Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
July 29, 2008 11:01 AM
Posted by Jayda Evans
STREAK OVER!: Interviewed Donovan after the session and actually got a direct smile my way following a question I asked. So, I'm happy to report that whatever ban I did have appears to be over. I'll have that feature on her as the Games approach.
NO JUICE: The computer's battery fizzed out quick today, so I didn't get a chance to wrap up practice. To finish off Day 2 of practice, I must say, again, that I love Fowles' play and what she brings to the Olympic team. Leslie is the all-time leading scorer for Team USA and she should be able to go nuts in Beijing, if the team can gel quickly and Fowles can continue to play like she has in training camp. Thibault wasn't happy about turnovers in the final scrimmages and the team worked heavily on defense today. The session ended with an around-the-horn shooting drill with posts facing off with the guards. The guards won, but the posts won one three-point part, hitting 10 first. That prompted Brown to comment how she loves watching a 6-foot-5 player hit a three. Yep, times have changed in the women's game. Anyway, since the posts lost, the guards made them do sit-ups. Bird busted into Kanye West's rap from "The New Workout Plan," singing "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and get them sit ups right and tuck your tummy tight and do your crunches like this." Everyone laughed, especially Leslie, who Bird was standing over as she rapped.
FIVE POSSESSIONS: Bird is at the point and the team is doing a drill of five possessions against the men. Bird's team is Thompson, Taurasi, Leslie, and Parker.
ANOTHER BLOCK: Man, here's hoping Fowles can continue to block shots the way she is in practice. The one just now on a male practice player led to a Pondexter fast break layin. Nice.
FULL-COURT SCRIMMAGE: The men are back on the court and the women are playing against them, practicing last-second situations. Pondexter is running the point with a team of Lawson, Milton-Jones, Catchings, and Augustus. Players are rotating in and out, though, so lineups and positions are changing quickly. It's the type of team Donovan likes -- plenty of versatility.
MAILBAG: A new poster (Welcome Storm39) asked about TV coverage while playing in the Games and USA Basketball released that the matchups will air live on NBC networks. Read more here.
RUNNING AND FREE THROWS: USA Basketball president Val Ackerman said on Monday that one of the biggest advantages to the women's team is that they all are in great playing shape. To keep it that way, Donovan has the players running sprints (although it looks like jogging) in between shooting free throws. There's no altitude problem in China, but the air quality is a major concern. Renee Brown, vice president of senior women, said she just returned from China, however, and expects the team to be fine.
Media is in and Team USA is playing four-on-four against each other. Kara Lawson is running the point for a "white" squad that includes Sylvia Folwes, DeLisha Milton-Jones, and Diana Taurasi. They were playing against a "red" squad that included Tamika Catchings, Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird, and Katie Smith. Cappie Pondexter, Candace Parker, Seimone Augustus, and Tina Thompson are on the "green" team.
Things are a lot more spirited today. Connecticut coach Mike Thibault stopped play at one point and got after the team for not harping at each other for an uncontested layin. Olympic coach Anne Donovan is talking about discipline.
Watching in the stands is a group of older conference goers from campus. And Phoenix GM Ann Meyers is along the sideline, she'll be broadcasting again for the Games. There is also a set of three officials, none that I really recognize from the WNBA, that are watching the scrimmage and making spot calls.
One side note, while the women are being carted around in a chartered bus, I heard the men were escorted in suburban limos and the select team that practiced against them rode a bus. The men were together a little longer in Las Vegas, but still, can a woman get some equal treatment?
Posted by john
12:10 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Any effects from the earthquake?
Posted by kolee
1:46 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Um, they're in Palo Alto.
Posted by john
2:03 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Actually they are in Stanford which is next to Palo Alto
Posted by Jayda
3:08 PM, Jul 29, 2008
John: No, I didn't even know about it until you mentioned it here (and it actually happened outside of LA). It was a gorgeous day on campus, about 78-degress and real sunny. There's even some sun in San Francisco, where I'm staying, but the temp drops about 10 degrees, so I'm back in sweaters. As for the location, Maples Pavilion's official address says Palo Alto, so I'll use that for my dateline, but Stanford University is located in Stanford, Calif. Leave it to the smart kids to make things confusing.
Posted by Si
3:33 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Stanford U was designed and constructed right on the Stanford/Palo Alto border, so-to-speak. When they built the sports complex, Maples Pav was constructed on the Palo Alto side, hence, the address of the arena being in PA...
And yeah- the earthquake was bad. Anyone who wants to come to L. A. to help me pick my broken stuff up is more than welcome! :@ It was the first earthquake in my years that I had ever been outside for. It is a whole different experience than being fast asleep in your warm little bed in the dark of night. Plus, I was writing, sitting under a tree that seemed to want out of the ground real damn bad.
Posted by john
3:40 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Thanks I was curious If I remember correctly, Stanford is about 350 miles from LA and was wondering if you felt
even a small rumble. I love your posts I saw Ms Bird dance
at a game once she was pretty good and funny I am glad that the team gets along .BRING HOME THE GOLD
Posted by Jayda
3:41 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Si: At least you made it through! That's awful about the place, though. Taurasi was telling the TV crew about her parent's home, talking to her mom right after practice today. Her mother said it looked like the place was robbed with the fridge on the other side of the house and stuff broken and tossed everywhere. Her mom was in the car driving when it hit. I hope all gets pieced back together soon down there.
Posted by norwester
3:49 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Love the rap details. Sounds like team chemistry is coming along off the court. Hopefully it develops as seamlessly on. Thanks as always for the coverage.
Posted by Daschel
4:56 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Another great blog Jayda. I was wondering if you guys felt the earthquake's aftershocks. Maybe the seismic waves combined with your charm finally wore down Mt. Donovan.
Posted by Si
8:59 PM, Jul 29, 2008
Jayda: Good 4u regarding AD... just goes to show ya. People can't stay angry forever... thanks for a great day of blogging. People surely appreciate how much work goes into this stuff. It's not easy work, even though you have a gift for making it seem so.
Posted by storm39
12:20 AM, Jul 30, 2008
thanks for the blogs jayda!
i dont know what i would do without you!
Posted by Diane
10:48 AM, Jul 30, 2008
Once again, it sounds like the women are getting the short end of the stick. Buses vs. limos?
Maybe the women should go to USAB and remind them which team has won 3 straight Olympic gold medals. The women have earned the perks, the men haven't.
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