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, July 30, 2009

Takia Starks Signs Overseas Contract

COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Former Texas A&M women's basketball star Takia Starks (Westfield HS, Houston, Texas) has signed an overseas contract with the Go For 2&5 Perth Lynx for the upcoming 2009-10 Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) season in Australia.

Starks will join the team in late August for preseason training. The WNBL season will tipoff in October and runs through March.

"I would like to thank all of my loyal fans for following and supporting me throughout my college career over the last four years," Starks said. "Texas A&M will always hold a special place in my heart and I fully intend to represent A&M and the Aggies well in my travels abroad."

Fans can follow Starks and the Perth Lynx throughout the season via the WNBL website at: www.wnbl.com.au.

Good luck, TK.
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WBCA Announces PreSeason "Wade Watch" List

ATLANTA, GA -- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced the 2009-2010 preseason "Wade Watch" list for The State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year. The 25-member list is made up of top NCAA Division I student-athletes who best embody the spirit of Lily Margaret Wade according to the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.

The ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-10 each have four student-athletes on the list, followed by the Big 12 (3), SEC (2), Atlantic-10 (1), Mountain West (1), Sun Belt (1) and West Coast (1).

2009-2010 State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason List

The preseason candidates for The State Farm Wade Trophy are listed in alphabetical order:

Jayne Appel, Senior, F/C, Stanford
Jessica Breland, Senior, F, North Carolina
Tina Charles, Senior, C/F, Connecticut
Alysha Clark, Senior, F, Middle Tennessee
Allyssa DeHaan, Senior, C, Michigan State
Alexis Gray-Lawson, Senior, G, California - Berkeley
Tiffany Hayes, Sophomore, G, Connecticut
Allison Hightower, Senior, G, LSU
Ashley Houts, Senior, G, Georgia
Jantel Lavender, Junior, C, Ohio State
Danielle McCray, Senior, G/F, Kansas
Jacinta Monroe, Senior, F/C, Florida State
Maya Moore, Junior, F, Connecticut
Jené Morris, Senior, G, San Diego State
Deirdre Naughton, Senior, G, DePaul
Kayla Pedersen, Junior, F, Stanford
Ta'Shia Phillips, Junior, C, Xavier
Jeanette Pohlen, Junior, G, Stanford
Samantha Prahalis, Sophomore, G, Ohio State
Andrea Riley, Senior, G, Oklahoma State
Danielle Robinson, Junior, G, Oklahoma
Jenna Smith, Senior, C, Illinois
Carolyn Swords, Junior, C, Boston College
Courtney Vandersloot, Junior, G, Gonzaga
Monica Wright, Senior, G, Virginia

Congrats to each player named to the list.

Personally, as someone who covers C-USA, I believe senior guard Jareica Hughes from Texas-El Paso or perhaps Southern Miss senior forward Pauline Love should be on the list as well. Perhaps one or both of them will be added to the list when the list is updated at midseason.

The 2010 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four, in San Antonio, Texas, April 2-6.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

NCAA Mock Selections Benefit Women's Basketball Coaches

Last week, July 16 and 17, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship staff, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) hosted a mock selection exercise at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, IN.

Eighteen head coaches and two WBCA administrators attended the exercise.

Those coaches and administrators attending included Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut; Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt University; Beth Bass, WBCA Chief Executive Officer; Joanne Boyle, University of California, Berkeley; Doug Bruno, DePaul University; Sherri Coale, University of Oklahoma; Brian Giorgis, Marist University; Gail Goestenkors, University of Texas; Shann Hart, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Sylvia Hatchell, University of North Carolina; Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee State University; Betty Jaynes, WBCA consultant; Wendy Larry, Old Dominion University; Felisha Legette-Jack, Indiana University; Joanne P. McCallie, Duke University; Curt Miller, Bowling Green State University; Jeff Mittie, Texas Christian University; Jennifer Rizzotti, University of Hartford; Audra Smith, University of Alabama, Birmingham and Sharon Versyp, Purdue University.

The "mock" selection exercise allowed the coaches and administrators to see what it's like to be a member of the women's basketball committee and help put together an NCAA Championship Bracket.

