February 11, 2008

Victory, Even In Defeat

There should be no confusion, simply watch the replay.

Watch Candace Parker grab a rebound, turn and put up a shot with the clock plummeting down to triple zeros. Watch that clock carefully. It goes really fast doesn't it? So how come it seems like an eternity before it goes from 0.02 to 0.00?

Rutgers was robbed. They should have become the first school to defeat two No. 1-ranked programs consecutively. They should own wins over the two most storied programs in the history of women's basketball.

C. Vivian Stringer knows that.

Continue reading "Victory, Even In Defeat" »

January 23, 2008

Having A Good Knight

It's like, which one of these things doesn't belong? Except, they do belong. But for different reasons.

While it still might be too early to accurately predict the Final Four that will take place in Tampa, Fla., on April 6, that doesn't mean we can't try.

And while teams like Connecticut, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland seem to be getting a lot of hype, there is another team that deserves respect, but will beat you in a very different way then those others.

No. 5 Rutgers is a national title contender. They are the defending runners-up and they aren't fast, they don't shoot great percentages, they don't have a go-to superstar. What do they have? They have the ability to turn those other teams mentioned into brick-laying, turnover machines.

Continue reading "Having A Good Knight" »

January 18, 2008

The State Of Connecticut

No. 1 Connecticut can not afford to lose any more leadership to injury.

First, the Huskies lose junior guard and contributor Kalana Greene for the season to a torn ACL, and now, the same injury has taken senior guard and the Huskies' best outside shooting threat Mel Thomas.

This one hurts, especially for Thomas as she is a senior and can no longer red shirt the season because UConn has played more than 30 percent of its games. Greene will be able to earn eligibility back for this season despite playing in eight contests.

Continue reading "The State Of Connecticut" »

December 13, 2007

This Boot Wasn't Made For Walkin

Rutgers got a bit of unfortunate news before their Wednesday night contest against Princeton.

The Scarlet Knights defeated the Tigers, 53-48, without the services of senior Big East Defensive Player of the Year Essence Carson, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury and was donning crutches and a protective boot on her right foot.

Carson has been hindered by this injury almost all season, said coach C. Vivian Stringer after Carson shot 2-for-10 from the field and just didn't play well in a win over No. 11 Cal on Monday.

Continue reading "This Boot Wasn't Made For Walkin" »

December 05, 2007

Musical Top 25

The Associated Press and Coaches Polls have been released, meaning another week of musical chairs among the Top 10 and bottom portion of the Top 25.

With all the nation's elite squads beating up on each other in big preseason battles, and all the bottom-Top-25 teams proving they don't belong ranked at all, there has certainly been a lot of turnover in the early season.

As always, I have some bones to pick with the voters. And the Maryland Terrapins should too.

Continue reading "Musical Top 25" »

November 14, 2007

Give Me Moore

Essentially a lock already for the Big East Freshman of the Year Award, Connecticut guard Maya Moore looks more apt to win the Player of the Year Award just two games into the season.

In Connecticut's opener against Stony Brook all Moore did was record a double-double, leading the Huskies in both scoring and rebounding with 21 and 10.

It's only halftime of tonight's game against Holy Cross - who is already 0-1 on the season by the way - and Moore already has 22 points!

Continue reading "Give Me Moore" »

November 13, 2007

Some Network's Basketball Invitational

If you thought the first weekend of action in the 2007-08 season was good, you ain't seen nothing yet. With the WNIT heating up and the ESPNU Basketball Invitational down in Tampa on Thursday, the action is non-stop.

From Downtown will be heading down to the Sunshine State for the two-game invitational - not a tournament - that features No. 10 Duke at host South Florida in the first matchup and an amazing No. 1 vs. No. 9 neutral site battle between the Lady Vols of Tennessee and Courtney Paris and Oklahoma.

Continue reading "Some Network's Basketball Invitational" »

March 06, 2007

Connecticut-Rutgers: Knighted Kings of the East

The 2007 Big East Tournament is coming to a close and with a minute remaining it is the No. 2 seed Rutgers with the four-point lead.

