Womhoops Guru

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.

Monday, November 12, 2018

AP WBB Poll Trivia: Those Who Have Olayed On And Coached Ranked Teams

                                        AP PLAYER-COACH HISTORY
                                         (Played for and Coached Ranked Teams)

                     1976-77 thru 2018-19


1. Katie Abrahamson-Henderson    Missouri St. Georgia/Iowa
2. Cheryl Burnett         Missouri.St. Kansas
3. Amanda Butler%                         Florida                                        Florida
4. Tonya Cardoza                              Temple                                      Virginia
5. Pokey Chatman%          LSU       LSU
6. Cori Close                                     UCLA                          UC Santa Barbara
7. Cynthia Cooper-Dyke%                 Southern Cal                  Southern Cal
8. June Daugherty        Boise St./Washington Ohio St.
9. Nikki (Caldwell) Fargas                 UCLA                                       Tennessee
10. Nell Fortner         Purdue/Auburn     Texas
11. Susie Gardner         Arkansas             Georgia
12. Michelle Clark-Heard%         W. Kentucky                    W. Kentucky
13. MaChelle Joseph                          Georgia Tech                              Purdue
14. Carolyn Kieger%                               Marquette                       Marquette
15. Linda Lappe%                               Colorado                           Colorado     
16. Wendy Larry%         Old Dominion Old Dominion
17. Joanne P. McCallie         Michigan St./Duke         Northwestern
18. Kathy McConnell-Miller              Colorado                                     Virginia
19. Muffet McGraw          Notre Dame             St. Joseph’s
20. Katie Meier                                 Miami                                         Duke 
21. Cheryl Miller%         Southern Cal             Southern Cal
22. Kim Mulkey         Baylor  Louisiana Tech
23. Mary Murphy         Wisconsin             Northwestern
24. Kathy Olivier         UCLA   UNLV
25. Raegan Pebley                            TCU                                  Colorado 
26. Carolyn Peck         Purdue/Florida                           Vanderbilt
27. Laurie Pirtle         Cincinnati              Ohio St.
28. Jennifer Rizzotti                        Hartford                            Connecticut
29. Carol Ross%         Florida/Mississippi Mississippi
30. Bev Smith%          Oregon                         Oregon
31. Dawn Staley                      Temple/South Carolina Virginia
32. Joni Taylor                                  Georgia                                    Alabama
33. Jan Ternyik San Francisco Montclair St.
34. Charli Turner Thorne          Arizona St. Stanford
35. Amy Tucker*           Stanford Ohio St.
36. Holly Warlick%                            Tennessee                               Tennessee
37. Coquese Washington                    Penn State                      Notre Dame
38. Lindsay Whalen%                         Minnesota                               Minnesota
39. Terri Williams-Flournoy            Georgetown/Auburn                  Penn State

 *-Filled in for Tara VanDerveer in 1995-96
    %-Twelve played and coached at same ranked school.

The Guru Report: Drexel Veterans Ride First Quarter Shutout to Third Straight Win Over Saint Joseph’s

Guru note: Items beyond Drexel game built on reports from the wires, emails, and college websites.

By Mel Greenberg @womhoops

PHILADELPHIA — The Drexel women’s basketball team put a stamp on its own version of Veterans Day on Sunday afternoon and as a result the Dragons were  the lone contingent of the Guru’s local D-1 group in action to establish a beachhead on the hardwoods of victory.

Showing more experience than a much younger Saint Joseph’s squad, Drexel made it three straight against its nearby rival, topping the Hawks 51-34 in a game that established two firsts simultaneously at the outset.

Drexel delighted its home portion of the crowd of 1,004 that also had its share of Saint Joseph’s fans in the Daskalakis Athletic Center by completing a 16-0 wipeout in the first quarter.

That was a first-ever in any quarter for the Dragons’ defense since the women’s game changed from two 20-minute halves to four10-minute quarters, a format now in its fourth season. Futility-wise it was also the first time that Saint Joseph’s has ever been blanked.

But the occurrence is not rare in NCAA parlance, since the record book says “many teams” under the category, though a scoreless quarter may be a first in this area.

The visitors were able to somewhat right themselves the rest of the way, at one point slicing the deficit to seven points before Drexel repulsed any further incursion.

Both teams were coming out of tough opening night losses from Friday when the Hawks suffered a narrow setback at home to Temple in a Big Five contest while Drexel also suffered a narrow setback in non-conference action, falling to Quinnipiac, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference heavyweight that is ranked No. 1 among mid-majors.

“This is one of the few times we are going to have the experience over the other team,” Drexel coach Denise Dillon said. “Obviously it was a defensive battle out there and this team is learning quickly how important it is for us to focus on the defensive end.

“Quick turnaround from Friday night, great response from the team knowing they couldn’t let up on defense.”

When local teams play Drexel, it is considered a Philly Six contest, though there is no formal organizational activity around the designation as there is in the Big Five.

Bailey Greenberg led the way for Drexel with 17 points and eight rebounds, both of which were game highs. Aubree Brown also scored in double figures for the Dragons with 12 points and grabbed four steals.

Hannah Nihill and Ana Ferariu each grabbed seven rebounds to help Drexel to a 39-32 advantage on the boards, including 13-6 on the offensive glass, a critical area Dillon says the team needs to execute to create extended possessions.

Newcomer Keishana Washington from Ontario, Canada, had six points and dealt five assists.

It was the second straight game Saint Joseph’s got off to a miserable start after quickly falling behind Temple 9-0 and then playing competitively the rest of the way.

“We’ve been starting games so poorly, we’ll take a hard look at that and see what things we’ll need to change and I think a lot of it comes down to experience and composure and we’re going to need to get better quick,” said Saint Joseph’s coach Cindy Griffin.

Speaking of veterans and the game played on a day when thanks to the American military is offered for its decades of service to the country, both Dillon and Griffin have been enjoying long stints on the sidelines at the two schools.

Dillon, who starred at Villanova, is in her 16th season with a career record of 283-196 and a WNIT title while Griffin is in her 18th season at her alma mater. Last season both teams finished runnersup in their conference tournaments, Drexel losing at home to Elon in the Colonial Athletic Association, while the Hawks advanced to the Atlantic Ten championship against George Washington.

But a chunk of the roster that got Saint Joseph’s to another postseason appearance has graduated and the Hawks have also lost Sarah Veilleux, whose collegiate career has ended due to multiple concussions.

On Sunday veteran Alyssa Monaghan was the only Hawk in double figures, collecting team highs of 10 points and six rebounds.

One of the bright spots for Griffin is that in both losses, after the opening collapses, the Hawks did play close to even up the rest of the way.

“I think to hold a team to 51 points is terrific,” Griffin said. “Scoring wise has been tough for us. We need more of a balanced attack to be inside and outside and right now I’m waiting for someone to step up and be that inside presence.”

The Hawks total was the lowest since a 42-33 loss at Massachusetts on January 13, 2005.

Both team are right back here in West Philadelphia several blocks apart Thursday night in 7 p.m. tipoffs.

Drexel will host Patriot League power Bucknell, the second straight year the Dragons are hosting the squad while Saint Joseph’s will visit Penn in a Big Five tilt in The Palestra.

Two years ago the Hawks, who lost to the Quakers last season, came down here as a rare underdog and upset Penn.

“We did,” Griffin said. “When you’re playing with youth, things are going to be very inconsistent day to day.

“We were a totally different team Friday then we were today. Now, you’ve got to give Drexel some credit. But I also think that’s youth for you. It’s like a roller coaster and we need to get a little more composed to start games.”

Penn won its opener at Siena on Saturday and Monday night will return last season’s visit from Notre Dame by playing the Irish, who went on to win the NCAA championship. The home team will hang its new banner pre-game, joining the one from 2001.

By nature of the Irish’s ranking, it will be the first time Penn has ever played a team listed No. 1, which was not the situation when the Quakers met Connecticut in an NCAA tournament game the last decade as Ivy champions.

The game is on the ACCNE network attainable with the ESPN Apps for streaming.

Penn is the only local playing Monday, while Tuesday’s highlight will be Rutgers hosting Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. in Piscataway, N.J., as Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer goes after her 1,000th victory built in combination from stops at Cheyney and Iowa before joining the Scarlet Knights prior to the 1995-96 season.

Likely to win, she will be the sixth women’s coach and fifth in Division I, following Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell, and Division II Bentley’s Barb Stevens.

Struggles on Sunday

Things didn’t go well for Princeton, Penn State, La Salle and Rider on the rest of the local slate. Let’s go to the recaps.

