Monday, June 30, 2008

49 Points? Inexcusable!

The BasketCases confess that we bailed on last night's Mystics' game against Seattle at halftime, after listening to 20 minutes of dull, sloppy, ugly basketball in which Washington could only manage to score 12 points in each of the first two quarters. The team in fact went scoreless for nearly the final five minutes of the first period. Tree played everyone who was suited up, to no avail. Players seemed to be coming in and out of the game almost every minute, making us wonder what (if any) the game plan was. At the end of the first 20 minutes, Alana Beard was the only one who came even close to getting the job done, accounting for 10 of the Mystics' 24 points. It was an hour of our lives we can never get back.

Judging from the box score and news reports, the second half was more of the same, as the Mystics came out of the locker room after the break to score a blistering 13 points in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth, losing to the Storm 64-49. With only 64 points, it's not as though Seattle brought its "A" game offensively, but four of Seattle's starters did finish in double figures, and the fifth, the aging Yolanda Griffith, was close with 9. Among the Mystics, however, only AB broke into double digits, with 16 points (but hitting only 6 of 17), and the most anyone else scored was 7 by Mama Taj. The Mystics, who never led in the game, committed 20 turnovers (including a game-high 6 by Alana), managed a mere 8 assisted baskets, shot a paltry 33.9% from the field and an even more pathetic 25% (3 of 12) from behind the arc.

It is just inexcusable for a professional basketball team to play so badly.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Stories.

Great attitude. For Maryland and for Mystics fans, today's South Jersey Courier Post has an interesting feature about Crystal Langhorne. It's not a surprise to read that rookie Lang is working hard to improve her already-skilled game, trying to learn as much as she can from the veterans, and preparing herself mentally to play however many minutes she may be called on to play.

Leadership. Mystics fans no doubt have noticed that Monique Currie has been playing very well lately, displaying the energy and skills we knew she had but hadn't seen on a consistent basis earlier in the season. Mo's important contributions to the Mystics have not been lost on Katie Carrera, who observes in today's Washington Post that Mo is "proving she can be the leader the Mystics need."

Game Day. Tonight, in the second game of their west-coast road trip, the Mystics take on the Seattle Storm in Key Arena at 9pm EDT. As the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports, although stacked with All-Stars, the Storm (8-7) haven't been having as much success thus far this season as many expected. Unfortunately for visiting teams, the Storm's woes have mostly been confined to the road, as they are 1-6 when traveling but an impressive 7-1 at home. The game is not being televised or webcast, but you can listen online.

Motherhood Confirmed. A very reliable source has confirmed that Nikki Teasley is indeed the mother of a baby girl. Congratulations, Nikki T (and thanks, DT)!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is It True . . . that the Mystics' former P-G, Nikki Teasley, is now an M-O-M?

According to a poster on the Rebkell WNBA Message Board, "It was announced at one of the recent Sparks games that she [Nikki T] gave birth to a baby girl."

This is an unconfirmed report; but, if true, we certainly hope that Nikki and her daughter are both doing well. Congratulations, Nikki T!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Well, it took 14 games of the 2008 season -- and an extra five minutes -- but the Mystics have finally beaten a team with a winning record. And they didn't beat just any winning team. No, they went right to the top, defeating the Western Conference-leading Sparks in L.A. last night, in overtime, 77-74.

Down by as many as 14 (!) in the fourth quarter, the Mystics battled back, and tied the game at 74 on a 3-pointer by Coco Miller with 5.6 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime. And the extra period was all Mystics . . . literally. The two teams set a record for fewest points scored in an overtime, as the Mystics held the Sparks scoreless! Meanwhile a single basket, a 3-pointer by Monique Currie with 1:39 left, comprised the only scoring in the overtime period. It wasn't much . . . but it was enough, and the Mystics notch a BIG win -- on the road -- in the first game of their 3-game west coast swing.

For the second game in a row, both Mo Currie and Mama Taj had big nights for the Mystics. Mo outscored both Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker, as she recorded a game-high 24 points (way to go Mo!). Taj, meanwhile, put up a double-double (12 points, 13 boards). Crystal Langhorne got her first start last night in place of Nakia Sanford, whose game has been somewhat off of late. It's a pretty tough assignment for a smallish rookie post to make her first WNBA start against the twin towers (Leslie and Parker) on the Sparks; Lang played nearly 14 minutes, scored 3 points and pulled down 3 boards. Alana Beard fouled out of the game in 29 minutes, but did put up 17 points. The Mystics also made the game tougher for themselves by hitting less than 50% from the free-throw line. But the important thing is they came away with the victory.

