February 6, 2022
Daily Briefing — Feb. 6, 2022: Liz Angeles
Plus the worst combined shooting performance in the HHS era
Happy Sunday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 89 of college basketball is here, featuring a rematch of Friday’s Baylor-Texas thriller and a battle for Big Ten supremacy. This comes after a day that broke the single-season record for days with multiple triple-doubles and saw the Los Angeles Sparks completely revamp their 2022 outlook by adding mercurial young point guard Chennedy Carter and, uh, controversial center Liz Cambage. Good luck to that locker room!
But first: Visit our new offseason trackers page to see all the free agent moves in neat, colorful fashion!
- Liz Cambage: Verbally committed to play for Los Angeles, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Because the one thing the Sparks needed more of was post play! In all seriousness, she’s a great player who raises their floor quite a bit and raises their ceiling comparatively less. That is to say: Los Angeles could very well still end up in the lottery, but it’ll take a bit more to go wrong to get there; on the other hand, Cambage doesn’t really fix many of the roster’s highest-level problems, namely wing creation and overall shooting.
- Jordin Canada: Had her qualifying offer rescinded by the Seattle Storm after the Stephanie Talbot deal, per me, enabling her to sign a one-year contract with Los Angeles, per Rachel Galligan.
- Emma Cannon: Her contract with the Indiana Fever is a two-year with an $81,200 average annual value, per Richard Cohen of Her Hoop Stats. That is obviously not a lot of money, but it’s kind of silly to hand out an extra $10,000 over the minimum to a 32-year-old journeywoman big when the team already projects to enter training camp with three young bigs and a center on a protected contract.
- Kia Nurse: Re-signed with the Phoenix Mercury on her qualifying offer, just above the minimum the team could offer for one year, per Cohen. Given the team’s disproportionate appreciation of her play and the fact that even an optimistic timeline for her recovery from an ACL tear would have her miss the season, it’s safe to think there might be a handshake deal for a re-signing next winter.
Atlanta, Los Angeles: As reported by our Atlanta reporter, Spencer Nusbaum, the Dream traded point guard Chennedy Carter and the rights to Chinese center Li Yueru to the Sparks for combo guard Erica Wheeler, Los Angeles’ 2022 second-round pick and Los Angeles’ 2023 first-round pick. That first might turn into a lottery pick — which would give the Dream two chances at South Carolina center Aliyah Boston and/or a chance at Boston and Stanford big wing Haley Jones. For a full breakdown of what this means for Atlanta and Carter, Nusbaum has you covered.
Watch List, Sunday, Feb. 6
(All times in Eastern)
#9 Baylor @ #13 Texas, 4 p.m., ESPN2
#21 Iowa @ #6 Michigan, 6:30 p.m., BTN
RV* Florida @ #14 Georgia, 1 p.m., SEC Network
RV Nebraska @ #17 Maryland, 1 p.m., BTN+
#7 Tennessee @ #10 UConn, Noon, FOX
Tulane @ South Florida, Noon, ESPNU
Oregon State @ #8 Arizona, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Southern Illinois @ Missouri State, 6 p.m., ESPN+
Miami @ #24 North Carolina, Noon, ACC Network
Clemson @ Virginia, 4 p.m., ACC Network
Pac-12 or Big Ten on national television (or national streaming)
Illinois @ Wisconsin, 2 p.m., BTN
Saturday, Feb. 5 recap
#11 Iowa State: 76-58 win over Oklahoma State. Shot 49.1% from the field and 45.5% from three; out-rebounded the Cowgirls by eight; drew 18 fouls. Point guard Emily Ryan led with 18 points on a perfect 6-for-6 from three (0-1 from two), six rebounds, six assists and three steals against three turnovers; combo guard Lexi Donarski had 17 points on 7-for-17 shooting from the field and 2-for-7 from three, three rebounds and two assists without a turnover; wing Ashley Joens notched 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting (0-2 3pt.) and four rebounds against three fouls in 22 minutes.
#16 BYU, Gonzaga: The Cougars beat the Bulldogs 62-50, winning the third quarter 19-3 to erase a 15-point halftime deficit and Gonzaga peaking at a 96.0% win expectancy. The WCC has now gone full ouroboros, with BYU losing to Portland, who got swept by the Bulldogs, who’ve now dropped their first game to the Cougars. Gonzaga can clinch the tiebreaker in the Feb. 19 rematch.
#18 Oklahoma: 101-99 double-overtime win over West Virginia — because, speaking of BYU, here’s another opponent the Sooners had no business nearly losing to. The Mountaineers had a 98.6% win expectancy after drawing a foul with a five-point lead and 1:02 to go; they then missed two shots and a free throw while allowing combo guard Taylor Robertson to hit a three and convert a three-point foul to force overtime. The teams combined to shoot 47.3% from the field and 48.8% from three; West Virginia out-rebounded the Sooners by nine; Oklahoma notched 20 steals, part of 57 combined turnovers; the teams combined for 47 fouls.
