Thursday, April 26, 2007

<---There Won't Be Many of These on the Terps' out-of-conference schedule next season. Instead, Chris King reports in the Terrapin Times that Maryland is scheduled to host Ohio State, Middle Tennessee, Temple and Pittsburgh at Comcast this fall. And, away from home, they have a date on Sunday, November 11th, in Chapel Hill with Oklahoma and the Paris Twins at the Hall of Fame Classic. (Sounds like there may be a road trip in the BasketCases' future!) Plus, the Terps will be traveling to Rutgers, as well as to the West Coast for a match-up with UCLA (and perhaps a rematch with the UCSB Gauchos).

And, if that isn't enough, they are also the 2007-08 season's ACC team participating in the Women's Preseason National Invitation Tournament! This year's other WNIT participants (and, therefore, possible Terrapin opponents) include LSU (a Final Four team led by returning senior 6'6" All-American Sylvia Fowles and now coached by the legendary Van Chancellor), as well as Notre Dame and Michigan State (under their new coach TBD).

Seeing Red . . . King also tells Terrapin Times readers that the Terps' games vs Ohio State, Oklahoma and Rutgers are already on the schedule for national TV audiences -- and that Fox SportsNet may pick up the UCLA game .

Maryland fans know that the strength of this out-of-conference schedule is a departure from the somewhat lighter-fare of previous seasons. According to King, Coach B said of this new schedule, ". . . we feel like we needed to be challenged." All the BasketCases have to say about this schedule is "Wow . . . we can't wait!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

She's Number Two! Thanks to SportsPageMike for these Media Day photos of Shay in her new (and we might add, very flattering) Liberty uniform.

Obviously, she looks genuinely happy to be wearing the Lib colors . . . and the early word from training camp is that Shay is a "quick study". (No Maryland fan could possibly be surprised by that assessment!)

Besides SportsPageMike, the BasketCases would like to give a shout-out to the new Official Shay Doron Website:

Maryland fans . . . be sure to bookmark it in your Favorites so you can keep up on all things Shay! Of course, you may continue to follow her career -- Un-Officially -- by checking in with the BasketCases.

Photo credits: SportsPageMike

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Memo to Megan: Lock Your Car Doors!

It seems like Megan Vogel, the Mystics' second round draft pick from South Dakota State, is turning up all over the Internet . . . and she seems to be one likeable kid. How can you not like a kid who's proud of the fact that her school has a rabbit as a mascot! (Please don't tell her that the Mystics used to have a rabbit . . . or that he ended up as the Market Salamander Special-of-the-Week). Check out this videotaped interview of Megan on You Tube. (Many thanks to the folks at She's Got Game blog for alerting us to this.)

And it looks as though the BasketCases may even have some blogging competition from Megan! In a charming blog on, Megan writes about being a small-town kid from St. Peter, Minnesota, a town so small that "you can leave your car running when you go into the grocery store to keep it warm during the winter." Megan, the BasketCases would like to give you a little bit of advice for living in the D.C. area: if you'd like to see your car again after you emerge from the grocery store, please lock it and take the keys! Oh, and Megan, we're sure your Dad, being a CPA -- one of our most admired professions -- has answered your question by now, but for the the rest of our loyal readers who may still be wondering . . . 401(k) refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code (which makes for great reading if you ever have trouble sleeping!).

We can't wait to see Megan in action!

