The podcast is up and here’s some of what you’ll hear:
Starting Five: Beth tosses five questions at Debbie
1) Big news from Tobacco Road rivalry
Debbie: And on the plane — Charlotte Smith (UNC) and Sam Williams (Duke) recruiting — ended up being seated in the same row. Oh, for a camera.
Duke v. Carolina game — had a great prank. Someone stole Jasmine Thomas’ blue jersey, so Duke had to wear black. Fantastic that they think that much of her, want Duke to lose so much. Perfect — they’re the villains. Game was the battle of the black and blues. Physical, mean and tough. Puts Carolina on the bubble. Duke will be a 2-seed.
2) Out west, Cal, Arizona State hosting — will their records be enough?
Debbie: Do you think hosting ranks in RPI? Great turn around for Cal. USC has some good wins. Arizona State, not sure they’re deserving this year.
3) Big 10 jumble?
Debbie: Ohio St. in, Michigan State. Wisconsin, Iowa? Interesting. Mid-majors are going to need to win league to get in.
Beth: Best arguments in a while re: Do you go with a team that’s around .500 in Power Conference or the gaudy 23, 24 win record of a mid-major.
Debbie: Big 12’s a problem, too. 7 teams in might get in and all top five seeds– not supposed to meet conference members until you reach the regionals. Might be one or two B12 matchups
4) Are we in detention because of our rules comments re: spin-dribble travel?
Debbie: We have an official disclaimer, so we can say strong stuff. Composition of rules committee. We love our game, we want to take a look at stuff — hop step not called.
5) First coaching vacancy: Cindy Stein out at Missouri
Debbie: A friend of us and game. Disappointed. Hope Missouri puts money into it. Least amount of resources and salary for coach. In Big 12, better step up.
Shootaround guests: Princeton coach Courtney Banghart.
B/D: Gives us a thumbnail of your 18-game winning streak.
CB: I had to double check how many in a row we had. I coach smart kids but it doesn’t mean I’m smart so I can only count to one. That’s how we’ve played the season, one game at a time.
B/D: Only thing I know about the Ivy League is Judie Lomax and her rebounding exploits. Tell me about the League.
CB: Non-scholarship. Only League without a post-season conference, makes every weekend a playoff weekend. We play Friday/Saturday, every team twice.
It’s been a two- horse race between Dartmouth and Harvard. We’re just thrilled that we’re knocking on the door. We’ve got a group of talented freshman that are doing a lot for us and leadership from the senior class.
B/D: What comes to mind when I think Ivy League and basketball: Courtney was kind enough to share some swag with me (my son sometimes wears a Princeton shirt). Last year I had Dartmouth as a 15-seed and did the entire game without an academic reference. So tell us how challenging your schedule is, your best players on team and why we should be considering them for the State Farm All-American team.
CB: Play back-to-back, so we played Cornell, then get on a bus and travel four hours get in at 3am and the next night play Columbia.
We play a challenging schedule. Lost by 10 at UCLA, 10 to Rutgers. 22, 23 wins by double figures.
Lots of energy from Northern California freshman Niveen Rasheed, leading in points, rebs, assists steals. One of the premier players in the League. Exciting to watch, intense energy. Big part of program’s success. Four players in double figures: two freshmen, sophomore and junior.
I think you should bring your crew, do a live Ivy League game, get Princeton grad Michelle Obama out there.
B/D: I can see that. We call you “Ivy.” Entertaining coach on the sidelines.
CB: Proud to say not gotten a technical.
B/D: Really? Even I’ve gotten one.
CB: I have enough trouble keeping track of eight underclassmen, telling them the rules of the game. I can’t pay attention to the referees.
B/D: I got one coaching my son’s summer league! You don’t have post-season tourney. What do you think about Power Leagues having them and impacting teams getting at-large bid?
CB: Depends where you are. Where we’re sitting right now, of course we don’t want a post-season tourney ’cause it allows one game game to impact the journey you’ve made over an entire year. However, if we weren’t in the top spot, we’d be rooting really hard for a tournament. Obviously there’s a bias towards to top conferences, and perhaps rightly so for the top-half of those conferences. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for the mid-majors, but as I said, hard for me to pay much more attention than beyond my own team.
B/D: Mowins claims that the Ivy League is comparable to a Patriot League school. Your take?
CB: I trust that you’re not talking about it academically, and I’m sure your not talking about it athletically, so I guessing you mean your talking about the old, historic buildings… I’m just kidding. These are real student-athletes.
B/D: Going to ignore the fact that you stomped on my Lafayette Leopards earlier this year, focus on the fact that, though defensive numbers are good, you put up 90 points on Cornell. How’d you do that?
CB: We basically felt like we wanted to push the pace. They love stopping people, allows us to get out and run. It was one of those nights.
B/D: People generally prefer offensive-minded people v. defensive-minded, which is probably why we like you so much. You also follow Pac-10/Big 10. Break one down for us.
CB: How about Left Coast? Lot of respect for Stanford, assistant (Milena Flores) played there. One headed monster. But UCLA up and coming. They have size/speed. Cal – why count them out? Work in progress. I see why you like ACC and Big 12, but how about some love for the others?
B/D: I’ll admit I’m a Power Conference snob, but if you’re looking at Pac-10, how many get in?
CB: Isn’t that you’re job? That’s hard. I say take two Ivies. Two Pac-10, two Ivies.
B/D: I’d get behind that. You said they’re all the same – well the buildings are the same.
CB: They’re all p historic, have alums that care a lot, and have basketball players that have a good brain on their shoulders.
B/D: Harvard and Princeton it is.
CB: You’re giving Harvard the nod? I like it. We’ve got three games to play, and one of them is Harvard.
B/D: Telling everyone to follow Princeton. Other non-Power Conference teams to watch out for – Arkansas- Little Rock, 19 in a row. Hartford, 18 in a row, Gonzaga and Fresno St. 16.
CB: Are you putting all of them in?
B/D: They might win their leagues. Arkansas/Middle Tennessee State might be best showdown in post season if comes down to NCAA bid. Debbie Where Power Conference teams like Wisconsin, Iowa, Southern Cal, Az. State all hoping they win.
CB: Thanks for giving Ivy some love. We have tremendous student-athletes.
Jostens “Diamonds in the Rough:” Maya Moore for her academics. Chance to be a Rhodes Scholar – ESPN Mag Academic All American of the Year.
Werner Ladder “Rising above the Rest:” Tina Charles – number 1 in UConn rebounds/points.
Notes from the Cocktail Napkin:
1) Compare Griner’s freshman year to Anne Donovan and Lisa Leslie — they’re comparable.
2) Elena Della Donne – leading scorer in Division I, never lead by a rookie.
3) DePaul’s Sam Quigley captain of my all-tough team.
Comments? Questions: Shootaround@wbca.org
Also, if you’d like to be part of the Shootaround “So You Want to be a Sports Journalist” intern program, drop them a line: Shootaround@ wbca.org
Don’t forget: The podcast is up.