Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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First three days of the season in the books

Today’s results:

The Liberty downed the Fever, 73-65, for their first 2-0 start in five years. Betnijah Laney has scored 50 points in two games, and rookies and second-years have been leading the rest of the way. Natasha Howard and Kiah Stokes are still not back from overeas.

DeWanna Bonner’s 27 points paced the Sun over the Mercury, 86-78.

WNBA player news:

Sabrina Ionescu’s return has given the Liberty renewed optimism.

Napheesa Collier is back in Minnesota, but won’t be able to play right away.

Megan Walker made her first return to Connecticut after leaving for the WNBA.

Hall of Fame news:

Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Val Ackerman and Pearl Moore have been elected to the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Jackson is honored.

Griffith had a standout college career at FAU.

Virginia claims Ackerman.

Moore had an illustrious career in the 70’s.

USA Basketball news:

The nine members of the U19 World Cup team: Lauren Betts, Sonia Citron, Caitlin Clark, Sania Feagin, Azzi Fudd, Diamond Johnson, Te-hina Paopao, Jewel Spear and Peyton Verhulst.

Indiana Fever lose heartbreaker against New York Liberty

The Indiana Fever began their 2021 season Friday with a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the New York Liberty.

Sabrina Ionescu hit a game-winning three-point shot with less than a second remaining to seal the deal for New York, 90-87. It was the first game back for Ionescu, who tore ligaments in her ankle in just the third matchup of the year last July, and was out for the season.

“I wanted it,” Ionescu said. “I haven’t played in a while and I wanted it for this team. It’s just the beginning for us.  I’m just excited to get back playing and doing what I love.”

With the game tied at 87, Indiana did have a chance to take the lead, but Kelsey Mithcell was called for a traveling violation, which gave the ball back to the Liberty. That set up the ending sequence, when Ionescu caught the ball at the end of an extended screen and let it fly.

The Fever struggled with shooting in the first half, but were able to stay in the game because of their rebounding. They won that battle, 45-28, including 19 on the offensive side. Third-year center Teaira McCowan had 16 of those boards, while newcomer veteran Jantel Lavender added 10.

Indiana coach Marianne Stanley was happy with the rebounding, but said her team needs to up their shooting percentage.

“Nineteen offensive rebounds usually gets it done,” she said. “I mean the offensive rebounding game 19-3, usually when you see that you feel like you coming with a win but we missed a lot of makeable shots.”

McCowan was dominant inside, scoring 22 points on 10-17 shooting from the field. The Fever seemed to make an effort to get the ball to her – a departure from the recent past, as last year they struggled to give her touches down low. If she continues her opening night trajectory, McCowan is poised for a breakout season.

Mitchell also played well, scoring 24 points on 10-19 from the field. She did struggle from three, shooting 1 for 7, but she was a very effective scorer. In the future, Mitchell and McCowan will have to lead Indiana.

Rookie Kysre Gondrezick played for 12 minutes and scored five points, and Chelsey Perry, another rookie, logged three minutes and did not score.

One of the things that hurt the Fever in the game was three-point shooting. New York shot 13-16 from beyond the arc, which is good for 50 percent. Indiana shot 16.7 percent from three-point land, shooting 3-18. As we advance, they will need to improve defending three, as they allowed too many open three-point shots. Also, they must knock down three’s at a much higher percentage.

Stanley said the team needs to improve on making easy shots.

“We just missed makeable shots, the improvement for us is to make more of them,” she said.

It was a good showing for the Fever, which already looks much-improved. Although it was one game, they looked like a team that will compete, and they look to be better than they were last year. It will be interesting to see how their season unfolds.

