Chat with Mechelle Voepel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, women's basketball writer Mechelle Voepel will stop by to chat some hoops.
Voepel has covered women's college and pro basketball for ESPN.com since 1996. Read her blog at www.mechellevoepelblog.com.
Send your questions now and join Voepel Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Mechelle Voepel (3:05 PM)
Good afternoon. The league tournaments will be starting this week, and there's a lot to look forward to. Let's get started.
Baylor has a chance for the trifecta (coy, poy, fpoy) in the Big 12. That Nina Davis is incredible and 5-11. Has this feat ever been accomplished in the past? Who are your choices ?
Mechelle Voepel (3:08 PM)
If memory serves, two schools previously have swept the coach, player and freshman of the year awards in the Big 12. Oklahoma did it in 2009 with Sherri Coale, Courtney Paris and Whitney Hand. And Baylor did it in 2011 with Kim Mulkey, Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims. My picks for the Big 12 this year (we voted for ESPNW) were Mulkey, Sims and Davis. Mike Carey also had an outstanding year and was certainly a strong consideration for league coach of the year. Davis' rebounding for her size is very impressive, and definitely something Baylor needed with all the post players it lost from last season.
Bil (Kalamazoo Mi )
Yes uconn is in a weak conference BUT they beat several top ten teams easily they just beat Louisville by 20 having apoor shooting nite their Defence is the best in the country do you agree ?? By the way that Stewart girl is the best I've seen in a long time hands down POY Agree? Last when the play their Three big ones they can dominate the boards? Defense
Mechelle Voepel (3:11 PM)
Yes, I would say UConn is the best offensive, defensive and rebounding team. That's why they are No. 1. They are efficient, and they do not have "tired" stretches in games inspite of the injuries they've been through that have limited their depth. Notre Dame's offense has been very, very good, too, all season, and the Irish are sound defensively, too. Obviously, it would be very intriguing to see these two face off at the Final Four.
Nike Exec (Oregon)
If the timing was better last year, the Oregon job would have been perfect for Gail Goestenkors, right? Is that not an option now? Who should I tell the boss to go after instead?
Mechelle Voepel (3:14 PM)
Guess I wouldn't necessarily say she *couldn't* consider it, as the WNBA season hasn't started yet. Whether it would be the right fit for her, I'm not sure. As I've mentioned in the past, GG can afford to be pretty particular in regard to what jobs she would be interested in. As for who to go after ... I think this *should* be a good job. Prep talent has been leaving that state instead of considering the Ducks, though, and that would need to change. Eugene is a great city, and other women's sports squads do well there. I am not sure who will pursue it, but I think there will be a lot of interest. I think someone who has a strong West Coast recruiting knowledge base would be preferrable.
Iowa State - 8/9 seed?
Mechelle Voepel (3:20 PM)
Sure looks that way, and if so, you'll have a No. 1 seed coming to Ames, Iowa, for the early rounds. Right now, Charlie Creme is projecting South Carolina will be there. It's been, of course, an up and down season in the Big 12 for the Cyclones, but I would never discount the potential impact of Hilton Magic. :)
Addie Hahn [via mobile]
Why does it seem that all the sports announcers are so down on Baylor and have virtually written them off to go deep in the playoffs?
Mechelle Voepel (3:22 PM)
Sorry, this is news to me. Maybe local announcers in Texas are down on Baylor? But that would surprise me, too. Certainly not nationally. If anything, the West Virginia fans are not happy because they think Baylor has gotten *too* many accolades from national media, and that the Mountaineers are being under-appreciated. :) I would think West Virginia's victory in Waco on Sunday opened a lot of eyes, though.
Kevin White (Durham)
How Duke does in the postseason is largely going to depend on matchups. Which of the top teams do you think might not be able to exploit Duke's weaknesses as well as others?
Mechelle Voepel (3:31 PM)
I'm going to guess you are *not* the Kevin White who is the Duke AD, but just an interested fan, right? :) As for potential "good" matchups for Duke with top teams ... among the current projected No. 1 seeds, we already know Notre Dame is not a good matchup for the Blue Devils. Neither is UConn. Duke hasn't played South Carolina, but the Gamecocks' depth in the post and quickness on the perimeter probably wouldn't be good for Duke. Not sure Stanford is a good match, either, but of the four, I'd have to pick the Cardinal. To lose your top two options at point guard is really a tough thing for a team to deal with. Duke has gone from a deep team at the beginning of the season to one with more question marks now. That said, there is still a lot of talent on that squad, but players having to adjust their roles this late in the season is difficult.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Has there ever been an Unbeaten Team in NCAA Women's College Basketball that was the National Champions?
Mechelle Voepel (3:39 PM)
There have been seven undefeated champions since the NCAA era began for women's basketball in 1981-82. Those are Texas (1986), UConn (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010), Tennessee (1998), and Baylor (2012).
Maya Moore (Lair of the Invincible Queen, China)
Just finished entertaining the Chinese populace for another season. What did I miss? Do you think Breanna Stewart will be part of the Mt. Rushmore of UConn basketball after she's done? Will they forget about me?
Mechelle Voepel (3:43 PM)
Wow, that UConn "Rushmore" is really crowded. I'm not sure they can limit it to four Huskies, can they? Considering Maya Moore was on *two* undefeated NCAA champions, I feel certain she will not be forgotten. :) Stewart is 1-1 in national-championship attempts, though, so let's see if she ends up beating Diana Taurasi's three titles.
Parody Chatter (Unable to come up with a 4th creative nickname)
What is the record for most questions answered from one person in a chat?On a serious note, if you were to pick today, who do you see winning the Big 12/Ten/SEC tournaments today?
Mechelle Voepel (3:47 PM)
I don't keep stats on the first one. :) In truth, I have gotten "burned" before because I don't always pay attention to the "name" on the question and it's sometimes a joke that I miss. I tend to just look at the question. Anyway ... as for conference picks ... I'll pick Baylor, but I'm not going to be surprised if West Virginia pulls it out. For the Big Ten, I'll go with Purdue and that Indianapolis mojo. For the SEC ... oh, goodness. That's the toughest one to pick, I think. I'll say South Carolina, though.
Mechelle Voepel (3:48 PM)
Enjoy the conference tournaments!