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).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Aggies Update

A busy day for the Texas A&M women's basketball team as the sports information department sent three press releases today:

Takia Starks was named "
one of 30 preseason candidates" to the John R. Wooden Women's Award

seniors Morenike Atunrase and Katy Pounds are "
sidelined by injuries". Atunrase had surgery to repair a stress fracture; and, she's expected to return to the court in January. Pounds' basketball career is over due to degenerative problems with both of her knees. Pounds is going to be a student-assistant coach this season for the team.


the Aggies are "
ranked number 11" in the preseason USA Today / ESPN Coaches' Poll.

This Saturday, November 3, at 3pm, the Aggies host the Chinese National Team in an exhibition game at Reed Arena.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jones Cup Experience was "Amazing"

This past July, Vic Schaefer, the associate head coach for the Texas A&M women's team, coached the United States 2007 Women's Williams Jones Cup Team. The 2007 Women's Jones Cup competition was held in Taipei, Taiwan, (July 11 - 17). The 12-player U.S. roster included former and current collegiate players selected by Schaefer and the Athletes In Action staff. Athletes In Action, an associate member of USA Basketball, sponsored this year’s U.S. Jones Cup Team. (Between May and August, hundreds of college student-athletes and AIA staff travel the world to play competitive games, run clinics and attend sports camps. Each opportunity is used to share the matchless love of Jesus Christ as well as to teach the athletes how to be lifetime ministers of the gospel.)

The roster was comprised of a lot of players who represent Big 12 schools. Four of them (LaToya Micheaux, Texas A&M; Jackie McFarland, Colorado; and Baylor's Rachel Allison and Jhasmin Player) participated in the 2007 Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Day which was held in mid October.

After losing their first two games (70-63 to Chinese Taipei-B and 70-40 to Australia) in the competition, leadership emerged on the team which helped Team USA salvage the trip and win a bronze medal with an 83 to 72 victory over Chinese Taipei-A on the final day of the event.

“Yea, (losing the first two games) that was kind of hard to take,” said Jhasmin Player. “We got there and we played Taiwan’s best team on Day one. The first day of the tournament; it’s at 7 o’clock; it’s on ESPN television; everyone in Taiwan knows USA is the team to beat; so, they brought fans from everywhere (laughs). We lost that game. Then, the next day, we played the best team in the Tournament – Australia. We lost that one; and, that’s when leadership emerged. Leah Rush (Oklahoma) come of out nowhere and Angie (Gorton) Nelp (Colorado State) come out of nowhere and they were telling us ‘It’s okay. We’re going to lose some. Those were great teams we lost to in difficult situations. We have to make the best of this Tournament. We have four more games left. Do we want to go home 0 and 6 or do we want to go home 4 and 2?’ which is the best that we could do. We ended up going 4 and 2.”

“When Leah Rush asked us,” said LaToya Micheaux. “ ‘What do we want to do? Do we want to be 0 and 6 or do we want to finish 4 and 2?’ We started playing defense and got into our own rotation and our rhythm. We started playing transition basketball and rolled over the next four teams and won the bronze medal.”

In the game versus the Australian National Team, the young Team USA squad received a first-hand look at competing against grown women who were stronger (and better) than they were. The Australian Team left an indelible impression on Jhasmin Player.

“I want to be where they are. Those were grown women. When we went over there as girls, those were grown 33 or 34 year old women handing it to us. They were in the same shape that we were; and, they were just giving it to us. It made us (Player and Rachel Allison) want to come back here (to Baylor) and work harder and stay healthy and have our team right there with us because we want to be that type of team.”

Following the loss to the Australians, Jackie McFarland believed Team USA began developing team chemistry.

“I think in the second loss we started playing with better chemistry toward the end of the game. But, more than that, off the court, we realized we really need to focus on what each player could bring to the team. Getting the strengths of each player and add them to the team. It’s hard to take the star players from teams and put them together. We just really gelled. Each person stepped up and did what they needed as a player. We really played amazing. We had a great running game and a great transition defense.”