George Washington 64, Princeton 49 — The defending Ivy champs were unable to build on last week’s season opener at Rider, falling to the Colonials in Washington at the Smith Center after taking an early lead.

Down 4-2, the home team, which celebrated its Atlantic 10 title pre-game, launched a 7-0 run and eventually grew the differential to 22 points at 40-18.

Princeton is playing without Ivy player of the year Bella Alarie, who is sidelined with a broken arm.

George Washington come into the game with a season-opening loss at James Madison down in Harrisonburg, Va.

Though Princeton’s 22 turnovers were just one better than the GW miscues, the Colonials mined the Tigers’ faulty ball control into 31 points.

McKenna Haire had 13 points for Princeton, while GW’s Mei-Lyn Bautista had 15 points.

The Tigers next host Seton Hall in one of their annual New Jersey rival games at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Jadwin Gym and the non-conference slate stays tough afterwards with stops at Penn State, and a trio of games in Cancun, Mexico against No. 15 DePaul, No. 18 Syracuse, and Kansas State before returning to the area to visit Villanova.

Robert Morris 67, La Salle 39 — The Explorers are now 0-2 still looking for the first win under head coach Mountain MacGillivray after dropping their first road stop.

The Colonials took solid control in the second quarter and were never seriously threatened.

Sudden thought: Maybe Veterans Day was the wrong date for the locals to be playing teams with Colonials as their nicknames.

Freshman Shayla Sweeney had 11 points for La Salle in the game played in Moon Township, Pa., while Shalina Miller had eight rebounds and Jeryn Reese grabbed seven.

Esther Castedo and Isabella Posset each scored 12 points for Robert Morris (1-1).

“There’s going to be a lot of tough nights,” MacGillivray said. “There’s a lot of kids out there doing the things they’re doing for the first time. They’re all learning, it’s everything new, it’s like there’s 12 freshman.

“The offense will come. We just have to be patient.”

La Salle moves on to Harvard, Wednesday at 7 on Cambridge, Mass., and the non-conference game will air on ESPN+.

Holy Cross 71, Rider 61 — The Broncs’ opening losing streak dropped to 0-3 after Sunday’s loss to the Crusaders inside the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex in Worcester, Mass., as a closing rally fell short.

Rider previously dropped the season opener at home to Princeton and saw a late lead wiped out at Vermont on Friday night.

It was Holy Cross’s fourth straight win over the Broncs as the Crusaders stayed perfect in the series and  took their season opener.

Stella Johnson had another big night for Rider with 22 points, though she was the only player for the visitors to score in double figures.

Despite the setback, Broncs coach Lynn Milligan was pleased with the effort.

“First of all, we got a great effort from everyone tonight,” she said. “That’s the team I want to coach. We’ll be just fine.

“Amanda (Mobley) stepped into a tough situation and ran the team well in the second half. Our intensity was great. Defensively, we were solid. Not the start we wanted, but we are progressing in the right direction.”

Rider is off the rest of the week in terms of games, not playing until Saturday when the Broncs host Mount St. Mary’s at 2 p.m.

No. 24 California 75, Penn State 58 — For a while it seemed the Lady Lions might follow their stirring season opening rally last week over Providence at home to forge an upset of the nationally-ranked Bears, holding a 43-39 advantage at 3:14 of the third quarter.

Then Cal of the Pac-12 conference dominated the Big 10 representative the rest of the way in Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center with a 36-15 run to take the non-conference win.

Siyeh Frazier had a career-high 17 points for coach Coquese Washington’s squad while Alisia Smith had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Lady Lions headliner Teniya Page scored 10 points.

Kristine Anigwe, the Bears’ three-time all-American who was the USBWA freshman of the year as a rookie, had 24 points and 22 rebounds as Cal was able to overcome 22 turnovers.

Nationally Speaking: Northwestern Upsets No. 21 Duke

Perhaps the Blue Devils shouldn’t visit teams with Wildcats as their nicknames this early in the season. Almost a year ago Villanova pulled a shocker that led the way to an outstanding season. On Sunday, Northwestern enjoyed a win, gaining an 84-58 win as Lindsey Pulliam scored 21 points for the Big Ten representative and Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah had 11 points and 17 rebounds, well above her average of 12 off the glass last season.

It was the Northwestern women’s first game in their new Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Jordan Hamilton added 18 points and Abi also scored 18 as the Wildcats moved to 2-0 after the game in Evanston, Ill., near Chicago.

Duke (1-1) got 14 points and 14 rebounds from Leaonna Odom for the Atlantic Coast Conference squad.

Joe McKeown, a graduate of Philadelphia’s Father Judge High, had never gone against Duke in his 11 seasons at Northwestern after leaving George Washington.

No. 2 Connecticut 85, Ohio State 53 — The switch to a younger roster made this game less competitive than in recent years between the Buckeyes and powerhouse Huskies, who opened their season in their campus Gampel Pavilion Arena.

UConn also plays at the XL Center in Hartford and Saturday in the Hall of Fame Showcase will meet Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA, located in Uncasville near New London.

The three mainstays back from the Huskies’ recent season dominations, the last two of which had short-circuited finishes in the national semifinals, did their thing as Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points, Crystal Dangerfield scored 18, and Napheesa Collier scored 17.

The pleasing thing to Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma is the development of sophomore Megan Walker, the top prospect in the nation two years ago in high, who struggled last season as a rookie.

On Sunday she had 15 points and six rebounds as the Huskies (1-0) started their season for the third straight year to seek a 12th national title, building on their record 11.

“Megan’s talent, if she gets a motor like Pheesa’s and goes, she can be incredible,” Auriemma said. “It wasn’t there last year and it’s there more often this year.”

Walker showed her appreciation of Auriemma, saying, “I came here to be the best. ‘Coach, he transforms the best high school players into college players. I knew it would be tough. I knew it would be hard. We’re making progress. We’re growing.”

Carly Santoro had 20 for the Buckeyes (1-2), who have a tough opening slate of games well before dealing with their Big Ten rivals. All five starters and top six scorers from last season have departed.

Though the record 111 win streak is long gone after the buzzer-beater elimination in overtime in the 2017 national semifinals, the Huskies have not lost a regular season game since the setback to Stanford in the second game of the 2014-15 season, a run of 116 straight.

UConn will step back to an exhibition game on Thursday, meeting Southern Connecticut, once a national power before the Huskies rise under Auriemma, in Hartford prior to Saturday’s game against Vandy at Mohegan.

All but one of the AP Top 25 on Sunday had an easy time of it, the exception being No. 4 Baylor, which trailed host No. 23 Arizona State early before rallying for a 65-59 win.

The game was played in Fort Defiance, Ariz., billed as the Showdown on the Rez, paying tribute to Navajo Indians, which the Sun Devils do every year with a game, though this was the first time an event was on the reservation.

Nalyssa Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds as part of the inside tandem for Baylor
 (3-0), while Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown each scored 14 points, and Chloe Jackson scored 10.

Arizona State (1-1) got 13 points each from Courtney Ekmark and Kianna Ibis.

The Sun Devils had a 35-24 lead at the half over the Big 12 favorites. The Sun Devils play in the Pac-12.

And that’s the report.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Guru Report: Penn Snaps Opener Droughts With Narrow Victory at Siena

Guru note: Coverage beyond the Penn game drawn on Wires, Email and School Websites Reports

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — The Penn women’s basketball team has had some fine recent seasons with three Ivy titles and extended play into March either participating in the NCAA or WNIT tournaments.

Openers have been another matter, however, coming into 2018-19 with the last victory off the launch pad coming seven seasons ago and the last one on the road occurring in 2007.

Some of those setbacks have been excusable in facing superior national non-conference opposition to help get ready for the Ivy wars or ending just short off facing local rivals in the Big Five.

But others have not necessarily been likewise.

All that came to an end Saturday afternoon here in a rugged contest against host Siena of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in the Saints’ Alumni Recreation Center before a lively crowd of 1,019 fans, about half the size of capacity.

The Quakers made a strong defensive stand in the fourth quarter several times to prevent the outcome from going against them as they emerged with a 58-51 victory in the first meeting between the two programs since December, 2001.

The game was also the only one on the Saturday card among the Guru’s local D-1 group.

“This is a terrific win for us,” said Penn coach Mike McLaughlin. “I mean we had a lot of new faces playing, a lot of new players being in positions they have not been a whole lot, and to respond the way they did, throughout the whole game, but particularly down the stretch was a huge tell about about who we are.

“Their resilience was great at the end, their execution was great at the end, and I’m really, really proud of this group to do what they did with a lot of new faces on the floor.”

