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.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What's Going On _ Sort of.

By Mel Greenberg

Hello everyone as we slip into conversation mode.

I know what's on your mind today other then: "Hey Mel, Kate did a great job in her first WNBA effort."

(That post is right behind this one, by the way.)

Well, you should be thinking positive thoughts over her "pro debut" because we have received compliments from acquaintances in promiment locations saying as much, including a comment from someone at a presidential level and we'll leave it at that.

And you're also thinking, especially if you've been connected to several sites caused by the "Mel effect," not to be confused with the "Southwest Airlines effect," that in a recent post late last week, I told you. as a reader service, to do all your linking involving our work right here for now without stopping at Philly.com, which houses our printed work in the Inquirer.

My explanation was that local horses (can you say Barbaro?) and local baseball, as in Kate's favorite team, were clogging the printed coverage highway.

So if that's the case, you're wondering how did I manage to get a "Dawn Staley Farewell Tour Begins" story in the paper today (Thursday) that also populated all over the lame-duck Knight-Ridder chain. (Bids were made for this place, Tuesday, but no new owner has been identified for here yet.).

Well, somewhere a bell went off that, yes, the WNBA season begins this weekend and we (as in they) need to do something about it.

So, please amend last week's rules of coverage as follows:

This is still the place to come for specialty conversation, Kate's mostly exclusive contributions, other than outside gigs she obtains or we find for her, and ongoing information and extra stories augmenting our printed work.

But print coverage will be generated in such a way as to create links to the new WNBA page at Philly.com, which hopefully will have a sub-attachment to keep an eye on Staley's farewell tour. (Note to fans outside the area: She is a Philly native, which is also the home operating base for guru central.)

Now, this page won't look impressive yet, because we have to bring the tech folks up to speed as to what we need to do, but it's a start.

The season-opening package at Philly.com, which now includes the Staley story, will also have several additions over the next two days.

I'll be doing a general league story for Friday and then a local-connections story for Saturday, highlighted by the former La Salle association of Paul Westhead and Joe Bryant, who will be coaching against each other in the WNBA's Western Division.

We've also been collecting tributes from around the league about Dawn, which we'll sprinkle soon as we determine the best placement.

There will also be some weekly notebook in print put into play. Enhancement links from Philly.com will bring you here, although many of you know the way.

Also, for you Temple fans, I've been cleared to be on the scene, June 2, in Houston when Staley and her former Owls star Candice Dupree on the new Chicago team go against each other for the first time.

Missing Chelsea

On Saturday afternoon in New York in Madison Square Garden, as we did our pre-game drill, I introduced Kate to John Whisenant, the coach of the WNBA defending-champion Sacramento Monarchs.

Upon hearing Kate was a Rutgers student, Whisenant began waxing eloquent over Chelsea Newton, the former Rutgers star who helped the Monarchs as a rookie last season and then went to the new Chicago Sky in the expansion draft.

However, because of how the conversation was conducted, and because Kate wasn't in interview mode with pen and paper or tape recorder, she wasn't sure whether she could relate the conversation, which had no controversy attached.

Well, to keep Kate's journalistic reputation in tact, I'd like to tell you Rutgers fans that I overheard Whisenant tell her how much the Monarchs miss Newton.

"She did a lot for our team, we're really having trouble finding a replacement for her," I heard the Monarchs coach explain to Kate. "We didn't care how much she scored and she didn't, either. Chelsea just went out and did whatever was necessary to help us."

Back to the Future

By the time many of you will read this, the news will have circulated that Cathy Andruzzi, most recently a Seton Hall assistant, and earlier a Rutgers assistant, is the new head coach of Fordham.

Andruzzi, whose previous head coaching gig was at East Carolina in the early 1980s, spent many years as a longtime media colleague of ours doing broadcast analysis of games and writing columns for various publications.

In 2000, she headed the local organizing committee here for the Women's Final Four, one of the more successful events in the NCAA's 25-year-history.

But her passion was always in coaching, so we wish her well in her new job with the Rams.

Ok, so now you're up to date and if the word gets around, we can have fun watching the meter-button number increase after learning Friday how to install the device on the page.

The reason Kate is mentioned several times in this effort is judging from the weekend count, her name and work are now generating more traffic over here than anything your guru is involved with. :)

So, one of us will be back with commentary in the next 24 hours.

-- Mel

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