Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seth Curry, younger brother of 2007 U19 World Championship Team member Stephen Curry, is making a name for himself at Liberty ... Dick Vitale discusses the revolving door of head coaches, noting that 2008 U.S. Olympic coaches Mike Kryzyzewski and Jim Boeheim are an anomaly among today's coaching ranks due to their longevity at a single school.

Spartak Moscow Region's Owner Profiled in SI

Sports Illustrated's Alex Wolff profiles Shabtai von Kalmanovic, a multimillionaire Russian oligarch who owns, among other things, the Spartak Moscow Region team that includes USA Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird, Sylvia Fowles and Diana Taurasi, as well as Australia's Lauren Jackson. Shabtai showers his players with gifts, shopping sprees and three-figure contracts, not to mention a private villa, first-class air travel, an on-call cook ... "Imagine Mark Cuban with three times as many teams and five times as much money. He'd still be a piker compared with the Russian zillionaires who offer a life of luxury to lure world-class athletes and are bankrolling a new national sports machine."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis are providing Ohio State with a great one-two punch.

The wait is over and Villanova won out on the Dominic Cheek recruiting wars. He's headed next season to join the Wildcats and 2008 USA U18 teammate Maalik Wayns.

"Bubba's Girls" returned to the Bay Area where their famous footballer father is now referred to as "Courtney & Ashley's dad" still coveting a national title before their career at OU is over.

Opals Name New Head Coach

Not only are the Australian Women still hunting for a first-ever Olympic gold medal, the program is stinging from three consecutive losses to the U.S. Women in the Olympic gold medal game. "New Opals head coach Carrie Graf says superstars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor will be at their peak for the 2012 London Olympics and spurred by disappointment to win Australia's first basketball gold medal."
Gail Goestenkors has Texas on a 9-0 roll, its best start since 1987-88 after thumping the defending national champion Lady Vols 73-59.

The Detroit Shock is looking to woo Tina Thompson, among other free agents, to Auburn Hills ... The Sacramento Bee sits down with Candace Parker, who talks about heading to Russia soon to join up with Cappie Pondexter on the UMMC Ekaterinburg squad.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Sunday: Brian Agler is working on the Seattle Storm's look for 2009 ... after defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 61-44 on Sunday, JaMychal Green and the Alabama Crimson Tide are getting ready to embark on a tough stretch in their schedule ... Courtney Paris picked up her 100th consecutive double-double and there seems to be no end in sight for her record streak ...

Saturday: Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter said his team is safe from folding like the Comets ...

Friday: The Australia Opals are expected to be led over the next quad, which includes the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympic Games, by longtime Opals assistant and two-year Phoenix Mercury head coach Carrie Graf ... Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee and the UCLA Bruins ran into a Texas wall ... Kemba Walker and his UConn teammates survived a scare from Buffalo (yes, unranked Buffalo fell by just four points, 68-64, to the No. 2 Huskies) ... Ryan Kelly posted the first triple-double of his high school career with 38 points, 10 boards and 12 blocks ... Renee Montgomery tied UConn's single-game assist mark with 13

Thursday: Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee and the Bruins to face a tough challenge from Final Four-caliber Texas ... At Oklahoma, the Game is in Their Blood ...

Learning Curve For Bayless

Hoopsworld with a Jerryd Bayless feature on his position with the loaded Trail Blazers. http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/nba-jerryd-bayless-life-as-a-rookie-158272

Thursday, December 4, 2008

USA Basketball just updated the weekly EuroLeague update for USA Women's National Team and other former USA Baseketball players. Check out the update, EuroLeague standings and select USA player stats!
Tamika Catchings, who modeled her foundation on Dawn Staley's, is preparing for her annual Catch the Stars Youth Holiday Camp. It runs Dec. 29-31.
Leslie McDonald scores 23 points to lift Briarcrest to a 4-1 start with a win over state rival Harding.

The Chapel Hill News spotlight's No. 1 North Carolina's incoming recruiting class for next year, including Leslie McDonald and the Wear twins, David and Travis.

