2023-2024 Women’s College Basketball

riboflav

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For anyone who thinks Caitlin is riding into obscurity now, go check out Fever ticket prices around the W. Here in DC, she comes to play June 7 and seats are going for over $1000.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
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Jul 15, 2005
33,441
RE: whining. I wanted UCONN to win this thing and was not strongly rooting today, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary with Clark’s behavior.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
24,974
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This was a great game. SC just too much talent and rebounding that Clark couldn’t overcome.
Bench minutes SC 75- Iowa 18
Bench pts SC 37- Iowa 0

Reb SC 51 - Iowa 29
Off reb SC 18- Iowa 7

Blocks SC 8 - Iowa 4
 

BosoxFaninCincy

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Mar 9, 2023
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Feels like whenever Iowa is losing, she starts complaining more and more. I don't have a problem with athletes complaining, I'd probably whine too. It was funny to watch CC think everything is a foul and SC think absolutely nothing is a foul though.
For comparison, see Hurley, Dan
 

Bleedred

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Feb 21, 2001
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It was garden variety whining, on both sides. CC was looking for calls, SC was complaining on almost all perimeter fouls. Dawn Staley went ballistic on the sideline early and got a warning. On balance, it was all fine. Staley is an amazing coach/motivator.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
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From Front Office Sports:

ABC/ESPN’s telecast of South Carolina’s thrilling 87–75 win over Iowa averaged 18.7 million viewers, ESPN said on Monday. The network said it was the most watched basketball game since 2019, beating the ratings for every sporting event outside of football and the Olympics in that period. It came up just short of the the 19.5 million who watched NBC’s broadcast of the U.S. vs. Brazil gold medal game at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Current South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was part of that gold-medal-winning American squad.​
Viewership peaked at 24 million viewers, the network said. It smashed the previous women’s college basketball record, set just Friday night, and nearly doubled last year’s Iowa-LSU title game.​
...​
Among the tentpole events in 2023 that Iowa-USC outdrew, listed by average audience according to Sports Media Watch:​
  • Alabama-Georgia (SEC title game), CBS, Dec. 2: 17.52 million
  • Georgia-TCU (CFB nat’l championship), ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU, Jan. 8: 17.22 million
  • UConn–San Diego State (MBB nat’l championship), CBS, April 3: 14.69 million
  • Kentucky Derby, NBC, May 7: 14.44 million
  • Nuggets-Heat (NBA Finals, Game 5), ABC/ESPN2, June 12: 13.08 million
  • The Masters (final round), CBS, April 9: 12.06 million
  • Rangers-Diamondbacks (World Series, Game 5), Fox, Nov. 1: 11.48 million
  • LSU-Iowa (WBB nat’l championship), ABC/ESPN2, April 2: 9.92 million
  • Daytona 500, Fox, Feb. 19: 8.17 million
  • U.S.-Netherlands (Women’s World Cup), Fox/Telemundo, July 26: 7.59 million
  • Coco Gauff–Aryna Sabalenka (US Open final), ESPN, Sept. 9: 3.42 million
  • Panthers-Bruins (Stanley Cup playoffs, Round 1, Game 7), TNT, April 30: 3.10 million
 

pantsparty

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May 2, 2011
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I knew viewership was going to be big, but just wow. I wonder 1) how much of that audience sticks around next year without Caitlin Clark and 2) how much of that audience follows Clark into watching the WNBA. I really hope the fans that sold out arenas across the midwest now become dedicated Fever fans (and from what I've read about ticket prices for next season, they will be).
 