Gone through graduation for Penn was Michelle Nwokedi, a former Ivy player of the year who was part of a fearsome inside tandem with Ivy and Big Five rookie of the year Eleah Parker, while the steady hand of all-time assist leader Anna Ross is also now with the alumni greats of yesteryear.

Parker was a threat to have a monster game starting with a bunch of points before being harnessed to two more the rest of the way by the Saints, though she also had five rebounds and three blocked shots.

“But she was good on the defensive end,” McLaughlin countered. “We made foul shots and got the stops we needed. We had great composure and that’s hard to do when you haven’t been in spots like this before.

“I think we will grow from this. It’s good to get one on the road like this heading out to Notre Dame tomorrow.”

A year ago in the Palestra, Penn played the then depleted Irish tough, but by the finish in April Notre Dame had captured the NCAA title, courtesy of two buzzer-beating shots by Arike Ogunbowale in the national semifinals in Columbus, Ohio to bring a second straight miserable end to Connecticut’s unbeaten run in the same game, and then the encore against Mississippi State in the championship.

The Irish are ranked No. 1 with a squad bolstered by a return to health meaning the return of Brianna Turner and Penn will also be in Purcell Pavilion at 7 Monday night in South Bend, Ind., when Notre Dame hangs its first championship banner since 2001.

“Some of the kids played against them last year, but now they’re a better group and a different group,” he said of Monday’s opponent out of the Atlantic Coast Conference whose coach Muffet McGraw, the former Saint Joseph’s star, was recently inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

“We got out hands full, we’re not going to hide that,” McLaughlin said. “I want them to compete, give them some small tasks, I want them to compete and represent Penn the best we can.”

Penn, which shared the Big Five title with Villanova, will host Saint Joseph’s in the home opener in The Palestra Thursday night.

“I have a feeling we’re going to be in this situation a lot,” McLaughlin said noting Saturday’s battle.

“We’re not explosive on the offensive end, but we do defend and we do compete, so I have a feeling we’re going to be in some tight spots late, so this is a good start.”

Veteran Phoebe Sterba helped the Quakers from the outside, nailing four 3-pointers on the way to a game-high `16 points. With the game in the balance, Ashley Russell was steady and made 5-of-6 foul shots for all her points to go with seven rebounds.

Sophomore Michae Jones made a pair of foul shots with the outcome undetermined down the stretch. Tori Crawford had seven points and six rebounds off the bench, showing capabilities to team with Parker and help make up the departure of Nwokedi.

So will Princess Aghayere, who made her first start and had six points and five rebounds. 

On the other side, while the outcome was not the desire of the Saints coach Ali Jacques, a former assistant to Father Judge grad Joe McKeown at Northwestern, where he still coaches the Wildcats, and at George Washington, was pleased with the way her team played, especially when Penn threatened to break away several times.

“Grateful to Penn for agreeing with a home-and-home with us to start the year,” she said. “Really talented team, very disciplined, Mike does a tremendous job, and we really challenged ourselves this year.

“Story of the game were some things we talked about,” Jacques observed. “We knew Sterba was a great shooter. We let her get loose a little bit. That’s disappointing. Too many offensive rebounds for them (17-10, 44-38 overall).

“Give our kids a lot of credit for the comeback we did make. We were down 12. We come back and take the lead. If (Joella Gibson) turns it into an and-one or we get that transition layup and we could be sitting here talking about a different outcome,” she continued.

“But we challenged our players on purpose. We have to learn from this and get ready for the next one.”

Of Parker, the Sienna coach said, “She’s unbelievable. She’s a high major plus player. I don’t know if we’re going to face another player like that. She was a big part of our game plan. It’s interesting because she draws a lot of attention.”

Maddie Sims had 14 points for Siena and collected six rebounds, as did Marile Gerostergiou, while Margo Peterson off the bench scored 10 points, shooting 4-for-6 from the field.

Kendell Grasela and Mia Lakstigala, a freshman off the bench, each grabbed three steals for Penn. Katie Kinum, who has given the Quakers big moments in the past, struggled 0-for-9 from the field, though all but one attempt was from beyond the arc.

Besides Agahayere, Kinum and Grasela also made their first career starts.

Siena next goes to Sacred Heart Tuesday and hosts Harvard, which got routed at Notre Dame Friday night, this Friday.

“Programs that know how to win and our good, they reload, and he reloads,” Jacques paid tribute to Penn. “And they do a tremendous job. I knew we were going to have our work cut out for us and this game hopefully prepares us for conference down the road against teams like Marist and Quinnipiac, who are similar in nature.”

Blue Hens Next in WNIT

After being knocked out at Northern Iowa in the opening round Friday night, Delaware heads to consolation play and will travel to Dixie this weekend to meet Montana State at Texas State, Friday at 5 p.m. and then will either meet Nicholls State at 5 p.m. or Texas State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Texas State will play in the 7:30 p.m. slot (EDT) whether it is the loser or winner in its game with Nicholls State Friday night.

National Front: Syracuse Upset Bid and Comeback Foiled at Finish at Oregon

Just two nationally ranked teams played Saturday and they played each other with No. 18 Syracuse falling short at No. 3 Oregon 75-73 in Eugene. 

The host Ducks’ Sabrina Ionescu, who many project to be the No. 1 pick of next April’s WNBA draft should she legally forego her final year of collegiate eligibility, had 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Notre Dame transfer Erin Boley hit a key 3-pointer with 51 seconds left in regulation.

“That’s why Sabrina is Sabrina,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said, afterwards. “I told her, `You played like an all-American tonight,’ and that’s what she’s supposed to do.

Syracuse (1-1) rallied with a 10-0 run for a 67-61 lead late in the game before Oregon countered with a 9-0 run to get back in top for good at 70-67.

Tiana Mangakahia had 15 points for the Orange.

Syracuse next hosts Texas A&M Wednesday night at 7 down in White Plains, N.Y., in the Westchester County Center where the WNBA New York Liberty played all but two home games last summer.

Looking Ahead: Sunday In West Philly

Off tough home losses by each in Friday’s openers — Saint Joseph’s, which was edged by Temple while Drexel fell short to Quinnipiac — face each other at 2 p.m. at Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.

La Salle after dropping a home opener to Howard is at Robert Morris while Rider tries to take off an 0-2 start while visiting Holy Cross.

Princeton travels to George Washington and Penn State hosts No. 24 California.

Nationally, Connecticut, ranked second, hosts a season-opener against Ohio State, though the Buckeyes will come into the game not as formidable as recent matchups in the series all won by the Huskies.

No. 4 Baylor meets No. 23 Arizona State in Tempe.

And that’s the report.



Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Guru Report: Stringer’s Date With History Set at Rutgers While Temple Edges Saint Joseph’s

Guru’s note: Content beyond the Drexel and Saint Joe’s games were drawn on email, wire, and website reports.

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

PHILADELPHIA — The two big-time Division I matchups in town lived up to their hype in terms of competitiveness, Friday night, while earlier in the day Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer, via the Scarlet Knights’ 61-47 win over Stony Brook at home in the RAC, moved on to the staging ramp to add to a glorious Hall of Fame career.

In business as usual in terms of the differential when these two Big Five rivals meet, Temple emerged at the finish with a 58-52 win at the Hawks’ Hagan Arena to go 2-0 while the home dropped its season opener.

Drexel, at home for its before a lively crowd of 1,370, fell late in the game 56-52 to Quinnipiac, the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions and No. 1 ranked mid-major. 

It was the season opener for both teams.

Of the remaining teams in action, Rider began a two-game road trip north, falling at Vermont 54-49, while Delaware fell at Northern Iowa 79-67, opening with a loss in the first round of the Preseason WNIT. 

Karli Rucker had a career-high 25 points for the home team, which moves on against Marquette while the Blue Hens next play against an opponent to be named in the consolation round.

The big national story of the night was the head coaching debut of former WNBA Minnesota Lynx all-timer Lindsay Whelan at her alma mater at the University of Minnesota and the Gophers did not disappoint the sellout crowd of 14,625 routing visiting New Hampshire 70-47.

Meanwhile, Rutgers’ Stringer, whose head coaching career began at Cheyney in the Western suburbs near here and then moved on to Iowa before landing with the Scarlet Knights in the mid-1990s, now has 999 wins.

And unlike the multiple attempts to get to the last milestone at 900, the odds are greatly in her favor to become the sixth NCAA women’s coach, fifth in Division I, to reach 1000 when Rutgers hosts Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Prior to last season the legendary Tennessee mentor, the late Pat Summitt, was the first to reach the plateau, followed by Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, and then last season, Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma and North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell joined the club the same day, and Division II Bentley’s Barbara Stevens became a member soon thereafter.

