If you haven’t already noticed, the Courant’s Paul Doyle is in Ponte Vedra, Fla., this week covering the inaugural meeting of the AAC coaches and athletic directors.
The talking ends tomorrow.
Here are the results of the annual survey taken of WNBA GMs.
The following was provided by the league:
If the WNBA’s general managers are accurate prognosticators, the Phoenix Mercury will be taking part in a parade in October. The Mercury, with No. 1 overall draft pick Brittney Griner in the fold, collected 33 percent of the votes as the team most likely to win the WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile in the 11th annual WNBA.com GM Survey. The defending Western Conference champion Minnesota Lynx, led by a quartet of All-Stars, was voted as the most fun team to watch (25 percent). These results marked a reversal from a year ago when 83 percent of GMs tabbed the Lynx as eventual champions and 55 percent had cited the Mercury as the most entertaining team.
Tan White scored 12 points and free agent forward Ashley Walker scored 10 points with 11 rebounds Tuesday to help the Connecticut Sun to an 88-80 win over Minnesota in the Sun’s WNBA preseason finale.
Walker, a 6-1 forward, is trying to win one of the two jobs still remaining on the Sun’s 11-player roster after being the last cut of Seattle, San Antonio and Washington in the last three seasons. She also led the Sun with 12 points in Saturday’s loss in New York.
Allison Hightower added 10 points for the Sun (2-1) who open the 2013 season Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the New York Liberty.
Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with 15 points. Lindsay Whalen (14) and Maya Moore (13), the former UConn national player of the year, were right behind.
Sun coach Anne Donovan must now cut her roster from 13 to 11 before Saturday. The other candidates did not fare as well as Walker on Tuesday.
Latoya Williams, a 6-4 forward with no Division I experience, had just three points and one rebound.
Guards Natasha Lacy (three points, three rebounds) and Johannah Leedham (six points) played almost identical minutes,
The Sun kept 2012 MVP Tina Charles out of the game. And Kelly Faris, their first-round pick out of UConn, scored six first-half points on two three pointers in4:38, all in the first half
In an effort to help those devastated by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, the Connecticut Sun will donate all proceeds from all tickets sold beginning May 21 to its home opener on May 25 against the New York Liberty to the American Red Cross.
“We are all saddened by the loss of life and destruction in Oklahoma,” Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said. “Through our small efforts we can hopefully bring some relief to those in desperate need of assistance.”
Tickets to the game, which will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m. on May 25, can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com, WNBA.com/tickets, or by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX.
“The thoughts and prayers of the Mohegan Tribe and our employees are with all those affected by this horrific disaster,” said Mohegan Tribal Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum.
The American Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help communities and families get back on their feet when disasters strike. For more information, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-Help-Now. Fancan also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate directly.
Hearing what Brittney Griner said about how being gay allegedly made Baylor coach Kim Mulkey ask her to keep it a secret so recruiting and perception would not be impacted caused me to wonder something:
What is the current attitude in the WNBA about this? Do coaches worry about how gay and straight players may get along on the same team? Have they ever made a roster decision based on a player’s sexual preferences?
I had no clue whether I’d get a direct answer, let alone any answer at all. But ESPN’s Carolyn Peck, a former college and pro coach, Rebecca Lobo [you know who she is] and Bill Laimbeer, the former Detroit Pistons center who now coaches the New York Liberty offered what I thought we constructive honest answers during Monday’s WNBA Conference call:
UConn’s national championship women’s basketball championship program placed all five players invited to compete for spots on two USA Basketball teams competing internationally forthis summer.
Breanna Stewart, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Final Four, forward Morgan Tuck and guard Moriah Jefferson, all sophomores next season, made the 12-player FIBA U19 roster that will be coached by Miami’s Katie Meier.
And Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will play for the World University Games team coached by Oklahoma’s Sherri Coale.
The 2013 World University Games will be held July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia. The United States has won four straight gold medals in the U19 event, which will be held from July 18-28 in Lithuania.
Hartley, Mosqueda-Lewis, Stewart, Tuck and Jefferson were among 66 players invited to try out for the teams, selected by a committee chaired by UT Chattanooga coach Jim Foster.
Here is what Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson said to USA Basketball on Sunday about being selected to play for the u19 FIBA World Championship team this summer:
This is your sixth USA Basketball team, what keeps you motivated to keep coming back?
USA Basketball is the best thing about my summer. That’s what I look forward to, creating new experiences with new people. Sometimes they’re with the same people, but it’s just really fun. And I enjoy going for the gold medal.
At the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship you were one of the youngest players on the team. How will your role change with this team?
It’s funny how my role is changing, because this is my second U19 team. Last time I was one of the younger ones. This time I’m one of the older ones, and it’s weird. But, I have to be a leader because I’ve been in these situations before and some people haven’t. I have to help show them the ropes.
What does it mean for you to represent your country in this manner?
It’s an honor. I appreciate everything USA Basketball has done for me in letting me keep coming back to try out again and again, and continuing to go for gold medals. I don’t think there’s anything else you can ask for.
What can you teach some of the younger players about USA Basketball, both on and off the court?
USA Basketball on the court, obviously you’re going to go out, you’re going to play your heart out, you’re going to leave everything on the court because this is 12 people who are considered at the top of high school and college basketball for their age group. Teams are coming after us, and they want to beat us. We have to know that every team’s going to play us the best they can, and we need to just keep our composure.
Off the court, you really have to represent the United States and show people in other countries who we are, create our own image of ourselves. We need to try to change their minds about the United States in a positive way.
Although the official announcement is due later today, tweets coming from the site of USA Basketball’s training site in Colorado Springs are indicating that UConn has gone five for five in placing players on the U19 and World University Games teams that will play this summer.
Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson, who all will be sophomores next season, have made the FIBA U19 team as has high school junior A’ka Wilson, one of UConn’s top recruits for the Class of 2014.
And Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria Hartley are among the 12 selected to the World University Games team after a three-day training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The World University Games will be held in Kazan, Russia from July 6-17 . Lithuania will host the U19 World Championships from July 18-28.
Sun guard Kara Lawson, who played for the 2008 Olympic team was in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday as a member of the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee that will be selecting both the 2013 USA U19 World Championship and USA World University Games teams.
Both teams are out there trying out for this summer’s teams. That includes five UConn players – Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson are competing for U19 spots. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria Hartley are contestants for the World University Games team.
Before leaving for this afternoon’s preseason game against the New York Liberty in Newark, Lawson she talked to the U19 trials participants about what it means to represent USA Basketball and what they need to do during trials in order to make a team
“I told them I was familiar with where they are, having tried out for USA Basketball teams in high school and college,” Lawson said Saturday. “I understand the various emotions going on inside them.
“Obviously, I’ve also had the opportunity to make [national] teams. I explained to them what those teams were like to play on. I realize there were a lot of players there [in U19 camp] that have played [nationally] before. But there are many that haven’t. I just tried to offer them my perspective of what it means to play USA Basketball and what the atmosphere was like on those teams that were successful.”
Those who make the team will be announced on Sunday morning.
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