Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PER and the Triple Trade

The biggest thing in WNBA news is a three-team trade centered around the Phoenix Mercury's Cappie Pondexter. With Phoenix struggling with cap space, they send Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante to the New York Liberty. The Libs send Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to the Chicago Sky, and the Sky's Candice Dupree finds herself in a Mercury uniform.

I decided to look at the weighted Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) of all parties involved in the trade. The parenthesis indicate the minutes played by the given player - the resulting career PER is weighted by minutes.

Weighted Career PER

Dupree: 19.85
Pondexter/Mazzante: 21.63 (4110)/12.24(2852) : 17.78
Christon/Kraayeveld: 15.19 (5382)/13.24(3915) : 14.37

It look like at least in the short term, the winners are going to be the New York Liberty. If they can figure out a way to not play Kelly Mazzante - the weakest player involved in the trade - it's an even bigger win, but I suspect that the Libs need all the players they can get. Pondexter is entering the peak years of her career and as they say, "Pondexter can move product" - she's popular and fun. New York seems to have an affinity for players that have names that others find hard to spell, but I think that Pondexter is less likely to be misspelled than Cathrine Kraayeveld.

In the long term, the winner might be the Phoenix Mercury. Dupree isn't as good as Pondexter, but she's two years younger and there's more upside. Dupree is already a three-time All-Star and playing for a WNBA champion can't hurt her pedigree.

I suspect the losers are going to be the Chicago Sky. They lose their franchise player and Christon is two years away from the red light going off in her palm. However, Christon's last two years have been better than the previous years. Kraayeveld will just be glad to play.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This Week's Games

The only games that I know of are on Saturday. The Spanish League finishes up its regular season. In Turkey, Yelena Leuchanka and Ivory Latta meet in a regular season game.


LFB: Estudiantes (6-19) vs. Ros Casares (24-1)
LFB: Perfumerias (22-3) vs. Mariana (12-13)
LFB2: Burgos (21-3) vs. Carmelitas (3-21)
TBBL: Galatasaray (15-4) vs. Mersin (17-2)

Russia Superleague A Quarterfinals 2/2009 - Spartak Moscow 100, Vologda 62

For Spartak Moscow, the Russian quarterfinals are over - they win the first two games decisively in the best-of-three opening round, winning 100-62 yesterday over eighth-placed Volgoda. Spartak Moscow will play Dynamo Kursk on April 15th and 18th in the semifinals.

The box score is here.

Vologda actually played the tougher Spartak Moscow team closely on their home ground in the first quarter, only down by 22-20. The problem was that they had to play three more quarters of basketball, and Spartak Moscow won each quarter by at least ten points. It could be why only 650 Vologda fans bothered to show up.

Olga Yakovleva led Vologda with 17 points and five rebounds. (Vologda was out-rebounded 46-21.) Anastasia Pimenova scored 16 points and added four assists in the losing effort.

For Spartak Moscoe, Anete Jekabsone-Zogoto led with 18 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes played. Diana Taurasi added 18 points and Sue Bird scored seven points and seven assists.

Kelly Miller played 14 minutes...and made virtually no impact.

0 points
0 shots taken
2 rebounds
3 assists
14 minutes played

Chicago Sky Seals Cable TV Deal with Comcast

Chicago WNBA fans that have Comcast cable will be very happy campers, as almost all of the Sky's 2010 games will be broadcast on channel CN 100:

From the press release:

The Sky and CN100 have reached a groundbreaking agreement in which CN100 will carry 28 out of 34 Chicago Sky basketball games, including 15 Sky home games at Allstate Arena and 13 road games. Plus, the Sky will provide unique content, including extensive game-highlight videos and feature stories that will be available to Comcast customers via On Demand.

"Our fans deserve the best," said Margaret Stender, President and CEO of the Chicago Sky. "To that end, we are thrilled to be aligning with Comcast the market leader, and together providing comprehensive coverage of world class WNBA action and athleticism. It is a great growth statement for our fans and our franchise."

Add the two ESPN2 games and that's 30 out of 34 games televised this year - an increase of 600 percent over the previous year. Hey, maybe the Dream can swing a deal like that with Comcast Atlanta.....

(Tip provided by an anonymous commenter.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Anne Donovan to Seton Hall; Libs Screwed (Again)?

According to the good people at RebKell, it looks like Anne Donovan - the head coach of the New York Liberty after Pat Coyle was fired in mid-season - is going to take the job at Seton Hall University. It would be her first college coaching job.

From NorthJersey.com:

Seton Hall went 9-21 overall and 1-15 in the Big East this past season, the worst of (Phyllis) Mangina’s tenure.

Fan comments on RebKell sum it up:

If Seton Hall- a team that laid SUCH an egg against UConn that Geno damn near called out the administration for negligence, lost to Morgan State, got bitchslapped by Colorado, and was absolutely shredded by one of its alumnae- is a better gig than the Liberty, then what does that say about the Liberty?

Coaching in college is 100 times harder then the W!
You don't leave your W job, which is pretty damn well paid, for a job with a pathetic program that will take you 80-120 hours a week, every week, for the next I don't know how many years, for a college job even if it pays more unless you really hate where you are!

The Liberty are a franchise in crisis. I suppose the management is happy with being the Chicago Cubs of the WNBA. The season ticket holders, however, might have another opition.

UPDATE: It might be Patty Coyle instead of Anne Donovan:

Seton Hall, which accepted the resignation of Phyllis Mangina shortly after the Big East tournament, is said to be seriously considering former New York Liberty coach Pat Coyle....

It wouldn't be the first time a dead tree sports reporter didn't know anything about the WNBA and got the most elementary facts wrong.

UPDATE II: It's Donovan going to Seton Hall. She will be going after the 2010 Liberty season. (Link is here.)

New Post at Swish Appeal

I've posted a new fan post called Twenty Minutes of Hell at the Swish Appeal website. It's about a college team that could have given Nolan Richardson something to think about.

Galatasaray Wins Turkish Cup With Help of Leuchanka

Yelena Leuchanka and Sophia Young celebrate.

I knew that the Turkish teams weren't playing in the regular season this week, but I didn't know why. Of course, in order to find out why you had to be able to do the kind of navigation of international basketball that P. D. Swanson does over at Rebkell. Apparently, there was a Turkish Cup in the women's league over the weekend, which resulted in the regular season taking a week off.

The 18th Women's Cup involved eight teams: Besitkas, Ceyhan, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Istanbul University, Kayseri, Mersin, and Samsun. Play started on Friday with a single-elimination quarterfinals, the semifinals took place on Saturday and the final match took place today.

Galtasaray - Yelena Leuchanka's team - got off to a good start with a 84-59 whalloping of Ceyhan. No stats from that game, other than those Swanny was able to provide: Leuchanka only scored two points in a game marked by Tamika Catchings scoring 16 and Sophia Young scoring 15 in the victory.

The next day - Saturday - Galatasaray faced Mersin in the semifinals. You might remember Mersin as the home of ex-Dream player Ivory Latta. Galatasaray won the game 74-64 despite Latta pouring in 21 points for Mersin. Katie Douglas scored 19 points and six rebounds for Galatasaray, and Catchings and Young each scored 13.

Leuchanka woke up for this game. She scored nine points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Galatasaray moved on to face Turkish women's basketball power Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup final.

In the finals, Galatasaray got a close win against Fenerbahce, 57-55 to win the Turkish Cup. The game started out very close, with Fenerbahce edging out to a 20-17 lead after the first ten minutes. The second quarter was a real slog, with Fenerbahce scoring only seven points...and Galatasaray only scoring six. Fenerbahce took a 27-23 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Galatasaray began their comeback. It took all of the third quarter for Galatasaray to overcome the deficit, scoring the final points of the quarter to lead 45-43 at the end of the thirty minutes and insuring a fourth-quarter battle.

Galatasaray took a 53-48 point lead at one point in the final quarter but a Penny Taylor 3-pointer scored the score to 53-51. Leuchanka would be the next scorer for Galatasaray, and Galatasaray's defense would hold as they got the surprising cup victory.

Yelena Leuchanka was named the Most Valuable Player of the cup - once Leuchanka got warmed up, she was hard to stop. She scored 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting and picked up four rebounds in just 20 minutes of play. Her 14 points led all players in the final match.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plenette Pierson Is Simply Misunderstood

Tulsa Shock player Plenette Pierson wants the world to know that she's simply misunderstood in her blog. Hey, it's even in her header:

"I'm known as a WNBA player, WNBA two-time champion, WNBA's inaugural Sixth Woman of the Year, but I'm perceived to be a thug and the Queen of the Detroit's 'Bad Girl' persona. Most people have no idea; simply stated: I'm misunderstood."

In her latest blog entry, Pierson writes about the troubles in getting from America from Israel:

On Thursday, March 18th I was given permission to leave Israel and go home (jumps up and down excited)! Here's where all the problems start, I call US Airways to change my flight they inform me that if I want to leave on Friday, March 19th the change fee would be $800(difference in the price of the ticket) plus $250(change fee), I had to sit back and think how bad did I really want to leave Israel! I decided that I would check out my other options, well my other options were slim pickings because the next time that I could fly on that airlines was on March 27th and I had to pay $400(difference in the price of the ticket) plus $250(change fee), decisions decisions! I opted out out of both those options and just decided to purchase a whole new ticket and leave when I wanted. So when all my plans were finalized, my roommates threw me a going away party at our apartment and quite a few people showed up! It was the nicest thing that has happened to me by my teammates overseas. I had a blast and was sad to leave those guys! We will meet again soon!!