Taylor Robertson led with a game-high 26 points on 7-for-14 shooting from three (1-3 from two), two assists and three steals without a turnover without sitting — that’s 50 minutes; wing Madi Williams had 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field (2-2 3pt.) and 6-for-12 from the line, nine rebounds, two assists and three steals against three turnovers and four fouls in 37 minutes; backup point guard Kelbie Washington fouled out in 28 minutes, finishing with 17 points on 6-for-8 FG (5-6 FT), two rebounds, seven assists and four steals against seven turnovers — career highs in points, turnovers and fouls; backup combo forward/five-out center Skylar Vann tallied 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks. Mountaineer combo forwards Kari Niblack and A’riana Gray combined for 47 points on 19-for-39 shooting from the field (Gray 0-3 3pt.) and 9-for-12 shooting from the line, 20 rebounds (Niblack six offensive) and 10 turnovers while both fouling out — Niblack in 34 minutes, Gray in 44.
#22 FGCU: 73-55 win over Lipscomb. Led by only one point late in the first quarter, then won the second 18-9. Shot 48.1% from the field; out-rebounded the Bison by nine; drew 17 fouls. Combo guard Kerstie Phills led with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting (2-4 3pt.) and eight rebounds against two turnovers; point guard Tishara Morehouse had 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting from the field (1-5 3pt.), six rebounds and three assists.
#25 Kansas State: 82-75 win over Texas Tech. The teams combined to shoot 55.3% from the field; the Wildcats were out-rebounded by nine, grabbing just four offensive boards; assisted on 23 of their 28 buckets; forced 19 turnovers; committed 18 fouls but made 25 of 28 attempts at the line.
Center Ayoka Lee led with 31 points on 12-for-15 FG (7-9 FT), seven rebounds and three blocks against two turnovers; point guard Serena Sundell had 12 points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field (1-2 3pt.) and 9-for-10 from the line, three rebounds and seven assists against two turnovers and four fouls while playing all 40 minutes; off-ball guard Jaelyn Glenn notched 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting (2-2 3pt.), five rebounds, two assists and a career-high six steals; off-ball guard Brylee Glenn — Jaelyn’s twin sister — fouled out in 25 minutes, finishing with 14 points on 6-for-11 FG (1-4 3pt.), a career-high four assists, two steals and two turnovers. Point wing Vivian Gray led the Raiders with a season-high 36 points on 14-for-19 shooting from the field (1-2 3pt.) and 7-for-7 from the line, four rebounds and three assists against two turnovers and four unintentional fouls.
Introducing a new TDB Watch!
TDB Kansas State Assist Rate Watch: 72.6%, 17th-highest of the Her Hoop Stats era.
South Dakota State: 75-65 win over South Dakota, tying the season series that effectively determines the Summit League’s regular-season champion. With both teams undefeated thus far besides the loss at the other school, I think the ultimate tiebreaker here is scoring margin, which the Jackrabbits lead by just 13. This one’s gonna come down to the wire, folks.
Oh, and South Dakota State won despite reigning conference player of the year Myah Selland fouling out in 25 minutes with just six points.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 77-57 win over Alcorn State. Texas A&M point guard Zaay Green recorded the program’s first-ever triple-double with a career-high 26 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field (4-5 3pt.) and 10-for-16 from the line, 10 rebounds (three offensive) and 10 assists, plus three steals against two turnovers.
Marshall: 39-37 overtime loss to Charlotte. Had a 96.9% win expectancy with a minute and a half remaining and a five-point lead — normally not the most secure, but it felt insurmountable in a game that was then 33-28. Yes, the teams had barely scratched a combined 60 points by the final minute, thanks to a first quarter that featured eight total points and Charlotte’s 11-point fourth being the high-water mark for either squad. The teams combined to shoot 19.8% from the field and 10.9% from three; with only 20 combined turnovers, the whole game was truly and solely about the worst combined shooting performance of the HHS era.
Western Illinois: 87-85 overtime loss to Kansas City. Had a 98.0% win expectancy with a 16-point lead in the late third quarter and still led by three with a trip to the line in the waning seconds, but missed both free throws and allowed an overtime-forcing three. Roo — as in Kangaroo — point guard Naomie Alnatas had Kansas City’s second triple-double this century with 29 points on 11-for-22 shooting from the field and 6-for-11 from three, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and a career-high 11 assists, plus two steals against two turnovers.
- New Hampshire vs. UMBC