Micheaux (6'3) and McFarland (6'3) had to adjust to the international style of play which features quick guards and post players who shoot from the perimeter as well as skillfully dribble the basketball.

“It was definitely different,” McFarland said. “The style of play was different. Some of the Asian teams had a couple of tall girls; but, all five of them play run and gun offense. They don’t really have a post – that was the big difference for me obviously. The offense wasn’t (different) because I’m used to posting up on smaller girls; but, they don’t post up. You have to be able to defend all over the court. It was really exciting for me because I like to extend my game as much as possible.”

“I don’t think we were ready to play in the beginning,” added LaToya Micheaux. “We thought we’d be able to roll over the competition. We looked at them, and they’re tallest player is six feet, and we thought, ‘Okay, we’ve played against players taller and stronger than them before.’ But, they were so quick. When your five player (post / center spot) is outside shooting threes and dribbling the rock (basketball), I’m not used to guarding big players who have those skills. I’m used to staying in the paint and playing post defense.”

Each player described her experience with the team as amazing and something which won't be forgotten.

“Well, I thought it was a really good experience,” described Rachel Allison. “Me and Jhas (Jhasmin Player) got to go down there (Taiwan) together. We (Baylor University) were the only team that got to take two (college teammates). There were a lot of players from Big 12 teams; so, we talked about who had better fans; who had the meanest fans; and things like that. I thought it was really cool. It was a really good experience. We learned a lot. The fact we had to come together as a team in about a two week span taught us a lot about team chemistry; working together; and leadership. I think we have brought that back to our team; and, the chemistry on our team right now is just unbelievable. I think that it starts there (with great team chemistry). For me, I think it teaches you to get a long with people you may not have gotten a long with in the past being that you’ve played against them before.”

“Jones Cup was a great experience," Jhasmin Player added. “We were able to play with a different caliber of player; with different personnel; under a different coaching staff than what I’ve played with in the past two years. We went over there (to Taiwan); and, the international experience was the most pivotal for me. You got to go over there and play against teams from different countries who were quicker, stronger, faster, and better than us which makes you want to work on your game and get better.”

“It was an amazing experience that I had this summer,” Micheaux summarized. “I got to work with AIA (Athletes in Action) and represent God in sports.”

McFarland added, “Great opportunity to represent Athletes In Action. It was ‘Glory to God.’ That was really a great experience for me.”
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Captain Sydney Colson

I don’t have a lot of time to devote to covering high school basketball – boys or girls; however, every once in a while I get some time to catch a few games. A few years ago, I was at Barnett Fieldhouse watching a bi-district girls playoff game; and, one player really caught my eye during the game. Her name was Sydney Colson. Colson was a freshman that season playing for Westside High School’s varsity team; and, to me, she had skills and a presence on the basketball court well beyond her years.

Fast forward to March 2007 and I had a chance to see Sydney and her Westside teammates in the Region 3 playoffs. Her ability to take over a game had improved; and, Sydney still had that special “something” about her on the court.

Now, as the 2007 – 2008 college basketball season approaches, Colson (5’8) is a freshman on the Texas A&M Aggies. Apparently, Sydney has already made quite a positive impression on her Aggies coaches; her teammates; and, the A&M campus.

“I’ve really been impressed with Sydney Colson,” said Texas A&M women's basketball head coach Gary Blair. “Sydney, of course, is from Houston Westside (High School). She’s coming in and everyday going against (guards) Takia Starks and A’Quonesia Franklin. You get better through competition and repetition; but, Sydney Colson is the Martellus Bennett (tight end on the Texas A&M football team) of A&M on the women’s side. She hasn’t met a stranger, yet. She’s got a great personality. She’s a good student. She’s going to bring her game to the table and let her actions speak for her. I’m just proud of this young lady. She’s the first freshmen ever elected captain of her team; and, that just shows her leadership potential. I’m just a Sydney Colson fan all the way; and, I think the people of Houston are really going to enjoy having her represent the city of Houston particularly since we’re just an hour and half away. She’s going to play a lot of minutes for us as a freshman.”