Here's a recap of the Day One "live blog" session.

Here's the Day Two "live blog" recap.

The 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Final Four will be held in San Antonio, TX, inside the Alamodome, April 4 and 6.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Big 12 Announces Conference Schedule

The Big 12 released its 2010 women's basketball conference composite schedule earlier Tuesday.

Here's the link.

Time (and finances permitting), I'll try to attend as many Texas A&M home games as possible as well as Texas Longhorns' games in Austin.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7th Annual Cy Fair Classic

Updated -- 7/15/09, 7:45 p.m.
Originally posted, 7/14/09, 10:16 a.m.

HOUSTON, TX -- The HRR is not a scouting service; however, I do want to write a few comments on the just completed 2009 7th Annual Cy Fair Classic which was held at Cy Woods HS, Spillane, Aragon, and Goodson Middle Schools.

From what I was told by the college coaches I spoke to, the talent-level at this year's Classic was not as good as previous years nor was it as good as the talent-level at the events held in Dallas and Frisco, Texas, earlier last week or in Florida or in Atlanta, Georgia.

However, that does not mean, the 7th Annual Cy Fair Classic was without talented players.

The best team I saw was the Cy Fair Houston Heat White team. This team had a little bit of everything: height (6'3 post Aron Garcia from Terrel HS, Class of 2010; 6'2 twins Taylor and Tyler Gilbert, Class of 2012, from Hightower HS); three point shooting from 6'0 Tyranni Henderson (Class of 2010, Westbury Christian); quickness (5'7 guard Amber Orrange, Class of 2011, Westbury Christian); versatility (5'11 Fallon Ellis, Class of 2011, Willowridge HS); and rock solid point guard play (5'10 Chrishauna Parker, Class of 2011, Nimitz HS). These young ladies defeated the Cy Fair Premier 17U squad to win the 17U Elite Platinum Division Sunday afternoon.

The CF Premier 17U club has good players, too. Donielle Breaux (5'10, Class of 2011, from Elkins HS) was everywhere on the basketball court. Breaux played the passing lanes; drove to the hoop and finished; and knocked down perimeter shots. Nia Bradford, 5'11, Class of 2010, Thurgood Marshall HS, has one of the best-looking jumpers I've seen. Bradford elevates nicely and knocks down jumpers. Brooke McCarty, all 5'5 of her, is only 13 years old, that's right, she's Class of 2014, but, she's got great poise on the court to go along with her quickness. Akwar Abula, 6'1, Class of 2011, is a shot-blocking presence.

It's very tough for me to name the best player I saw; but, I was definitely impressed by the point guard skills of Charlicia "CeCe" Harper from the Cy Fair San Antonio Lady Rohawks Elite team. CeCe, 5'7, Class of 2010 from James Madison in S.A., controls the basketball with ease. She dribbles the ball like it's part of her body. She strong and quick, too. CeCe's Rohawks club lost to the Houstonians in the final game of the 17U Elite Gold bracket by one point; but, teammates Taylor Calvert (5'9, Class of 2011, Cibolo Steele HS) and Nichole Kindred (5'9, Class of 2010, MacArthur HS) impressed me as well. Calvert is very quick and Kindred was draining shots from deep.

The Houstonians 17U team may take awhile to get started; but, once they bring the energy and intensity on defense, their depth wears down the opposition. Jessieka Palmer (6'0, Class of 2012, LaMarque HS) makes the club go. She seems to enjoy passing the ball more than scoring; but, she's got the skills to put the ball in the bucket, too. Madison Abshae stands out for a few reasons. First, she's 6'7 and the tallest player on the team. Second, she's the most vocal. Maddy is a great teammate. She's always talking and motivating her teammates to push and play hard. Maddy isn't the quickest player by any means; but, she definitely has a presence on the court. Teylor Seals, 5'7, Class of 2010, Westside HS, ran the offense well. Akuuna Elonu, 5'10, Class of 2012, Elsik HS, hit the winning lay-up versus the Rohawks; and, she seems to be merely scratching the surface on her basketball skills. Her sister, Adaeze Elonu, 5'9, Class of 2010, is much more physical than she is.

