Monday, May 9, 2011

Pac-10 (Pac-12) Off-Season

A lot is happening in the off-season for the Pac-10. For starters, there is no more Pac-10, it's now the Pac-12, but you knew that already.

The second thing is the coaching changes. Joanne Boyle went from Cal to the University of Virginia and was replaced by former Cal Assistant Coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Arizona State’s Coach Charli Turner Thorne, former Stanford player, is taking a leave of absence this year to spend time with her family and Joseph Anders will run the team for the upcoming season.

UCLA lost Nikki Caldwell to LSU soon after the end of the NCAA tournament. She is replaced by Cori Close, who was at Florida State in the SEC. There also was a player change at Cal; Cal's leading scorer in DeNesha Stallworth left Cal to go to Kentucky. These last two events are related in C an R’s mind. LSU and Kentucky both play in the SEC and have a lot more of their games televised.

First of all, DeNesha said Joanne Boyle was too laid back for her tastes, and she has a point when Cal would play inspired basketball and knock off a talented opponent one week and then give a lackluster effort the next week and lose to a lesser team. But Joanne Boyle is gone, so will DeNesha stay? DeNesha (or her Dad) gave another interesting quote saying by going from West Coast basketball and playing for barely 1,000 people, they go to the SEC and play for 6,00 a night. Reading between the lines, we guess Nikki Caldwell left UCLA for the SEC and LSU because she gets instant respect and more attendance. Hmmmm, are you listening Pac-12? (C and R wonder, conversely, how former SEC coach and current UCLA coach Cori Close will like coaching out west?).

Which brings us to our last point. The Pac-12 WAS listening! The Pac12 signed some huge TV revenue deal worth a bazillion dollars or some mind-boggling sum and they promise much much more exposure of women's basketball and televised games, like they do back East. (Wonder if DeNesha or Nikki would have stayed if they knew this was in the works).

Let’s hope the games are televised on channels we already get and not on some pay-to-watch-site. And let’s hope Pac-12 women's basketball is worthy of this new-found exposure.

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