By all means, this should have already been over and done for Stringer, but the squad went into a spiral in the back half of last season, sinking to the lower level of the Big Ten and missing an opportunity to break a long drought since the last NCAA tournament appearance.

But right now the squad is doing what teams with talent should do against under-matched opposition, and so Friday afternoon the Knights’ followed their 96-52 opening win over Saint Francis of Pennsylvania at home with another one-sided win over Stony Brook (0-1).

Charise Wilson had 14 points for the home team, while freshman Noga Peleg Pelc had 11 points.

The Seawolves, who were held to 31 percent from the field, were led by Shania Johnson, who had 15 points.

Temple 58-52: It seems most years this annual highlight in the Big Five, besides formerly in the Atlantic 10 when the Owls were in the conference, is undetermined until late in the game, no matter what happens in the opening half or, in recent seasons with the change, first two quarters.

Temple ripped off a 9-0 run to start the game in this one, fell behind later, took a seven-point lead near the finish and held off a game-tying attempt by the Hawks and wrapped the outcome up at the foul line.

Katie Jekot, who missed last season with a knee injury, had a game-high 16 points with Saint Joseph’s, while Alyssa Monaghan had 14 points.

Desiree Oliver led the Owls with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Mia Davis and Alliya Butts each scored 12 points.

Shannen Atkinson had a career-high eight points and six rebounds, a place where Temple dominated as a team 43-32 on the glass.

“It doesn’t matter who they put on the floor, it doesn’t matter if their best player is out for the season, but a Temple-Saint Joe’s game is always going to go down to the wire,” said Owls coach Tonya Cardoza, now in her 11th season.

“I told my players, Saint Joe’s does a very good job of running their offense, they’re very disciplined, they work very hard to get their shot. We just had to bear down, going down the stretch. … They’re a tough team to play against because they have so many guys who can shoot the basketball.”

On the other side, Cindy Griffin, a former Hawks star who recently signed a multi-year extension and is in her 18th season on the Hawk Hill sidelines, observed, “I was excited we were in a game where we could get as much experience as possible.

“It was competitive game, it was close at the end, we came up short at the end, we have a lot to learn from this game, but one thing I was impressed we battled and we battled till the end. You know we have only 40 minutes game experience on the court.”

Saint Joseph’s next visits Drexel Sunday afternoon at 2 in the Dragons’ Daskalakis Athletic Center while Temple takes the next stop on a long trip away from McGonigle Hall, visiting Mississippi Wednesday night.

The trip will continue with visits to Marist, Radford at Miami in Florida and then the host Hurricanes and on to DePaul before returning home Dec. 6 to host Iona.

Quinnipiac 56, Drexel 52: Poor ball control in terms of 22 turnovers and a 17-9 deficit in the third quarter were the key elements in stopping the host Dragons from upsetting the multi-MAAC defending champion Bobcats, the top mid-major off preseason rankings.

Bailey Greenberg had a double double for the hosts, scoring 17 points, off 7-for-14 from the floor, while she also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

 Hannah Nilhill had 11 points and three steals, while off the bench Eline Maesschalck had eight points, including a three-pointer near the finish that kept the Dragons’ hopes alive until the closing seconds.

The Bobcats capitalized on Drexel’s miscues for 18 points while Jen Fay led the visitors, scoring 15 points and collecting eight rebounds, and Paula Strautmane scored 11. Aryn McClure scored nine points.

While longtime Bobcats coach Trish (Sacca) Fabbri, who starred at Fairfield, gets a near home-coming every season up at Rider in the MAAC, this one brought her back to her roots in South Jersey while Taylor Herd from Lansdale Catholic and Brittany Martin from Sicklerville, N.J., and Timber Creek High also enjoyed home visits.

Fabbri, who is in her 24th season with the Bobcats and three turns ago was sought by La Salle for its then-vacant opening, starred at Delran High.

“It wasn’t pretty basketball, as far as how we like to identify ourselves, assists to turnovers, shooting percentage, however, it was really a pillar of who we are,” Fabbri said of the contest. “Our defense, all game long, but particularly in the third quarter, getting us going in transition.”

Denise Dillon, who led the Dragons to the top seed in the Colonial Athletic Association last season before falling to Elon in the title game here in West Philadelphia, summarized the outcome, saying, “We knew it would be a battle with a very experienced team as Quinnipiac, and it was just that.

“I thought we missed opportunities very well, and when you make 22 turnovers, you’re not going to get many wins,” the former Villanova star said.

“On the positive, defense,” Dillon said of what went right and wrong. “The goal was 54 points. This is a team that can really score, for us to have a chance we had to play defense. I was most pleased with our full court press, being able to play at that tempo and disrupt their continuity.

“But again, the offense, helter skelter.”

As mentioned above, the Dragons host Saint Joseph’s Sunday in what becomes a City Six game when Drexel goes against Big Five teams.

Vermont 54, Rider 49: A 14-2 finish by the host Catamounts in their season opener in Burlington at Patrick Gymnasium doomed the Broncs to a setback at the outset of their two-game road swing and an extended 0-2 start on the season.

Rider held a 47-40 led with 3 minutes, 29 seconds left in the game when the momentum began to swing the other way.

The win was the first on the sidelines by Alisa Kresege, the interim for the Catamounts.

The Broncs were 0-for-6 from the field in their final attempts.

Lexi Posset tied the score with two foul shots at 49-49 with 49 seconds left in regulation.

Vermont then broke the deadlock and grabbed a Rider missed shot and finished off by connecting on three foul shots.

Stella Johnson had a game-high 23 points for Rider while Lea Favre had a career-high 13 rebounds.

“We couldn’t get a shot when needed and we couldn’t get a stop when needed down the stretch,” said Rider coach Lynn Milligan stating the obvious. “We dug ourselves into a hole. Defensively, we were strong but we couldn’t get anything to drop early on. We need to be able to put together a full 40 minutes.

Rider completes the New England swing Sunday night at 7 at Holy Cross in the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.

Northern Iowa 79, Delaware 67:  As mentioned above, in a Preseason WNIT opener, the Blue Hens fell in the first round as the home team’s Karli Rucker had a career-high 25 points and moves on to meet Marquette Sunday in Milwaukee in the next round.

Delaware’s opponent was not yet named. The Blue Hens’ Jamine Dickey had 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Abby Gonzalez scored 12, and Simone DeFreese scored 11 and had six rebounds.

Nationally speaking: Minnesota Wallops New Hampshire for Whelan

Recently retired WNBA star Lindsay Whelan, who played on four league champions with the hometown Lynx, made her first trip to the sidelines a success Friday as her alma mater Gophers trounced New Hampshire 70-47 in the season opener for both teams before a sellout crowd that was a record for Williams Arena.

Annalese Lamke had 21 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field for the Big Ten school, which also got 14 points and 14 rebounds from Taiye Bello.

The visiting Wildcats have just one senior.

“Hey, that was fun,” Whalen said to the crowd after the game as reported by the Minnesota Star Tribune. “As a player it was a great honor to play in front of a crowd like this. I’m just thankful our players got to experience this. And we’re going to keep it going.”

Elsewhere, the defending national champion Notre Dame squad got off to an easy 103-58 win over Harvard at home and will host another Ivy school Monday when Penn returns last year’s Palestra visit and the banner is hung from the rafters.

The Quakers open their season at Siena, Saturday, near Albany, N.Y., at 2 p.m. and your Guru is set to be there.

The closest win of the Top 25 in action was by No. 15 DePaul, hosting Green Bay with a 73-64 win in Chicago. Otherwise it was comfort all around for the rest of the ranked teams resulting in No. 25 Miami 81, Stephen F. Austin 60 at home; No. 14 Georgia 67, St. Bonaventure 40, at home; No. 22 South Florida 74, Albany 37, at home; No. 6 Mississippi State 72, Virginia 44 in Charlottesville on the road; No. 5 Louisville 75, Chattanooga 49 on the road; No. 9 Maryland 93, Coppin State 36 at home in College Park; No. 19 Marquette 100, Montana State 52 at home.

Looking Ahead: Penn Opens on the Road

In the only D-1 local playing Saturday, the Quakers, as mentioned, open at Siena. A year ago Penn ventured into upstate New York and fell to Binghamton in the season opener. They move on to Notre Dame Monday before hosting Saint Joseph’s next week at The Palestra.

