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, September 11, 2006

Future Rutgers Assistant Marianne Stanley Owned Scarlet Knights

By Mel Greenberg

If you can’t beat them often, let them join you.

That’s the situation at Rutgers, which has had a history of difficulty beating teams coached by Marianne Stanley, who will soon be named an assistant to the Scarlet Knights’ C. Vivian Stringer.

Stanley and Stringer are both in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Stanley had a perfect 5-0 record against Rutgers from 1980 to 1987 when her former Immaculata teammate Theresa Grentz was coaching the Scarlet Knights.

Stanley, who recently resigned as a New York Liberty assistant in the WNBA to Rutgers Hall of Famer Pat Coyle, was also 2-0 against Cheyney in the early 1970s when Stringer was coaching the Wolves.

One of those encounters was in Madison Square Garden as part of the old Manufacturers Hanover Tournament.

Rutgers finally topped a Stanley-coached team when the Scarlet Knights beat Southern Cal in the first round of the old Bell Atlantic Holiday Tournament, 76-51, in December of 1989.

Stanley also coached at Stanford and California, but Rutgers did not meet either school in those eras, nor did Iowa when Stringer coached the Hawkeyes.

The Women of Troy were on Iowa’s schedule for 1993-94 but Stanley had resigned USC in a controversial salary dispute and Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller became the coach.

Incidentally, Stanley will be opposite another former Immaculata teammate when the Scarlet Knights meet Penn State this season. The Nittany Lions are coached by Rene Portland and the two former Mighty Macs stars are now both grandmothers.

Did Geno Say That?

During last weekend’s Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction events, Connecticut women’s coach Geno Auriemma mentioned several times the reason he chose legendary St. Joseph’s men’s coach Dr. Jack Ramsay to introduce him as part of the enshrinement ceremony.

Auriemma noted that Ramsay was a throwback to the teacher-coach era. “Today, coaches are entrepreneurs before they become coaches,” he said.

That wasn’t true of the Huskies coach prior to building UConn into a national women’s basketball powerhouse.

However, it should be noted that after the official events concluded in Springfield, Mass., Auriemma hosted a party for his relatives, friends and former players at Saturday’s official opening of Geno’s Fast Break Restaurant at the Mohegan Sun casino-entertainment establishment in Uncasville, Conn.

The Next WNBA Draft

Unlike a year ago at this time when LSU’s Seimone Augustus and Rutgers’ Cappie Pondexter loomed as potential 1-2 picks either way at the top of the WNBA draft, there doesn’t appear to be a clear favorite for the April draw going into the 2006-07 collegiate season.

In fact, if underclasswomen were allowed to come out early, many of them such as defending NCAA champion Maryland’s Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper might be taken ahead of hopefuls from the senior class.

Judging off the Wade watch list of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, some seniors who could be taken in the first round in April are North Carolina guard Ivory Latta, UCLA guard Noella Quinn, Duke center Allison Bales, Maryland guard Shay Doron, Ohio State center Jessica Davenport, South Florida forward Jessica Dixon, Tulsa forward Jillian Robbins, and Texas forward Tiffany Jackson.

It will come down to who wins the lottery to gain the top pick, what that team's needs are, and, perhaps more so this time, is there some value to be gained by trading the rights to the top pick.

-- Mel

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