After the party

Yesterday’s all-star game highlighted the future of the WNBA.

The athletes gave the venue rave reviews.

Rookie Elena Delle Donne is looking ahead.

Coach Mike Thibault is leading the resurging Mystics.

Regular season play resumes Thursday.

College news:

The Vols and Huskies agree that it’s time to renew the rivalry.

Candace Parker weighs in.

Coaches Brian Giorgis and Dave Magarity discuss the future of college hoops.

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  1. The USA Today piece on EDD is ridiculous. "Del Donne's Checkered Collegiate Past"?!?! Every girl baller wishes their collegiate past would be as checkered as EDD's. Weak.

    Comments from Marist and Army WBB coaches are pretty telling. Not even interested in going to 13 scholarships from 15 due to injury levels. Army coach noted 4x greater female ACL blow out level. Good to see it acknowledged in writing. Comments are particularly interesting coming from Mid-Major programs.

  2. The critical point in 13 scholarships is the high rate of transfer, mentioned in the piece. Kids from club ball programs where they're the star suddenly go to #13 and don't have the playing time. Kids didn't used to transfer as easily as they do now.

  3. I agree that the club ball Prima Donna / transfer factor is definitely an issue. We could debate which is a bigger factor, injuries or transfers, but we'd never agree.

    With the recent WNBA success of Mid-Major ballers like Delle Donne and Vandersloot a person would hope that some of these high potential ballers would prefer to be in a program where they have a legit shot to start for 3 or 4 years rather than wait "their turn" at a big program. Have seen and heard of too many that go with the biggest program that will take them regardless of the fields of study available only to end up disappointed in their roundball careers and academic results.

    The issue with injuries is that the problem impacts not just the top tier programs but all NCAA and NAIA levels, regardless of skills or program strength.

    The men have significant transfer issues also and seem to survive fine with only 13 scholarships.

  4. I think the Media is selling the "Delle Donne and Lizzie" and her leaving UConn stories a tad bit too much. We get it now. She missed her Sister and decided to go back home. Whichhhhhhhh, its way more to the story than that, but lets let her have her 15 minutes of fame. šŸ˜‰

  5. Methinks that some UConn fans are emotionally damaged after seeing how great EDD is going to be in the W. It's really sinking in as to how much better the Huskies would have been with her on their squad. Maybe Diggins and her girlfriends wouldn't have schooled them three times.

    The truth is that UConn didn't pay enough attention to what was going on with EDD when she arrived on campus. Geno's MO has always been for his ballers to do it his way, which is fine and normally works based upon his results. The fact that he and his staff were so totally surprised when EDD left town says more about them than it does about an 18 year old kid's decision processes.

    Stay tuned. She's going to have a bunch more than 15 minutes of fame, but then you already know that.

    The fact that she figuratively flipped UConn the bird at the start of her journey just makes the story that much better.

    Geno and his squads will continue to have their successes. The route EDD took just shows that there is more than one way to become a WNBA All Star. All roads don't run through Storrs. What Geno and his staff really need to worry about is how many of their 6 through 15 ballers could have been the next EDD if they hadn't sat on the bench for most of their college careers. Hopefully more of them will opt out of the big programs into the Mid-Majors and spread the talent out better. That would be good for the woman's game, both college and pro.

  6. 3 Chips in 5 years, I'm not complaining. I mean who else is doing it?! Beat a team 3 times in one season and failed to beat them when it mattered most, come on. Lol. They had the perfect opportunity to win a 2nd Title. As for EDD, Im actually a fan of hers, just tired of hearing this story. #Gr8ness

  7. Ten years ago, the media replayed the story of Kara Lawson's dad teaching her football as a child over and over and over and over…..

    It's just what the media does.

    In all fairness, they want to make sure most fans know the story. My friend whom I watched the game with Saturday hadn't seen the Delle Donne-Lizzie video yet, and she loved it.

