Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post A word about the women’s Final Four

Monday April 2, 2007

I know almost none of you come here wanting to read about women’s hoops, but last night’s national semifinals were hideous. LSU managed to score 35 points. In a game. Rutgers can play some great defense, but these games last night with their ridiculously low scores do nothing for the game. While you hear teams like LSU, Rutgers, and Tennessee praised for their defense, offensive innovation lags.

The games were ugly not just because of the styles of play but also because of the behavior on the court in the nightcap. We all admire players who play with passion and intensity, but many now use their enthusiasm as an excuse to preen and draw attention to themselves. Last night you had Carolina’s Ivory Latta, famous for spectacular plays and spectacular meltdowns, who became an early focus in the game not for anything she was contributing to her team but for her trash talking competition with Tennessee’s Shannon Bobbitt. Latta leaves college without a national title or even a national title game appearance despite entering the Final Four as the favorite in consecutive seasons.

Then you have Candace Parker. To say that Parker is a great player understates things. She changes the game. She won this year’s Wade Trophy, a player of the year recognition, as a sophomore. Among the criteria for the Wade Trophy are "character" and embodying "the ‘Spirit of Margaret Wade’," a pioneer of the women’s game. Parker found herself in foul trouble early in this game and spent much of the first half on the bench, providing ESPN with a reason for a reason to put a camera on the bench to get her reaction whenever a teammate dribbled. My favorite display of this character was when Latta picked up her third foul. Parker, herself on the bench with foul trouble, danced around like a fool with three fingers held high and egging on the Tennessee crowd behind her.

Of course this stuff is nothing new in the men’s game, but you hate to see it creep into the women’s game, and you especially hate to see it celebrated as much as it is.

If they were honest, they’d take and change the WNBA’s slogan "Have you seen her?" to "Have you seen me?"

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