Category Archives: Angel McCoughtry

The Sun’s Job Just Keeps Getting Harder

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Anne Donovan, Connecticut Sun, Kayla Pedersen, Kelsey Griffin, Stanford women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

  If winning the Eastern Conference is on their regular-season to-do list, the Connecticut sun are already in deep trouble.

   riddled by injuries and 2-6, the sun may need a wallenda to help make it to the top. But there is more to winning the WNBA championship than excelling prior to the playoffs. and there are 26 games left to figure it out.

  The job now is to keep focused and stay close enough to a playoff spot until their injured players return.

    “I’m hoping that nobody on this team is thinking that we have to tread water,” Sun forward Kelsey Griffin said Sunday after Connecticut’s 78-77 loss to the Atlanta Dream at Mohegan Sun Arena. “We need to go out and win games and have a certain identity.

 “We have to go out there and make this a deeper team when these two come back, and as everyone knows that’s key in this league.  Staying healthy and having a deep bench is important. Using this to get better and grow up we will have the whole team to do it.

  The Sun were without arguably their three top guards Sunday – Renee Montgomery (ankle), Tan White (hand) and Kara Lawson (knee). Without them they often struggled early to score and fell behind by 14 with 6:22 to play in the game.

 “Tan is in a cast for another week before she gets it x-rayed again, and then at that point, they’ll find out if the bone is calcifying or not. So she’s probably two weeks away,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “Renee is [due back] middle of July. That is what we’re looking at.”
    Still, the Sun fought back to take the lead with 58 seconds to play on a Griffin put-back. Problem was, they still had to deal with Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry, who was dealing on them.

    McCoughtry, who took a team-record 33 shots (of the team’s 74) scored the final two of her 34 points on a driving lay-up with 51 seconds to play. Then the Dream held off the Sun down the stretch, surviving Allie Hightower’s last-second jumper to improve their record to 7-1.

   The Sun next play Saturday at the casino against Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury. It will be just Connecticut’s third game in 15 days following a loss in New York June 14.

   Donovan’s approach during the dry spell has been to look for ways to revigorate the roster. After signing guards Iziane Castro Marques and Sydney Carter she added a new post player last week by trading a second-round pick next  season to Tulsa for Kayla Pedersen, a 6-4 forward and former Stanford standout,

“We’re just trying to get bigger; rebounding has been an issue for us [until Sunday when the Sun won, 44-31],” Donovan said. “We’ve known from the beginning we’re smaller than most teams. With Kayla we get a little more size. Hopefully we’ll get some more rebounding, and she’s got great versatility, so I feel like we can use her wherever we need her to post.”

   Pedersen, a former USA Basketball teammate of Sun center Tina Charles, ended her Stanford career (2007-2011) as the school’s and Pac-10′s all-time leader in rebounds (1,266). She was also Stanford’s career leader in games played (150) and started (150) and minutes played (4,762). She played just 7:18 on Sunday with no points or rebounds.

  “I don’t have any expectations at all about how much playing time I can expect. But I think I can be a big help to Tina,” said Peterson, Tulsa’s first-round pick in 2011. “I get her some high-low passes, create a few more looks to the basket for her. I’m very excited to be playing with her again.

  “I have to say that I am even excited about the chance to meet people that may have rooted against me in college. Maybe I can make some fans out of them. … The rivalry we had with UConn [when she was at Stanford] was one of my favorites. You had these two highly competitive teams that really didn’t like each other. It seemed like we were always playing each other.

  “But there was always a great respect for each other. They were really good times.”

 

Taurasi, McCoughtry Named WNBA Players of the Week

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Diana Taurasi, WNBA Date:

Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.

Taurasi’s 34 points in a 97-81 victory over Los Angeles on Friday marked her 35th career 30-point game; she also added seven assists and six rebounds.  In Sunday’s road win over Tulsa, Taurasi was one point shy of her sixth career back-to-back 30-point effort, scoring 29 in addition to grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out nine assists.  The Player of the Week honor is the 15th of Taurasi’s career.

 McCoughtry averaged 23 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, four steals and 2.5 blocks in the Dream’s two wins last week to earn her second Player of the Week honor of the season, and the ninth overall of her career. The Dream’s two victories, a 68-59 win over Seattle on Friday and an 88-74 triumph over Chicago on Sunday, improved Atlanta’s record to 6-1 overall and 4-0 at home.

 

 

 

 

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This And That From Women Basketball

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, Big East women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, Uncategorized, WNBA Date:

Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to our post Labor Day world.

I am in Washington, D.C., this morning for tonight’s WNBA game between the Connecticut Sun and Washignton Mystics at the Verizon Center.

Took a long walk this morning to watch the city wake up. It was a strange experience to be here on the morning after the official end of summer. I was basically alone on Pennsylvania Avenue; no tourists or tour buses. Very, very quiet. I guess all the important people are already in Charlotte for this week’s convention.

