2013-16 USA Basketball Women's National Team Hopefuls Update
December 19, 2013
The EuroLeague is in full swing, the EuroCup Final 16 field is set and the China league is rolling along. So, how are the athletes who are competing overseas this season faring? We have it broken down by league and player below. But first, a few highlights ...
Into the EuroCup Final 16 are Seimone Augustus and Candice Dupree with Dynamo Kursk. They'll face off against Slovakian outfit MBK Ruzomberok in a two-game series Jan. 16 and 23. Also advancing to the Final 16 are Tina Charles and Lindsay Whalen, who have advanced Dynamo Moscow to a two-game playoff series against Hungarian club PEAC-Mecs. Should Kursk advance, they'll face the victors of the Mersin Buyuksehir Bld (Matee Ajavon, Ashley and Courtney Paris) vs. Chevakata Vologda (Vicki Baugh) series; while Charles and Whalen would match up against the winners of the Adana Botas (Michelle Snow) vs. Norrkoping Dolphins.
Following this week's games, the EuroLeague will break for the holidays and have seven more weeks of games before the playoffs begin. That said, several atheltes have their teams in good position for a playoff run. Sue Bird, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi have helped UMMC Ekaterinburg claim a 7-0 record atop Group A standing, while the rest of the teams in Group A have at least 2 losses. In Group B, Fenerbache is dominating with a perfect 6-0 mark, thanks to the play of Angel McCoughtry and Cappie Pondexter, and the next closest team is Rivas Ecopolis with a 3-3 record. Group C is the tightest of the preliminary groups, with ZVVZ USK Prague and Galatasaray, both of which have a 5-1 record, fighting for the top spot. Spartak MR Vidnoje was in good position at 3-2 before this week's game, lost Asjha Jones for the season to an Achilles injury last week, and then rallied Thursday for a 68-64 victory to move up to 4-2 on the season.
Sue Bird (UMMC Ekaterinburg, Russia)
- Scored 13 points, dished out eight assists in her one EuroLeague game so far this season. Due to EuroLeague rules, only two non-Euros are allowed to play in league matches and Ekat (X-0) must chose between Bird, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi. Bird has helped UMMC go 6-0 in the Russian league.
- Averaging 12.9 ppg., 3.1 rpg. and 4.0 apg. in eight Russian Premier League games as Ekat has posted a 7-1 record so far this season.
DeWanna Bonner (Nadezhda Orenburg, Russia)
- Averaging 16.7 ppg. and 9.2 rpg. in six games and helped her club win its last two games prior to the break.
- Posted 15 points, five rebounds and two assists to help Nadezhda (2-4) capture its first victory in EuroLeague action, a 71-49 defeat of UE Sopron in Week 5 action.
- Playing alongside Glory Johnson and Kelly Miller, who has a Russian passport, as well as Spain's Anna Cruz.
Glory Johnson (Nadezhda Orenburg, Russia)
- Joined Nadezhda for its final game before the holiday break and contributed 12 points and seven rebounds to a 60-52 victory at Wisla Can-Pack.
Jantel Lavender (Wisla-Can Pack, Krakow, Poland)
- Averaging a EuroLeague-best 21.2 ppg. and second-best 10.7 rpg. for the 3-3 Wisla team.
- Playing alongside Allie Quigley, the two have combined to score 195 (32.5 ppg.) of the team's 389 (64.8 ppg.) points through six games.
Angel McCoughtry (Fenerbache, Turkey)
- Averaging a EuroLeague eighth-best 17.7 ppg. to go with 7.0 rpg. in leading Fener to a 6-0 mark.
- Also featured on Fener's roster is Cappie Pondexter, Turkish passport holder Quanitra Hollingsworth, Poland's Agnieszka 'Biba' Bibrzycka and Turkey's Birsel Vardarli.
Candace Parker (UMMC Ekaterinburg, Russia)
- Paced Ekat to its 5-0 start with EuroLeague-bests of 11.8 rpg. and 74.5 percent shooting from the field, while also contributing 17.6 ppg.
