USA National Team Update: Ogwumike Sisters Lead EuroLeague Scorers, Griner Has Beijing on Top of WCBA Standings, Parker & Taurasi Lead Unbeaten UMMC ... And Much More
Four 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team members are currently competing in China, 11 are in the EuroLeague, three are competing in the EuroCup, one is in Australia, two are in South Korea and two are still in college. The remaining athletes are either staying in the United States during the WNBA off-season or have not yet reported to an overseas team.
Every Thursday throughout the 2014-15 season, USA Basketball will report on the progress of the athletes competing overseas and in NCAA action.
Below are recaps (in order) from the NCAA, China, EuroCup, EuroLeague, Australia and South Korea. Check back weekly to see how each player is progressing through the season.
NCAA - UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Geno Auriemma and his Huskies, including USA National Team members Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart, are off to a 5-1 start to the season. Following their overtime loss to Stanford, UConn picked off Creighton (96-60), before earning the Gulf Coast Showcase championship trophy with wins over College of Charleston (85-24), Vanderbilt (91-52) and Green Bay (89-53). Their next big test is this Saturday, a clash against No. 2 Notre Dame at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by a Dec. 19 contest against 2006-14 USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno and DePaul. Mosqueda-Lewis is currently leading the Huskies in scoring (18.0 ppg., 4.6 rpg.), while Stewart is second in both scoring and rebounding (16.7 ppg., 6.8 rpg.).
CHINA INTO SECOND STAGE ROUND 4
While Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving, China’s WCBA was wrapping up the regular season and over the past week competed in the first four games of the second round. Brittney Griner helped lead Beijing Great Wall to a 9-1 regular-season record to take the No. 1 spot in the standings, while Sylvia Fowles’ Shanghai Sharks also finished at 9-1 and in possession of second place. Most surprising was two-time defending champion Shanxi Flames, featuring reigning WNBA MVP Maya Moore, dropped to 8-2 and finished in fourth place. Candice Dupree and Zhejiang Far East posted a 2-8 mark on the regular season and have been relegated to playing for 9th place.
Griner posted a double-double of 29 points and 10 boards in Beijing’s 73-51 defeat of Shanxi to earn Player of the Week honors for Round 10. Today Moore nabbed the honor after pouring in 49 points and grabbing 11 boards as Shanxi downed Guangdong 87-70.
The next big game between the three USA National Team players still in the playoff hunt will see Shanghai host Shanxi on Dec. 13, while Shanxi hosts Beijing on Dec. 16 and Shanghai travels to Beijing for a Dec. 18 clash. The three teams will play another ‘round-robin’ of games in the final three games of the second stage on Jan. 3, 6 and 8.
WCBA Second Round Standings
|1. Beijing (Griner)||11-1|
|2. Shanghai (Fowles)||10-2|
|4. Shanxi (Moore)||9-3|
|11. Zhejiang (Dupree)||2-9|
USA National Team Members Among Top 10 WCBA Leaders
Points: Moore (1st, 31.8 ppg.), Fowles (2nd, 27.4 ppg.), Griner (5th, 23.0 ppg.), Dupree (8th, 18.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Fowles (1st, 14.8 rpg.), Dupree (5th, 10.6 rpg.), Griner (9th, 7.3 rpg.)
Assists: Moore (3rd, 4.4 apg.)
Steals: Moore (1st, 3.2 spg.), Fowles (6th, 2.2 spg.)
Blocked Shots: Griner (1st, 3.0 bpg.), Fowles (2nd, 1.9 bpg.), Moore (6th, 0.8 bpg.)
EUROCUP WEEK 4
The EuroCup is comprised of seven first round groups of four teams and one group of three. Following a double round-robin (home and away) in each group, the top two finishing teams will be seeded and advance to the knockout stages, beginning with round of 16 and continuing through the finals. Each playoff round will consist of a home and away game, with the aggregate score between each pair of teams determining the winner for advancement to the next round. The champion will have an opportunity to contend as a wildcard entry to the 2015-16 EuroLeague competition.
Stefanie Dolson: has aided Spartak Moscow Region to a 4-0 record to start the season, including this week’s 86-37 rout of Fortuna, and clinched a spot in the EuroCup round of 16. Dolson is leading her team in points, rebounds and blocked shots, averaging 14.3 ppg. and 8.3 rpg. Spartak will take on Mersin and Orduspor over the next two weeks, both are teams Spartak defeated earlier in the schedule, earning a 66-49 win over Orduspor on the road and 85-77 over Mersin at home.
