Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Page 833

Pausing to remember

Shayla Llanos, a Broward Community College (Florida) freshman, died last night after collapsing during a game earlier. The 19-year-old from New Jersey fell to her knees during play and was revived at the scene, but later died at the hospital. Not much more information is available, but here is some:

http://www.nj.com/south/index.ssf/2008/12/shayla_llanos_salem_high_schoo.html

Last week, Alabama State University freshman center Richelle Jones died in a one-vehicle accident:

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20081224/NEWS01/812240341

The death of a young person is always heartbreaking. When it is a young athlete, not only family and friends but teammates are effected. As we go into the new year, I pray for comfort and healing to surround the loved ones and friends of Shayla and Richelle. And may their spirits rest in peace.

Danielle LeNoir sustains concussion, sits out

Washington State University freshmen point guard Danielle LeNoir sustained a concussion in the team’s game against Idaho Dec. 13, and has missed all three of the Cougars’ games played since then.

Spokesman Joe Nickell said LeNoir is “day to day,” and that he didn’t know whether or not she would play in this Saturday’s game against Washington.

LeNoir, of Los Angeles, is the younger sister of USC point guard Camille LeNoir.

Stats are a many-splendored thing

With Texas’ 60-55 loss to San Diego State tonight, they are removed from the list of teams that are still undefeated. Notre Dame came close to being upset, but they hung on to beat Vanderbilt by two. The unbeaten teams are:

Auburn
Connecticut
Illinois-Chicago
Kansas State
Mississippi State
North Carolina
Notre Dame
Richmond
Texas A&M
Wake Forest
Wisconsin-Green Bay

I appreciate the stat freaks on rebkell.net, who have tallied the results of all the conference games over the last three days, since games resumed after the holiday. The game results are interesting, to say the least:

Big East 20-0
Big 12 12-1
ACC 16-3
SEC 13-5
Pac-10 4-6

The Pac-10 had been 4-4 going into tonight, but USC and Washington both lost. What is up with those two programs? I wish I knew.

Finally, I enjoyed watching the Tennessee-Gonzaga game even though I wasn’t there, and it’s not just because the Vols won. The Zags are very good and they don’t give up, and I like that. Lyssi Brewer’s no-look pass to Vicki Baugh under the basket, and later on, Baugh’s behind-the-back crossover as she went up for a layup, gave me the vapors. Tennessee is starting to gel, and it’s a scary thing because conference play hasn’t even begun yet.

On the non-game tip, I really like the homemade T-shirts of Angie and Jami’s parents Kris and Jim Bjorklund – “TennZaga.” Hell, I remember seeing the sisters playing in the state playoffs at the Tacoma Dome in 2005…………

All but five of tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve games will be played early. Only three of the top 25 teams will hit the hardwood: Connecticut, Duke and Ohio State.

Sheryl Swoopes, color analyst and commentator

For whatever reason, 2008 Seattle Storm acquisition Sheryl Swoopes decided to stay in the Emerald City after the WNBA season ended. Her son Jordan is enrolled in a local school, and Swoopes is reportedly enjoying life in the city with little sun.

Tonight she will expand her resume to include sportscasting, as she will call tonight’s University of Washington game at Hec Edmunson Pavilion, where the Huskies will take on Kansas State.

It appears out-of-area fans can listen to the broadcast on KKNW’s live stream feed:

http://www.newschannel1150.com/

Tennessee @ Gonzaga tonight

Tonight was supposed to be an ecstatic occasion for me, as I was to travel to Spokane, Wash. to see the reigning National Champions take on Gonzaga. But in a world that humans have squelched and molded to their liking more and more every year, one thing remains indomitable and that’s the weather. Spokane has had 59 inches of snow in the last two weeks – almost two feet of which arrived since Sunday night. In fact it was just as the roads were looking better and I was ready once again to make the trip that the last snowstorm came along. Flying would cost $220, which is about $160 more than it usually costs from Seattle. Greyhound and Amtrak, if they’re still running, would get me there right at game time. I was and am very sad.

But the going is rough even for Spokane natives. My friend Richard, who lives there, said it has taken him hours and hours to get around and do things that usually take minutes. The city hasn’t seen this much snow in many, many years.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008571893_spokane30m.html

Another disappointment in tonight’s game is that the anticipated showdown between Angie and Jami Bjorklund, aka the reason the Vols are there in the first place, is not going to happen. It was announced last week that because of Jami’s knee injury, she’d be sidelined and unable to play against her sister. There was another bit about that in today’s Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2008571794_whoop30.html

So while I sadly sit in front of the big TV at my brother’s house tonight to watch this game, I will take a bit of consolation in the fact that I can at least get home to LA from here; Spokane is expecting even more snowfall during tonight’s game.

On the humorous side, the joke in the Vol camp is that the team has tied a string to 5’2″ point guard Briana Bass. As the snow levels approach five feet, they don’t want to lose their floor general in the white stuff.

Winning and losing streaks

The UCLA Bruins tonight lost 62-72 to Texas Tech. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak that dated back to Nov. 23. I didn’t see nor hear today’s game, so all I have to go on is the box score. 25 turnovers? 38.3 percent shooting? UCLA out-rebounded the Raiders 41-33, but 41 is still lower than their usual. Perhaps it’s a combination of still having things to work on and tonight’s contest being their first in eight days, and on the road at that. But I hope they can get it together, because they’ll have their hands full with Oregon State on Friday. I’m looking forward to that game.

Arizona beat Boise State, despite playing only eight people (Boise State played 10). I wish Arizona would get to Pauley Pavilion sooner, because I want to see them play; I’m intrigued by them. I’ve noticed that the players getting the most minutes aren’t always producing big points, so obviously they’re doing all the intangibles – some of which don’t make the box score.