A big win like this one is always a good thing. And, coming at the start of a 3-game roadtrip, hopefully it will provide a real boost to the Mystics when they face another winning team, the Seattle Storm, on Sunday at 9 PM EDT.

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Speaking of overtime . . . We hope you were tuned, as we were, to ESPN2 last night for the game between the Fever and the Liberty at MSG. That one wasn't decided at the end of one overtime . . . or two overtimes . . . it turned into a triple-overtime thriller! New York finally won, 102-96. There were more than 20 ties and lead-changes in the game, and it was just fun to watch.
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A WNBA/NBA first . . . In last night's NBA draft, the Washington Wizards used their first-round pick to select 7-foot Nevada sophomore JaVale McGee. If JaVale's last name sounds familar, it should. His mother is the 6'3" 2-time NCAA champion, Olympic gold-medalist and former WNBA player Pam McGee. The drafting of JaVale makes the McGees the first Mother-Son WNBA/NBA duo. Congratulations to Pam and JaVale!

Another Congratulations . . . this one to the WNBA front office! Yesterday evening, while watching that exciting Fever-Liberty game, we saw the debut of a couple of new "Expect Great" WNBA promos, one featuring Diana Taurasi and the other Sue Bird. Gone was all that self-deprecating negative content. Instead, the ads featured action clips of each player, interspersed with commentary from DT and Birdie -- all of a very positive nature -- and ended with the same "Expect Great" tag line. A MAJOR improvement over those earlier versions! It seems that Donna Orender and the WNBA front office really listened to the fans this time . . . and for that, we give them a big BasketCases shout-out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

As Expected, the Phoenix Mercury brought their high-octane offense into the Phone Booth tonight. In their second meeting of the 2008 season, both the Mystics and the Mercury once again broke the 90-point barrier. Unfortunately for the Mystics, the outcome was the same, as again they came up short, losing 90-98.

The home team was down by only one point at the half, and put up a respectable 22 points in the third quarter. But the defending WNBA champs scored 33 in those same ten minutes. Although the Mystics made a run at closing the gap in the final quarter, they were unable to make up the entire deficit.

On a night when Alana Beard couldn't seem to find any way to jump start her game (taking all of 3 shots in the first half), Mama Taj came up BIG for the Mystics, notching a career-high 31 points! Taj got significant help from Mo Currie, who finished with 19 points and 5 assists. But when the stars of the opposing team are also the two highest scorers in the league -- Diana "Bun of Death" Taurasi, and Cappie "Patch Doll" Pondexter -- and those two are bettering their averages (finishing with 31 and 28 points, respectively), the Mystics needed a third scoring punch and simply could not find one. The Mystics were particularly cold from behind the arc, hitting a paltry 25% (5 of 20), while Taurasi hit 4 of her 5 three-pointers . . . some of them bombs from NBA range!

Kendra Wecker made her Mystics debut tonight, playing a little over 4 minutes, scoring 2 points. Unfortunately, she did not bring her javelin. The BasketCases love Kia . . . which is the only reason we are sending this plea to our readers: if you happen to have Nakia Sanford's offense, would you please return it to the Lost and Found! Kia took no shots from the field and missed her only 2 free throws.

With tonight's loss, Washington drops to 5-8 (and has yet to beat a team that is not named the Dream, the Comets, or the Sky). The Mystics now embark on a challenging road trip during which they will face Los Angeles, Seattle, and Sacramento. It's unfortunate that they won't be able to pack any momentum as they head out for their test in the west.

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The Charm Factor: Two Bunnies

A decent Anthem by Aubrey Adams, the usual time out fare (nothing new or special), and an energetic half-time performance by a "competitive dance team" called the Adrenaline All-Stars -- who, if truth be told, were not up to the standard set by our own Mystics Mayhem. But we give them a Bunny for trying.

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Special BasketCases (exclusive) Photo: If you arrived at the Phone Booth as early as the BasketCases did, then you may have caught a glimpse of two very talented players engaged in a little pre-game chat: future UConn Husky star Elena Delle Donne, and one former Husky and current WNBA star, Diana Taurasi:

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Mystics announced today that they have waived reserve PG Amber Jacobs and signed free agent -- and javelin champion -- Kendra Wecker.

Could it be that the Mystics have finally hit upon the secret weapon that can stop the two highest scoring players in the WNBA (Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi)? It's an interesting idea to contemplate.

