Monday, September 16, 2019
Page 840

Nike Extravaganza on tap tonight

Tonight’s matchups at Mater Dei High School are as follows:

3:00 p.m. St. Paul vs. Dana Hills
4:30 p.m. Santa Margarita vs. Villa Park
6:00 p.m. Foothill vs. LB Wilson
7:30 p.m. Mater Dei vs. Cajon

Webcasts are available at this link:

I will also provide full game reports in this space.

Contemplating caring

I spoke to Niya Butts, the new Arizona coach, a couple weeks ago for a story. She mentioned in passing that when a player’s been hurt during a game this season, that she’s had to take a moment to reassure the rest of the team that their teammate will be OK. If she didn’t, Butts said, the team would be distracted in their worrying. I noticed something similar in last night’s Tennessee-Georgia game.

Lady Vol Shekinna Stricklen made a bucket, but then crumpled to the floor under the basket. She was eventually helped off the court and took a seat on the bench. When Coach Pat Summitt, who was mic’d up last night, got back to the huddle to address her team, she said: “She’s gonna be allright, OK?” She paused and briefly panned all five faces, then launched into her game-specific instructions.

Last April, Kansas Jayhawk Rodrick Stewart fell to the floor and broke his kneecap during a playoff game. Afterwards, one of his teammates described how down the entire team felt about the injury. But did Coach Bill Self go back to the huddle after Stewart was carried off court and tell his other players not to worry about it?

Wednesday I went to see my favorite high school girl’s team play, and when I got there, the JV game was in its last five minutes. In the final 60 seconds it got close, and favorite team’s JV was fighting for the win. All the varsity girls were on their feet cheering on their juniors like it was the national championship. Do high school boys teams do this for their JV teams?

These are some of the questions I’d like answered.

Six years ago I based my Master’s thesis on a study using the Women’s National Basketball League of Australia. Among other things, I found that a high percentage of players were strongly effected by the moods and feelings of their teammates – more so than their coaches. I’ve looked online and can’t find any similar studies (if anyone knows any, please point them out).

I think that I, or someone else, needs to do a very specific study toward this end, which would include a survey of men’s teams for comparison. I’d like to know if females worry more about their teammates than men, as it appears, or if it’s even. I honestly don’t know. Women are supposed to be the nurturing sex, but how many men worry just as much but keep it to themselves?

Other perspectives on this are most welcome.

Pat Summitt is the winningest Division I coach of all time

Well, she did it. And they did it.

The youngest team Coach Patricia Sue Head Summitt has ever coached pulled together and looked like a steady ship tonight. Glory Johnson, who was clearly UP for the game, lead a balanced scoring attack by all the Lady Vols with 20 points. And when it was all said and done, the youngsters beat Georgia 73-43 and gave their coach her 1000th career victory. Summitt is now the most winning D-I coach of all time, women or men.

Immediately after the game, Summitt was pulled to the side for an interview. On camera, Alicia Manning and Alex Fuller ran up behind her with a huge Gatorade bucket filled with…….sparkling confetti. Whew! They had everyone going for a minute.

Summitt got a whole bunch of stuff: a star on a walk in Knoxville, posters, paintings, and some “bling,” according to the announcer. She also gets a contract extension and some bonuses:

Summitt said even she was having trouble comprehending it. I know I sure am. She has been coaching since I was in second grade. Since before disco and when Michael Jackson was still part of the Jackson 5.

She was very gracious in crediting her staff and players past and present. But one of the commentators pointed out that this was nice, but the credit belonged to the coach who has won 84 percent of all the games she’s coached.

84 percent?

There will never be another like her.

The press is surprisingly slow to put anything online this evening, so for right now the best bet is on There’s a nice picture of Summitt with “congrats” wording above it. Behind the main picture are pictures from throughout Summitt’s career – it’s a trip. Then when you skip to the regular page there’s a picture of Fuller and Manning dumping the confetti on her head.