Two Top 25 teams will battle with No. 3 Oregon enjoying a program record-setting ranking hosting No. 18 Syracuse at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

As far as the locals on Sunday, as mentioned, Drexel and Saint Joseph’s match up after season-opening losses for both; Rider looking for its first win after an 0-2 start visits Holy Cross; Penn State, after a thrilling rally Thursday night at home to foil an upset by Providence, will host No. 24 California; La Salle tries to reverse its 0-1 start visiting Robert Morris; Princeton coming off a season-opening win at Rider tries to win at George Washington, which is coming off a season-opening loss at James Madison; and Delaware was waiting to learn its next PWNIT foe, which would be in the consolation round, but had yet to be announced as we signed off on the night.

We will update off the Penn game Saturday.

And that’s the report.




Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Guru Report: Temple Wins Big, Princeton Throttles Rider, Rutgers’ Stringer Gets No. 998 in Local Openers

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

PHILADELPHIA — Opening night of the 2018-19 NCAA women’s basketball season at the local level of the Guru’s D-I Group was a mixed bag but tilted more on the positive from the four games played.

Here in Temple’s McGonigle Hall, the Owls had signs of better things ahead off their 75-61 victory over Delaware State, which was under first-year head coach David Caputo.

But several miles up the street, La Salle took a lead, fell behind and then had a comeback fall short to Howard 57-54, spoiling the start of the head coaching career of former Quinnipiac assistant Mountain MacGillivray.

Over in central New Jersey, despite the absence of reigning Ivy player of the year Bella Alarie due to a broken arm, Princeton, favored to repeat as league champs, took an impressive local battle, cruising over host Rider 89-65 in the Broncs’ Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville.

And just up the road from that matchup, host Rutgers rolled over reigning Northeast Conference champion St. Francis (Pa.) 96-52 in Piscataway, bringing Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer to 998 victories, two short of becoming the sixth women’s coach at either the D-1 or D-2 levels to reach 1,000.

The late Tennessee Hall of Famer was the first followed by Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, and last season North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, both Hall of Famers, hit the mark the same day, followed by Barb Stevens of D-2 Bentley.

With what was considered the most potential for an upset loss from any of the first three visiting opponents out of the way, the big night for Stringer is likely to come Tuesday against Central Connecticut, assuming Rutgers can dispense of Stony Brook at home Friday night.

There was some interesting outcomes elsewhere on the national D-1 circuit.

But let’s first start from here in McGonigle where the Guru spent opening night.

The Owls are healthy once more following a nightmare season of injuries that began before the opening tip when Alliya Butts was lost with a knee injury.

The Big Five rookie of the year in 2015 celebrated her official return scoring 18 points, shooting 4-of-9 three-pointers, which extended her career program record of 1,485 from beyond the arc.

Sophomores Mia Davis and Emani Mayo, who were on the all-American Athletic Conference newcomers lost a season ago, made good on their past performances with Davis scoring a game-high 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while Mayo scored 13 points. Newcomer Alexa Williamson had 11 points in limited minutes, due to the opposition matchups.

Delaware State’s Najai Pollard had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Lanayjhi Ashe scored 14, and Genell Addision scored 11.

“This was a good win,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza, whose 11th season on the sidelines with the Owls got under way. “Obviously you want to get off to a good start.

“Del State, you really don’t know much about because you can’t watch them on film (this early) and you’re not sure what they are going to do. They basically just played a lot of guards so the matchups were difficult for us.

“We really couldn’t play a lot of our post players but I thought we hung in there in the first half and then in the third quarter we did a good job pulling away. Then our brains just got fried in the fourth quarter and we stopped shutting down, making a lot of careless mistakes and not really focused on finishing the basketball and made it a lot closer than it needed to be,” she said.

“But I’m happy we got the victory, but we have to make sure we’re a little more solid in the fourth quarter and not allow a team to outscore us.”

Temple has only 11 home games and now head out on a long trip that won’t see the squad back here until Dec. 6 hosting Iona.

The first STOP will be Friday at Saint Joseph’s, the home opener for the Hawks in Hagan Arena at 5 p.m. in what will be the first of the four-game Big 5 City Series round robin for both teams.

Though technically Temple will still be in its home city nearby, Cardoza quickly countered, “But it’s their place, it’s not in McGonigle.”

Stops on the trip thereafter include places like Marist, a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference heavyweight; Mississippi, and Miami, which is currently ranked.

The Owls also visit defending Big East champion DePaul, another ranked team, in Chicago.

Howard 57, La Salle 54 — A 22-10 third-quarter advantage by the visiting Bison proved to be the Explorers’ disaster moments, though they rallied from a nine-point deficit to go up a point 49-48 before Howard regained the high ground to take the win.

Rayshel Brown led La Salle with 10 points, while Shalina Miller grabbed 12 rebounds. Kayla Spruill added 10 points to the La Salle total.

Sarah Edmond had 22 points for Howard, Krislyn Marsh had 11 points and 17 rebounds.

The Explorers next play, hitting the road for a Sunday game at Robert Morris.

“Obviously that’s a disappointing ending to that game and clearly wasn’t the prettiest basketball for either team, but as we as we build things here at La Salle, we’ve been asking our team to be competitive, to battle for loose balls, to battle for rebounds,” MacGillivray said. 

“And I can’t be disappointed with that.”

Princeton 89, Rider 65 — The last time these two schools met was in a season opener two years ago, the Broncs gained an upset of the Tigers on the road at Jadwin Gym and went on to a landmark season.

After a year of rebuilding there was hope that there would be a repeat with the matchup being at home, but Princeton took care of business and was ready from the opening tip.

Gabrielle Rush and Carlie Littlefield combined for 41 points for Princeton as Rush got a career high 25 points fueled by a career-tying five three pointers. Littlefield was just short of her career mark with 16 points, two below the 18, Taylor Baur had 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Tigers wrapped it up quickly with a 15-0 run at the outset that created an 18-4 lead off an array of three pointers. Princeton went on to lead by 25 points.

Dominating the boards, coach Courtney Banghart’s squad out-rebounded the Broncs 37-23.

Stella Johnson had 21 for Rider, while Lexi Posset scored 11, and Amanda Mobley scored 10 points.

“They threw the first punch and got after us early and were a little shell shocked,” said Rider coach Lynn Milligan. “We responded in the second half, the way I anticipated, but the damage was already done.”

Princeton stays on the road, visiting George Washington Sunday, while Rider next hits the road to visit Vermont Friday night.

Rutgers 96, St. Francis 52 — After a disappointing slide to lose a clear shot at an NCAA bid and get Stringer to her milestone at the backside of last season, the Scarlet Knights took care of business against the one threat that could disrupt an early shot at glory for the legendary Rutgers coach.

Five players scored in double digits for the home team and three had double doubles as Mael Gilles had 13 points and 16 rebounds, Stasha Carey had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Caitlin Jenkins had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The Knights pounded the boards for 75 rebounds, a school and home arena record. 

Freshman Noga Peleg Pelc had 15 points and Arella Guitrantes scored 14.

Aunesha Williams had 11 points for the visitors and Northeast Conference star Jess Kovatch was held to 10 points after leading the nation a year ago with a 24.4 average.

Friday’s game hosting Stony Brook has been moved to noon.

Around the Nation — In a homecoming for Ruthy Hebard in Fairbanks, Alaska, No. 3 Oregon topped the D-2 Nanooks 115-36 in what was a special scheduled event for the Ducks’ star. She had 17 points in 23 minutes of play, while Satou Sabally scored 21 points, and Sabrina Ionescu had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. It was her 11th triple double, an extension of her NCAA women’s record and one short of the men’s record owned by BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth. Transfer Erin Boley scored 14 points.

No. 24 California nearly frittered away all of an 12-point lead in the fourth quarter but held on to edge Houston of the American Athletic Conference, 80-79, as USBWA 2016 freshman of the year Kristine Anigwe scored 21 of her 37 points in the third quarter in the game played at home for the host Bears in Berkeley. “I wanted to create a gap so we could manage the fourth quarter,” Anigwe said.

USF, picked second in the AAC, pounded host Ohio State, 71-47, as the No. 22 Bulls got 14 points from Carly Santoro while Kitija Laksa and Beatriz Jordao each scored 17 points. The Buckeyes have eight new players on their roster after being one of the dominant teams the last four years with now WNBA star Kelsey Mitchell.

Seniors Jordan Moore and Amy Okonkwo combined for 38 points as host TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, took down Atlantic 10 favorite Duquesne 61-48.

UCLA, ranked 23rd in the coaches’ poll, was upset on the road in a cross-town game, falling to LMU 69-63, though the Bruins nearly wiped out a 13-point fourth quarter deficit. Japreece Dean had 16 points for UCLA and Gabby Green scored 25 for the Lions.

Just Ahead — Villanova at 7 Wednesday night opens hosting Hartford, while Penn State Thursday night opens hosting Providence.