Colson will spend a lot of her time this season backing up senior point guard A’Quonesia Franklin. Franklin welcomes the opportunity to “pass the torch” to Colson as the Aggies point guard of the future.

“Just giving her what I never got,” said A’Quonesia Franklin. “There wasn’t a point guard here when I came here as a freshman. I just want to give her what I didn’t get. Basically, just tell her everything I know to keep up the Aggies tradition that I’ve started the past few years.”

“Sydney’s here to give Aqua (A’Quonesia Franklin) a breather,” added junior center LaToya Micheaux. “Aqua’s a senior – this is her last season – so it’s time for a point guard to step. Hopefully, Sydney will be ready. She can shoot the ball. She can read the floor very well.”

Franklin gave a scouting report of Colson as well.

“Sydney is very vocal. She’s very quick. Off the dribble, she can handle the ball very well,” described Franklin. “She’s also a shooter. She can hit open shots. Shots with people in her face. She knows how to get her shot off against tight defense.”

Junior guard Takia Starks provided more insight on Colson.

“Sydney’s a personality,” said Starks. “I played with her in AAU. She’s going to be a point guard. Right now, she’s playing behind Aqua. It’s going to be tough coming from high school to college. You have to learn plays; learn technique; etc. She’s struggling a little bit right now; but, she’ll get it. Her shoot is pure. It’s excellent. When she just plays instead of thinking so hard, she’s going to be all right.”

“Sydney has a great personality. You can’t help but to like her. She didn’t come to school with and attitude. She didn’t say ‘This is my team; and, I’m going to do whatever I want.’ She came in with an open mind that she’s going to learn from everybody else. I took upon myself, with us both being from Houston, to help her out whenever she needs help – whether it’s in a drill or running a play and what to do. When we practice, she’s the point guard for me; so, when we go against the other squad, I have to be the voice to help her if she needs it.”

Starks elaborated on Colson being the only freshman chosen as one of the four captains (Colson, Franklin, senior guard / forward Morenike Atunrase and junior guard / forward Danielle Gant) on this year’s Aggies team.

“With Sydney, you’ve never had a freshman as a captain. I’ve never had that before; but, Sydney’s that type of player,” Starks said matter-of-factly. “She’s going to be the point guard. She has to be the general. She’s great encouraging her teammates. Coming in as a freshman, she’s not scared. Her personality is big for her. She likes to talk. She has a loud voice. She’s heard. I think she’ll do a great job.”

Big things have been expected from Sydney Colson for years; and, Colson has excelled in the past. From listening to her head coach and some of her teammates, Colson seems to be ready to excel in the present and in the future.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why not in Houston?

I truly enjoy covering women's college basketball. Being privileged to receive a media credential the last six or seven years to cover the Women's Final Four is always an honor. However, every year I attend a Final Four, I always say to my friends, “Why can't Houston host the Final Four?” While we were in Cleveland this year, I joked with my friends, “Okay, we're here now; so, count how many times I say 'Houston can do this or the Final Four should be in Houston'.” (We stopped counting at eight on just the second day we were there.)

In the past, I've worked with a representative of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority to help bring the first two rounds (the Regional and ultimately the Final Four) of the Women's NCAA Tournament to Houston. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our efforts. I haven't given up hope of getting it done; and, thankfully, a prominent women's head basketball coach, Texas A&M's Gary Blair, is beginning to trumpet the cause:

Why not in Houston?

Coach Blair brought up the notion of the city of Houston bidding on hosting the Big 12 women's basketball tournament and the NCAA Tournament to practically every member of the media he spoke with at last week's Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Day.