Tomorrow on ESPN Classic, they’re running a Pat Summitt marathon. Here’s the schedule:

6am-8am 1987 National Championship: Louisiana Tech vs Tennessee

8am-10am 1989 National Championship: Auburn vs Tennessee

10am-12pm 1991 National Championship: Tennessee vs Virginia

12pm-2pm 1996 National Championship: Tennessee vs Georgia

2pm-4pm 1997 National Championship: Old Dominion vs Tennessee

4pm-6pm 1998 National Championship: Tennessee vs Louisiana Tech

6pm-8pm 2007 National Championship: Rutgers vs Tennessee

8pm-10pm 2008 National Championship: Stanford vs Tennessee

10pm-12am Georgia vs Tennessee from Feb 5, 2009 – Win #1,000

Congrats, Coach Summitt. I only have one hero besides Harriett Tubman, and that is you.

Pat smiles

Summitt to try again tonight for win 1000

Goodness but these women’s hoops coaches are supportive of one another. Yesterday Pat Summitt got a text message from Georgia Coach Andy Landers, tonight’s opponent for the Vols, saying “if you don’t win tomorrow, I’m gonna be PO’d.”

The Bulldogs have a four-game winning streak going right now, so don’t look for them to just give up the win for Summitt’s sake. But it was a nice gesture on Landers’ part.

The funniest part of this piece, on, was how well the Lady Vols took to their duties Tuesday, the day after the loss to Oklahoma and season-ending injury for Vicki Baugh.

Rather than practice Tuesday, Summitt had the players prepare the scouting report for tonight’s game. Her thinking was, “You do it and maybe you’ll respect it more and buy into it more.”

“I was surprisingly more into it than I thought I’d be,” sophomore guard Angie Bjorklund said. “I was like ‘Man, I could do this for a living possibly.’ Maybe I should think about coaching.”

It’s worth noting that Bjorklund also enjoying doing team laundry, which was punishment for a 74-58 loss at Vanderbilt last month. Still, Bjorklund noted that freshmen Alyssia Brewer and Alicia Manning took the report to the Thornton Center and, in Bjorklund’s words, “made it look pretty on the computer.”

“They made it look exactly like our scouting reports look,” Bjorklund said, “which is a set format. They’re real detailed.”

I think it’s genius of Summitt to forget practice the day after a horrible night like that, yet still keep them focused.


Tonight’s game will be broadcast nationally, and will be on ESPN360, which means I’ll be getting the heck out of here the minute school is over and rushing home.

ESPN has it’s own Pat Summitt page, too:

Finally, I’m happy to report that just as Candace Parker is cool with the boys, so is Pat Summitt.

A few of the football boys asked me Sunday if “this would be the night” for Summitt. The day after that, they consoled me. Yesterday they started asking me if I was excited about tonight’s game, and this morning David again asked me if tonight was it. The respect they have for Summitt is obvious. David said “Pat Summitt is hard!” which is a great thing in teenspeak.

Good sign, good sign.

Yup, Lisa Leslie is retiring

Though I’ve never been a Lisa Leslie fan, I will give her this, because it amazes me: she’s played a very long career relatively injury-free.


No official word on the Tina Thompson signing.

Vicki Baugh out for the season

It is as feared: Baugh tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in last night’s game against Oklahoma.

Sophomore Vicki Baugh Re-Injures Knee, Out for Season

Feb. 3, 2009

University of Tennessee Associate Athletics Director Jenny Moshak announced this evening that sophomore forward Vicki Baugh has torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee. The injury occurred during the second half of Monday’s loss at No. 2/2-ranked Oklahoma.

“Dr. Greg Mathien, UT team orthopedist, confirmed that the MRI performed on Vicki revealed a torn ACL in her left knee,” said Moshak. “She will begin rehab immediately, but is out for the season.”

Baugh, a 6-4 sophomore, from Sacramento, Calif., had seen very limited action since suffering a sprain of the knee in practice on Jan. 1.

This season, Baugh had played in 14 games, starting 10, and was averaging 6.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg.


