Light as a rock

Interesting statements released about Penny Taylor’s departure from Fenerbahce:

Penny Taylor didn’t want to believe the doping control results of Diana Taurasi, who is one of the best women basketball players in the world. Penny Taylor believes that she played an important role in Diana Taurasi’s transfer (from Sparta&K to Fenerbahce) and when she learned that Diana had forbidden substances in her urine, she felt responsible for that.

In the Caferağa Arena, after the game between Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş CT, the staff responsible for the doping control randomly chose Penny’s name for her to give (urine) samples but she refused to be tested.

That’s deep!

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As UCLA prepares to face Stanford tonight, ESPN has a brilliant portrait of her:

“Coming into this program, I thought, ‘There’s definitely talent here,’ ” Caldwell said. “My mindset was to cultivate that talent, get them to trust and buy into the system and our philosophy. It began with our cohesion as a unit. I wanted to make sure that they understood that you don’t play this game as individuals, you play this game together.”

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“Coach Olivier was a good coach, I can’t say that she wasn’t,” Morris said. “But Nikki came in and showed us a whole different system. … If you play under her you can’t think about losing. That’s not in your mindset. If we lose it’s like the world is over.”

Caldwell was so upset after UCLA’s only loss this season — to LSU on Dec. 29 — that she joked about hiring a psychiatrist. Keep in mind the Bruins had lost by only two points, with Morris missing a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer.

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Remember when I said I liked how Tennessee freshman Meighan Simmons was quirky? The picture with this piece shows the move from Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt that made me say that. It’s refreshing to see an excited player. I bet she doesn’t have to be motivated to play.

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