For example, Reiko Thomas had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists, but the shooting guard played all 40 minutes. Guard Ashley Frazier had three points, five assists and two steals, and played 39 minutes. I wonder how this team is going to shake out.

One player who needs no explanation, however, is Wildcat forward Ify Ibekwe. Tonight she put in a career-high 26 points and 20 rebounds in 37 minutes – amazing.

On the other side of the country, 14th-ranked Rutgers got its 20th consecutive home victory with a win over George Washington tonight. Congrats to them.

It is at this time of year, as teams go into conference play, that winning and losing trends have emerged. Fans can see which teams have a tendency to lose on the road and not, and what squads successfully defend their home court. Yet, March is still so very far away, in so many ways.

NWAACC standings, poll

The women of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges have been playing hard these last two months – some harder than others. Going into today’s games, one team (Edmonds) had only played six games so far this season. A handful of other squads have played seven games; the majority have played at least eight games.

Umpqua, of the Southern Division, has the best record at 12-1:

Women’s 2008-09 Standings

DIVISION SEASON

NORTH W-L PCT W-L

Skagit Valley 0-0 .000 7-1
Shoreline 0-0 .000 6-4
Bellevue 0-0 .000 6-5
Whatcom 0-0 .000 4-4
Peninsula 0-0 .000 4-6
Olympic 0-0 .000 2-4
Seattle 0-0 .000 1-8
Edmonds 0-0 .000 0-6
Everett 0-0 .000 0-8

EAST W-L PCT W-L

Big Bend 0-0 .000 9-2
Yakima Valley 0-0 .000 9-5
Columbia Basin 0-0 .000 8-5
Spokane 0-0 .000 7-5
Walla Walla 0-0 .000 6-1
Wenatchee Valley 0-0 .000 5-8
Treasure Valley 0-0 .000 4-6
Blue Mountain 0-0 .000 2-7

WEST W-L PCT W-L

Centralia 0-0 .000 8-2
S. Puget Sound 0-0 .000 6-3
Green River 0-0 .000 5-2
Highline 0-0 .000 5-7
Tacoma 0-0 .000 4-5
Lower Columbia 0-0 .000 2-6
Pierce 0-0 .000 2-6
Clark 0-0 .000 0-7
Grays Harbor 0-0 .000 0-7

SOUTH W-L PCT W-L

Umpqua 0-0 .000 12-1
Lane 0-0 .000 9-3
Clackamas 0-0 .000 8-3
Mt. Hood 0-0 .000 8-3
Chemeketa 0-0 .000 4-6
Linn-Benton 0-0 .000 4-7
SW Oregon 0-0 .000 4-7
Portland 0-0 .000 2-5

(Too bad they haven’t put in the winning percentages yet).

The Riverhawks were also ranked first in a coach’s poll last week:

December 23, 2008

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

RANK SCHOOL PTS PREV

1 Umpqua (11-1) 80 (8) 1
2 Clackamas (8-1) 60 3 tie
3 Yakima Valley (7-4) 43 2
4 Spokane (6-3) 35 3 tie
5 Lane (7-2) 34 5
6 Columbia Basin (6-4) 25 6
7 Walla Walla (6-1) 11 NR
8 Skagit Valley (7-1) 8 NR

Others receiving votes: Centralia 7, S. Puget Sound 5, Mt. Hood 2, Big Bend 2
Next Poll: January 8th

(http://www.nwaacc.org/polls/index.php#wbb)

Could this be the year that Umpqua reclaims the championship??

I’d love to discuss and dissect how the teams of the California Community College Athletic Association are doing, but their website hasn’t been updated to show any standings whatsoever. Not too professional, is it?

Fund established for Morghan Medlock

From Baylor:

Lady Bear basketball player Morghan Medlock recently suffered a tragedy when her mother, Shannan Barron, was murdered last Friday in Little Rock, Ark., and a fund has been established at Baylor to assist her and her family. Medlock’s 12-year-old half-brother found Barron’s body and has since returned to Pasadena, Calif., to be with Morghan and the rest of her family.

Those fans wishing to donate funds to assist Morghan and her family should make checks payable to Baylor University. Please also indicate in the memo section that the donation is to the “Medlock Fund.”

Here’s the entire link:

http://baylorbears.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/122308aaa.html

Ivory Latta switches teams

This news is about a week old, but I didn’t catch it: Ivory Latta and the Turkish Basketball League team she was playing for, Team Ceyhan Belediyasi, came to a mutual agreement to terminate her contact. Latta will play for the Maccabi Ramat Chen team of the Israeli League for the remainder of the winter. Before her departure, Latta had averaged 20.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists for Ceyhan.

Seimone Augustus of Galtatasaray is ranked fifth in the Turkish League in points per game, at 16.4 (fourth now that Latta is gone); Alexis Hornbuckle of Besiktas is fifth in rebounds per game and first in steals; and Shannnon Bobbitt of Botas is second in assists per game with an average of six. The complete list is on the Turkish Basketball League main page:

http://www.eurobasket.com/Turkey/basketball.asp?women=1

Finally, I hope the Atlanta Dream blog author answers my question as to how these four people ended up sitting at the same table together.

http://atlantadreamblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/game.html

Kind of an odd grouping to me.

What? Dawn Staley’s program has violations?

I’m surprised at this, but I suspect Staley will clean it up in a big hurry:

http://msn.foxsports.com/wcbk/story/8983456/Secondary-violations-found-in-Staley’s-program

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