Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ex-JMU star Lauren Jimenez heads to Poland

A big shoutout to former James Madison standout Lauren Jimenez, the All-Colonial Athletic Association center who will be leaving in a few days to begin her professional basketball career with Artego Bydgoszcz in Poland.

"I'm so nervous, but so excited," Jimenez said in a Facebook message. "I've only been to Cancun with JMU's team. I'm working out every day, but I have no idea what it will be like."

We wanted to send Lauren a parting gift, but with our LadySwish budget, the only thing we could afford was advice. And since we don't know jack about Poland, we consulted an expert - Mel Thomas, former UConn star and author of "Heart of a Husky" who is currently the director of basketball operations for one of the best-kept secrets in Division I - Florida Gulf Coast (the 3-point shot-loving Eagles went 28-4 in 2010-11). Thomas' resume also includes a stint with Artego Bydgoszcz in 2009-10, and she was kind enough to offer five things Lauren should keep in mind as she prepares for her new gig:

1. It's COLD!! Make sure to bring a coat, hat, gloves and boots!

2. The style of basketball is much different. It's typically faster-paced and more physical. A "rip through" is often considered a travel, so beware! You'll probably pick up a "Euro step" in your time overseas as well.

3. I couldn't read the menu, so knowing the word "kurczak" (chicken) helped me not to starve my first couple of weeks.

4. Some useful phrases to know: Dzien dobry (good morning), Czesc (hi), Jak sie masz (How are you?), Przepraszam (Excuse me), Prosze (Please), Dziekuje (Thank you), nie (no) and tak (yes). Also, although I'm sure it was already apparent, Nie mowi po lolsku (I don't speak English) and Nie rozumiem (I don't understand) came out of my mouth quite frequently. These phrases won't help you accomplish much, but I said them at least five times a day! And just in case you find a Polish love, you should be able to express it - Kocham cie (smiley face).

5. The overseas life can be lonely, so try to make friends and get out as much as possible. Keep yourself busy and make the best of your experience!

Thanks, Mel. And good luck, Lauren!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Parade All-American pregnant, not going to ODU

Kaneisha Atwater
Old Dominion has announced that Parade All-American Kaneisha Atwater will not attend the school and will instead enroll at Indian River State College in her hometown of Florida. According to The Virginian-Pilot, Atwater is staying in Florida because she's pregnant.

NOTE: We don't know this for sure, but one of the reasons Atwater may have wanted her situation clarified is because we initially posted that she was not eligible to attend ODU. Now, we don't have the reach of ESPN (or ESPNU, or ESPNW, or ESPNAnything for that matter), but we do have our share of readers and information like this can spread quickly. So to Kaneisha and everyone else out there, we apologize for mischaracterizing Atwater's status, and we will re-double our efforts to provide the most accurate content possible. Kaneisha, we wish you all the best. And we've resigned ourselves to the fact that there is now zero chance the child will be named LadySwish. And now, back to our regularly scheduled post....

How much Atwater's absence will hurt ODU is unclear, especially in the short term. For while we're sure she's a fine prospect, we couldn't figure out how a player who wasn't all-state in Florida was deemed All-American by Parade. In fact, we worried that the honor was going to subject Atwater to unfair expectations, that because of the Parade honor, Lady Monarchs fans were going to be expecting a game-changer instead of a true freshman that would have likely needed time to figure things out. Unfortunately, we won't have to worry about that now.

The Atwater revelation were part of a big news day for Old Dominion women's hoops. The school also announced that sophomore center Brittany Campbell will sit out the fall semester due to failure to meet NCAA eligibility standards.

Interesting, because a few days ago, Lady Monarchs coach Karen Barefoot sent out the following message on Twitter:

Just got our team's summer grades back! Wow, way to go!! Proud of our team! Great summer! Ready for fall term to begin! 

On Monday, Barefoot told The Virginian-Pilot that Campbell's grades from last spring made her ineligible, and that a strong summer has put her on track to good academic standing in the second semester. Said Barefoot: "I'm proud we've got her to a point where it's possible to get her eligible."

Finally, Barefoot will reveal ODU's non-conference schedule this week via her Twitter account. Nice touch. We knew Barefoot would eventually start making effective use of this tool.

Friday, August 26, 2011

ODU taps Portuguese Connection again with Michelle Brandao

Old Dominion's overseas pipeline appears to be back up and running. Several reports out of Portugal - here, here and here - inform us that guard Michelle Brandao is heading to Norfolk to play for the Lady Monarchs this season. As every Lady Monarchs fan knows, ODU Hall of Famers Ticha Penicheiro and Mery Andrade also came from Portugal. And while it may not be fair to hold Brandao to those standards, headlines like "Michelle Brandao following in the footsteps of Ticha" atop of of these overseas reports suggest that such comparisons are already being made.

UPDATE: Old Dominion put out a press release on Brandao Monday. Said Lady Monarchs coach Karen Barefoot: "Michelle Brandao brings a passion for the game that will be contagious to the entire program. She is a versatile guard that can do it all and fits our uptempo system. We are excited to bring back the Portugal connection to the ODU campus."

From Brandao: "I love the game and to have the opportunity to improve as a player at ODU is simply amazing. Ticha played at ODU and she is the best Portuguese player as far as I'm concerned. She is definitely an inspiration and it's an honor to put on the same uniform as her!"

Brandao, who will turn 21 years old on Jan. 4, was born in New York City, is roughly 5-foot-7 and has been a fixture on Portuguese national teams the past three years. She helped Portugal's U20 team to a fourth-place finish at the 2010 European Division B Championships; Portugal dropped a 59-40 decision in the semifinals to an eventual champion Great Britain team led by current Lady Monarchs Mairi Buchan and Becca Allison.

In July, Brandao averaged 13.9 points as Portugal finished second to Sweden in the European B Championships.

Brandao will be joining an ODU team well-stocked with guard prospects both now and in the future. The Lady Monarchs incoming freshman class includes 5-3 Ashley Betz-White and 5-8 Myeisha Hall. And ODU's two known verbal commitments for 2012 are 5-9 LaQuanda Younger from Warwick and 5-4 Galaisha Goodhope of Princess Anne.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hey, Ellen, Dawn Evans ready for her closeup

Evidently, Russia can wait. So Hollywood, here she comes - again.