DanoooME

above replacement level
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Mar 16, 2008
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For anyone who thinks Caitlin is riding into obscurity now, go check out Fever ticket prices around the W. Here in DC, she comes to play June 7 and seats are going for over $1000.
Same thing with the Aces. They ended up moving the Fever game (which was already sold out in the MGM Grand Garden Arena - capacity 15-17,000) to the T-Mobile Arena (capacity 18-20,000)
 

riboflav

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Same thing with the Aces. They ended up moving the Fever game (which was already sold out in the MGM Grand Garden Arena - capacity 15-17,000) to the T-Mobile Arena (capacity 18-20,000)
Hoping the same thing for the Mystics… that they’re willing and able to move it to Capital One Arena. It’s almost like a victory tour but I hope it’s sustainable beyond just this year.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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Hope this translates into more WNBA franchises. 12 is not enough to foster and capitalize on growth.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I’m not optimistic that WNBA attendance or viewership will go up much, which makes expansion more difficult, but yes from a talent perspective they need more teams in the W.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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I’m not optimistic that WNBA attendance or viewership will go up much, which makes expansion more difficult, but yes from a talent perspective they need more teams in the W.
If I had invest-in-franchise money I’d be looking to put it in women’s hoops - look at the probable growth trajectory
 

johnmd20

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Idk shit really but I always thought 3pm Sunday is a very good time slot but 7 or 8pm Sunday would be better. Idk.
Sunday at 3pm guarantees every single person could watch if they wanted to. A 3pm start certainly helped.

A 9:20pm Monday night start removes 25% of the people from the equation. Maybe more when factoring in the east coast plus kids even in Central time.

This is why the MLB ratings keep slowly dropping. It is because the biggest games of the season are not watchable for a large segment of the population, particularly kids. And the kids are the most important because you want to get them to become fans while they are young. But if they don't watch when they are 10, they probably won't watch when they are 25.
 

Moosey

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Jul 20, 2005
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I didn't see it until yesterday, but the top rated recruit Sarah Strong, committed to UConn. :)
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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Sunday at 3pm guarantees every single person could watch if they wanted to. A 3pm start certainly helped.

A 9:20pm Monday night start removes 25% of the people from the equation. Maybe more when factoring in the east coast plus kids even in Central time.

This is why the MLB ratings keep slowly dropping. It is because the biggest games of the season are not watchable for a large segment of the population, particularly kids. And the kids are the most important because you want to get them to become fans while they are young. But if they don't watch when they are 10, they probably won't watch when they are 25.
My 14 yo daughter, not previously interested in hoops (she plays softball)*, was insanely passionate about Clark and the tourney. I correctly sussed that, although single game Liberty tix haven’t gone on sale yet, and individual Indiana games are going to go fast and command ridiculous prices, they had several 5 game packs on sale, including one with a Fever game, for $175 per. So I showed her yesterday that we’re going to see Clark and she was giddy. Going to five games will make her a Liberty fan.

*a catcher, which reassures me I’ve done something right in life.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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Sep 9, 2008
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Good news for the men is that they were up slightly from last year, which is pretty good with a repeat team playing best. And considering that it moved from network to cable for the big games, that's good news that the slide we had seen for a few years in a row may have stabilized and even gotten better. It's weird that the economics work out that ratings work better for the final four on cable, but it is kind of noteworthy that the highest rated game on the men's side was on network. Duke v. NC State -- obviously two big schools but I think having that game on CBS helped. I guess it's just simple math. If you put the final on CBS, you lose your network programming for the night and whatever is on TBS is not going to come close anyway, so might as well get your 14 to 15 million on cable and let CBS do its standard Monday programming.

It's going to be fascinating to see what happens with the women's game going forward and whether they can keep momentum. I really hope so. The number that sticks out to me is the 7-8 million for the final four game that did not involve Clark. That's a modest improvement over last year, but probably some ground for concern that this year's interest was more interest in a player than in the sport. We'll see. The conditions are pretty good right now and it's just a question of whether they can leverage all this goodwill.
 

