February 2, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Feb. 2, 2022: Contract players, not viruses

Ducks roll on

Happy Groundhog Day! If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we get six more months of Tina Charles speculation. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 85 of college basketball is here, following a whole bunch of contract details getting reported. And since I’m a huge friggin’ dork, we’re gonna spend half the newsletter on it. Oh, and the ACC had a silly, goofy day.

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But first: this is of course Black History Month, and our first piece on the significance thereof comes from Texas A&M point guard Jordan Nixon. She wrote about what it means to be the second all-Black team in Aggie history, and to play in the name of the greats who came before.

PSA: Please visit the Offseason Matrices for all your offseason needs. All contract information is in, updated, and linked in a neat and color-coded fashion for your viewing pleasure. Wondering if SIG is dominating the dollars signed so far? Well now you can see by just how much. Wondering how many of these deals are one one-years? That’s there too!

But first: introducing the Offseason Matrices! Adapted from the annual MLB tradition of my good friend and FanGraphs assistant Jon Becker, the Offseason Matrices are your one-stop shop for a tidy collection of offseason moves and information, attribution and spending, agency-tracking and hirings and firings, and more!

W Roundup

Let’s make this brisk, shall we?

Free agency

  • Nia Coffey: Her Atlanta deal is for one year at $130,000, per Cohen.
  • Sophie Cunningham: Her Phoenix contract is at one year for $75,000, per Cohen.
  • Sylvia Fowles: Her Minnesota contract is for one year at $200,000, per Ibrahim.
  • Tianna Hawkins: Returned to the Washington Mystics, for the veteran minimum, per Cohen.
  • Tiffany Hayes: Her Atlanta contract is for one year at $215,000, per Cohen.
  • Myisha Hines-Allen: Her Washington contract is a three-year deal worth an average of $175,100 annually, per Richard Cohen of Her Hoop Stats.
  • Jonquel Jones: Her Connecticut contract is a two-year deal with a $208,000 AAV, per Her Hoop Stats’ Gabe Ibrahim.
  • Jewell Loyd: Her Seattle contract is a two-year deal for the supermax, per Cohen.
  • Mercedes Russell: Her Seattle contract is a three-year deal worth an average of $160,000 per year, per Cohen.
  • Courtney Vandersloot: Is being pursued by UMMC Ekaterinburg, her Russian club, to take the Diana Taurasi strategy of being paid a crap-ton of money to sit out her age 33 season and get healthy for a full Euro season next year. Whether the fact that this scoop was laundered through non-reporters at ESPN was simply an agent ploy remains to be seen, but all previous signs have pointed towards the league’s premier point guard returning for 2022.
  • Shatori Walker-Kimbrough: Her Washington contract is a veteran minimum, per Cohen.
  • Elizabeth Williams: Her Washington contract is at one year for $90,000, per Cohen.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Wednesday, Feb. 2


#18 Oklahoma @ #9 Baylor, 8 p.m., ESPN+

Good games

#10 UConn @ Creighton, 7:30, SNY (New York’s regional NBC Sports network)

#25 Kansas State @ #11 Iowa State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+ — it’ll be an Ayoka Lee Game

Also watchable


Sickos games

George Washington @ St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Tuesday, Feb. 1 recap

#3 N.C. State, #20 Notre Dame: The Irish beat the Wolfpack 69-66. Notre Dame was a +7 in rebounding margin; the teams combined for 35 fouls. Center Maya Dodson led the Irish with a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double on 9-for-14 FG with seven offensive boards and three steals against four fouls in 33 minutes; point guard Olivia Miles had 13 points on 5-for-16 from the field (1-5 3pt.), six rebounds, five assists, and three steals against four turnovers; combo forward Sam Brunelle notched 10 points on 2-for-4 from three (1-3 from two) and three rebounds off the bench; big wing Maddy Westbeld, combo guard Dara Mabrey, and wing Sonia Citron combined for 18 points on 6-for-27 FG (1-10 3pt.). N.C. State center Elissa Cunane was limited to 23 minutes by four fouls, finishing with 13 points on 4-for-5 FG, seven rebounds (four offensive), and two turnovers; backup point guard Diamond Jonhson struggled to 16 points on 6-for-23 from the field and 1-for-10 from three with three rebounds and three assists against two turnovers; wing Jakia Brown-Turner had 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting (1-1 3pt.) and three rebounds against three turnovers.

