Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swin makes some funnies...

On Twitter today...Swin Cash teased that she knew where LJ had signed, but of course she ran out of room on the 140 character limit...twice.

She said she was responding the "Swin Flu" jokes on the web that she was told of by a friend, leading to the loss of Swoopes, Griffith and LJ.

Glad she has a sense of humor.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The President on Women's Sports

From an AP article by Andrew Miga, the Seattle Times quotes President Obama...

Obama said that as the father of two young daughters, he especially appreciates the success of female athletes like the Connecticut team.

"My girls look at the TV when I'm watching 'SportsCenter' and they see women staring back," Obama said of the ESPN program, a personal favorite. "That shows them that they can be champions, too."

According to the article, the president played a game of P-I-G with the UCONN Huskies after recognizing them as 2009 NCAA champions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ashley Walker Senior Profile

Here are the senior year numbers for Ashley Walker, the Storm's 1st round draft pick, the person Coach Agler called,

Probably one of the better offensive players in the draft.

Ashley was my #5 player overall based on senior performance, behind Courtney Paris, Dewanna Bonner, Angel McCoughtry and Marissa Coleman. She was my number two post performer behind Courtney Paris and just ahead of Ashley Paris. She was a very effective rebounder, ranking #7 overall on Rebounds per 40 minutes. She was not spectacular in any other area, but rose to the top because she was consistently solid in 9 of my 11 categories, ranking in the top 25 of all of them other than strict offensive rating.


Floor %: 57% of the time Walker attempted to score on a possession she was able to put at least one point on the scoreboard.

Effective Field Goal %: 55%

True Shooting %: 60%


Defensive Rebounding: Walker secured 15% of all available defensive rebounds for Cal this season. (15% of Cal defensive + Opponent offensive)

Offensive Rebounding: Walker secured 10% of all available offensive rebounds for Cal this season. (10% of Cal offensive + Opponent defensive)

Rebounds per 40 Minutes: Walker was just shy of 11 rebounds per 40 minutes this season.


Offensive Rating: Walker scored 77.16 points per 100 possessions.

Adjusted Indvidual Rating: With adjustment for strength of schedule, Walker had an individual rating of 101.09.

Points Produced Per Game: Just under 8 points per game can be attributed to Walker (based on partial scoring for assisted baskets and offensive rebounds)

Adjusted WinScore: 6.5

Usage %: Walker utilized approximately 30% of Cal's possessions this season.

BoxScores: Walker could be credited for 8 of Cal's 25 wins this season. In other words Cal would only have been expected to have 17 wins this season had Walker not played.

Walker was actually the top performer early in the season, going head to head with Courtney Paris in terms of numbers and overall performance. Once her front court partner Devanei Hampton returned from injury mid-season, though, her numbers dropped as the talented Hampton took advantage of some of those post scoring and rebounding opportunities.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Girls in Sports

I have my first chance this year to have an early impact on girls and their attitudes about sports, athleticism and even themselves. I was conned into coaching my five year old's T-ball team, which has a nice diverse group of kids. We have 15 kids aged 5-7, of which 1/3 are girls.

We had our first practice last night, and I feel pretty good hearing from one Mom that her little girl's comment in the car was "Wow, T-Ball is soooo fun!" Two of our girls were so ready to play they were the only ones to show up for practice with their own batting helmets.

My first teaching moment was the first girl to bat missed the ball entirely, to hear giggles from the crowd behind her. I just whispered into her ear not to worry because she will hit the ball soon and she will still be a faster runner than any of them. She flashed a big smile and ran her heart out after she got her first hit on the ball.

I had a blast coaching, even with all the extra work I am having to spend on the T-Ball USA site learning what skills to teach, how to teach them and trying to come up with fun, engaging games to incorporate those skills in a way that 5-7 year olds can learn without knowing they are learning. I am looking forward to fall and a sport I actually know something about!

Draft Day Steals

A new article at covers past draft day steals. There were a few names on there that I had forgotten were late rounders...

Janell Burse (#28), Erin Buescher (#23), Jia Perkins (#35), Sheri Sam (#20) and Taj McWilliams-Franklin (#32) were all 2nd or 3rd round picks who have made nice careers for themselves.

3rd round pick McWilliams-Franklin has been an All-Star (1999-2001, 2006-2007), All-WNBA (2006-2007) and All-Defensive team member (2006).

Even in what appears to be a thin draft year, a player with the right mix of skills, desire and luck can connect with the right coaching staff, team and environment to surprise all the pundits.

As an irrepressible fan of the underdog, I am rooting for all those players in the last two rounds to take off.

Here are a few I am rooting for specifically:

Megan Frazee F Liberty
Shalee Lehning PG Kansas State (could go at the end of the 1st)
Kristi Cirone PG Illinois State
Danielle Gant F Texas A&M

I will be tweeting during the draft at Noon Pacific today!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Husky Champions

Well, it wasn't our own Huskies, but the other dawgs finished the school's third perfect season behind great play from Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore. The game started very close, but by the end of the first half, Louisville was starting to show cracks. Coach Auriema shoved his crow bar into those cracks and yanked in the second making this game even less of a contest than the men's championship on Monday night.

Tomorrow all those draft questions will be answered as the draft airs in High Definition for the first time.

Who will go first? Will it be McCoughtry, Paris or the new favorite, Montgomery?

Which point guard is the first to go, Toliver or Montgomery?

Do the Storm pick a wing or the best player available?

What happens in the jumble that is Courtney Paris, Dewanna Bonner and Marissa Coleman?

What happens to my favorites, Lehning, Frazee and Cirone?

Which of the 15 invitees is left alone waiting for their name to be called?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Final Four

Louisville pulled off an upset off some emotional play by Angel McCoughtry. The game started in Oklahoma's favor early, but they failed to put the Cardinals away, missing a number of opportunities and allowing the underdog to stick around. After a tongue lashing from their coach, the Cardinals came out in the second half and took over. Oklahoma had a chance to win it with a three at the buzzer but the ball went in and bounced back out. They were unable to rebound and shoot fast enough to tie. Courtney Paris promised to make good on her guarantee to pay back her scholarship. It will take her a few years on a $45K or so rookie scale contract unless she gets some endorsement deals.

Connecticut put Stanford away quickly despite some great play by Jayne Appel. I didn't even finish this one as it was over before halftime.

Championship on Tuesday and the draft short behind.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cleaning up the Mess

I don't know what Blogger did, but it has taken me weeks to fix all the problems with the blog with disappearing text and shifted margins. Hopefully it will all hold steady for a while.

Final Four begins this afternoon..looking forward to the adventure. I intend to be live on Twitter during most of the two games, but I have been informed that I am kicked off the TV at 8pm Pacific for Amazing Race.

The big questions for me are whether Connecticut can hold up dominance for another game and whether the Paris sisters can do a better job controlling the paint this time around.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Butterfly Effect

Write it and they will come, Kevin...

How does it feel to be a source?

How many times will Michael Cooper leave LA to pursue more money?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Twitter Experiment

As a worker for an IT company, I am always open to the new technology, so I decided to experiment with Twitter during last night's two tournment games. It is certainly easier to comment moment to moment than it is to write up a detailed analysis.

I will continue to experiment during the Final Four games on Sunday and on into the draft next week.

The .com has their draft site up do both the Storm and the Lynx. Of course there is also WNBA Draft Net.