A busy Friday has Rutgers hosting Stony Brook, now at noon, as mentioned; Saint Joseph’s hosting Temple at 5, while Drexel hosts MAAC champ Quinnipiac and Rider visits Vermont, both at 7. Delaware opens play in the preseason NIT visiting Northern Iowa, 9:30 EST.

Nationally, on Friday, new Minnesota coach Lindsay Whelan, the recently retired WNBA Minnesota Lynx superstar, makes her debut in front of a sellout home crowd against New Hampshire.

Saturday has one game as Penn opens on the road at Siena before moving on to top-ranked and defending NCAA  champion Notre Dame on Monday night.

And that’s the news.

Monday, November 05, 2018

AP WBB Poll Triva: Coaches’ Appearances With Ranked Teams

  By Mel Greenberg
Women’s Hoops Guru @womhoopsguru

Quick hits on AP poll (week 1 for coaches’ appearances week No. 1  Preseason ) – Season 2018-19
(This is 749th poll after week 1 for 2018-19). (Records on pages through week 1)

Coaches with Four Ranked Teams
Jim Foster (St. Joe-35), (Vanderbilt-164), (Ohio St.-171), (Chattanooga-10), 380

Coaches with Three Ranked Teams  
C. Vivian Stringer (Cheyney-85), (Iowa-155), (Rutgers-190), 430
Gary Blair (Stephen F. Austin-79), (Arkansas-67), (Texas A&M-213), 359
Marianne Stanley (Old Dominion-141), (Southern Cal-24), (Stanford*-18), 183
Lin Dunn (Miami-2), (Mississippi-1), (Purdue-130), 133
Joe McKeown (New Mexico St.-6), (George Washington-110), (Northwestern-13) 129
Don Perrelli (Northwestern-52), (S. Conn.-20), (St. John’s-1), 73
Tom Collen (Colorado St.-34), (Louisville-17), (Arkansas-9), 60
Sharon Fanning-Otis (Kentucky-4), (Miss. St.-48), (Chattanooga-4), 56
Debbie Yow (Florida-2), (Kentucky-21), (Oral Roberts-1), 24 

Kittie Blakemore, Scott Harrelson – West Virginia 8 
Sonja Hogg, Leon Barmore – Louisiana Tech 51
Jill Hutchison, Linda Fischer – Illinois St. 3
Jim Jarrett, Joyce Patterson – Georgia St. 1
Marianne Stanley, Amy Tucker – Stanford 18
Jim Bolla, Sheila Strike – UNLV 18

Coaches All Time Ranking Appearances
1.**- Pat Summitt, Tennessee – 618 (missed just 14 polls in entire AP history as existed in 2012)
2.  Tara VanDerveer (2 schools – Ohio St., Stanford) – 539
3. **-Andy Landers, Georgia – 522
4.  Geno Auriemma, Connecticut – 503
5. C. Vivian Stringer (3 schools – Cheyney, Iowa, Rutgers) – 430
6. **-Jody Conradt, Texas – 395
7. Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina 384
8. **-Jim Foster (4 schools – St. Joseph’s, Vanderbilt, Ohio St., Chattanooga) – 380
9. Gary Blair, (3 schools – Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas, Texas A&M) – 359
10. Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame 352
11. **-Rene Portland (2 schools – St. Joseph, Penn St.) – 336
12.  **-Debbie Ryan, Virginia – 329
13. **- Kay Yow, North Caro. St. – 326
14. **-Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech (51-shared with Sonja Hogg) – 325
15. Kim Mulkey, Baylor 305
16.**- Gail Goestenkors (2 schools – Duke, Texas) – 295
17. **-Joe Ciampi, Auburn – 290
18. **-Sue Gunter (2 schools – Stephen F. Austin, LSU) – 270
18. Joanne P. McCallie (2 schools – Michigan St., Duke) – 270
20. **-Joan Bonvicini (2 schools – Long Beach, Arizona) – 267
21. Sherri Coale, Oklahoma – 264
21. **-Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech – 264
23. **-Van Chancellor (2 schools – Mississippi, LSU) – 261
24. Brenda Frese (2 schools – Minnesota, Maryland) – 257
25. **-Chris Weller, Maryland – 227
26. **-Theresa Grentz (2 schools – Rutgers, Illinois) – 225
27. **-Marianne Stanley (3 schools – Old Dominion, Southern Cal, Stanford*) – 183
28. **-Paul Sanderford (2 schools – W. Kentucky, Nebraska) – 182
29. Doug Bruno, DePaul - 181
30. **-Marian Washington, Kansas – 176

**-Not on the College Division I active head coaches list

Active Coaches-All Time AP Ranking Appearances
1. Tara VanDerveer (2 schools – Ohio St., Stanford) – 539
2. Geno Auriemma, Connecticut – 503
3. C.Vivian Stringer (3 schools – Cheyney, Iowa, Rutgers) – 430
4. Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina – 384
5. Gary Blair, (3 schools – Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas, Texas A&M) – 359
6. Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame – 352
7. Kim Mulkey, Baylor – 305
8. Joanne P. McCallie (2 schools - Michigan St., Duke) – 270
9. Sherri Coale, Oklahoma – 264
10. Brenda Frese (2 schools, Minnesota, Maryland) – 257
11. Doug Bruno, DePaul – 181
12. Bill Fennelly, (2 schools – Toledo, Iowa St.) – 155
12. Jeff Walz, Louisville – 155
14. Sue Semrau, Florida St. – 146
15. Dawn Staley (2 schools —Temple, South Carolina) – 143
16. Matthew Mitchell, Kentucky – 141
17. @!@!-Kristy Curry (2 schools – Purdue, Texas Tech) – 136
18. Charli Turner Thorne, Arizona St. – 135
19. Joe McKeown (3 schools – New Mexico St., George Washington, Northwestern) – 129
20. Kevin McGuff (2 schools -- Xavier, Ohio State) – 109
21.)))-Chris Gobrecht (Washington) - 104 
22. Mike Carey, West Virginia – 103
23. Holly Warlick, Tennessee – 99 (In 2016 Tennessee missed polls 16th/17th/18th/19th) ( in 2017 missed poll 5th, 6th, 7th ,8th, 9th. 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th)
24. Sharon Versyp, Purdue – 84
25. Suzy Merchant, Michigan St. – 81
26. Karen Aston, Texas – 78
27. Cori Close, UCLA—76
27. Scott Rueck, Oregon State – 76
29. Vic Schaefer, Mississippi St. – 75
30. Lindsay Gottlieb, California 74
31. Katie Meier, Miami –68
32. Lisa Bluder (2 schools – Iowa, Drake) – 66
33. Quentin Hillsman, Syracuse – 65
34. Joanne Boyle, California (2 schools – California, Virginia) – 61
34. Coquese Washington, Penn State – 61
36. Kelly Graves, (2 schools — Gonzaga, Oregon) – 59
36. Jim Littell, Oklahoma State – 58
38. $$$ - Bonnie Henrickson ( 2 schools — Virginia Tech, Kansas) - 54
39.  ***-Kathy Olivier, UCLA 52
40. Harry Perretta, Villanova – 50
41. ____Terri Williams-Flournoy (2 schools – Georgetown, Auburn) – 49
42. Jeff  Mittie, (TCU, Kansas St.) – 48
43. Kevin Borseth, Wis.-Green Bay – 46
43. Jose Fernandez, South Florida – 46
45. Nikki Fargas (UCLA, LSU) – 44
46. Kim Barnes Arico (2 schools – St. John’s, Michigan) – 43
47. ====Agnus Berenato (Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh) 37
48.%=%=  Matt Bollant, Wis.-Green Bay – 35
48. Lisa Stockton, Tulane – 35
50. ;;; - June Daughtery (2 schools — Boise St., Washington) - 32
51. MaChelle Joseph, Georgia Tech – 31

 )))-Active at Air Force; $$$-Active at UCSB.;  !!!-Active at Nevada;  %=%= Active at Eastern Illinois; @!@!-Active at Alabama, ====-Active at Kennesaw St.; ;;;-Active at Washington St.

