January 22, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 22, 2022: Wake up and smell the Coffey

The Phoenix Mercury actually hired a head coach!

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 74 of college basketball is here, and Pokey Chatman is back but not leading the Mercury, while Vanessa Nygaard is sticking around but she’s headed to Phoenix. And we’ve got our first free-agent move, with Nia Coffey heading from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Things are happening!

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W Roundup

Free agency

  • Nia Coffey: Agreed to sign with Atlanta, per our Dream reporter, Spencer Nusbaum. The fourth-year combo forward had a breakout year with the Sparks, canning 50 threes and notching 64 stocks (steals + blocks) while providing very good help defense and secondary rim protection. Combined with her youth (26 years old), she should be a great frontcourt fit next to Elizabeth Williams, should she re-sign, and Monique Billings.

Phoenix: Finally has a head coach. Las Vegas assistant Vanessa Nygaard is heading to Phoenix, per The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings, growing the Laimbeer branches within the W. Half the league is now coached by former players.

Seattle: Announced its 2022 assistant staff, including former Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky head coach Pokey Chatman and not including Storm legendary defensive wiz (and two-time interim head coach) Gary Kloppenburg. “Klop” was the source of the Storm’s unique defense that finished no worse than fifth in the league the past four years (including two first-place finishes) and had been coaching for nearly 40 years, including 21 in the W.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Saturday, Jan. 22

Must-watch

None

Good games

None

Also watchable

Illinois State @ Missouri State, 3 p.m., ESPN+

Sickos games

None

Friday, Jan. 21 recap

#2 Stanford: 97-74 win over Cal. The Bears led as late as 0:32 in the second quarter, thanks to a 32-point period, but the Cardinal won the third 33-13. Stanford shot 55.9% from the field and 44.4% from three; were a +13 in rebounds; notched 11 steals, part of 20 forced turnovers; the teams combined for 34 fouls. Point wing Haley Jones led with a double-double of 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting (1-1 3pt., 7-7 FT) and 10 rebounds, plus five assists against seven turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes; off-ball guard Hannah Jump scored 21 points on 5-for-9 from three (1-2 from two); backup center Fran Belibi had 20 points on 8-for-11 FG (4-6 FT), six rebounds, three assists, and two steals; center Cameron Brink notched 12 points on 4-for-8 from the field and five rebounds against two turnovers in 15 minutes; backup point guard Anna Wilson was out for some reason, leading to 26 minutes of Jordan Hamilton off the bench, the grad transfer finishing with two points on 1-for-3 FG (0-2 3pt.), three rebounds, seven assists, and a steal against four fouls — just a couple threes and a couple more steals and a couple fewer fouls away from a quintessential Wilson line. Cal off-ball guard Jayda Curry scored 30 points on 7-for-17 from the field, 4-for-8 from three, and 12-for-14 from three line with two assists against two turnovers.

TDB Cameron Brink Foul Watch: Three fouls in 15 minutes today; 5.0 fouls per 40 minutes (14th percentile), 6.1% foul percentage (14th percentile, per Her Hoop Stats) for the season.

#9 UConn: 71-38 win over Seton Hall. Held the Pirates to 17 second-half points and 26.4% shooting for the game; were a +28 in rebounding, allowing just two (2!) offensive boards; notched 12 steals. Center Olivia Nelson-Ododa led with 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting (1-5 3pt. — career high in 3pa — 4-6 FT) and 14 rebounds for a double-double, plus five assists, three steals, and two blocks; wing Evina Westbrook and off-ball guard Caroline Ducharme combined for 20 points on 8-for-23 from the field and 2-for-15 from three, 10 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Pirate stars Lauren Park-Lane and Andra Espinoza-Hunter combined for just 11 points on 2-for-19 shooting (2-7 3pt.).

#10 Arizona: 76-64 win over Utah, because good teams win, but great teams cover. Won the second quarter 26-9. Shot 42.9% from three; were out-rebounded by 10; notched 11 steals, part of 22 forced turnovers; the teams each committed 21 fouls. Wing Sam Thomas led with a game-high 25 points on 6-for-9 from three (1-2 from two) and two assists against two turnovers; big Cate Reese had 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting (0-4 3pt.) and five rebounds; the starting backcourt of Bendu Yeaney and Shaina Pellington combined to commit eight fouls in 46 minutes.

#22 Colorado: 57-52 overtime loss to Arizona State, a team playing its first game in nearly a month, in a classic sickos affair. The teams combined to shoot 34.5% from the field 27.0% from three, and 51.1% form the line; the Sun Devils won the rebounding battle by 11; the Buffs notched 19 steals, part of a combined 41 turnovers; the teams combined for 47 fouls. Point guard Jaylyn Sherrod fouled out in 31 minutes, finishing with a team-high 11 points on 3-for-13 from the field (0-1 3pt.) and 5-for-8 from the line, four steals, and eight turnovers; wing Frida Formann had 10 points on 2-for-9 from thee (1-1 from two) and two steals; backup center Quay Miller notched 12 points on 5-for-9 FG and eight rebounds against five turnovers.

RV* Oregon: 68-61 win over Washington. Shot just 27.3% from three on 22 attempts; forced 17 turnovers; committed 18 fouls. Point guard Endyia Rogers led with a game-high 23 points on 8-for-16 from the field and 3-for-9 from three (4-6 FT) and three rebounds against four turnovers; big Nyara Sabally had 20 points on 8-for-13 FG, seven rebounds (four offensive), four assists, and four steals against two turnovers; point guard Te-Hina Paopao and backup center Sedona Prince combined for seven points on 2-for-15 shooting (Paopao 1-6 3pt.).

RV DePaul: 103-69 win over Butler. Won the third quarter 34-14. Notched 14 steals, part of 22 forced turnovers; drew 17 fouls. Big Aneesah Morrow scored a career-high 33 points on 15-for-20 FG (1-3 3pt.) with 15 rebounds (six offensive) for a double-double, plus five steals and four blocks against two turnovers — in only 29 minutes; off-ball guard Sonya Morris had 18 points on 6-for-17 from the field (1-4 3pt., 5-6 FT) and two assists; point guard Lexi Held notched six points on 2-for-11 shooting (1-4 3pt.), three rebounds, nine assists, and five steals against three turnovers.

Drake: 65-57 win over Northern Iowa, completing the ouroboros that is the top teams in the MVC. With this nonsense, the team atop the Missouri Valley standings is Illinois State, just as we all predicted.

Charleston: 88-72 win over Towson. Eastern Michigan transfer point guard Jenna Annecchiarico scored a career-high 26 points on 8-for-20 from the field (2-3 3pt.) and 18-for-19 form the line with six rebounds, six assists, and two steals against six turnovers without sitting.

Cancellations

  • Oregon State @ Wazzu
  • Green Bay vs. Milwaukee
*Receiving Votes

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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