- Won EuroLeague Week 4 MVP honors on Nov. 29 after posting 35 points and 16 rebounds in a 72-68 victory over Prague.
Cappie Pondexter (Fenerbache, Turkey)
- Averaging 9.5 ppg. and and a league seventh-best 4.8 apg. for her 6-0 club.
- Pondexter, who played for Fener in 2007 and 2008, returned in 2012-13 after a four-year haitus during which time she competed for UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Diana Taurasi (UMMC Ekaterinburg, Russia)
- Ekat is off to a 5-0 start, which saw Taurasi suit up starting with its second game.
- Averaging a EuroLeague third-best 6.8 apg., while adding 9.8 ppg. and 4.5 rpg.
- In addition to Bird and Parker, Ekat is easily the most well-balanced team in the EuroLeague circuit this season with Latvia's Anete Jekabsone, France's Sandrine Gruda, Spain's Silvia Dominguez, Belgium's Ann Wauters and Poland's Ewelina Kobryn, but also Russia's Maria Stepanova, Tatiana Popova and Deanna Nolan, who secured a Russian passport several years back.
Courtney Vandersloot (HAT-AGRO Uni Györ)
- Averaging a EuroLeague fourth-best 19.4 ppg. to go with 5.6 rpg., 3.6 apg. and a league third-best 3.0spg. for Györ (0-5), which is still looking to pick up its first win. .
- The team includes Joslyn Tinkle, but doesn't feature a lot of starpower on the team that was devastated earlier this year when its head coach and general manager were killed in an accident, which also took the leg of promising Serbian star Natasa Kovacevic.
Seimone Augustus (Dynamo Kursk, Russia)
- Playing alongside Candice Dupree for Dynamo Kursk, which has a perfect 6-0 record and is into the Final 16.
- Joined the team for its third game and is averaging 16.8 ppg., 4.5 rpg. and 2.5 apg. through four games.
Tina Charles (Dynamo Moscow, Russia)
- Charles is averaging team-highs of 18.4 ppg. and 9.8 rpg. in helping lead Dynamo to a 5-1 record to start the season.
- Posted three double-doubles in five games, including 22 points and 15 rebounds in a 92-86 overtime victory over previously unbeaten Istanbul Universitesi on Dec. 5.
- In addition to U.S. Olympic teammate Lindsay Whalen, there is one more non-Russian on the roster: Ana Dabovic from Serbia.
Candice Dupree (Dynamo Kursk, Russia)
- Aided Dynamo Kursk to a perfect 6-0 record and a berth in the EuroCup Final 16.
- Averaging team-highs of 16.7 ppg. and 7.2 rpg.
Lindsay Whalen (Dynamo Moscow, Russia)
- Playing alongside Tina Charles, is averaging 10.4 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 4.4 apg. in leading Dynamo to a berth in the EuroCup Final 16and a 5-1 record. .
- Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore and Nneka Ogwumike are all playing in China. Fowles' Shanghai team is atop the standings with an 8-1 record, Moore and Shanxi are currently in third place with a 6-3 record, and Ogwumike's Guangdong team is in fifth at 5-4, while Griner's Zhejiang squad climbed up to fourth place at 5-4.
- The trio of Dolson (14.5 ppg., 9.9 rpg.), Mosqueda-Lewis (14.0 ppg.) and Stewart (18.4 ppg., 7.5 rpg.) have aided the Huskies to a perfect 11-0 record and a No. 1 ranking. (stats as of Dec. 19)
- Mosqueda-Lewis injured her elbow in the team's second game and sat out eight games.
Kayla McBride (University of Notre Dame)
- Averaging 14.0 ppg. and 5.7 rpg. for the 9-0 Irish squad.
Odyssey Sims (Baylor University)
- Averaging an eye-popping 30.4 ppg. and 5.3 apg. for the 9-1 Bears, which saw its lone loss come in a four OT 133-130 loss to Kentucky.
Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland)
- The Terps are 10-1 -- their only loss coming against Connecticut 72-55 -- thanks in part to 16.6 ppg. and 11.3 rpg. from Thomas.