I hope that Pierson blogs as frequently as she's able. If there's any doubt that Pierson would go to Tulsa, it seems to be dispelled in her blog.

LFB2 24/2009 - Burgos 71, Cajacanarias 66

In the second division of the Spanish League, Burgos remains on top with a 71-66 win on the road over Cajacanarias.

No reporting on this game, just keeping a tab on Demetress Adams, who plays for Burgos. Adams had a great game today: a lot better than her usual sub-par performance.

15 points
7-for-10 shooting
9 rebounds

LFB 25/2009 - Perfumerias 64, Hondarribia 59

There's not much for Perfumerias to fight about. With a 22-3 record after their road win against Hondarribia, they've clinched second place in the Liga Feminina. The 64-59 win is closer than expected against a 7-18 team, but a win is a win is a win.

The box score is here.

Perfumerias was fairly confident of winning, according to the FEB website. Both teams found it hard to score in the first quarter, and Perfumerias barely led 12-11 after the first ten minutes. Sancho Lyttle kept Perfumerias ahead on the scoreboard and only a last-second shot by Anna Deforge of Hondarribia kept Perfumerias's lead within a couple of baskets, 32-27 at halftime.

Perfumerias kept the lead until Hondarribia made a 10-0 third quarter run, leading 55-49 at one time. This forced Perfumerias to clamp down on defense, and Perfumerias fought their way back to a 57-57 tie with 4:40 left. Le'Coe Willingham stepped up for Perfumerias in the last few minutes and helped the visiting team get the victory.

Anna Deforge scored 23 points and four rebounds for Hondarribia. Deforge played seven games for the Detroit Shock last season in the WNBA. The only other player scoring in double-figures for the home team was Maria Sanchez-Aguilera was 11 points. Neither team was effective on the boards, but Perfumerias won that battle 33-23.

Le'Coe Willingham scored 14 points and five rebounds for Perfumerias, and Anke de Mondt also scored 10 points for Perfumeria, but the player of the game - and possibly the player of Spain - is Sancho Lyttle, with another amazing game. Lyttle is averaging over 10 rebounds a game in Spain.

18 points
8-for-13 shooting
14 rebounds
3 assists
5 steals
36 minutes played

LFB 25/2009 - Ros Casares 105, Real Canoe 61

El Ros has run away with the regular season crown.

Ros Casares has already sealed the top spot in the Spanish postseason, and they only have one more game to play after the one they played against Real Canoe today. It wasn't much of a competition as Ros Casares advanced their regular season record to 24-1 with a 105-61 win against Real Canoe.

The box score is here.

There's not much to say about this one - it was a rout, with El Ros starting out 7-0 and forcing Real Canoe coach John Diniz to ask for a time out. Ros Casares was leading 25-9 after the first quarter and 48-20 at halftime. Ros Casares won every quarter by at least seven points, shooting 60 percent from the field and holding Real Canoe to 15 total rebounds.

Laura Garcia Salinero lead Real Canow with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Cela Maria Menendez Anatoli was the only other Real Canoe player to break double figures with 17 points.

As for Ros Casares, it was an easy victory with five players in double figures, including Delisha Milton-Jones with 18 points and 7-for-10 shooting, and Belinda Snell with 15 points and five steals. (The crowd at Valencia - this was Ros Casares's final regular season home game - was shouting "MVP! MVP!" for Milton-Jones.) Erika de Souza was the informal player of the game, racking up a lot of points in a very short time:

17 points
8-for-11 shooting
9 rebounds
2 steals
22 minutes of play

PLKK Quarterfinals 3/2009 - Polkowice 75, Krakow 66

For Iziane Castro Marques's team, there's still the Euroleague semifinals to take care of on April 9th. However, in Poland...Krakow's season is over. With a 75-66 loss in Polkowice, Krakow has been eliminated from the Polish league post-season.

The box score is here.

One fan joked: "Wisla Can-Pack Krakow - fourth best team in Europe...and fifth best team in Poland". Krakow got off to a great start in the first quarter, leading 19-13 after the first quarter. Unfortunately, Krakow was held to just 12 second quarter points and trailed 38-31 at halftime. After that, Polkowice needed to hold out during the second half, and it appears that Krakow always trailed behind in the second half, never really making a serious push to overcome Polkowice.

The player that put Polkowice over the top was Amisha Carter, a Louisiana Tech graduate who led Polkowice with 20 points and 14 rebounds, fouling out in the fourth quarter after 35 minutes. Natalija Trofimowa scored 22 points and eight rebounds, and Shannon Bobbitt only score two points but had six assists.

As for Krakow, only five players scored. Ewelina Kobryn led with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Janell Burse scored 14 points and nine rebounds. But the rest of the team! Liren Cohen has zero points and three assists in 19 minutes of play. And Iziane Castro Marques had a horrible game for Krakow:

10 points
4-for-18 shooting
4 rebounds
1 assist
33 minutes of play

And You Too Can Be in the WNBA

The Tulsa Shock is holding open tryouts for a possible roster spot. The full article is here.

The tryouts will be at 9 a.m. April 21 at Oral Roberts University. The Shock's first camp opens April 25.

Coach Nolan Richardson will oversee the tryout camp, which is open for women 22 and older who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility.


Registration for the tryout costs $120 and includes two lower level tickets to the Shock's home opener May 15 against the Minnesota Lynx. The tryout is open for fans.

All right. You want to play for the WNBA. Here's your chance. Since there are some Shock players that we still don't know if they're going to show up or not, you too can enjoy the thrill of being on Candace Parker's "Dunk" poster.

Friday, March 26, 2010

McCoughtry's Time Up in Slovakia; Back Next Year?

It looks like McCoughtry is back in the United States because her contract has ran out. The Good Angels team is so overwhelming that they need neither her nor Candice Dupree to clean up in the Slovak Extraliga. Now that the Good Angels have been knocked out of the Euroleague Quarterfinals, McCoughtry and Dupree were dismissed at the end of February.

The article is here.

Daniel Jendrichovský, the general manager of the club, had this to say:

"For several years, it remains the preserve of our team to bring the new rising stars, who are four months with us much more demanding in Europe. Candice and Angel want to return here. I would be very happy if our city even higher territorial unit to help in this difficult time, because without them we have no chance. I would like us to Euroleague returned to Kosice in the next season, although it will be very difficult."

Will McCoughtry give Slovakia another try next year? We'll have to wait and see.

Russia Superleague A Quarterfinals 1/2009 - Spartak Moscow 109, Vologda 74

You might be wondering, "hey, Michelle Snow's no longer on the Dream, so why write about Russian basketball?" The answer is that as we lose one Dream player who plays for the Russians, we pick up another Dream player who plays for the Russians, this time in the form of Kelly Miller. Kelly Miller plays for one of the two best teams in Russia. And make that "the two best teams in Europe". Spartak Moscow is in top form both in the Russia Superleague and in Euroleague, and they get their first win by a score of 109-74 in the best-of-three series.

The box score is here.

Players suchs as Irina Osipova and Sylvia Fowles worked the boards while Miller and Sue Bird worked the perimeter. Spartak Moscow led by 29-10 after the first quarter and by 60-30 at halftime.

According to a write-up about the game, "even inaccurate throws became productive attacks" at the hands of Spartak Moscow. At one point, Spartak Moscow led 90-49.

Anastasia Pimenov scored 18 points for Vologda. Olga Yakovleva led the team in rebounds with six rebound and eight points, but Vologda was out-rebounded 47-19.

Seven players scored in double figures for Spartak Moscow. Ilona Korstin had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Irina Osipova had 10 rebounds and 10 rebounds.

Kelly Miller had a good game:

11 points
5-for-10 shooting
4 rebounds
no assists
20 minutes played

So how has Kelly Miller been doing this season in the Russia Superleague?

6.5 ppg
3.2 rpg
2.4 apg
22 minutes per game

I suspect those will be her numbers in the W this year as well.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

McCoughtry Back in Atlanta?

I have no news as to whether or not Angel McCoughtry has abandoned her club in Slovakia. Not that it would matter if she did. The team is undefeated in Slovakia, Euroleague is over and the Good Angels Kosice team won its opening playoff games by about 80 points. It's not exactly like they need her.

The picture above comes from the Atlanta Dream Facebook page.

Also according to Facebook - McCoughtry will be on Sportsnite at 6 pm ET on Friday Night. You can find that on the CSS Network.

PLKK Quarterfinals 2/2009 - Krakow 83, Polkowice 61

In the best-of-three series, Krakow went back home to play #4 seed Polkowice needing a win to avoid elimination. It was very tight for the first thirty minutes but Krakow pulled out an 83-61 win in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. The series heads back to Polkowice on Saturday for its deciding game.

The box score is here.

The first half of the game was virtually a dead heat, with Krakow leading 35-34 at the end of the second quarter. The game began to tilt in Krakow's direction with Krakow leading 62-56 at the end of the third, but that wasn't enough to ensure a win. What did ensure the victory was Krakow holding Polkowice to just five fourth-quarter points. Polkowice's coach complained about the officiating, but all Polkowice could do was helplessly watch Krakow seal the Game Two victory.

Nadia Parker of Polkowice was injured in a third-quarter collision with Dorota Gburczyk. I believe she was hauled off the court around 2:13 of the video above. Odds are, she might not be available for Game Three in Polkowice.

Amisha Carter led Polkowice with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Shannon Bobbitt followed with 13 points and four assists.

The player of the game was Janell Burse who had 22 points and eight rebounds for Krakow. Ewelina Kobryn added 20 points and Agnieszka Majewska scored 16.