Photo Credit: South Dakota State (home of the Jackrabbits!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Apparently there's now a mole in the Blue Devils' athletic department. The BasketCases' favorite reporter, Mechelle Voepel, reports on that "a source with knowledge of the hiring process" has told her that Michigan State coach Joanne McCallie (yes, the very same Coach McCallie whose hubby, John, was recently arrested in Florida for biting a police officer, and the very same Coach McCallie who recently negotiated -- but perhaps didn't sign -- a 5-year contract extension with MSU) is about to be named the new CMFLTH (Coach Maryland Fans Love To Hate) . . . the successor to Gail Goestenkors, the Head Coach of Duke!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Turtle Fest Feast. The Terps held their annual team banquet on Monday night at Martin's Crosswinds in Greenbelt. The BasketCases sent a representative, of course. We apologize to our loyal blog readers for this delay in posting, but our faithful computer picked this week to just die on us. That's the bad news. The good news is that it waited until after the end of the college season to do so, and hopefully has given us sufficient time before the WNBA season starts to get a new one and have it humming along perfectly before tip off. Of course, we never intended to be beta testers for Bill Gates's new Vista operating system, but so it goes. (If anyone has any thoughts about the merits of the different versions of Vista or anything else on new computers, by all means leave us a comment or send us an email. We aren't as computer nerdy as you may think from this blog!!) The death of our computer also means that we can't bring you all of the photos we wanted to share with you from the banquet (including one of the evening's consensus DIVA, Crystal Langhorne), since our backup laptop doesn't have any photo editing software on it. Just use your imagination!!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled coverage of basketball . . . The banquet was huge fun as always. This year, though, with the upcoming graduation of Shay Doron and Aurelie Noirez, there were also some four-hanky moments, particularly when Shay and Aurelie each broke down in tears as they thanked their teammates and coaches for their four incredible years here. Shay in fact started to thank "Coach B" for "allowing me to share your vision," but got so emotional, she couldn't manage to get the words out.

The biggest surprise of the night was that Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was the MC!! (As ESPN viewers know, Lieberman has legally changed her first name to "Hall of Famer Nancy." For brevity, however, we will call her by her nickname, Nancy.) As members of Nancy's generation and great admirers of what Nancy has meant to women's basketball, the BasketCases were pretty excited that she was there. And, in fact, Nancy turned out to be charming, funny, and wonderfully self-deprecating.

Now, on to a few photos:

Shay Doron signing the first of what we hope will be countless WNBA basketballs.

As the players started to arrive, the room began to look like a M*A*S*H unit. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood just had surgery on her patella. She said that her rehab will take six months (gulp). Ashleigh Newman was also on crutches, having just had some cartilage cleaned out of her knee. Christie Marrone was still on crutches because of a late-season stress fracture. And Emery Wallace will soon be on crutches herself, as she's having yet another knee surgery very soon. We wish ALL of these players a speedy and successful recovery!! And no injuries to anyone else!!

Marissa Coleman making the rounds during dinner.

The team on display as they ate. The room itself was rather garish, with mirrored walls and even a mirrored ceiling. Apparently, it's used for wedding receptions and Bar Mitzvahs.

Former Maryland Associate Head Coach and newly-appointed Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz was in attendance. We appreciated having the opportunity to say goodbye to him and wish him well in person. Speaking of moving on . . . Coach Frese announced that Mark Pearson, the Director of Basketball Operations, is leaving to return to Iowa. The players gave him the greatest compliment they could by telling Coach B to "hire someone exactly like Mark." As Coach B said, Mark is so terrific that will be a difficult thing to do. The BasketCases wish Mark all the best (and hope he doesn't eat too many loose meat sandwiches once he gets home, and doesn't forget to return all those Tickle-Me-Elmo cellphones before he leaves town!)

Nancy Lieberman breaking bread with Ashleigh Newman and Laura Harper.

Proud Mamas: Tamari Doron and Peggy Toliver. Mrs. Doron told us that she was so happy when Shay was drafted by the NY Liberty she was in tears. We told her that we were in tears watching her on TV.

Together again for the last time: the 2006-07 Maryland Women's Basketball Team.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"YES M'AM!" Immediately after Dee Davis of Vandy was drafted by the Houston Comets on Wednesday, she was asked by ESPN interviewer (and former WNBA star) Rebecca Lobo whether she was ready to let her new team know that she was "willing to pass the ball on demand to Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson." Davis's eyes opened wide and she virtually snapped to attention as she said, "For sure. Yes m'am!!" Davis wasn't the only star-struck kid in the WNBA draft suddenly hit by the realization that she was about to join some of her childhood idols, and about to have her dreams come true.

Number three overall pick Armintie Price of Ole Miss, drafted by the Sky, when asked by Lobo whose autograph she'd like to have, answered "probably Lisa Leslie, once she dunks on me and probably sends my layups to the three point line, I'll probably get a picture (taken with her) afterwards."

South Dakota State's Megan Vogel, drafted in the second round by the Mystics, was riding in a taxi back to her hotel in Cleveland when she saw Temple Coach and WNBA legend Dawn Staley on the street. According to Vogel, "I got so excited, and almost pushed my dad out of the cab as it was moving so I could talk to her. We paid the cabbie and she was very nice in letting me take a picture with her."