“I think what has to happen, Dallas has got a problem, because they do not have a second venue for us (women’s college basketball) because they’re going to tear down Reunion Arena and we do not necessarily want to go to SMU or another college campus to play,” said Coach Blair. “So, we either have to play our conference tournament on a separate weekend (than the men’s Big 12 conference tournament) or we have to San Antonio or Houston bid.

“It doesn't matter what we want. The city of Houston has to want us; and, why they wouldn't want us I don’t know because, just think about this: if you’re in Austin or you’re in College Station we’re close (to Houston) but if we have to go all the way to Kansas City, you see what that distance is. But, what if Kansas State or KU had to come to Houston – it’s the same distance but for them. We have highways going north and they've got highways going south. I’d love to see it (the tournament) in Houston some day; but, it has got to be first started from the city of Houston wanting to be a player. They need to be at the Big 12 Conference Meetings just like San Antonio has been a number of times – not just the bowl games – we need to have the basketball people attend those meetings.

“Look at basketball in the state of Texas – Baylor’s won a national championship; Texas Tech has won a national championship; Texas has won a national championship on the women’s side. Junior College – Tyler’s won it; Trinity Valley has won it; Kilgore has won it. In the pro game, the Houston Comets have won it four times; the San Antonio Silver Stars have got an excellent program now; on the men’s side, the Spurs and the Rockets have won championships.

“Texas has become a basketball state as far as talent; but, we need to be exploring the opportunities to have those tournaments. We need the NCAA Regionals. Last season, it was in Dallas. Why not in Houston?

“We have a lot of high school state championship caliber teams coming from the Houston area; but, we need somebody to push that button in the Houston Sports Association and say, ‘Hey, we want to be a part of this.’ If you have the Comets in town participating, why wouldn't we be able to use that as a background. You have Houston and Rice there who could help run the tournaments as well. I’d love to see NCAA Tournaments in Houston. I’d love to see the Big 12 Tournament in Houston someday; but, if not, we have to make sure it’s, at least, in the state of Texas. We do not need to be playing in Oklahoma City where OU (Oklahoma Sooner) have a home court advantage if you will or all the way up in Kansas City where sometimes our fans cannot make it all the way up there. We’re a basketball state. Let’s put the bucks up to make sure it stays in our state.”

Good for him.

Perhaps the powers-that-be in the city of Houston will finally bring the Women's NCAA Tournament to Houston.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

President Coale

In addition to beginning her 12th season as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team, Sherri Coale has a new role to add to her to outstanding coaching resume. Coale is the President of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

“I am the President – in the first year of the Presidency – and, next year, I will also be the President. It’s a two year gig. It’s actually a five year gig; but, they don’t tell you that when they ask you to do it – a couple of years as vice president and then a year as past president. I’m in the middle of that.

“It’s been a very rewarding process so far. It’s a lot of work. It’s an opportunity to really make a difference in the growth of women’s basketball. I think we all have to be caretakers of the game; and, when it’s time for us to be involved in a leadership role, we need to step to the plate and take advantage of it. I’m enjoying it. I’m excited about. I’m working with a tremendous board of directors; a great group of people who are passionate about women’s basketball. That’s fun.”

Becoming WBCA President was not just an easy process for Coale.

“Yes, there’s a nomination process. I was on the executive board of directors; and, the path to the presidency has to come through the board of directors. I was nominated and voted on by the membership to be, first, vice president, and then you move directly to the presidency. Doug Bruno was the previous president; Geno Auriemma is the current vice president; so, I’m sandwiched in between to good old boys. (laughs)”

Coale has some very lofty goals she would like to see the WBCA accomplish in her tenure as President. Is there anything you would like to see or are working towards which you would like to be changed or added or improved for the WBCA and women’s basketball?