I’m so tired of torn ACLs. This one is even more heartbreaking because Baugh had worked so hard to rehabilitate from the same injury last year. That, and the fact that she has so much heart. She really puts it all on the court, and that was evident last night when she put a towel over her head when being wheeled out of the arena. I’m sure she already knew what had happened. correspondent Maria M. Cornelius had this to report on a thread on “The Summitt” message board tonight:

Also, team did not practice. Had a meeting and watched film as a team and some one on one. Showed Briana clips of Shannon on defense.

Pat said team gives in to fatigue, rather than fight through it, indication of youth not having been challenged to this extent before as players are not accustomed to being pushed like this on this level by opponents.

Turnovers: It appears to be particularly glaring on the perimeter with decision-making and across the board for perimeter players. Overpassing and passing in a rush. Need to make a dribble or two and make sure the ball gets to where it’s intended. Also smarter passes into the post.

Tough week on tap for team.

I wonder where the Lady Vols will end up at the end of the season this year. Life lessons never stop.

In the meantime, a Summitt board member has started a facebook group called “keep your head up, Vicki Baugh, we love you.” Damned nice of her.

Or if you’re so inclined, as I am, to send a card, here is the address:

Vicki Baugh
c/o Lady Vol Basketball
207 Thompson-Boling Arena
1600 Phillip Fulmer Way
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-4610

Hang in there, girl, and much love.

“They’re” saying that Tina Thompson is coming to LA and Lisa Leslie is retiring soon

Word out on the message boards is that former Comet Tina Thompson is about to be signed tomorrow by the LA Sparks.

I got a season ticket holder email from the Sparks at 8:28 p.m. promising a “major announcement featuring one of your favorite ‘SMOOTH’ players” tomorrow. So that’s obviously about the other rumor floating around this evening, and that is that Lisa Leslie will retire after this season.

I’m not surprised by either announcement, if rumors are true, and I am happy about both.

I’ve always loved Tina Thompson. She’s a great player and a classy one, and she’s like a big sister to Candace Parker. She’d be great to have on the Sparks.

I think Leslie is coming back one more time to try and get that last WNBA championship ring. Like her or not, she’s a competitor, and it’s probably still bothering her that they muffed it up last September.

So this is it: three towers. Parker, Thompson, Leslie.

I think I just got excited about the Sparks again.

Daily surprises

The Atlanta Dream waived shooting guard Betty Lennox today. It’s sad, but not altogether surprising because of the WNBA’s new 11-player per-team limit. If this is the end of Lennox’s pro hoops career, I wonder what Betty’s going to do next.

Still no word on Baugh yet………..

PS – Thanks and a wink to anonymous. Y’all should quit bein so anonymous…..

“what a crappy night”

Someone on one of the message boards summed up tonight’s Oklahoma-Tennessee game with the above phrase, and I must agree.

The Vols started out on fire, but ran out of gas in the first half. Oklahoma won 80-70, which is cool if you’re a Sooner fan but bad if you’re me.

Pat is still at 999.

Worse is that Courtney Paris’ 112-game double-double streak that dated back to December, 2005, is now over. Apparently she was crying when she fouled out of the game.

The worst news is that Vicki Baugh went down in the last few minutes of the game in a way very similar to her ACL tear of April 8, 2008, and on the same knee. She left the court in a wheelchair, a towel over her head.

Good lord, did anything good happen today?

Pat Summitt tries for win 1000 tonight

A win against Oklahoma at their place won’t be an easy task, but people know not to bet against the greatest.

Graham Hays of ESPN had a nice piece on Summitt over the weekend:

What has made Summitt special isn’t her ability to change with the times or live by the ethics of times gone by. What has guided her to a coaching milestone never before reached is an ability to live outside the confines of the times.

I’m not sure if I agree with that, but Hays gets credit for his theory.

Game time is 4:30 PST, 7:30 EST.

It’s interesting that on the Lady Vols schedule, this game was dubbed “Big Monday” long before they knew Summitt would be on the cusp of 1000 on that date.

Even Bobby Knight is going to call this game:

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