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).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lyttle: "mental breakdowns"

The Houston Comets led the Phoenix Mercury 60 to 57 at the end of the third quarter Tuesday night. In fact, the Comets led the Mercury 68 to 64 with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter. Phoenix scored 10 straight points to lead 74 to 68; but, Michelle Snow and Tina Thompson pulled the Comets within two points on two occasions.

With 6.6 seconds left in the game and trailing 76 to 74, Tina Thompson received a pass from Snow near the top of the key. Thompson drove to the basket; attempted a left-handed lay up; the shot rolled off the rim; Snow rebounded the miss with 0.3 seconds remaining; however, her shot attempt was after the buzzer (and no good, too, by the way).

The Comets turned the ball four times in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

After the game, Sancho Lyttle said to The HRR, "Mental breakdowns are points for the other team. We broke down at the wrong time. They started on their run when we broke down. You can never tell when we're going to break down; but, we have to try not to (break down) at crucial points in the game."
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Monday, July 30, 2007

WNBA TV Change

The WNBA sent this press release announcing a change to their tv schedule for the second game of the television double-header on ESPN2.

The telecast of tomorrow night's WNBA game between the Seattle Storm and Sacramento Monarchs from KeyArena in Seattle originally scheduled to air on ESPN2 will be moved to ESPN Classic. The game will be shown live in its entirety on ESPN Classic beginning at 9:00 pm CT.

The game also will be re-broadcast on ESPN2 following the San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game. ESPN2 has added to its schedule two games featuring the Giants' Barry Bonds on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 p.m. CT.

ESPN Classic can be found in Seattle on Comcast Channel 403 and DirectTV Channel 208.

Viewers in the Sacramento market will not be affected and will be able to watch the game on either ESPN Classic or ESPN2. The first game of the WNBA Tuesday doubleheader will feature Becky Hammon and the San Antonio Silver Stars hosting the defending champion Detroit Shock, at 7 p.m. CT.

Pam Ward will call the action with analyst Carolyn Peck and courtside reporter Rebecca Lobo. Todd Harris and Doris Burke will provide commentary on the Sacramento at Seattle game along with reporter Heather Cox.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pan Am Team is Golden

Congratulations to head coach Dawn Staley; her coaching staff; and the players for winning the gold medal Tuesday night in the 2007 Pan Am Games with a 79 to 66 victory over Brazil -- in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in front of 13,000 screaming Brazilian fans clad in Brazil's national colors of yellow and green.

Rutgers' guard Matee Ajavon scored a game-high 27 points to help the USA Women's Pan American Games Team erase a four point third quarter deficit and outscore 30 to 13 in the fourth period.

The 2007 squad did what three USA teams that came before it were unable to do - win the gold. Since claiming gold in 1987, the USA had earned silver once (2003) and bronze twice (1991 and 1999) (note-the women’s basketball competition was canceled for 1995 Pan American Games).
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Comets to Honor Local Women

I received this late Sunday night; so, I'm posting it early Monday morning:

The Houston Comets will honor winners of the Inspiring Women of Houston Award at halftime of Inspiring Women Night presented by Meridian Wines as Houston takes on the Phoenix Mercury on July 31, at 7:30 p.m.

Fans may nominate any Houston woman who personally inspires them by submitting the registration form available at www.houstoncomets.com.

Nominations must be received no later than Thursday, July 26, 2007, via email to inspiringwomen@houston-comets.com or by fax to 713-758-7246.

A panel of judges will select three women from the nominees to spotlight during the game and to present with the Inspiring Women of Houston Award at halftime.

Each person who submits a valid nomination will receive two free tickets to the July 31 game. Award winners will be announced on Friday, July 27, 2007.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

US claims Bronze

From 0 and 2 start in the competition to a bronze medal...

Five players scored in double figures as the U.S. claimed a bronze medal with an 83-72 victory over Chinese Taipei (A) on the final day of the 2007 Women’s William Jones Cup held Tuesday night at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.

Congratulations to head coach Vic Schaefer; the players; and the staff.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

W / ESPN Announce Deal

Well, well, well.