“Well, there are a lot of things that we have in the works right now. The most recent change the general public and fans will recognize is that our NCAA Tournament is going to the 16 sites. It’s going back from the four to the 16 in hopes of regenerating our early round attendance which has seen some drop off in the last few years. I think it’s a tremendous move. I think it’s a courageous move by the NCAA to say ‘Hey, what’s really right about the game?’ And, I think this is where we get, sometimes, people get caught, and I’ve seen headlines, saying ‘Women’s basketball going backward’ with a question mark. All sorts of slants that make this move a negative thing. This is a positive thing. The reason I think it’s so courageous is that the NCAA is looking at our game and saying ‘What is the right thing to do?’ – not perception-wise – ‘what should we do?’ or ‘what looks best?’ ‘What is right for our game?’ I think for that honest; candid perception of it we have to be thankful for that for those people on the committee who are saying ‘Let’s fix this thing now. Let’s not wait three or four years from and see how much attendance erodes. Let’s figure out how we can people at these games.’

“ESPN bought into it. They’re going to still televise at every site which is a huge commitment on their part – it takes a lot more talent; a lot more trucks; and it costs a lot more money to be in 16 places than it does it to be in eight or four. We appreciate their involvement in the growth.”

Creating the Kay Yow Fund is another of the goals Coale has set for the WBCA.

“Another thing the WBCA is diligently working towards now is creating the Kay Yow Fund which is an organization that will obviously help fight breast cancer and will be involved in research and treatment,” said Coale. “There have been many such initiatives; but, none really all bound together as a voice of the WBCA. Different campuses have celebrated ‘Pink Outs’. We (OU) did one of those; but, for everyone to have a concerted effort and send all the funding to the Kay Yow Fund and, ultimately the Jimmy V Foundation will make a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer; so, we’re working diligently to get those things into motion. We’re very, very excited about that.”

Last and not least of the goals Sherri Coale has set for her tenure is a way to keep the “matriarchs of the women’s college game” involved and able to share their knowledge and wisdom with younger coaches.

“We’re also in the early stages of developing the Leadership Institute which is a way to involve some mentors in our game who have recently moved out of the profession – Jody Conradt (Texas), Marsha Sharp (Texas Tech), Ceal Berry (Colorado); Teresa Grentz (Illinois), Rene Portland (Penn State) – you can go across the country – and this was a very significant year for us in terms of losing some of the matriarchs of women’s college basketball. We want to keep those women involved and have our young coaches – myself included – although I guess I’m middle-aged now, I’m not young, involved in learning from those coaches. We’re working to create an opportunity to do that through our Leadership Institute for the sport of women’s basketball; so, there’s some really neat, groundbreaking things going on with the WBCA right now. Even though it is a lot of work, the things that we’re doing are energizing.”

In order to wear all of the proverbial “hats” and be effective at each job, Coale definitely has to have an effective support staff in place.

“As I told Beth Bass, the CEO of the WBCA, I couldn’t do this job at another time if my program weren’t at the place that is currently. If my staff wasn’t as loyal and reliable as they are, it would be impossible for me to take on this extra responsibility. Jan Ross, Chad Thrailkill, Stacy Hansmeyer have been with me for a number of years. Jan and I are starting our 12th year working together; she came to OU with me. That comfort level with them being able to run practice if I’m away – perhaps twice in a year – I know that our players are being taught; and pushed; and stretched; and guided while I’m gone which is a tremendous load off my mind. Also, my director of basketball operations, Guy Austin, is my liaison with the WBCA; and, he takes care of a load of paperwork that comes from the WBCA. In terms of digesting a document; summarizing it; and telling me what’s in it saves me (up to) four hours of reading. Plus, to work through travel arrangements; and meeting locations; and conference calls is a big help. It is really a concerted effort. Everyone on the OU staff has to be involved in helping me do this job as WBCA President.”

The WBCA and Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball seems to be in very capable hands with Sherri Coale at the helm.
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Monday, October 15, 2007

In Kansas City

I'm in Kansas City, MO, right now getting ready for tomorrow's 2007 Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Day.

My flights were on time. (Hooray!)

I thought I was prepped for K.C.'s cab fare rates. Nope!