And the Terps' Shay Doron, who grew up in New York going to Liberty games at Madison Square Garden and was in fact drafted by the Liberty, when asked if she were "happy to be in NY" told, "Oh my . . . if there’s another word for happy . . . thrilled. . . just so, so happy, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s a dream come true. I’m in New York. Madison Square Garden. I’m speechless."

In fact, it seemed to the BasketCases as we watched the WNBA draft that these college seniors as a group appeared more in awe about what was happening to them than perhaps any other class of draftees to date. Thinking about it, we realized that the WNBA has existed for nearly half of their lives; most were pre-teens back in 1997 during the league's inaugural season. Most were already playing basketball, the rest soon would be. And while the league's early stars grew up watching the NBA, these young women actually grew up with female role models who played professional basketball. They went to their games, they watched them on TV, they idolized them. And now they get to play with them. Thanks to Title IX and the WNBA, it is now possible for little girls to grow up watching women play professional basketball in Madison Square Garden, to dream about playing there themselves, and to have those dreams come true.

We hope that never changes.

Photo Credit: NBA-TV (a joyful Shay Doron and her mother immediately after Shay learns that some dreams really do come true)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The enormously fan-friendly Mystics held a draft-viewing party this afternoon at the ESPN Zone in downtown Washington. Although it was a work day, one of the BasketCases was able to attend and provide this eyewitness report. (It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it!)

The festivities got under way at noon, an hour before the draft, with a warm welcome from Mystics President Sheila Johnson and COO Curtis Symonds, two of the most approachable team execs in the league.

As we waited for the draft to begin, Tamara James and Alana Beard modeled the new WNBA uniforms for the crowd, our first in-person glimpse of what the players will be wearing this season.

The players liked the look of the uniforms -- "they will make a statement," said James -- but both found the shorts "too tight." Fortunately, we were told, they come in larger sizes!

USA Today's Oscar Dixon answered questions from the crowd, including the BasketCases' query about why it's so hard for women's sports to get media attention and what he considers when deciding what to cover. Dixon noted the low attendance at some of the NCAA Regional sites, and said a newspaper's job is to cover what its readers are interested in. If attendance doesn't indicate sufficient interest, the paper won't cover the event. "It's not our job to promote a sport," said Dixon.

Alana Beard, now in civvies, mingled with the fans and graciously signed autographs. Asked the inevitable question about Coach G leaving Duke, Alana said it made her sad.

The Mystics' war room was actually in the ESPN Zone, behind glass doors and not far from where the fans were seated. Before the picks of Bernice Mosby and Megan Vogel in the first and second rounds, respectively, Sheila Johnson and Linda Hargrove emerged to tell the crowd in advance of the TV announcement who the Mystics would be choosing and why. They candidly answered questions about the picks and what we should expect. They were extremely excited to get these two players and had had their eyes on them for some time. In the third round, Linda explained they would be picking the best available player. When that turned out to be Gillian Goring, a huge cheer of approval went up from the few die-hard fans who were still left (it was now about 3 PM), many of whom (including the BasketCases of course) had seen Goring play in the ACC. And New York's selection of Shay Doron in the second round also drew loud cheers, as well as the familiar "Shay Shay Shay" chant of the Maryland fans. It was particularly special to see the emotion, joy, and pride on the faces of Shay's parents and Coach Frese, all of whom were with Shay in the WNBA studio.

Linda Hargrove and Sheila Johnson, obviously very happy about how things were going. Linda described Mosby as "a young DeLisha Milton-Jones." She said "you will love her."

Head Coach Richie Adubato explaining what a great athlete Megan Vogel is. When asked about his sweater, Richie said, "It cost two dollars." Well, Richie, as our grandmothers used to say, "You get what you pay for." (Seriously, Richie was, as always, a dazzling display of color.)

A long but extremely fun-filled afternoon draws to a close, as Linda stops to watch some of the action on TV.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases

Shay Returns to the Big Apple! Maryland's Heart & Soul, Shay Doron, was drafted today by the New York Liberty of the WNBA. Shay was the third player selected in Round 2 of the Draft. Shay will be joining another rookie, Jessica Davenport of Ohio State, who was acquired as part of a surprise trade today that sent Liberty All-Star Becky Hammon to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

The BasketCases are really happy for Shay, who gets to return to one of her homes. And Lib fans . . . you are going to LOVE Shay!!

