Slovakia Extraliga, the Good Angels Kosice have played Presov. How that game went is anyone's guess. Of course, you could also ask @angel_35 (Angel McCoughtry) how the game went, but I suspect that the Good Angels won - they're undefeated in Slovakia play this year.
And finally, some word from Chamique Holdsclaw's team over in Cyprus. K. V. Imperial coasted to a 6-50 win over Anagennises to finish at 9-1 at the end of the regular season. At some point, the Cypriot teams will play their semifinals. Holdsclaw also will be playing in the quarterfinals of Eurocup - there's likely to be more information about that than any Cyprus game.
Q over at Swish Appeal interviewed Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors for her take on the free agency issues surrounding the Dream.
It's a rather deep review of the Dream as Atlanta thinks about 2010.
Quoting from the article - first, about the fact that the Dream were next to the bottom in turnovers per game in the WNBA:
“I really think that you have to stop and look at all the new players we had last year – we had 8 new players last year out of 11,” said Meadors about their turnovers. “Any team that uses the fast break like we do – we’re not as good as Phoenix, but we’re pretty close – in pushing the ball up the court, you’re going to have more turnovers.
About Ivory Latta and how Meadors perceives Latta's role on the club:
“Ivory is a smaller point guard, she handles the ball, and she scores more than Shalee,” said Meadors. “I truly believe that Ivory is a 2-guard – she’s in a 1-guard body, but she’s really a 2-guard and she’s a great scorer. And 2-guards look to score."
About Shalee Lehning's role on the team:
“We won 18 games with her as a starter, so it’s kind of tough to not put her back out there again,” said Meadors about whether Lehning is the projected starter for 2010. “It seemed that at times, Shalee did a great job of running our team and we were basically looking for that…To me Shalee has proven herself, even in her rookie season…When she got hurt two games before the playoffs started, when we moved to Detroit to play them it really hurt us not having her at point guard.”
There is a lot to read, so I suggest you go read it. The breakdown of the roles of the Dream all by itself is worth reading.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The big news coming out of the Ros Casares camp for WNBA fans has nothing to do with their successes in the Liga Femenina. Rather, it's that Becky Hammon and Ros Casares have mutually agreed to end their contract. Supposedly, Becky Hammon will be making an announcement about why she decided not to stay, that announcement occurring shortly after the NBA All-Star break.
This had nothing to do with Ros Casares's 80-70 win over Vigo, which keeps Ros Casares as #1 in the Spanish league with just one loss. The box score for the game is here.
Even after playing two European league games, Ros Casares led 45-29 at halftime, and after that, it was just a question of minding the lead. Vigo played El Ros evenly in the third quarter, but sixteen points were just too much to make up in the final ten minutes.
Egle Stakneviciene scoreed 19 points and seven rebounds for Vigo, with Iva Sliskovic contributing 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Belinda Snell had 16 points and five rebounds for visiting Ros Casares with Amaya Valdemoro also contributing 16 points. Becky Hammon had nine points, five rebounds and two assists in her final game with Ros Casares.
How did Erika de Souza did? She shot 100 percent from the field, but didn't take many shots:
21 minutes of play
Pictures provided when I find them.
Even after playing two Euroleague games this week, Perfumerias is showing that they deserve to be ranked as a contender for the Spanish League title with a 60-55 road win against fourth-ranked Zaragoza. Perfumerias advances to 16-2 on the year (there are 26 games in the season) whereas Zaragoza falls to 11-7. Zaragoza remains in fourth; if Vigo manages to beat Ros Casares at home Zaragoza might fall to fifth.
The box score is here.
Perfumerias only gave one player more than 30 minutes: Alba Torrens. Even so, Perfumerias was able to take a 35-27 lead into halftime, leading both quarters. However, Zaragoza held Perfumerias to just nine points in the third quarter and Perfumerias's lead was cut down to 43-41 going into the fourth quarter. I've not been able to find out whether or not Zaragoza had a lead late in the game, but Perfumerias managed to keep the win on the road.
Allison Feaster, a former WNBA player out of Harvard, scored 20 points for Zaragoza. Lucila Suarez had nine points and eight rebounds for the home team.
