Chat with Graham Hays
Hays contributes to ESPN.com's women's basketball, softball and soccer coverage, while also writing occasionally for Page 2. He began with ESPN in 1999.
Send in those questions now, then check back at 11 a.m. ET on Monday.
Hays Archive: Columns
Graham Hays (11:01 AM)
Morning, thanks for stopping by to talk about something other than Santonio Holmes.
glenn (Netcong, NJ)
Ok, im not one on comparsions to pros or men, but is Angie Bjorklund the best pure clutch 3 shooter since Reggie Miller or what? Maybe since she has less game more like Robert Horry (plus there's already a female Reggie Miller and she's a LEGEND :) ) Thoughts.
Graham Hays (11:03 AM)
I'd have to give her a few more years to reach Reggie's territory, but then again, I'm a Pacers fan. She does seem to be developing a knack for big shots, which isn't insignificant for a team as young as the Vols.
Is Florida benefiting from a fairly week conference schedule so far, or are they that good? Are they the second best team in the SEC behind Auburn? Should the beat UT this weekend, and get a 2 or 3 seed?
Graham Hays (11:05 AM)
A little from column A and a little from column B? The Gators definitely picked a good year to take their game up a level, with the overall weakness of the SEC, but they're the ones making the most of it. How they bounced back from the Auburn loss is impressive, even if none of the opponents were ranked. Add that to how well players like Lonnika Thompson and Marshae Dotson have stepped up after Mossor's injury, and it's hard not to be impressed by the Gators.
chaz (sa tx)
hey with patt winning her 1000 win and very possibly wining somekind of championship, do you think ncaa ball is ready for a female coach for the mens teams?
Graham Hays (11:08 AM)
Ha, well you're definitely hitting a nerve with me on that one. Do I think the NCAA, or more accurately, the college sports community, is ready? No, and I think that lack of support will remain an absolute disgrace until it changes.
CAL (St. Paul, MN)
Graham, what are your thoughts on Bobby Knight announcing the Lady Vols game tonight? I know I'll be tuning in.
Graham Hays (11:10 AM)
First and foremost, I think it's worth pointing out that there are some tremendous announcers in the regular rotation for women's basketball. But that said, I'm as interested to hear what he has to say as anyone else. I thought having John Kruk in the booth for the Women's College World Series was fantastic, because he wanted to be there and it brought in some casual fans. I'd say the same could be true in this instance.
glenn (Netcong, NJ)
I know they arent ranked cuz they lost a few conference games, but Marist looks for real once again...do you see another big run out of the foxes (PS: Rachelle Fitz is FOR REAL!)
Graham Hays (11:13 AM)
There aren't many coaches, if any, I would pick ahead of Brian Giorgis, and he's doing it again with a young team. But I'm not sure that Marist, despite its ranking, is the best bet this year to be that dominant mid-major team that makes an impact in the NCAA tournament. The good news is Fitz will be back next year, but I encourage anyone who has a chance to watch Julianne Viani play a game as she wraps up her career.
glenn (Netcong, NJ)
To follow up on Chaz...what about these female coaches who may be better suited with men with their attitudes: Cynthia Cooper Theresa Weatherspoon Tara VanDerVeer Pat Summitt
Graham Hays (11:15 AM)
I'm not sure you're going to see an established big name take it on, if it ever happens. I thought Dawn Staley would be an ideal choice, but as far as I know, she hasn't expressed interest. The pressure and attention on a high-profile situation would be enormous. It might make more sense for it to happen in a smaller conference with a younger coach.
What were your thoughts on No. 17 Texas beating No. 3 Baylor?
Graham Hays (11:18 AM)
A great win for the Longhorns, obviously. To go to Baylor and win a game without any player scoring more than 11 points is an accomplishment. And holding Baylor's starting backcourt to something like nine turnovers and no assists? Goestenkors' defense and Texas' talent always seemed like a perfect match if the players bought in, and that seems to be happening. The offense hasn't been consistent, but they're exactly the kind of team no higher seed is going to look forward to playing in the Sweet 16.