I didn't see every team nor every game; but, here are a few more players who caught my eye:

Cy Fair Top Prospects (Black)
Ish'chet "Weedie" Barrett, 5'6, Class of 2011, Kimball HS, Dallas, TX;
Chelsea Gardner, 6'3, Class of 2011, Desoto HS, DeSoto, TX;
Alexis Kelley, 6'2, Class of 2010, Skyline HS, Dallas, TX;
Chastity Taylor, 5'8, Class of 2010, DeSoto HS, DeSoto, TX;
Catherine "Bunny" Williams, Class of 2011, Duncanville HS, DeSoto, TX.

Cy Fair Texas Titans
Kathryn Tolbert, 5'10, Class of 2011, Hendrickson HS, Georgetown, TX.

Cy Fair Comets Elite
Sunejiro Agbuke, 6'4, Class of 2011, Cornerstone Christian, San Antonio, TX.

Cy Fair Houston Heat Blue
Briana Turner, 6'1, Class of 2014, Nolan Ryan Middle School, Pearland, TX.

Houston Angels 2013
Kierra Robinson, 4'11, Class of 2013, North Shore Middle School, Houston, TX.
Briana Williams, 5'9, Class of 2013, St. John's Jr. High, Pearland, TX.

Houston Elite White
Karla Gilbert, 6'4, Class of 2010, A&M Consolidated, College Station, TX.
Rachel Mitchell, 6'5, Class of 2011, Atascocita HS, Houston, TX.
Courtney Williams, 6'0, Class of 2012, Northshore HS, Houston, TX.

Houston Hotshots Platinum
Nyha Carter, 5'11.5, Class of 2010, Clear Creek HS, Webster, TX.

Kenner Angels
Allison Ulfers, 5'7, Class of 2012, Chapelle HS, Matairie, LA.

Louisiana Lady Fire
Tori Scott, 5'11, Class of 2011, John Ehret HS, Marrero, LA.
Danisha Shaw, 5'8, Class of 2010, Bonnabel HS, Kenner, LA.

Next Level 2011
Savannah Clark, 5'9, Class of 2011, Austin HS, Austin, TX.
Taylor Jones, 5'8, 2011, Class of 2011, Austin HS, Austin, TX.
Chamaya Turner, 5'10, Class of 2013, Canyon Middle School, Garden Ridge, TX.

Waller Ballers
Brittany Houle, 6'2, Class of 2012, Waller HS, Hempstead, TX.

Here are the schools I saw with a head coach or assistant coach attending the event:

Abilene Christian, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Baylor, Boston University, Centenary, Cornell, Univ. of Dallas, Dartmouth, Grambling State, Houston Baptist University, Howard Payne, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State, New Mexico Junior College, North Carolina, North Texas, Northern Arizona, Oregon State, Prairie View A&M, Rice, SMU, Sam Houston State, San Diego, San Diego State, Univ. of San Francisco, San Jacinto North, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Texas Southern, and Tulsa.

7th Annual Cy Fair Classic Bracket Winners
17U Elite Platinum: Houston Heat
17U Elite Gold: Houstonians
17U Open Platinum: Lady Warriors
17U Open Gold: Austin Elite
16U Elite Platinum: Cobras 2011
16U Elite Silver: Houston Heat Blue
16U Open Platinum: Fury
16U Open silver: Sparks Gold
15U Platinum: Oklahoma Select
15U Gold: Sparks Purple
15U Silver: SA Comet Blue
14U Platinum: Dominos
14U Gold: Houston angels
12/13U Platinum: SA Comets
12/13U Silver: Cy Fair Sparks
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Rice Owls '09-'10 Non-Conference Schedule

Rice Owls
Here's the (not yet) official 2009 - 2010 non-conference schedule for the Rice Owls:

Friday, November 13, @ Texas-Arlington.

Wednesday, November 18, @ Texas A&M.

Saturday, November 21, @ Stephen F. Austin.

Tuesday, November, vs. Arkansas-Little Rock.