AP WBB Poll Trivia - Streaking Teams Into 2018-19 Preseason - Or Not

Current Appearance Streaks of Women’s Teams in This Week’s AP Women’s  Poll  – Nov. 1, 2018

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

1-470 Weeks Connecticut across 26 seasons began Preseason 1993-94
2-279 Weeks Baylor across 16 seasons began January 5, 2004
3-213 Weeks Notre Dame across 11 seasons began Preseason 2007-08
4-155 Weeks Maryland across 9 seasons began Preseason 2010-11
5-109 Weeks South Carolina across 7 seasons began Dec. 10 2012

6-75 Weeks Mississippi State across 5 seasons began Nov. 24, 2014
7-57 Weeks Texas across 4 seasons began Preseason 2015-16
8-49 Weeks Louisville across 4 seasons began January 11 2016
9-35 Weeks Duke across 3 season began December 5 2016
10-32 Weeks Oregon State across 3 season began December 19 2016

11-24 Weeks Missouri across 3 seasons began February 20 2017
12 Tie – 20 Weeks Oregon across two seasons began preseason 2017-18
12 Tie – 20 Weeks Tennessee across  two seasons began preseason 2017-18
12 Tie – 20 Weeks Texas A&M across two seasons began preseason 2017-18
15  – 9 Weeks Georgia across two seasons began week 12 of 2017-18

16 – 8 Weeks Stanford across two seasons began week 13 of 2017-18
17 —7 Weeks N. Caro. St. across two seasons began week 14 of 2017-18
18 – 6 Weeks South Florida across two seasons began week 15 of 2017-18

19 Tie — Iowa 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — DePaul 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — Syracuse 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — Marquette 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — Arizona State 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — California 1 week began preseason 2018-19
19 Tie — Miami 1 week began preseason 2018-19

Recent Departed Major Streaks Last Three Seasons

xx. Tennessee 565 weeks. Began Feb. 17, 1985 after 10-wk drought and ran across 32 seasons ending on 2/15/16.
xx. Duke 312 weeks. Began week 3 11/29/99 and runs across 17 seasons ending 1/11/2016.
xx. 312 Weeks Stanford across 17 seasons began Preseason 2001-02 ending 12/17/2017.
xx. Texas A&M 134 weeks. Began 11/16/09 2nd week and runs across 7 seasons ending final poll 2015-16.
xx. Kentucky 132 weeks. Began feb. 1 2010 and runs across 8 seasons ending 1/2/2017.
xx. 67 Weeks Florida State across 4 seasons began January 12 2015 ending final poll 2018
xx. 59 Weeks Ohio State across 4 seasons began March 9 2015 ending final poll 2018
xx. 53 weeks UCLA across 3 seasons began November 30 2015 ending final poll 2018

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Philly Sports Hall of Fame: The Guru’s Program Bio of Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw

Guru’s note: It wasn’t all play for inductee Guru Thursday night. Here’s the printed program bio piece written in advance. 

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

In the sports world, as well as other mediums, there are personalities whose exploits become so known to the overall public, or at least the public in specific sectors, that both their first and last names are no longer needed for familiarity.

Actually, some of those who have previously earned induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame have long held that acclaim — past honorees like Zink, and Eric, Speedy, and Moses, and Merrill, and Harry and Richie, to name a few.

And tonight there are a few more.

For a long time in women’s basketball, the two most prominent individuals among coaches holding that one-name distinction were Pat, as in Tennessee legend Pat Summitt and, Geno, as in past Philly inductee and University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.

But tonight, being welcomed here is a former local star on the court who in recent years has edged those two notables aside to take her rightful place with similar notoriety — Muffet.

That would be “Muffet,” as in former Saint Joseph’s standout Muffet McGraw, who competed in the mid-1970s on the initial Hawks women’s squad in her pre-marital life as Anne O’Brien.

 She then went on to such success coaching Notre Dame into a national power that in South Bend these days one is likely to hear a one-name reference to Muffet even more so than Rudy, the football walk-on whose life was depicted in the popular movie.

McGraw will admit that her nickname is drawn from the nursery rhyme, but to this day the reason she earned it is on a need to know basis, a group that may only include two or three people.

One poignant event that McGraw never discussed for public knowledge until early last month was how fate intervened in 2001 and upon the suggestion of one of her assistants, who was also recruiting nearby in New England, she joined him intending to catch a flight home from Rhode Island.

 Thus unwittingly she avoided being on the flight from Boston that was hijacked and piloted into the World Trade Center as part of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11.

Back here in current times, it’s been busy even before next week’s season tipoff for McGraw, the native of Pottsville, who grew up in West Chester. A few weeks ago she received the Lapchick Character Award in New York, which also went to Villanova NCAA men’s basketball championship coach Jay Wright, another recipient.

When it comes to her own triumphs, if opponents were to play the Irish in a Women’s Final Four title game, it would be wise for them to make sure the contest is not being played on Easter Sunday.

Last spring, McGraw’s bunch completed the most memorable weekend in Women’s Final Four history when Arike Ogunbowale hit a game-winner as time expired over Mississippi State for the championship.

The triumph exactly followed to the date 17 years earlier, also on April 1, 2001, when the Irish claimed their first Notre Dame title, which was built on a dramatic second-half rally over UConn in the semifinals. 

Just 48 hours earlier last April, Agunbowale also hit a game-winner in overtime in the semifinals, which again brought down a heavily-favored Connecticut squad, this one unbeaten.

The Irish were the first to rally from double digits deficits in both games, including 15 points in the championship.

That Notre Dame (35-3) even survived the season to get to Columbus, Ohio, was a remarkable conclusion and one of the best coaching jobs, period, ever in coping with a slew of roster-depleting knee injuries as McGraw became one of six women’s coaches to own multiple NCAA titles.

McGraw first joined the coaching ranks, steering Archbishop Carroll to a 50-3 mark from 1977-79, including the Catholic League title with a 28-0 mark the second of those two seasons.

“Knowing I loved the game and was a sociology major, a job opened at Archbishop Carroll and I thought what a great way to see if I liked it or not,” McGraw recalled a year ago prior to her Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction.

 Following her Carroll stint, McGraw headed back to her alma mater for a few seasons under Jim Foster as an assistant, believe it or not, succeeding Auriemma.

“It is ironic that Jim’s first two early years assistants would be us for what we became in our careers,” she noted.

Foster, who retired from Chattanooga last summer, says of McGraw, “She learned how to grow with the game and was always looking at: What else do we do? Who else can I be?”

 Then it was on to a head coaching position at the collegiate level where McGraw first spent several seasons compiling 88 wins at Lehigh before arriving at Notre Dame, where in 32 seasons she has won 800 games for an 888 total.

The number of wins is eighth all-time in Division I among women and she is likely to be the fourth fastest to get 900 victories.

How’s this for elite company? 

She is one of five men’s and women’s coaches with more than 875 triumphs, eight Final Fours and multiple NCAA titles joining Summitt and Auriemma from the women’s side and North Carolina’s Dean Smith and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski from the men’s.

With 351 Associated Press women’s poll appearances in its 748-week, 42-year history that began in November, 1976, McGraw is 10th overall and seventh on the active list of coaches. 

Following UConn, which is a perfect 165 weeks in each category this decade, Notre Dame is second in Top 10 and Top Five appearances since the first week of 2010. 

Despite the long acclaim guiding the Irish, McGraw, also a Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer, still feels strongest for her home town, which is why tonight’s honor is so special to her.

In fact, when Notre Dame left the Big East, which included annual trips to Villanova, for the Atlantic Coast Conference, McGraw has continued to bring her team back to town.

“I’m not giving up those homecomings,” she said. “I’m going to call Penn, I’m going to call my alma mater, though I don’t think I’ll be rushing to still play the Wildcats.”

There is a lot of irony between the Hawks and Irish in McGraw’s life.

Last spring, Jill Bodensteiner, who had been McGraw’s immediate athletic administrator, became the first female athletic director on Hawk Hill succeeding the long-time AD Don DiJulia after his retirement.

“Playing at St. Joe’s gave me a pure love for the game, which I still have,” McGraw has often said. “I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my experiences at Saint Joe’s.”

And it was in Hagan Arena, then named Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, that in late 1990 in the Texaco-Hawk Classic that Notre Dame upset then powerhouse No. 11 Louisiana Tech and Saint Joe’s for the holiday tourney title, earning the Irish’s first appearance in the weekly AP women’s poll.

Since then, the rest has been all Muffet’s history and now she’s a Philadelphia Sports Hall of Famer.


Friday, November 02, 2018

Philly Sports Hall of Fame - The Guru’s Un-Cut Acceptance Speech Version

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Notice the two italics lines near the end :)

Guru’s Philly Sports HOF Speech as of 10-30 edit 

First, congratulations to the other inductees here tonight — from the moment I first got word, I have kept thinking, wow, what a class. 

Before getting under way, I’ve been asked to tell you to keep the applause or laughter reaction to these remarks at a minimum as part of the requested time limits.

 You know, it took a while for the paper to buy into what I was doing.  