Final WNBA team rosters

Atlanta Dream

Chicago Sky

Connecticut Sun

Dallas Wings

Indiana Fever

Las Vegas Aces

Los Angeles Sparks

Minnesota Lynx

New York Liberty

Phoenix Mercury

Seattle Storm

Washington Mystics

SO much carnage on today’s transactions page:

Atlanta Dream: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough – Waived
Atlanta Dream: Mikayla Cowling – Waived
Los Angeles Sparks: Seimone Augustus – Voluntarily Retired
Los Angeles Sparks: Kristine Anigwe – Waived
Los Angeles Sparks: Maria Vadeeva – Suspended – Partial Season
Los Angeles Sparks: Sydney Wiese – Trade (1) – Was
Indiana Fever: Julie Allemand – Suspended – Full Season
Seattle Storm: Mercedes Russell – Suspended – Partial Season
Seattle Storm: Natalie Kucowski – Waivers Cleared
Seattle Storm: Tamera Young – Waivers Cleared
Seattle Storm: Epiphanny Prince – Suspended – Partial Season
Seattle Storm: Kitija Laksa – Waived
Seattle Storm: Haley Gorecki – Waived
Seattle Storm: N’dea Jones – Waived
Minnesota Lynx: Napheesa Collier – Suspended – Partial Season
Minnesota Lynx: Mikayla Pivec – Waived
Minnesota Lynx: Selena Lott – Waived
Minnesota Lynx: Linnae Harper – Waivers Cleared
Washington Mystics: Sug Sutton – Waived
Washington Mystics: G’mrice Davis – Waivers Cleared
Chicago Sky: Natasha Mack – Waived
Chicago Sky: Alexis Prince – Waived
Chicago Sky: Kobi Thornton – Waived
Chicago Sky: Lexi Brown – Waived
New York Liberty: Marine Johannes – Suspended -Full Season
New York Liberty: Asia Taylor – Waived
New York Liberty: Jasmine Bailey – Waived
New York Liberty: Valerie Higgins – Waivers Cleared
Phoenix Mercury: Kia Vaughn – Suspended – Partial Season
Connecticut Sun: Aleah Goodman- Waivers Cleared
Connecticut Sun: Brianna Fraser – Waivers Cleared
Las Vegas Aces: Lauren Manis- Waivers Cleared
Las Vegas Aces: Shakayla Thomas – Waivers Cleared

More X 100

WNBA team news:

Season preview.

The league has come a long way in 25 years.

How Connecticut will pivot minus three of its top players.

Meet the Aces……they begin the year with a new roster but the same expectations.

Las Vegas is one of the title favorites.

The Mystics got their stars back……and they acquired Sydney Wiese from the Sparks in exchange for a future second round draft pick.

The Mercury will begin the season where it left off last year, facing the Lynx.

To rebuild or not to rebuild? This season could decide the Fever’s future.

Don’t look away.

WNBA player news:

Players reflect on lessons learned in last year’s bubble.

Top 25 player rankings.

A WNBA player has a signature shoe for the first time in a decade, and it’s long overdue.

A’ja Wilson on a variety of topics.

Jonquel Jones is back and ready to prove she’s one of the best in the league.

Elizabeth Williams and LaKeshia Frett join forces this season.

Kia Nurse compliments the Phoenix core…..and she joins a stacked team.

DiDi Richards shares what words from her father got her back on the court.

Mystics players discuss the 25th season.

Seimone Augustus has retired and will join the LA coaching staff.

WNBA coach news:

Dan Hughes returns to the sidelines as the Storm begin their title defense.

WNBA GM news:

Surveys……..

Best players and coaches

Season predictions

Defense

Offseason

Miscellaneous

Olympics news:

In a change, the WNBA season begins with Olympic roster spots still undecided.

The Canadian National Team will go to Tampa to train for the Olympics.

The U19 team will face tough competition this summer.

College team news:

Texas Tech has a new women’s basketball facility.

College player news:

Kansas State transfer Christianna Carr will play at Syracuse.

New Mexico transfer Ahlise Hurst has committed to Oregon.

USF transfer Angelee Rodriguez has landed at George Mason.

A day after being waived from the Phoenix Mercury, Tiana Mangakahia has signed with an Australian team.

College coach news:

Chuck Love has been promoted to associate head coach at Nebraska.

College commissioner news:

MGM exec George Kliavkoff has been named the new Pac-12 commissioner.

His focus is on men’s basketball and football.

Unveiling all that is poppin’

WNBA news:

The league is about to begin its 25th season.

The WNBA is bracing for fierce competition.

AP power poll.

Big storylines headed into the season.

The league has reached a deal with Amazon to stream 16 games and the tournament on Prime video.

An in-season “Commissioner’s Cup” tournament will be added…….logo unveiled.