More on the Comets flamout: Kelli Anderson remains positive the WNBA will weather this storm ... BlackAthlete.net gives the Comets a sad farewell ... Forbes named former Houston Comets owner Leslie Alexander the NBA's top owner.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, who tore her ACL in Russia while playing for the eventual gold medal winning 2007 USA U21 World Championship Team, is back on the court and providing Purdue a wicked one-two punch in scoring and rebounding.

Tyler Hansbrough had 25 points and 11 rebounds as No. 1 North Carolina tore past Michigan State 98-63.

Kyle Singler got fed this summer, grew bigger and his stature is providing No. 4 Duke with some great production early on in the season as Duke looks to eclipse UNC as the top team in the area.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

UConn's pressing game is aided by Kemba Walker's speed.
Despite not shooting well, JaMychal Green still managed to help Alabama pull out a 64-56 victory over Alabama A&M.

In the News ...

On the 2008 USA Men's U18 National Team Front:

From Scout.com: "Marshall Plumlee is playing alongside his brother and Duke-bound forward Mason Plumlee again this season at Arden (N.C.) Christ School, and they’re off to a 4-0 start. Mason – a Class of 2011 recruit – had six points and 11 rebounds in Christ School’s most recent win, a 73-50 victory over Porter Gaud."
  • Festival alum and 2008 Hoop Summit player Jrue Holiday and 2008 USA U18 team member Malcolm Lee are teaming to help lead No. 13 UCLA to a 6-1 start.

Renee Montgomery, winner of a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship, is quickly becoming one of UConn's best players in the history of the program. She's been mentioned alongside names like two-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, among others. Keep an eye on her this season ... she's a critical cog in UConn's bid for another NCAA title.

More on the Comets Demise from Around the Country

  • John Smallwood in Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if this is a warning sign for women's sports ... In Washington Tim Lemke equates this to the Yankees or Celtics closing their doors ... out west in Sacramento Melody Gutierrez talks about the fact that Houston is one of four of the eight original WNBA franchises to fold and what it means from a Monarchs perspective ... Gary Washburn in Seattle doesn't foresee any ripple effects for the Storm ... in San Antonio, Greg Barr looks at the issues from a business perspective, while Mike Monroe and Terrence Thomas report that the Silver Stars won't follow the Comets into that good night ... the Houston Press wasn't very kind to the Comets and lists (tongue in cheek) the 7 things the city will miss about the Comets ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

JaMychal Green

Alabama, returning from the Maui Invitational, needs to get back on track (JaMychal Green is proving to be a great asset for the Tide this season).

The Starting Line

We all have to start somewhere, folks, and we're starting here and now.

Comets Close Doors
First things first, the Houston Comets folded yesterday. The franchise that dominated the first four WNBA seasons, winning four consecutive titles with the help of three Olympic gold medalists in Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, is no longer in operation. Mechelle Voepel writes that it wasn't a shock and believes the league will survive. People are chatting about it in the blogosphere and there's a chance that if a new owner (the league has been running the team for the past few months) steps up, the team could be ressurected for the 2010 season. But for now, there will be no Comets basketball in 2009. The dispersal draft will take place Dec. 8.

Men's U18 Roundup
Slam previews the 2009 Hoophall Classic, which is played over Martin Luther King weekend and this year will feature Dominic Cheek, David Wear and Travis Wear, teammates on the 2008 USA U18 National Team. The News & Observer notes that Ryan Kelly has hit a double-double in each of his first three games this season and is currently ranked third on his school's all-time scoring list with 1,274 points. Already making a name for himself at college is Kemba Walker, who earns praise from Jeff Jacobs for his speed and agility, not to mention his hoop skills he brought to UConn and is sharpening up for Big East play.

Youth Olympics
Canada wants to host the 2014 Youth Olympics, but only after getting some more insight into what the IOC wants it to focus on - top notch athletes or more of a cultural flair?t