If you follow Dawn Evans on Twitter (and doesn't everyone?), you might be wondering about her billing herself as  "Aspiring Actress." It's no joke - the former Dukes star has reversed course on her decision to play professional basketball for one of the top Russian teams in the Euroleague and will head to Los Angeles this fall to pursue her passion for acting.

"After I signed, I decided to pursue acting and that's the gist of it," Evans told us in a Facebook message. "I'm going to LA, and I'm done with ball."

This won't be her first trip west. At age 10, Evans moved to Hollywood in search of acting stardom and, using her middle name Raven scored a few parts in commercials. This time, she plans on making a much bigger breakthrough.

"I really really wanna get on the Ellen DeGeneres Show," Evans wrote, punctuating the line with the ubiquitous "lol."

Evans' current plan is to leave for Los Angeles in October. In the meantime, she's taking theater classes in Tennessee and working part-time as a virtual high school math tutor. She's also looking to apply to a surgical technical program at a branch of the Miller Motte Technical School "so I can get a certification only as an option."

Acting is where her heart is, though, and it sounds as though she's going to pursue this venture with the same vigor she used to attack opposing defenses for the Dukes the past four years.

"Although I thoroughly miss JMU, JMU fans and the basketball community already, I'm really excited about what I am soon to embark on," Evans said. "Acting has always been a passion of mine and it does date back to my grade school years!"

Naturally we wish Evans all kinds of success in front of the cameras. We'll admit that at first we were a bit disappointed to think that she won't be raining 30-footers on folks anymore. Then we realized we weren't going to get to see her play in Russia anyway.

We can watch "Ellen" all the time.

A coaching matchup we'd pay to see: ODU's Aston vs. Pat Summitt

Now here's a marquee coaching matchup. Former Lady Monarch Kim Aston is on the left (Aston, the current dean of students at Suffolk's Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, played at Old Dominion from 1988-92) vs. Pat Summitt. The painting hangs in Aston's game room (and yep, that's  Brent Musburger and Dick Vitale calling the shots.) What you can't see?

Aston's assistants. "Dean Smith and Coach K," says Aston, who notes, "Everyone wants to beat the best."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

VCU's Cunningham gives birth to a baby girl

We're taking Q's word for it because we saw it on Facebook with several VCU players confirming.

Rams coach Beth Cunningham gave birth to a baby girl on Aug. 24. Welcome Margaret Jane Cunningham. Can't wait to meet you (and as Q noted, you share a birthday with VCU's Ebony Patterson. How cool is that? Though apparently Krystal Vaughn was hoping she'd share a birthday with the baby Ram on Sept. 8......)

Q (Hollingsworth, of course) promises to spoil the new kid, noting, "I'm shopping already." Maybe some New York Liberty gear in addition to a VCU onesie?

Conflicting reports on where she has signed. Notre Dame reports Margaret Jane has already committed to the Irish; VCU assistant Darren Guensch already has her in the Rams class of 2029.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Rams' Cunningham adds 'mother' to job description

Radford releases 2011-12 schedule

Radford will try to get off to a rare winning start in 2011-12 with a schedule designed to help them do just that.

It's not that the Highlanders haven't been able to beat good teams in recent years. But over the past three seasons, they haven't been able to beat hardly anyone until January. Since the 2008-09 campaign (coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba's first at Radford), the Highlanders are a combined 6-30 in November and December, with just two of those victories coming against Division I teams.

This year's schedule sets them up to hit the 2011-12 season running. The Highlanders open with four straight home games (they were on the road for three of their first four last season) with the first two coming against non-Division I teams (Eastern Mennonite and Winston-Salem State). And only two of their nine D-I non-conference opponents finished 2010-11 with winning records (South Carolina-Upstate at 17-13 and Virginia at 19-16).

This guarantees nothing, of course, and no matter who they play the Highlanders will still have to have their early-season act together. But if Radford stumbles out of the blocks this year, it won't be because of over-scheduling.

The most intriguing game on the non-conference schedule comes on November 26 when the Highlanders visit
George Washington, a program Ngongba helped make famous. Ngongba scored more than 2,000 points during a Hall of Fame career at GW and is enshrined in the school's athletic hall of fame. She was also an assistant coach for the Colonials, along with current GW head coach Mike Bozeman, before leaving for Radford.

Now, Ngongba is probably going to say every game is important, that this matchup is about the players and not her, and that she doesn't intend to even bring it up in the days leading up to the game. All true. But unless she's really a cyborg instead of a human being, it'll have to mean a lot to have her team perform well in that building. And the Highlanders have to know this, whether Ngongba talks about it or not.

Finally, the Big South schedule has increased from 16 games to 18 with the addition of Campbell.

Click here for a look at what we know about the schedules so far about each of the Division I teams in Virginia.

Touted recruit Achiri Ade will not attend JMU

Achiri Ade
James Madison will be without a key member of its talented recruiting class as ESPN Top 100 performer Achiri Ade has been declared ineligible.

"Achiri Ade is currently a non-qualifier," a school spokesperson said. "Due to (Colonial Athletic Association) rules, she is unable to attend JMU this year."

Per the CAA Constitution, the conference's non-qualifier rule as it pertains to recruits directly from high school reads as follows:

Since the median of each institution's freshman class academic profile far exceeds the NCAA minimum standards for freshman eligibility, if a recruited non-qualifier enrolls at a member institution directly from high school, the individual will not be eligible to represent the institution in a CAA sport.

Ade's AAU coach, Robert Hildreth of the Maryland Lady Terps, told Matthew Stoss of the Daily News-Record that Ade will enroll at Midland College, a junior college, and still plans to attend JMU in two years.

Ade, a 6-1 forward from Seton Keough School in Baltimore, was ranked No. 92 among all 2011 recruits by ESPN and was the only Top 100 player to sign with any CAA school. She was also the centerpiece of a five-player recruiting class ranked 39th nationally by ESPN, higher than any school in the conference or the state.

The Dukes still boast an impressive cast of newcomers as 6-2 guard Jazmon Gwalthmey, 6-0 forward Toia Giggetts, 6-2 foward/center Briana Jones and 6-3 forward/center Crystal Ross all have stellar high school credentials. JMU will also have the services of Tanica Anderson, a 5-5 point guard from Midland College in Texas.