The WNBA and ESPN announced an agreement which will provide the WNBA a first:

Rights Fees

For the first time in its 11-year history, the WNBA has
signed a television contract which will give the league rights fees.

The
agreement extends the WNBA’s relationship with ESPN, which began with the league’s inaugural season in 1997, to 20 seasons.
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U19 Announced

USA Basketball today announced the official, 12-member 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team roster which will participate in the FIBA U19 World Championship. The U19 World Championship features 15 other U19 national teams from around the world, will be contested July 26-Aug. 5 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The official USA U19 roster includes: Victoria Baugh (Sacramento H.S. / Sacramento, Calif.); Angie Bjorklund (University H.S. / Spokane, Wash.); Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State / Grandville, Mich.); Amy Jaeschke (New Trier H.S. / Wilmette, Ill.); Jantel Lavender (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S. / Cleveland, Ohio); Melissa Lechlitner (Notre Dame / Mishawaka, Ind.); Italee Lucas (Centennial H.S. / Las Vegas, Nev.); Maya Moore (Collins Hill H.S. / Lawrenceville, Ga.); Kayla Pedersen (Red Mountain H.S. / Fountain Hills, Ariz.); Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S. / Fairfax, Va.); Krystal Thomas (The First Academy / Orlando, Fla.); and Monica Wright (Virginia / Woodbridge, Va.).


Press release
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Saturday, July 14, 2007

US Jones Cup Team Update

I haven't posted any info about the U.S. Jones Cup Team on this blog since I attended the morning practice on Wednesday, July 4.

The competition began a few days ago; and, the U.S. team lost its first two games (
70 to 63 versus Chinese Tapei and 70 to 40 versus Austrailia). However, the team has played better and won two games in a row: 114 to 72 versus the Japanese National Team and 94 to 68 over Korea.

Team USA will take a bye on Sunday and close out tournament play versus New Zealand on Monday, July 16, and Chinese Taipei (A) on Tuesday, July 17.

This year’s U.S. Jones Cup team is sponsored by Athletes In Action which is an associate member of USA Basketball.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Comets Host Kids' Day

Thursday, July 12, the Houston Comets will face the Minnesota Lynx for the second time in five days during their annual Kids' Day morning game.

The Comets earned their first road game win against the Lynx on July 8 (79-67).

More than 10,000 children are expected to attend the annual Kids' Day game.

Tipoff is set for 11:00 AM.
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Monday, July 09, 2007

Exposure for Girls Hoops

This past weekend, I watched girls high school / AAU / grassroots basketball at Cy Fair HS, Cy Falls, and Cinco Ranch HS. Two tournaments took place in H-town (that I knew about); and, I did my best to see as much as action as possible.

I talked with college coaches and watched talented young ladies play basketball practically all day Saturday and Sunday.

After this weekend, I have the desire and the passion to promote girls' / women's basketball more and more. I spoke with a lot of people who share that same desire; and, one of those people is Mr. Cedrick Lafleur -- owner and director of the CyFair Texans program.

Cedrick organized the 2007 adidas CyFair Classic which featured 98 girls AAU teams participating and numerous college coaches in attendance.

Jerry Woodley and I interviewed Cedrick Sunday afternoon.

Here is the interview: "...exposure for high school girls basketball..."

Jerry and I are part of the six-member "Prep Talk" team which is webcast each Saturday morning on HoustonSports.com from 9am to 12:15pm.
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

CyFair Classic

This is a reminder for some of you and news to others; but, the 2007 adidas CyFair Classic begins tomorrow. The event runs from July 6 through July 8; and, some of the top high school girls basketball players in the city of Houston, state of Texas, and the entire United States will be participating in this huge event.

Future stars of college basketball and the WNBA will showcase their skills and talents for family, fans, friends, and coaches!

98 AAU teams are scheduled to participate. Hundreds of college coaches are expected to attend the event!

I'll be there Saturday and Sunday watching the games and the players. In addition, I'll be chatting with coaches "off the record" as well as interviewing a few coaches "on the record", too.

The Classic will be held at four sites: Cy Fair HS; Cy Falls HS; Cy Springs HS; and Langham Creek HS.