Bleedred

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Why are Taurisi and Breanna Stewart out of sorts about Caitlin Clark? Is it a simple matter of jealousy/relative deprivation given the attention that she's getting when they think she hasn't accomplished much yet? They are certainly more accomplished than Clark at this point and 2 of the greatest women's players of all time, so I would think they'd only be pleased to see how the interest in Clark and her accomplishments have elevated the women's game. Maybe I'm naive.

https://www.outsports.com/2024/4/10/24091129/wnba-draft-caitlyn-clark-indiana-first-pick-diana-taurasi-breanna-stewart/
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Why are Taurisi and Breanna Stewart out of sorts about Caitlin Clark? Is it a simple matter of jealousy/relative deprivation given the attention that she's getting when they think she hasn't accomplished much yet? They are certainly more accomplished than Clark at this point and 2 of the greatest women's players of all time, so I would think they'd only be pleased to see how the interest in Clark and her accomplishments have elevated the women's game. Maybe I'm naive.

https://www.outsports.com/2024/4/10/24091129/wnba-draft-caitlyn-clark-indiana-first-pick-diana-taurasi-breanna-stewart/
They’re not out of sorts. They think she’s a great player. The article doesn’t give the full Taurasi quote. She wasn’t throwing shade at Clark, just pointing out that there’s an adjustment period to going from playing against college level opponents to going up against the very best female players in the world, and that Clark should, in Taurasi’s words, give herself grace to grow in the WNBA.

People are trying to make this into something it’s not.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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Why are Taurisi and Breanna Stewart out of sorts about Caitlin Clark? Is it a simple matter of jealousy/relative deprivation given the attention that she's getting when they think she hasn't accomplished much yet? They are certainly more accomplished than Clark at this point and 2 of the greatest women's players of all time, so I would think they'd only be pleased to see how the interest in Clark and her accomplishments have elevated the women's game. Maybe I'm naive.

https://www.outsports.com/2024/4/10/24091129/wnba-draft-caitlyn-clark-indiana-first-pick-diana-taurasi-breanna-stewart/
I dunno, sounds to me like they are competitive athletes who believe that they can kick her ass. And while I am sure they want to grow their sport, we do have a bit of a double standard in how we expect women to act. If there were some equivalent men’s phenom and Lebron said he couldn’t wait to get him into the NBA, I doubt we would care. My thought is maybe they were more competitive when talking about her than worried about their obligations to the game.

Or maybe they think the best way to drum up support is to get people to tune in when the old legends face the new upstart and are adding spice.

This is all positive to me. This is what athletes do.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
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Yeah I want to believe this is kayfabe to spark some fan interest from casuals (which includes me - I didn't watch WNBA till the playoffs last year, but I might watch a Fever game or two this year if Clark catches fire). It's not, but it would be fun if it were.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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At 6’ Clark is big for a guard but it’s still a valid question, how well will she deal with a league where the players are bigger, older, and more physical than the 18-23 yo she’s been racking up points against.
 

amh03

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With Chicago Sky picking up Cardoso and Reese, they could have quite the rebound advantage.
 

luckysox

Indiana Jones
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Apr 21, 2009
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At 6’ Clark is big for a guard but it’s still a valid question, how well will she deal with a league where the players are bigger, older, and more physical than the 18-23 yo she’s been racking up points against.
She’ll need to get even more fit, but I think she’ll grow into the pro game quite well. She won’t score 35 a night all the time, but she’s got a similar build to Taurasi when she was fresh out of UConn, and she’s done pretty well for herself. All college players have to adjust to the physicality and game speed, it won’t just be Clark. And she’ll have the bonus of being surrounded by other great players. In fact, that may be the biggest adjustment - not being the main focus of the game. She had to be “on” all the time, and that change could affect in-game focus. She seems to have a pretty high basketball IQ, though, and I think we’ll see her be successful for a long time as a pro.
 

InstaFace

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Sep 27, 2016
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Yeah it's the BBIQ that I think will be the biggest difference. In that Wright Thompson long-read about Clark and the Iowa team's season, one recurring theme was Clark's frustration with her teammates not being able to keep up with her, to see what she sees and do what she'd expect them to do, execute at the level that she expected them to execute at. And managing her frustration with that, keeping her emotions in check, not crushing the spirits of a teammate who just isn't at her level, while still pushing them to be the best they can be.

Well, Caitlin, that's no longer a problem! Now you're a medium fish in a much bigger pond. You might not be the best player on your team, nevermind the best player in the league. Your new teammates have been learning to see what you see, read the game at your pace, execute at your level or near it, for many years now - which is why they've made it to the W and survived in it.