Fri. and Sat., November 27 and 28 -- University of Miami Tourney

-- featuring Long Beach State, UMass, and Miami.

Fri. and Sat., December 4 and 5 -- Rice's Gene Hackerman Invitational

-- featuring Sam Houston State, Texas-Pan American, and Jackson State.

Sunday, December 20, @ Lamar.

Monday, December 28, vs. Northwestern State.

Wednesday, December 30, vs. Hofstra.

Saturday, January 2, @ George Washington.

Monday, January 4, vs. Texas-San Antonio.

Game times yet to be determined.
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Duke vs HBU then Aggies

HOUSTON, TX -- The Duke Blue Devils will be making two stops in the state of Texas during the 2009 - 2010 season. Though the non-conference schedule has yet to be officially announced, The HRR has been told the Blue Devils will be in Houston on Friday, November 13, to play the Houston Baptist University Huskies inside HBU's Sharp Gym. Tip is set for 7:35 p.m.

After that game, the Blue Devils will travel about 100 miles northwest of Houston to play the Texas A&M Aggies Sunday, November 15. No time for tip-off has been finalized but most likely the game will be held in the afternoon.

College basketball season is not far away.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Video: HBU head coach Todd Buchanan

CY FAIR, TX -- I spoke with Todd Buchanan, head coach at Houston Baptist University, today at the 7th annual Cy Fair Classic.

Coach and I talked about his 2009 - 2010 recruiting class; HBU in the Great West Conference; his coaching style; etc.

Check it out:

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Video: La Tech head coach Teresa Weatherspoon

CY FAIR, TX -- I interviewed basketball legend, and current La. Tech head coach, Teresa Weatherspoon today during the 7th annual Cy Fair Classic (July 10 - 12). Spoon discusses her reasons for taking the head coaching job; her thoughts on the WNBA; and a few more things, too.
Here's a link to the video: http://thehrr.com/myvideoplayer_files/071009.flv. Note it's in flash format.

Since the video is too large for this blog's video player, the video is posted on the HRR's home page (www.HoustonRoundballReview.com) in two different video players. 

The larger player is just my interview with Spoon while the small player contains Spoon's interview as well as three other interviews (Cedrick LaFleur of the Cy Fair Texans; Rick Nelson of the Houston Elite grassroots hoop program; and former NBA player and head coach / basketball pied piper John Lucas). The videos can be viewed by clicking the "Playlist" button; and, then clicking on the title of the video.

The audio may need to be adjusted because I'm still working out the kinks to this video thing.
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TSU's Harper to Play in All-Star Game

HOUSTON, TX -- Krissica "Spoon" Harper, a Texas Southern Lady Tigers 2009 basketball signee, has been selected to play in the Texas Girls Coaching Association (TGCA) All-Star basketball game on Thursday, July 16, 2009. The game will be played at the Burger Center in Austin, TX, as part of the TGCA annual summer coaches clinic.

Harper, a 5'1" point guard, was the catalyst for Waco Midway's 2009 4A Girls' State Basketball Championship. Harper played in 144 consecutive games as a four-year letter-winner and three-year starter for Midway. Over those four seasons, Midway's record was a very impressive 121 and 23.

Harper was selected first team all District 16-4A three times and named to the Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex first team three consecutive years. Harper was the Central Texas assist leader her junior and senior seasons.  
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Marla Brumfield joins Clemson Staff

I know this news is late; so, don't kill me.

Congratulations to Marla Brumfield for being hired as a new assistant coach on the Clemson Tigers women's basketball coaching staff. Clemson announced the news on June 25. Marla began the job on June 22.

Brumfield played at Rice University from 1997 to 2000; and, she helped guide the Owls to trips to the WNIT as well as a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2000.

Brumfield joins Cristy McKinney once again. McKinney was head coach at Rice for 12 seasons before being hired at Clemson in 2005. Brumfield was an assistant coach at Rice for two seasons; and, she was the first player from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to be drafted by the WNBA when the Minnesota Lynx chose her in the 2000 WNBA Draft with the 22nd pick overall. 
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