It was all up to Alba Torrens to carry a tired Perfumerias, and she did, with 23 points, four rebounds, and three steals. However, Sancho Lyttle had another one of her great games:
Photos will come if I can find them.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
At the end of the WNBA season, there is the inevitable dispersal of American players to various European leagues overseas. Some of these leagues, however, are better than other ones. It's much more prestigious to be playing in the French League than the German League. But which leagues have the best talent and which deserve to be called the best in the world?
I decided to go to the Eurobasket.com website. Every now and then, they create a list of the Top 100 Teams in European women's basketball. They use their own calculations to determine their top 100 teams.
I decided to give each country's teams a certain number of points based on their location on this list.
#`1 - 8 points
#2 - 7 points
#3-4 - 6 points
#5-8 - 5 points
#9-16 - 4 points
#17-32 - 3 points
#33-64 - 2 points
#65-100 - 1 points
not on list - 0 points
Using these point totals, we come up with a country total - we take all teams on the list which belong to a given country, assign each a point total, and sum up the point totals of all teams to get the country point total.
Here are the final results:
Czech Republic 11
The next question is: "do the results pass the smell test?" One odd result is that Spain is at the top of the list, and not Russia.
Part of the reason is that the point-scoring system awards not only leagues that have individual strong teams, but leagues that have depth as well. For example, there are very strong teams in the Russian League, but that league doesn't have as many teams as Spain, and even the losing teams in the Spanish League are pretty damned good. Russia has the #1 and #2 teams on the list (Ekaterinburg and Spartak Moscow) but Spain has the #3 through #5 teams (Ros Casares, Perfumerias, Rivas Ecopolis). You could make a good argument that the Liga Femenina is at least as strong as the Russia Superleague A.
The top six teams are exactly what I'd expect: after Spain and Russia come France and Italy, traditional women's basketball powers. Following those teams come two women's leagues that are making a play for international dominance - the one in Poland and the one in Turkey. It seems that just about anyone who is any good plays in one of those top six countries.
After the top six, one comes to countries that might have two or three good teams, usually with one or two WNBA players on the roster. I think of Slovakia, which has Candice Dupree and Angel McCoughtry, along with Erin Lawless. At the bottom of the list are leagues like Greece which are on shaky ground and where you hear the worst stories - teams folding and players not getting paid.
There are some Asian leagues that deserve to be ranked somewhere: the ones in China, South Korea and Japan come to mind, as well as the Australian League where Lauren Jackson is playing. But until a new "Worldbasket" website is created, we'll just have to make due with the given list.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Angel McCoughtry doing work.
The Good Angels got the upset in Italy and found themselves in a great position - getting the oppotunity to clinch at home. They made good use of that opportunity, winning 65-59 in Slovakia and propelling the Good Angels Kosike team into the Euroleague quarterfinals, a place no one expected the Good Angels Kosice team to be.
All of the information - game report, box score, gallery, etc. - are all at this link.
Beretta managed to get an 18-13 lead, but the second quarter was all Good Angels, going on a 15-9 run in the last four and a half minutes of the first half and taking a 39-33 halftime lead. With the score 54-43 at the end of the third quarter, Beretta stormed back in the fourth quarter with a 9-2 start to close the score to 56-52 with 5:46 left.
Beretta stayed within a couple of baskets until the last minute: Bernadette Ngoyisa scored on a one-and-one with 1:38 left to close to within 60-57. However, the Good Angels would go to the free throw line six times in the remainder of the game...and they'd hit all six shots.
Bernadette Ngoyisa was the player of the game, scoring 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 28 minutes for Beretta. Laura Macchi had 17points for Beretta, the only other player in double-digits for Beretta.
For the Good Angels, there were three players in double digits: Miljana Musovic scored 12 points. Candice Dupree scored 15 points and seven rebounds in 38 minutes. And of course, Angel McCoughtry also had a double-digit game:
4 personal fouls
Lyttle is second from left, undoubtedly looking for her 17th rebound.
For Bourges, it was a case of "there's no place like home". With 3000 spectators to provide support and a good first half, Bourges won the second game of their three-game series with Perfumerias to tie the series at 1-1. The deciding game will be played in Spain on Wednesday, February 10th.
All of the good stuff - game report, box score, play-by-play and photo gallery - can be found here.
Bourges managed to establish a modest 20-15 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes. Perfumerias briefly closed to 22-21 before Bourges marched out front again, leading 38-29 at halftime. However, in the third quarter Perfumerias began to get uncomfortably close to Bourges, with an Anna de Mondt lay-up closing the score to 43-41 with six minutes left. But Bourges managed to pull out in front again, leading 53-46 with one quarter left.