$48.10 from the airport to the hotel!

It's a good thing I have a day job.

I'll be back in Houston tomorrow night; but, I'm looking forward to Media Day. Naturally, I'll talk to Aggies head coach Gary Blair and the three Aggies players (Takia Starks, LaToya Micheaux, and A'Quonesia Franklin) scheduled to appear; but, I'll try to speak to as many other coaches and players as possible.
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Meet Brittney Hudson

Fort Bend Austin High School is not a powerhouse basketball program; however, it did produce the leading scorer in the Houston area last season.

Brittney Hudson.

In high school, Hudson averaged 23 (points per game) as a senior, "junior year, 21; "18 as a sophomore; and 15 as a freshman".

Brittney enters her freshman season at Rice University. A few weeks ago, at the end of one the Owls' open gym sessions, I said to Brittney she'd be the next player I'd like to interview. She looked at me with a sort of "Okay. Why me?" look.

Simply put, Brittney can play. Hudson is a player.

"Brittney's a very skilled player," Owls head coach Greg Williams said. "She's a very talented player. She led the city of Houston in scoring last year. We know she's explosive. She did some good things in practice and you saw some of that. She made some good defensive reads. She was aggressive with that basketball. It's just going to be a matter of her figuring it out and understanding what we want her to do. We're primarily going to play her at the two (shooting guard) because she's such a great scorer; but, we'll also look at her at the point guard because she does have very good creating ability. I liked the way she attacked the basket in practice because we know she can shoot it and can score."

Brittney described her first practice as a Rice Owl as "kind of tough"; "I'm a little tired. Not too tired. I'm learning. It's a new experience; but, I'm learning."

Besides Rice, Hudson received looks from Houston, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, North Texas, and Arkansas.

She chose Rice because it's close to home. "My home is like 15 minutes from here; and, the academics here are second to none. You can't go wrong with a Rice degree. I really like the school; the whole atmosphere; everything."

During the open gym sessions when she wasn't on the court playing, I saw Brittney sitting on the sidelines with her nose in a school textbook. Hudson said, "The first four weeks were really hard. They kicked my butt. Here, you have to study for a test at least a week ahead of time instead of trying to cram the night before. I wasn't really focused on school the first couple of weeks; but, my mind is right right now."

Veteran players like post player Valeriya Berezhynska and point guard Kadie Riverin "set the bar for us. If we're not going hard, we know they will."

"He (Coach Williams) told me I'll play mostly two; but, I'll point guard also. I'm 5'7, 5'8 - pushing it. I'm hoping my body will catch up with my feet eventually. I'm hoping I'll be about 5'10, 5'9. I'll be good with that."

During practice, Hudson came from the weak side to emphatically block a lay-up attempt by Kadie Riverin. Later, Hudson cleanly stole the ball from wing player Maudess Fulton as Fulton drove to the basket.

This season, Hudson hopes the Owls reach the "top of the conference. No less. Hopefully, NC double A appearance."
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One bid league

In 2002 - 2003, Conference USA placed five teams in the Women's NCAA Tournament. In the 2003 - 2004 and 2004 - 2005 seasons, Conference USA placed four teams (in the Women's NCAA Tournament. However, only one team each of the next two seasons ('05-'06 and '06-'07) earned a berth in the Tournament.

Conference re-alignment after the 2005 season drastically changed the C-USA landscape; and, changed the league from a very, very respectable conference (one of the top 10 conferences in Division I) to a mid-major, one bid league.

Gone were Charlotte (Atlantic 10); Cincinnati (Big East); DePaul (Big East); Louisville (Big East); Marquette (Big East); Saint Louis (Atlantic 10); TCU (Mountain West); and USF (Big East).

In came Marshall, Rice, SMU, Tulsa, UCF, and UTEP.

Will the 2007 - 2008 season be any different for C-USA? Will at least two teams earn spots in the "Big Dance"?

According to Rice's Greg Williams and Houston's Joe Curl, the answer is an unfortunate "no".