Iziane Castro Marques had an good game:

14 points
6-for-13 shooting
6 rebounds
6 assists
33 minutes played

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 Atlanta Dream Shaping Up, Part III

Here's the current shape of the Atlanta Dream as of this writing:

C Yelena Leuchanka
F-C Erika de Souza

F Chamique Holdsclaw
F Jennifer Lacy (*)
F Sancho Lyttle
F Angel McCoughtry
F Demetress Adams

F-G Iziane Castro Marques
G-F Armintie Price
G Shalee Lehning
G Erica White
G Coco Miller
G Kelly Miller

(*) - Unsigned free agent.

Unlucky thirteen. And after the draft, make that 14-16.

Ivory Latta Released by Dream

The Ivory Latta era is over...again. Today, Ivory Latta was released by the Atlanta Dream for the second time in her career.

The news release is here.

Quoteth the coach:

"On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to thank Ivory for her contributions on and off the court," said Dream General Manager & Head Coach Marynell Meadors. "Ivory has been an important part of this franchise since our inaugural season and we wish her the best in the future."

My immediate thoughts:

1. With the Ivory Latta Depature v. 2, this leaves only three players who have played for the Dream the entirety of its existence: Erika de Souza, Jennifer Lacy, and Iziane Castro Marques.

2. It doesn't guarantee that this is Latta's last departure. Last year, Latta was the final cut of the Dream training camp...but when Nikki Teasley bailed out the Dream needed someone who could throw the three...so Latta came back.

3. If Demetress Adams makes the team this frees her up to wear #12. However, she wore #24 at South Carolina, she's wearing #12 in international ball.

4. It is my hope that this finally ends the battle over Latta vs. Lehning.

This battle has consumed the psychic energy of Atlanta Dream fandom. All of last year this battle was fought in comment threads and message boards. It got very ugly, generating a lot of ill will between fans with charges that Marynell Meadors was racist for letting Latta go in favor of the white point guard. As long as both players (and Meadors) were on the team, the fight was always going to be there.

Hopefully, it's over now. For better or for worst (hopefully for better), it looks like either Shalee Lehning or Kelly Miller will be the Atlanta Dream point guard. A lot of Ivory Latta fans are going to be seriously bummed out. Some will abandon the Dream as Latta goes. The rest of us will just have to carry on.

I was very lucky to talk to Ivory Latta several times, particularly during the 2008-09 season. Nothing personal, just game post-mortem. She was always extremely polite and could always address the losses - she was one of the bright points in a horrible 2008 season. I don't know why she can't stay with a team, but one-on-one she's a charming person. I wish her the very best of luck and I hope that she catches on with someone else. (Preferably in the Western Conference!)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This Week's Schedule

No basketball in Turkey next week for some reason, save for a late game on Monday. Slovakia and Poland have moved into the post-season, and if Krakow doesn't win the next two games then Iziane Castro Marques won't play again until the Euroleague semifinals in April.

Incidentally, the Cyprus season is over with Chamique Holdsclaw's K. V. Imperial winning the championship. That was on March 3rd. I think it took the news that long to get out of Cyprus.


TBBL: Mersin (16-2) vs. Canyaka (3-15)


PLKK Quarterfinals: Krakow vs. Polkowice, Game 2


Slovakia Extraliga Semifinals: Good Angels Kosice vs. Poprad, Game 1


PLKK Quarterfinals: Polkowice vs. Krakow, Game 3 (if necessary)
LFB: Hondarribia (7-17) vs. Perfumerias (21-3)
LFB: Ros Casares (23-1) vs. Real Canoe (8-16)
LFB2: Cajacanarias (18-6) vs. Burgos (20-3)


Slovakia Extraliga Semifinals: Poprad vs. Good Angels Kosice, Game 2

TBBL 19/2009 - Galatasaray 77, Kayseri 69

In Turkey, Galatasaray continues to firm up its position in the Turkish league. With three more games left in the regular season, Galatasaray moves to 15-4 and in third place with a 77-69 win over visiting Kayseri. Galatasaray has already secured third place; the hope is to eclipse Mersin (home of Ivory Latta) for second.

The box score is here.

The score of this game remained tight during the first, but Galatasaray became more confident in the second, holding Kayseri to 15 points and leading 43-35 at halftime. LaToya Pringle helped Kayseri get off to a better start in the third, and Kayseri fought its way to a 46-46 tie. However, despite the work of Pringle - and Julie McBride in the fourth quarter - Galatasaray regained its lead and kept it.

Latoya Pringle led Kayseri with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Vicki Johnson scored 16 points for Kayseri, and Julie McBride scored five points in limited minutes. McBride graduated from Syracuse in 2004.

For Galatasaray, Sophia Young led with 21 points and 12 minutes. Emine Palazoglu scored 14 points and Katie Douglas scored 12.

Yelena Leuchanka didn't score many points - she had a horrible shooting game - but she got a lot of rebounds.

4 points
1-for-9 shooting
9 rebounds
3 assists
29 minutes

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Slovakia Extraliga Quarterfinals 2/2009 - Good Angels Kosice 106, Banská Bystrica 32

The Good Angels Kosice team moved on to the semifinals of the Slovakia Extralegia after wiping out Banská Bystrica on the road 106-32. Over the two games the Good Angels scored 221 points to Banská Bystrica's 59.

The closest thing to a box score is here. Printing it might be a war crime in Slovakia.

Once again, Candice Dupree and Angel McCoughtry did not play. Only 200 of Banská Bystrica's showed up for their home game. This game was a foregone conclusion.

PLKK Quarterfinals 1/2009 - Polkowice 83, Krakow 78

Iziane Castro Marques can't stop Daria Mieloszyńska's 21 points.

Eight teams go into the Polish post-season, including #4 seed Polkowice and #5 seed Krakow. The series is a best-of-three. If that's true, then Krakow is going to regret losing home field advantage as home team Polkowice wins 83-78 in Game 1.

The box score is here. A gallery of game images can also be found here.

I don't have information about the play-by-play. Krakow started off well, leading 25-14 after the first quarter, but Polkowice won each of the remaining quarters. Krakow still had a 42-41 lead going into halftime, and over the third quarter Polkowice and Krakow ended up tied after thirty minutes, 61-61.

Shannon Bobbitt scored 21 points for Polkowice, but Daria Mieloszyńska added not only 21 points but six rebounds as well. Amisha Carter had 11 points and 10 rebounds but shot 4-for-15 for Polkowice. Carter played for both the Mystics and the Liberty, Carter's final year in the WNBA being 2005.

Liron Cohen scored eight points and nine assists in the loss by Krakow. Janell Burse was the player of the game with 24 points and nine rebounds, but Iziane Castro Marques had a great game as well:

25 points
9-for-17 shooting
3-for-4 3-points shooting
4 rebounds
4 assists
34 minutes of play

The two teams meet again in Krakow on Wednesday for Game 2.

Lyttle and De Souza: Teammates in 2010-11 in Spain?

A very interesting article from Tribuna.net in Spain.

Right now, Atlanta's posts - Erika de Souza and Sancho Lyttle - play for two different teams in Spain, Ros Casares and Perfumerias respectively.

It appears that both de Souza and Lyttle are thinking about contract negotiations for next season. Furthermore, this year is the final year of Erika de Souza's contract with Ros Casares. And now the surprise - Ros Casares would like Sancho Lyttle to play for them...and Perfumerias wants Erika de Souza.

If those two players end up on the same team in the 2010-11 season, look out Liga Femenina!

LFB 24/2009 - Ros Casares 72, Perfumerias 68

Ros Casares went on the road to Salamanca, and for Perfumerias it was the same old story: a defeat at the hands of one of the best teams in Europe, this time losing 72-68 at home. El Ros advances to 23-1 and with two games left in the regular season secures first place for the rest of the season. Ros Casares secures home team advantage throughout the post-season.

The box score is here.

Ros Casares led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter, but Perfumerias came on strong in the second quarter. Perfumerias went on a 12-2 run and another 7-0 run that gave Perfumerias a halftime lead of 46-32, Perfumerias's highest lead in the game. But Delisha Milton-Jones and Belinda Snell led a comeback that rapidly dwindled Perfumerias's 14-point lead.

Erika de Souza earned her fourth foul two minutes into the third quarter and was mostly consigned to the bench. El Ros clamped down the defense, and with Snell and Jana Vesela working the perimeter, Perfumerias only led 56-53 at the end of three quarters. With five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Ros Casares took a 63-62 lead and was in control for the remainder of the game.

Le'Coe Willingham had 14 points and five rebounds for Perfumerias, and Alba Torrens added 13 points and three rebounds. Leading Perfumerias was Sancho Lyttle:

10 points
3-for-6 shooting
9 rebounds
32 minutes played

For Ros Casares, Delisha Milton-Jones scored 22 points to lead the winners. Belinda Snell had 14 points and six rebounds, and Laia Palau had four points and nine rebounds.

Erika de Souza didn't have much of a game, playing only for 16 minutes.

6 points
3-for-5 shooting
5 rebounds
4 fouls
16 minutes played

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 Atlanta Dream Shaping Up, Part II

Here's the current shape of the Atlanta Dream as of this writing:

C Yelena Leuchanka
F-C Erika de Souza

F Chamique Holdsclaw
F Jennifer Lacy (*)
F Sancho Lyttle
F Angel McCoughtry
F Demetress Adams

F-G Iziane Castro Marques
G-F Armintie Price
G Ivory Latta
G Shalee Lehning
G Erica White
G Coco Miller
G Kelly Miller

(*) - Unsigned free agent.

I expect at least a couple of more changes before the year is over. Fourteen players there, so three of them are going to go.

PLKK 26/2009 - Krakow 91, Pruszkow 78

So how far will Krakow go in the post-season?