Bria Hartley and Kayla McBride: helped Hungary’s UE Sopron to a 4-0 record and they also clinched a spot in the round of 16. Sopron’s victories over the past two weeks have been close, an 83-76 win over Namur and a 65-69 victory this week over Hungarian rival Pinkk Pecsi 424 this week. Led by McBride’s 17.5 ppg. and 8.3 rpg., Sopron is also receiving 12.3 ppg., 4.5 rpg. and 2.5 apg. from Hartley.
EUROLEAGUE WEEK 5
Candace Parker (15.8 ppg., 11.0 rpg., 1.5 bpg.) and Diana Taurasi (13.3 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 7.0 apg.) are sitting in familiar territory with UMMC Ekaterinburg, which is 4-0 and atop Group A standings. That said, Ekat isn’t as dominating as the team has been in past years and have won each of the games by no more than 10 points apiece.
In second place in Group A is Seimone Augustus (10.5 ppg., 2.8 apg.) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (21.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg.) have their Dynamo Kursk squad (3-1) tied in second place among the group with ZVVZ USK Prague. Dynamo Kursk has yet to face either UMMC or Prague, but will meet up with those teams on back-to-back weeks starting with Prague on Dec. 10 and Ekat on Dec. 18. Also while we were eating turkey and giving thanks, Nneka Ogwumike picked up the EuruLeague Player of the Week honor after a 19-point, 12-rebound performance -- her third double-double in three games.
Wisla Can-Pack, meanwhile, is in the middle of the group, tied in fourth place with a 2-2 mark. Wisla, whose two losses came at the hands of Dynamo and Ekaterinburg, includes USA National Team athletes Jantel Lavender (14.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg.) and Courtney Vandersloot (8.8 ppg., 3.8 apg.).
With a 4-1 slate, thanks to the double-punch of DeWanna Bonner (18.2 ppg., 6.4 rpg.) and Glory Johnson (13.4 ppg., 7.4 rpg.), Nadezhda Orenburg is in a three-way tie at the top of Group B. Nadezhda will meet up with another of the 4-1 teams, Fenerbahce in two weeks and that will help break things open at the top of the heap. The team’s lone loss came at the hands of CB Avenida (4-1) in Week 2, 61-50, in Spain.
Fenerbahce, also No. 1 with a 4-1 mark, is being led by Tina Charles (16.4 ppg., 7.6 rpg.) and Angel McCoughtry (16.8 ppg., 5.4 rpg.) as it chases the elusive EuroLeague title. Fener also received its only defeat from Avenida, 66-60, in Spain.
Despite some powerful games from Chiney Ogwumike (19.3 ppg., 7.3 rpg.), Beretta Famila Schio has a 2-3 record, falling to Avenida 90-65 and Bourges Basket 79-67, and needs to start picking up some wins if it hopes to move to the second round. Next up is a clash in Italy against Fenerbahce.
EuroLeague Stats Leaders
Points: 1. Ogwumike, N. (21.0), 2. Ogwumike, C. (19.3), 3. Bonner, D. (18.2), 8. McCoughtry, A. (16.8), 9. Charles, T. 16.4), 11. Parker, C. (15.8), 18. Lavender, J. (14.0), 20. Johnson, G. (13.4).
Rebounds: 2. Ogwumike, N. (11.0), 3. Parker, C. (11.0), 4. Lavender, J. (11.0), 15. Charles, T. (7.6), 16. Johnson, G. (7.4), 17. Ogwumike, C. (7.3).
Assists: 2. Taurasi, D. (7.0), 16. Vandersloot, C. (3.3).
2014-15 EuroLeague Standings
|2.||ZVVZ USK Praha||3-1|
|4.||Wisla Can-Pack Krakow||2-2|
|5.||Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration||2-2|
|6.||Good Angels Kosice||1-4|
|2.||Nadezhda Orenburg Region||4-1|
|3.||Club Baloncesto Avenida||4-1|
|4.||Tango Bourges Basket||3-2|
|6.||Beretta Famila Schio||2-3|
|7.||Agü Spor Kulübü||1-4|
|8.||BK IMOS Brno||0-5|
Cappie Pondexter was called to join the Dandedong Rangers of the Australian WNBL league, where she has played eight games for the 3-6 squad. She is averaging 18.4 ppg. and 3.8 apg. thus far and is playing along former Phoenix Mercury teammate Penny Taylor.
Odyssey Sims and Alyssa Thomas are teaming up for Hanabank, which is currently 2-10 through the first 12 games of the 37-round season. Sims is averaging league third-bests of 15.6 ppg. 1.6 spg., and a fifth-best 3.2 apg.; while Thomas, who only played in five games, is averaging 14.4 ppg. and 5.6 rpg.