Pam Borton

Recent Articles

Why so little love for the NIT?

 

 

The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament both offer “deserved opportunities” to men’s and women’s basketball programs that, for one reason or several others, don’t make the NCAAs. Yet, both by college basketball fans and snobbish media types, the two national tourneys that annually crown champions are treated like lepers. This is the 76th year for the men’s NIT. From 1938-1976, every tournament game was played at Madison Square Garden, which hosts both the tourney semifinals and finals. Its field has been as high as 40 teams but now stands at 32. Continue Reading →

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Gophers WBB falls again

 

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — In a few days, Penn State and several other Big Ten women’s hoop squads will learn where their March playing schedule takes them next. But unlike the regular season champions, the Lady Lions, who are assured their spot, the Gophers aren’t sure of theirs. “We just let the basketball gods figure it out,” admitted U of M Coach Pam Borton last Thursday after her team’s nine-point loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tourney’s first round as she referred to the NCAA selection committee. “It’s out of our hands,” added Ohio State senior guard Tayler Hill of her Buckeyes’ chances. Continue Reading →

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Gopher senior leaves the team like she played: with a big smile

 

 

 

Her coach and this reporter both watched Leah Cotton’s growth over her four years at Minnesota from a happy-go-lucky freshman to a fully confident young woman in her senior year. “It’s fun to watch her grow as a person, and it’s been really rewarding to see where she’s come from,” noted Gopher Coach Pam Borton last week. It wasn’t always pretty watching Cotton, however — she had a penchant for making silly fouls. She sometimes got her foot stuck on her energy accelerator. Yet you never saw the 5-8 senior guard from Kansas City, Kansas back down from her challenges. Continue Reading →

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More should be done to honor Kwame McDonald

 

Why is it that we Blacks must often wait for the shortest month each year to be honored, to get our accomplishments recognized, to get our heritage respected? Why do we often have to be half-past dead to finally get our bouquets? It took one Black History Month and nearly half of another before the Minnesota Golden Gophers publicly honored the late Kwame McDonald, who died in October 2011. The belated recognition came Sunday at halftime of the Minnesota-Illinois men’s basketball game. The Gopher women are expected to offer a similar tribute at this Sunday’s Minnesota-Northwestern contest. Continue Reading →

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Sports odds and ends: Hill’s college career earns her high praise as ‘a special talent’

 

Despite playing sick, Tayler Hill poured in 24 points last week in her last collegiate visit to her hometown. In the process, the Ohio State senior guard and former Minneapolis

South standout surpassed 1,700 career points — to do so, she needed only three points coming into last Thursday’s contest against Minnesota. “I actually didn’t know about it,” admitted Hill afterwards of the career mark. The 5-10 guard has the Big Ten’s longest active double-figure scoring streak. Hill reached the 50-game mark against the Gophers and leads the conference in scoring just over 21 points a game (11th nationally), and also leads the league in minutes played (32 minutes a contest). Continue Reading →

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Gopher women look strong going into 2013 Big 10 conference play

 

All 12 Big Ten women’s basketball squads begin conference play this week with a winning record. Minnesota (11-3) plays at Michigan State Thursday in East Lansing, then at Wisconsin next Sunday. Gopher Coach Pam Borton told the MSR after her squad’s double-overtime win over Creighton that she believes her squad’s non-conference schedule has readied them for what is to come. “I think we’re prepared,” she pointed out. “We’ve played a wide range of teams. We’ve seen a lot of different types of defenses and offenses, a lot of different styles. Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first

 

The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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U of M hoopsters off to promising start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2012-13 college basketball season is now underway. Both Minnesota teams opened their campaigns last week with wins, but it’s way too early to call the season a success…

The Gophers men’s team also was successful in their home opener versus American University last weekend, but like Borton, men’s coach Tubby Smith said one win can’t be satisfying. His team must be intense from jump ball to final buzzer, he noted. To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:

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Gopher women on their own this summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

The Gopher women are a couple of weeks removed from their first-ever WBI championship. “There were only three teams that get to win their last game, and we were one of those,” notes Coach Pam Borton. It wasn’t the NCAAs or WNIT, but the little-known tourney gave Borton’s 10 returning players an experience plank to build upon. “It was an upswing,” continues the coach. “I think we accomplished some things that we hadn’t accomplished the two previous years before. Continue Reading →

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Gophers win WBI

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Minnesota women’s basketball team accomplished something that the other 11 Big Ten teams failed to do — win its final game of the season. Minnesota’s first victory of the 2011-12 season came last November in the WBI (Women’s Basketball Invitational) Tip-off Classic. The squad’s season-ending win last Sunday was a 88-74 win over Northern Iowa for the WBI championship at Williams Arena. The Gophers, finishing 19-17, was the first Big Ten team to play in the three-year WBI post-season tournament. “For us to end the way we have — 7-3 in our last 10 games — shows some of our positives and also some of the things we really have to get better on for next year,” admits U of M Coach Pam Borton after Sunday’s win. Continue Reading →

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