Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A few statements in wins

The Storm is the league’s only one-loss team after tonight’s game

Today’s results:

The Sun handed the Dream a 93-82 loss.

Skylar Diggins-Smith went off for 26 points to lead the Mercury over the Wings, 91-79.

Statement win: the Storm doused the Sky, 89-71, behind Breanna Stewart’s 25 points.

Tomorrow’s game schedule:

Aces vs. Fever

Mystics vs. Lynx

Liberty vs. Sparks

WNBA news:

The league and Twitter have renewed their partnership and will stream 10 games this season.

Season assessment so far, from the league.

The WNBA is united with an up-tempo style.

Breonna Taylor’s mother talks 150 days after her daughter’s death.

WNBA team news:

Through two weeks, the Sky find themselves at the top of the league.

ESPN’s power rankings for the week.

CBS Sports also has power rankings.

WNBA player news:

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt on her cousin’s death at the hands of police.

Dream rookie Chennedy Carter left tonight’s game in the first quarter with an ankle injury. She will undergo an MRI.

Kaila Charles is starting to find her stride in her rookie season.

Jacki Gemelos is still fighting on.

Skylar Diggins-Smith’s impact still lingers on the Wings’ young roster.

A’ja Wilson and Courtney Vandersloot are the Western and Eastern Conference players of the week.

College team news:

Gonzaga is eager to return to the court.

Maine has returned to practices, with masks.

College player news:

Husky freshman Paige Bueckers marches for her younger brother’s future.

College coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma expects a long wait before the start of college season.

Alex Simmons’ lessons from Pat Summitt.

Kelsey Hogan is New Hampshire’s new head coach.

USA Basketball news:

Swin Cash is part of a new USA Basketball board of directors.

Some players continue to impress

Today’s results:

The Sparks ran away from the Lynx, 97-81. Minnesota rookie Crystal Dangerfield had 29 points.

A’ja Wilson’s 31 points sent the Aces over the Liberty, 78-76. Candace Parker was one assist shy of a triple-double.

The Fever topped the Mystics, 91-84. Indiana guard Kelsey Mitchell had 29 points.

Tomorrow’s game schedule:

Sun vs. Dream

Mercury vs. Wings

Sky vs. Storm

WNBA team news:

The Sky’s rocky relationship with the refs continues.

WNBA player news:

With Diana Taurasi out, Skylar Diggins-Smith will take on a bigger role against her former team tomorrow.

College program news:

Two people are skating in the Texas Tech scandal.

As the bubble turns

Today’s results:

The Lynx stopped the Fever, 87-80, behind a career-high 26 points from Lexie Brown.

The Liberty got their first win of the season, 74-66 over the Mystics, after an emotional meeting.

The Aces outlasted the Sparks, 86-82.

Tomorrow’s game schedule:

Dream vs. Wings

Mercury vs. Storm

Sky vs. Sun

WNBA news:

The league announced its COVID-19 test results: 139 players have been tested since July 10 and none have been positive.

Taking a stand isn’t new for the WNBA – it’s a way of life.

The league is determined to keep saying her name.

WNBA team news:

How the depleted Mystics have made a strong start on the season.

WNBA player news:

Sue Bird has found her voice and become an influence in the social justice movement.

Bird’s top five clutch moments.

A revitalized Candace Parker makes the Sparks title contenders once again.

She’s all that: Betnijah Laney’s new beginning.

A’ja Wilson and Napheesa Collier highlight youth in their podcast.

Chennedy Carter made the WNBA record book last night.

Sabrina Ionescu is excited to conquer her ankle rehab.

WNBA coach news:

How Cheryl Reeve rose to the top of the league’s coaching ranks.

College program news:

The Raiders fired assistant coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins today.

The AD for Texas Tech apologized for “failing” student athletes in Marlene Stollings’ program.

How a “clerical error” uncovered the scandal.

College player news:

Kate Cain has emerged from a whirlwind year as a leader for Nebraska.

TCU grad transfer Alex Crain has landed at San Diego State.

College coach news:

Sarah Wilkinson will be a special assistant to the coaching staff at Duke.

Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray talks new role and developing her game

Allisha Gray tries to outrun Kayla McBride. Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images.

In her fourth season, 2017 Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray has taken on a new role for the Dallas Wings this season as a reserve guard, rather than a starter. In playing about half the minutes she used to so far this year, Gray has been just as productive, and has emerged as a veteran leader for the youngest team in the WNBA.

The former South Carolina Gamecock standout has begun wearing goggles this season, after being poked in the eye playing for USA Basketball. She is one of only five returning players for Dallas this year, as the franchise had three first-round draft picks and made several trades in the offseason.