When was the last time No. 1 seed from the ACC, SEC and Big East all failed to win their conference championship?

I know that in the ACC this is the first time since 2000 that the No. 1 seed didn't win, so it must be a while back.

Both teams used extremely balanced scoring and good defense today, mixed with poor shooting.

Continue reading "Connecticut-Rutgers: Knighted Kings of the East" »

Connecticut-Rutgers: Getting Messy

As this game winds down, the play gets sloppier.

Rutgers is on a 4-0 run over the past six minutes and change. There have been numerous airballs during that time and two that hit the side of the backboard. Both teams either lost their shooting touch or forgot that they are aiming for the orange circular part of the basket.

With 2:09 to go the score is Rutgers 49-45. This is still anyone's game and with UConn, they aren't close to out of it. But the way they are playing, turning the ball over before even getting a shot off on many possessions, they need to step it up if they want to overcome the Knights.

Connecticut-Rutgers: Miss Charles

With about 18 minutes left in the game Tina Charles got her first points off two free throws.

She followed that up with a lay up off a sweet inside move. Four in a row.

But Rutgers continues to play well and they continue to lead, 33-30.

But not so fast...her comes the Huskies...Mel Thomas hit another big 3-pointer to tie the score with 15:00 left to go.

The way it looks right now, this one could be a fun ending...

Connecticut-Rutgers: Bleeding Scarlet

Rutgers fans have something to cheer about at halftime of this one.

It's the first time all tournament that Connecticut doesn't have an insurmountable lead by halftime. Not only does Connecticut not have an insurmountable lead, they don't have a lead at all.

Renee Montgomery airballed a jumper to end the half and the score going into the locker room is 29-26 Rutgers.

Both teams are getting balanced scoring. Rutgers is led by Essence Carson's nine points, meanwhile Montgomery finished the half with 11 for UConn.

It's obvious that Connecticut looks a little tired out there, you can bet Geno will address that before they re-emerge for the second.

Continue reading "Connecticut-Rutgers: Bleeding Scarlet" »

Connecticut-Rutgers: Hot Start

After 10 minutes of Internet problems, I am finally up and running...for now.

And after 10 minutes of game action, it's Rutgers who holds the advantage. And they look like the more active and fresh team. UConn looks a little sluggish in the early going.

Pacing Connecticut is Renee Montgomery who has nine points on three jumpers and a trey. Mel Thomas just hit a big three to bring UConn to within one at 21-20, and then Ketia Swanier hit a jumper to take back the lead.

So, to recap. UConn started quick, Rutgers took over, UConn just grabbed the lead back. So far, this is a good one, if Rutgers keeps up this intensity all game than we will have a close one on our hands.

Continue reading "Connecticut-Rutgers: Hot Start" »

Big East Championship: UConn vs. Rutgers

It's the Big East final here at the Hartford Civic Center in brutally cold Hartford, Ct.

Hopefully the action in the arena will heat up the temperature outside--coming in at a robust 14 degrees.

Like North Carolina in the ACC, Connecticut will be attempting to win its third consecutive Big East Tournament title. They finished the regular season a perfect 16-0 and have breezed through the tournament thus far, securing easy 20 and 26-point victories.

Rutgers hasn't had it quite as easy as the No. 2 seed, but the Scarlet Knights have advanced, winning both games by the score of 63-55.

Continue reading "Big East Championship: UConn vs. Rutgers" »

March 05, 2007

Rutgers-Marquette: Good Knight?

Kia Vaughn has a double double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Matee Ajavon has 20 points also and Rutgers is holding on to a 59-54 lead with two minutes remaining in the game.

Marquette's Krystal Ellis started ridiculously hot, only to cool like the polar ice caps. She's since picked it up and has 20 now. The problem for the Golden Eagles is they don't really have anyone else who can score for them.

Keeping this blog going until the end of the game, with 37.5 seconds left and the score 61-55, it looks like it will be another Geno vs. the State of New Jersey when the Knights meet the Huskies in tomorrow's Big East final.

