As we approach the start of the school year, here are the top ten things I’ve been thinking about in our game.  I prepared this piece for the Coaching Women’s  Basketball  Magazine under the label of “Shootaround with Beth and Debbie”.  Thought I would give you a jump on it!

10. Did you know LSU Head Coach Nikki Caldwell introduced her 2011-12 team to over 1100 fans at the “Lady Tiger Lagniappe” this summer?  What is a Lagniappe?

9. Did anyone hear Tara VanDerveer or Teresa Edwards mention Mowins or Antonelli in their Naismith Hall of Fame acceptance speech for teaching them a few tricks of the trade?   One of these Hall of Famers lost a game of horse to Antonelli.  Which one?

8. Have you seen the Gary Blair Bobble head?  He’s in a baseball uniform.  Every spring, he gets an official at-bat with the minor league team in College Station.  Hello . . .  Coach Blair! You just won the NCAA title!! Maybe the next bobble head needs to be with THE TROPHY!

7. How about some love to C-USA.  Lisa Stockton, the Dean of C-USA (the real Dean is one of her idols growing up on Tobacco Road) is approaching the 400 win milestone in her Tulane career.  She’s already the winningest coach at Tulane and C-USA.

6. Have you seen the arc? Not the Arc de Triomphe nor Noah’s ark, but just as famous.  You know . . . the arc under the basket for the block/charge call . . . wait . . . you don’t know . . . neither do the officials . . . no one has seen it, nor experimented with it . . . good luck in November with that one!

5. Heard about Moe Moe and Bay Bay?  Miami’s senior backcourt, Shenice Johnson and Riquana Williams are on pace to become the highest scoring backcourt tandem in the history of the ACC passing Toliver and Coleman from Maryland.  Good news for Coach Katie Meier!  Won’t be the tallest on the roster this season.  Welcome 6’6 transfer Pepper Wilson to the recipe.

4. Do you have drama, complaining and under appreciative players?  Take them to a Miracle League Baseball game or to a Special Olympics event and dare them to make one more  complaint!

3. Do you have time, talent and treasure?  Find all three and get involved in the Kay Yow Golf Tournament or Clinic so you can pay forward and join coaches in making a difference in the fight vs. cancer.

2. Stress is a part of coaching.  Managing stress is a part of coaching.  Having a balanced life is a part of coaching. Does a one year sabbatical for head coaches make sense?  Should we develop Assistant Coaches and prepare them for the next step? Let’s see what Arizona State Head Coach Charlie Turner Thorne can teach us after her time away from her program.

1. Pat Summitt has given her life’s work to the game and for the game. It’s time for the game to give back to her.  Pride, courage and honesty are the cornerstones of her basketball fame.  She continues to teach and lead in the most important way.