Allisha Gray tries to outrun Kayla McBride. Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images.
Allisha Gray tries to outrun Kayla McBride. Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images.

I would like to clear something up first. During the first game it was reported that you asked coach Brian Agler to come off of the bench, is that true?

This is how it actually went. I don’t know if his words were twisted but I didn’t actually go to Brian and ask to come off of the bench. We had a conversation about my role on the team, and it led to me coming off the bench because I am a team player, so I will do anything for the team. And if that’s my role is for me to come off of the bench, then I am willing to do that. I said that it allows me to see the floor better and get a feel for the game, and I’m not all nervous when the game tips off. But I never personally went to him and said I wanted to come off of the bench. That is just the role on the team this year.

What have you learned so far in your new role? How have you been able to see the game differently?

It’s good. I can feel the energy of the game. I can feel the vibe of the game. I come into the game to just continue where the team left off. I mean, I come in with calmer nerves, and it allows me to just play my game. I see what we are doing well and what we are not doing so well, and also I can see if the coaches are saying, we don’t need to do this. I will know what mistakes to not make on the court.

With that has your role changed game-to game? Have you had to do things differently according to game plan?

No, I just go in and play my game. I mean I get the feel of the game, and when I go in the game I am more comfortable now, and it allows me to play my game.

Year four as a pro, how would you say you’ve grown and changed?

I’ll say that it has grown a lot. Like, I put in a lot of work this offseason. In the gym five days a week really working on creating shots for myself, and I’ll say I can feel the game better, like the game has slowed down for me. I have a better pace to my game, I can see the floor better and I have a better feel for the game now.

Coach mentioned earlier this week that the momentum does not drop off when you come into the game, what is the key to keeping the energy going in the game?

You are put in the game for a season, to keep the momentum up. So for me personally, when I get in the game, I just try keep the energy going that the team has started and keep the team successful.

Besides the youth of this year’s squad, what you say is different about this Wings team compared to years past?

We have multiple players that can play a bunch of position,s basically all 1-5. We have a lot of shooters. And I feel like it is just a joy to be around everybody, like it’s fun.

How has the team adjusted to the quick turnaround in between games so far in this compact season?

I feel like we have adjusted well I mean, we get our proper rest. Even (over the weekend) in practice its more of a chill practice, going through scouts and stuff like that. So I think we have adjusted well.

I cannot imagine that there is a lot of free time in the bubble, but how do you like to spend yours?

For me I just come into my room and play Xbox or watch movies, for the most part.

I have been hearing about this new skills “bag” that you have. How much of this bag will the fans get to see this season?

You know, whenever it presents itself. If there are certain predicaments in the game and I have to perform certain moves. But what I meant by that is just me being a more improved player than last year. I feel personally, even through the first (few) games, I have looked like a whole new person. I just feel like me having a bag now is just being a brand new player and improving from last season.

Dallas, currently 2-2, plays the Chicago Sky today at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.

 

Pause for the cause

There have been a lot of injuries for nine days of play. Praying for the safety of players the rest of the way.

No word on Victoria Vivians of the Indiana Fever, who sustained some kind of knee injury in yesterday’s game.

WNBA team news:

The Lynx are navigating the grueling schedule as best they can.

Three takeaways from the Aces’ win over Dallas.

The Mystics are still dominating without three of their stars.

The Sun are off to a slow start despite the brilliance of DeWanna Bonner.

CBS Sports power rankings.

WNBA player news:

Nneka Ogwumike and the WNBA’s big, complicated moment.

Sue Bird has been sidelined with a left knee bone bruise.

What Sabrina Ionescu’s injury means for her rookie season, and for the New York Liberty.

Phoenix’s Bria Hartley is tied for second-highest scorer in the league at the moment.

Brittney Griner is comfortable with the sports world being at the center of social change.

It was Jewell Loyd who encouraged Kyrie Irving to pledge help to those WNBA players sitting out.

How some players balance parenting and playing.

Seimone Augustus podcast.

A’ja Wilson talks life inside the bubble.

Bella Alarie is adjusting to a unique rookie season.

Breanna Stewart and Myisha Hines-Allen are the Western and Eastern Conference players of the week.

WNBA commissioner news:

Cathy Engelbert responds to Kelly Loeffler bashing the league’s support of Black Lives Matter.

Tomorrow’s game schedule:

Wings vs. Sky

Mercury vs. Dream

Sun vs. Storm

College conference news:

The West Coast Conference will adopt “the Russell” rule, as the first conference-wide diversity in hiring commitment.

College player news:

Former Penn State guard Kamaria McDaniel is transferring to Baylor.

College coach news:

Lindsey Hicks is a new assistant coach at Virginia Tech.

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