  8. I get that the EDD story borders on corny. The fact that it's true is pretty amazing and is a marketer's dream. It probably represents a legitimate chance to grow the W fan base if it reaches the right audience. As basketball junkies we've heard the story fifty times by now but everyone hasn't. It's probably more important that folks like Sue's friend see it for the first time than we see it for a 51st time. Personally I think if EDD's personal story had received as much big market exposure as Griner's it would have had much more upside for the league. That's one of the reasons I have such a problem with Richie's strategy or lack thereof.

    No doubt UConn won when it mattered, but ND managed to give Geno some more gray hair during the season, which was pretty interesting to watch. Frankly I think it kept interest higher in the college game. Without UConn / Tenn since 2007 WCBB doesn't really have a persuasive storyline for the general public. Pretty important since it kinda feels like we may be entering another 2 or 3 year period of UConn dominance. Need an interesting and compelling story line for WCBB. UConn winning by 30 every game won't draw an audience.

  9. I dont even like games where Connecticut is winning by 30 pts. I made the trip to New Orleans in April and was not happy at the CShip. Granted, I thought those lovely ladies at ND would've put up a fight. They had our number for at least 2 seasons, but I guess Muffet forgot to check her Voicemail on April 7th. Lol Nothing beats seeing those glistening Eyes and that uncontrollable Leg shake she does. She won the battle but Geknow won the WAR. #Gr8ness

    Now to EDD. I get that they want to market her, I totally do. But how long will they hang on to this Story? How long will we hear about her leaving Connecticut? I want to hear about other Rookies. What happens if Chicago is a bust? Fans need to know that there's more to the WNBA than 3 people people. On the WNBA FB page, fans were saying how they weren't going to watch because Griner/EDD/SD aren't playing. I enjoyed every bit of the Griner/EDD/SD-less ASG.

    Find new targets. Find new stories. Find new lies. And get off of Connecticut already. Geez

  10. In stark contrast to Griner's happy-go-lucky persona, there's a more serious business-savvy to the way EDD goes about doing things.

    Re. marketing: It doesn't seem that long ago that the thrust of the WNBA's advertising was "Only 12 teams, only 132 jobs." A "We got the best of the best" approach — which is essentially true, is it not?
    Just who was it that decided to center the marketing for this season around three first-year players, anyway?

  11. I wasn't crazy about the "Three to See" but I think it was a lot better than nothing. It was pretty well coordinated through the NCAAs & ESPN. Probably the best transition from the tourney through the draft and into W league play they've ever done. There are parts of it I didn't like at all but at least they were pushing something dynamically and certainly general basketball fans heard about the promo so it accomplished that much. Unfortunately it hasn't seemed to drive attendance much.

    Frankly if it hadn't been for the really bad luck of both BG and EDD being hurt for the ASG the W marketers would probably be looking like geniuses right now. Seems to me like the challenge for the W in promoting the league is that because it isn't well established they need to grow the fan base. To do that they need to reach new potential fans. It just doesn't seem like that is happening. I don't see any meaningful outreach to new fans. I don't see how that will work long term.

    While I think that "We've got the best of the best" tag line is factually true when it comes to WBB I think many traditional (read men's) basketball fans just aren't buying it. They still compare the W to the men's game. So either they need a different way to get male roundball fans to tune in or to take a different approach to who their target fans are.

    To me one of the most interesting and troubling realities about the WNBA is how it really doesn't draw female fans well that aren't already enthusiasts. If they could get even a tiny sliver of the young professional female segment they'd have a rocking league, but those women just don's seem to be interested at any significant level. It's too bad as those ladies have plenty of disposable income to spend they just don't spend it on the W.

  12. I myself wasnt sold on the "3 to see" campaign. When Griner/EDD was put out in the Sour 16 and poor Diggy failed to get that elusive CShip, ESPN started scrambling. Lets cause riff raff between BG and Mulkey, lets talk about Elena and her leaving Conn, lets talk about Diggins and what she "almost" accomplished. Should've had a backup plan. Idiots.

    On another note: Guess who will visiting the White House on Wednesday? Lol Whoda thunk it