I guess we'll just have to see if it works . . . tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Phone Booth when Washington takes on the Phoenix Mercury at 7 PM.

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Tuesday's Washington Post has a nice feature by Mark Viera on Mystics PG Nikki Blue (link here). And Tuesday's Washington Times has a very interesting profile by Harlan Goode of Mikhail Ovechkin (yes, the older brother), who is the Mystics' operations manager and toils away in a windowless office cutting game video. Mikhail knows a good deal about women's basketball, and we enjoyed reading Mikhail's blog posts during the college season.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Tale of Two Halves.

The first half of the Mystics' game against the Dream tonight was a forgettable 20 minutes of sloppy basketball. At the break, the teams had a combined total of 45 points (Dream 23, Mystics 22), 28 turnovers (Mystics 15, Dream 13) and 23 personal fouls (Mystics 12, Dream 11).

Fortunately, the second half was a different story altogether. The Mystics scored 50 points, largely due to impressive second-half performances by Alana Beard and Mo Currie. AB, who sat out much of the first half in foul trouble, scored all 18 of her points in the second half, while Mo added 13 points in that half, to finish with 17 total. Atlanta hung around for most of the second half, but faded down the stretch, losing for the 12th time in 12 games, 72-61. The Mystics are now 5-7 and on a 3-game winning streak.

On Tuesday, when The Diana and the rest of the hi-octane Phoenix Mercury come to town, the Mystics will need every bit of the offense they showed in the second half tonight if they want to extend their streak to 4. The run-and-gun Merc are not known for their defense, and dare teams to beat them by outscoring them. (Hey, Maryland fans . . . sound familiar?) Earlier this season, when Phoenix hosted the Mystics, the Merc prevailed, 98-93. Let's hope the outcome will be different when Washington has the home court advantage!

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The Charm Factor. . . Two Bunnies

The Anthem tonight was just fine, but nothing special; half-time scored a big ZERO. . . a single mini-tramp slam-dunk by the (world's ugliest) mascot, Lucky, and a game of musical chairs earn zero Charms. It almost looked like we were headed towards a one bunny night, but two things changed the rating -- for the better. First, the Mystics ran a new timeout video in which the players picked which teammate would win on Dancing With the Stars. Kia's take on AB's dance skills (or, to be honest, lack thereof) was very funny. The whole video was great. And then the crowd was treated to a Phone Booth first (as far as we know): a woman proposing to her boyfriend . . . right up there for all to see on the Megatron (Way to go, girl! That takes guts!) . . . for the record, he accepted.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Charge! In Houston last night, the Mystics used another late charge to steal a win from the Comets, 67-63.

Unlike Friday in Chicago, when Alana iced a closely contested ball game with a 12-0 solo run, yesterday's charge was more a team effort. Down 9 at the end of the 3rd quarter, the Mystics mounted final period runs of 11-2 and 10-0 that included critical 3-pointers from Nikki Blue and Monique Currie. AB led all scorers with 23, while Mo and Blue also finished in double figures (12 and 10).

The victory gave Washington a perfect record (2-0) on their mini-road trip. The Mystics, now 4-7, return home to face the still winless (0-11) Atlanta Dream at the Phone Booth on Friday at 7 PM.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008




Flippin' Great!


Some Turnovers are better than others. Today the Mystics face the Comets on the road in Houston. Game time is 8:30 PM. There's no TV or webcast, but you can listen to the game over the internet by following the link from the Mystics homepage. Here's hoping that tonight there'll be fewer of the not-so-good kind.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"They don't play her enough. It makes me mad."

Ever since the BasketCases spotted the Baltimore Sun's Milton Kent at the Phone Booth last Wednesday for the first matchup between former Terp teammates (and now WNBA opponents) Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper, we've been waiting to see what Kent would have to say.

Well, today's paper brings a don't-miss article in which Kent gives us a rundown of the Harp and Lang reunion last week. Our favorite part of the article, though, is the sage advice that Harp offers to Mystics Head Coach Tree Rollins:

"I love Lang like a sister," Harper said. "I want her to do well, and when she was doing well, I was like, 'OK, Lang.' I want her to play more. They don't play her enough. It makes me mad. [Washington coach] Tree Rollins needs to put her in the game. Put that in the paper."

Kent obviously listened to Harp and did exactly that! Since no one (besides Coach B, of course) knows Lang's game better than Harp, perhaps Coach Tree might consider listening, too.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dodge City.

You might say that the Mystics dodged a bullet tonight in Chicago. Despite playing less than inspired basketball, the Mystics stayed perfect in the Windy City, beating the Sky 64-57, to record their first road win of the season.