Perfumerias came charging back, hanging within a couple of baskets of Bourges late in the fourth quarter. With three seconds left in the game, an Anna de Mondt 3-point shot closed the gap to 67-64. However, Bourges had the ball, Perfumerias was forced to foul, and Anael Lardy made the final free throws for Bourges.
Styliani Kaltsidou scored 16 points and six rebounds for Bourges. Anael Lardi had 12 points and three rebounds in just 21 minutes played.
Anna de Mondt scored 14 points, three rebounds and three assists for Perfumerias. But the best player of the game was Sancho Lyttle....
16 rebounds with four offensive rebounds
38 minutes played
Sandra Le Dréan vs. Erika de Souza.
Ros Casares became the first team - chronologically speaking - to secure a spot in the "Elite Eight", the Eurocup Quarterfinals by defeating Prague 85-74 in the Czech Republic. Ros Casares swept the Czechs 2-0 to end the playoff.
All of the information - the game report, the play-by-play, the box score and a small gallery are right here.
What's to say? It really wasn't much of a contest despite the score. El Ros led 18-4 at the start and finished the first quarter with a 24-12 lead. Down 13 points at halftime, Prague would have to claw their way back. Prague managed to close to 55-46 in the third quarter but Ros Casares played just as well, leading 64-51 at the end of three quarters. With four minutes left, Prague closed to 74-66 but would never get any closer than eight points to Ros Casares.
Sandra Le Dréan scored 11 points and six rebounds for Prague. Katerina Elhotova led all scorers for Prague with 13 points.
Delisha Milton-Jones led Ros Casarese with 18 points and six rebounds. Amaya Valdemoro would have 12 points and five rebounds for El Ros. Erika de Souza would also break double-digits in points.
27 minutes played
Iziane Castro Marques tries to put Krakow on her back.
With Krakow winning the first game, the best-of-three series moved to Hungary. Down on the ropes in the fourth quarter, Pécs made a stunning fourth-quarter comeback in a must-win situation to win 68-64, tying the series at 1-1. Dalma Ivanyi's triple-double helped save the Hungarian team from elimination. The deciding Game Three will take place on Wednesday, February 10th.
The game report, box score, play-by-play and a small photo gallery are all here.
Pécs had the start of a good game. Pécs led 24-19 at the end of the first quarter, and built up a double-digit lead, 38-28 by halftime. However, Krakow began to come back despite the support of 3000 spectators - a 3-pointer by Marta Fernandez with 2:44 left in the third quarter put Krakow in the lead and the Polish team led 54-51 at the end of thirty minues.
But in the fourth quarter, Pécs rolled out to a 15-3 lead to start the quarter, leading the visitors 66-57 with five minutes left in the game. Krakow began their comeback, and would hold Pécs to just two points for the rest of the game -however, seven of those points came from free throws and Krakow could not buy a basket. Iziane Castro Marques went 0-for-3 in the last five minutes, including a couple of 3-point attempts in the final ten seconds.
The player of the game was Dalma Ivanyi, who carried the Pécs team on her back. She had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, going 4-for-5 from the 3-point line. Add four steals to that and it was a helluva game.
Ewelina Kobryn scored eight points and five rebounds for Krakwo. Janell Burse and Marta Fernandez had 16 points each.
Iziane Castro Marques scored in double-digits, but took a lot of shots to do it:
5-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-10 from the 3-point line
One rebound, one assist
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow have teams that have moved on to the Eurocup quarterfinals. Holdsclaw plays for K. V. Imperial and Snow plays for Dynamo Kursk.
Three Russian teams have moved on to the Eurocup quarterfinals: Dynamo Kursk, Nadezhda and Dynamo Moscow. The best-of-two series will be played on February 18th and February 25th.
The Eurocup Quarterfinals
K. V. Imperial vs. Nadezhda
Sony Athinaikos vs. Dynamo Moscow
Municipal Targoviste vs. Dynamo Kursk
TV Saarlouis Royals vs. USA Mondeville
Dynamo Kursk won their first game against Györ 85-56. Even with Györ playing at home, Dynamo Kursk won easily 85-44, insuring their advance to the quarterfinals.
