Tennessee women back in top 10 of AP Top 25; SC still No. 1
(Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP) (Matt Gentry)Tennessee is back in the top 10 of The Associated Press Top 25 women's basketball poll for the first time in nearly three years. For years, Tennessee set the standard in the poll, appearing in the first 10 spots for 212 consecutive weeks from March 10, 1997, to Dec. 18, 2008. It's the first appearance in the Top 25 under coach Kara Lawson, who took over the program last season. Before that, the Lady Vols were in the top 10 every week since the final poll of the 1986 season. The Terrapins will be the latest challenge for the Gamecocks, who have already beaten top-five teams N.C. State and UConn this season.wftv.com
South Carolina awards Staley 7-year, $22.4 million contrat
COLUMBIA, S.C. — (AP) — Dawn Staley and South Carolina have agreed to a new, seven-year contract that will pay her $2.9 million this season and grow to $3.5 million in the final season. The school said in a statement the new deal makes Staley the highest-paid Black coaches in women's basketball and one of the highest paid coaches in the sport. Staley “has built our women’s basketball program from the ground up, and her teams have produced champions, both on and off the floor,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. “The ability to keep Coach Staley at the University of South Carolina is great news for all Gamecocks.”Staley arrived at South Carolina in the 2008-09 season after coaching at Temple and built a program that won the national title in 2017. In the offseason, Staley led the United States' women's basketball team to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.wftv.com
'It's an honor': The Hall of Fame's class of 2020 enshrined
“Right now, I'm sure he's laughing in heaven, because I'm about to praise him in public," Vanessa Bryant said. “There will never be anyone like Kobe," Vanessa Bryant said. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”The totality of the accomplishments of the Hall class are staggering. Many in the next class, like most Hall classes, will be able to say they overcame doubters — just as many in this class did. And on her husband's behalf, Vanessa Bryant had a message for those who suggested he would fall short of his goals.wftv.com
‘It’s an honor’: The Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 enshrined
Kobe Bryant is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame now, along with contemporaries Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, headliners of a group of nine who got their delayed and long-awaited enshrinement on Saturday night, more than a year after being announced as the Hall’s Class of 2020.
It's time: Duncan, Bryant, Garnett to enter Hall of Fame
Vanessa Bryant got a private tour to see some of the newly remodeled Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, viewing the exhibit that will honor the life and legacy of her late husband before the rest of the world gets their first look.
Baylor names WNBA's Collen to replace Mulkey for Lady Bears
WACO, Texas — (AP) — WNBA coach Nicki Collen has been hired as the new Baylor women’s coach, taking over a program that won three national championships and the last 11 Big 12 regular season titles. Her addition sustains our commitment to the women’s basketball program at the highest level." “I am thrilled to be the head coach at Baylor University. I believe it is the top job in the country for women’s basketball,” Collen said. The success of this program speaks for itself, and I will begin working today to ensure Baylor women’s basketball continues to be a program that excels at the highest levels.”__More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketballwftv.com
Maryland's Brenda Frese is the AP women's coach of the year
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)SAN ANTONIO – Maryland coach Brenda Frese was honored as The Associated Press women's basketball coach of the year Wednesday for the second time in her career. Frese received eight votes from the 30-member national media panel that votes on the weekly AP Top 25. Obviously its going to be one I never forget,” said Frese, who also was AP coach of the year 19 years ago when she was at Minnesota. When Maryland won the Big Ten Tournament, Frese's father and mother, Donna, were in the stands in Indianapolis. “It's a memory I’ll cherish for a lifetime.”___More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
UConn reaches 13th straight Final Four, beating Baylor 69-67
Bueckers scored 28 points and top seed UConn used a huge run spanning the final two quarters to beat No. 2 Baylor 69-67 on Monday night and reach a 13th consecutive Final Four in the women’s NCAA Tournament. After a timeout, Baylor fouled Christyn Williams, who missed both free throws to give the Lady Bears one last chance. The Lady Bears (28-3) had won the previous two, including a 74-58 win at Connecticut in January of 2020. The Lady Bears closed the action-packed first quarter with a 20-10 run and trailed 26-24 after one.
Baylor coach calls for end of COVID-19 testing at NCAAs
As of Saturday, there had been two confirmed positive tests at the women's tournament with over 15,400 administered. PAC-12 STRENGTHThe Pac-12 is showcasing its strength at the NCAA Tournament in both the men’s and women’s events. Six conference teams qualified for the women’s tournament: Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington State and UCLA. And it’s led to some mutual support: Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer has been texting Oregon State men’s coach Wayne Tinkle, among others. Night in and night out in the Pac-12, we’re playing teams like Stanford, UCLA, great teams, Oregon State, Oregon.
What To Watch: men's, women's regional finals start Monday
... Oregon State opponents are shooting just 31.3% overall and 23.1% from 3-point range in the NCAA Tournament. That Missouri squad lost a regional final to an Oklahoma team coached by Kelvin Sampson, who’s now at Houston. … Arkansas is in a regional final for the first time since 1995, when it lost to UCLA in the championship game. … Arkansas’ Justin Smith is averaging 20.3 points and 11 rebounds in three NCAA Tournament games. Arizona and Indiana are both in an NCAA regional final for the first time.
UConn frosh Paige Bueckers leads women's AP All-America team
The freshman guard has lived up to it so far, delivering record-breaking performances and earning a spot on The Associated Press women's basketball All-American team Wednesday. She's only the third freshman to make the AP team, joining Oklahoma's Courtney Paris and UConn's Maya Moore. “Name one player that has taken a team this young to where we are today," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. She became the school's first women's basketball All-American last season. She was joined by Naz Hillmon, who is the first women's player at Michigan to earn All-America honors.
