Milestones and undefeateds splash hoops scene across the nation
The start of the season has seen several coaches achieve career milestones with several more standing in the wings.
Last week’s Notebook highlighted Montana’s Robin Selvig earning his 800th career victory. Joining Selvig recently in the coaching accolades category are the two newest members of the 500-win coaching club, one who reached 400 at her school and another that became the all-time winningest coach at his university.
Achieving their 500th win are Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith and Campbell’s Wanda Watkins, with both joining a group of 28 active coaches in Division I with at least 500 wins.
One of six active Division I head coaches to spend 31-plus years at one institution, Delaney-Smith earned her 500th career coaching win on Nov. 23 when the Crimson defeated Colgate 91-76 to improve to 5-1 on the season. Her career includes ten 20-win seasons, 11 Ivy League titles, a .500 record or better in 24 of the last 25 campaigns, and 10 postseason appearances. Her 295 Ivy League victories stand only behind Princeton legend Pete Carril, who won 315 in his 29 years at the helm of the Tigers’ men’s program. In addition, she also stands second to Carril (514) in overall victories, unmatched by any other women’s coach in the history of the league.
Watkins picked up her 500th victory on Nov. 16 when the Camels scored a 73-60 win versus Western Carolina. In her 33rd season at Campbell, Watkins was the first scholarship student-athlete at Campbell and is the 10th Division I women’s basketball coach in NCAA history, along with Delaney-Smith to coach 30-or-more seasons at the same institution. Watkins is one of seven on the active coaching list. She is by far the all-time wins leader in Lady Camel basketball history. Since taking the helm as head coach in 1981, Watkins has led her teams to a 501-403 (.554) mark and has recorded 21 winning seasons.
Lisa Stockton passed the 400-win mark at Tulane on Nov. 22 when the Green Wave defeated UNC-Wilmington 55-40. She now has a career-record of 400-194 at Tulane and 453-221 overall. In her 20th season at the helm of the Tulane women's basketball program in 2013-14, Stockton is the dean of Green Wave and Conference USA coaches and the winningest women's basketball coach in the history of either entity. With the now 400 wins at Tulane, Stockton has nearly twice as many wins as each of the previous Green Wave coaches earned in 19 combined years.
Louisville’s Jeff Walz became the all-time winningest coach at Louisville when the Cardinals defeated Ohio 90-33 on Nov. 21. Walz, whose record at Louisville now stands at 153-65, has led the Cardinals to two NCAA championship game appearances, including one last April.
Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer stands at the cusp of achieving what only four others have done in Division I. Currently in her 35th season as a head coach and 28th at Stanford, VanDerveer is two wins away from reaching 900 career wins and becoming the fifth women's basketball coach to reach that mark, joining Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, C. Vivian Stringer and Sylvia Hatchell in the exclusive club. Stanford will be in action at the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, this week where they will play Purdue on Nov. 26, Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 27 and South Dakota St. on Nov. 28.
The ranks of the unbeaten fell by 26 teams during the last week, leaving 40 teams undefeated after the first three weeks of the season. Connecticut tops the list with eight consecutive victories, with six coming in a nine day span from Nov. 15 to Nov. 24. The Southeastern Conference touts eight undefeated teams. Here’s a look at the list of the undefeated:
• 8-0 – Connecticut.
• 7-0 – South Carolina.
• 6-0 - Arkansas, Baylor, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville and SMU.
• 5-0 – Albany, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia, Grand Canyon, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina St., Oklahoma St., Saint Mary’s, Syracuse, Tennessee, Villanova and Virginia Tech.
• 4-0 - Brigham Young, Mississippi St., Notre Dame, Oregon St., Purdue, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, St. John’s, Syracuse, UTEP, Utah St., Winthrop and Wyoming.
• 3-0 – DePaul, Holy Cross, Temple and Texas A&M.
• 2-0 – Montana.
• Wichita State defeated Kansas State 69-46 on Nov. 20 at KSU’s Bramlage Coliseum. It was the first win against a Big 12 Conference team for the Shockers since Dec. 22, 2005, when they knocked-off Oklahoma State 63-57. Wichita State shot 28-of-52 (.538) from the field and held the Wildcats to 18-for-52 (.346).
• SMU improved to 6-0 for the second time in program history with a Nov. 25 win against Lamar 82-79. The Mustangs best start is 7-0, which came during the 1993-94 season. Senior Keena Mays scored 22 points on the night, while classmate Akil Simpson recorded her third-consecutive double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the latest win.
Games of the Week
Friday, Nov. 29 – Texas A&M vs. Texas
Friday, Nov. 29 – LSU vs. Rutgers
Saturday, Nov. 30 – Duke vs. Kansas
Saturday, Nov. 30 – North Carolina vs. Illinois
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Connecticut vs. Ohio State
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Louisville @ Kentucky
Want to know if your favorite team’s game is being televised? Check out the full schedule of televised games.
Nashville Did You Know?
Considered one of the most influential people in the history of women’s basketball in Nashville is Betty Wiseman from Belmont. One of the Title IX pioneers, Wiseman was the head women's basketball coach at Belmont for 16 seasons, compiling a 248-152 record. She led Belmont to four consecutive berths in the National Women's Invitational Tournament from 1973-1977. In those tournaments, her teams scored wins against Alabama, Nebraska, and North Carolina. She was inducted into the Belmont Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and is currently the assistant athletic director/senior woman administrator for the university.