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Baylor’s Nicki Collen pushes back against WaPo profile photo on women’s basketball program: ‘Nothing withers’

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Baylor Bears women’s basketball Coach Nicki Collen had a different take on The Washington Post’s profile on LSU’s Kim Mulkey after a close loss to USC in the Sweet 16.

THE story described Baylor as “no longer part of the upper echelon of the sport, another abandoned and abandoned structure” following Mulkey’s departure. Collen took over from Mulkey and competed in the tournament in each of his first three seasons.

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Nicki Collen of the Baylor Bears reacts during the USC Trojans’ game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament at the Moda Center on March 30, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“I’m not afraid to say that I was really, really offended by the article that was published,” Collen said. “I haven’t read anything about it. I haven’t read anything about it. I don’t know what happened, but nothing is dying in Waco.

“Nothing withers in Waco. And we’re going to do it our way, and it’ll be just as good. But nothing withers, and we’re not a top team, and you can’t say we You can’t not advance to the Sweet 16 and take a No. 1 seed all the way in a one-possession game and say everything withers in Waco.

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Nicki Collen vs. Vanderbilt

Nicki Collen and Jana Van Gytenbeek of the Baylor Bears against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament at Cassell Coliseum on March 22, 2024, in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Ryan Hunt/Getty Images)

For what it’s worth, Collen only finished his third season with the Bears. The Sweet 16 game against No. 1 seed USC was the furthest the team had reached under Collen. But Mulkey, in his first three seasons, reached the second round just once. She also had the WNIT team in 2003.

“There’s a lot of blooming, I’m not going to say wilting,” Collen added. “There are things flourishing in Waco. If he wants to come and do a paper and come to Waco and write about it next year, he’s welcome.”

Collen was the head coach of the Dream of Atlanta from 2018 to 2020. She was named the 2018 WNBA Coach of the Year in 2018.

Nicki Collen at Sweet 16

Nicki Collen of the Baylor Bears leads practice before the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament March 29, 2024, in Portland. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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Before that, she was an assistant at the Connecticut Sun and several college programs. She played college ball at Purdue and Marquette.

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