As for Ade, many college stars have had to overcome initial academic concerns before finding success on the court. We certainly hope her career follows that path.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Speaking personally about Pat Summitt

You learn early that life isn't fair. You watch your father die of cancer. You watch planes crash into buildings on Sept 11. You watch devastating earthquake footage from Haiti.

You know it, yet you still get jolted with reminders, and Tuesday we got another one. Pat Summitt has Alzheimer's disease. How stunning to think that let alone write the sentence.

Sally Jenkins wrote an intimately personal story about Summitt's revelation in The Washington Post. In it, she called Summitt the best friend she has. I am not best friends with Summitt, but I have a deep appreciation for what she means to the world of basketball and frankly, to the world. I am lucky because I have spoken to her several times over the years, though one time stands out above the others. Actually it stands out among any of the other highlights of my writing career.

When you write sports, you lose much of the star quality of athletics. I confess I have it for Summitt. A few years back I was in Knoxville for the annual game between Old Dominion and Tennessee. I was writing the cover story for the Final Four program, and I had some questions for Summitt. Could I get Coach the day before the game at practice? I asked sports information director Debby Jennings. Could I get talk to her the day after the game for a few minutes?

Debby promised she would make it work. When I walked into Thompson-Boling Arena that night, she greeted me and told me Pat wouldn't be coming into the office the following morning. My heart sank.

"She wondered if you wouldn't mind stopping by her home?"

Pat Summitt's home? Me? Really? I hope I didn't stutter. Sure, I said, trying to act nonchalant.

The next morning I pulled up to the cul-de-sac and knocked at the door. No one answered. I knocked again. Still no answer. I realized I was standing at the guest house and walked past it, noting the UT hoop in the swimming pool. I rang the doorbell of the larger home, and a barefoot Summitt welcomed me. She showed me into a living room -- me sitting in one plush chair, her in another and her yellow Lab, Sally Sue, in a third.

Summitt talked with me for over an hour. She had probably answered many of my questions about her Final Four memories before. If so, it wasn't obvious. She was funny and genuine and witty and seemed to enjoy every bit of the conversation. Gathering my stuff to leave, I felt funny asking, but you're only in Pat Summitt's house once if you're me.

"Could I see the rest of the house?"

"Sure," she said good-naturedly. "I'll give you a tour."

Opening the doors to Tyler's room revealed a gorgeous mural and a memorable wooded view. I remember her saying most folks think the whole house probably resembles the UT bookstore, but that wasn't the case. It was tastefully decorated with a downstairs rec room dedicated to the Lady Vols and the Tennessee orange. Sally Sue followed us everywhere.

Summitt does a million interviews a year. I doubt she remembers that morning. I'll never forget it. Nor will I forget her calling me at 8:45 in the morning after her Lady Vols lost a heart breaker at Rutgers to talk about her next opponent: the Lady Monarchs. Last fall when the Lady Vols were in Norfolk, she spoke to me again at the Constant Center. She was, as usual, generous with her time and happy to introduce herself to my son.

I hold those memories dear. Like many, I hold Summitt dear. I have an affection reserved for Summitt that, like her, is in its own league. Like many I am in awe of her accomplishments, but more so I have deep respect and admiration for the way she conducts herself both professionally and personally.

Life isn't fair. If it was, Alzheimer's would have never happened to Pat Summitt.

Earthquake in Virginia? Here's what our tweeps tweeted

Here's what our Virginia tweets had to say about the quake that rattled the state at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.......

Pat Summitt with early signs of dementia

Pat Summitt and Sadie/UT photo
Chilling news out of Knoxville, where News-Sentinal reporter Dan Fleser reveals that Tennessee coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, a destruction of brain cells that leads to a gradual decline in cognitive abilities. Summitt said her grandmother had severe dementia. (The Washington Post also delivers a compelling take on the subject authored by Sally Jenkins, a close friend and co-author of the book "Reach for the Summitt.")

Summitt said she plans to continue coaching, and it sounds as though she's ready to combat the disease with the same vigor and determination she's applied to opposing teams for so many years. Said Summitt: "There's not going to be any pity party and I'll make sure of that."

Click here to read several classy tributes to Summitt from the women's basketball community.

Click here to read Summitt's assistant coaches discussing how the program will move forward.

The following is a video statement from Summitt released through the Tennessee athletic department.

Virginia, ODU to play mighty Tennessee

Tennessee is coming back to John Paul Jones Arena. Will free hot dogs be there as well?

According to the Lady Vols' just-released schedule, the Lady Vols will visit Virginia on Nov. 20. The last time Tennessee came to town in 2009, a women's basketball record 11,895 turned out on "Hot Dog Day" at the JPJ. Each fan in attendance received a coupon for free hot dog and soda.

Meanwhile, Old Dominion fans who may have been worried that the "resignation" of Lady Monarchs coach Wendy Larry might cost ODU its long-standing series with Tennessee can relax - at least for this season - as the teams are set to meet on December 28 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

So that's the good news, that ODU will play Tennessee. The bad news? ODU will play Tennessee. The Lady Monarchs have lost 15 straight in the series, including last season's 74-44 debacle before a Constant Center women's basketball record crowd of 7,744.

This year's Tennessee squad projects to be even stronger than the 2010-11 edition. The Lady Vols will also be playing with something to prove after coach Pat Summitt called them out for a lack of will and want-to after the NCAA Tournament. This after the team went 34-3 and reached the Elite Eight (such are the standards on Rocky Top). Oh, and did we mention that the Lady Vols have added the nation's top-ranked recruiting class?

Click here for a look at what else we know about the 2011-12 schedules of the Division I teams in Virginia (based on the official schedules of opposing teams). 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jelena Antic no longer with Liberty

Jelena Antic, a creative and dynamic offensive force for Liberty the past two seasons, is no longer at the school and has signed to play professionally overseas. On Sunday, Antic inked a deal with Partizan, a club team in Serbia.

The 6-2 Antic, a native of Skopje, Macedonia who starred at Liberty Christian Academy before spending two seasons with the Lady Flames, said returning closer to home was a big factor in her decision.

"I have been away from home for a long time (five years)," Antic said via a Facebook message. "I thought about this decision for over a year. I will be playing pro and finishing school in the country I will be playing."

The Lady Flames will also be without Kylee Beecher, the 6-4 forward from Roanoke who will not play basketball this season but will continue to study at Liberty.

