Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Big 12 sets Attendance Mark

Big 12 women's basketball broke its own NCAA record while leading the nation in attendance for the eighth consecutive year. The league totaled 1,023,576 fans for a 5,170 average in 2006-07, the NCAA announced.

2006-07 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Conference Attendance Leaders
Total Attendance Average
1. Big 12 -- 1,023,576*(total) 5,170 (avg.)
2. Big Ten -- 773,44 (total) 4,321 avg.
3. SEC -- 753,702 (total) 3,926 avg.
4. ACC -- 664,622 (total) 3,357 avg.
5. Big East -- 712,785 (total) 2,958 avg.

* NCAA Record

Press release

While the Big 12 should be commended for the great numbers, attendance numbers for women's college basketball still have room for improvement. For example, the University of Kansas ranked 10th among the Big 12 schools with a total attendance of 42,508 and an average of 2,657 fans. That total attendance number ranked 43rd nationally.

Forty-third! In my opinion, not very impressive in the grand scheme of things; but, even that number dwarfs the total attendace figures for many, many other teams in the country.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Comets to name CEO

This just in...from the Houston Comets' media relations department:

The Comets will name its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) tomorrow afternoon.

The press conference is set for 2:30pm.
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dietz joins Owls staff

Friday, June 22, Greg Williams, the head coach of the Rice University women's basketball team announced the hiring of Brittany Dietz as director of basketball operations.

Ironically, I met Brittany Friday afternoon when I stopped by (after my office job) to chit-chat with the coaches.

She's looking forward to her role with the Owls even though the team is about to leave Fox Gym and set up shop at Reliant Arena while Autry Court undergoes renovations for a year or so.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

No DT versus Comets

The Houston Comets catch a break...

The WNBA announced Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury has been suspended for two games without pay for inappropriate conduct toward game officials at the conclusion of the Mercury's game against the Detroit Shock on June 22, it was announced today by Todd DeMoss, Senior Director, Basketball Operations.

Taurasi will serve her suspension during Phoenix's next two games, both vs. the Houston Comets, a home game on June 24 and a road contest on June 30.
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Too many minutes

After last night's Comets win (95 - 85) over Washington, during the post-game press conference, I asked Karleen Thompson if she would like to limit Tina Thompson's minutes. Without quoting Karleen, her answer was "yes."

After interviewing Sancho Lyttle and Tamara Moore in the lockerroom, I spoke to Tina (off the record). Basically, I talked with Tina to make sure she was okay.

Out of her laundry list of nagging injuries, Tina's left ankle is bothering her the most; and, she does not want to play an entire game too much longer.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tina: "Our 6th Man"

After 10 consecutive losses to start the 2007 WNBA season, the Houston Comets picked up win number one Wednesday night versus the Los Angeles Sparks. The Comets led throughout the game and defeated the Sparks 74 to 64.

Michelle Snow (21) and Tina Thompson (20) combined for 41 points. Snow shot 9 for 13 from the field and added 9 rebounds. Thompson shot 8 for 19 (but, she made 4 of her last 5 shots) and grabbed eight boards.

"I can't say enough about our crowd," Tina Thompson said proudly. "You can say it over and over again; but, they're great; and, they have been great for 10 (plus) years. I think it's a testament to them; and, I think it shows how awesome they are that, when we're at our worst time, the fans are at their best. That's what makes an awesome crowd. Today, as on most days, they were definitely our Sixth Man."
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Houston Invitational

Last Sunday, June 10, I was sitting in my recliner watching television. I got a phone call from a good coaching friend of mine; and, he said, "KG, meet me at Hofheinz at 6 o'clock. Karima (Christmas) and Adaora (Elonu) are playing in a tournament."

I told my friend, "I'll be there."

While driving to my alma mater, I thought to myself "Tournament? I didn't know about any tournament taking place this weekend?"

Well, I got to UH; parked; and, I saw a lot of cars in the parking lot of the UH Athletics Center; so, clearly, people knew about this tournament and I was simply in the dark about it.

I met my friend inside Hofheinz; and, I found out the tournament had been going on all weekend. The tournament, the inaugural "
MY Stars Houston Angels Houston Invitational", was for boys' and girls' teams from the fifth through 12th grade. Oddly enough, UH basketball legend Rickie Winslow and his ROWDY foundation, helped organize and run the tournament.

The tournament was actually an event:
*Special Guest Appearances by Kevin Cook & "Sweet" Lou Dunbar.
*Raffles: Signed Basketballs, Comets tickets & Gift Cert. & More!
*Coaches Clinic: Kevin Cook, former WNBA Coach.
*3 Point Shooting Contest (Winner gets trophy).
*Free Throw Shooting Contest (Winner gets trophy).

I was impressed with the talent on the court; but, I was also a little disappointed because I wasn't told of the tournament earlier. I'm not blaming anyone. The miscommunication simply shows I still have work to do regarding getting the word out to the people associated with girls AAU basketball in the Greater Houston area about The Houston Roundball Review and KCOH 1430 AM's Sports Rap show. However, from the three plus hours I attended the tournament, I made contacts with people and coaches which will benefit all of us in the near and distant future.

I mentioned Karima and Adaora in the opening paragraph; and, I did see them play basketball. Though I interviewed her in Cleveland at the WBCA High School All America Game, I didn't realize what a tremendous physical body Karima Christmas has! Her game matches her body, too. I wish Karima good luck and success at Duke University (yes, Duke) in the fall and throughout her future.

appeared on Sports Rap a few weeks ago; but, I had not yet seen her play basketball until Sunday. She's a natural. Adaora makes them game look easy; however, she needs to work on her passing and play with more aggression consistently. I'm sure Adaora's game will continue improving for the Houstonians 17 and Alief Elsik HS and whichever college she chooses to attend and further her education and her basketball career in the future.