The box score and play-by-play are all at this link.
Dynamo Kursk started 29-9 and never looked back, winning all four quarters. The big stat is in 2-point shooting - Dynamo Kursk went 27-for-38 from short range, a dizzying clip of 71 percent.
No player from Györ scored in double digits. The best of the least was Zsofia Horvath, who scored seven points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of play.
For Dynamo Kursk, Jillian Robbins led all scorers with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Sandra Linkeviciene scored 10 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Michelle Snow had a good game as well:
26 minutes of play
Gaelle Skrella and Chamique Holdsclaw tussle for the ball.
The box score, play-by-play and a small gallery are all here.
When you have to overcome a 20-point deficit from last week's game, you'd better try harder. Despite the presence of 800 spectators, Montpellier found themselves down 19-14 at the end of the first quarter and both teams came to a halt in the second quarter. (Montpellier scored 11 points...K. V. Imperial scored six.) Neither team broke 40 percent shooting in the game, and Montpellier just wasn't going to build enough points to stop K. V. Imperial.
The box score looks awful. Montpellier had 25 turnovers, K. V. Imperial had 22 turnovers. K. V. Imperial only had five assists.
Paulin Krawczyk socred 21 points and seven rebounds for Montpellier. Mandisa Stevenson had six points and 11 rebounds in Montpellier's final game in Eurocup.
As for K. V. Imperial, only two players scored more than 10 points. Biljana Pesovic scored 11 points but had six turnovers...and then, there was....
...the Claw. Chamique Holdsclaw was clearly the player of the game.
According to the Atlanta Dream, Belarussian center Yelena Leuchanka has been signed to a one-year contract by the Atlanta Dream.
“Yelena gives us great depth in the post area,” said Marynell Meadors, Dream general manager and head coach. “She’s a physical player with the ability to post up or shoot the midrange jumper. I have been fortunate to watch her over the years and she just keeps getting better. She’s going to be a very good player in the WNBA.”
The Atlanta Dream has been trying to sign this team for over two years now. In both 2008 and 2009 the DFO tried to pin Leuchanka down to a contract, and we were told over and over again that she was coming, but the DFO just couldn't get the signature on the paper. The Dream have finally hit the target.
Leuchanka is a native of Gomel, Belarus, a town close to the current boarder of Russia. Belarus was a part of the USSR when Leuchanka was a little girl. Leuchanka was a tall girl growing up and ended up at Olympic High School in Minsk, where her basketball training was intense. She made the Belarussian junior national team, but she wanted to come to the United States.
However, her English wasn't good enough to go to a four-year university. She started at Seminole Junior College and went to Wabash Valley Junior College, and finally came to West Vriginia. Unfortunately, she suffered ACL tears and sat out the 2003-04 season. She would also have another injury and sit out the second half of the 2004-05 seasons with a left knee injury. In 2006, she would be signed as a free agent by the Charlotte Sting in Charlotte's final year as a WNBA franchise. She would also play for the Washington Mystics in 2007. Over two years, she played a grand total of 67 minutes - but her Washington stint undoubtedly brought her to the attention of Marynell Meadors, then an assistant coach with Washington.
Since 2007, Leuchanka has played overseas for teams in Spain, Lithuania, Russia and Turkey. This year, she's averaging 10.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game in Euroleague, playing 30 minutes a game against the best players in the world. She's an 81 percent free throw shooter, and is no a shot blocker. She shoots 54.8 percent from the field.
So where does Leuchanka go? If the Dream want to keep three tall women on the roster next year, then one of these three players has to go: Sancho Lyttle, Erika de Souza or Michelle Snow. So, as the song goes "One of these things is not like the others...!"
Another question: in 2010 will Leuchanka have the kind of season she's having in Europe this year or will she revert to her 2006-07 numbers as a rarely used player? I don't know, but it will be interesting to find out!
As part of "NBA All-Star Saturday Night", teams from Texas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Sacramento will take part in a shooting competition on February 13th. Each team has a NBA Legend, an NBA All-Star and a WNBA player.
For Team Atlanta, Joe Johnson is the All-Star, Steve Smith is the NBA Legend, and Angel McCoughtry will be the WNBA player. The other WNBA players are Becky Hammon for Texas, Marie Ferdinand-Harris for Los Angeles, and Nicole Powell for Sacramento.
