January 1, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 1, 2022: New year, new coach, New York

Becky Hammon is set to be the Aces’ general manager in addition to head coach

Happy Saturday and happy new year! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 52 of college basketball is here, featuring a new head coach, a new general manager and a new sport in which Michigan can crush Ohio State.

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W Roundup

Las Vegas: New head coach Becky Hammon will reportedly also serve as the Aces’ general manager, as first reported by Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV, so my apologies for saying former head coach Bill Laimbeer would move into that role. (He will instead be some sort of consultant.) Hammon’s contract could also pay between $700,000 and $1 million — the average MNBA head coach is paid around $5 million, while the lowest-paid coaches are typically paid a little over $1 million. Make of that what you will.

Anyway, current W head coaches who serve as general managers include Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve and Washington’s Mike Thibault — two of the greatest professional ball coaches ever who have both empowered assistant general managers — and Los Angeles’ Derek Fisher and Chicago’s James Wade, architects of some infamous trades and draft performances in recent years. Point is: Hammon has her work cut out for her, though she did learn from the last MNBA head coach and general manager (Gregg Popovich).

New York: Hired former Phoenix Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello to fill the same role, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Our Liberty reporter, Jackie Powell, explained why this is a resounding success of a hire.

Watch List, Saturday, Jan. 1

(All times in Eastern)



Good games


Also watchable


Sickos games


Friday, Dec. 31 recap

#9 Michigan, #25 Ohio State: The Wolverines beat the Buckeyes 90-71, with Ohio State missing starting combo guard Braxtin Miller to COVID. Michigan shot 55.9% from the field while holding the Buckeyes to 38.4% shooting and winning the rebounding battle by 21; the Wolverines committed 21 turnovers; Ohio State committed 27 fouls.

Michigan big Naz Hillmon scored 29 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 from the line with 15 rebounds (seven offensive) for a double-double, plus two assists against two turnovers; wing Leigha Brown had 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting (2-2 3pt., 4-9 FT), five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two blocks and two turnovers; center Emily Kiser had an 18-point, 15-rebound double-double on 7-for-11 FG with two assists — a career high in rebounds. Buckeye combo guard Jacy Sheldon scored 26 points on 11-for-23 shooting (3-7 3pt.) with five assists and three steals against four fouls in 35 minutes; wing Taylor Mikesell notched 25 points on 8-for-20 shooting from the field and 4-for-10 from three (5-6 3pt.) and four rebounds without ever sitting; starting big Rebeka Mikulášiková and combo guard Rikki Harris fouled out in 16 and 35 minutes, respectively.

RV* Missouri State: 55-38 win over Loyola Chicago. Shot just 31.9% from the field, 33.3% from three and 50.0% from the line but held the Ramblers to 24.0% shooting from the field and 23.5% from deep. Center Abi Jackson had 12 points (6-15 FG), nine rebounds (three offensive) and four blocks against four fouls in 28 minutes; off-ball guard Isabelle Delarue scored 13 points off the bench on 5-for-10 shooting (3-7 3pt.) with five rebounds.

Northern Kentucky: 54-53 win over IUPUI, a big intraconference upset over the Horizon League favorite. The Jaguars received all but one first-place vote and were coming off a win over then-No. 15 Iowa, while the Norse were voted to finish fourth.


  • #2 Stanford @ Washington
  • #4 Arizona @ USC
  • #11 UConn @ RV DePaul
  • RV Colorado @ Oregon State
  • Oregon vs. Utah
  • UCLA vs. Arizona State
  • Minnesota vs. Northwestern
  • Butler vs. Creighton
  • Georgetown vs. St. John’s
  • Xavier vs. Providence
  • Delaware vs. James Madison
  • Drexel vs. Towson
  • Hofstra vs. UNC-Wilmington
  • Wagner vs. Mount St. Mary’s
  • Central Connecticut vs. St. Francis (Brooklyn)
  • Long Island vs. Merrimack

Over half of tomorrow’s games are canceled.

*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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