The regular season in Polish women's basketball ended on Wednesday. In their final regular season game, Krakow defeated Pruszkow 91-78 at home. Unfortunately, Krakow finished at 17-7 and tied with Polkowice...but Polkowice finished fourth, Krakow finished fifth and with eight teams in the quarterfinals, Krakow will not earn home field advantage.

The box score is here. A gallery of game images can also be found here.

According to the write-up on the PLKK site, the game seemed over at the end of the first, with Krakow taking a 23-14 lead. Ashley Shields helped Pruszkow make a mini-comeback in the second quarter, and closed the gap to five points, 47-42 at halftime. However, Krakow was firmly in control in the second half and the Krakow coach emptied the bench in the fourth quarter.

Krakow takes on Polkowice on Saturday in Game 1 of the PLKK Quarterfinals. I don't know how the Polish post-season works, so we'll make it up as we go along.

The player of the game was clearly Ashley Shields, who scored 34 points (!!!) and eight rebounds in 35 minutes of play. She was fouled nine times during the game, and Shields scored 10 points at the free throw line. Joanna Górzyńska-Szymczak added 14 points and five rebounds.

Janelle Burse carried the burden for Krakow, scoring 19 points in 25 minutes of play. Among other players breaking double-digits were Marta Fernandez with 13 points and Dorota Gburczyk with 11 points.

Iziane Castro Marques only played for 21 minutes but made quite an impact.

17 points
6-for-9 shooting
3-for-3 from 3-point range
2 rebounds
21 minutes of play

Bus for Road Trip to Tennessee Tech Game on May 9th

As it turns out, it looks like the Atlanta Dream is going to get a bus together to take fans from Atlanta to the Tennessee Tech game.

However, you have to contact Lauren Brooks at 678-510-7469. Either that, or e-mail Lauren.Brooks@AtlantaDream.net. Offer expires March 19th...wait a second...that's tomorrow! If you're looking for a free ride, you need to give Lauren a call or drop her a line.

UPDATE: It doesn't look like the trip is free, tho. A fan had the following comment:

Season Ticket Holder Road Trip!
As the Dream kicks off its preseason this year at Tennessee Tech, we would like to organize a trip for our season ticket holders to travel to Cookeville to support the team! The game is scheduled for Sunday, May 9 at 3 pm CT. The package for this trip would include a round trip bus ride and ticket to the Dream-Mystics game. If you are interested in attending, please contact Lauren Brooks at 678-510-7469 or Lauren.Brooks@AtlantaDream.net. Please specify the anticipated number of people attending. The estimated price for this trip is $40, but please note that we must meet a minimum attendance requirement in order to move forward with the trip.

However, it is posted on the Atlanta Dream web site without reference to season ticket holders. I'd just call or send an e-mail if I had questions.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Double Your Fun: Kelly Miller Joins Twin Sis Coco on Dream

Free agent Kelly Miller signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Dream today. She joins her identical twin sister Coco Miller on the Dream, who of course signed her two-year contract on the same day. It is the first time that the Miller twins have been on the same team since they played alongside each other in the defunct NWBL.

The proof is right here. Coco Miller sounded excited:

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to play with Kelly again,” said Coco Miller. “With the new roster additions and talented returning players, it's going to be a very exciting year for the Dream!”

How do you tell the difference between the two? The one who's crying is Kelly Miller. (Old WNBA joke.) Comparing the Millers from last year:

Coco Miller: 34 games played, 5 started, 3.9 ppg/1.5 rpg/1.0 apg
Kelly Miller: 34 games played, 25 games started, 4.4 ppg/2.2 rpg/2.0 apg

Forgive me, but the Millers aren't the solution to Atlanta's point guard problem. Coco's 2009 PER was 10.37; Kelly's was 8.04. Coco Miller's best year was 2003 and she's been a sub-average player since 2007. Kelly's been an average player for most of her career but 2008 and 2009 were years to forget. This was pretty much a desperation sign, after Katie Smith signed with the Washington Mystics. The Miller will move product if nothing else.

Of course, I could be wrong and if I'm shown wrong, I'll be quite happy. Welcome to the Dream, Kelly! Let's hope that the sum of the Millers is greater than the whole of its parts.

UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution chimes in.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Slovakia Extraliga Quarterfinals 1/2009 - Good Angels Kosice 115, Banská Bystrica 27

Yes, that score is correct. Angel McCoughtry's Good Angels Kosice team beat Banská Bystrica by 88 points. Part of the box score is here.

Let's look at the quarter-by-quarter score:

Quarter 1: 36-8
Quarter 2: 29-2
Quarter 3: 30-9
Quarter 4: 20-8

Erin Lawnless played and scored 11 points. Candice Dupree and Angel McCoughtry didn't play at all. Banská Bystrica knew they were in trouble when they saw McCoughtry in her bathrobe and shower cap and Dupree working on her taxes.

Lifelock to Continue Sponsorship of Mercury for 2010

Lifelock will continue its sponsorship of the Phoenix Mercury for the 2010, accordiing to the Arizona Republic.

According to the Arizona Republic, the sponsorship is in the second of three years and was a seven-figure deal.

[Jay Perry, Mercury President] and [Andrew Wyant] said the benefits of last year's uniform naming exceeded expectations. It was covered extensively by ESPN, financial-news networks and mainstream media.

"We blew those initial projections away probably six times greater than we thought it would be," she said.

Wyant said the value of the initial media coverage "far exceeded" sponsorship costs.

Now all we need to see this year is a Coke sponsorship for the Dream. And if Coke won't agree...go to Pepsi. (Evil laugh.)

Erika de Souza Signed to Two-Year Contract

Atlanta's power in the post should be intact for the 2010 and 2011 seasons as Erika de Souza was re-signed to a two year contract. The notice from the Dream is here:

“It’s a situation where Erika wanted to be here and we certainly wanted her back,” said Dream General Manager & Head Coach Marynell Meadors. “She is one of the best centers in the world right now. We are very fortunate that were able to sign her to a two year deal.”

We're getting closer to that 2010 season. It's two months away. Woo-hoo!

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Week's Schedule

Not much going on this week at the pro level. It's probably just as well, as most attention will turn towards the NCAA women's tournament. The Polish league plays its final regular season game of the season. Information about the Slovak post-season and Angel McCoughtry will be provided as soon as we have it. In the Spanish league, the two top teams face each other.


PLKK: Krakow (16-7) vs. Brzeg (12-11)


LFB: Perfumerias (21-2) vs. Ros Casares (22-1)


TBBL: Kayseri (10-8) vs. Galatsaray (14-1)
TBBL: Mersin (16-1) vs. Cankaya (3-15)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TBBL 17/2009 - Mersin 87, Beşiktaş 80

Mersin improved its record for the year to 16-1 with an 87-80 win on the road against Beşiktaş. Beşiktaş falls to 8-10 on the year.

The box score is here.

It was an evenly matched 24-24 first quarter...and second quarter as well. Beşiktaş led 46-44 at halftime. It looks, however, as if Mersin was able to slowly edge ahead and secure a second half victory. (Really, there wasn't much of a writeup on the Turkish League web site, and the league is generally good at that.)

Shavonte Zellous scored 25 points and had six rebounds for Beşiktaş. Kelly Santos added 15 points and seven rebounds and Nykesha Sales scored 12 points and six rebounds.

Three players broke double-digits for Mersin. Barbara Turner scored 14 points, six rebounds and four assists and Korel Engin added 13 points and seven rebounds.

The high scorer of the game? Ivory Latta.

23 points
10-for-10 free throw shooting
2 rebounds
3 assists
2 steals
27 minutes played

Saturday, March 13, 2010

LFB2A 23/2009 - Burgos 73, University of Ferrol 63

Burgos remains on top of the Spanish League 2 (A level) with a 73-63 win over visiting University of Ferrol. The box score of the game is here.

I'm not going to report in depth about any of these games because it's unlikely that you've heard of any of these players. I'll just highlight which American players ended up in the Liga Femenina 2.

University of Ferrol

Britany Miller: Miller played eight minutes for the Detroit Shock last year. She scored seven points and four rebounds before fouling out after 33 minutes. She's averaging 16.2 ppg and 9.5 rpg in the Liga Femenina 2.

Kate Mills: Mills graduated from Massachusetts in 2008. Mills was University of Ferrol's top scorer, scoring 24 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 9-for-13. Mills averages 16.5 ppg and 8.7 rpg this year for the University of Ferrol.


Demetress Adams: Adams only scored 2 points, but had 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 turnovers in 28 minutes of play. Adams averages 6.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg in Spain's lower league.

TBBL: 18/2009 - Galatasaray 82, Çankaya University 63

Galatasara is standing in second place in the Turkish league. I don't know why, since 15-1 has more wins and fewer losses. (Every country has their own system.) Galatasaray should not be in any danger of falling out of second with their 82-63 win over visiting team Çankaya University.

The box score is here.

Galatasaray took a 10-7 lead after five minutes and expanded the lead to ten points, 25-15 after the end of ten minutes. In the second quarter, Galatasaray took a 9-0 run at the beginning to extend their lead to 34-15. By halftime, Galatasaray led 41-29.

There would be no threat from Çankaya University. In the third period, Galatasary extended their lead to 66-46 and held Çankaya University off for the rest of the game. The headline? "Galatasaray won without difficulty".

Megan Frazee led Çankaya University with 16 points and seven rebounds. Lyndra Weaver, the former Lyndra Littles, scored eighth points and nine rebounds for the visitors.