So the WNBA could be a paradise for her, as a string-puller. But it could also be frustrating when her 30-footers aren't going down and the opposition can contest at the rim, or has studied her tendencies and brought some counters to the table. For the first time in her life, her best might not initially be good enough. But I expect that she will view it as "finally, some teammates at my level!" and end up being great there.

Speaking of teammates at her level, check out the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup squad she was on. Caitlin Clark (youngest on the team), Paige Bueckers (tournament MVP), Aliyah Boston, Cameron Brink, Hailey Van Lith, Queen Egbo, Rhyne Howard, Celeste Taylor. Just an absolute murderer's row. How they only beat Australia for the gold by 4 points, in OT, is a mystery to me (Beat 'em by 23 in prelims), their average margin of victory was ~30 in all other games.

Clark was young enough that she ran it back and played the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup too, and was tournament MVP this time around, alongside teammates like Te-Hina Paopao of South Carolina, Azzi Fudd, and Lauren Betts of UCLA. Man, say what you will about USA Basketball, they sure know how to scout young talent and pick the future stars.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Just saw the whole interaction and yeah it was super weird and awkward and uncomfortable at best. I liked his apology and think it was probably in earnest. It does raise an interesting issue though - we want to treat men and women the same, and yet...we don't want to treat men and women the same. It is easy to say that the lines are clear and easily understood for everyone, but that's not really true in many cases. I don't know if we as a society have figured this piece out yet. And part of it is that it's individual. People have different feelings/views on things like this. I've got some co-workers who are female who want to be treated just like their male counterparts when it comes to communication, so they expect to have text conversations with me just like I'd have with my male coworkers, but then there are some women who are super uncomfortable with that, so I never really know what to do unless I specifically ask each person. Which itself seems just a bit strange.

But yeah, the whole thing was just so...bizarre.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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I thought it was a shitty apology that he made about himself. I don’t want your explanation about how you talk to male players. Just shut the fuck up for a day or two instead of racing out with a column, and listen.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Iowa WBB may not have a "Davidson Basketball in / after the Steph Curry era" story arc, after all. They just recruited the nation's #3 scorer to join them as a transfer, Villanova guard Lucy Olsen, a rising senior.

https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/39965208/iowa-fills-caitlin-clark-void-lands-villanova-transfer-lucy-olsen

Perhaps Lisa Bluder deserves more credit than I've been giving her for her tournament runs.
Watching Olsen the past couple of years....she's really good. And if you look at Iowa's history.. they've been tremendous even without Clark. Yes, obviously better with Clark, but still really good without her. Bluder is outstanding.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
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Iowa WBB may not have a "Davidson Basketball in / after the Steph Curry era" story arc, after all. They just recruited the nation's #3 scorer to join them as a transfer, Villanova guard Lucy Olsen, a rising senior.

https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/39965208/iowa-fills-caitlin-clark-void-lands-villanova-transfer-lucy-olsen

Perhaps Lisa Bluder deserves more credit than I've been giving her for her tournament runs.
She won almost 1000 games and went to something like 20 ncaa tournaments before Clark, most of that with Iowa. The Davidson comparisons were always dumb.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
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Last seen being roasted by Caitlin Clark, Hailey Van Lith transferred from LSU to TCU. Rumors were that was to play a season with Haley Cavinder, who had announced her transfer from Miami (after sitting out this season) to TCU.

But then Hanna Cavinder decided to return to Miami for her final season, prompting her sister to tell TCU "Yo, nevermind!" and head back to The U.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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That's really interesting. Usually when a player enters the portal, the HC of that team is like, ok, if you enter the portal, consider yourself gone. Because the coach needs to fill that spot and often times (not always, but often) there is discontentment between player and coach. You don't often see a player enter the portal and return to their school. It happens, but not often.

And I don't wish ill will on anyone, but I don't feel too bad for Van Lith. She left a good situation in Louisville to play on the Mulkey LSU super team, got burned, and quickly looked for an exit. Sometimes the grass isn't always greener, as it were.