Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dolson is healthy and ready to get going

UConn senior center Stefanie Dolson joined her teammates at last night's UConn/Towson football game and at halftime Dolson made it up to the press box so she could meet with WFSB's Joe Zone and The Day of New London's Mike DiMauro about her role on the "Beyond the Beat" show which airs weekly on CPTV Sports.

After they were done laying the groundwork for her in-studio work, I was able to talk to Dolson for a few minutes on a variety of subjects.

First off, Dolson said she has been back on the court for about two months now and is feeling pretty good.

:"I had boot on for most of the summer," Dolson said. "Pretty much when I came back to school and saw Rosemary (Ragle, UConn's athletic trainer), she took the boot off and I was ready to play right then - mid-July so I have been playing for two months.

"You don't realize how much you love playing the game until you can't so once I was stuck in that boot for a while and in the city without an opportunity to play. it definitely made me want to get back."

So what are Dolson's impressions about how the team is looking during offseason workouts and pickup games?

?We've been playing great together," Dolson said. "Pickup has been tough because there is not a lot of us there and in general with just nine people on the team and with summer school it is kind of difficult but we played with people and we have a great chemistry with each other. It is great seeing everybody play and play together."

The lone newcomer is freshman guard Saniya Chong, who was a prolific scorer at Ossining (N.Y.) while handing out a ton of assists. Dolson has liked what she has seen from Chong.

"She is great," Dolson said. "She has a lot of things to get used to, every freshman does, I am excited to play with her because she is fast, she can shoot the ball, she is smart and she knows what to do with the ball. I am excited  to have a chance to get in the game and get a chance to play with her."

Now to the subject that I have been asked about with the most frequency since the end of the season - Dolson said there are walk-on candidates which could be a huge help since it would keep the core players from risking injury by being on the court late in blowout wins.

"We'll have some walk ons," Dolson said. "We need some people to fill in and need people to come and compete against us. I am excited to see the girls who have reached out to us to get that opportunity to play as a walk on."

Dolson is fired up about a schedule featuring games against Stanford, Maryland and Penn State in the first four games.

"Our conference is a lot different this year and to have those out of conference games and have a few of them at the beginning of the year is always a good test of what kind of team we are going to be," Dolson said. "I am excited about what I've seen this summer and how the girls played at USA (Basketball) and see how we play togther and how we compete against all these great teams."

One drawback of Dolson's right ankle and foot issues which hampered her so much during the NCAA tournament is that it forced her to pass on trying out for the World University Games team along with teammates Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

"At first I thought it was pretty good to get that rest but after missing it, seeing how much fun the girls had and knowing how much fun I would have had, it was hard to realize I wasn't there and I missed that opportunity," Dolson said. "Things happen for a reason. I am not going to look into the past and just look towards the future."

Of course the subject of Dolson and teammate Kiah Stokes giving President Obama "bunny ears" in a group photo at the end of the Huskies' White House visit did happen to come up during our conversation.

"It is what it is," Dolson said. "The White House (visit) was a great experience and we had such a great time and I really enjoyed seeing that environment and seeing all those people and being able to meet President Obama was such an experience. The reaction was pretty much expected. I don't think a lot of people were expecting me and Kiah to give the President 'bunny ears' but he initiated it, I never had an idea (about doing it). I wouldn't take it back and it is a great opportunity and great experience overall."

You would think after dealing with folks like me for the last three years that Dolson would be running away from the media profession but the opposite is true. She did an internship with SNY over the summer and now comes the chance to guest host on the "Beyond the Beat" show.

"They tell me that I am going to guest host and have an opportunity to dabble in the field I am interested in after I am done and I excited," Dolson said.

"It (her SNY internship) was great, they were just great, they helped me a lot and helped me do a lot of different things that I think a lot of people can't experience. I can't say the city (New York) is for me but the job in general is great.

"Everybody has their different length of playing and I am just trying to make sure I have that foundation built for when I am done playing. I am ready to find something else I love and media is something I've been able to enjoy."

Here's some info Mike DiMauro sent out about Stefanie's guest hosting stint on Beyond the Beat

Stef Dolson is hosting Beyond The Beat this upcoming week. It’s our one-year anniversary show. It will air Tuesday at 7 on CPTV Sports, which is on all state cable systems. It’ll be on You Tube the next day.

Instead of us interviewing her, she’ll be peppering us. It’s me, Jake (Jeff Jacobs) and Joe Zone.

 Stef has been instructed to be her goofy self.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UConn's title defense begins with early tests

Nobody can accuse the defending national champions for taking the easy road in the quest for a record ninth title.

After welcoming former UConn star Jen Rizzotti's Hartford team in the Nov. 9 season opener, the Huskies face potential top 10 teams Stanford, Maryland and Penn State in a six-day span.

A couple of other daunting non-conference games await in mid December when UConn travels to Duke on Dec. 17 before facing 2013 Final Four squad California five days later.

The first American Athletic Conference game will come against a familiar foe as UConn hosts Cincinnati which is coached by former UConn star forward and assistant coach Jamelle Elliott. The Huskies ring in 2014 by playing its conference road opener with a Jan, 1 game at Central Florida.

The Huskies will have a pair of games against the Louisville team they beat in the 2013 national championship game. The rivals meet in Connecticut on Feb. 9 and end the regular season with a Mar. 3 game at Louisville.

Here is a closer look at the schedule

UConn's preseason opener is against Division II quarterfinalists which return pair of double-digit scorers
Lady Rams averaged 257 fans in its 2012-13 home games so playing in front of thousands in Connecticut will be a treat
Jen Rizzotti, the second UConn player inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, leads her Hawks against Huskies
Mon. 11 STANFORD  7 p.m ESPN2
Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike could be the best player in the country and No. 1 pick in 2014 WNBA draft .
Fri. 15 at Maryland  ESPNU
Another tough test as All-American Alyssa Thomas leads talented Terrapins squad
Sun. 17 at Penn State
Penn State will miss Alex Bentley but senior guard Maggie Lucas is one of nation's best shooters
Wed. 20 OREGON 7 p.m.
Former NBA coach Paul Westhead trying to turn Oregon program around
Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge
Game is a year late for former Wilbur Cross star Chantelle Alford to face Huskies
Hawks feature players from Canada, Serbia, New Zealand, Israel and Sweden
Veteran coach Jim Crowley has led Bonnies to four postseason appearances in last five seasons
1 vs. Ohio State Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, Mass. 5:30 p.m. ESPN2
Former Xavier, Washington coach Kevin McGuff will turn around Buckeyes program but could struggle this season
5 UC-DAVIS 7 p.m.
Junior forward Sydnee Fipps averaged 17.1 points per game as a sophomore
17 at Duke 7 p.m. ESPN2
Blue Devils could pose biggest challenge to UConn's quest for an undefeated season led by All-Americans Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams
22 vs. California (Madison Square Garden) 1:30 p.m. ESPN2
Maggie Dixon Classic kicks off two-year contract with up and coming Cal program
29 CINCINNATI, 4 p.m.
Dayeesha Hollins does a little bit of everything for Bearcats
1 at UCF, 4 p.m.
There are worse ways to ring in the new year than spending a couple of days in Orlando
4 at Memphis
Could be first of two trips to Tennessee with the Final Four being held in Nashville
7 HOUSTON, 7 p.m.
Replacing high-scoring Porche Landry top priority for Cougars
11 TEMPLE, noon
Former UConn assistant coach Tonya Cardoza returns with young, talented Temple squad
13 at Baylor 7 p.m. ESPN2
Odyssey Sims returns for Lady Bears but most of her supporting cast has moved on
19 at Rutgers 3 p.m. ESPN2
Likely the final trip for the Huskies to the RAC, the scene of some intense Big East tussles
22 MEMPHIS, 7 p.m.
After never playing UConn, this is second meeting in 2 1/2 weeks
26 USF, noon CBSSN
Loss of the Smith sisters leaves the Bulls with some major holes to fill
28 at Temple  7 p.m.
UConn playing its first game at Temple since 1981
1 at Cincinnati  2 p.m.
Reunion of former UConn assistant coaches continues with Jamelle Elliott's Bearcats hosting the Huskies
 4 SMU, 7 p.m.
Keena Mays is one of best kept secrets in women's college basketball. That could change with big game against UConn
Sun. 9 LOUISVILLE, 1 p.m. ESPN
First of two national championship game rematches
Sun. 16 at USF , 4 p.m. CBSSN
Sort of bizarre scheduling as Huskies play in Tampa and then host Central Florida three days later.
Wed. 19 UCF, 7 p.m.
With four returning starters, Central Florida could be a team to watch in AAC
22 at Houston
Cougars feature nine players who stand 6-feet or taller
25 at SMU  8 p.m.
Texas swing concludes with Huskies' first game in Dallas
Final regular-season home game for decorated UConn seniors Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley
3 at Louisville 7 p.m. ESPN2
Louisville's final regular-season game before leaving for the ACC could have championship implications

Monday, August 26, 2013

Here are dates of Louisville games

The UConn schedule is expected to be out later this week but thanks to an ESPN release, I can share with you that the regular-season games with Louisville will be played on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. in Connecticut and will be televised on ESPN and on Mar. 3 at 7 p.m. in Louisville. ESPN2 will air that game as well as the Jan. 13 game at Baylor which will start at 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

No date set for Westbeld visit

In the midst of some three days of coverage at the New Haven Open tennis tournament I did manage to get a little work done on the recruiting beat.

I spoke to Jim Westbeld, the father of UConn recruiting target Kathryn Westbeld, yesterday and was a little surprised with what he had to say.

I figured Westbeld must be near the top of the list of uncommitted recruits the Huskies are putting the full-court press on. However, Jim Westbeld said they have not had much contact with the UConn coaches in recent weeks. That doesn't mean that UConn isn't still very much in play to get the 6-2 forward out of Ohio Division I state champion Fairmont but it does mean that no date has been finalized yet for Westbeld to take an official visit. I would be very shocked if Westbeld didn't make her way to UConn in the coming months for a visit.

Jim Westbeld said his daughter cut her list to four schools (UConn, Notre Dame, Duke and Ohio State) in June and those are the four schools still in contention for her. He said one of the things that his daughter likes the most about the UConn program is how the team success is put ahead of individual accolades because that is the way she places her priorities as well.

Westbeld has drawn some comparisons to Louisville's Sara Hammond. I watched some of her games that were available through live stream and she reminded me of current Connecticut Sun forward Kelsey Griffin with her ability to score inside and out.

I also spoke with A'ja Wilson's AAU coach and Jerome Dickerson said that Wilson is planning to take an official to UConn but is still finalizing the other schools she will be visiting. Then he said something that might send the recruiting-obsessed UConn fans over the edge if it actually ends up happening as he said Wilson could wait until March to commit to a school.

I would expect Wilson to be in attendance the weekend of UConn's First Night festivities (Oct. 18-19) but waiting to hear back from Dickerson before I can confirm that.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CBS Sports Network to air 3 UConn games this season

The American Athletic Conference announced that it has signed an agreement to have some of its football and basketball games televised on CBS Sports Network.

As part of the agreement there will be five women's basketball games being broadcast this season with three of them involving UConn. The games will be revealed when UConn's schedule comes out and I expect that to be very soon since the AAC is announcing the men's basketball schedule this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Allison Hightower, Kelly Faris to miss remainder of WNBA season

Former UConn star Kelly Faris' rookie season in
WNBA ended prematurely due to a foot injury
An already difficult season for the Connecticut Sun became all the more painful and challenging with the news that All-Star guard Allison Hightower and rookie guard Kelly Faris, a former UConn star, will miss the final 10 games of the season.

Hightower, who missed the last three games, has a strained right knee. Faris has reinjured the left foot she hurt in the 2012-13 regular-season finale for UConn.

“We are really disappointed, obviously,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “Allison has begun to emerge as one of the best young guards in the WNBA, as evidenced by her well-deserved selection to the All Star team. And Kelly worked hard to gain a spot in the starting lineup. She was playing better and better, and she is definitely someone we had grown to count on this season. I have no doubt she will continue to work hard to get back on the court.”

Overall, five Sun players have missed a total of 40 games this season. Connecticut has had a full roster of 11 players available for an entire game just twice, against New York in the season opener, and at Tulsa on July 19. The Sun started with 11 players at Chicago on May 31, but lost Renee Montgomery in the fourth quarter with a high ankle sprain.

Hightower set career highs by averaging 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.3 blocks per game and a total of 24 3-pointers which is one fewer than she had in her first three seasons combined. Hightower scored in double figures in 15 of the 21 games she played in this season.

Faris, who didn't miss a game during her four seasons at UConn, played in the Sun's first 24 games and started the last three games. She averaged 2.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. Faris had her best scoring game with 11 points in an 88-86 win over Atlanta on Aug. 14 and had a career-high seven rebounds in two of her last three games.

Tina Charles, Kelsey Griffin, Kalana Greene and Faris are the only players to appear in all 24 games for the Sun this season.

The Sun began the night with a WNBA worst 7-17 record and is three games behind defending champion Indiana for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Date of UConn's second preseason game changed

I took a look at the official sites of UConn's opponents to try to see if I can pin down more of the start times for the non-conference schedules and one thing I noticed is that the date of the exhibition game against Philadelphia University was moved up a day because of a conflict with the XL Center. The game is slated to start at 7 p.m.

Here's what I have so far
11-1 Gannon
11-5 Philadelphia (XL) 7 p.m.
11-9 Hartford
11-11 Stanford (XL) 4 p.m.
11-15 at Maryland
11-17 at Penn State
11-20 Oregon
11-22 Boston U
11-23 Monmouth
11-24 St. Bonaventure
12-1 Ohio State, (MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.), 5 p.m.
12-5 UC-Davis, 7 p.m.
12-17 at Duke, 7 p.m.
12-22 vs. California (MSG), 1:30 p.m.
1-13 at Baylor, 7 p.m.

UConn AD hopeful that basketball schedules will be out soon

I caught up with UConn director of athletics Warde Manuel after the monthly breakfast meeting of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce this morning and amount the topics I asked him about what the timeline for the release of the basketball schedules.

The American Athletic Conference's Danielle Donehew said she was optimistic that the schedule would be ready for release a little earlier than normal and perhaps at some point in late August. Manuel said he is hoping that will be the case.

"Hopefully soon," Manuel said. "The conference is working on it. Every year it happens, you get into it and you have to work through a lot more TV (contracts) than you do with football in terms of number of games across the nation and we are doing it now but hopefully (it will be out) at some point this month."


Monday, August 19, 2013

Mohegan to host AAC media day

The American Athletic Conference announced that the inaugural women's basketball media day will be held on Oct. 14 at Mohegan Sun Arena which is also the site of the conference's women's basketball tournament.

When UConn was in the Big East the annual women's basketball media day has been held in New York for the last several years.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Breakdown of UConn home games

UConn recently put out its season-ticket packages.

There will be nine home games at Gampel Pavilion, eight played at the XL Center and one additional game expected to be held at Webster Bank Arena.

As for the schedule, there's no concrete timeline on when it will be released but the feeling has been it will be released a little earlier than in the past few years.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another title for UConn recruiting target

Katie Lou Samuelson was on target in 3x3 tournament

It's been a pretty successful summer for UConn Class of 2015 recruiting target Katie Lou Samuelson.

The 6-foot-3 wing from Huntington Beach, Calif. was the second-leading scorer in the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship (trailing only fellow U.S. star and UConn target Asia Durr) by averaging 16.4 points per game and led all players with 18 3-pointers as the U.S. rolled to the title in June.

Over the weekend she joined fellow U.S. U-16 player Arike Ogunbowale and U-19 national team members Gabby Green and Brianna Turner to win the U.S. U-18 3x3 National Championship.

Napheesa Collier's Primus team finished second in a
pair of national 3x3 tournaments in August.
The team went 7-0 in the tournament and beat fellow Class of 2015 recruiting target Napheesa Collier's Primus team 21-10 in Sunday's title game to earn a spot in the FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship being held from Sep. 26-29 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Samuelson was also the winner of the girls' 3-point shooting competition, Collier was a member of the team which won the hot shots title while Ogunbowale, a 5-9 guard from Milwaukee, was named the women's tournament MVP.

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

UConn recruiting targets taking part in 3x3 tourney

UConn Class of 2015 recruiting targets Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson and DeJanae Boykin are among 32 players competing in the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship which begins tomorrow in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Collier, a 6-2 forward from St. Louis, will play for the Primus team which reached the title game in last week's 3x3 national tournament (open to players of all ages).

Samuelson is part of a powerhouse Defend squad featuring Gabby Green and Brianna Turner, who were members of the U.S. team which won the FIBA U-19 World Championship for Women title. Arike Ogunbowale, a 5-9 guard from Milwaukee, completes the four-member team. Samuelson, a 6-foot-3 wing from Huntington Beach, Calif., were two of the four double-digit scorers on the U.S. team which won the FIBA Americas U-18 title in June.

Boykin, a 6-2 forward from Springdale, Md., is a member of the Black Venom team.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Belton commits to Duke

UConn recrruiting target Lynee' Belton has committed to Duke according to a tweet by her AAU team Team Takeover.

Belton, a 6-foot-2 forward from Clinton, Md., is the second player on UConn's recruiting radar to commit to Duke in the last week but this is a bigger blow for the Huskies than Sierra Calhoun's decision to head to Duke.

UConn's goal was to sign at least two frontcourt players and what I've been hearing is that Belton was been rising up the Huskies' wish list in recent weeks and months.

Obviously the UConn coaches were on the road during the July viewing period so perhaps another post player or two from the Class of 2014 caught the eyes of the Connecticut coaching staff but if that isn't the case, the Huskies are left with A'ja Wilson, Kathryn Westbeld and Taylor Rooks as possible frontcourt players. Wilson, fresh off a brilliant performance in the FIBA U-19 World Championships, is also being recruited heavily by her home state school South Carolina and Ohio State is making a major push for Westbeld, a star on the Ohio Division I state championship team.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Stanford game will tip at 7 p.m.

According to a release on the Stanford official site, the Nov. 11 game against UConn will begin at 7 p.m. The release also said that the game will be played at the XL Center which was probably the part which caught my eye the most considering the banter surrounding UConn considering either Mohegan Sun Arena or Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport as secondary sites for home game. We'll see if the game is truly being played in Hartford soon enough when the UConn schedule is released.

The last time I spoke to the American Athletic Conference's Danielle Donehew about the probable release date of the schedule, she was hopeful it would be announced earlier than in past years. Also, when I saw Donehew at AAC football media day she said there was a conference call regarding the subregional and regional sites being determined for the 2014 NCAA women's basketball tournament. She wasn't sure of an exact time frame for those sites to be announced but she thought it would be done relatively soon.

Reigning WNBA MVP Tina Charles earned her first Eastern Conference Player of the Week award of the 2013 season

Charles averaged 21.5 points and a league-high 13 rebounds per game to win the award for the 10th time in her career.

On Aug. 1, Charles scored a game-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds in Connecticut’s 70-64 victory over Indiana.

Two days later against New York, Charles became the fastest player in league history to pull down 1,300 rebounds, accomplishing the feat in 119 games. The previous mark for fewest games to 1,300 rebounds was held by Sacramento’s Yolanda Griffith, who did so in 126 games.  Charles scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the 88-66 win over the Liberty to collect her 76th career double-double, tying her for fourth all-time with Seattle’s Lauren Jackson.


Angie Cretors named UConn's new compliance director

UConn announced the hiring of Angie Cretors to the post of Senior Associate Director of Athletics for NCAA Rules Education and Compliance Services.

Cretors has worked at the NCAA national office since 2005.

"I am thrilled to be joining the University of Connecticut and look forward to contributing to the institution's tradition of excellence,” Cretors said in a statement. “I want to thank Warde Manuel for providing me the opportunity to be a part of his Leadership Team.
“I want to thank all of the individuals I worked closely with at the NCAA over the last ten years, as we did important and meaningful work on behalf of the membership and student-athletes."
Cretors had a number of positions at the NCAA, most recently serving as Associate Director of Enforcement since 2011. In that role, she developed and investigated violations of NCAA legislation in men’s basketball, working with a number of constituents in the sport. Cretors developed and presented seminars around the country regarding basketball issues and trends for audiences such as institutional compliance officers, coaches and student-athletes.

From 2008-11, Cretors was the Associate Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities. She developed and investigated information on sports wagering, agent and post-enrollment amateurism violations. She also provided education materials and presentations to member institutions on these issues. Cretors was the Assistant Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities from 2005-08.

Cretors replaces Marielle VanGelder who left the same position to become the Associate Athletics Director for Compliance at North Carolina. VanGelder started at UNC on May 1.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

UConn recruiting target stars in 3x3 tourney

UConn Class of 2015 recruiting target Napheesa Collier lead her Primus squad to the championship game at the USA Basketball 3x3 national tournament.

Collier, a 6-2 forward at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis, was named to the all-tournament team after Primus won its first five games before falling in the title game to FST-LI.

Collier is coming off a sophomore season where she averaged 24.4 points,  11,7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 4.4 steals and 2.5 blocks to earn the Gatorade Player of Year award for the state of Missouri.

Report: Calhoun commits to Duke

Christ the King rising senior Sierra Calhoun has committed to Duke according to a tweet for Bret McCormick of All-Star Girls Report

UConn and Notre Dame were the other finalists for the 6-foot Calhoun, the younger sister of UConn rising sophomore guard Omar Calhoun.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Geno Auriemma appointed to key WBCA post

UConn's Geno Auriemma and his former star Jen Rizzotti are among prominent women's basketball coaches who will play roles as the Women's Basketball Coaches Association considers implementing changes for the betterment of the sport. 

 The WBCA Board of Directions announced coaches who will be part of working group as they consider the suggestions put out there by former WNBA president Val Ackerman which could include changing the dates of the Final Four.

 “Val’s white paper presents a stark assessment of the current state of women’s basketball,” said WBCA President Sue Semrau, head coach at Florida State University. “While the game remains near the height of its popularity, attendance and TV ratings are at a plateau. 

 “We have an opportunity right now to reimagine our sport. What must our sport become if it is to appeal to future generations of athletes and fans? How do we get from here to there? I believe the WBCA is uniquely positioned to help lead the search for those answers."

Auriemma will serve on the Playing Rules and Officiating group along with Kentucky's Matthew Mitchell and West Coast Conference deputy commissioner Connie Hurlbut. Rizzotti,the head coach at Hartford, will be a faculty athletic representative on the Legislation and Governance group. Here is the breakdown courtesy of the official WBCA release. 

  •Legislation and Governance -- Penn State head coach Coquese Washington, the association’s vice president, and Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw co-chair this group, which will focus on how the WBCA might be better represented in a revised NCAA governance structure, how the WBCA can more effectively participate in the NCAA legislative process, and how the WBCA’s own governance structure might be improved in order to have a more efficient organization. Members include Claudette Charney, Hillsdale College; Diane Dickman, NCAA; Danielle O’Banion, Kent State; Martha Putallaz, faculty athletic representatives; Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford; Christy Thomaskutty, Emory; and Rich Ensor, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. 

•Playing Rules and Officiating -- Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell, the association’s secretary, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, and West Coast Conference deputy commissioner Connie Hurlbut co-chair this group, which will focus on whether or not we have the right rules going forward and how the game is officiated. The goal is to improve the quality of the game so that it is more attractive to spectators. Members include Anucha Browne, NCAA; Nikki Caldwell, LSU; Brandan Harrell, Georgia Highlands College; Patricia Manning, Williams College; Joanne McCallie, Duke; Melissa McFerrin, Memphis; and Dawn Staley, South Carolina. •

Professional and Grass Roots Development -- Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson, the association’s treasurer, and Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne, the immediate past president, co-chair this group, which will focus on educational programming that will provide WBCA members with opportunities to become better coaches as well as explore the feasibility of establishing a certification service for coaches of women’s basketball. Members include Amanda Butler, Florida; Tricia Cullop, Toledo; Lisa Mispley Fortier, Gonzaga; Kirsten Moore, Westmont College; Mary Beth Spirk, Moravian College; Carol Callan, USA Basketball; and Todd Starkey, Lenoir-Rhyne.

Rabbit ear gate creating plenty of buzz

Apparently the decision of Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes to unleash "rabbit ears" for President Barack Obama during a group photo at the White House has drawn the ire of a great many UConn fans.

UConn President Susan Herbst requested an explanation of what transpired based on the number of calls her office and the university has received.

UConn's sports information department provided the following timeline.

As Wednesday’s ceremony in the East Room of the White House was winding down, President Obama was posing with the team for a group picture.  As the cameras were flashing the president quipped to the players behind him on the stage, “Alright, no rabbit ears now.”

Everyone laughed and after a moment he exclaimed, “Ok, you can go ahead (with the rabbit ears).”

Here is a link to the youtube video which includes the "rabbit ears" portion of the photo shoot. You can fast forward to 8:14 to see the portion that features the most famous "rabbit ears" photo I've ever heard of.

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