Two comments: first, it's good to see Angel McCoughtry get more attention. She's tearing it up in the WNBA, she's a candidate for the USA women's basketball team, she's a high scorer in Euroleague and now she's becoming a WNBA premier player. We might have a franchise player here.
Second, I guess the rosters were put together before the Maloofs folded the Monarchs. ::facepalm::
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
This year, the format of the WNBA playoffs will change.
In previous years, the top four teams from each conference were seeded #1 through #4. Each conference had a best-of-three semifinals and a best-of-three conference championships. The conference winners went to the WNBA Finals, which was best-of-five.
In each of those best-of-three series, the first game was played at the lower-seeded team's home court, and the other two games (if necessarily) were played at the higher seed. These best-of-three series will now open at the higher seed's home court, with the second game at the lower seed's home court. If a third game is necessary, that game will be played on the home court.
The WNBA Finals will continue its 2-2-1 format: higher seed home, then lower seed home, then a fifth game at the higher seed home if necessary.
If we had had this format last year, things might have been different. Atlanta might have gotten to play at Philips Arena. Instead, the first game of the Atlanta-Detroit series was played at Detroit, and since Philips Arena wasn't available for the second game, Atlanta had to play at Gwinnett Arena, where they lost.
I have a new fan post on Swish Appeal. Those interested in such questions as "which of the three assistant coaches becomes the official assistant coach?" or "how's Chamique Holdsclaw's knee doing?" can be found at the link.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Paul Nilsen over at FibaEurope.com writes about the success that Angel McCoughtry has had playing for the Good Angels Kosice:
It was such a great honour to be picked number one in the WNBA Draft - an honour that I will relish for the rest of my life. The WNBA experience was so different from the College experience. I'm playing with professionals now - that can really play. When I went to Atlanta I knew I would love it there and I do. It's a great city. You get better when you have a great surrounding cast, and I have that in Atlanta. Anything new at first takes time to adapt and since it was my rookie season, I had to learn fast.
My coach would always tell me I'm going to be great once I learn the system. Once you know what's expected of you, you work hard and try to be the best you can be.
I have been blessed to have a very good great coach on the Good Angels team and as well as competitive team members. I'm therefore very happy to be on this team and with this coach. Also, having Candice Dupree from the US really helped my transition. I've learned and gained experience from this league. Being in EuroLeague Women I've not just been in Slovakia of course, but also Paris, Prague, and Madrid and I am travelling to Italy this week. One day some of my team members and I travelled to Budapest and these are just beautiful, beautiful places! It's been so much fun and I'm so glad to be a part of this club!
Among other things, McCoughtry tells us that she's always looked up to Lisa Leslie and that she prefers to go by the nickname of "Angel Face". We at the Pleasant Dreams Blog will definitely comply!
More than likely, no one expected the Good Angels Kosice to win game one on the road in Euroleague. The Slovaks were one of only two teams on the road to win the opening game of their respective best-of-three 8th Finals series as Raffaella Masciardi of Beretta missed a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in the game that could have tied it for Beretta, which lost 70-67 at home.
Everything that you'd want - a box score, a game report, a play-by-play report and a small gallery are right here. The Good Angels could advance to the quarter-finals with a home win on Friday against Beretta.
After a tied first quarter, the Good Angels shifted into gear, winning the second quarter 30-18 and taking a 48-36 lead into halftime. Beretta managed to hold the visitors to just eight third-quarter points and the Good Angels only led 56-51 at the end of thirty minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Beretta made its move. A lay-up by Elisabetta Moro with 5:26 to go brought Beretta within two points, 61-59 and the Italians were never much more than a couple of baskets away. With 15 seconds left, Raffaella Masciardi nailed a 3-pointer for Beretta to close the team to 69-67.
The Good Angels put the ball in the hands of Angel McCoughtry, who was fouled and missed her first free throw, but hit her second. Beretta got the ball back and Masciardi tried again, but no luck. The Good Angels would get the rebound and the upset win.
All and all, this was a very close game. Bernadette Ngoyisa had 13 points and 9 rebounds for Beretta. Laura Macchi led Beretta with 24 points.
Lucia Kupcikova led all players on the Good Angels in points and rebounds with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Angel McCoughtry didn't have a good shooting game, but had nothing to be ashamed of.
2 blocked shots
31 minutes played