Said Lady Flames coach Carey Green: "Both have left the team in search of personal interest. We are thankful for each of their contributions while at Liberty. Both were named to the (Big South) All- Conference Freshman team and followed the next season in a starting role. Their efforts have impacted the program's march toward championships and the NCAA Tournament. They have been part of a winning tradition, and we wish the best for them.

Green added that Beecher is in position to graduate in less than four years and plans to seek job opportunities immediately.

As for Antic, we suspect she'll start scoring immediately, because few can put the ball in the basket more regularly - or with more style..During the 2010 European Division B Championships, Antic averaged more than 25 points per game and was named the tournament's most valuable player.

Antic is more than just a gunner, though, and she displayed a full array of skills during her two seasons at Liberty. Last year, in addition to averaging 10.2 points per game she ranked second among Lady Flames in rebounding (6.3 rpg), assists (74) and steals (42) and led the team in average minutes played (28.4).

She didn't just get it done on the court at Liberty, either. Like Beecher, Antic made the 2010-11 Big South Presidential Honor Roll. Seven Lady Flames basketball players received the honor; the others were Brittany Campbell, Carra Coy, Terika Lunsford, Kittery Maine and Rachel McLeod.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Delle Donne: the best of the best?

The United States' resounding 101-66 victory over Chinese Taipei in the World University Games gold medal contest left no doubt Team USA was the best team. But was Delaware's Elena Delle Donne the best player on the best team?

One could certainly make that case. The Blue Hens star helped finish off Chinese Taipei with a flourish, as she racked up 18 points and team highs of 11 rebounds and 8 assists in 30 minutes (also a team high). The double-double was her third in the six games. For the tournament, Delle Donne, who started every game, led the U.S. in scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg).

If nothing else, anyone that thought Delle Donne's Delaware numbers were in any way a product of playing in the mid-major CAA must now recognize that even when surrounded by several of the best college players in the country, this player belonged in the front row.

She may have even been at the head of the class.

World University Games results

Gold medal: United States 101, Chinese Taipei 66

Bronze: Australia 66, Sweden 56

5th place: Russia 71, Canada 52

7th place: Brazil 62, Finland 57

9th place: Czech Republic 93, China 68

11th place: Lithuania 80, Japan 66

13th place: Slovakia 69, Great Britain 56

15th place: Poland

ODU duo, Great Britain finish 14th at World University Games

Great Britain ended the World University Games in disappointing fashion Saturday, dropping a 69-56 decision to Slovakia to finish 14th out of 15 teams. The loss was the fourth straight for the Brits (1-4) since they opened the tournament with a 61-54 victory over this same Slovakia outfit.

Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan, who was hoping to use this event as a springboard to a spot on Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team, finished with 2 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes while her Lady Monarchs teammate Becca Allison contributed 2 points in a little over 9 minutes for Great Britain. Buchan, who was coming off a 6-points, 7-rebound effort in her previous game, finished the tournament with 12 points and 14 rebounds in the five games; Allison totaled 8 points in the tournament.

Lithuania finished 11th by downing Japan 80-66. Poland, the only winless team in the tournament (0-4), wound up in 15th (last) place.

The gold-medal game featuring the United States and Chinese Taipei is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sunday and can be viewed here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Delle Donne, U.S. reach World University Games final

UPDATE: The World University Games gold medal women's basketball will be streamed live here. Registration is free. 

In what was by far its closest game of the tournament, Delaware star Elena Delle Donne had a tournament-high 22 points (on 24 shots) and 11 rebounds to lead the United States past Australia 79-67 in the World University Games semifinals Friday in Shenzhen, China. The U.S. will face fellow unbeaten Chinese Taipei, which survived Sweden 71-70 in overtime in the other semifinal,  in the gold medal game. Chinese Taipei's Yingli Huang made the second of two free throws with two seconds left to break a 70-70 tie.

The gold medal game is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sunday (Eastern time).

The U.S.-Australia game featured some unusual shot distribution from the winners, particularly considering how many weapons Team USA can deploy. Delle Donne made 10 of 24 field goal attempts. Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins, who added 17 points, was 7 of 20 from the field. No other Team USA player took more than than 7 shots; Delle Donne and Diggins combined for 44 of their team's 78 shot attempts. But hey, it worked.

The U.S. (5-0) was coming off a 66-point victory over Finland in the quarterfinals. It's previous "closest'' game was a 46-point decision over Slovakia.

Also see: Delle Donne's video diary

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yes, Virginia, you're playing Cal this season

Joanne Boyle
There will be a separate event buried within this year's Rainbow Wahine Showdown in Hawaii - the Joanne Boyle Classic featuring the coach's new team, Virginia, against the one she just left, California. The one now coached by her former assistant at Richmond and Cal, Lindsay Gottlieb. According to the just-released Cal schedule, the Cavaliers and Golden Bears will face off on Nov. 27, the final day of the event.

We stand corrected, because our guess was the tournament would tweak the schedule to avoid these two teams meeting. I mean, it's an awkward situation for all involved, and we suspected most schools/coaches would avoid it more strongly than Miami football avoided compliance.

Maybe such an adjustment wasn't possible. So here we go, Cavaliers vs. Golden Bears, Boyle vs. Boyle (sort of). We expect the Cavaliers to be excited to play every game, but we're pretty sure they'll have a little extra juice for this one. And they'd better, because we know the Golden Bears will.

For Boyle, it'll be one of two emotional matchups in the event. On Nov. 26, the Cavaliers will face Texas, which is coached by Gail Goestenkors. Boyle spent nine years as an assistant to Goestenkors at Duke.

Click here for a look at the scheduling tidbits for all of Virginia's Division I schools based on the releases from opposing teams.  

Debbie Ryan to receive coaching honor

Former Virginia coach Debbie Ryan will be one of the three recipients of the Lapchick Character Award, a four-year-old honor recognizing her character and coaching ability. Ryan, former Princeton men's basketball coach Pete Carril and longtime Mount St. Mary's men's coach Jim Phelan will be feted at a ceremony on Nov. 17 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Ryan will be the fourth women's basketball coach to earn the tribute, following Tennessee's Pat Summitt, the late Kay Yow and former Texas coach Jody Conradt.