Anyway, the Sun should win tonight because the Mystics stink and that would conclude a fruitful 3-1 road trip which would provide a 2-game lead over second-place Indiana in Eastern Conference with just seven games left for the Sun.

But Indiana is hot; five straight wins. And third-place Atlanta is catching its stride, as it always does at this time of year. The Sun still still do not have Asjha Jones or Mistie Mims because of injuries, so it’s going to need to work hard for everything it gets down the stretch.

As for the WNBA, I don’t like what’s been going on lately. Diana Taurasi not playing in Phoenix. Angel McCoughtry pouting and suspended in Atlanta. Liz Cambage deciding not to report to Tulsa for the second half of the season.

When did this all turn into the NBA?

The Big East is preparing to release its men’s and women’s basketball schedules by the end of this week. Both should  be released by Friday. In accordance to the social order, it will be men first and women second (smile).

 

Atlanta Fires GM/Coach Meadors

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, Geno Auriemma, WNBA Date:

Well, if you thought the WNBA couldn’t be as caustic a business as the remainder of pro sports, here’s something for you.

Marynell Meadors, the coach and GM of the Atlanta Dream, the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion, has been fired by ownership. She was let go Monday.

Need we remind you that Meadors also was an assistant to Geno Auriemma on the 2010 World Championship and 2012 Olympic team. And it was a Geno tweet about what had happened that apparently brought the news to light today.

Attention is naturally focused on Meadors’ relationship, or lack thereof, with Atlanta superstar Angel McCoughtry, who was on the Olympic team.

Geno’s tweet seemed to imply that Atlanta ownership may have cowered to McCoughtry’s demands that Meadors go. If that is so – Atlanta is third in the East this season – then add Angel to the Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant list of divas who major in coach firings.

Thibault Liked What He Saw [On Television] In London

by Categorized: 2012 Summer Olympics, Angel McCoughtry, Asjha Jones, Connecticut Sun, Mike Thibault, Tina Charles, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Sun coach Mike Thibault, an assistant on the 2008 gold medal Olympic women’s basketball team, was an interested observer as Geno Auriemma’s USA team rolled to a fifth straight gold in London.

“It went as many expected,” Thibault said Monday. “The hardest game was against Australia [in the semifinals]. I thought France [which lost to the US in the gold medal game and featured former Sun center Sandrine Gruda] acquitted itself well. But the United States was just deeper than everyone and it played with great energy.

“The rest of the teams in the world are catching up, but only in terms of perhaps their first six or seven players. After that, they can’t compete. Depth is good, we have great players and Geno did a good job integrating different players together. He had to make some adjustments on the fly after Sylvia Fowles got hurt [foot].

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Charles Sets Two More Records In Sun Win

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun, tiffany hayes, Tina Charles, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Tina Charles had 23 points and 22 rebounds Sunday to become the first WNBA player in history with three 20-20 games. And her two free throws with 3.1 seconds left gave the Connecticut Sun their first lead and a 75-73 win over the Atlanta Dream.

The Sun (8-2) remain unbeaten in the Eastern Conference (7-0) and are 3-0 on the road this season heading into Tuesday’s game at Indiana at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The double-double was also the 52st in Charles’ career, a new Sun record – as will every double-double she registers in her career.

“We definitely put ourselves in a hole,”  Charles said. “I think the key is just to stay poised and together out there. We just have to know that we can always win.”

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The 2012 WNBA Season

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Asjha Jones, Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Phoenix Mercury, Tina Charles, WNBA Date:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Connecticut Sun

21-13, tied for first, conference semifinals

Coach: Mike Thibault

Top players: C Tina Charles (17.6), F Asjha Jones (13.3 ppg), G Kara Lawson (10.4).

The skinny: The third year of the Sun’s youth movement holds great anticipation for success. Charles is now among the top five post players in the world, but the team needs consistent outside scoring from everyone. Renee Montgomery is still a young point guard, Lawson a dependable veteran.

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Angel High On Tiffany Hayes

by Categorized: Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, tiffany hayes, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Angel McCoughtry, the former Louisville All-American, has led the Atlanta Dream into the WNBA finals the last two seasons. And in July, she will play for the 2012 Olympic team in London.

She said Monday she has been very impressed with Dream rookie Tiffany Hayes, the former UConn guard, who was taken in the second round of the April 16 draft.

“From I remember of her in college, she has definitely gotten a lot better,” McCoughtry said. “I’ve  been very impressed with her defense and she has been shooting the ball very well. I’ve tried to take her under my wing, help her get adjusted to the WNBA from college.

“If I was to give her a grade from 1 to 10 thus far, I would say Tiffany has been an 8. I’m very proud of her.”

Hayes broke her nose before the Dream’s first preseason game and has played sparingly in the preseason.