Tangerine Bank will be the first foundational partner of the WNBA in Canada.

The ABL paved the way for the WNBA.

WNBA team news:

The Aces could move to Henderson as soon as next season.

The one place women aren’t allowed in the WNBA is practice teams.

All of today’s painful transactions……and Asia Durr will sit for another year due to long-haul COVID symptoms.

WNBA player news:

On the cover of the current SLAM: Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

Breanna Stewart has joined the Puma family, and has a signature shoe.

Stewart has a new perspective this year.

Chiney Ogwumike on the bubble documentary, airing tomorrow…….she has added executive producer to her resume.

Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve believes in Damiris Dantas’ star potential.

Key players for each team.

Where are all the players? (Late to camp)

Debating the most entertaining player, and other categories.

Hall of Fame:

Tamika Catchings had a picture perfect career.

All that is to be known about Catchings.

Kim Mulkey will be enshrined into the Hall.

Mulkey will be introduced into the Hall this weekend by Michael Jordan.

The ceremony will be on ESPN Saturday.

College player news:

Lamar transfer Jaydn Pimental and Nevada transfer LaPraisjah Johnson have committed to UTSA.

Georgia State transfer Taylor Hosendove has landed at Oregon.

South Florida transfer Beatriz Jordao will attend Iowa State.

Minnesota transfer Justice Ross will play for New Orleans……as will Creighton transfer DeArica Pryor.

Old Dominion transfer Lanay Wheaton and Alabama transfer Destiny Rice have committed to Louisiana.

College coach news:

Jeff Walz is excited about Louisville’s newcomers.

Reflecting on Teri Moren’s time at Indiana so far.

Brooke Wycoff podcast.

New Michigan assistant coach Carrie Moore said her new job is her dream.

Sarah Jenkins is a new assistant coach at Penn State.

Tari Cummings is Nicki Collen’s first assistant coach hire at Baylor.

Former Dayton Flyer Olivia Applewhite has joined the staff as an assistant coach.

Deidra Johnson is Indiana State’s new associate head coach.

USA Basketball news:

The U19 court coaches are Teri Moren and Katrina Merriweather.

International news:

WNBL salaries will rise.

The hoops world keeps turning and turning

WNBA team news:

Yahoo’s preseason power rankings.

The Mystics’ new jerseys celebrate the 19th amendment, but there are still inequities.

Even if they shoot more threes, Sylvia Fowles is still the focal point for Minnesota’s offense.

The Liberty are hoping for a big improvement in their Brooklyn debut.

WNBA player news:

How No. 1 picks realized a career in the league was possible.

Five notable players to watch this season.

Five under-the-radar players to keep an eye on.

Candace Parker was on The Daily Show last night.

Natasha Cloud is back and ready to ball out.

The Gabby Williams situation is a manifestation of a bigger problem.

Interview with Sabrina Ionescu.

WNBA coach, president and GM news:

As Storm season nears, coach Dan Hughes is forced to make “awful” cuts.

Cheryl Reeve’s latest accomplishment is turning the Lynx back into contenders.

The Dream have added La’Keshia Frett and Daniya La-Force as assistant coaches.

Nikki Fargas is the Aces’ new team president……owner Mark Davis said she can move the franchise forward.

Tamika Catchings is taking her superpower to the Hall of Fame.

WNBA news:

Twenty-five firsts that have defined the league’s first 25 years.

College team news:

A too-early look at South Carolina.

Breaking down the Louisville roster.

College player news:

Oregon transfer Angela Dugalic is headed to UCLA.

Wisconsin transfer Kate Thompson has committed to Louisiana Tech.

Penn State transfer Nan Garcia will play for Toledo.

College coach news:

Lindsay Gottlieb was introduced as USC’s new head coach today.

Gottlieb sees the Trojan program as a sleeping giant.

New Baylor coach Nicki Collen will keep strength and performance coach Jeremy Heffner on staff.

Charity Elliott is the new head coach at Point Loma.

A five-year contract awaits Purdue coach-to-be Katie Gearlds.

USA Basketball news:

Recovered from COVID-19, Stefanie Dolson is chasing her Olympic dreams.

USA Basketball is counting on Terrapins Diamond Miller and Ashley Owusu this summer.