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.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A night of sociality

By Mel Greenberg
INDIANAPOLIS _ Welcome today from the city where time stands still.

Well, at least that's what's happened here last night while most of the nation was setting their clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

In this town or geographical area, to be exact, when the clocks swing forward, Indy moves to Central Daylight Time, thus none of we Easterners nor many others will adjust our clocks until it's time to leave.

But there is an exception for your correspondent. If we stay unaware of the switch, then deadlines will be busted, they will be tight tonight anyhow because of the TV starts, and you'll have to come back here to receive game stories.

The RCA Dome, home of the Indianapolis Colts, is huge, to say the least. But it is well organized for coverage of the women's final.

The press conferences for the four teams were rather uneventful.

When the workday was done, our first stop last night was at the host committee parties at NCAA headquarters down by the canal, or it could have been over at the canal. It was hard to discern which direction based on the route the shuttle bus driver took to get there.

Considering this is where the men's and women's committees now gather to form the tournament brackets, we have a better understanding why some of the seedings look the way they do.

Later, it was off to the annual WNBA party next door to our hotel.

Unlike previous years, there were not a large amount of players in the room except for those who also have collegiate jobs.

For example, Temple coach Dawn Staley, who plays for the Charlotte Sting, was a guest as a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and also a host as an All-Star point guard for the Charlotte Sting. Former Duke star Alana Beard, now with the Washington Mystics, was also in the room.

New WNBA president Donna Orender made her debut among the collegiate set, and Michael Alter, the owner of the new Chicago franchise, which will launch next season (2006) was also among the league coaching staffs and general managers who are checking out the talent crop at the finals with an eye to the draft on April 16.

The most common question we have been asked during our stay is: Is Stephen A. like that in real life and we have maintained a response of "get back to me if I ever see him." :)

Younger coaches, who may not have yet gotten the word that Connecticut has been eliminated from this year's title chase after winning the last three, were thrilled to have access to talk to coach Geno Auriemma.

Well, as the clock continues to tick, it's time to head to the arena. So we'll be back later tonight or even from press row, depending on access.

-- Mel

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