"I think we'll be a one bid league," Owls head coach Greg Williams told The HRR. "Unless, we do some surprising things in non-conference. Several of the teams have tried to upgrade their schedule to play more teams that are higher ranked RPI. That's the start. The next step in that is to win.

"I would probably have a better feel for that (one bid league or better) in non-conference games; but, on paper right now, I would say "yes" because I think our league is going to be extremely balanced we had seven teams receive first place votes. I don't know if that's ever happened in any league. I wouldn't be surprised if any of those seven (teams) win it. I think Southern Miss was picked eighth. I wouldn't be surprised if they won it.

"So, it's wide, wide open - which is good for the competitiveness in the league; but, that doesn't lend itself to two or three teams extending themselves out and having a tremendous record - like Tulane did last year. And, even then, it (the great record) didn't do them any good. It goes back to 'if we knock off some of the teams that some of the schools are playing', then, (the league has an outside chance of sending more than one team to the NCAAs); but, I see our conference winner being 11 and 5, maybe 12 and 4. I don't see anyone being better than 12 and 4. I'd be surprised anyway; and, anytime you have that many losses (in conference), it's difficult to get more than one bid."

Houston Lady Cougars head coach Joe Curl shared similar thoughts.

"I think the culture is still maybe a one bid league; but, I think every team in our conference has improved and that has been true the last year or so. In the past, we have been a conference that sent five teams to the NCAA with two or three teams also going to the WNIT as well. Now, I know that was when the DePauls were in the league; but, some of them were going to the WNIT when teams like Houston and others were in the NCAA Tournament.

"I think things happen in cycles; but, we are a conference that needs to be hungry. We need to go out as a conference and play teams and get some big wins as a conference. We' (the Lady Cougars) have done that in the past -- beating Georgia, Florida, Texas, etc.; and, that's why we're playing (teams like) LSU and Duke this season. We could play some games where we'd have a higher percentage chance of winning; but, I just don't know if that helps you sustain your program or rebuild your program. Different philosophies for different coaches."

I believe C-USA is heading in the right direction; but, I do agree with both coaches. This season seems to be a third straight season for Conference USA to be a one bid league.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Aggies Picked to Top Big 12

With two players named to the preseason all conference team, combined with two more players named honorable mention all conference added to the preseason pick for the conference's Freshman of the Year, perhaps this news is not much of a surprise.

However in case you have not heard, here's the news:
the Texas A&M Aggies have been named the favorite in the Big 12 by the head coaches.

Big 12 head coaches and selected student-athletes will tip-off the 2007-08 season at the annual Big 12 Basketball Media Day on Tuesday, October 16, in Kansas City, MO - site of the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships.

The HRR / KCOH 1430 AM has been approved to attend; and, I will be there.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Preseason Honors

The Big 12 announced a few preseason honors today while Conference USA announced Tulane University as the team to beat in the 2007 - 2008 C-USA Coaches' poll Wednesday.

Seven different C-USA teams received at least one first place vote.

Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) was named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year while Dominic Seals (Texas Tech) was chosen Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Tyra White (Texas A&M) was selected Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league's head coaches.

Also, Houston senior Tye Jackson (Houston, Texas/Westfield HS/Purdue) was named the
Conference USA Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year.

Basketball practice is just a few days away.
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Friday, October 05, 2007

Soulja Boy at Reed Arena

Check out this news from College Station:

Popular hip-hop recording artist
Soulja Boy will be the guest performer at Maroon Madness 2007 presented by Rudy’s BAR-B-Q on Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 p.m. at Reed Arena. The event tips off the start of practice for the nationally-ranked Texas A&M men’s and women’s basketball teams. Doors open at 9 p.m.

This info tells me a few things: one, I'm old -- because I hardly know who is Soulja Boy. Two, times are changing at A&M -- a hip hop artist performing at a basketball event?! Lastly, A&M is clearly no longer just a football school.
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