Sophia Young was Galatasaray's leading scorer with 17 points. Tamika Catchings added 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Yelena Leuchanka would only play 18 minutes but she would also break double digits in scoring:

10 points
3-for-6 shooting
4-for-4 free throw shooting
3 rebounds

PLKK 23/2009 - Krakow 78, Gorzow 77

Despite all of the hullabaloo about Krakow making it to the semifinals of Euroleague, the queens of the Polish League were Gorzow. Krakow wasn't likely to beat Ros Casares, Ekaterinburg or Spartak Moscow for a Euroleague title but Gorzow were definitely the favorites to go undefeated. They had already mathematically secured the regular season title and first place in the season. They had nothing to worry about, right?

Not anymore. Krakow went to Gorzow and beat them 78-77, ending Gorzow's perfect record. Gorzow falls to 22-1 and Krakow goes to 16-7. Depending on how Polkowice does, Krakow could move up to 4th place in the league and gain home field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs - Krakow only has three regular season games left.

The box score is here.

There's no write-up of the game just yet - this is "hot off the press" - but someone wrote that Janell Burse had 11 points and 11 rebounds in just 11 minutes. Despite that, Gorzow was in control of the game early, leading 26-19 after the first quarter and 51-40 at halftime.

However, Krakow came fighting back. They would win the third quarter by five points and close the gap to 62-56 at the end of thirty minutes. I'm reading this person who live-blogged the game in Poland and apparently:

Great defense score, did not finish the action. Marques and already only 74:73 50 seconds to end

74:75 Kobryn, but three Żurooooowskaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!!!!! 77:75 for 14 seconds before the end. Links Vistula, smells OT

All the standing odlądają tip !!!!! Fernandez for three. Unlikely ... less than two seconds to the end. Will we live?

It looks like Marta Fernandez hit a 3-pointer with less than two seconds left in the game that put Krakow up to stay.

Liudmila Sapova led Gorzow with 19 points. Justyna Żurowska scored18 points, four rebounds and two assists for Gorzow. Sidney Spencer would add 10 points for the home team.

For the visiting Krakow team, Janell Burse had an amazing game - 15 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out. (Burse only played 23 minutes.) Marta Fernandez made the game-winning shot scoring 20 points with 3-for-4 three-point shooting.

The other player to carry the burden for Krakow? Iziane Castro Marques:

16 points
7-for-14 shooting
4 rebounds
29 minutes played

"And you thought WNBA Live Access was disappointing...."

From the Spanish sports site enCancha.com:

Feb.es. The website of the Spanish Federation continues to provide coverage for the day of very poor quality. In broadcasting, the actual quality of the image and position of the chambers are very poor in most games. No comments, no placards and time marker, but a deafening sound environment. Nothing more was heard of "The match of the day" of the Women's League. Too much expense for the FEB.

The alternative is the "Basketball in vivo.A good idea, if it were not for the markers are not so vivid. Often left standing during matches, and sometimes never even get started. These are failures that we suffer for a long time and remain unresolved. This neglect by those responsible for the FEB website is a reflection of the attitude of its leaders to the Women's League. It is not a money issue, is an attitude problem.

Maybe that should be the counter-argument. "It's not a money problem, it's an attitude problem." I'm going to remember that the next time the WNBA pleads poverty on something.

LFB 23/2009 - Perfumerias 94, Real Canoe 46

First place and second place look secure in the Liga Femenina as second-place Perfumerias comes to Madrid and rolls over home team Real Canoe 94-46. Perfumerias advances to 21-2 with Real Canoe falling to 7-16.

The box score is here.

The game was a disaster for Real Canoe. Perfumerias stated out 8-0 and scored 20 points in five minutes against Real Canoe's 2-3 zone. Up 59-25 at halftime, Perfumieras buried Real Canoe in the third quarter, holding Real Canoe to just six points. The score was 80-31 after thirty minutes.

Real Canoe only played seven players, with four of those players scoring three points or less. Marta Blanes and Evelina Guneva were the only players to break double-digits for Real Cano with 11 and 13 points respectively.

Five players scored in double figures for Perfumerias. Alba Torrens scored 17 points and Anke de Mondt and Marta Xargay each had 11 points. The player of the day for Perfumerias, however, was Sancho Lyttle who turned in another amazing performance:

22 points
7-for-11 shooting
8-for-9 free throw shooting
11 rebounds
5 offensive rebounds
4 assists
29 minutes of play

LFB 23/2009 - Ros Casares 93, Gran Canaria 69

The first game of note this Saturday turned out to be a laugher - Gran Canaria was down 27-5 at one point in the first quarter and was down by 23 points at the end of the first half. They never returned to make a contest of it as Ros Casares won 93-69 at home in Valencia. Ros Casares jumps up to 22-1 with just three games left in the regular season. Gran Canaria falls to 10-13 and hangs on to 7th place, still hoping for a run at th post-season - the top eight teams go to the post-season.

The box score is here.

Gran Canaria turned the ball over six times in the first 10 minutes. In the final period, both sides rested their players, thinking about the post-season.

Arina Markotenko and Jaklin Zlatanova each had 15 points for Gran Canaria - even though Zlatanova also had six turnovers. Utah graduate Morgan Wharburton added eight points but also had six turnovers.

Belinda Snell had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists for Ros Casares. Delisha Milton-Jones led the team with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. She was the best player of the game, barely edging out Erika de Souza.

How did Erika de Souza fare? Very well:

17 points
8-for-10 shooting
11 rebounds
4 offensive rebounds
5 blocked shots
27 minutes played

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Promotional Video for Chicago Sky

Unfortunately, I can't post it on the blog, but give it a look:


At the link above, obviously.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2010 Atlanta Dream Numbers

And now, some 2010 Atlanta Dream jersey number history


#1 - Chamique Holdsclaw (2009-present)

#2 – Michelle Snow (2009)

#4 – Kristin Haynie (2008)

#5 - Shalee Lehning (2009-present)

#7 - Chantelle Anderson (2009 Preseason) - worn at training camp 2009

#8 – Iziane Castro Marques (2008-present)

#9 – Chioma Nnamaka (2008)
Coco Miller (2009-present)

#11 – Kristen Mann (2008)
Tamera Young (2009)
Armintie Price (for one game, 2009)

#12 – Ivory Latta (2008-present)

#14 – Erika de Souza (2008- present)

#20 – Camille Little (2008)
Sancho Lyttle (2009-present)

#21 –Jennifer Lacy (2008-present)

#22 – Betty Lennox (2008)
Armintie Price (2009-present)

#23 –Tamera Young (2008 only)

#32 – Stacey Lovelace (2008)

#33 – Alison Bales (2008)

#35 – Kasha Terry (2008)
Angel McCoughtry (2009-present)

#42 – Nikki Teasley (2009)

#43 – Ann Strother (2008)

#44 – Katie Mattera (2008) - known as Katie Feenstra in 2008

#51 - Marlies Gipson (2009 Preseason) - worn at training camp 2009

(* * *)

Yelena Leuchanka: Leuchanka is now listed as #33 on Atlanta's roster. It's likely that Leuchanka will wear Alison Bales's old number.

Erica White: White is now listed as #7 on Atlanta roster, giving her Chantelle Anderson's old number.

Demetress Adams: Adams wore #24 in her final year in South Carolina. She's currently wearing #12 overseas, but there might be a more limited range of numbers in international ball. She won't be wearing #12 as long as Ivory Latta is on the team.

2010 Atlanta Dream Shaping Up

Okay, what does the Atlanta Dream currently look like? This is the makeup of the team so far:

C Yelena Leuchanka
F-C Erika de Souza (*)

F Chamique Holdsclaw
F Jennifer Lacy (*)
F Sancho Lyttle
F Angel McCoughtry
F Demetress Adams

F-G Iziane Castro Marques
G-F Armintie Price
G Ivory Latta
G Shalee Lehning
G Erika White
G Coco Miller (*)

(*) - Unsigned free agents.

I expect at least a couple of more changes before the year is over.

Michelle Snow Traded for Dalma Ivanyi and Second Round Draft Pick

Michelle Snow is no longer with the Atlanta Dream. She just got traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars for a second round draft pick and the rights to Dalma Ivanyi, a player out of Hungary.

The news is right here.

So what is this trade about? When Leuchanka finally showed up and with the signing of Demetress Adams to training camp, it looked like one of the posts was going to be going. In that case, it was Snow.

Snow is a better than average player, but last year she declined to average territory and had trouble breaking the lineup. Over her career she's averaged 9.2 points a game, but last year she only averaged 4.5 and only started two games.

Dalma Ivanyi has been kicking around the WNBA since 1999 when she played for the Utah Starzz. She's played in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006 - a guard that's nobody's answer to anything. And furthermore, a second-round draft pick isn't worth that much, although there's a chance of getting lucking and finding a Nicky Anosike or a Tammy Sutton-Brown (or a Shalee Lehning).

So why make this trade? Probably because it clears Snow out of the roster. Furthermore, according to the writeup from the AJC:

Ivanyi, a 5-foot-9 guard, is the starting point guard on the Hungarian national team and averages 11 points and six assists for MiZo Pecs in the EuroLeague. Meadors said Ivanyi probably won’t play for the Dream this season because of prior European commitments.

Wanna bet Ivanyi doesn't play in 2010 either? Also according to Marynell Meadors:

“This trade gives us the opportunity to have a veteran point guard who will be waiting to come to Atlanta,” Meadors said.

In short, the trade was to clear out cap space. I expect more changes to come soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Erica White, Demetress Adams Signed to Dream Training Camp Contract

Wow. It looks like training camp is going to be crowded. I didn't even know that the WNBA transactions page was active. And now it is. Things are finally heating up in the W.