In defeating Chicago, the Mystics turned the ball over 22 times (20 by their starters!) and committed 24 fouls. Fortunately for the road team, the Sky missed 13 of their 29 free throw attempts. The Sky were also ice cold from behind the arc, hitting only 1 of 10. The Mystics were pretty chilly from out there as well, not hitting anything from long distance until the final minutes, when Alana finally popped a couple of 3s -- part of her very impressive 12-point closing run that sealed the victory. AB finished with 22 to lead all scorers. She also led both teams in turnovers with 8 (ouch!). The only other Mystics player in double figures was Taj, who shot 7 of 8 from the field and helped keep Washington in the game when her teammates' outside shots weren't falling.

It wasn't a pretty game to watch. Really, how many WNBA games are won by a team scoring only 64 points? But it was a win for the Mystics nonetheless. And it does snap their 5-game losing streak. And, as we said earlier, it was their first win on the road. Some would say, in the end, that's all that matters. Frankly, however, the BasketCases were hoping to see a victory and some well-played basketball.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

News of a Future Terrapin . . .

Today USA Basketball announced the final roster for the USA U18 National Team which will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships to be held July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We are happy to report that incoming Maryland Freshman Lynetta Kizer will be wearing USA Red, White and Blue this summer!

Just to be clear, making the cut for this team was no easy feat. 35 of the top young players in the country were invited to participate in the training sessions/tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Only 12 made the team. Check out the names of Netta's competition (linked here).

A year, or two, or three from now, most of these young ladies' names will be very familiar to fans of the college game. These are the impact players of tomorrow. In 2004, a couple of players you may have heard of, Laura Harper and Marissa Coleman, were part of the U18 National team that won the gold for the USA in Puerto Rico. But those two Terps weren't the only outstanding players who've represented their county in U18 competition. Tamika Catchings, Alana Beard, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, CandICE Wiggins and CandACE Parker all wore the USA uniform in U18 international tournaments.

Our point, obviously, is that Lynetta's selection is B-I-G! This is a tremendous honor. Congratulations, Yah-Yah (can someone please tell us how she got that nickname?)!! And good luck in Argentina. In the meantime, we'll be counting the days until you make your debut in College Park.

Photo Credit:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Go Red!

The Mystics played what the BasketCases thought was a considerably better game tonight. They played with heart, they maintained their focus for almost four quarters, four players ended up in double figures, and the game was not decided until the final possession. It was an exciting night of basketball at the Phone Booth. Unfortunately, the visiting Monarchs matched the Mystics' intensity and left with the win is this tightly-contested game, 79-76.

The evening got started with an outstanding rendition of the National Anthem performed by the Rock Creek Singers of Washington's Gay Men's Chorus.

Once the game got underway, Harp and Lang showed they are teammates no longer, each playing hard for her own team. Crystal had the better individual night, as she recorded her first WNBA double-double (13 pts and 10 rbs, as well as 2 steals). Early foul trouble for Nakia meant that Lang played 25 minutes . . . nothing like some real playing time to show what this young rookie can do! As for Harp, she played 19 minutes, scoring 6 pts and pulling down 4 boards. But her team did get the win.

The BasketCases spotted several special "faces in the crowd" at tonight's game. Jade Perry drove in from Kentucky . . . or tried to. We understand that enroute she had a close encounter of the "deer kind" that damaged her car dearly. Future WNBA-first-rounder Kristi Toliver has become a regular at Mystics games this season. And tonight, Jess Atkinson (Mr. "Under-the-Shell") was on hand to record the face-off between the Terps' former frontcourt.

Of course, the entire Maryland coaching staff (including newest addition, Assistant Coach Tina Langley on the left) had front row seats.

WNBA President Donna Orender made all the appropriate oohs and ahhs over the latest pictures of the twins.

Another future WNBA first-rounder, the very recognizable Marissa Coleman, showed no favoritism toward either of her former teammates. She wore a one-of-a-kind Lang-Harp tee shirt. The front was all Lang.

And the back was all Harp.

The Maryland Rebounders were treated to a post-game Q & A with Coach B, Mystics GM Linda Hargrove, and Lang (looking very pleased to be wearing red again).

Harp arrived at the post-game event in time to say a few words and sign autographs with Lang. For Maryland fans, it was a very special night. Unfortunately, this was the only time that Harp and the Monarchs play in Washington this season. Next up for Lang and Harp: more road games. Harp plays in Minnesota tomorrow night (Thursday), and Lang plays at Chicago on Friday. Welcome to the life of a WNBA player!