More on the WNBA draft later . . .

Note: The Liberty play the Mystics in Washington at the Verizon Center twice this summer: Friday, August 3rd and Thursday, August 16th. Both games tip-off at 7:00 PM. If you aren't already a Mystics season ticketholder (you should be!) be sure to buy your tickets for these games now, so you don't miss out on the opportunity to welcome Shay back to one of her other homes, the DC area!


The News. Women's basketball has a new National Champion. Congratulations to the Lady Vols, who beat Rutgers last night to claim the crown. The final score was 59-46 (yes, that's right), and unless you bleed orange, it wasn't exactly an exciting game, or the one you'd pick for those one-women's-basketball-game-a-year viewers. Unfortunately the same could be said for the two semi-finals.

The Good News. The end of the college season means it's time for the WNBA draft. The action starts at 1 PM today, with the first round televised live on ESPN2, and the two final rounds on NBA-TV. No cable TV at work? Surely you must have a computer. (You're reading this, aren't you?) You can follow the picks on Better yet, if you're anywhere near downtown DC, come on over to the Mystics' draft day party at the ESPN Zone, starting at noon. In addition to the usual fun bunch of Mystics players, coaches, owners, and managers (and a BasketCase), Oscar Dixon, the Pro Basketball Editor of USA Today, will be making a special appearance. Dixon not only covers the WNBA for his paper, he also coordinates USA Today's coverage of women's and men's professional basketball. The Mystics have even arranged for fans to email questions to Dixon in advance (, so that he can answer them at the party. The BasketCases have already written to ask Dixon whether Charm will be back this season.

The Shocking News. (Well, not to us.) Yesterday, Gail Goestenkors announced that she is leaving Duke to become the new Head Coach of the University of Texas, succeeding the legendary Jody Conradt, who resigned at the end of the season. The BasketCases admire Coach G and wish her all the best, and are glad she'll be in another conference so that we can root for her now (unless the Longhorns ever play the Terps of course!). And we extend our sympathies to the Duke players and fans who no doubt are very sad to see her go.

The Best News. Brenda Frese made a special appearance last night on ESPN's pre-game show. Host Trey Wingo (not to be confused with incoming Maryland recruit Drey Mingo) reported on Coach G's move to Texas, noted the head coaching vacancies at such "major programs" as Duke, LSU, and Florida, then turned to Coach B and asked, "who are you talking to?" Coach B's answer was quick and firm: "I'm not talking to anyone. I work for one of the best A.D.s in the country, Kay Yow's sister Debbie, and I have one of the best jobs in the country." The BasketCases couldn't agree more!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mostly Sunny Today, 20% Chance of Showers, Reign Ending Tomorrow Night. On Tuesday, the NCAA will crown a new Women's Basketball D-I National Champion . . . which will officially end Maryland's year-long reign as champs.

Last night during ESPN's coverage of the national semifinals, C. Vivian Stringer, Head Coach of Rutgers, a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the only coach to take teams from 3 different schools to the Final Four, a coach with more than 750 career victories and a coach whose teams have been to the NCAA tournament twenty times . . . that Vivian Stringer . . . remarked that just once she'd like to know what it feels like to win the national championship.

Maryland's coaches know; Maryland's players know; and, Maryland's fans know. And what we all know is that it really truly is something extraordinary. So, while the reign is ending, the memories live on. We feel very fortunate to have shared in the wonder and excitement of the Terps' magical championship season.

(The BasketCases also hope that Coach Stringer gets her wish. With the career she's had . . . we would like her to experience that feeling . . . at least once. And, anyway . . . her team wears Red!)

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Thanks to Matt Wurst of for giving fans a glimpse of the league's new uniforms, at least from the front (and particularly for including the Mystics' uni in the photos . . . Those new stripes look pretty sharp!). The BasketCases aren't quite sure where there'll be room for a player's name on the back (though we've heard rumors that the name may appear in, shall we say, a nontraditional location!) but we'll know soon enough. We imagine that the new jerseys will be very appealing to future-WNBAers like Maryland's Marissa Coleman, who have made an art form of rolling up the material on their shoulders so it's as thin as spaghetti.
Photo Credit: