June 30, 2016 |
PAT SUMMITT was not a pioneer of women's basketball. Pioneers are people who build something out of nothing. Women's college basketball dates back to 1892 at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. The first intercollegiate women's basketball game was played between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley in 1896. That's more than 50 years before Summitt, who died on Tuesday at age 64, was born. Summitt coached 38 seasons at Tennessee before stepping down in April 2012 because of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
June 16, 2016 |
One look at the photograph is all one needs to see how much Akyra Murray and Beulah Osueke meant to each other. The player, Murray, is sitting next to her proud West Catholic High School basketball coach, Osueke, as the senior signs a letter of intent to continue her career and education at Mercyhurst University in Erie. Mutual admiration. Satisfaction. The culmination of all the hard work both put in to sit at that table in the first place. All of those feelings shine through in the image, as the two are radiant and smiling, looking like they are sharing an inside joke.
April 8, 2016 |
I LOVE WHAT the University of Connecticut women's basketball team did Tuesday night. Love the idea of a dynasty in any sport, the concept of unselfishness and team play, the thought of authenticating it all via a convincing, lopsided victory in the championship game. I just don't enjoy watching it. I feel bad about that, as I do about not enjoying kale. I should, I know. It will enrich my life, for sure. It's just, well, pretty dull stuff. It's nothing against women or women playing sports.
April 5, 2016 |
HOUSTON - The last time Jay Wright led Villanova to the Final Four, it took less than two months after that national semifinal loss to North Carolina for an NBA team to tempt him with the opportunity to become a head coach. The year was 2009. The team was the 76ers. Their president at the time was Ed Stefanski, whose ties to the city and friendship with Wright were reason enough for Wright to come in for a sit-down and contemplate taking the job. The following week, Wright withdrew his name from consideration, but already he had set himself up for a similar overture in the future.
March 29, 2016 |
OFFICIALLY, THERE is nothing actually called The One-and-Done Rule. It's a colloquialism given to eligibility requirements for entry into the NBA draft and how it has affected the landscape of men's college basketball. The 2005 collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players association stipulated that any player who is not defined as an international player must be one year removed from the graduation of his high school class to be eligible. A handful of players - most notably Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay - played professionally overseas during that hiatus year, but most top prospects go to college and then bolt for the NBA drafted after their freshman season.
March 28, 2016 |
Not much is known of the meeting that gave birth to postseason college basketball, but cigar smoke surely choked the air. Several crusty New York sportswriters, encouraged by a colleague's financial windfall, were eager to make a few extra bucks as promoters. From the ashes of their smoky session arose the concept that is now an American sporting phenomenon. They decided that when the 1937-38 regular season ended, six worthy teams from around the country would be invited to play in a mini-tournament at Madison Square Garden.
March 26, 2016 |
The official went over to the scorer's table at the Wells Fargo Center and said, "20 seconds for blood. " No great surprise: It was Steve Vasturia's blood. The 20 seconds weren't quite enough in the last minute. The St. Joseph's Prep graduate had to come out for a play. Vasturia got back out there with 19 seconds left. Plenty of time to be part of the play of the night, the biggest reason the Fighting Irish are still alive. Notre Dame was down by a point to Wisconsin. Irish coach Mike Brey told his guys, as they were about to full-court press, that they had one foul to give, to trap, and if a Badgers player broke through the trap, then to foul.
March 14, 2016
Pirates steal one from Cats Villanova battled back, but young Seton Hall won with its aggressive play. D3 Ndao gives the Hawks a lift The senior had a career day as St. Joe's reached the Atlantic Ten title game. D4 Owls lose, and again must wait Temple was beaten by UConn in the semifinals of the AAC tournament. D5
March 12, 2016 |
March Madness makes me mad. Like most college basketball fans, I love the NCAA tournament, particularly the first four days, when brackets get busted and big schools get bounced by little ones. Davidson's Steph Curry shooting down Georgetown in 2008, unknown Florida Gulf Coast University beating the much higher-seeded Hoyas in 2013, and Pete Carril's Princeton team backdooring UCLA to death in the 1996 tournament are among the many moments that have made us shake our heads in disbelief.
February 18, 2016 |
When Jalen Brunson was establishing himself as one of the nation's top basketball players at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., he was recruited by a number of colleges, but the expectation was that he would attend Temple because both of his parents went there. Brunson wound up committing to a Big Five school, but it was Villanova, not Temple. So when he accompanies the nation's No. 1 team into the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night for its game against the Owls, more than a few folks wearing Cherry and White may be inclined to let the freshman know how they felt about his choice of colleges.