Buchan gets better, Great Britain gets beat

Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan turned in her best performance of the World University Games, but it wasn't enough as Great Britain fell to Lithuania 79-69 in a classification round Thursday in Shenzhen, China.

As for the juggernaut U.S. team, Delaware star Elena Delle Donne scored the first eight points of the game and tied for team-high honors with 17 in the contest as Team USA filleted Finland 96-30 in quarterfinal acton. Notre Dame's Devereaux Peters also scored 17 points for the U.S., whose 66-point margin of victory was high even by this team's dominating standards. The U.S. had won its previous three games by an average of just over 52 points. The unbeaten (and untested) U.S. (4-0) will face Australia in the semifinals Friday at 8:30 a.m. The Aussies (4-0) advanced with a 79-44 victory over Canada. Chinese Taipei (4-0) will play Sweden (3-1) in the other semifinal. The gold medal game will be played on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Remember to keep up with Delle Donne's exploits through her video diary.

For Great Britain, Buchan had personal tournament highs in points (6), rebounds (7) and minutes played (21) as she continues rounding into form after a year-long absence from competitive play because of injuries. After starting Great Britain's first three games, Buchan came off the bench against Lithuania but wound up being on the court longer than all but three other Great Britain players. Buchan's Lady Monarchs teammate Becca Allison contributed 2 points in 8 minutes. Chantelle Handy led Great Britain with 19 points.

The loss was Great Britain's third straight since a tournament-opening victory over Slovakia.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chatting with Richmond's Ginny Doyle

As good as Richmond's Ginny Doyle was as a player - and trust us, folks, the girl could ball - it looks like she may be an even better coach.
Spiders head coach Michael Shafer seems to concur, as he recently promoted the longtime assistant to associate head coach and given her greater responsibilities within the program.
But we might argue that Doyle's greatest gift is as a storyteller. To go with this post we served up a LadySwish six-pack of Ginny-specific questions, and the woman absolutely smacked them out of the park with detailed, candid and at times humorous answers (although we're not sure Shaquille O'Neal would be amused).
Maybe we've been giving Shafer too much credit for Richmond's success the past few years....
Besides money (we assume), what is the biggest perk that comes with your new job?
I was pretty involved as an assistant coach for quite some time here at Richmond. So to be honest, I'm not sure there are any "perks" other than just having the title of Associate Head Coach. I've had quite a bit of responsibility as an assistant over the past 12 years, so I don't really consider it a "new job." I plan on continuing to handle the same responsibilities that I have in the past and welcome any new ones that may arise throughout the year.
When was the last time someone called you Virginia?
It's not often. But the last time was at the airport ticket counter this past July traveling for recruiting. Every time I walk up to the ticket counter in any airport and hand them my driver's license, the ticket agent generally chuckles and says, "Oh, Virginia from Virginia." It never fails! I'm usually referred to as Ginny as I have been from an early age. I probably shouldn't admit this but it is quite funny looking back at it now (I have share it with our team in the past and they have gotten a good laugh out of it). But when I was in kindergarten, the teacher called home to my mother after the first week of school and told her she thought I had a hearing problem and that my mother should take me to the doctor to get it checked out. My mother was a little baffled as she insisted to the teacher that she hadn't noticed a hearing problem with me at home. After a few days had gone by, the teacher was still insisting that when she calls on me in the classroom, I wasn't hearing her or paying attention to her. My mother then asked her what she was calling me and the teacher replied, "I'm calling her by her name, Virginia!" My mother just laughed and had to tell her, "We all call her Ginny at home and that's what she goes by. She doesn't know her name is Virginia!"
Of the current Spiders, who is the player about whom longtime Richmond fans are most likely to say, "She reminds me of a young Ginny Doyle."
Abby Oliver
This is a tough question, because our current Spiders all seem very different than I was as a player. But if I had to pick one, I would say Abby Oliver's game would be most similar. As a side note, Abby usually is the one who grabs me after our practices to challenge me to a free throw-shooting contest. We've had many over the past three years; it's an ongoing contest that becomes very fun and competitive.
What's the biggest key to relating to today's kids?
I think there are several key ingredients. First, I think you have to have a sense of humor, so that they know you can have some fun with them. Secondly, they have to know that you genuinely care about them and are willing to take time out of your day to help them or just learn about what's going on in their life. Lastly, I believe you also need to be technologically savvy and advanced to communicate with a kid today since this is how this generation communicates.
You famously made an NCAA Division I-record 66 free throws in a row. So did you take it personally when the Spiders shot 10 of 22 from the line last year at William and Mary?
When we shoot poorly from the line, I have to admit that I do take it a little personal! A few of our fans generally come up to me after games wanting to know how we can shoot poorly from the FT line with me on staff. I believe that FT shooting is a great deal more mental than physical or skill. It helps if you do have good technique, but it's more about a feeling of comfort, having a good feel for the ball and being relaxed that brings confidence for you every time you step to the line. I also believe strongly that you have to have a routine (a simple one) and practice your routine with each FT that you shoot. In order to build a habit, you have to practice being consistent with your routine and technique and it requires a lot of repetition. We do take time out of practice to shoot FTs which I believe is important. But I think sometimes you just have those days when nothing seems to be going in the basket (including FTs). You just hope those days don't come too often! But one thing I have also noticed over the years is that FT shooting is very contagious as a team. So if you can get a couple of players on your team shooting at a high percentage, then it can bring a confidence that will spread throughout the team.
Finally, could you have solved Shaquille O'Neal's free throw-shooting woes?
Wow, this is a tough one! I'm not sure he would want my help because my solution would be drastic - I would recommend some kind of hand reduction surgery. I think his hands are too big for the size of the ball. I'm not sure this solution would be worth it, however, just to shoot a better FT percentage!

VCU unveils its 2011-12 non-conference lineup

Another day, another schedule.

One day after Norfolk State unveiled its entire 2011-12 slate, VCU provides an informative look at its non-conference lineup, complete with abbreviated game notes on each of the opponents. So instead of just knowing when and against whom the Rams play, we also know that:

- VCU's Nov. 19 trip to the University of Missouri-Kansas City will return Rams senior Jennifer Lane (Wichita, Kansas) and junior Robyn Hobson (Leawood, Kansas) to their home state;

- The Rams have lost three straight and 10 of their last 12 against Richmond (Dec. 1 at VCU) but owns a 33-32 advantage in career meetings;

- If the Rams advance to the final of the University of Miami's tournament (Dec. 28-29 in Coral Gables, Fla.), they'll likely be facing a Hurricanes team that went 20-0 at home last season.

Good stuff, VCU. Can't wait for the games.

Click here for a look at what we know so far about the schedules of other schools in Virginia based on opposing teams' releases.

U.S. 85, Great Britain 33 at World University Games


A Great Britain squad featuring Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan and Becca Allison became the latest to feel the fury of mighty Team USA as the Americans blitzed the Brits 85-33 in the teams' final preliminary round of the World University Games. The United States has now beaten its three WUG opponents by a combined 158 points.

Delaware star and Team USA starter Elena Delle Donne had 10 points and 6 rebounds for the U.S. Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins led the balanced attack with 13 points and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike added 12 for the United States (3-0), which as the first-place team in Pool B will meet Pool A runner-up Finland (2-1) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 10 p.m (Eastern time).

Buchan, still trying to regain her form after sitting out nearly a full year with injury, went scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes for Great Britain (1-2), which shot just 18 percent from the field and nearly produced more turnovers (32) than points. Buchan has started all three games. Allison managed 2 points in a 28-minute stint of the bench, by far her longest outing of the tournament.

The game actually featured four CAA players, as Great Britain's Renee Johnson-Allen (Drexel) also took part along with Delle Donne, Buchan and Allison.

I noticed yesterday when I saw them in the village, I was like, ‘I know these girls.’ " Delle Donne said. "Two of them are on ODU’s team and one was from Drexel, so it was pretty cool out there playing with girls in my conference.It says the CAA is definitely a strong conference. I’m definitely proud of the conference and glad to see we’re out here representing it."

Great Britain played without former Marshall star Chantelle Handy, who averaged 20.5 points in Great Britain's first two games, the third-highest average in the tournament. It is unclear why Handy wasn't available.

The loss dropped Great Britain into the classification rounds for 9th-16th place. The third-place team from Pool B, Great Britain will next face Lithuania (0-3), the fourth-place team from Pool A.

Click here to follow Delle Donne's adventures in China through her video diary.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Norfolk State releases 2011-12 schedule

Two days after we scraped together whatever bits and pieces of Virginia schools' 2011-12 schedules we could find, Norfolk State gives us something to really chew on - the Spartans' full 28-game slate of non-conference and MEAC contests, plus one exhibition at Elizabeth City State.

After playing on the road in three of their first four games, the Spartans will have four straight and five of their next six at Echols Arena, a rare home stretch for a team that has typically spent most Novembers and Decembers checking baggage.

“We wanted to be at home as much as possible,” NSU coach Debra Clark said. “And with some of these being return games, it will put us at a very good comfort level, both playing at home and against familiar opponents, as we get going early on in our season.” 

The slate is also highlighted by six non-conference games against in-state foes - home games against Virginia Union, William and Mary, Radford and George Mason and road matchups at VCU and Longwood.

Regardless of what happens in non-conference, however, the key for NSU will be ready to really bring it once MEAC play commences. Last season, the Spartans surprised many by winning six of their first 10 games, including a 75-70 overtime triumph over a McNeese State team that went 26-7, won the Southland Conference tournament and reached the NCAAs for the first time in program history. But the Spartans were just 3-15 the rest of the way as NSU's youthful roster appeared to hit a collective wall midway through conference play.

Here's hoping the Spartans took their offseason workouts seriously and are prepared physically and mentally for the full grind. Because while nothing is a given, this schedule sets them up with several opportunities for success in and out of conference play.

The Buchan-Delle Donne World University Games report

Elena Delle Donne
The Old Dominion duo of Mairi Buchan and Becca Allison each got on the scoreboard, but it wasn't enough in Great Britain's 68-55 loss to Brazil in World University Games pool play Monday in Shenzhen, China. Buchan, who started, had 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting (and 5 turnovers) in 14-plus minutes; Allison made her only field goal attempt and scored 2 points and added 2 assists in 6 minutes as a reserve. Neither Buchan nor Allison scored in Great Britain's WUG opener, a 64-51 win over Slovakia.

Meanwhile, Elena Delle Donne and her U.S. teammates continued rolling through pool play, waxing Slovakia 114-68. Team USA opened the event Sunday with a 112-53 pasting of Brazil that Delle Donne led with a team-high 17 points. Against Slovakia, Delle Donne, who has started both games, posted a double-double (10 points, a game-high 10 rebounds) and was one of six U.S. players in double figures. The Blue Hens star's points came in somewhat unusual fashion - she made 3 of 4 3-pointers but missed all 6 of her 2-pointers. Most surprising of all: Delle Donne made just 1 of 2 free throws. She shot a ridiculous 94.4 from the line for the Blue Hens last season.

Click here to watch Delle Donne's video diary of her adventures in China.

Buchan, Allison and Great Britain will try their luck against the U.S., which if we understand the time difference correctly with go off at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Buchan returns, Delle Donne shines at World University Games

Mairi Buchan
Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan saw her first meaningful action in more than a year as the World University Games began its week-long women's basketball tournament Saturday in Shenzhen, China.

Buchan started for Great Britain and logged 16 minutes in a 64-51 victory over Slovakia. It was a rusty debut, as Buchan missed all six of her shots from the field, did not have a rebound or assist and turned it over three times. But at least she's back on the court. Injuries had essentially rendered Buchan inactive since the 2010 European U20 Championships last July, as she sat out the entire 2010-11 season for Old Dominion.

Buchan hopes to use this tournament as an audition for a spot on Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team.

ODU's Becca Allison - or Rebecca Ann Allison as she is known in World University Games boxscores - also played for Great Britain and did not score in 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, Delaware star Elena Delle Donne went off on Brazil - and so did most of her teammates - racking up a team-high 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in just 12 minutes in a 112-53 rout. Delle Donne started for the U.S., along with Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike. So let's see, that's Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Stanford, Stanford and...Delaware? Way to represent the CAA, Elena!

The U.S. will take on Slovakia and Great Britain will face Brazil on Sunday (which will actually be Monday in China. The much-anticipated - at least by us - U.S.-Great Britain game follows on Monday (Tuesday in Shenzhen).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ODU's Selig on Larry: "I never intended it to play out in the media"

Dave Fairbank of the Daily Press sat down with ODU director of athletics Wood Selig recently, and the result was a fascinating interview on a range of subjects, including the contentious end of Wendy Larry's run as the Lady Monarchs women's basketball coach.

Said Selig: "If there's one regret, it was the way that all played out. I never intended it to play out in the media. I never intended to play out publicly. The conversations that Wendy and I had privately were intended to be just that — private. But it got way too public, way too quickly. I do regret that. In my heart of hearts, I was hoping that Wendy would stay one more year — the final year of her contract — and take a kind of farewell victory lap around the league and around the country, and then move into an administrative and fund-raising role."

Here's what we wished had happened. Selig and Larry agree on a three-year extension, but one that could be bought out at the end of next season for relative peanuts, say, $50,000. The extension serves as a public vote of confidence and gives Larry the power to recruit. The low buyout is a private acknowledgment that there are issues within the program (recruiting, academic performance, etc.) that need to be addressed quickly. The pressure would have been on Larry in 2011-12, but we've seen her rise to the occasion before. If successful, Larry re-launches her Hall-of-Fame career. If not, she gets to "resign" with full honors and the school isn't on the hook for mucho dinero. The public never knows about the buyout.

Simple, no? But since when is life simple?

2011-12 non-conference schedule tidbits

Complete 2011-12 schedule

Non-conference schedule

Complete 2011-12 schedule

CAA non-conference schedules

UNC Wilmington             Delaware                     Hofstra         Georgia State

Nov. 11 - at Quinnipiac (14-16, Northeast Conference)
   - A 4 p.m. start. First-ever meeting between Dukes and Bobcats.
Nov. 13 - at American (22-9, Patriot League)
   - Old-school CAA matchup. Eagles are 33-7 at home under coach Matt Corkery, who this season has been joined by former ODU assistant Belle Koclanes.
Nov. 17 - vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (12-19, MEAC)
   - First-ever meeting between the two schools.
Nov. 20 - vs. Middle Tennessee State (23-8, Sun Belt)
   - The Blue Raiders rallied to defeat the Dukes 83-75 last season in Murfreesboro. Junior Tina Stewart had 10 points and 4 assists in the game; on March 3, Stewart was fatally stabbed in her off-campus apartment.
Dec. 18 - vs. Central Connecticut State (19-11, Northeast Conference)
   - The Blue Devils, who graduated four seniors from last season, feature first-team All-Name sisters Jaclyn and Jessica Babe.
Jan. 3 - vs. Duquesne (24-9, Atlantic 10)

Nov. 19 - at George Washington (8-21, Atlantic 10)
   -  - The last time these teams met,  in 2002, Tech spanked GW 68-52 in the second round of the WNIT.
Nov. 25 - vs. Minnesota (12-18, Big Ten), St. Mary's (19-13, West Coast) or Quinnipiac (14-16, Northeast) in Concord Hilton Thanksgiving Classic (St. Mary's)
Nov. 26 - vs. Minnesota, St. Mary's or Quinnipiac in Concord Hilton Thanksgiving Classic (St. Mary's)
   - A good field for the rebuilding Hokies. Plus, speaking as someone who used to live in those parts, Moraga, Calif. is beautiful this time of year.
Nov. 30 - at Iowa (22-9, Big Ten, 5th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
   - The Hawkeyes mauled the Hokies 72-43 last season in Cancun. Tech is 1-3 lifetime in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Dec. 6 - at Penn State (25-10, Big Ten)
   - The loaded Nittany Lions return a first-team All-Big Ten selection (Alex Bentley), a conference all-defense team pick (Nikki Greene) and the league's freshman of the year (Maggie Lucas).
Dec. 21 - at Florida Gulf Coast (28-4, Atlantic Sun)
   - The Eagles have completed a textbook four-year transition to Division I and are now eligible for all A-Sun and NCAA tournaments. Last year's outstanding record included a 73-65 victory over the Hokies during the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun.
Dec. 28 - vs. Cincinnati (9-20, Big East) in Virginia Tech Tournament
Dec. 29 - vs. High Point (16-15, Big South) or UMBC (20-12, America East) in Virginia Tech Tournament.

Nov. 5 - vs. Alaska Anchorage (exhibition)
   - Sure is a long way to travel for a practice game. Will be interested to hear the story behind this one.
Nov. 11 - vs. Appalachian State (25-7, Southern Conference)
   - Season opener will feature the college debut of Appalachian State's Maryah Sydnor, who scored 2,041 points in high school and led Radford High to the 2011 VHSL Group A Division II state title. Sydnor had signed with Longwood but was granted a release after the Lancers changed head coaches.
Nov. 14 - at Providence (13-16, Big East)
   - Providence head coach Phil Seymore was a men's basketball assistant at Richmond from 1997-2000.
Nov. 16 - vs. High Point (16-15, Big South)
   - New High Point head coach Jennifer Hoover spent four years as an assistant to Debbie Ryan at Virginia and three years under new Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle at Cal. Hoover has also had assistant coaching stops at VCU and James Madison. In addition, High Point assistant DeUnna Hendrix was recruited by and played for Boyle at Richmond.
Nov. 20 - vs. Tennessee (34-3, SEC)
Nov. 25 - vs. Hawaii (11-19, WAC) in Waikiki Beach Mariott Resort Showdon (Hawaii)
Nov. 26 - vs. Texas (19-14, Big 12) in Waikiki Beach Mariott Resort Showdown (Hawaii)
Nov. 27 - vs. California in Waikiki Beach Mariott Resort Showdown (Hawaii)
   - Should be an emotional trip for Boyle. The Texas game pits her against former boss Gail Goestenkors; Boyle was an assistant to Coach G for nine highly successful seasons at Duke. Also, California, the program from which Boyle just departed, is also in this field.
Dec. 1 - vs. Indiana (9-20, Big Ten, 5th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
   - The Cavaliers are 2-0 against Indiana (last meeting in 2009) and 3-1 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.
Dec. 18 - vs. Radford (14-16, Big South)

Nov. 25 - vs. Oklahoma (23-12, Big 12) in Vanderbilt Tournament
   - Vanderbilt and Lipscomb square off in the other game. Interestingly, Oklahoma's schedule already lists Vanderbilt as its second-day opponent. We understand why they'd make that assumption, but it's a little cheeky to put it in print.
Nov. 26 - vs. Vanderbilt (20-12, SEC) or Lipscomb (9-21, Atlantic Sun) in Vanderbilt Tournament
Dec. 31 - at Radford (14-16, Big South)
March 2 - vs. Radford (14-16, Big South)

Nov. 13 - at Georgia Tech (24-11, ACC)
   - The Lady Monarchs opened the 2010-11 season with a 65-63 win over the Yellow Jackets at the Constant Center.

Nov. 17at Stanford (33-3, Pac-10)
   - The return game of a home-and-home set that started two years ago when the Cardinal defeated the Lady Monarchs in ODU's 2009-10 season opener. 
Nov. 24 - vs. Alabama (18-15, SEC) at Paradise Jam (Virgin Islands)
   - The Crimson Tide reached the WNIT round of 16 before falling to eventual champion Toledo.
Nov. 25 - vs. Louisiana Tech (24-8, WAC) at Paradise Jam (Virgin Islands)
   - Long-time women's basketball powers, the Lady Techsters are working their way back into the national conversation under former star Teresa Weatherspoon.
Nov. 26 - vs. Seton Hall (8-22, Big East) at Paradise Jam (Virgin Islands)
   - Anne Donovan, meet the Lady Monarchs. Lady Monarchs, Anne Donovan. What, you guys have already met? Oh...
Nov. 30 - at George Washington (8-21, Atlantic 10)
   - The Lady Monarchs embarrassed the Colonials 60-35 last season in Norfolk; GW was playing its fourth game in eight days.
Dec.. 7 - vs. Wofford (8-22, Southern Conference)
Dec. 21 - vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (12-19, MEAC)
   - An early Christmas homecoming for UMES freshman Courtney Braxton from Virginia Beach (Princess Anne) and UMES sophomore Sha-Sha-Kiyla Finnery from Portsmouth (Wilson). Also, Lady Hawks head coach Fred Batchelor currently resides in Virginia Beach, according to his bio on the school's website.
Dec. 28 - vs. Tennessee (34-3, SEC)

Nov. 18 - vs. Navy (20-12, Patriot League)
Nov. 28 - at Norfolk State (9-19, MEAC)
Dec. 19 - at Long Island (19-11, Northeast Conference)
Dec. 21 - at Seton Hall (8-22, Big East)
   - Anne Donovan-led Seton Hall defeated the Tribe 73-67 last year in Williamsburg.
Dec. 28 - vs. George Washington (8-21, Atlantic 10)
   - The Colonials lead the series 6-1, but the teams haven't met since 1998.

Nov. 11 - vs. American (22-9, Patriot League)
   - The CAA knowledge of American assistant Belle Koclanes, formerly of ODU, could come in handy for the Eagles.
Nov. 21 - at Stony Brook (7-23)
   - The Patriots mauled the Seawolves 74-48 last season in Fairfax. Stony Brook's roster includes junior guard Sam Landers from West Springfield High and junior forward Gerda Gatling from Forest Park High.
Dec. 22 - vs. George Washington (8-21, Atlantic 10)
   - The Patriots will be out to avenge a 67-58 loss to the Colonials in last season's "Battle of the Orange Line."
Dec. 29 - at Ohio (9-22, MAC)
   - George Mason prevailed 54-44 when these teams met in Fairfax last season.
Jan. 2 - at Norfolk State (9-19, MEAC)

Nov. 11 - at Georgetown (24-11 Big East)
Dec. 3 - vs. Radford (14-16, Big South)
Dec. 11vs. Norfolk State (9-19, MEAC)
Dec. 18 - at Wright State (20-13, Horizon League) in Wright State Invitational
Dec. 19 - vs. Central Michigan (20-11, MAC) in Wright State Invitational
Dec. 20 - vs. Southeast Missouri (8-21, Ohio Valley) in Wright State Invitational
   - Wright State is coming off its first 20-win season as a Division I member and first D-I postseason appearance (WBI). Central Michigan reached the WNIT. Southeast Missouri will be led by new coach Ty Margenthaler, a former assistant at Wisconsin.
Dec. 22 - at Cincinnati (9-20, Big East)
Dec. 28 - at Notre Dame (31-8, Big East)
   - A homecoming for first-year Longwood assistant Lindsay Schrader, a first-team All-Big East selection for the Fighting Irish in 2009-10. Schrader will be coaching against several players she once played with, including Notre Dame's World University Games stars Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel and Devereaux Peters.
Dec. 31 - at Appalachian State (25-7, Southern Conference)
   - Appalachian State assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Andrea Gross played for William and Mary from 1998-2002 and was a team captain her senior year.
Jan. 4 - at San Diego State (12-17, Mountain West)
   - No matter what happens on the court, the Lancers will love the weather.
Jan. 21 - vs. Dartmouth (7-21, Ivy League)
   - Ex-WNBA great Yolanda Griffith has signed on to be one Dartmouth's assistant coaches.
Jan. 23 - at Murray State (9-21, Ohio Valley)
Jan. 25 - at Eastern Kentucky (6-21, Ohio Valley)
Feb. 20 - vs. Gardner-Webb (23-11, Big South)

Nov. 12 - at Pitt (14-17, Big East)
   - Panthers coach Agnus Berenato says she has the youngest team in Division I. We're not sure how she can say that yet, but it certainly has to be one of the youngest - the squad has no seniors or juniors.
Nov. 22 - at Florida (20-15, SEC)
   - The Lady Pirates scored one of the most significant victories in the program's Division I history by upending the Gators last season at Hampton. It was Hampton's first-ever win over an SEC team.
Nov. 26 - at IPFW (20-11, Summit League)
   - The Lady Pirates needed a Quanneisha Perry putback at the double-overtime buzzer to escape with a 78-77 decision when these teams met in Hampton last season.
Dec. 28 - vs. Central Michigan (20-11, MAC) in Tulane DoubleTree Classic
   - Classic contrast in styles. Central Michigan ranked 3rd in Division I in scoring; Hampton was 12th in D-I in scoring defense.
Dec. 29 - vs. Tulane (23-11, Conference USA) or College of Charleston (10-20, Southern) in Tulane DoubleTree Classic
   - Tulane has won its own tournament in 12 of the past 15 years including last season, when the Green Wave nipped Old Dominion 62-59 in the title game.

Nov. 11 - at Navy (20-12, Patriot League)