(This is the first in a series of commentaries on Val Ackerman’s report on the state of women’s basketball in the NCAA.)
The wheels are already turning after the publication of Val Ackerman’s six-months-in-the-making study on the state of women’s basketball in the NCAA – and the first tentative steps have been taken to improve the NCAA Tournament. Of course, nothing major can happen without a lot more meetings and pacifying of various interest groups, but the Women’s Basketball Tournament committee has already decided that schools can host Regional tournaments.
Georgia Tech picked up its third commitment in the 2014 class from the states of New Jersey and New York today when high touted point guard Imani Tilford verbally committed. Tilford, who plays her scholastic ball with Woodlands High School in White Plains, New York and travel ball with the New Jersey Sparks program, chose the Yellow Jackets over offers from Louisville, Memphis, St. Johns and Providence. This past season the 5-7 point guard averaged 25.3 points and 3.8 assists per game for the Falcons.
There's no question that 3x3 basketball is different.
First, obviously, there are only three players on the court, and second, that trio is playing halfcourt basketball. But on top of that, the USA representatives aren't selected from a large group -- instead, teams of four play a tournament, and the winning team represents the United States.
Toni Young was one of three rookies drafted by the New York Liberty this year, as the No. 7 over pick in the 2012 WNBA draft. The Oklahoma State graduate is averaging 4.5 points per game in ten minutes of play. She is the first player from the post-coach Kurt Budke era to make a WNBA roster, and has brought the lessons from his tragic death with her to New York City.
The East is mysterious, as even Connecticut has a shot at postseason, and even Washington can take down Minnesota on the road.
But you have to like Chicago and Atlanta -- they have the best records and the most healthy talent, and when the Dream puts all its talent on the floor (which could happen sooner rather than later), they're positioned for another great late-season run.
After starting the season with a disappointing 10-11 record, the Phoenix Mercury have fired head coach and general manager Corey Gaines and named former University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University men's coach Russ Pennell as the team’s interim head coach.
The Duke Blue Devils scored another top recruit this week when Lynee' Belton, the No. 14-ranked player in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50, made a verbal commitment. Belton's commitment comes just a few days after No. 10 ranked Sierra Calhoun chose the Blue Devils, and with No.