Baylor beats West Virginia 76-50 for Big 12 crown
6 Baylor beat West Virginia 76-50 to win the Big 12 Tournament on Sunday. It is the ninth Big 12 Championship in the last 10 tournaments for top-seeded Baylor (25-2). Dijonai Carrington added 14 and Moon Ursin had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Lady Bears won their 17th straight game. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and took a lot of bad shots,” West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. AdThe Lady Bears dominated in the paint outrebounding West Virginia 46-33 and scoring 54 points in the paint.
South Carolina returns to top of women's basketball poll
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley confers with forward Aliyah Boston on the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. 1 in The Associated Press women's college basketball poll. South Carolina, which originally fell from the top spot after losing to North Carolina State, beat the Huskies last season for the first time in eight tries. Here are other tidbits from the poll:MILESTONEMonday marked the 800th women's college basketball poll in the AP's history. Ad___More AP women's college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
UConn's Auriemma: Schools need NCAA Tournament this season
“And those players that don’t want to play, don’t have to play,” he said. “And those coaches that don’t want to coach, don’t have to coach. “The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men’s tournament," she said. “Maybe it’s easy if you’re at a Power Five football school and you’re making millions and millions and millions of dollars,” Auriemma said. ___More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Lack of marquee games to make NCAA tourney selection harder
UConn has two more chances to play nonconference ranked teams, with Tennessee and South Carolina on the schedule. Conversely on the men's side, a majority of the current Top 25 have played at least one ranked nonconference opponent. The lack of marquee nonconference matchups could cause the NCAA women’s basketball selection committee some agita when trying to figure out who deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament and where teams should be seeded. We’ll have lively discussions.”Longtime ESPN and CBS analyst Deb Antonelli was sad that so many women's basketball games have been canceled or postponed. “COVID is COVID and we don’t want to penalize a team for the uncontrollable.”___More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
The Latest: Browns coach Kevin Stefanski expected back soon
3 UConn after Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Browns coach Kevin Stefanski expects to be back with his team this week after missing Sunday night’s playoff win over Pittsburgh with COVID-19. Stefanski tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week and had to watch Cleveland’s 48-37 victory over the Steelers from his home’s basement. ___The Baylor women’s basketball team has had another game postponed because of COVID-19 issues. Coach Kim Mulkey missed that game after being exposed at Christmas to a family member who tested positive for the virus.
The Latest: Oaklawn Park to allow limited attendance
(Stu Forster/Pool via AP)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Oaklawn Park in Arkansas plans to allow limited fans during its winter-spring horse racing meet that runs Jan. 22-May 1. Current season box seat-holders and Oaklawn Jockey Club members can enter the grandstand with weekly reservations. The switch gives St. Pete promoters hope that more spectators will be permitted to attend the popular street festival as pandemic restrictions loosen. That move opened room on the schedule for St. Pete to request a later race date. The season ultimately did not start until June and St. Pete was moved to October as the finale.
Mulkey positive for COVID-19, UConn-Baylor women's game off
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey is shown during the second half of an NCAA women's college basketball game against South Florida Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. No. 3 UConn after Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey tested positive for COVID-19. 3 UConn after Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey tested positive for COVID-19. Baylor said it began restricting team activities after Mulkey tested positive on Monday, the same day she had been planning to rejoin the team. Auriemma said he and Louisville coach Jeff Walz have talked the last couple of weeks about finding a time to play each other.
Oregon State out of women's Top 25; Stanford still No. 1
Oregon State lost its lone game last week, falling to Washington State and dropping out of the poll from No. 1 for the third consecutive week. Louisville, UConn, North Carolina State and South Carolina followed the Cardinal again in the poll. Michigan State replaced Oregon State in the poll, coming in at No. South Carolina (157), Mississippi State (120) and Louisville (93) are the only other teams that had longer active streaks than Oregon State's.
Women's NCAA Tournament to play at one site, eyes on Texas
The NCAA announced Monday that San Antonio is the likely host site for the 64-team tournament next March. The NCAA expects the tournament to be played in late March and early April as usual, though there is a chance it could be shorter. “We don’t have an answer for that today.”This won’t be the first time a women’s tournament will be played at one site. From 1972-1977, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women played a 16-team postseason tournament at one site. The NCAA Tournament was first played in 1982.
NCAA approves plan for basketball players to access coaches
The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, approved a plan to allow college basketball players to start working with their coaches for the first time since the pandemic wiped out March Madness. The summer access period for men's and women's players will begin July 20. The summer access period for men's and women's players will begin July 20. The NCAA basketball tournaments were cancelled days before the fields were scheduled to be selected because of the coronavirus outbreak. It will also consider adding more activities for basketball players during the July 1-19 period.
Hoops Hall mulls date for Bryant, Class of 2020 induction
FILE - In this April 13, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant smiles during the first half of his last NBA basketball game, against the Utah Jazz in Los Angeles. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the reopening has been pushed back two months to July 1 and the induction ceremony is being postponed, either to October or the spring. Complicating the potential possibility of a spring 2021 induction: The Hall doesnt know what the NBA and college basketball seasons will look like then. Doleva said the Hall decided against inducting Bryant alone and gave no thought to having a separate ceremony for him. Theyre all Hall of Famers, and all Hall of Famers are equal in the eyes of the museum.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports