11.30.2015

THE WAY WE WERE - CAN WE GET BACK TO WHERE WE ONCE BELONGED?




This post has been a work in progress for 10 days or more - it is not an emotional knee-jerk reaction to the Texas loss. I have held my tongue and pen (keyboard) long enough. The sky has fallen on our beloved Lady Vol program. 

Even Michelle Voepal asks the question: It's past time to worry Michelle. 

“We will figure it out, go back to the drawing board and get this team off to a better start.”

REALLY?   Am I alone in my complete lack of confidence?

Maybe I'm just totally frustrated at the loss of one of my favorite past-times as a fan who has over 14,000 posts to this site and a weblog devoted to the LADY VOLS 

Looking back at just some of the pictures I took and posted over the years makes me nostalgic for what once was and is no more. Back on Nov 18 2007 Texas came to TBA and we celebrated with a through thrashing of Texas 

Tennessee was up 64 to 41 with 15 min left to play in a blowout with where it rained 3 point shots from the perimeter. Final score 92 to 67 with 9 of 18 made 3 point shots. 

TEXAS AT TENNESSEE ON BANNER DAY 2007 

A BANNER DAY IN TENNESSEE 
link to LADY VOL excellence and tradition 
Banners will fade with time - A sad reminder of who we were. 

It was not that long ago that I spent countless hours making the case during MAYAGATE that there was no comparison between Pat's program and the travesty the was concocted by cheaters in New England who used Doris Burke and ESPN as a recruiting tool and put top recruits (Carolyn Doty) in the head coaches office with Sue Bird and Diana T and a Wendy's cheeseburger. link 
In those days the Lady Vols schedule put the XXXXX team to shame and (great link)  I posted the ranking of every opponent down to the many many 100 rank and MUCH lower ranked opponents on the XXXXX schedule in color coded posts to illustrate the disparity.  *this link is a fun link to remind us of what was. Sadly those days are gone.  I never print the name of that school and team because I believe Pat's boycott meant that we should boycott even the mention of the name. 

Born in Fort Sanders Hospital, first residence Aconda Court - later called Alumni Hall - torn down this year at the corner of the Student Center block; my TORCHBEARER mother made me a fan of the Lady Vols sitting in the arena keeping score on her own notebooks during games to keep herself from leaping out of the stands. 

This is prelude because many of you will consider this post negative heresy.  This lengthy discourse  has been under construction for a couple of weeks and is one shot at what could have been 20 posts.  I only have one question for all of you:

DO YOU DESIRE A PROGRAM OF UNPARALLELED EXCELLENCE?

A missed Final Four was once the exception.

That is what was here built by Pat – great players – and the largest most dedicated fan base in the women’s game. The Lady Vols are KENTUCKY of the women’s game. It is our place in the cosmos and was won from exceptional effort by and exceptional individual assisted by great fans.

Understand this: Holly is a VFL and a fine person - but she is not the leader and coach this program should have. We should be taking our pick of TOP 10 recruits every year.  Absence from a FINAL FOUR should be a rarity - an exception to the rule.  This program deserves and should demand AN EXCEPTIONAL COACH - for a $665,000.00 a year this should be our demand. Don't settle for less - for just good - for someone who 'earned it' -  I want to see us with a coach who sees the LADY VOLS as superior to the XXXXX program and who considers absence from the FINAL FOUR a FAILURE.  We will not get that kind of coaching without DEMANDING IT.  As far as I'm concerned anyone who thinks this way of thinking is negative is an impediment to the ultimate goal "A LADY VOLS program that has no equal." 

The days of “We will figure it out, go back to the drawing board and get this team off to a better start.” are over and done. We don't have time to let this staff go back to the same drawing board where they drew up the plans that have seen the precipitous decline in player development, winning basketball, and ZERO recruiting. This is massive TOTAL DRAWING BOARD FAILURE and anyone who thinks this staff can fix what they have broken and not only failed to fix - but watched decline day after week after year. They have no idea how to fix this or how to "get better".  If we were seeing any improvement instead of decline we could wait and see but we are not seeing improvement. Even the D and rebounding are declining. Can you name one area or one player who has improved under the coaching of this staff? 

Any acceptance of ‘good’ and ‘adequate’ while being ‘nice’ and ‘positive’ about mediocrity is not what Lady Vol basketball is about. - and this is not "good" or "adequate". Pat would never settle for this – and as a fan of what Pat built I don’t think we should settle for it either.

A coach worthy of the Lady Vols has to be capable of putting together recruiting classes every year of 3 or 4 TOP 10 McDonald’s AAs. Tennessee has the facilities and the fan base. We have the tradition and the name brand. We have the The SUMMITT floor in an arena filled with eager fans and our coaching staff FAILS TO SIGN ANY RECRUIT IN 2015? How is that OK with anyone here – particularly you Kyra Elzy?

TOP 10 REASONS TO BECOME A LADY VOL  link to recruiting advantages of the SUMMITT at TBA. 
No better recruiting tool for women basketball was ever conceived 
Our current staff has grown stale and self-satisfied  – our All American post from Oregon has not improved her post game Dean Lockwood. Cedes was a distant second place in the race with her counterpart vs Texas. She looked weak, timid, and totally incapable of putting her body on the Texas post – and it was noticed by even Carolyn Peck.

Our guards Reynolds and Carter look worse now than they did as freshmen Holly Warlick.  How can you take capable guards who look good as Freshmen and turn them into ineffective nonentities as Juniors? Both Reynolds and Carter were capable of hitting the three and finishing layup prior to this season. 

As CP3 noted; we don’t seem to run any offense. When CP3 speaks we should listen. We can’t seem to develop shooters – and the long time staff of self satisfied highly paid former assistants to Pat have evidently lost touch with what it takes to mold excellent young women athletes into better players every day, week, month and year of their time at UT.  Women don’t do ONE AND DONE. Coaches have them for four years and have to be capable of improving their skills or they are simply a waste of time and money. A hungry young staff out to prove their mettle could be what is required to rekindle the fire and desire to excel. 

LOOK AT EXAMPLES CLOSE TO HOME.

Listening to the Army game I learned that UT guard Kevin Punter was coached by Barnes to completely change his shot in the past 3 months. It took a couple of months but his arm positioning and release point were totally altered and the results have been near spectacular as he is leading the scorers on our undersized and barely rated men's team.  The early success of the men is a very good sign that we have a coach who knows how to get the most from a very depleted roster. I imagine what a coach like Barnes might get out of talent like we have in the Lady Vols program?

Isn't that amazing?  A coach who actually spends time with individual shooters showing them how to improve their shooting style and performance. Our men are undersized 2 and 3 star recruits who have suffered through 3 coaches in 3 years but Rick Barnes evidently gets it. He is making mediocre players (by comparison to the opponents) into better competitors. After 3 coaches in 3 years our men's program is a shambles but the coaching staff is actually improving what they have to work with. 

Compare that with out ALL STAR Lady Vols team picked to be one of the one seeds on the way to a Final Four. It seems to me that coaching offense and shooting is key to maximizing the performance of any basketball team but what do I know? I can only go on what we know about XXXXX and the men's team coached by Barnes and the statement made about how they teach offense in order to learn defense. 

Good shooting is a matter of good mechanics and above all confidence. A coach who threatens to remove the arms of shooters has doomed them to fail. 

We are at the point of crisis given recruiting results and the "product" we see on The SUMMITT.  We should not settle for "good" when this program has every advantage required to be GREAT and right now our program is not even “good”.  Our fans need to demand excellence and exceptional performance to get excellence and exceptional performance. 

Pat was and is an iconic coaching figure but even she went to great lengths in her tenure to go to Villanova and learn the offensive scheme of the coach there when she felt she might be failing the team by not keeping abreast of the latest greatest offensive schemes. I can also recall a changing offensive scheme for many specific games based on the player match-ups. Pat loved 3 point shooters who could open the middle because they made the opponent come out and guard them. It seems to be a part of the puzzle that is unknown at this time by the words of our coaching staff.  Shanna and Sidney are just two of the prolific 3 point artists we cultivated here at UT. I really miss that part of our game plan. A plan with a specific offensive purpose and perimeter threats that required opponents to stretch their defense. 

We can only judge the statement's of the head coach since she is very specific about her philosophy and her game plan.   

WARLICK: "Anybody that knows TN knows that we play inside out basketball."

WARLICK: "We've got to get the ball inside and penetrate, we'll get better."

WARLICK via Maria: "she threatened to cut off the arm of the next shooter who launched an ill-advised long-range shot"

These statements are a continuation of a theme that has made me believe that offense is an afterthought undiscovered and ignored. The staff seems to believe that shooting performance is the sole responsibility of the player - a skill to be honed during personal gym rat time.  The idea of creating open space for perimeter players to catch and shoot seems to be a foreign language with our women but Barnes believes that great defense starts with the ability to make baskets since a break out from a take out after a made goal is not possible as it is with a rebound of a missed shot.  The 3 point line is a gift of an extra point on each possession - a forced pass to the interior requires 3 things to happen for a positive result: - 1) An open passing lane 2) Great position and hands by the recipient post and 3) A non-telegraphed accurate pass to a position where the post can A) reach it and B) be in a good scoring position once it arrives.  In some ways a rebound from a near miss 3 is every bit as good an option since the post should be facing the rim after getting the rebound. 

Noting Dunbar's wonderful performance in the opener it seems our 2 best scorers both vie for minutes at the same position. One can hit the outside shots that might serve to open up the inside for penetration - the other has been a beast inside.  Since everybody knows the game plan is to force the ball inside (at the potential penalty of losing an arm), if I were scheming against the Lady Vols I would simply have my match up zone make passing into the interior a nightmare. No need to guard the guards is there? They either can't shoot or are not allowed to shoot - and our best outside (Sid Spencer/Shana Zolman) type shooter is sitting the season out on the bench because our best interior 4 player is required on the court. This seems all too simple to me.

How easy do we make it for opposing coaches to game plan? 1) Everybody knows what we are going to try to do 2) Everybody knows we don't spend much time on offensive schemes or shooting drills. 3) Everybody knows our best 3 point threat isn't on the court and nothing has changed at Tennessee - It's all about D and Rebounding as it MAINLY was with Pat - but Pat also knew the need for a fluid offensive flow with 3 point potential to open up the interior space for penetration. .

Now add playing 'inside out" with offense as an afterthought and no time spent trying to develop any strategy to get the guards involved in any offense outside of feeding the posts. Don't spend any time trying to teach  picks and screens to open perimeter shooters or a lane for penetration. The idea of a shot coach? heresy. Trying to develop an offensive scheme? really?   I can't say that I really see much improvement in lock down D even with all the emphasis and time. I guess things would be a disaster without it.  Is it the case that our players require so much practice on D and rebounding that we have no time to coach shooting and offense?  Against a zone we are lost because a zone attack requires fear of 3 point shooters. 

If I were a talented HS basketball player what would I think?  Do I want to play for a program that only values defense & rebounding? 
If I were a post player I might find that very appealing - but evidently the available post players out there this year did not. If I were an exceptional 3 point shooting guard I would look for a program where my talents were appreciated and developed.  

If I were Shana Zolman I would look elsewhere. In fact the quality and lack of improvement of Tennessee guard play is not an incentive to any HS guard prospect. I don't think Dawn Staley has that problem and I know the XXXXX coach does not. It's clear those coaches value scoring guards.  

Even if this oversimplifies the situation it seems to fit the rhetoric coming from the head coach. And if I were recruiting against Holly I would certainly have all those quotes that seem to say offense is not a part of the UT coaching ethos at hand for every talented shooting perimeter player to see.  I don't see as much of a problem actually coaching this way as I do broadcasting it almost every time a quote is required. Do coaches really think HS WCBB elites only want to play D and rebound? I think the women players are likely much like their male counter-parts - they dream of scoring and a well oiled offensive machine to go along with boards, stops and steals.   

This staff doesn't coach offense to open shots from the perimeter PERIOD. This staff doesn't coach shooting, screening, or perimeter spacing or movement. It's all get down to the offensive end and force the ball inside at all costs regardless of the  position of the post recipient of the ball. Do nothing to make that job easier by creating an outside threat requiring some defense on the perimeter.  

No wonder we suffer turnovers. Trying to force feed a tightly packed interior is an invitation for steals - and this staff advertises that sole scheme with every public comment  "EVERBODY KNOWS WE PLAY INSIDE OUT". Well we don't do that very well so I wouldn't advertise it. 

If boring ugly uninspired and totally predictable basketball that fails to take any advantage of any chance we could develop Dunbar, Reynolds, Middleton, Carter or Cooper as consistent 3 point threats is ok with you then fine. But is Dunbar a potential Zolman or Spencer? Can any shooting guard feel confident or comfortable shooting the 3 when her arm might be removed by the staff? Good perimeter shooting requires a plan to get open and complete confidence from the team and staff. Boost the confidence of a well prepared shooter who's shot has been evaluated and fine tuned by an expert coach and you turn the  perimeter threat into the key to open space in the lane.  

Why would a coach tell the WCBB world all an opponent needs to do is stop passes to the interior?

Why would a coach make statement and show by example that UT doesn’t value or coach 3 point shooting and thus discourage a talented 3 point shooter from considering the program while making it more likely that current guards will shoot with fear and a lack of confidence? How is that good coaching? We seem to miss layups like we miss threes so what's the difference? 

I can only hope there is something left for TYLER to come home to in 5 years. At the rate this is going he is in big trouble. NO RECRUITS and it's not all because Pat is gone - it's because players want to play offense with their rebounding and defense. They want to shoot and score and they want to go where the offensive schemes make the game a joy to watch and play.  At least that's how I would see it if I were a potential recruit or parent to one.  Has Tennessee developed a strong offensive shooter?  Have we had an offense that was fluid and intimidating - a threat to score from anywhere on the offensive end?  
    
The success of the program that Pat built is on the line. and it's got to be worth preserving and improving. Now I can't wait until it's TYLER TIME IN TENNESSEE given the current state of affairs.  If Coach Barnes can create a winning - fun to watch - team with what he has to work with shouldn't we expect great things from the talent that comprises The LADY VOLS? The team is the reflection of the coaching staff and despite all the excuses about Diamond's injury and T'ea's youth - every player on the Lady Vols team came with a higher recruiting rating than any of the men. 

EFFORT is given the highest priority - but effort must serve a plan and the only plan in BASKETBALL is to put the ball through the hoop - stop the other team from doing that and get the ball back so we can put it through the hoop again. We obviously don't have a staff capable of teaching how to put the ball through the hoop - that was painful to watch in the closing minutes of a Texas game where even layups were beyond the capability of our players. Watching the second half it was clear to me we were not capable of winning. The reason was obvious from out demeanor. We were never poised and confident and the play was frenetic and disjointed based on fear and a lack of confidence. Lost players giving effort as individuals without any focus or plan - A team that looked like they were not coached at all - certainly not a confident well-coached team. I wonder if they all harbor extreme doubts about their coaches even if they may like them. Do they believe in themselves and their game plan? 

Wonder why the team didn't help bring any new recruits to UT? 

TRUTH be told this staff is FAILING - it shows in the performance. We have effort but effort without a plan to score other than "go inside out" seems futile. That leaves 3 of 5 players on the court with only one offensive function - get the ball to the inside.  Only one can do that at a time so how much offensive effort does that require.  A team with only 2 offensive options is easy to stop and we need a coaching staff that intends to make every Lady Vol a threat to score every time they touch the ball.   If I didn't care about this program, my Alma Mater and the incredible young ladies who make the commitment to wear the Orange.  I believe they must desire success as defined by FINAL FOUR appearances more than I do.  If this staff cannot get us there with this team it's only going to get harder with recruiting like this year.  

Holly is the coach I feared she would be - a dutiful loyal assistant who could follow Pat's example and instructions - but who does not have the "IT" required to lead what should be the premier program in WCBB. 

Nobody knows what Nikki Caldwell could have done with this talent or how much it hurts her efforts to have potential recruits think she might be leaving LSU. I know those who recruit against her must float the idea that she could leave LSU for UT.  

Nobody knows if TYLER is the answer - as young as he may be - with DeMoss on his bench. But I would rather suffer growing pains with young Tyler than suffer this current situation. 

We can wonder what someone with the fire and desire of Tamika Catchings might do – or a Kara Lawson – I would take Kellie Jolly Harper in a heartbeat over the current stale and uninspired group of bench sitting caretakers. Who has Kyra recruited? What post has Dean developed lately? How come our guards are so inept at scoring with a guard as head coach?

All we can judge is what is done and what is said - the signs simply are all BAD - and no excuses make any sense.  It's what you do with what you have that matters and that's all that matters. 

I don’t know of a single coaching metric where this staff gets a passing grade. 

Recruiting?   NO
Player Development? NO
Offensive Game Schemes? NO

We did get 4 more rebounds than Texas due to 8 more offensive boards - of course we missed 48 shots (21 of 69 made FG) so we gave ourselves far more opportunities. To miss 48 shots - may of them chippies and layups - requires truly horrible shooting. I believe $20,000 spent on hiring the best shot coach we can find for a week and spending December doing nothing but practicing 3 point, mid-range and chip shots would do more to improve our chances to win than any other single activity.  

 We are not recruiting the right players – and those we do recruit are not developing into better players over time. If a staff cannot recruit and cannot make players show improvement, why are they being paid and given the reigns to the program with all the advantages:  TRADITION, FACILITIES, A MASSIVE FAN BASE, WNBA STARS, and NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS.  If you cannot recruit with those advantages you have no business in this business.  If you cannot improve the performance of players like Russell, Reynolds, Carter, Middleton, Dunbar and Graves how can we expect Cooper or any newcomers to develop into better players?  

This is a FAILING basketball program by PAT'S TENNESSEE standard. We are watching the destruction of what Pat built before our very eyes. Co-champs of a very down SEC seems ok but that isn't the Lady Vol standard of final fours and championships. And this is supposed to be the year Holly reaches the Final Four with her players?

I see no reason to mince words or dance around the issue with sympathy and compassion. Yes it's only a game played by kids and our good student athletes are a credit to themselves and UT and the community - So if that is what you think should become of a program once revered as the finest in the world then so be it. But it isn't what inspired the world. There are fine young student athletes all around the country.  The 'earned' position of $665,000 head coach has gone to a very nice VFL who stayed by Pat's side - she became the perfect loyal assistant and a credit to UT, but she is not capable of the leadership required to head coach the greatest program in WCBB history. 

Even with the shortcomings we can fade into a top tier SEC also ran with 20 win seasons and SEC tournament seeds and some Sweet 16 appearances. But we are out of the NC Final Four race with this staff and if that's what you desire then congratulations. 

And before you say it - I AM A HUGE FAN of LADY VOLS. A fan who cannot stand the idea that we will allow what Pat built to fall into the void of history without a fight to save this program from mediocrity and "nice" fans who support the successful mediocrity of sweet 16. Even that will decline with time. 

How about:
Head Coach Tyler Summitt  - $300,000 (currently paid $175,000 at LT) 
Associate Head Coach Kellie Jolly Harper - $250,000 ( now paid 145,000 at Mo St)
Associated Head Coach DeMoss - $150,000
Player development and recruiting coach - Tamika Catchings $150,000
or perhaps retain Kyra Elzy $230,000 
Total full time salaries $850,000 to $930,000

Off season perimeter & shooting coaches - Kyra Lawson and Shana Zolman 
devote 2 weeks to shooting in an extended camp to develop individual shooting 
Off season post coaches - Candace Parker and Nikki Anosiki 
devote 2 weeks to post player shot and position development in an extended camp
Put together 2 week camps with these former players and pros to key on shot mechanics like Peyton does with  Cutcliffe and his receivers. The mechanics once developed can be learned and practiced over time.  

Kellie is currently 5 and 4 with losses to OK state, Missouri, and Stanford and a win over Ol Miss.  La Tech is 3 and 2 losses coming to UCLA and Wisc.
Kellie didn't get a fair shake at NC State. 


3.26.2011

ESPN.CONN PR arm of UConn & the BEast ?

In Women's College Basketball there is one media outlet that exclusively broadcasts the tournament while maintaining the most widely read website for the sport. This is the result of several weeks of research sparked by a widespread general opinion of ESPN's coverage of Women's College Basketball expressed on The SUmmiTT and a few other forums used by Lady Vol fans.

It is 17 miles from Bristol to the XL Center and 44 miles from Bristol to Storrs - the homes of the UConn Huskies. Doris Burke - Providence grad, Rebecca Lobo - UConn grad, Trey Wingo - Greenwich native, Graham Hays - Stonington resident, Beth Mowins - Syracuse grad, Charlie Creme - St Bonaventure upstate NY, and Michelle Jackson - Bristol resident . comprise the most visible of ESPN WCBB experts along with Michelle Voepel - Big 12, Kara Lawson - former Lady Vol but present Connecticut SUN and ESPN employee, and Carolyn Peck - NC winner at Purdue with ties to Florida and Tennessee. Does this proximity along with the affiliations of these major WCBB personalities contribute to a bias toward the BEast and UConn?

It may be difficult to view and read content from ESPN broadcasts and websites with enough detachment to correctly assess bias, but it appears to this Lady Vol fan that the bias toward the Big East in general and UConn in particular is overwhelming. The perception is so strong it has resulted in numerous threads on The SUmmiTT that decry the constant mention of UConn and Maya Moore by the ESPN coverage team no matter which teams happen to be playing the game in progress. The ESPN Drinking Game Thread is a recent example of this phenomenon

Playing the ESPN Drinking Game involves tossing back a measure of one's favorite beverage every time an ESPN talking head launches into gushing praise of UConn or a UConn player during the course of a game involving teams other than UConn or anytime some UConn video clip is played during these games and anytime the studio commentators do the same. Those who like to stay sober will not enjoy this game since there is an amazing amount of opportunity to imbibe - particularly if Doris Burke is anywhere in the vicinity of a microphone.

The ANATOMY OF AN NCAA WCBB BRACKETOLOGY PREJUDICE post back on March 5th was my initial effort to articulate some observations that were just coming in to focus. The emphasis on that limited (Bracketology) prejudice did not quite cover a situation that is far more pervasive. From the results thus far in the tournament it seems clear that the Big East did indeed deserve to have 9 teams included - if not the 10 or 11 that Charlie Creme and Burke, Peck and Jackson often claimed should have been. The Bracketology and the actual NCAA invitations are the effect - not the cause - of this ESPN.CONN bias

This A QUESTION OF BALANCE - the unbalanced Charlie Creme edition thread analyzes the ESPN website coverage following the announcement of the brackets and shows the astounding amount of attention paid to UConn and the Big East entries to the detriment of all other conferences and teams. There are links to 7 articles promoting UConn and Notre Dame vs zero mention of some other teams the first day after the brackets were released while 2 of 4 experts picked UConn to win it all and three chose Tennessee as the first one seed to be eliminated while Creme picked ND to replace UT in the Final Four. Taken alone any of those prognostications is reasonable but given the total imbalance in coverage it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to disrespect everyone but the BEast. Creme's DAYTON REGIONAL PRIMER highlighted the great guards in the region but failed to even mention Meighan Simmons - the AP "Newcomer of the Year" for the SEC and leading scorer for the ONE SEED.

It's interesting to read remarks like OSU coach Jim Foster's in the "FOSTER WON'T BE WEARING ORANGE" article where he says " Like everyone else, he sees top-ranked and two-time defending champion UConn as the clear front-runner overall in the tournament." It seems that Foster must get his opinion from ESPN since he seems to believe "everyone else" shares his opinion. Of course 'everyone else' thinks no such thing but you might get that idea if you read and watch ESPN.

The premise I wish to expound and discuss is this: Proposed: The proximity of ESPN to UConn and the Big East along with the affiliation and loyalties of the commentators employed by the network, website, and publications, has created a damaging bias and prejudice in the most influential media monopoly involved with Women's College Basketball to the detriment of every other conference and university in the USA.

I don't think anyone can argue that ESPN is the most influential media involved with WCBB and as far as the post season goes that media has an effective monopoly since ESPN and it's affiliated networks covers the NCAA tournament exclusively. Aside from a limited presence here on SB Nation and a few obscure Women's Basketball publications and websites there is very little internet presence that isn't specifically individual school oriented like Scout or Rivals or the websites of the athletic departments of the involved schools. This makes ESPN by far the most read and watched purveyor of WCBB in the world.

It is my hope that interested Tennessee fans at Rocky Top Talk and perhaps fans of other programs who follow SB Nation's Swish Appeal will join me in trying to assess the bias of ESPN (if you agree with me that such bias exists) in order to provide the other conferences and coaches compelling evidence that might encourage them to address this imbalance and compel ESPN to provide a fair and balanced coverage of the sport we enjoy. Now that you've become aware that someone thinks this might be a problem will you pay a little more attention to what you see and hear in order to confirm or refute my suspicions?

Here is why this is important : You're a 14 -18 year old HS player who wants to play WCBB

What do you watch and read in order to satisfy your interest in the sport you love?
What effect does that have on which conference and team you would like to consider?
Does ESPN coverage of the BEast or UConn give them an unfair advantage in your recruitment?
If it does what effect does that influence have long term on the sport of WCBB?
If what I presume here is true wouldn't you want your conference and your coach and her staff to be aware of the problem so they might be open to a solution?
is ESPN to the BEast as FOX is to the TEA PARTY?

Has ESPN become the equivalent of FOX News as promoter of Tea Party Rallies as a Public Relations arm of the Big East and UConn? FOX News has serious equivalent competition in the news business but there is no alternative for WCBB. CBSSports and ABC, NBC and FOXSPORTS cover Men's basketball and football but they do not offer any equivalent coverage of the women's sport. WCBB broadcasting is owned by ESPN.

Is there anything that can or should be done to try to mitigate this problem? Is the strength of the Big East this year just a cyclic phenomenon or are we seeing a shift in the balance of power from the SEC, ACC and Big 12 to the monster conference who's markets encompass a full third of the US population soon to be increased by the addition of TCU in the DALLAS FORT WORTH Market?

in addition: 18 of the 40 AP Poll voters live and work in Big East Markets while only 5 are located in SEC markets. When the ESPN and AP polls are voted on by more Big East affiliated voters does that create an unfair result?

I can admit to a serious Lady Vol bias so I ask you to visit the ESPN WCBB WEBSITE and read the links to the right of the main article to make your own evaluation of the situation and to view the games in the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four with an ear to the commentators and the balance of their commentary to see if you perceive the same things I've been hearing and reading. I actually did a word count analysis of Michelle Voepel's TAYLOR MADE LOOK AT THE SWEET 16 to determine 220 words devoted to Tennessee vs 670 devoted to UConn. That's obviously borderline obsessive but it mirrors the method used by Media Matters and other media watchdog sites to measure fairness.

Isn't a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD the result we all wish to preserve in every college sport? Does having a billion dollar network as an effective public relations firm predominantly devoted to one conference and team constitute a threat to that illusion of fairness? What is more problematic - inviting a couple of Juniors to a barbeque or hearing your rival praised 24/7 on the nation's leading WCBB media outlet that gives private tours to your rivals top recruits? I wish we could poll the HS sophomores and juniors watching ESPN coverage of the WCBB NCAA tourney this week to evaluate the impact of ESPN coverage on their impressions of the conferences and teams and recruiters outside the BEast to see if they are concerned.

Anatomy of the STREAK

Much has been made of the amazing 90 game winning streak of the UConn Huskies. Quite a feat to go for 2 plus years without a defeat in any sport. But nobody has taken the time to analyze that streak to see exactly what made it possible.

How many of those games were played on UConn's home courts for instance?
How many were played vs significant highly ranked out of conference foes?
We all realize that the best chance of being beating in WCBB is to play a top 10 team on the road and that is intensified by playing 2 or 3 top 10 opponents in a row on the road so the team has more limited time to prepare So how often did UConn take a significant risk to it's streak?

XX Out of Conference Road game
YY Conference Road Game
Italics - NCAA Tournament Neutral Court Game Sweet 16 to Final Four
BOLD = significant top 10 ROAD Win Out of Conference

2008-2009 SCHEDULE
11/16/08 vs. Georgia Tech Storrs, Conn. W, 82-71
11/20/08 vs. San Diego State Hartford, Conn. W, 99-55
11/22/08 vs. Rhode Island Hartford, Conn. W, 91-43
11/25/08 at BYU Provo, Utah W, 96-47...XX
11/30/08 vs. Oklahoma Storrs, Conn W, 106-78
12/03/08 vs. Holy Cross Storrs, Conn W, 96-37
12/14/08 vs. Penn State Madison Sq Garde W, 77-63
12/18/08 vs. Washington Cancun, Mexico W, 109-51
12/19/08 vs. N Colorado Cancun, Mexico W, 85-40
12/21/08 Florida State Cancun, Mexico W, 83-71
12/28/08 South Carolina Columbia, S.C. W, 77-48..XX
12/31/08 vs. Hartford Hartford, Conn. W, 78-41
01/03/09 vs. LSU Hartford, Conn. W, 76-63
01/06/09 at USF * Tampa, Fla W, 83-37..YY
01/10/09 at W Va Morgantown, W.Va W, 85-55..YY
01/13/09 vs. DePaul * Storrs, Conn W, 77-62
01/17/09 vs. Syracuse * Hartford, Conn. W, 107-53
01/19/09 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. W, 88-58XX
01/24/09 at Cincinnati * Cincinnati, Oh W, 65-34..YY
01/26/09 vs. Louisville * Storrs, Conn. W, 93-65
01/31/09 at Georgetown * Washington, D.C W, 80-61..YY
02/03/09 vs. Rutgers * Hartford, Conn. W, 75-56
02/07/09 at Marquette * Milwaukee, Wisc. W, 83-49..YY
02/11/09 at St. John's * Queens, N.Y. W, 77-64..YY
02/15/09 vs. Pittsburgh * Storrs, Conn. W, 95-42
02/18/09 at Providence * Providence, R.I W, 75-39..YY
02/22/09 vs. Notre Dame * Hartford, Conn. W, 76-66
02/24/09 vs. Villanova * Storrs, Conn. W, 74-47
02/28/09 vs. Seton Hall * Hartford, Conn. W, 81-50
03/02/09 at Rutgers Piscataway, N.J. W, 69-59..YY
BIG EAST Tournament
03/08/09 vs. USF Hartford, Conn. W, 79-42
03/09/09 vs. Villanova Hartford, Conn W, 72-42
03/10/09 vs. Louisville Hartford, Conn. W, 75-36
NCAA Tournament
03/22/09 vs. Vermont Storrs, Conn. W, 104-65
03/24/09 vs. Florida Storrs, Conn W, 87-59
03/29/09 vs. California Trenton, NJ W, 77-53
03/31/09 vs. Arizona State Trenton, NJ W, 83-64
04/05/09 vs. Stanford St. Louis, Mo. W, 83-64
04/07/09 vs. Louisville St. Louis, Mo. W, 76-54

21 games AT HOME
Out of Conference significant road wins – ONE vs NC in Chapel Hill
significant neutral court wins – ONE vs Stanford in Final Four

2009-10 UConn Women's Basketball Schedule
11/17/09 at Texas San Antonio, Texas(AT&T Center) W, 83-58
11/20/09 at Holy Cross Worcester, Mass. (DCU Center) W, 87-34..XXX
11/27/09 vs. Hofstra Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 91-46
11/28/09 vs. Richmond Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 91-37
11/29/09 vs. Clemson Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 87-48
12/03/09 vs. Vermont Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 84-42
12/10/09 vs. Hartford Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 80-45
12/20/09 vs. Iona Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 90-35
12/23/09 vs. Stanford Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 80-68
12/28/09 at Florida St Tallahassee, Fla. W, 78-59..XX
01/02/10 at Seton Hall * Newark, N.J. (Prudential Center) W, 91-24..YY
01/04/10 vs. USF * Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 84-42
01/07/10 vs. Cincinnati * Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 83-51
01/09/10 vs. North Carolina Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 88-47
01/13/10 at Marquette * Milwaukee, Wisc. (Al McGuire Center) W, 68-43..YY
01/16/10 vs. Notre Dame * Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 70-46
01/18/10at Duke Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor)W, 81-48XX
01/23/10 at Villanova * Villanova, Pa. (The Pavilion) W, 74-35..YY
01/26/10 vs. Rutgers * Hartford, Conn.(XL Center) W, 73-36
01/30/10 at Pittsburgh * Pittsburgh, Pa.(Petersen Events Center) W, 98-56..YY
02/02/10 vs. West Virginia * Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 80-47
02/07/10 at Louisville * Louisville, Ky. (Freedom Hall) W, 84-38..YY
02/10/10 at DePaul Chicago, Ill. (McGrath Arena W, 95-62..YY
02/13/10 vs. St. John's * Storrs, Conn. (Gampel Pavilion) W, 66-52
02/15/10at Oklahoma Norman, Ok (Lloyd Noble) W, 76-60XX
02/20/10 vs. Providence * Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 85-53
02/24/10 at Syracuse * Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dom W, 87-66..YY
02/27/10 vs. Georgetown * Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 84-62
03/01/10 at Notre Dame *South Bend, Ind. (Joyce Center) W, 76-51..YY
BIG EAST Tournament
03/07/10 vs. Syracuse Hartford, Conn.(XL Center) W, 77-41
03/08/10 vs. Notre Dame Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 59-44
03/09/10 vs. West Virginia Hartford, Conn. (XL Center) W, 60-32
NCAA Championship
03/21/10 vs. Southern orfolk, Va. (Constant Convocation Center) W, 95-39
03/23/10 vs. Temple Norfolk, Va. (Constant Convocation Center) W, 90-36
03/28/10 vs. Iowa State Dayton, Ohio (UD Arena) W, 74-36
03/30/10 vs. Florida State Dayton, Ohio (UD Arena) W, 90-50
04/04/10 vs. Baylor San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome) W, 70-50
04/06/10 vs. Stanford San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome) W, 53-47

19 home games
2 significant out of conference road wins at Duke and at Oklahoma

12/28/10 Stockton, Calif. (Alex G.Spanos Center) 85, Pacific 42.. XX
12-21-10 XL Center (Hartford, Conn.) 93, Florida State 62
12/19/10 New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) 81, OHIO STATE 50
12-09-10 Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Conn.) 79, Marquette 47
12-05-10 XL Center (Hartford, Conn.) 86, Sacred Heart 32
12-02-10 Tampa, Fla. 80, USF 54..YY
11-28-10 Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Conn.) 81, LSU 51
11-27-10 Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Conn.) 81, Lehigh 38
11-26-10 Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Conn.) 86, Howard 25
11/21/10 Alexander Mem Col, Atlanta, Ga 71, Georgia Tech 51.. XX
11-16-10 XL Center (Hartford, Conn.) 65, Baylor 64
11-14-10 Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Conn.) 117, Holy Cross 37
12/30/10 Stanford, Calif. Stanford 71 UCnn 59

48 HOME GAMES compared to 37 for the Lady Vols
26 True Road Games compared to 36 for the Lady Vols
16 Neutral Court Games compared to 17 for the Lady Vols
6 ROAD GAMES VS TOP 2O RPI vs 18 ROAD GAMES VS TOP 20 RPI
See Tennessee's comparative schedule in the post directly below this one


UConn played an amazing 48 home games during this streak. In part because UConn gets the incredible advantage of playing every Big East Tournament game on it's home court at the XL center in Hartford.

IN addition UConn played 16 neutral court games during their long streak

Leaving only 26 of 90 games on the road on opponent’s courts and 18 of those 26 games were against conference foes YY leaving a total of 8 games on the road Out of Conference designated by XX Those 8 out of conference road games:
Holy Cross
Pacific
Florida State
Georgia Tech
South Carolina
BYU
Duke
UNC
Oklahoma

in conference road games 16
USF
West Virginia
Cinn
Georgetown
Marquette
St John's
Providence
Rutgers
Seton Hall
Marquette
Villanova
Louisville
DePaul
Syracuse
Notre Dame
USF

Here are the top 20 teams by RPI for the 2009 and 2010 seasons
Teams in bold were UConn opponents during the year

2010 Top 20 RPI
1 Connecticut 33-0 0.7323 2 0.6431 1 1
2 Stanford 31-1 0.6996 9 0.6098 2 2
3 Tennessee 30-2 0.6955 7 0.6148 4 4
4 Nebraska 30-1 0.6769 31 0.5800 3 3
5 Duke 27-5 0.6735 5 0.6167 9 8
6 Texas A&M 25-7 0.6646 3 0.6258 15 14
7 Notre Dame 27-5 0.6635 12 0.6034 6 7
8 Oklahoma 23-10 0.6583 1 0.6454 11 12

9 Ohio State 30-4 0.6517 39 0.5748 10 10
10 West Virginia 28-5 0.6453 33 0.5775 7 9
11 Xavier 27-3 0.6400 61 0.5533 5 5
12 Oklahoma St 23-10 0.6367 6 0.6167 20 20
13 Texas 22-10 0.6288 10 0.6093 18 22
14 Florida St 26-5 0.6286 54 0.5585 8 6

15 Baylor 23-9 0.6266 14 0.5958 14 15
16 Virginia 21-9 0.6233 13 0.5977 24 19
17 Michigan St 22-9 0.6226 17 0.5935 25 23
18 Georgetown 24-6 0.6212 50 0.5615 12 11
19 Kentucky 25-7 0.6193 48 0.5653 19 18
20 Vanderbilt 22-10 0.6187 1 0.5958 unranked

2009 TOP TWENTY RPI
Connecticut 33-0 0.7064 7 0.6086 1 1
2 Oklahoma 28-4 0.6984 2 0.6396 3 3
3 Maryland 28-4 0.6959 3 0.6361 4 4
4 Louisville 29-4 0.6728 10 0.6041 5 5
5 Duke 26-5 0.6687 6 0.6120 6 8
6 Baylor 27-5 0.6618 12 0.6012 7 7
7 Texas A&M 25-7 0.6609 5 0.6208 10 9
8 Auburn 29-3 0.6562 33 0.5729 8 6
9 Stanford 29-4 0.6519 30 0.5762 2 2
10 Tennessee 22-10 0.6518 1 0.6399 19 24
11 North Carolina 26-6 0.6512 14 0.5974 11 11
12 Florida St 25-7 0.6484 11 0.6041 13 13
13 Ohio State 27-5 0.6441 26 0.5776 9 10
14 Iowa State 23-8 0.6280 17 0.5900 18 19
15 Notre Dame 22-8 0.6252 18 0.5891 24 20
16 Pittsburgh 22-7 0.6221 29 0.5765 14 17
17 Rutgers 18-12 0.6217 4 0.6290

18 Texas 21-11 0.6197 8 0.6075 23 21
19 Virginia 23-9 0.6170 22 0.5831 25 23
20 LSU 18-10 0.6152 9 0.6060

3.24.2011

Comparing Schedules TN 2007 08 and 09

11/11/07 vs. UT-Chattanooga Knoxville, Tenn. W, 76-56
11/15/07 vs. Oklahoma Tampa, Fla. W, 70-67
11/18/07 vs. Texas Knoxville, Tenn. W, 92-67
11/21/07 at West Virginia Charleston, W. Va. W, 67-49
11/26/07 vs. Louisiana Tech Knoxville, Tenn. W, 81-60
12/02/07 vs. North Carolina Knoxville, Tenn. W, 83-79
12/05/07 vs. Old Dominion Knoxville, Tenn. W, 83-51
12/13/07 vs. Middle Tennessee State Knoxville, Tenn. W, 84-61
12/16/07 vs. Gonzaga Knoxville, Tenn. W, 96-73
12/19/07 at UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. W, 82-70
12/22/07 at Stanford Stanford, Calif. L, 73-69 (OT)
01/02/08 at DePaul Chicago, Ill. W, 102-68
01/05/08 at Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. W, 87-63
01/10/08 vs. Auburn * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 85-52
01/13/08 at South Carolina * Columbia S.C. W, 71-48
01/17/08 at Kentucky * Lexington, Ky. W, 65-40
01/20/08 vs. Vanderbilt * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 79-63
01/24/08 vs. Arkansas * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 98-55
01/28/08 at Duke (Big Monday) Durham, N.C. W, 67-64
01/31/08 at Mississippi * Oxford, Miss. W, 68-44
02/03/08 vs. Kentucky * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 79-51
02/07/08 at Mississippi * Starksville, Miss. W, 87-69
02/11/08 vs. Rutgers Knoxville, Tenn. W, 59-58
02/14/08 vs. LSU * Knoxville, Tenn. L, 78-62
02/17/08 at Vanderbilt * Nashville, Tenn. W, 81-68
02/21/08 at Alabama * Tuscaloosa, Ala. W, 85-58
02/24/08 vs. Mississippi State * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 72-46
02/28/08 vs. Florida * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 88-61
03/02/08 at Georgia * Athens, Ga. W, 72-63
SEC Tournament
03/07/08 vs. Florida Nashville, Tenn. W, 92-61
03/08/08 vs. Vanderbilt Nashville, Tenn. W, 63-48
03/09/08 vs. LSU Nashville, Tenn. W, 61-55
NCAA Tournament
03/23/08 vs. Oral Roberts West Lafayette, Ind. W, 94-55
03/25/08 vs. Purdue West Lafayette, Ind. W, 78-52
03/30/08 vs. Notre Dame Oklahoma City, Okla. W, 47-46
04/01/08 vs. Texas A&M Oklahoma City, Okla. W, 53-45
NCAA Final Four
04/06/08 vs. LSU Tampa, Fla. W, 47-46
04/08/08 vs. Stanford Tampa, Fla. W, 64-48


15 Home Games
9 Neutral court games
13 True Road Games

11/12/06 vs. Chattanooga Knoxville, Tenn. W, 102-72
11/16/06 vs. UCLA Knoxville, Tenn. W, 83-60
11/19/06 at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. W, 83-74
11/24/06 vs. Stanford Knoxville, Tenn. W, 77-60
11/26/06 vs. Mid Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. W, 88-64
11/28/06 at Louisiana Tech Ruston, La. W, 71-50
12/03/06 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. L, 70-57
12/05/06 vs. Tennessee-Martin Knoxville, Tenn. W, 85-29
12/07/06 vs. G Washington Knoxville, Tenn. W, 85-62
12/17/06 at Texas Austin, Texas W, 67-46
12/20/06 vs. West Virginia Knoxville, Tenn. W, 66-51
12/22/06 at Old Dominion Norfolk, Va. W, 75-59
12/30/06 vs. Notre Dame Knoxville, Tenn. W, 78-54
01/03/07 vs. Alabama Knoxville, Tenn. W, 72-36
01/06/07 at Connecticut Hartford, Conn. W, 70-64
01/11/07 at Florida * Gainesville, Fla. W, 80-58
01/14/07 at Georgia * Athens, Ga. W, 52-41
01/18/07 vs. Missi State * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 73-44
01/22/07 vs. Duke Knoxville, Tenn. L, 74-70
01/25/07 at Vanderbilt * Nashville, Tenn. W, 67-57
01/28/07 at Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala. W, 80-51
02/01/07 vs. South Carolina * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 72-36
02/05/07 vs. Georgia * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 73-57
02/08/07 at Auburn * Auburn, Ala . W, 72-62
02/11/07 vs. Kentucky Knoxville, Tenn. W, 84-62
02/15/07 vs. Mississippi * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 81-69
02/19/07 at LSU * Baton Rouge, La. W, 56-51
02/22/07 at Arkansas * Fayetteville, Ark. W, 75-68
02/25/07 vs. Vanderbilt * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 73-53
SEC Tournament
03/02/07 vs. South Carolina * Duluth, Ga. W, 81-63
03/03/07 vs. LSU Duluth, Ga. L, 63-54

NCAA Tournament
03/18/07 vs. Drake University Pittsburgh, Pa . W, 76-37
03/20/07 vs. Pittsburgh Piitsburgh, Pa . W, 68-54
03/25/07 vs. Marist Dayton, Ohio W, 65-46
03/27/07 vs. Mississippi Dayton, Ohio W, 98-62
04/01/07 vs. North Carolina Cleveland, Ohio W, 56-50
04/03/07 vs. Rutgers Cleveland, Ohio W, 59-46

15 Home Games
8 Neutral court games
13 True Road Games


73 games prior

11/21/08 at Chattanooga Chattanooga, Tenn. W, 66-63
11/23/08 vs. Louisiana Tech Knoxville, Tenn. W, 94-59
11/25/08 vs. Western Carolina Knoxville, Tenn. W, 83-56
11/30/08 vs. DePaul Knoxville, Tenn. W, 88-67
12/02/08 at G Washington Wash, D.C. W, 71-59
12/11/08 vs. MidTenn State Knoxville, Tenn. W, 81-52
12/14/08 at Texas Austin, Texas L, 73-59
12/18/08 at Old Dominion Norfolk, Va W, 81-76
12/21/08 vs. Stanford Knoxville, Tenn. W, 79-69
12/30/08 at Gonzaga Spokane, Wash. W, 77-58
01/03/09 at Rutgers Piscataway, N.J. W, 55-51
01/08/09 vs. Kentucky * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 69-64
01/11/09 at Vanderbilt * Nashville, Tenn. L, 74-58
01/15/09 at Mississippi State * Starkville, Miss. W, 63-56
01/18/09 vs. South Carolina * Knoxville, Tenn. W, 68-56
01/22/09 at Arkansas * Fayetteville, Ark. W, 76-67
01/25/09 at Auburn * Auburn, Ala. L, 82-68


7 Home Games
10 True Road games

90 Game Total
37 Home Games
36 Road Games
17 Neutral Court Games
18 ROAD GAMES vs TOP 20 RPI TEAMS

2006-7 RPI - Teams in BOLD on Lady Vols Schedule
1 Tennessee 28-3 0.7270 1 0.6683 2 2
2 Duke 30-1 0.7100 2 0.6241 1 1
3 Connecticut 29-3 0.6803 6 0.6050 3 3

4 Purdue 28-5 0.6726 4 0.6139 15 14
5 Maryland 27-5 0.6700 5 0.6121 6 5
6 North Carolina 30-3 0.6699 18 0.5902 4 4
7 Oklahoma 26-4 0.6620 16 0.5938 12 11

8 Ohio State 28-3 0.6585 32 0.5769 5 6
9 Vanderbilt 27-5 0.6575 13 0.5954 13 13
10 Stanford 28-4 0.6538 28 0.5801 7 8
11 Georgia 25-6 0.6524 9 0.6010 10 12
12 Rutgers 22-8 0.6484 3 0.6201 18 22
13 Middle Tenn St 29-3 0.6482 47 0.5622 17 17
14 LSU 26-7 0.6457 10 0.5983 11 10
15 George Washington 26-3 0.6430 50 0.5585 8 9
16 Arizona St 28-4 0.6415 46 0.5636 9 7

17 Baylor 25-7 0.6409 15 0.5941 16 15
18 Marquette 25-6 0.6407 21 0.5855 23 19
19 Michigan St 23-8 0.6329 11 0.5966 22 23
20 Old Dominion 24-8 0.6265 22 0.5854

2007 - 08 RPI Teams in BOLD on Lady Vols Schedule
1 Tennessee 30-2 0.7287 1 0.6592 3 3
2 Connecticut 32-1 0.7222 3 0.6397 1 1
3 North Carolina 29-2 0.6933 6 0.6126 2 2
4 Rutgers 24-6 0.6842 2 0.6456 7 7

5 Maryland 30-3 0.6839 9 0.6088 5 6
6 Stanford 30-3 0.6655 26 0.5843 4 4
7 Texas A&M 26-7 0.6557 7 0.6116 11 12
8 LSU 27-5 0.6544 19 0.5913 6 5
9 Duke 22-9 0.6526 4 0.6336 10 10

10 Baylor 24-6 0.6496 13 0.5994 9 8
11 Old Dominion 29-4 0.6489 29 0.5723 14 14
12 Louisville 24-9 0.6443 5 0.6167 23 22
13 Oklahoma 21-8 0.6385 8 0.6099 13 11
14 Notre Dame 23-8 0.6355 12 0.6000 17 19

15 Virginia 23-9 0.6307 11 0.6014 24 23
16 UTEP 27-3 0.6240 82 0.5321 22 25
17 Vanderbilt 23-8 0.6240 25 0.5847 20 20
18 California 26-6 0.6230 44 0.5598 8 9
19 West Virginia 24-7 0.6227 30 0.5721 16 18
20 Oklahoma St 25-7 0.6209 36 0.5675 18 17

2009-10 RPI BOLD = Lady Vols opponent
1 Connecticut 33-0 0.7064 7 0.6086 1 1
2 Oklahoma 28-4 0.6984 2 0.6396 3 3
3 Maryland 28-4 0.6959 3 0.6361 4 4
4 Louisville 29-4 0.6728 10 0.6041 5 5
5 Duke 26-5 0.6687 6 0.6120 6 8
6 Baylor 27-5 0.6618 12 0.6012 7 7
7 Texas A&M 25-7 0.6609 5 0.6208 10 9
8 Auburn 29-3 0.6562 33 0.5729 8 6
9 Stanford 29-4 0.6519 30 0.5762 2 2

10 Tennessee 22-10 0.6518 1 0.6399 19 24
11 North Carolina 26-6 0.6512 14 0.5974 11 11
12 Florida St 25-7 0.6484 11 0.6041 13 13
13 Ohio State 27-5 0.6441 26 0.5776 9 10
14 Notre Dame 22-8 0.6252 18 0.5891 24 20
15 Rutgers 18-12 0.6217 4 0.6290
16 Texas 21-11 0.6197 8 0.6075 23 21

17 Virginia 23-9 0.6170 22 0.5831 25 23
18 LSU 18-10 0.6152 9 0.6060
19 Middle Tenn St 28-5 0.6151 81 0.5373

20 Florida 23-7 0.6129 52 0.5616 21 22

3.23.2011

SUmmiTT Sixteen Bracket Challenge

DAYTON REGION
Tennessee vs Ohio State Winner ________________

Oklahoma vs Notre Dame Winner __________________

PHILADELPHIA Region
5X vs GTown Winner____________________

Depaul vs Duke Winner_____________________

SPOKANE REGION
Stanford vs UNC Winner_____________________

Gonzaga vs Louisville Winner _________________

DALLAS Region
Baylor vs Green Bay Winner____________________

Texas A&M vs UGA Winner_____________________

DAYTON
game 1 winner vs game 2 winner = DAYTON Winner _____________

PHILADELPHIA
Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner = PHILADELPHIA winner _____________

SPOKANE
Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner = SPOKANE Winner ______________

Dallas
Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner = DALLAS Winner ________________

DAYTON vs Philadelphia Winner _________________

SPOKANE vs Dallas Winner ___________________

National Champion winner __________________ Score _________



Sample Entry
Elite Eight
Tennessee vs Oklahoma

GTown vs Duke

Stanford vs Gonzaga

Baylor vs Texas A&M

Final Four
Tennessee vs Duke

Baylor vs Gonzaga

National Championship
Tennessee over Baylor 77 to 74

3.05.2011

Anatomy of an NCAA WCBB Bracketology Prejudice

It is now being postulated by Charlie Creme and his ESPN Bracketology that the Big Least might get 10 teams in the NCAA tournament. This seems grossly unfalr to the members of conferences with 10 or 12 teams for the following reasons.

Bear with me.

Big East W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK
#1 UCONN 16-0 -- 1.000 29-1 .967
#12 DePaul 13-3 3 .813 26-5 .839
#7 N Dame 13-3 3 .813 24-6 .800
Rutgers 11-5 5 .688 18-11 .621
#20 Marquette 10-6 6 .625 22-7 .759
Louisville 10-6 6 .625 19-11 .633
Syracuse 9-7 7 .563 22-8 .733
#17 Gtown 9-7 7 .563 21-9 .700
St. John's 9-7 7 .563 20-9 .690
W Virginia 8-8 8 .500 22-8 .733
Providence 6-10 10 .375 13-15 .464
Pittsburgh 5-11 11 .313 14-16 .467
South Florida 3-13 13 .188 12-19 .387
Villanova 3-13 13 .188 11-18 .379
Cincinnati 2-14 14 .125 9-19 .321
Seton Hall 1-15 15 .063 8-22 .267

There is talk about this league getting 10 teams into the NCAA tournament and many of us have decried the rankings of some of these teams all season long

Perhaps it would be edifying to understand the unfair advantage this 16 team conference has over those of us who have teams in 12 or 10 member conferences.

At first it's clear that it's an incredible advantage to play any of the bottom 6 teams in this league. All of the bottom 6 have losing records In comparison there are only 2 SEC teams with losing records - Ol Miss 10 and 19 and Miss State 13 and 16. Our worst SEC team is better that the bottom two above and Ms State is better than the bottom four. The bottom 6 BEast teams scored 4 wins vs the top 10 teams in over 60 games. Some of those top 10 teams played Seton Hall, Cinncinatti, Pittsburg or Providence twice this season since the 16 game league schedule allows for 2 games vs a single team.

To take it further
Pittsburg has one win over the top 10 in the league over W.Va and losses to Dusquene, St Francis, and 12 win 18 loss Minnesota
Providence has ONE win - a 2 point win over Louisville and they lost to Alabama *our 3rd worst and Florida
and they lost to Hofstra and St Josephs
South Florida eeked out a win over GTown but lost to Samford, Nebraska and Morgan State
Villanova failed to win vs any of the top 10 and lost to Delaware, Drexel and St Josephs
Cinncinatti got a final game win over Marquette and lost to Miami Ohio, Wright State and Dayton
Seton Hall no top 10 BEast wins and losses to Drexel, Hofstra and Fla Gulf Coast

So it's clear that these TOP 10 Beast teams get a start with a 6 and 0 Beast record unless they seriously mess up and it's clear that Marquette, WVa and Louisville have some explaining to do along with St John's and Rutgers as NCAA quality teams.

WVA's best win is over IOWA STATE ranked 17 and if you look at their record you will find it difficult to justify their ranking. They also beat a then ranked 25 TCU that is now out of the NCAA it seems. So why is WVA at 22 and 8 in the tournament? They lost to Pittsburg.
ST John's best win was the first game vs Marist. - So their 20 and 9 record is NCAA bid worthy? BS
Syracuse best win is over Ohio State and we know Ohio State but 22 - 8 with one win over a questionable Big 10 team is good enough for a bid to the dance?
Louisville's best win is the mystery win over KY. - but they lost to ODU Marist Houston and Providence so at 19 and 11 they get to dance?
Marquette beat Wisc Green Bay by 3 and lost to Creighton out of conference but they are 22 and 7 with a win over DePaul in conference and a loss to Cinncinatti. Yet they are ranked 22nd? and dancing.
and finally
RUTGERS lost to Cal Temple and Boston College on the way to a 18 and 11 record yet they are in Charlie Creme's bracket.

Here's my theory. The BEast covers territory from Florida to Mass to Chicago and the cities where they play have lots of papers and writers. There are also a plethora of coaches in a 16 team league with associations with the voting coaches. The more teams in more cities equals more votes. The more coaches with more associations equals more votes.. The votes in the rankings tend to effect the Charlie Creme Bracketology and lest we forget that Bracketology is done in Bristol and it ain't Bristol Tennessee.

The Big East schedule is a very weak schedule - No home and home with the best teams facing each other on the road and at home. Instead a team my go through their schedule playing the 7 best teams at home and the worst teams on the road - what an incredible advantage.
No way this situation is fair to teams in a league where they play home and away vs the best teams in their league. Do you see it any other way?

Example of a great BEast schedule is Marquette
they got ND DePaul, Rutgers, Syracuse WVa St John's and Lousiville AT HOME and still lost to SYR ND and Rutgers.
Louisville got St Johns, Rutgers Gtown WVa and DePaul at home and ND 5x and Syr on the road losing to all of them
So is it fair to compare a Big 12 or Big 10 or SEC or Pac 10 team that has to play home and away vs the top teams in their league with a BEast team that only plays one game vs the best in their league and pads their specs with wins over 6 teams with losing records - four of which don't even get to play in the Big Least tournament. What say you? BOGUS or FAIR?
There is much more detailed data included in THIS THREAD on The SUmmiTT message board Several of the least deserving Charlie Creme NCAA Tournament Teams records from the BEast are broken down in detail according to the Real Time RPI.

4.04.2008

KEEPING UP TO DATE ON MAYAGATE

Jeff Jacobs the Hartford Courant dropped this strange quote by the caustic creepy coach from the North:

"We've had to answer a lot of questions about how we recruit, what we did in recruiting, what we didn't do," Auriemma said on the conference call. "I, quite frankly, am sick of it. Our university spent a lot of time and a lot of effort having to defend ourselves against a lot of accusations that turned out to be nothing, or the NCAA would have come down hard on us — which they didn't."

Auriemma was making it sound as if he was blaming Tennessee for having to endure the scrutiny.

"That's where the allegations came from, the SEC," he said. "That's public knowledge."

The clouds that Summitt brought are dark ones. For months, nameless people also have speculated in chat rooms that Auriemma may have made callous remarks about Summitt's personal life. I've gotten my share of e-mails on it. Auriemma has flatly denied such a thing. You see what Summitt's silence has done. How can Auriemma defend himself against stuff like that?


"spent a lot of time and effort?" on what?
Filling out that secondary violation form that's been floating around the net?

And as far as "nameless people in chat rooms making callous remarks about Summitt's personal life? Well try on this one from The Boneyard

By Gotham Blue
  • Member

Posted: Thursday April 3 8:13 PM

Re: Fly on the wall...


Geno: Prison rules OK by you?
Pat: Sorry Geno, I don't understand?
Geno: You will!
Geno: Hey, I saw Mickie DeMoss in Bridgeport.
Pat: (silence, glare)
Geno: She didn't shake my hand after we beat Texas, I think she was a little upset with the outcome, but she looked great.
Pat: (silence, glare, rapid blinking)
Geno: I thought she said she was retiring back in April? Was surprised when she came out of retirement so quickly in July and ended up with Gail in Texas? Looks like things are working out pretty good for both of them down in Austin!
Pat: (silence, glare, rapid blinking, clenched lips)
Geno: (staring at Pat's tightly clenched lips, thinks..hasn't this woman heard of botox?)
Geno: Well good luck (turns, walks away, mutters under breath...you'll need it!).
Pat: (turns, walks away, mumbles)

Or this piece of crap from
by eric sandiego

Posted: 3/13/2008 12:59 PM

Re: Livid link


the fact that she is a lesbian who cheated on her husband for years and then proceeded to cheat on her then lesbian lover who happened to be an assistant coach?


GEE NO does it seem as if the UConn faithful may be guilty of echoing the whispers of their coach and hero?


The SEC reported the FACT that someone at UConn arranged a PRIVATE TOUR of ESPN for Maya Moore and her mother. That is a fact.

It does not matter who revealed the information to the SEC does it? The information was correct. Why should anyone care who brought it to the attention of the SEC?
What does that change?

Actually the only story today in the Tennessean revealed by a search for "Pat Summitt" includes this:

Recruit rehash: Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma's latest Final Four squad will have to wade through the distractions that come with being on the sports biggest stage — the hype, the media and, of course, the feud. The other semifinal features defending champion UT and LSU.

Summitt did not renew the yearly regular-season series with UConn this season and UT had alleged that UConn violated a minor NCAA rule when courting Moore, who also was sought by UT.

"It's unfortunate its got to this point," Auriemma said. "We've had to answer a lot of questions about how we recruit and I'm quite frankly sick of it. Our university had to spend a lot of time defending itself and nothing came of it. I'm worried about Stanford and Connecticut. And that's it."

Some of us are not so naive as to believe that much is known that might be better left unsaid. The aim here on Pat's part is to make certain that he changes his ways with some hope that he may do that in his own self interest without bring to light specifics that may well be harmful to players she would prefer to see unharmed.

Walking the fine line between getting him to play by the rules without exposing the kids who are not at fault seems like Pat to me. So she is leaving it up to him if he wants talk about it. He knows what he did and Pat knows. Now we wait to see if he will do as he has said and talk about it if he gets to the final four. Meanwhile she is doing exactly what she said she would do.

Knowing the situation and knowing what the NCAA will or will not do the best strategy to keep a cheater form cheating may well be the threat of exposure to bad publicity instead of relying on an ineffective NCAA to properly investigate and punish offenders for cheating.

For instance we know that a coach from UConn arranged a private tour of ESPN
But here is what we do not know
Did Maya tell her friends that her decision to sign with UConn was greatly influenced by that visit?
Who took Maya and her mother to ESPN?
Who did they meet on that tour?
What was said to Maya on that tour about her future and ESPN?
Was Rebecca Lobo involved?
Was Doris Burke involved?
Did they stay the night in Birstol?
At whos expense?
Did ESPN offer to help Mrs Moore with the sale of her products?
How many UConn fans work at ESPN in Bristol?
How many UConn supporters work at ESPN in Bristol?
Was Maya promised an internship or any part time employment?
How many on screen personalities did she meet?
How many of them encouraged her to sign with UConn?
Was she told that they would try her out as a color commentator after graduating from UConn while playing in the WNBA?

Once we know that the illegal arrangement for the private special tour was made and that the NCAA considered that a secondary violation we know that the NCAA waited on a report from UConn and that nothing else was done.
UConn issued a statement that the investigation has ended.
But none of the questions above were either asked or answered

So you can believe whatever you wish about the situation
I believe that the questions above are very relevant and important because Pat would never violate the spirit and letter of NCAA regulations and put herself in a position where these questions could be asked.

The NCAA is either unwilling or incapable of investigating to the point of getting the answers to my questions. As far as I am concerned if you or anyone else does not think that undue influence by the major force in WCBB broadcasting on an impressionable HS junior is possible you aren't thinking.
Like Caroline Doty telling the press that she made up her mind while eating Wendy's in Geno's office Maya may well have told someone that she made up her mind because of something to do with someone at ESPN.

If you think that is fair and within the rules then you and I have very different views of the situation.

3.15.2008

MAYAGATE links deleted by ESPN moderators

Today I posted a simple link to this NYT Story on the WCBB board

A very nice story AurabassPost #1: 1:54 pm Quote | Report ViolationTotal Posts: 2140
from the New York Times
the original link

These are links to an article and they in no way violate any rule of this board.

These posts were deleted by the moderators FIVE TIMES while threads containing links to the Jim Rome Pat Summitt story by cferraro
and links to the Geno article in CT newspapers were allowed to remain

ESPN moderators are deleting perfectly acceptable posts on the WCBB forum at the request of UCONN fans and it has to stop.

MAYAGATE from the NYT

RECRUITS NOT WELCOME BUT COACHES ARE

"You can't just call ESPN willy-nilly and ask for a tour, so you have to be a somebody or a friend or relative of someone at ESPN. I called the ESPN switchboard Thursday and asked for group tours.

Those tours ended, for security reasons, after the 9/11 attacks.

ESPN has changed its policy to end all visits like Moore's, which makes you wonder how many other hot recruits coveted by local universities like UConn have taken the tour."

So there you have it from the venerable NYT.

These open tours have not been available since Sept 2001 long before the arranged visit and the question is raised was this tour gambit used before or since?

"So the call went to ESPN's programming department, which schedules a billion hours of college hoops for the 7,321 ESPN platforms. If any part of ESPN should have known, or at least guessed, that such a tour might give Moore a benefit, however minor, that could help UConn woo her, you would think it would be programming. Yes, you would think."

1.28.2008

ESPN WCBB BOARD NEWS

A quick thank you to Community EDs from ESPN
and the moderator from the Prospero messageboards group who have communicated with me about the situation concerning the ESPN WCBB Messageboard.

A quick recap.
Over the past few weeks several posters as fans of both UConn and UT have seen posts deleted and have been banned for 24 hours for no apparent reason.
The situation began when Slewbopper joined by Glenn MacGrady posted requests for ESPN WCBB message board participants to use the REPORT VIOLATION utility on any post made by the poster known as "Ladyvolsrbest08", "parker08", "ladyvolsrchamps08", and a hundred variations on those names and any post that I made.
Glenn MacGrady tried his best to convince ESPN WCBB Message board participants that I was the same poster as the one using these hundred screen names. From Mid-December through January many of my posts were deleted using this method. It seemed that the moderators did not bother to read the posts but simply deleted everything that was reported.

After pointing out this problem to Community EDs I was contacted by a moderator for Prospero who has exchanged several e-mails with me.
Here are a couple of things all participants on the ESPN WCBB boards need to know.
1) Posters who report excessive violations will be "flagged"
2) Attacks on public figures like announcers are not considered fair game and they can be reported and deleted. This was a surprise to me.
3) There are live moderators despite the assumption by some that there were none.
4) Now at least one of these moderators has been made aware of the situation.

A post of mine called CRYSTAL BALL was deleted in the past few days and it can be read just as it was posted below this post on this weblog. It obviously did not violate any rule. The moderator deleted the entire thread and asked that I repost it as I did.

Thank you Community EDs and Mr. Moderator for taking the time to look into the situation.
Hopefully the ESPN WCBB messageboard participants will now refrain from using the 'Report Violation' utility to try to eliminate posts that are within the rules just to discourage posters who might disagee with their point of view.

Good participants like cferraro, VolAddict, Chaffon, and others have found themselves banned for 24 hours or with deleted posts that were not in violation and it's time these campaigns by certain posters to eliminate opponents by reporting good posts as violations were stopped.
I hope Slewbopper and MacGrady got the message.

and I suggest that ESPN and the messageboard moderators see fit to clarify the rules publicly
by stating that misuse of the 'REPORT VIOLATION' utility will not be tolearated
and making it known that public personalities are not considered fair game on the message board.

Recent post to the ESPN WCBB Board
What I have learned
First I made a post on The LadyVols Weblog to cover this in case it disappears
That post is particularly complimentary to the Moderator and Community EDS for their communication with me on this subject.

This forum is run by PROSPERO - a well known forum operator and the moderation is done by them not ESPN.
so they are paid by ESPN
or
they get the advertising $$$ by using the ESPN name in an agreement
at any rate it is profitable for Prospero.

Of some nearly 2000 posts over 6 years I have been banned some 6 or 8 times
some of those were deserved when I replied in kind or in anger
I have had maybe 20 posts deleted
This has increased dramatically since mid-December when some people decided to target me as responsible for "ladyvolsrbest08" and all of his incarnations.

Community EDS is a responsible ESPN agent who was kind enough to communicate about this issue
Community EDS had a moderator contact me by email
and that EMAIL was from PROSPERO

The moderator sent a post I made about Nancy Liberman which was indeed a catty personal comment about her announcing - that post was deleted and I was banned for 24 hours for making the comment.
I responded that I did not think personal comments about public figures were bannable offenses.
I was told I was wrong about that
I suggested that the RULES clearly show that 'personal attacks' are not allowed no matter who they are directed toward.

I sent an email making the moderator aware of the plan issued by some to use the REPORT VIOLATION button to eliminate unwanted posters.
I was told that indiscriminate use of the REPORT VIOLATION button would result in an account being flagged.

Here is what I think everyone who wants a fair and open forum should do
Keep a record of posts and threads that disappear.
I now keep a copy of my posts for a week and certain time consuming posts like the CRYSTAL BALL post or HOME COURT ADVANTAGE are also posted to my blog on the ESPN PROFILE.
When a thread or post disappears without cause it should be reported.
I cannot post how to report it here but I will let cferraro and VolAddict know who and how if they want to take the time to pass these reports on to the proper person.
Maybe VandyWhit should do it.

Maybe we can get this to stop
I am obviously not the person to do the reporting
but cferraro for UConn and VolAddict for UT should be respected enough to do the right thing. If anyone thinks there should be someone else say so now.

I don't think ESPN realizes that PROSPERO uses a BOT to decide these issues
PROSPERO should upgrade the BOT if they are going to use it.
I'm relatively certain that there are only a few paid moderators at PROSPERO to handle 100's of message boards.

I think we all want a place where we can argue on equal footing
Where no one group can decide the fate of any single poster
no matter how much they disagree with what that poster has to say
we should all respect the right to say it.