College season in full swing

I watched the Cal at #17 Rutgers game online today. The Scarlet Knights looked better than they have in years in their 73-70 victory. The Cal Bears were ridiculously good considering how young they are. Basketball veterans have been here before…..you can see the potential of the team, and it’s frightening. Three of the four Bears in double figures weren’t starters, and two of them – Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray – are freshmen.

The future is bright in Northern California, indeed.

Meanwhile, back in that area, Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike erupted for 33 points in the #5 Cardinal’s defeat of visiting Gonzaga, 76-61.

#10 Maryland avenged last season’s NCAA Tournament loss to #11 Georgetown by beating them 72-53.

Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey collected her 300th win in her team’s 91-31 thrashing of Chattanooga.

Oklahoma’s Whitney Hand is back in convincing style, putting up 18 points today in the Sooner’s 117-55 pounding of Sacramento State.

Maybe UCLA isn’t so bad after all: they’re 2-0 after beating Tennessee Tech today, 74-52. Rebekah Gardner had a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Bruins, and Antonye Nyingifa added 16. Sophomore Thea Lemberger and freshman Kacy Swain also stepped up.

Game blog.

For the rest of you Pac-12 aficionados, Oregon upended Cal Poly, 102-93; Washington State took out Cynthia Cooper-Dyke’s UNC Wilmington team, 72-60; Arizona State pulled out a 56-52 overtime win against Colorado State; and Oregon State put one on Montana State, 83-53.

Tennessee defeated Pepperdine 89-57. But the bigger stories are that 1. Coach Pat Summitt received the Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award before the contest began, and 2. She is no longer speaking to the media after games – she’s leaving that to her assistants:

Summitt didn’t address the media after the game and plans to rely on her longtime assistants to handle postgame news conferences among their other expanded duties this season.

Associate head coach Holly Warlick channeled Summitt easily during her interview, criticizing the Lady Vols’ defensive efforts.

“I thought today we played in spurts,” Warlick said. “We came out in the second half and shot the ball really, really well, but I’m really disappointed in our one-on-one defense. We put a lot of time in on that, and we just weren’t very good.”

The Lady Vols told Summitt in pre-season, “we have your back.”

ESPN’s Graham Hays has his standout picks for opening weekend, plus a look at the week ahead.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Pac 12 opens 15-3 during the opening weekend games. Two of the losses were to ranked teams, Cal to Rutgers and WSU to PSU, both on the road. Other loss was a buzzer beater by UC Davis, a NCCA Tournament team from last year, over UW.
    Really pleased to see UCLA start well. With only 8 dressed , they will all see action. Hopefully M. Walker is back for the Tennessee game in a month.

    IM in OC

  2. UCLA is going to fight an uphill battle this season. With Jas on the bench and a couple of other key injuries, they are gonna struggle. Dressing only 8 or 9 minutes means people need to stay out of foul trouble and any injury could really hurt.

    Markell returning is gonna help but the PG position is still questionable. IMO, Mariah Williams is not a starting D1 PG. She is NOT a Shannon Bobbit, because she is not an offensive threat. Tho her ball handling has improved, and her defense is spot on, her decision making can still be a little questionable at times.

    I like that Thea Lemberger is getting some minutes and is being effective and Moriah Faulk is the real deal. I also have to acknowledge that the Gardner sisters have improved greatly and, with Nyingifa, are the backbone right now.

    The facts being what they are, UCLA could possibly be a middle of the Pac team. They are gonna win some game, but might lose some just due to depth an inexperience. They are surely team in transition but I really look forward to seeing what they bring to the court next year…..

  3. Looking at the Stats and game play-you would have to include Swain. She has been a nice surprise as a freshman and is exciting to watch. I love her game. She is definitely the one to watch in my book.

  4. Gail, I have to agree with anonymous. How could you not mention Swain. The kid is scoring with a variety moves and shots in the paint and on the perimeter. I really like her too. To be honest we need to get the ball to her more. She is open and sealing her defenders like a veteran on a consistent basis.

    Bruin for life!

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