On the college transfer tip:
Louisville has lost three players – one who has finally picked volleyball over basketball, a second for a medical harship, and a third who is transfering, it seems, to be closer to family. That makes sense to me, because I can’t imagine anyone running from Coach Jeff Walz.
He and Louisville signed five top freshmen for next year, and they’re also getting Cierra Robertson-Warren, who is transferring from North Carolina. That’s huge.
Marquette loses starter Jessica Pachko, who is transferring to Xavier.
Great college news:
Women’s basketball surpasses 11 million in attendance for the third consecutive year.
On the WNBA tip:
The rookie rankings are out, and Tina Charles, Kelsey Griffin, Natasha Lacy, Monica Wright and Epiphany Prince, respectively, hold down the top spots. You gotta give Lacy props as the underdog.
Alana Beard is blogging for SLAMonline.
The real writer is back for the LA Times with a pretty good Sparks story. The lead is great for starters:
The Sparks are lost. They’re trying to find themselves but haven’t had much luck. They don’t seem to be anywhere they’re looking.
They could try checking the last place they were, but that wouldn’t help. They’ve changed since then. There’s a new coach, a new system; players have come and gone.
This identity crisis has left them with three straight losses to start the season, all coming on the road. Friday night’s game against the Washington Mystics is their first home game.
Here’s the key part, though:
Outside of Parker’s adjustment, Thompson said what Gillom wants compared with what former coach Michael Cooper wanted is “very different.”
For starters, she said, Cooper preferred a half-court offense that got the ball inside. Gillom, on the other hand, wants to score more in transition, which relies more on guard-play and helps explain the team’s off-season acquisition of veteran point guard Ticha Penicheiro.
On defense, Gillom said the team needs to be more aggressive — especially on the perimeter — because it doesn’t have Leslie’s intimidating presence in the middle.
These concepts have yet to gel. Thompson and Parker said the team falls into these moments where it plays as though Cooper is still coaching, which has hurt them.
“We knew there was going to be an adjustment period,” Parker said. “We’ve been together as an entire team for two weeks. This is still preseason for us. We would still be disappointed at 3-0 if we were playing the way we’re playing.”
Gillom said confusion is expected and that you can’t rush these things. “It takes time,” she said. “It’s just taking us a little longer than we expected.”
Q and A with Ashley Walker, who – bless her heart – isn’t giving up and is still training in hopes of being picked up.