Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
WNBA Draft: Washington Picks Cloud Bringing Sunshine to Saint Joseph's
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Crenshaw Promoted to Succeed Andy Landers at Georgia
Assistant coach Joni Crenshaw, a member of the Georgia staff for the past four seasons, including the last three as associate head coach, has been named the Lady Bulldogs' new head coach.
Her choice was likely directed by outgoing coach Andy Landers and makes sense. It helps fans buy into continuity and the players certainly know the coach who recruited them. She has seen the success and -- this past season – what a key injury can do to wreck one.
The program considered assistants at several other schools – including Final Four teams from the most-recent tournament.
"After a national search, it became evident that Joni was the perfect person to lead our program," McGarity said. "Joni brings the intangibles that parallel success – character, experience and a tireless energy to lead our program. We are confident she will do a tremendous job leading Georgia basketball into the future."
"I am extremely honored to be the next coach at Georgia," Crenshaw said. "I want to thank President Morehead, Greg and Carla for trusting me with the program.
Crenshaw sports 13 seasons of coaching experience at the Division I level, the last seven within the Southeastern Conference.
During each of those coaching stops, Crenshaw has displayed the ability to both sign premier prospects and then help those recruits develop into highly successful players.
In the Lady Bulldogs' four signing classes since Crenshaw's arrival, Georgia's 16 scholarship newcomers arrived on campus with a combined 18 high school state titles. That group also featured seven standouts ranked among the nation's top 100 prospects and included a quartet of state Player of the Year honorees.
Crenshaw helped Alabama and LSU land Top 5 individual prospects in the classes of 2010 and 2011, respectively, and also spearheaded the Crimson Tide’s recruiting class for 2010 that ranked among the nation’s top 10.
"Georgia Basketball is in great hands," Landers said. "Coach Crenshaw is a person who has deep-rooted values and morals, which are two of the cornerstones of Georgia Basketball's success.
Crenshaw herself was a highly sought after basketball prospect. She was the 1997 Gatorade Player of the Year for Mississippi after leading Meridian High to a 67-7 record during her junior and senior seasons. She also won three state titles in track and field and was selected as the school’s Homecoming Queen.
At Alabama, Crenshaw was a significant contributor to four teams that reached post-season play – the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Tournaments and the 2000 and 2001 WNITs. She was a two-year starter and scored 716 points, grabbed 555 rebounds and blocked 103 shots, which is No. 4 among the Tide’s career leaders.
Crenshaw was a standout off the basketball court. She was recognized as one of the most influential African Americans on the Alabama campus in 2001, was named to the SEC’s Community Service team for women’s basketball in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was awarded a post-graduate scholarship from the SEC for her community service record. She received her bachelor's degree in Education from Alabama in 2002.
And here’s a nice competition idea: She is engaged to marry Darius Taylor, an assistant coach for the South Carolina women's basketball team. Their wedding is Aug. 1.
She replaces, of course, the venerable Landers, who came to Georgia in 1979.
For our original report on his retirement: http://womhoops.blogspot.com/2015/03/mike-sirokys-sec-commentary-legendary.html
The other assistant coaches, Rob Mosely and Angie Johnson (each with three seasons) seem assured of remaining in staff.
Among the returning player are a freshman and sophomore class from this year which are a solid foundation.
Landers started playing more and more of them as the season deconstructed so all have plenty of playing time in the toughest conference is America.
The seniors will be Schacobia Barbee, Tiaria Griffin (11.4 points per game, started all 30 games), Merritt Hempe (7.5) and Marjorie Butler (4.8, started 27 games) and seldom-used Terryuana Godwin.
It was the loss of Barbee to a season-ending injury – a right leg bone break -- with nine games to go, that really doomed the season. The team leader averaged 12.4 points and 6.9 rebounds game.
The ‘Dawgs lost all direction after that, losing eight of the last nine in the regular season after starting the year in the Top 25. She was second-team all-conference her sophomore season.
