Keeping Up With USA National Team Members & Staff Around the Globe
With USA Basketball Women’s National Team members and staff competing worldwide, it can be difficult to keep up with how everyone is faring with their various teams. However, throughout the 2015-16 season, USA Basketball is publishing weekly updates on how the athletes and coaches are faring in their different programs.
Due to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team minicamp, there was no update last Thursday. However, to get a feel for what went on in the camp, check out the links below.
- Brittney Griner Making An Impact On And Off The Court
- 2016 USA Team Hoping To Build On Golden Legacy
- Sue Bird Will Pass The Torch, But To Whom?
- Photo Galleries
USA and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, along with senior All-American Breanna Stewart and the rest of the No. 1 Huskies capped the regular season with a perfect 29-0 record and will next compete in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, March 4-7 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Stewart, who earned her fifth AAC Player of the Week honor in the final week of the season, was named to the AAC All-Conference first team and is a near lock for Player of the Year honors. Stewart is currently ranked second among UConn’s all-time scorers and shot blockers with 2,508 points and 385 blocked shots.
USA National Team assistant coach Doug Bruno his No. 18 Blue Demons (24-7) captured the Big East Conference regular season title and is the No. 1 seed heading into this weekend’s Big East Tournament. Bruno earned Big East Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons.
USA National Team assistant coach Dawn Staley’s No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks posted a perfect 16-0 record in the Southeastern Conference and heads into this weekend’s SEC Tournament with a 28-1 record on the year. Like Bruno, Staley also garnered league Coach of the Year honors, which is her third such award in as many years.
EuroLeague (off week)
Seven USA National Team members are currently competing on five different EuroLeague teams, including Seimone Augustus and Nneka Ogwumike with Dynamo Kursk (Russia), Jantel Lavender for Fenerbahce (Turkey), Jewell Loyd for Galatasaray (Turkey), Kayla McBride for Nadezhda (Russia) and Brittney Griner joined Diana Taurasi with UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia). Candice Dupree joined defending EuroLeague champs ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic) over the holiday break, replacing an injured Danielle Robinson, but only competed in five games before having to bow out prior to the playoffs.
The regular season concluded last week and pairings are out for the best-of-three quarterfinals, which will be contested March 8, March 11 and, if necessary, March 16. Matched up for the next round are:
UMMC Ekaterinburg (Griner, Taurasi) vs. Galatasaray (Loyd)
Nadezhda Orenburg (McBride) vs. Dynamo Kursk (Augustus, Ogwumike)
Fenerbahce (Lavender) vs. Wisla Can-Pack
Famila Schio vs. ZVVZ USK Prague
DYNAMO KURSK (10-4):
- Dynamo Kursk finished in third place in Group A after defeating Perfumerias Avenida 72-66 in Spain. Playing without Augustus, Kursk received 10 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots from Ogwumike.
- Ogwumike is still second in the EuroLeague field for scoring with 17.1 ppg. and fifth for rebounds with 8.6 rpg. She also ranks first in field goal percentage (.581).
- Quarterfinals: Nadezhda Orenburg (9-5).
- Jantel Lavender and Fenerbahce finished atop Group A with a 12-2 mark after defeating cross-town rival Galatasaray (9-5) 71-60 to close the regular season.
- Lavender scored 26 points against Fener, and is averaging 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg., and has scored in double digits in each of the past nine games, including a streak of five games with 18 or more points.
- Quarterfinals: Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (7-7).
- Jewell Loyd and Galatasaray took the fourth spot out of Group A after dropping a 71-60 decision to Fener (12-2), despite a 22-point performance from Loyd, who has posted 15.5 ppg., 4.4 rpg. and 2.1 apg. over 14 EuroLeague games.
- Quarterfinals: UMMC Ekaterinburg (12-2).
- Kayla McBride scored just four points as Nadezhda Orenburg finished the season on a two-game skid after dropping its final contest 70-63 to Castors Braine (5-9).
- McBride is averaging 12.8 ppg. and 3.4 rpg., while shooting 45.6 percent from the field
- Quarterfinals: Dynamo Kursk (10-4).
UMMC EKATERINBURG (12-2):
- Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi helped UMMC Ekaterinburg to a 12-2 finish in the regular season for the No. 1 seed out of Group B. The team took down defending champ USK Prague (8-6) for the second time this season, 69-52. After a first half that saw Ekat finish up four points, 35-31 after a pair of Taurasi free throws, the visitors outscored Prague 34-21 in the second half. Despite shooting 2-of-10 from 3-point, Taurasi finished as the game’s leading scorer with 21 points and dished out four assists. Griner scored 14 points and pulled down five boards.
- Scoring at a EuroLeague-leading clip of 21.3 ppg., Taurasi has scored 19 or more points in each of her past eight games and has scored at least 30 points twice this season.
- Griner is averaging 12.6 ppg., 6.9 rpg. and a league second-best 1.6 bpg.
- Quarterfinals: Galatasaray (9-5).
Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles are battling for the championship in China and each has helped their respective team to a victory in the best-of-five series. Game 3 will be contested March 5.
- Tina Charles and Xinjiang are going up against Sylvia Fowles and Beijing in the best-of-five finals series. Charles contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds and Fowles posted 14 points and 11 boards as Xinjiang took the first game, 70-63. However, a double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds from Fowles helped level the series as Beijing took the second game 75-66, as Charles produced seven points and 11 rebounds.
- Maya Moore (season concluded) and three-time defending champion Shanxi Rui Flame bowed out of the playoffs in the third game of their quarterfinals series against Fowles, despite 33 points, including 10-of-11 from the line, and nine rebounds. She capped her short season averaging league-bests of 29.9 ppg. and 3.2 spg., to go with a 10th-best 8.3 rpg. and fifth-best 3.3 apg.
- Candace Parker (season concluded) was picked up by Guangdong for the quarterfinals her team was swept by Charles and Xinjiang in the semifinals. She averaged 32.2 ppg., 9.4 rpg. and 4.0 apg. during her brief stint in China.
In addition to the EuroLeague athletes listed above, a three more USA National Team players are competing in the Turkish leagues.
- Stefanie Dolson is competing for Edirnespor (5-15), which was knocked out of the EuroCup playoffs in the round of 16, but is still playing in the Turkish league. Coming out of the break, Dolson and Edirne fell to Jewell Loyd and Galatasaray (14-6) 82-55, despite a 22-point, 17-rebound performance by Dolson. Next up: Besiktas (9-11), featuring Olympic gold medalist Cappie Pondexter on March 12.
- Jewell Loyd has aided Gala to a 14-6 mark and most recently scored 17 points and dished out six assists against Dolson’s club on Feb. 27. Next up: Angel McCoughtry’s Mersin (15-5) club on March 12.
- Angel McCoughtry posted a weekly MVP worthy 28 points and 11 rebounds in her first game following the USA National Team camp to lead Mersin (15-5) to an 88-78 win over Courtney Vandersloot’s Gelistirenier (8-12) club. Next Up: Galatasaray (14-6) on March 12.
- Courtney Vandersloot played for Orduspor (4-15), which also bowed out of the EuroCup round of 16, but finished her season ranked as the EuroCup assist leader with 6.5 apg. She since transferred clubs and is now on the record with Gelistirenier (8-12), which lost to McCoughtry and Mersin 88-79. ‘Sloot contributed 15 points, eight assists and three steals in the loss. Next Up: Fenerbahce (16-4), featuring Allie Quigley.