The tournament was not NCAA sanctioned which means college coaches were not allowed to attend; however, the plan is for the tournament to be sanctioned next year and in the future. Ultimately, the hope is for the tournament to become the biggest girls' basketball tournament in Houston and the country. Sounds good to me.

I look forward to bigger and better things from the Houston Invitational in the future.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Comets Sign Crystal

Straight from the Houston Comets. A press release announcing ...

The signing of guard Crystal Smith.

During her rookie season with the Phoenix Mercury, Smith played in 23 games, averaging 2.6 points per game, 1.0 assist per game and earning a .917 free throw percentage.

In the 2006 WNBA Draft, Smith was picked 32nd overall by Phoenix. She spent her college career as point guard for the University of Iowa and during her senior year (2006) earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team and the Big Ten All Defensive Team.

The Houston Comets begin a three game road trip tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Los Angeles Sparks followed by back-to-back contests against the Seattle Storm on June 15 at 7 p.m. and the Sacramento Monarchs on June 16 at 7 p.m. The Comets return to Toyota Center for home games against Los Angeles on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. and the Washington Mystics on June 22 at 7:30 p.m. Individual game tickets, season plans, mini-plans and group tickets are available for purchase by calling 713-627-WNBA or by visiting www.houstoncomets.com.
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Monday, June 11, 2007

0 and 7

The Houston Comets fell to 0 and 7 with Monday night's 82 to 67 loss to the Sacramento Monarchs.

Houston never led in the game.

Listen to comments from Karleen Thompson and Tina Thompson by visiting this
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Friday, June 08, 2007

Comets fall to 0-6

I must admit I'm not surprised the Comets blew a 16 point halftime lead tonight in the 88 to 77 lost to Connecticut; but, my goodness, the third quarter was amazing.

Sun 32, Comets 11 in the third which followed the Comets outscoring the Sun 25 to 8 in the second.

Houston played well in the first half; Connecticut didn't.

The Sun raised their level of play in the second half; the Comets wilted (again).
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Comets Broken Record is 0-5

"We didn't come to play for 40 minutes."

That statement has been said by practically every member of the Houston Comets this season. However, saying those words have yet to produce a victory as the Comets continued their worst start in franchise history with an 84 to 59 loss to the Indiana Fever Wednesday night. The loss dropped Houston to 0 and 5 in 2007.

Comets center Michelle Snow was quoted with the lack of 40 minutes comment last night; but, head coach Karleen Thompson and forward Tina Thompson has said those same words over and over thus far this season.

Last night, the Comets fell behind 20 to 8 in the first quarter which means they didn't play well at the beginning of a ball game. In the regular season opener versus Seattle, the Comets lost a 22 point lead -- in the third quarter -- and lost the game by double digits which means the team started well but didn't finish. Another example of not finishing occurred this past Saturday night when the Comets lost a nine point lead with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter and lost by seven points to the Detroit Shock.

The other two losses were a blowout road loss to the Phoenix Mercury and a sad effort in a loss the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Comets led the Silver Stars in the first quarter; then, the defense collapsed and the Silver Stars rolled to the win.

Consequently, the Comets have ran the gamut of performance in just five games. Start well; finish poorly. Start poorly; finish well. Lead at halftime; collapse in the third quarter. Lead in the fourth quarter; collapse down the stretch.

Six of the team's 13 players on the team's roster are new this season. The team still does not have a legit WNBA starting point guard. When the opponents press the Comets' offense, the results are disastrous. The Comets turn the ball over like it's a bill no one wants to pay.

Sheryl Swoopes' absence the past two games due to a lower disc problem in her back hasn't helped the team's chances to win; however, the team did play well in the loss to Detroit only to follow that showing with last night's stinker in Indiana.

This team not only struggles with consistency from game to game but from quarter to quarter as well.

The only consistency for the Comets is their lack of effort for 40 minutes; however, at some point, the lack of effort for 40 minutes needs to be replaced by a victory.
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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lady Coogs Update

I know the 2007 - 2008 college basketball season is months away; but, I decided to write some news about the Houston Lady Cougars.

First, the team is still planning (hoping; expecting) high school senior-to-be Brooklyn Pope, 6'2, Fort Worth Dunbar High School to make a visit to the campus. Brooklyn has moved to the number 2 spot in Scout.com's
rankings. Scout.com's rankings do not list UH as one of Brooklyn's "schools of interest".

Non-conference opponents
The dates have not been announced; but, here are the Lady Coogs' non-conference opponents for 2007 - 2008:

Texas Southern
Middle Tennessee
@Cal State Bakersfield
@Cal Poly
@Texas Tech

UH will also participate in the Xavier Classic where they will play McNeese St., Liberty, and Xavier.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

Coop on FSN

Very quickly, a few minutes ago, Cynthia Cooper did me a favor and spoke on Sports Rap (KCOH 1430 AM) via her cell phone. We had spoken a few times during the last week or so; but, her busy schedule wouldn't allow her to appear on the show. Out of the blue, I gave her a call today about 4:45 pm to chit chat; and, she told me she could be on the show for a few minutes today.

Coop is heading to Rice University for tonight's 6pm NCAA Tournament baseball game between Rice and PV; so, she talked with Ralph on the go. Of course, Coop is going to the game to support the Panthers.

She said she was going to do two of the Comets six FSN television games including tomorrow's home game versus the Detroit Shock.

Coop is also an assistant coach for the girls' Under19 USA Basketball Team.
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