This one is over, with Rutgers taking it, 63-55. Next stop, an away game on a neutral court against the Huskies. Figure that one out.

Rutgers-Marquette: Closer Than The First

After about eight minutes of the second half, it looks like this game will be a much tighter finish than the first of the night. But that's not saying much.

Rutgers is led by Kia Vaughn's 16 points and eight boards. Krystal Ellis is still leading the way for Marquette, but she hasn't scored yet in the second half and stands on 14 points.

Rutgers' Matee Ajavon, who was on fire until their last game against Connecticut, has begun to heat up. She has eight second-half points to increase her output to 16.

Although I don't think either of these teams will be able to hold a candle to UConn tomorrow, they are putting forth a good show in this one.

Continue reading "Rutgers-Marquette: Closer Than The First" »

Rutgers-Marquette: The K and K Show

Like prize fighters exchanging blows, Kia Vaughn and Krystal Ellis are making one big play after another for their teams.

Vaughn has 14 points and is dominating the paint, getting anything she wants inside.

Ellis is perfect from the field, going 5-for-5 including four long-range three-pointers, and also has 14 points.

With six minutes to go in the half, the score is 29-26 Rutgers. But this one is going back and forth with each fighter taking a big swing, absorbing a blow and then swinging again.

Rutgers-Marquette: Krystal Clear

Make that 19 straight games in double figures for Marquette's Krystal Ellis. The sophomore has 11 early points, two boards and an assist to pace the Eagles, as they lead the Knights 19-14 with 11:55 left in the first.

Kia Vaughn is pacing Rutgers with 10 early points and three rebounds.

Rutgers-Marquette: They're Golden

Rutgers is the No. 2 seed, Marquette the No. 3 seed, let's pray that this one is better than the first.

The Scarlet Knights are 20-8, but went 12-4 in conference during the season. They beat the 10 seed to get here in DePaul, 63-55.

For Marquette, 25-5 on the year and also 12-4 in conference, it took a 10-point victory over the six seed, Pitt.

The winner gets the Huskies. Case in point, there are no winners.

The last time Rutgers played Connecticut was in Piscataway where the Huskies used them as mops, wiping the floor with them, 70-44. Marquette's last rendevouz with UConn fared far better, losing a close game at home, 52-48. Of course, you must take into consideration that tomorrow's final will be a UConn home game.

Continue reading "Rutgers-Marquette: They're Golden" »

Lou-UConn: Best Actress

She may not be playing like the Big East Player of the Year tonight, but she could take home the hardware in the Best Actress category.

McCoughtry took a bump UConn' Tahira Williams--a love tap--and flew backwards, winning the offensive foul call from the ref.

Anyway, with under a minute to go and Connecticut up 75-48, I think this one's over.

McCoughtry will finish the game on the bench. Her stat line reads: 8 points, 2 rebounds, 4 fouls, 1 trip back to Louisville.

Lou-UConn: Who's Your Mommy, Swanier?

Let me first say that UConn backup junior point guard Ketia Swanier is one excellent player. She's fast, she can dribble and she can stop on a dime. That said, I really just wanted to use that title.

Louisville starter Yuliya Tokova from the Ukraine has one mother Russia of a tatoo on her right shoulder blade. I can't make out what it is, but I'm working on it. Either way, it's big. And it's all I can think to talk about since the score is now 65-32 with no sign of getting any closer.

Lou-UConn: Entertainment

This game is a joke. And it's not funny.

What is funny. I take back what I said about the Husky mascot. It takes guts to get on top of a cheerleading pyramid, and he climbed up there.

His costume is still pathetic. But my respect for him has greatened considerably.

Oh you wanna hear about the game? Why? OK, it's 52-24 Connecticut. Angel McCoughtry is back in the game. It doesn't matter.

Charde Houston has a double double already. She just scored her 10th point.

And with six minutes run off the clock in the second, the Big East's Player of the Year still hasn't scored. Anyone wanna reconsider.

