BG's Blogging From Europe
8:15 P.M., FRIDAY, SEPT. 28, 2011
Naples, Italy- Here is the first installment of a blog that Brittney is writing while she is on the European Tour with the USA Basketball team.
So leading up to the trip I was very nervous about going overseas. It wasn't the play that had me on edge. it was the fact that I had to fly across the water for 9 hours. So I was definitely scared. But the ride was cool. I flew first class on this HUGE plane, which made it great. First class is the best way to go if you've got to fly a long way.
I watched four movies during the flight and when I finished, we were still in the air! I was like dang, are you serious. The food on the plane was great. I had dinner and breakfast and went to sleep, well kind of. I slept for only about 45 minutes to an hour. On the plane they served this bread that was the bomb, it was the best ever, I do remember that.
We landed in Frankfurt, Germany. Once we got there, I couldn't read anything. I just knew what gate to go to to get to my next flight. In the airport, everyone spoke a different language so I was like, dang, I felt like an outcast.
Next I caught my flight to Naples, Italy. It was a short flight, a good one though. I really didn't understand anything they were saying either. People kept coming up to me and asking me questions and I was like "sorry, I don't know". It was too funny.
I had my first smoothie ever. I told the USA people that Jeremy (our strength coach) would be very happy. It was mango tango flavored and it was really good.
So, Italy was a total cultural shock, it is not anything like I thought it would be, well at least Naples wasn't. The streets are really trashy. Anyway, people over here can't drive at all. They just go wherever and cut you off and speed past you. Every time we get in a car, van or bus, I think we are going to wreck. The roads are all hills and sharp turns and the cars, wow. They drive Smart cars, Fiats and all these little bitty cars and they are all stick shifts. I have never seen so many scooters in my life, and they drive them so crazy.
We went downtown, it was cool, but the apartment buildings look like the hood. While we were down town we had pizza, REAL ITALIAN PIZZA. I fell in love, I ate a whole pizza. It's nothing like the pizza we have in the states.
Our hotel is up on this hill with this crazy, cool view of the beach and hills. It's really beautiful, I walk out on my porch every day.
Now to the bathroom. So in the bathroom is this thing that you wash your behind with (bidet). LOL, I just started laughing. All the girls were saying, you should use it, but I can't do it, just can't. And the shower, I can barely fit in it.
This must be a popular hotel, they have had a different wedding every day since we've been here. They serve food differently here too, they just bring stuff out one at a time. No one speaks English and we have to drink bottled water.
Okay, the first day of practice I just wanted to die. I was tired because there are only seven of us and yeah, I was worn out. It was crazy but practice is cool though. I had to learn quick, real quick. Everyone is very helpful. Swin Cash and Tina Charles both help me a lot. Tina calls me `kid' but she is only two years older than me. She and I chill a lot in my room on our computers. Renee (Montgomery) is real nice and Cappie Pondexter is real cool. In fact, everyone is really nice to me and helps me out.
That's all for now, gotta get some rest. Check back often, I'll do more of these while I'm here.
Lady Bear This and That
9:45 A.M., THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2011
What Coach Mulkey Said...
Here's what Coach Mulkey says about the possibility of the Big 12 remaining intact.
"I'm very happy that it looks like the Big 12 will stay together. I've always said and always believed that the Big 12 Conference is the best in the country. I think you are seeing that now with 5 of our football teams rated in the Top 25. I am also very proud of what Baylor University brings to the Big 12 Conference, both athletically and academically. Our football team is in the Top 25 and both our men's and women's basketball teams are in most pre-season Top 25 polls. Also, our softball team just finished as a semi-finalist in the Women's College World Series. I think this shows that Baylor has great athletic programs across the board - fall, winter and spring- and has great leadership with our Board of Regents, President Ken Starr and our athletic director, Ian McCaw. "
College Crush - Trace Adkins Style...
On his latest album and at concerts, country singer Trace Adkins tells about a crush he had while he was a freshman at Louisiana Tech. That crush was on our very own Lady Bear head coach Kim Mulkey.
Follow this link to an interview Adkins did with Country Countdown USA - Country Countdown USA
Three Lady Bears celebrated birthdays within a four-day period. Jordan Madden and Makenzie Robertson turned 21 and 20, respectively on Sept. 16. On Sept. 20 Destiny Williams celebrated her 20th birthday. Two players will turn 21 in October, Kimetria Hayden on Oct. 4 and Brittney Griner on Oct. 18.
Tuesday was picture day for the Lady Bears. The players got suited up in their white game uniforms to take a variety of pictures. Headshots, team pictures (serious and silly ones) as well as specialty shots for the marketing department's use were taken. Inside Baylor Sports was on hand to capture the fun and frivolity, check out the video. Picture Day
A couple of sports publications have hit the newsstands and the Lady Bears are sitting pretty in the preseason polls. Athlon's ranks the Lady Bears No. 1 while Sporting News has them No. 2, behind Notre Dame.
That ranking could get tested early as both BU and Notre Dame are playing in the Preseason WNIT. If both teams advance to the finals, they will play each other in the Ferrell Center on Sunday, Nov. 20. If you can't make it to Waco for the game it will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
When looking at the Athlon rankings, the Lady Bears will play three non-conference games against teams ranked in their top 10. Tennessee (Nov. 27) is No. 2, UConn (Dec. 18) is No. 3 and Notre Dame is No. 7.
Brittney Griner was named to the Sporting News' 10-member first team All-America list while she was listed in Athlon's five-member first team list.
Sporting News Ranks BU No. 2
2:00 P.M., WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 7, 2011
After posting a school-record 34-3 mark in 2010-11, winning both the Big 12 Conference regular season and tournament championships and advancing to the NCAA Championships' Elite Eight, the Baylor Lady Bears are picked second, behind NCAA runner-up Notre Dame, in Sporting News' preseason poll. The Sporting News is the first preseason college basketball magazine to hit newsstands this week.
Baylor returns four starters off last year's squad that was ranked No. 1 for seven weeks. Led by junior post Brittney Griner and sophomore point guard Odyssey Sims, the Lady Bears, again come into the season with high expectations. Griner and Sims were both named to Sporting News' All-America teams, Griner earned first team honors while Sims is a second team selection.
Griner averaged 23.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocked shots per game en route to earning WBCA Defensive Player of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year honors. In addition, she was a consensus All-American and was a finalist for all major basketball awards. Sims was the second straight BU player to be named the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year (Griner was the 2010 recipient) and was the Big 12's Freshman of the Year. The rookie averaged 13.1 points and 3.1 assists a game. Both players were named first-team All-Big 12.
Of the three other teams ranked in the magazine's top four, Baylor will play two and possibly all three in non-conference action. The Lady Bears have matchups slated with No. 4 Tennessee on Nov. 27 in Knoxville and No. 3 UConn on Dec. 18 in Waco. A Baylor/Notre Dame contest is a possibility as both schools are playing in the Preseason WNIT and are on opposite sides of the bracket. That matchup would come in the tournament's championship game. All told, Baylor will definitely play seven teams (denoted by boldface) off the Sporting News' top 25 and has the possibility of playing two more (Notre Dame and UCLA in the WNIT).
Baylor ranks No. 1 in preseason rankings by two online sources, SI.com and ESPN.com.
SPORTING NEWS WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
First Team (10 players)
Second Team (10 players)
PRESEASON TOP 25
1. Notre Dame
7. Texas A&M
12. Penn State
14. Florida State
17. North Carolina
19. St. John's
23. Michigan State
25. Texas Tech