Catching up with a few stories that have popped up here and there, let's
start with the good news: Cameron Indoor Stadium has been picked as a host site for
the first two rounds of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Of course, if the host
team is in the tournament, they will automatically be assigned to this
site, which is obviously good news for Duke. The Devils lucked out last
year in NC State missing the tournament, even though Reynolds Coliseum is
not exactly the most inviting of venues, even as a host. As an aside, the
Mideast Regional is being held in nearby Norfolk, Virginia--I imagine Duke
will be shooting for this site. And of course, the Final Four will be
near Beard's old stomping grounds in New Orleans.
Speaking of Alana, don't forget to watch the ESPY's on Wednesday the 16th, as she is nominated for Best
Female College Athlete. Note that she's taking off a couple of days from
the World Champonship friendlies to do so.
A few words on injuries: Monique Currie's rehab continues, albeit at a
slightly slower pace than anticipated. She may not be 100% as the season
begins, but it's obviously best not to rush this. Caitlin Howe is
starting to rehab more aggressively and is walking again. Alison Bales is
still recovering from a much less serious knee operation this past summer
(addressing some old high school injuries, but not an ACL tear) and is not
yet playing, needing about another month or so to finish up her rehab.
Lastly, Wynter Whitley is due to have surgery on two torn tendons in her
foot, which will put her out of action for 6-9 weeks. She actually played
on this injured foot last season, which was another big reason why she had
such a hard time on the court. Best of luck to all involved! In injury
news not directly related to Duke: big-time recruiting target Candace
Parker unfortunately just tore her ACL. She's upbeat and hopes to play at least
part of her senior year, though it would be cutting it close. Best of
luck to her in her recovery.
Turning to the WNBA, Michele Van Gorp is playing very well as a backup
center for the Minnesota Lynx, though she's never quite satisfied. Gorp's playing about 18 minutes a night
and scoring 7.1 ppg, a career high. She's struggled a bit of late, but scored 17
points in a win against Washington. Georgia Schweitzer has only received
significant playing time once this season, against Phoenix.