The Distaff Dunker
Just as posterizing—the practice of dunking on an opponent viciously enough to deserve commemoration—started out as an NBA phenomenon, YouTubing such slams (the video equivalent) has become all the rage in the college game. That's partly because the embarrassment is being exacted at the expense of noted posterizers LeBron James, whose handlers worked to keep video of Xavier's Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron at his own camp this summer off the Internet, and Jerry Stackhouse, who got a face full of Kentucky's John Wall at a North Carolina pro-am in August. On the women's side, look for 6'8" skywalker BRITTNEY GRINER of Baylor to continue building a dunk reel. The Lady Bears have plays drawn up specifically for her to throw down.
Cinderellas Who Will Dance Deep Into March
IOWA STATE / Conference player of the year candidate Craig Brackins (20.2 points per game last season) and junior college transfer Marquis Gilstrap (22.6) give the Cyclones one of the best one-two scoring punches in the Big 12.
November 23, 2009
GONZAGA / The outfit that just missed the Sweet 16 last spring lost one rotation player (guard Jami Schaefer) but got back sharpshooting guard Tiffanie Shives (who missed 10 games with a knee injury) and added guard-forward Katelan Redmon, a transfer from Washington.
SI's All-Name Team
G JUST-IN'LOVE SMITH, Siena
G ALIBABA ODD, Delaware State
F BAK BAK, California
F PAWEL KIELBASA, Chicago State
C JARRID FAMOUS, South Florida
G NIKKI SPEED, Rutgers
G WHITNEY HOUSTON, Colorado
G WHITNEY HAND, Oklahoma
F BRITTANY SPEARS, Colorado
F ASHLEY SWEAT, Kansas State
Familiar Faces in New Places
ISIAH THOMAS / FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
After failing to turn around the NBA's Knicks in five years as an executive and a coach, the 48-year-old Thomas is taking on yet another major fixer-upper: The Panthers haven't had a winning season in nine years or reached the NCAAs in 14.
ELENA DELLE DONNE / DELAWARE
Having second thoughts about leaving her home state, the Wilmington native transferred from Connecticut in June 2008 and dropped hoops for volleyball (Point After, Nov. 16). The 6'5" pivot is rejuvenated, ready to make a resounding return to basketball—and could recapture her rep as the female LeBron James.
MICHAEL COOPER / USC
The 53-year-old former Laker hopes to invigorate the Trojans—who haven't reached the NCAA tournament since 2006—with the same run-and-gun game that helped his Los Angeles Sparks teams win 178 games and two WNBA championships in seven seasons.
It Must Be the Genes
Central Florida had to give up its $1.9 million sponsorship deal with Adidas because guard MARCUS JORDAN, the second of Michael's sons to play college hoops, wouldn't hang up his Nike Air Jordans.
Oklahoma is counting on 6'4" senior pivot ABI OLAJUWON, a daughter of Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, to fill a void in the post left by the departures of Courtney and Ashley Paris.
St. John's hopes that 6'7" senior swingman ANTHONY MASON JR.—son of former NBA forward Anthony Sr. and a big scorer from three-point range—will bounce back from a hamstring injury.
All-Americas / Men
|F||Alysha Clark||5'10"||Sr.||Middle Tennessee|
|C||Jantel Lavender||6'4"||Jr.||Ohio State|
|G||Dawn Evans||5'7"||Jr.||James Madison|
|F||Jacinta Monroe||6'5"||Sr.||Florida State|
|C||Ta' Shia Phillips||6'6"||Jr.||Xavier|