Originally, they displayed my stories guided by a standing NFL television policy at the time – you know – nationwide, but blacked out within 60 miles from my desks at the Inquirer.

I mean, what do you say about a group who once misquoted me in my own newspaper while covering an award I received from the College Sports Information Directors Association.

True, then-sports editor Jay Searcy had the actual idea of starting a women’s basketball poll in the bicentennial year of 1976. And, yes, while he gave me the seeds, it would have been also nice for him to pay for the rakes to grow them.

 At The Inquirer, my salary at the paper was based on a one-day a year assignment - rushing Pulitzer Prize entries at the last minute to Columbia University in New York. That’s the reason they referred to me as The Inquirer’s driving force behind a prize-winning newsroom.

Sometimes  I get asked, when did I first become involved with women’s athletics?

For that, we go back to my student days getting honed by one of the best journalism schools in the country, where Temple legend Al Shrier made me chauffeur  the Owls cheerleaders.

Those were certainly fun times at Temple when I was a basketball manager under The Chief  — Harry Litwack — and his assistant Don Casey on a team that won the NIT in 1969  when that tournament  was as fashionable as the NCAAs.

When  I first got word of tonight I thought it was because in my time i scored every point for the Owls. So what if they landed in the book at the table instead of thru the net.

Since we’re in a casino, what were the odds back then that the chief and yours truly, his manager, who made him happy once a week by delivering  two boxes of Garcia Y Vega  Cigars from the news stand at 2nd and Market, would both be Philly Sports Hall of Famers.   

Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, of course I couldn’t dream of this night for two reasons — No. 1, who ever thought casinos would come to Philadelphia and, No. 2, this fabulous Philly Hall didn’t become reality until 2004. 

  So let’s give our hosts a special thank you to Steve (Tallant), Ken (Avallon), Ruth (Constantine), and Gail (Ramsey) and in previous years Pete (Georgelos), and, of course, all the volunteers here right now who make this night possible.

Way back in a conversation with my good friends Dickie Hoops Weiss and Philly Belles AAU notable Mike Flynn, I had commented, “You don’t think I’m going to be doing this forever for the rest of my life do you?”

And Dickie, with Mike nodding in agreement, simply answered  — Yes. 

There is much to be awed about tonight up here – Claire, do you know you and I are only the 9th and 10th legacy of excellence winners from the print side of things — you all remember print don’t you? — and that’s in a town that produced hopefully future honorees such as famed national columnists like Sandy Grady and George Kiseda.

And what an honor to join some of those eight previous inductees from print like Phil Jasner, Ray Didinger, Stan Hochman, Donald Hunt, who was inducted last year, and my college classmate in Dickie Hoops Weiss, who I already mentioned. 

And here’s what’s really amazing: Claire, we are only the third and fourth inductees from The Inquirer following those two wonderful columnists — Frank Dolson and Bill Lyon. That is so  mind-boggling. And what a profile in courage has been Bill in his battle against Alzheimer’s.

From my formative years, its awesome and humbling to be just the fifth graduate of Northeast High inducted here and be the first honoree from the Cottman Avenue campus behind Sonny Hill, Herb Adderley, Walter Bahr, and Guy Rodgers.

At Northeast, we were Class No. 123 - which was the last of the mid-year baby boomer  graduates in 1965. I think some of those people are here. 

That class produced scientists, educators, lawyers and other outstanding individuals, but since the word of my induction became public, all of them are stunned wondering how someone who sucked in math and english is standing here despite never playing any sports. 

You know, the athletes and coaches up here tonight go one way in reviewing their lives in these acceptances acknowledging colleagues and respective families. 

As for me, I believe I arrived at 401 N. Broad Street on Sept. 9, 1969, at a golden era to become involved with an all-star Inquirer sports team, besides the news-side greats — from sports editors, to backfield staff, to copy and layout editors, editorial assistants, photographers, and just some of the best reporters to ever work in this town.

Learning from all of them gave me the tools to do what I do, and when we changed from typewriters to technology, I was told to start teaching them.

What  a joy to stand here tonight in the legacy of excellence category with you Claire, a true pioneer, who a year ago became the first J.G. Taylor Spink female honoree from the baseball writers association in Cooperstown at baseball’s hall of fame. That is so special.

By the way, Claire’s last assignment at the Inquirer in 2010 before heading to ESPN was to cover my induction at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville.

 She even got some new outfits out of the deal when USAir - you remember USAir? - temporarily lost her luggage on the way from Philly, which takes talent on a non-stop flight.

 Speaking of ESPN, thanks to them and my friends in the home office at the NCAA for moving national women’s basketball media day in Bristol, Conn. to yesterday so they avoided missing me in what would have been a conflict with tonight.

  Usually, it’s the schools that adjust, so I guess you didn’t know i had that kind of juice. The fact that Muffet had the same schedule as me this week is purely coincidental.

 In journalism, awards are given for specific stories and like anyone else, there were days I felt — it’s going to be hard for me to top that. 

But then there are those tributes that go to impact players and I recognize this is what this honor is about from all of you, which makes this night truly rewarding. 

 Beyond the paper, nothing could have been achieved without help and support from many, like the The Associated Press, including  Chester’s Terry Taylor, their now-retired  longtime sports editor, and national women’s writers Chuck Schoffner and Doug Feinberg.

Impact is most certainly unattainable without sports information friends like Larry Dougherty and Rob Knox - the Lincoln University grad and current CoSIDA president — Larry is a past one — and many more, including coaches and administrators at the collegiate and WNBA levels. 

 To make an impact, it takes impact hoopsters and coaches to be chronicled - like those already enshrined here - Linda Page, Debbie Black, Marilyn Stephens, Geno Auriemma, the incomparable Dawn Staley, our USA olympic coach; and of course the Immaculata crowd - Cathy Rush, Marianne Stanley, Theresa Grentz, and Rene Portland, who we lost this past summer to her battle with cancer after she stood here last year as an honoree.

And  of course, tonight being here with Muffet, who I first knew from sitting near her and her boyfriend-now husband Matt when i hitched a ride on the St. Joe team bus. Who would believe we would become famous out of those days, or in the case of Muffet, rich and famous.

And i’m sure another notable who is likely to stand here is Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer who is on the cusp of her 1000th victory which could come the next two weeks.

Another at some point  is South Jersey’s Cheryl Reeve, the La Salle star who has now coached four WNBA champions at Minnesota and is one of Dawns’ Olympics assistants. 

Btw, when I was covering the Mighty Macs, the late Bob Vetrone — the quipster,  once told me— “You know Mel, one day someone’s going to make you an honorary woman.”

The Unspoken Link 

 Shoutout to Malcolm Moran who years ago dragged me, though he would say convinced me, into setting up and running the women’s side of the United States Basketball Writers Association as if I needed something else to do.

And to finish up, yes really, when you get to this point in the timeline of life, you think about legacy – having once taken the baton and beginning to hand it off.

 In the immediate family, from my parents who are up there somewhere with a bunch friends enjoying this moment, to ones here tonight: my sister Annette and brother-in-law Perry and my niece Allison and her husband Aaron, his parents Albert and Wendy,  and other friends and relatives like my cousin Charles and Susan Lauritzen, a longtime friend from Connecticut. 

Another niece Neena, is not here. She heard I was being inducted in a casino and immediately booked a flight to Vegas.

A longtime friend running around here taking your pictures is William “Willbill” Ewart, who spent most of career as the lady Vols photographer for the legendary Pat Summitt.

And legacy formerly means passing on what you do to the next generations who have gravitated to guru world for the Yoda experience.

   Two of my original bloggerettes from 2006, as I named them, are in the house: Kate Copp, who now is social media director of the Free Library, and  Penn grad- now Inquirer sports staffer Jonathan Tannenwald.

Kate can tell you as a Rutgers student on a drive to Boston for the 2006 Women’s Final Four, she asked me a question at the outset and got the whole history of women’s hoops for the answer, which ended at the exit ramp to Beantown.
And  very lastly you need to meet their two descendants, who are here working the event. 

Photographer Melissa Willhouse, a recent summa cum laud grad from Rider - she’s also the racetrack photographer at Harrah’s.

And recent Penn State summa cum laud grad — l deal in smart people besides smart  phones - aspiring sportscaster Erin Kate Dolan out of Media, the town. I nicknamed her rising media star out of Media.

Several years ago Erin was the first female to win the Philadelphia Broadcasters Foundation Harry Kalas Scholarship Award.

So for those of you who made the long-shot bet the Guru couldn’t be held to three minutes, but would finish well under ten, congrats. The cashier windows are just around the corner.

 The hardware is symbolic but it is the friendships that are truly enduring. Thank you once again.