Category Archives: Skylar Diggins

“Three to See” Likely To Just Watch Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game

by Categorized: Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins, WNBA Date:

   Following the course set during the 2012-13 college season by broadcast partner ESPN, the WNBA has invested the majority of its marketing resources this season on the tireless promotion of just three rookies – center Brittney Griner, forward Elena Delle Donne and guard Skylar Diggins.

   They have been the “Three to See.”

   That the three eventually morphed into the top three draft picks in April, going in order to Phoenix (Griner), Chicago (Delle Donne) and Tulsa (Diggins), turned out to be a wonderful coincidence, one that seemed to validate the extra wattage trained on the trio.

  But a funny thing happened on the way to Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

   The “Three to See” has turned into the “Three Who Will Watch.”

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Two WNBA Drafts Packed Into One

by Categorized: Anne Donovan, Asjha Jones, Bill Laimbeer, Brittney Griner, Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun, Delaware women's basketball, Elena Delle Donne, Epiphanny Prince, ESPN2, Kim Mulkey, Mike Thibault, Skylar Diggins, WNBA Date:

There is a running joke about Monday’s 2013 WNBA Draft. It’s the one about the how one draft can suddenly resemble two.

     “The joke around here is that I have the first pick in the other draft,” said Mike Thibault, the coach and GM of the Washington Mystics and owner of the fourth selection. “I tried to come up with creative ways to get one of the three, but none of it worked.”

    Actually, it’s not as much of a gag and an expression of reality.

    “It’s not a joke,” said Lin Dunn, coach of the champion Indiana Fever. “It’s the truth.”

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UConn Women Take Their Boss Home

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, ESPN, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball, Warde Manuel Date:

Warde Manuel, UConn’s athletic director, was raised in New Orleans where he was a Parade All-American defensive lineman at Brother Martin before going to Michigan to play for Hall of Fame coach Bo Schembechler in 1986. He played football for two seasons before a neck injury ended his promising career.

“Being from New Orleans, there’s a clause in my contract [five years, $10.86 million] that says it was going to get ripped up if we didn’t win and get him back to the city,” Geno Auriemma joked last week.

Manuel said he was also kidding the women’s team before the season.

“I told them, ‘Ladies, you are responsible for getting me back home,” Manuel said.

Three To Watch – One In New Orleans

One of ESPN’s major preseason promotional vehicles this season was its “Three To Watch” featuring Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Baylor’s Brittney Griner.

Only one of the them played in Sunday’s Final Four – Diggins.

“Yeah, we weren’t fortunate enough to have any of the three to see that ESPN talks about all the time,” Auriemma said. “So we had to do it as a group rather than rely on one person. But that’s always been the case at Connecticut.  We don’t build our program around one person, no matter whom it is.

“We don’t aspire to be that, when we have players like Tina [Charles] and Maya [Moore] and Renee [Montgomery] and Diana [Taurasi] and Sue [Bird] and Sveta [Abrosimova] and Shea [Ralph] … I could go on and on.  It was always in the context of we’ll let them decide, each player, how big their role is going to be.

“And because of their personalities and how big their personalities were, they just became superstars.  And we don’t have anybody with that personality this year. We just don’t. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has the kind of basketball game, the kind of skill level that if she had a different type of personality she would be like Maya or like Diana in terms of how she would act, but she doesn’t have that yet.  Maybe she’ll get it next year.”

 

Skylar Diggins And Kayla McBride On What This All Means

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball Date:

An analysis of the UConn-Notre Dame rivalry over the last two years wouldn’t be complete without a tip of the hat to All-American Irish guards Skylar Diggins and Kayla McBride. They’ve been dominating and clutch, the “X Factor” – so to speak.

The only thing Diggins hasn’t done in four seasons is win a national championship. She has one more chance,

“It would mean a lot?? I say this over and over?? not only to me but to our team and our program, the city of South Bend who has been supporting me my whole life, the university, Coach McGraw,” Diggins said. ” It would just mean a lot, so many things so much bigger than myself.  And the opportunity is here now.  And, like I said, I’ll keep saying it:  We’re going to leave it all on the court and try our best to get to that position where we can fight for a national championship.”

McBride doesn’t think there’s going to be much different about this game, in terms of strategy.

“I don’t think there’s that much change,” McBride said. “I think there’s a few things here and there.  We see on film what’s wrong, we adjust from there.  They couldn’t have changed that much in about a week and a half.  So we just try to go out there and play hard and play with intensity.
“I think we pay attention more now than ever.  I think you’re at the point of the season where every detail matters even more.  And we know so much about them, and likewise with them for us.
“But we just have to make sure we come out and still execute our scout defense and our keys to the game.”

Skylar Diggins And Maya Moore In The Same Sentence

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Maya Moore, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball Date:

Skylar Diggins recently became the fourth player in Notre Dame history to score her 2,000 career point this season.

Now she is the Irish’s all-time scoring leader (2,347), surpassing Beth Morgan, who rang up 2,322 points.

UConn has seven players who have scored at least 2,000 points and one (Moore) with over 3,000 (3,036). Diggins point total would be second all-time at UConn behind Moore and just ahead of Tina Charles (2,346).

Random Thoughts In The Midst Of The [Irish] Wake

by Categorized: 2013 Big East Tournament, Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock, UConn women's basketball, WNBA, XL Center Date:

A few things rolling around in my mind before I lie on the sofa and watch some baseball….

* On Tuesday, I asked Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick if UConn should consider Notre Dame a potential ally when the day comes that the Huskies need Irish support to draw an invitation to join the ACC.

We know the day will come. Perhaps very soon. I am sure UConn is wondering the same thing about where it stands with Notre Dame.

I found Swarbrick’s answer, about “not answering hypothetical” questions, rather arrogant and somewhat condescending.

I’m glad the guy has been a lawyer for 28 years. Good for him. However, the question was not hypothetical. I thought it was practical, based in the real world.

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Bad Memories Of Opportunity Lost Will Challenge UConn

by Categorized: 2013 Big East Tournament, Baylor women's basketball, Big East women's basketball, Breanna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, Rebecca Lobo, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball Date:

In the hallway outside the UConn locker room Tuesday night, Rebecca Lobo, who helped telecast the game for ESPN, pondered a question on many minds in the aftermath of Notre Dame’s 61-59 win in the Big East tournament championship.

How has Notre Dame suddenly sapped UConn’s super powers?

“I don’t know if being dominated by one particular team is the biggest issue right now,” said Lobo after the Irish beat UConn for the seventh time in their last eight meetings. “I think not being able to win close games is more significant [for UConn].

“You don’t believe you can win close games, you don’t know how to win close games until you have done it. As much as he [Geno Auriemma] has put the team into that position in practice, and he always does, you need to believe you can win [in those circumstances].”

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UConn-Notre Dame: Just Another Game?

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Breanna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame women's basketball, Skylar Diggins, UConn women's basketball Date:

Coaching a national powerhouse comes with significant responsibility. There are players to recruit and sign, games to schedule and win, championships to pursue and capture.

It makes for a full work day; junk food for lunch, leftovers for dinner, missed recitals and baseball games. You don’t want to go there.

Geno Auriemma has been to 13 Final Fours and won seven national championships in his first 27 seasons at UConn. He understands this. And he’s paid handsomely to take on the task.

But that doesn’t mean he likes everything about the job. And what he apparently dislikes is the way he says the world around him has changed.

What was once important now seems trivial. What was once trivial now seems insignificant.

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Kelly Faris For President

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Kelly Faris, Skylar Diggins, Sugar Rodgers, UConn women's basketball Date:

This must now seem obvious to everyone who has watched UConn and the Big East Conference this season.

There are only three choices for conference player of the year; one based on statistics, one based on reputation and one based on reality.

If the coaches in this conference understand what makes a team a team, they will take the bold step and select UConn senior Kelly Faris over Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins as the Big East’s Player of the Year.

“Ah Kelly Faris … my idol,” Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said.

At the very least, Faris better be one of at least three UConn players on the team along with Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Perhaps Breanna Stewart even merits inclusion as a fourth. And Faris is, without question, the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year.

In fact, if those who vote for the Associated Press and WBCA All-America team decide to actually think about what they are doing, Faris merits inclusion on both of those teams, as well, along with Brittney Griner, Diggins, Elena Delle Donne and anyone else who may be considered.

Who deserves to be an All-American more than Kelly Faris? Who exemplifies the concept of what an All-American is more than Kelly Faris?

We will be watching the results with great interest. What she is doing this season is one of the most remarkable things any UConn player has ever done in any season.