Nah, just joshin ya Angel. But seriously, it's not your day.

Lou-UConn: Next!

Said Connecticut after they brushed away the Louisville-colored fly on their shoulder.

Your halftime score is 38-20, and I don't think Geno thinks that they have hit their stride yet. Maybe it's the exasperated look on his face, or when he yelled, "Could be get it inside to Tina [Charles] one time!"

To which a pass inside to Charles and a Charles lay up ensued. He may be boisterous, but he sure can coach.

Leading the way for Louisville at the half is Brandie Radde--who? that could be part of their problem--with seven points. Btw, I was just kidding, Raddie is a starter who plays almost 22 minutes a game and average six points a contest. She's already surpassed that mark.

Of course, that is not a good thing when your 22.3 point a game scorer has played only four minutes and scored zero points.

Continue reading "Lou-UConn: Next!" »

Lou-UConn: Easy Being Greene

The sophomore 5'10" guard from South Carolina is having her way with the Cardinals defense right now.

At one point she scored half her team's points. She stil has a good percentage of them. It's 31-17 with just over three minutes left in the half and Greene has 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

Charde Houston is the glass cleaner, coming up with eight big rebounds already, to go along with four points. And Renee Montgomery hit a long three that touched nothing but net.

I guess you could say the dogs are having their day. And the Louisville is going to the birds.

But I'll tell you, as mascots go, the Louisville Cardinal looks FAR more intimidating than the sickly thin looking Husky. So, I guess they've got that going for them. They certainly don't have the score right now.

Oh, and McCoughtry is still sitting on the bench.

Lou-UConn: Something Foul

Now they've done it.

Louisville's leader and Big East Player of the Year Angel McCoughtry is riding the pine with two early fouls. That's not a good sign for a team's whose second leading scorer registers at 10.8 a game, nearly 12 points less than McCoughtry.

Kalana Greene continues her hot start for the Huskies. She's got 12 points already and with 7:00 to play in the first half, the score is 22-13 UConn.

Lou-UConn: Barking Back

Well, it was 5-0 Louisville...

Now, it's 14-7 UConn. Go figure. Yeah, they're good.

And this "neutral" crowd loves them.

The Connecticut 14-2 run was sparked by six points from Kalana Greene and a passing lane interception and breakaway layup by Ketia Swanier.

Louisville's Brandie Radde leads the way for them with five points.

Continue reading "Lou-UConn: Barking Back" »

Lou-UConn: It's Not Even Fair

I'm beginning to wonder how fair it is to have the Big East tournament at the Hartford Civic Center.

I don't think there is a single Louisville fan in attendance. Oh wait, there's one! Oh, no, that guy's just wearing a red shirt.

Nope, not a single one.

Connecticut plays in the Hartford Civic Center as its home court quite often in fact, this crowd is used to coming here to see them play. This is a home game, there is no neutral court here.

We'll see if Louisville can overcome that, but even in Greensboro, just an hour from Duke, N.C. State and UNC, that is still a neutral site. This is a home floor.

Continue reading "Lou-UConn: It's Not Even Fair" »

Lou-UConn: Hello Here In Hartford

All alliteration aside--I know I just did it again--Tonight's semifinal action in the 2007 Big East Tournament will be huge.

The first game of the night pits 26-6 Louisville, the five seed, versus everybody's tournament favorite, the big dogs, Connecticut (28-2).

The second game is a matchup between the No. 2 Rutgers and No. 3 Marquette, more on that later.

Each remaining team boasts one player who took home some postseason Big East hardware. Rutgers' junior Essence Carson was named Defensive Player of the Year. Connecticut's 6-foot-4 woman-child center Tina Charles was tabbed Freshman of the Year. Terri Mitchell, coach of Marquette, won the Coach of the Year award in her 11th season at the helm. And finally, the Big East Player of the Year award goes to Louisville's Angel McCoughtry, a sophomore forward from Baltimore.

Continue reading "Lou-UConn: Hello Here In Hartford" »