The new juniors are Hannahkohl Almire and Halle Washington.
The sophomores will be Haley Clark, Jasmine Carter, Krista Oliver and all-SEC freshman Mackenzie Engram (7.9, with 20 starts).
Non-roster players who will become eligible are 6-3 Samantha Gloddis, Sydnei McCaskill and Jasmine Carter and Nasheema Oliver
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
UConn Wins 10th Title Beating Notre Dame As Huskies Coach Auriemma Catches Wooden
Monday, April 06, 2015
NCAA Women: Notre Dame Edges South Carolina While UConn Tops Maryland To Set Up Title Rematch
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Staley Didn't Build Temple and South Carolina in a Day But Build Them She Did
TAMPA, Florida – Back in her playing days at Virginia, the future Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, reared in urban Philadelphia near Temple University, often battled with creaky knees while becoming one of the all-time point guards in the game.
While several times her knees were operated on to ease the aches and pains, her trainer Sue Foreman, talked about Staley’s resiliency.
“Everything is a challenge,” the trainer said. “One thing is you can’t do is tell Dawn she can’t do anything. You tell her she will be out ten says, she’s back in four, and lots of other things.”
That was in the early 1990s.
A decade later, Temple officials used reverse logic to pursue her to become a coach of a program that was a doormat.
Staley, who also played for the prestigious Philadelphia Belles AAU team, had no interest in coaching and was ready to say nada for the last and final time when the late Owls athletic director Dave O’Brien then appealed to her competitive sensitives – tell her she was afraid of the challenge, she had fear of failing.
That’s all she had to hear.
Staley accepted and it seemed like all she had to do was wave a magic wand and a decade of losing came to an end and Temple was on the way to becoming nationally relevant.
Then in the Spring of 2008, she sought a new challenge, taking a moribund South Carolina program to try and make it competitive in the rugged Southeastern Conference.
Three times as a player she had been to a Final Four, and as a national player of the year in two of those, but the quest fell short and when the curtain came down it was total devastation.
Matters weren’t helped several months later when she was the last cut for the 1992 Olympic team to compete alongside the men’s Dream team.
But after becoming a coach, the disappointment replaced by international and professional success, Staley thought she would return to a Final Four and live the triumph through her players.
She is here for the first time in that role and while Connecticut is a prohibitive favorite to make it three straight, Staley is striking a balance in letting her Gamecocks enjoy the moment but not get carried away from the task at hand.
The way the tournament has played out, there is a safety valve to block thoughts of playing UConn, and that is Sunday night’s opponent in Notre Dame before the Huskies meet Maryland.
Staley talked at Saturday afternoon’s press conferences in Amalie Arena a little about what it took to get both programs back on track.
“What you had to do was change the culture,” Staley said. “You had to get your players to stop thinking about where they’re going to spend spring break besides in the gym prepping for postseason play.
“I was fortunate in that our Temple players bought into that right away, right away. Instantly, we hit the ground running, and it pretty much was a success story,” she continued.
“And then you move to a place like South Carolina where it was very similar, but the players don’t catch on. They really didn’t catch on to doing the things they needed to do to change the culture and love basketball in the way that they probably should love basketball.”
While those initial Gamecock players are long gone from the court, they’ve come to see what Staley was talking about.
“They understand what we asked them to do a lot more because they stayed around our program. They’ve been a very good support system for us, and they’ll be in town sometime this weekend to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”
A year after the testy dust up between Notre Dame and Philly-bred coach Muffet McGraw and Philly-bred Geno Auriemma of Connecticut in the title game showdown battle of the unbeatens won by the Huskies, we now have a Staley vs. McGraw Philly special in the semifinals before Connecticut and Maryland play the nightcap.
Incidentally, Staley is on Auriemma’s USA Olympic staff for Brazil and was part of the contingent with La Salle grad Cheryl Reave that also had Chicago’s Doug Bruno, who also coaches DePaul.
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