What do you expect from the University Of New Mexico for the rest of the season?
Graham Hays (11:22 AM)
I think the Mountain West is one of the most enjoyable leagues out there right now. Outside of the Big 12, there might not be a more balanced race at the top of the standings. That's why the loss yesterday at home to Utah was a big hit for the Lobos, especially how it unfolded with the Utes scoring eight unanswered in about the final minute. But overall, I was impressed with the pieces the Lobos have. One of their fans told me early on to keep an eye on Sarah Halasz, and I can see why. If someone like that could emerge as a mid-range scoring threat to go with Beggin and Hartill, they'd be a sleeper.
Jeff (NY, NY)
I don't doubt a woman could be a great men's coach, but I think it would be very difficult for her to recruit.
Graham Hays (11:25 AM)
I don't think that's an invalid question to raise, but I don't buy it. You recruit on an individual level, and it's going to come down to how that person sells themself and their program. It might make it a tougher sell at first, but it's up to the coach once that foot is in the door.
what do you think of the south florida team any promise here
Graham Hays (11:29 AM)
South Florida is one of those teams that I always overlook in the Big East, but it always seems to be hovering right around the middle of the pack. I think that's probably a tribute to the job Jose Fernandez does getting the most out of his players. Again, are they going to be a postseason factor this year? Hard to see it. But with wins like the one at Rutgers over the weekend, they're going to give themselves a chance down the stretch.
What is the purpose of Pat coming forward and complaining about her team as the most unmotivated bunch of players she's ever coached? Is she trying to inspire them by publicly humiliating them?
Graham Hays (11:31 AM)
I think she's trying to find the right way to reach them. She talked about that back in December, and it sounds like it's reached the point where the carrot hasn't worked. And Summitt is hardly afraid to use the verbal stick when it's needed.
What went wrong for LSU this year?
Graham Hays (11:33 AM)
Sylvia Fowles and friends used up all their eligibility? It's probably a tough pill to swallow in Baton Rouge, but this team has played a brutal schedule. Have they really lost to anyone they clearly should have beaten? The Mississippi State game was an offensive debacle, and it was at home, but the Bulldogs are a pretty good team. This team just needs time.
What are your thoughts on the job that Brenda Frese is doing?
Graham Hays (11:37 AM)
I'm really interested to see how they fare tonight at Florida State. That game may be as valuable for postseason scouting as Tennessee-Oklahoma, because we already know the Sooners are very good and the Lady Vols are very erratic. Maryland looked fantastic after a slow start against North Carolina -- inside, outside, both ends of the floor, they have all the pieces. But then they come out and get outrebounded at (a very good) Virginia and give up 58 second-half points.
are you suprised that Auburn lost to Georgia and how far will they go in the tourney
Graham Hays (11:40 AM)
Surprised they lost that game, but not surprised they lost a game, if that makes any sense. As Jakey pointed out, LSU isn't the LSU of old, but seeing Auburn bounce back quickly and get the win in Baton Rouge was a good sign. More than most years, so much is going to depend on the draw this year, but I still have Auburn as a Final Four team.
glenn (Netcong, NJ)
Do you believe the spin on the W's cutback to 11 player rosters or is it time to go into "enjoy it while it lasts" mode?
Graham Hays (11:43 AM)
I don't buy any spin that paints it as a sign of good health, but I still hold out hope that it's more preventative treatment than emergency triage.
so what are your final four picks....
Graham Hays (11:45 AM)
These change by the day, but I guess I'd go with Connecticut, Auburn, Oklahoma and maybe one of the Pac-10 schools, Cal or Stanford. I still like Texas A&M, I just worry about them throwing in a 45-point game somewhere on the road to St. Louis.
Is there a WCBB Hall of Fame, and if so, is Elaine Elliot in it say in the next decade or two?
Graham Hays (11:47 AM)
There is; it's in Knoxville. I don't believe she's in there yet, but she's building a profile at Utah, that's for sure.
Graham Hays (11:47 AM)
All right, thanks again for all the questions. It's always a good day to talk basketball. Enjoy the game tonight!