On February 25th, the Atlanta Dream signed point guard Erica White to a training camp contract. White graduated from Louisiana State in 2008 and was a second-round draft pick for the Houston Comets. During her brief time for the Comets, she averaged 3.6 points a game in 12 minutes of play, with 1.4 assist per game. That first year doesn't seem particularly amazing for White, but she played in all 34 games of the final Houston Comets season. She moved on to Indiana in 2009, where she lasted two games before Lin Dunn let her go. Right now, she's playing for the Hapoel Tel-Aviv team in Israel, averaging 16.7 points per game and 8.5 assists per game. Let's hope she brings that heat with her to Atlanta. Welcome, Erica!

(Note: Erica White is only 5'3" tall. That's her listed height, so who knows how tall she really is? At last, someone that Ivory Latta towers over.)

And today, the Dream signed Demetress Adams. Admas was a 6'4" forward out of South Carolina. She was a WNBA prospect but she went undrafted, and ended up in Spain....

....but not in the Liga Femenina. She ended up in the Liga Femenina 2, starting briefly with Extremadura Caceres before moving in Janaury to Burgos. For Burgos, she's scored 6.9 points per game, 6.9 rebounsd per game and 0.4 assists per game. She's only hitting 44 percent of her free throws (8-for-18). Maybe 166 minutes of play isn't enough to judge a player - but looking at this statline doesn't fill me with confidence. Still, Burgos is 19-3 in the LFB2 and will probably be promoted to the Liga Femenina at the end of the year after a two-year absence. Welcome, Demetress, and we hope you have a great training camp in April!

Marion Jones Signs With Shock

According to the WNBA website, Marion Jones has just signed a contract with the Tulsa Shock. Whether she'll make the team is another question but...she's been signed up.

"Watching her go through drills, I saw a player who's perfect for our system," Richardson said. "The one thing I do know is she can run, and any player on my team who wants to be successful needs to be able to run."

Paulball vs. Nolanball? Well, the Shock don't have any players anyway - there are sill some big questions marks about who will be returning to the Shock this season - so unless someone has better suggestions, there's not much grounds for complaint.

The news made the Times, at least. As a matter of fact, it was pretty big news in sports today. Like the WNBA or hate it, people couldn't stop talking about it. I wonder if Donna O used hypnosis on Richardson?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Highlights of Euroleague Quarterfinals: Krakow vs. Brno

This is how highlights should be done:

* The bus arrives.
* Clapping in unison.
* Great basketball.
* Actual BURN IT WITH FIRE from the fans about six minutes in the first clip!
* Actual BURN IT WITH FIRE from the players about seven minutes in!
* Unidentified mascots in the first minute of the second clip.

(Thanks to the Painel do Basquete Femenino blog for cluing me in to these clips.)

Date Set for 2010 WNBA Draft

The 2010 WNBA Draft date has been set for Thursday April 8, 2010. It will be held the same location as last year, at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. It will start at 3 pm ET on ESPN2 and ESPN360. NBA TV and ESPNU will televise the second and third rounds.

The Connecticut Sun pick first, and everyone expects Tina Charles to be picked as the #1 pick. But who will go #2? Jayne Appel? Or someone else? Find out in April.

FIBA All-Star Game: Europe 93, Rest of the World 89

Angel McCoughtry looks rather pensive.

My understanding is that the FIBA All-Star Game was more a display of players than it was an actual game. With nothing at stake but having a good time and some bragging rights, Europe beat the "Rest of the World" team 93-89 in Gydnia, Poland in front of 4500 spectators.

The game report, box score, play-by-play and a small gallery are all here. In addition, one can find a highlight video here and if you want to see the entire game from start to finish, you can watch it here. (In either case, McCoughtry is #10 for the red team.)

Europe got a good start in the first but the Rest of the World went on a 15-2 run on the waya to a 25-20 first quarter lead. The Europeans answered with a 9-2 record in the second and took the lead again. It was a two-basket game for most of the second quarter, with Marta Fernandez scoring the final second quarter points to put Europe up 47-46 going into halftime.

The fight continued in the third quarter. The Rest of the World threatened to make a mini run, but an Anna Vadja jump shot with time expiring in the third closed Europe to three points, 75-72. Both teams traded baskets in the fourth, and with 1:15 left the Rest of the World closed to 90-89 with a jump shot by Angel McCoughtry. Candice Dupree got a steal but Rebekkah Brunson missed the jump shot for the non-Europeans. Sandine Gruda missed the shot for the Euorpleans, and Catherine Joens got the rebound with 30 seconds left.

Unfortunately, Clara Bermejo Moreno stole the ball from Erin Phillips with eight seconds left. Agnieszka Bibrzycka added a 3-pointer as time expired for the final score.

Agnieszka Bibrzycka was named as game Most Valuable Player, scoring 20 points in 23 minutes. Angel McCoughtry said:

"Biba played a great game and deserves to bring home the MVP trophy. I have never played in a game like this and I hope it was only the first with a lot more to come. Congratulations to the Europe team."

A high point - or maybe a low point - was when McCoughtry attempted a 360-degree layup in the third quarter - but it didn't happen.

Emmeline Ndongue added 12 points and five rebounds to the Europe tally. Laura Macchi scored 10 points and four rebounds.

For the Rest of the World team, Rebekkah Brunson was the lead scorer with 15 points and three rebounds. Candice Dupree added 11 points and nine rebounds. But the top performer for the non-Europeans was Angel McCoughtry:

13 points
5-for-12 shooting
7 rebounds
3 assists
24 minutes of play

TBBL 16/2009 - Mersin 89, Samsun 61

Mersin continues to keep a firm lock on second place. Samsun (6-11) came visiting, and provided a first-quarter challenge but Mersin had a big second quarter to secure an 89-61 win.

Mersin advances to 15-1. The box score is here.

A 3-pointer by Mersin's Barbara Turner put Mersin up 10-5, but Samsun came back and actually had an 18-17 lead after ten minutes. Mersin went on the attack in the second quarter, and Samsun's offense could only put together nine second-quarter points. Mersin lead 41-27 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Mersin took a 20-point lead, going up 63-43 by the end of the third. There would be no miracle comeback for Samsun.

Samsun's Gulsah Akkaya led the visitors with 12 points, four rebounds and five assists. Saynur Tozlu had 10 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of play.

For Mersin, Korel Engin was leading scorer with 15 points and seven rebounds. Barbara Turner scored 12 points and nine rebounds, shooting 2-for-7 from 3-point range.

Ivory Latta didn't have much of a shooting game - but she was terrific at dishing the ball:

5 points
1-for-6 shooting
2 rebounds
9 assists
22 minutes of play

Monday, March 8, 2010

TBBL 17/2009 - Fenerbahce 76, Galatasaray 62

Galatasaray is definitely a good team - the problem is that Fenerbahce is a better one, the best team in Turkey. However, I don't think anyone expected the worst quarter that I've ever written about in international basketball - even at the mid-major level - would help Fenerbahce along to its inevitable 76-62 win.

The box score is here.

It was Galatasaray that got off to the great start, starting off 15-4 and coasting to a 23-15 lead over undefeated Fenerbahce. However, Galatasaray scored only two points in the second quarter. The translation of the game report doesn't say why Galatasaray was held just two second quarter points. (I'd love to read a play-by-play.) By the end of the first half, Fenerbahce led 31-25.

The second half wasn't better. In the third quarter, Fenerbahce extended the lead, advancing to a 20-point lead at the end of the quarter, 55-35. Over the middle two quarters, Fenerbahce scored 12 total points. Fenerbahce led by 22 at one point in the fourth quarter, and the game was over.

Penny Taylor scored 17 points, six points and three assists for Fenerbahce. Ebony Hoffman added 14 points and six rebounds, and Birsel Vardali also scored 14 points. Fenerbahce shot 62 percent over the team.

For Galatasaray, Sophia Young scored 22 points and five rebounds. Tamika Catchings was the only other Galatasaray player to break double digits with 13 points.

Yelena Leuchanka had an poor shooting game, particularly at the free throw line:

7 points
2-for-4 shooting
3-for-6 from the free throw line
6 rebounds

This Week's Schedule

This week the Eurocup semifinals begin with Michelle Snow's Dynamo Kursk team. Angel McCoughtry's Good Angels Kosice team begins the quarterfinals in Slovakia...I think.


Eurocup Semifinals: Dynamo Kursk vs. Athinaikos (Greece) (Game 1)


PLKK: Gorzow (22-0) vs. Krakow (14-7)
LFB: Ros Casares (21-1) vs. Gran Canaria (10-12)
LFB: Real Canoe (7-15) vs. Perfumerias (20-2)
TBBL: Galatsaray (13-4) vs. Cankaya (3-14)


Russia Superleague A: Dynamo NSU (6-8) vs. Dynamo Kursk (7-7)
Slovakia Extraliga Quarterfinals: Good Angels Kosice vs. Banska Bystrica (Game 1)
TBBL: Besitkas (8-9) vs. Mersin (15-1)

Hall of Fame Projector Test: Looking at HOF Players

Ever since I discovered Basketball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame Probability calculation metric, I've been very interested in building something similar for the WNBA. However, there was a collection of stats that I didn't have - the MVP award shares, which are explained here. After pilight was kind enough to give me his information, I began building the metric in earnest.

