Basketball is back. Basketball is great. And people are watching.
Here’s a lesson for all the ECON-101 geniuses out there: if you give people the chance to watch the WNBA, they will watch it! Wild how that works.
Viewership increased 20% from last season’s opening day-figures as hundreds of thousands of people decided that they wanted to watch fan-free basketball. And they were in for a treat!
Briefly after we learned about the spike in viewership, ESPN announced that it would add even more WNBA games to its TV schedule. Initially, the network had only scheduled games in the first half of the season. Good news all around!
Good-ish news is also here for Liberty fans. Kia Nurse’s hiatus from WNBA basketball looks like it will be a brief one. The guard went down early in Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, leading many to question how the rookie-heavy Liberty would fare without yet another veteran.
More from Big Ten Conference
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, October 15: Brian Agler out the door in Dallas
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 20: Mystics’ Tina Charles to miss season
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 15: It’s Breanna Stewart time
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 2: Maya Moore helps overturn wrongful conviction
- Taylor Mikesell to appeal for immediate eligibilty at Oregon
She’ll be back, but it may take a few games. In the meantime, expect heavier workloads for Megan Walker and Jazmine Jones.
The issues were right on the surface for the Mercury in their opening loss to the Sparks. The team can score, sure, but it needs to vastly cut down on turnovers and improve on the defensive side of the ball.
That may seem like a lot to overcome, but the team still employs a talented Big 3 that, when fully activated, is straight nightmare fuel for opponents.
Phoenix’s rebounding still looks like a major plus this season, and Britney Griner said she believes the team can turn around by Wednesday’s game.
Griner also spoke from the heart, telling reporters that she didn’t believe the national anthem should be played at WNBA games. Good on her.
Several stories came out of the Big 10 Conference. One of the conference’s best players, guard Kamaria McDaniel, has decided to transfer from Penn State. While the move came as a surprise to the Nittany Lions, maybe it shouldn’t have: the team went 1-17 (yuck) in conference play last year.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger will have her hands full next season, forced to rely on five-star recruit Leilani Kapinus who can hopefully bring some competence to the offense.
The Ohio State Buckeyes also announced a new name on their roster: Toledo grad transfer Tanaya Beacham. The forward was uber-efficient in her final season with the Rockets and could be a difference-maker alongside five-star guard Kateri Poole.
Basketball Australia is launching the RISE UP initiative, which is great news for Liz Cambage and the national team, the Australia Opals. The intiative calls upon the basketball community to “Rise Up” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Read more about the players’ push for representation and activism here.
Washington Mystics: 94
Connecticut Sun: 89
Chicago Sky: 96
Los Angeles Sparks: 78
Seattle Storm: 90
Minnesota Lynx: 66