#4 Louisville: 69-66 win over Miami. The Hurricanes had a 93.8% win expectancy with a nine-point lead and possession at 6:02 in the fourth quarter, then allowed five-straight points to kick off a 15-4 Cardinal run. Shot 45.9% from the field and 40.0% from three, but allowed 47.1% shooting; notched 23 assists on 28 buckets; the teams combined for 32 turnovers. Wing Kianna Smith led with 21 points on 8-for-13 from the field (3-5 3pt.), three rebounds, and a career-high-tying seven assists against one turnover; center Olivia Cochran had 18 points on 8-for-15 FG (0-1 3pt.) and five rebounds without a turnover; combo guard Chelsie Hall scored 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting (2-5 3pt.) with three rebounds and four assists against two turnovers; big wing Emily Engstler was limited to 28 minutes by four fouls, finishing with seven points on 2-for-5 from three (0-5 from two), nine rebounds (three offensive), five assists, and five turnovers. Which brings us to our newest TDB Watch List™️…

TDB Emily Engstler Foul Watch: Four fouls in 28 minutes today; 4.2 fouls per 40 minutes (25th percentile, per Her Hoop Stats), 5.2% foul percentage (23rd percentile) for the season.

#12 Georgia Tech, RV* Duke: 59-46 win over Duke. Won the first quarter 20-5. The team combined to shoot 37.0% from the field, but the Yellow Jackets shot 10.4% better from three; only committed four turnovers; the teams combined for only 13 fouls. Big Lorela Cubaj led with 15 points on 7-for-18 from the field, seven rebounds, and two steals against two turnovers; center Nerea Hermosa had 12 points on 6-for-15 FG, seven rebounds (six offensive), and five assists; combo guard Eylia Love notched 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting (2-2 3pt.), eight rebounds, and two assists without a turnover; point guard Lotta-Maj Lahtinen tallied 10 points on 4-for-12 from the field (1-4 3pt.), three rebounds, four assists, and no turnovers. Point guard Shayeann Day-Wilson led the Blue Devils with a game-high 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting (2-4 3pt.), three rebounds, and three assists against three turnovers; combo forward Lexi Gordon had 11 points on 4-for-8 from the field (3-5 3pt.) and four rebounds without a turnover; combo guard Miela Goodchild and wing Elizabeth Balogun combined for four points on 2-for-16 FG (Goodchild 0-5 3pt.) and nine rebounds.

#19 Oregon: 72-58 win over Arizona State. Shot 52.9% from the field and 47.1% from three. Big Nyara Sabally led all scorers Tuesday with 22 points on 8-for-12 from the field (1-1 3pt.) and 5-for-6 from the line, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals against two turnovers; point guard Te-Hina Paopao had 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting (3-5 3pt.), six rebounds, six assists, and three steals against three turnovers; point guard Endyia Rogers notched 10 points on 3-for-8 FG (1-4 3pt.), two assists, and two turnovers.

RV Nebraska: 50-38 over Rutgers, because what’s the point of scoring anyway. The teams combined to shoot 30.0% from the field and 18.4% from three; the Huskers assisted on 13 of their… 17… buckets; notched 12 steals, part of 22 forced turnovers. Center Alexis Markowski led with a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double on 5-for-12 from the field (0-4 3pt.) and 6-for-6 from the line with five offensive boards and two steals in 29 minutes; point guard Sam Haiby had 12 pints on 4-for-11 shooting (3- 5 3pt.), six rebounds, and two assists against five turnovers.


  • Idaho vs. Montana
*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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