The calculations are now complete. The data might need a test for accuracy, but we can now put a Hall of Fame probability number on every player to play in the ABL and the WNBA, based solely on their pro career. In short, we can say how much their professional ABL/WNBA career supports their inclusion into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

The problem is that for NBA players, Hall of Fame induction is well established - NBA players are inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame when they retire. This is supposed to be an all-inclusive list including international players and female candidates. Unfortunately, female players weren't inducted into the Naismith HOF until 1992, with the induction of Lusia Harris-Stewart. The last time a woman who was a player was inducted was 2005, with the addition of Hortência Marcari. Let's just say that the Naismith HOF is overwhelmingly male and leave it at that.

Therefore, the women have their own club. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame was established in 1999, opening in Knoxville, Tennessee. The club is open to both genders, but as the focus of the game is women's basketball an overwhelming majority of inductees are women.

Furthermore, unlike Cooperstown, both the NHOF and the WBHOF consider the totality of a player's accomplishments - college, professional and international. However, the HOF metric above only considers a player's pro status. Even with the emphasis on women, the ABL/WNBA haven't been around enough for players to be inducted solely on the strength of their pro career.

There have only been a few players on the list of inductees who have spent any time in the ABL or the WNBA (unfortunately, we have no WBL stats to look at or we could consider Anne Meyers and Carol Blazejowski, and Machine Gun Molly Bolin). I therefore looked at each WBHOF player that had any time in the two pro leagues of the late 20th century and calculated if they could have gotten into the WBHOF on their ABL/WNBA career alone. Hopefully, your implicit numbers will agree with my explicit ones.

Nancy Lieberman: (0%) She has an armada of accomplishments, but by the time the WNBA started, she was ready for retirement. If she hadn't played a minute of WNBA ball she'd be a Hall of Famer Fer Sure.

Daedra Charles: (0%) Yes, she was a great player for the University of Tennessee and was one of only five Lady Vols to have her number retired. She's there, however, strictly on the strength of her college career and the fact that the WBHOF is in Knoxville. She basically ate her way out of the WNBA; she was at her peak age of 28 in 1997 but her first WNBA season was her last.

Lynette Woodard: (0%) She's a Nancy Lieberman case: superannuated player with a massive record of accomplishments comes into the WNBA for one or two twilight seasons.

Rebecca Lobo: (0%) Lobo had a bevy of accomplishments in college, but her pro career was a different story. She had two real seasons in the W before blowing out her knee and becoming the shadow of the player she used to be. Had a ring from the first All-Star game in 1999 and a handful of MVP votes were tossed her way in 1997. You could argue that she deserves to be there for being the public face of the WNBA.

Janice Braxton: (2%) Braxton had some okay stats but not much press attention (few MVP votes) or fan love (no All-Star Games) in her pro career. Like Lieberman and Woodard, she would have probably had a much better career if she didn't have to start it at age 35. I think if there had been a WNBA in 1985, Braxton would have been fantastic.

Andrea Lloyd-Curry: (3%) Andrea Lloyd-Curry won championships at every level, but her pro championships came in the ABL and not the WNBA. Lloyd-Curry was a member of the Columbus Quest, where she won two ABL championships. She came into the WNBA in 1999 with the Lynx, where her first year was either a sign of an age-related decline or just an adjustment issue. Her 1999 Lynx season was her final one.

Suzie McConnell Serio: (4%) Her brief pro career was bracketed by a successful college career and a Coach of the Year award in 2004. I'd say that McConnell Serio's height has as much to do with her HOF status as anything else - Sports lllustrated named her the best 5-4 basketball player, male or female, at one time.

Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil: (8%) We're now entering the "outside cases" for Hall of Fame nomination, but we're not quite there yet. Her numbers were borderline in the pro game (two and a bump years in the ABL, one in the W). Was an All-Star one time, in the inaugural 1996-97 ABL season. She had just passed 28 when she was an ABL player. She's probably in the HOF for her international career, where she got four gold medals for the US in various competitions, and for being a freshman on an undefeated 1986 championship Texas team.

Michele Timms: (9%) She was an All-Star in that first WNBA 1999 All-Star game, along with Lobo. She was the first Australian woman to play professional basketball overseas. Timms played for the Mercury for four years and was the first Mercury player and second WNBA player to have her number retired. Timms was another late starter, playing her first WNBA season at 32. I'd say that "first Australian pro player" has a lot to do with Timms being in the HOF.

Teresa Weatherspoon: (17%) Weatherspoon is a strange case. She could certainly dish the ball, but she just couldn't score with it. Really, her numbers aren't that good. The problem is that if you claim at T-Spoon really wasn't all that, you open up the whole issue of statistics vs. experience - there is a whole school of thought out there that claims that the stats mean nothing compared to what you see with your own eyes and the various "intangibles" a player brings and several Liberty fans who will go to the mattresses to defend T-Spoon.

Since I never saw Weatherspoon play, all I have are statistics. I wouldn't put anyone in the HOF who averages about five points a game no matter how many dimes they throw. (If she's a great defensive player, was she really that great?) However, T-Spoon was certainly a fan favorite, getting to the WNBA All-Star game five times. Furthermore, given the late start of her pro career (age 31), her assist numbers and All-Star game numbers probably would have been higher if there had been a pro league when she graduated - but would she have been an icon if she played for the Starzz?

Katrina McClain: (30%) She's in the HOF for collecting all sorts of medals for various incarnations of the United States women's basketball team. Her Wikipedia entry has her as a 1997-1998 All-Star for the American Basketball League. She was around 32 years old, and she had a very good lone pro season - it makes you wonder what we might have seen if she hung around. She was suspended by the ABL in November 1998 for refusing to report to the Chicago Condors; one month later the league was bankrupt.

Jennifer Azzi: (40%) Azzi played in both the ABL and the WNBA. She was a two-time All-Star for the ABL, a league she helped found. Naismith winner, Wade Trophy winner, Olympic gold medalist. Once again, we only got a very small piece of a career; even so that piece was impressive.

Jennifer Gillom: (55%) The first person on the list who could legitimately get into the HOF solely on their pro career since 1997. She was a full-time starter for the Phoenix Mercury for six years, averaging 13.4 points per game. Unfortunately, her career ended in 2003; like so many others on this list she started her pro game in her 30s.

Teresa Edwards: (99%) Oh yeah, you definitely could not overlook Edwards's pro career. But put that on the back burner for a while. She earned four Olympic gold medals for playing basketball. She was the first basketball player of any gender in the US to play in five different Olympic games. On her Olympic career alone she should be a Hall of Famer.

An under-six-footer, Edwards was a two-time All Star in the ABL. Over her career in both leagues, Edwards scored about 14.5 ppg.

Cynthia Cooper: (>99%) Are we even required to discuss it?

COMING SOON: The current WNBA players who are "Hall of Famers Fer Sure".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Russia Superleague A 14/2009 - Dynamo Kursk 63, Spartak Moscow-SHVSM 39

Looks like I put the wrong Spartak Moscow team on the schedule. Michelle Snow's Dynamo Kursk team didn't play the Spartak Moscow team that has Janel McCarville is a Euroleague semifinalist. Dynamo Kursk is playing the other Spartak Moscow team - the one that doesn't have a lot of WNBA stars on it. Dynamo Kursk beat The Other Spartak Moscow 63-39.

The box score is here.

In front of an audience of 1200 in Kursk it looked like a normal game with the hometown team beating The Other Spartak Moscow 37-26 by halftime. However, The Other Spartak Moscow would only score thirteen points in the second half - six in the third quarter, and seventh in the fourth.

For the losers, Catherine Chistyakov scored 14 points and nine rebounds for Spartak Moscow-SHVSM. Victoria Medvedev scored 12 points for Spartak Moscow-SHVSM, scoring 2-for-5 from the 3-point line.

Jillian Robbins shot 9-for-13 from the field and scored 19 points and eight rebounds. Michelle Snow also had a good game:

16 points
13 rebounds
6-for-12 shooting
32 minutes played

LFB 22/2009 - Ros Casares 85, Ibiza 68

Ibiza continues to fight for its life, sitting at the bottom of the Liga Femenina and facing relegation. A battle against Ros Casares couldn't help, and I'm sure any Ibiza fan simply hoped that the outcome wouldn't be too embarrassing. I suppose that an 85-68 defeat wasn't too bad for Ibiza, which falls to 3-19.

The box score is here.

As in the Perfumerias game, Ros Casares won the first two quarters, 44-33. El Ros came out strong in the third quarter and extended the lead to twenty points, with Ros Casares slowing down a bit in the final quarter.

Shannon Johnson, now retired from the WNBA, scored 19 points for Ibiza but had six turnovers. All in all, Ibiza shot 51 percent in the game. Sandra Pirsic added 14 points and Alicia Polez added 10 points and five assists.

Delisha Milton-Jones led all players with 23 points and six rebounds. Belinda Snell had 18 points and five assists, and Amaya Valdemoro scored 17 points and had four steals.

Erika de Souza didn't have much of a game, playing less than a full half.

4 points
4 rebounds
2 assists
18 minutes played

LFB 22/2009 - Perfumerias 83, Estudiantes 60

There's only one more month of regular season basketball left in the Liga Femenina. Perfumerias will retain its lock on second place with an 83-60 win over visiting Estudiantes. The win moves Perfumerias to 20-2 on the year and one game behind Ros Casares, which will make the Ros Casares-Perfumerias rematch on March 20th very interesting - Perfumieras won 79-78 on the road in the first of the two scheduled matches.

The box score is here.

Perfumieras marched out to a 28-17 lead in the first quarter, won the second quarter by four and the third quarter by nine. Estudiantes was never in the game, falling to 5-17 on the year. Reading one of the write-ups, it says that Ashley Battle "angrily left the bench" of Perfumerias. It had something to do with a foul called against Estudiantes, or possibly due to one not called on Perfumerias.