The event tips off Friday morning at 8:30 am.
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

US Jones Cup Team

I took advantage of today's national holiday to do something I enjoy a great deal -- watch basketball practice. The women's Jones Cup team is practicing this week inside Reed Arena on Texas A&M's campus as the team prepares to compete in the upcoming Jones Cup competition.

Led by Texas A&M associate women's basketball head coach Vic Schaefer in association with Athletes In Action, the U.S. will be one of seven countries participating in the single-round robin tournament along with two teams representing Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Korea. This is the first year that the women's Jones Cup team will be sponsored by AIA which is an associate member of USA Basketball. The team will train in College Station from July 1-7 and will depart for Taiwan on July 8.

Baylor University's Rachel Allison and Jhasmin Player are joined by an all-star collegiate cast comprised of La Toya Micheaux of Texas A&M, Heather Ezell of Iowa State, Briann January of Arizona State, Sarah-Jo Lawrence of George Washington, Jackie McFarland of Colorado, Angie Nelp of Colorado State, Kendra Reed of Southern Mississippi, Leah Rush of Oklahoma, Brittanie Taylor-James of North Carolina A&T and Katie Vieth of Kentucky.

Some points of the the morning session were not very crisp; but, from what I was told, today was much better than the first practice which took place on Monday which means the team is already improving. Practice was long; but, I enjoyed watching every bit of it.

Coach Schaefer spoke to us (me and Jerry L. Woodley of "Prep Talk" --- www.HoustonSports.com) after practice.

Here are some of his comments: "...highly competitive environment..."
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Comets sign Grant

The Houston Comets announced the signing (re-signing) of guard Erin Grant today.

Here's the press release:

(HOUSTON – July 4, 2007) – The Houston Comets have signed guard Erin Grant. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Grant first signed with the Comets on April 20 during Houston’s 2007 training camp, earning a spot on the Comets official roster at the start of the season. In three matches, she totaled three points, nine assists and five rebounds in 51 minutes, but was waived by the team on May 23.

A Texas Tech University graduate, Grant finished her college career receiving All-Big 12 First Team honors two consecutive seasons and securing averages of 12.0 points and 6.3 assists in her final season. Grant was drafted by the Seattle Storm (39th overall) in the 2006 WNBA Draft.

The Houston Comets face the Seattle Storm on Friday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Toyota Center.

Friday nights are Family Night with the Houston Comets. Family Four Packs, which include four tickets, two gifts and a chance to shoot free throws on the court after the game, are available for the affordable price of $48. 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, July 02, 2007

Comets sign Tamecka

One of the worst kept secrets in the WNBA came true today as the Houston Comets announced the signing of guard Tamecka Dixon.

Since she was waived by the Comets (January 11, 2007), many WNBA fans, Comets' fans, and people "in the know" about the "W" stated Dixon would be re-signed by the Comets when July 1 arrived. Well, yesterday, the Comets made room for Dixon by waiving guard Tamara Moore and center / forward Tari Phillips.

Dixon's signing was imminent. Today, her signing became official.


As the WNBA's second half of the regular season is just days away, I still do not believe Tamecka (I assume she's healthier than she was last season with the Comets) will greatly improve upon the Comets' current 4 and 12 record.

Of course, I have been wrong before.
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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Comets Waive T-Mo and Tari

According to the WNBA.com's "2007 WNBA Transactions Page":

July 1 The Houston Comets waive Tamara Moore and Tari Phillips.

The Comets have not sent a press release, yet; but, these two cuts should lead to a signing of at least one player (re: Tamecka Dixon). Dixon was waived January 11, 2007, much to the chagrin of head coach Karleen Thompson. Though Thompson was not named coach and general manager until February 14, 2007, she was not thrilled with the decision to waive Dixon.

Due to league rules, Dixon could not be re-signed until July 1st at the earliest. Rumors have swirled for months Dixon would return to the Comets. With today's waivers, perhaps Dixon's return is indeed imminent.

Personally, I'm not sure how much Dixon's presence on the team will improve the Comets' 4 - 12 record.
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