GIRL NEXT DOOR
As the wife of the recently murdered Spartak owner looks over her finances and how she will structure her team, the highly priced Lauren Jackson may not return to Russia and Sue Bird's status is also in question. The Australian press seems certain that Jackson will remain in Australia, where she has been recovering from surgery since the Storm were eliminated from the WNBA playoffs this autumn.
Canberra has a lucrative contract offer that has been made public, but it is almost certain that every team in the WNBL will be vying for her services.
BAYLOR IN ACTION
I caught my second Baylor game yesterday in addition to watching San Diego State run all over Arizona in the second half.
Baylor looked very well balanced against Cal, and freshman #1 recruit Brittany Griner seemed to have settled down after her opening game jitters in Tennessee. There was solid play from their junior leader Melissa Jones who had a double double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The rookies were great as well, with guard Shanay Washington adding 18 points and 4 assists to go with Griner's 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Baylor won the game 69-49.
Griner looked to notch her first collegiate dunk (other than her dunk in the exhibition season) near the end of the game on a nice wrap-around pass from Jones, but was fouled hard at the rim and missed the jam. A second Cal player then wrapped up Griner who attempted to rebound the ball despite the whistle. Griner, showing some grit as a freshman essentially threw the Cal player off with one arm. Cal had stated before the game that they did not intend to allow a dunk on their court. Baylor coach, Kim Mulkey pulled Griner from the game after her free throws to protect her freshman from injury or her own retaliations.
As nice as Baylor looked in this game, they may be even better next year having signed a letter of intent with the top ranked high school point guard in the nation, Odyssey Sims out of Irving, Texas. Championship caliber teams are often built on combing a dominant post with a solid point guard. With the complimentary players that Baylor already has in place they could look to be a serious contender for the next few years.