Marta Zurro Alfonso lead Estudiantes with 16 points and seven rebounds. Laura Herrera added 13 points. Battle had six points and five rebounds in 32 minutes of play.

However, Perfumerias shot 52 percent for the game and 60 percent from 2-point range. Le'coe Willingham had 18 points and four rebounds and Anke de Mondt and Alba Torrens had 10 points each, but the clear MVP was an astonishing performance by Sancho Lyttle, scoring a double-double in slightly more than 20 minutes of play:

22 points
8-for-9 shooting
11 rebounds
5 offensive rebounds
3 assists
2 steals
20 minutes of play.

ODU Grad Triggs Faces Prosecution in Germany

Triggs has broken the noses of two players in the 2009-10 season.

While the big news in women's basketball appears to be the suspension of Baylor's Brittney Griner for two games after she threw a punch at Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle and broke her nose, Eurobasket reports a more interesting story - at least in my opinion. Former Old Dominion player Sherida Triggs might be prosecuted for criminal assault in Germany after breaking the nose of an opposing player for the second time this season.

Triggs plays for Marburg in the DDBL, the German women's league. On September 27, 2009, Marburg played against Opladen which had been promoted to the upper league this season. Cornelius Damm reports for the Eurobasket.com website:

Two minutes before the end of the game Sherida Triggs and her opponent Mareike Nettersheim (186-C) are battling for the rebound. Triggs gets the ball but Nettersheim reaches in from behind to steal the ball. To get rid of her Triggs hammers her elbow right in the face of Nettersheim who suffered a broken nose and a broken maxillary antrum in this sequence that needed to be fixed in two surgeries. Mareike Nettersheim was out for more than a month and missed the following five games after this incident.

Last month, Marburg played in Halle, and this happened:

The second half of the game had just started as Lejla Bejtic (174-F-85) was running by Sherida Triggs in order to follow her cutting opponent Margret Skuballa she was defending. In the moment Bejtic is right next to her, Triggs extends her elbow out and hits Bejtic in the face who suffered a broken nose that needed to be fixed in a surgery. She was out for 10 days, missed one game and is now playing with a Rip Hamilton mask.

Oddly enough, the referees did not call a foul on either play.

Betjic wanted Triggs charged with assault. Halle coach Peter Kortmann has already been called as a prosecution witness. According to Betjic, ""My nose had to be surgically addressed. I had seven days, severe headache, was ten days doomed to watch and can even play through a special mask that will hinder me a few weeks." (From sueddeutsche.de).

Marburg is standing behind Triggs."The DBBL has set no commission to investigate Triggs. That has held the majority of the clubs, that is an obvious winner," said club spokesperson Diana Nusko in the fractured translated English provided by Translate Google.

Triggs will be coming to Atlanta this season...but not for the Dream. She'll be playing for the Atlanta BattleCats of the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Marynell Meadors Wins CHOZEN Award

Marynell Meadors will be honored with a CHOZEN award in an awards ceremony to take place on Wednesday, March 24th in Atlanta.

According to their press release, Meadors joings Luisa Margarita Ayes, Nina Brown, recording artist Monica, Dr. Catherine L. Ross and Dee Dee Cocheta-Williams as recepients.

Congratulations, Coach Meadors. I swear, in the off-season the Atlanta Dream has been winning everything....

Meanwhile in Cyprus....

We've heard very little about how Chamique Holdsclaw has been doing, and Eurobasket gives us some hint as to what's going on with her K. V. Imperial team after they lost in the Euroleague quarterfinals.

They are playing against Etha in the semifinals of the Cyprus post-season. I don't know how many games a semifinals last, but K. V. Imperial beat Etha (which finished fifth in the regular season) 104-46 in Game 1 and 76-40 in Game 2 on March 3.

Looks like every one on the Atlanta Dream is going to go into the post-season with their European clubs....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Euroleague Semifinals Set

The semifinals for Euroleague are set - and we are guaranteed to be writing about at least one Atlanta Dream player come finals time. What makes it truly crunch-time is that from now on...it's single-elimination. One chance, winner-take-all.

The games take place April 4th and April 11th, 2010. In the first bracket, Ekaterinburg will play Spartak Moscow in a match between the consensus #1 and #2 teams. The rule in Euroleague is that you don't want more than half the teams in finals series to come from the same country, and teams will be forced together to prevent that. Therefore, the top two teams take each other one in the first bracket.

In the second bracket: Ros Casares vs. Krakow. What's amazing for Krakow is that they were a last-minute substitution for the dissolved Russian superpower CSKA.

The losers of the those two games will play in their own bracket to determine the third place finisher.

Euroleague Quarterfinals 3/2009 - Krakow 78, Brno 73

Iziane is on her way to a Euroleague semifinal.

Erika de Souza, meet Iziane Castro Marques. Krakow wins their Euroleague series against Czech team Brno by winning Game 3 of the best-of-three series at home, 78-73 in front of 2200 spectators. The win sets up a Ros Casares-Krakow Euroleague semifinal, where the two Atlanta Dream players and Brazilian stars will play against each other.

The game card - featuring a game report, box score, play by play and small gallery - are all right here.

It was an extremely tight game to start with - no team could get a lead of more than three points ahead of the other in the first quarter, which ended 26-24 in favor of Krakow. Karkow managed to put themselves back up by five points on two free throws by Iziane, 34-29, but Brno erased the lead with six straight points. With 45 seconds left, Liren Cohen hit the final two shots of the first half to give Krakow a 47-45 halftime lead.

In the third, with Krakow ahead 57-55 with four minutes left, Krakow put together a 6-0 run that gave them a 63-55 lead, the biggest in the game. DeWanna Bonner hit a pair of free throws for Brno, but Krakow took a 63-57 lead into the final ten minutes.

The question was could Brno fight back? Bonner was still good at the free throw line and she helped Brno come back to a 65-65 tie with 5:40 left. However, Krakow went on an 8-0 run taking them to a 73-65 lead with 3:28 left. Brno stayed in striking distance, and with Krakow up 76-70, Jelena Skerovic hit a 3-pointer that brought Brno back to 76-73 with 32 seconds left. Unfortunately for Brno, Krakow got the ball back and with 12 seconds left, Marta Fernandez hit a jumper that put Krakow up by five points and Brno could get nothing else going.

Taj McWilliams led Brno with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. DeWanna Bonner added seven points and eight rebounds in the losing effort.

The clear player of the game was Janell Burse who scored 20 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Iziane Castro Marques scored 14 points, but had an average game:

14 points
5-for-13 shooting
3 rebounds
4 assists
35 minutes played

Russia Superleague A 13/2009 - Dynamo Kursk 80, Dynamo Moscow 69

It took me a long time to find this result, but it couldn't stay hidden. On Monday, the Eurocup semifinalists traveled to Dyanmo Moscow and came back big in the second half to win 80-69 in front of a crowd of 500 in Moscow.

The box score is here.

According to an interesting writeup, Dynamo Moscow used to be a Superleague headliner before the financial troubles facing all Russian clubs set in. Dynamo Kursk took off to a 21-17 lead in the first quarter, but Tatiana Popova and Katerina Keyru managed to help Dynamo Moscow pull ahead by one point, 40-39 at halftime.

However, the second half was all Dynamo Kursk, thanks to Barbara Psareva and Michelle Snow. Dynamo Kursk won the remaining quarters to advance to 6-7 in a tough Russian League. Dynamo Moscow falls to 4-9.

"Marina Cousin" led Dyanmo Moscow with 24 points and nine rebounds rebounds, with Tatiana Popova contributing 14 points and five assists.

As for Dynamo Krusk, Barabara Psareva had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Svetlana Maksimenko contributed 15 points by going 5-for-7 from 3-point range.

Michelle Snow had an impressive shooting day.

15 points
6-for-12 hooting
13 rebounds
38 minutes played

Drama Over (Maybe) in Brazil; Paulo Bassul Out as Brazilian Coach

It has been confirmed by Hortencia Marcari, the women's basketball director of the Brazilian Basketball Foundation and by former head coach Paulo Bassul that there will be a new head coach of the Brazilian women's basketball team.

Carlos Colina will be the new head coach - at least for the next six months. Carlos is from Spain.

Hortencia stated that Iziane Castro Marques was not the reason for the change in coaching. It's been a drama for two years now, ever since Paulo Bassul took Iziane out of a game and then Iziane refused to go back in again. Iziane made it quite clear that she wouldn't return to the Brazilian women's team as long as Bassul was the coach.

Now the big question - will Iziane wear green and gold again? And what kind of reception will her teammates give her?

(Information from the Painel do Basquete Femenino, the ultimate Brazilian women's basketball blog.)

McCoughtry Makes United States Women's National Team

It looks like Angel McCoughtry has impressed a few people. The WNBA. The Slovaks. The Euroleague. The NBA. And now, we can add USA Basketball, as McCoughtry has officially been added to the roster. Most likely, McCoughtry will play for the US in the FIBA World Championships in 2010 and she's also likely to play as an Olympian in 2012.

Here are the current players on the roster:

Sue Bird
Tamika Catchings
Diana Taurasi
Seimone Augustus
Sylvia Fowles
Kara Lawson
Candace Parker
Cappie Pondexter
Alana Beard
Swin Cash
Tina Charles (**)
Shameka Christon
Candice Dupree
Lindsey Harding
Asjha Jones
Angel McCoughtry
Renee Montgomery
Maya Moore (**)
Lindsay Whalen
Candice Wiggins

(**) - Player is currently a college senior.

Congratulations to Angel McCoughtry for all that she's accomplished.

Note: Kevin Pelton over at StormTracker noted that seven of the twenty players listed come from the same university - the University of Connecticut.