Photo credits: DC BasketCases

* * * * * *
The Charm Factor: Four Bunnies

Excellent Anthem; terrible half time performance by Papa Lock; the always wonderful Ballou Band (coming soon to a theatre near you!) was in the stands; the usual time-out fare; and the extra enjoyment of the Terps in the house.


Ever since the WNBA draft in April, we Maryland fans have had June 11th (today!) circled on our calendars (in red, of course! ). That's because former Terp teammates Laura Harper and Crystal Langhorne will face each other tonight as opponents as the Monarchs take on the Mystics at the Phone Booth at 7 PM.

Harp is not the only Monarch returning to familiar territory. Kara Lawson grew up in the DC area and was a star at West Springfield High School in northern Virginia. Rebekkah Brunson, also a DC-area native, played her college ball at Georgetown. And Sacramento Head Coach Jenny Boucek, who played at UVA, was once an Assistant Coach for the Mystics. The visitors bench will look very familiar to many of us tonight!

In some good news for the Mystics . . . Nikki Blue, who has been out for a couple of weeks with a high ankle sprain that was expected to sideline her for a month, was able to practice at full strength yesterday and will likely be back in the lineup tonight. Meanwhile, following the disappointing roadtrip, Head Coach Tree Rollins is telling his players to focus on the game quarter by quarter. Let's hope that advice pays off tonight!

Go Red . . . The Mystics have designated tonight as "Go Red for Women Night," to raise awareness of heart disease in women. According to the team's web site, "The Mystics along with the American Heart Association are encouraging all fans in attendance to wear red in support of such an important cause." Of course, if your only red shirt just happens to be a Maryland tee, we guess you'll just have to wear it!

Photo Credit: SportsPageMike

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Three Quarters Are Not Enough.

For the first 20 minutes of the Mystics' game against the Sun today, it looked as though, win or lose, Washington would at least be competitive. Down by as many as 12 in the second quarter, the Mystics fought back and closed the gap to 3 at the half, 38-41.

But after the break, the Mystics crossed over to the dark side . . . apparently leaving "their game" in the locker room, as they went scoreless for nearly 7 minutes in the third period, while allowing the Sun to go on a 19-0 run. Game over.

Although the Mystics' shots started to fall in the final period, there was simply no way they could dig themselves out of their third quarter chasm. Perhaps knowing the game was out of reach allowed them to play with less pressure; perhaps facing some Connecticut reserves helped as well. In any event, the final score of 87-79 doesn't reflect the truly lopsided second half of this contest, nor how badly the Mystics played for so much of it. As we sat there watching another disappointing performance, we couldn't help but wonder: how could the Mystics play this badly, game after game? What is this team missing? Coaching? Leadership? Talent? All of the above? Something . . . for sure.

For the second time on this oh-fer road trip, a Mystics player posted a career high in a losing effort. In Phoenix, it was Alana; this afternoon, Monique Currie set the pace at 28 points. We're certain she'd rather the Mystics have won. We would too. Washington, still winless on the road, has dropped to 2-6, ahead only of the expansion Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference.

If the BasketCases are sounding a little frustrated, well, we are. Sorry.

Sunday Morning Reminder . . . The Mystics play the Sun in Connecticut today at 3PM. The Sun are on a 3-game winning streak, and the Mystics, still winless on the road, are on a 3-game losing streak. The game will be televised on NBA TV, and webcast on With temperatures expected in the 90s again in our nation's capital, staying indoors to watch basketball this afternoon just might be in order. The Mystics won both of their games at the Casino last season, but have also played some of their worst basketball there as well (Aug. 26, 2005 comes to mind). Which team will show up today?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Expect Great Good Fair Mediocre Crap . . . and you wouldn't have been disappointed by the "game" between the Mystics and the Silver Stars tonight, which resulted in a San Antonio"victory" over Washington, 63-52. The final score may suggest that these two teams waged an intense defensive battle, but don't be fooled. If truth be told, this was one of those games that neither team deserved to win, a game that was just painful to listen to.

Newest Mystic, Crystal Smith, started at the point for Washington and immediately reeled off 7 quick points, putting the Mystics up 7-2 in the early going. The Mystics stretched their lead to 12 and then . . . well, nothing. They scored 23 points in the first quarter, then only 12 in the second and only 11 in the third, but amazingly at the end of three, they were still only trailing by 1 point!

And as bad as the second and third periods were, as exercises in futility go, those two quarters paled in comparison with the fourth. Turnover, turnover, foul, turnover, shot clock violation, turnover, turnover . . . and then finally about 5 minutes into the period, the Mystics took a shot! It didn't go in, but at least they took one. Meanwhile, the Silver Stars scored a few baskets, attempted to match the Mystics' ineptness with several turnovers of their own . . . but failed. The Silver Stars outscored the Mystics in the final period 16-6, to remain undefeated at home this season, while the Mystics remain winless on the road.

Becky Hammon (who happens to be the subject of another interesting article today by our favorite sportswriter,'s Mechelle Voepel) led all scorers with 20 points. The only Mystics in double figures were Alana Beard (13 pts) and Crystal Smith (10 pts). The Mystics committed 22 turnovers in their losing effort, but the Silver Stars turned the ball over 26 times! However, Washington compensated for those extra 4 TOs by missing 40 of their 60 field goal attempts.

Great basketball? Hardly.

A Nice Place to Visit.

San Antonio certainly has been a good destination for the Mystics the past couple of years, as they beat the Silver Stars in Texas in 2006 and 2007. So far this season, however, the Silver Stars are undefeated at home (thanks, in part, to the leadership of that famous Russian Olympic hopeful, Becky Hammon). And the Mystics are winless on the road. This means, of course, that with the two teams squaring off tonight in San Antonio at 8 PM EDT, either the Mystics will continue their win streak in the Alamo City (and finally get a road win), or the Silver Stars will remain unblemished at home.

Unfortunately, Mystics fans will not be able to see the game, as it isn't being televised or webcast. But you can follow the action live via the audiocast on

Mystics bits . . . Nikki Blue will be joining the coaching ranks this off-season as an Assistant to new UNLV Head Coach Kathy Olivier, for whom Blue played at UCLA. . . . and Mama Taj and Kia are featured in this video on about their oh-soy-healthy eating.

Another WNBA bit . . . if you haven't already seen the Phoenix Mercury's (mock) promotion of the Cappie Patch Doll, you've really missed out! Check the link here for a viewing. [Warning: No eating or drinking while watching, unless you're prepared to spit up on your keyboard.]

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wake Up Call.

This morning's news for those who, like the BasketCases, couldn't stay up 'til well after midnight to watch the game is that the defending WNBA Champions, the Phoenix Mercury, ended their losing streak by beating the Mystics, 98-93. Sadly for Washington, 93 is a lot of points to score (particularly for the Mystics) and still lose a game.

Not having seen the game, we can't pretend to know why (except that the Merc scored even more, of course), but one stat just about flies off the page from the box score: the Mystics (who came into the game already shooting a subpar 67% from the free throw line) shot only 30% from the line last night . . . missing 14 of 20 attempts!

The Mystics, now 2-4, remain winless on the road. Here's hoping they can pick up that first road victory on Friday, when they take on the Silver Stars at 8 PM EDT.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Mercury Rising . . . or Falling?

Who would have thought that the 2007 WNBA Champions, the Phoenix Mercury, would start their 2008 season -- defending their title -- (with Diana Taurasi, with Cappie Pondexter, with Tangela Smith, and with Kelly Miller all in their line-up) and be 0-4, tied for last place, as we begin the third week of the regular season? (Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.)

The not-so-rhetorical and more important question is this: can the Mystics add to Phoenix's woes and make the Mercury 0-5? We certainly hope so!

The answer will come Tuesday night (or for those of us on the East Coast, early Wednesday morning). The Mystics and the Mercury square off tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:30 PM EDT in a game being nationally televised on ESPN2 (which means that the game probably won't end until 12:30 AM or thereabouts).

Some Mystics fans may actually be able to stay up that late on a school night to watch the game, but that "some" most definitely will not include the BasketCases. So, like "some" of the rest of you, we'll just have to read all about it the next morning . . . and then fire up the DVR Wednesday evening to catch up on everything we missed.

For Maryland Fans . . . Today's blog by Mel Greenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer (linked here) contains a couple of items of interest. The "Guru" tells his readers that Bernadette McGlade, currently Associate Commissioner of the ACC (and well known to fans who've attended the ACC tournament in Greensboro) is about to be named Commissioner of the Atlantic-10 conference. (Now confirmed by the ACC.) And, if you keep reading, you also learn that Maryland Assistant Coach Erica Floyd is one of several candidates being mentioned as a possible replacement for (former) Temple Head Coach Dawn Staley, who was recently named the new Head Coach of the University of South Carolina.