Women's Lib

The Liberty Strive To Be the Equal of the WBA's Elite

Washington had similar praise for Adubato, noting for instance how he'd instructed her to shade the right-hand side of an opponent taking out the ball, blocking off the half of the floor she's likely to pass to. "I've been playing this game a long time," Washington said, "and nobody has ever said that to me." Just as important, the players agreed, he's not "overcoaching." Like Van Chancellor in Houston, said Washington, Adubato lets players take the ball and gets out of their way. "We're always looking to set a screen for someone, to help each other," said Wicks. "So Richie is always going, 'Take the shot! Take the shot!' " He might even let Van Gorp dunk.

Is there a danger that the more individualistic style of play familiar to male coaches will turn the women's game, most appreciated for its passing and teamwork, into a watered-down version of the men's game? "Have you watched the men's game lately?" Wicks retorted. "They're tightening it up, doing less traveling and banging. I think they're trying to play like us."

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