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, November 16, 2006

Temple Signs Five Recruits

By Mel Greenberg

While the Guru was taking his sensitivity class for the sports department Wednesday night covering the Drexel men’s team’s season opener, the Temple women were announcing the signing of five recruits.

The news comes on the eve of Temple’s season opener Friday night, also at Drexel, in West Philadelphia.

Anyhow, the news is also probably posted at Temple’s web site but here is some additional info through some internet research. We'll stay on the case.

But, apparently, Temple coach Dawn Staley was able to collect a quality group while also winding down her final days as an active player in the WNBA.

Lindsay Kimmel is a 6-0 shooting guard who chose Temple over Ohio State, Rutgers, Villanova, and Notre Dame, according to the Binghamton Press and Sun in upstate New York, which twice named her to the publication’s all-Metro team.

Kimmel suffered an ACL injury in January playing for Harpursville High but says she is now completed recovered. She also played AAU ball for Fencor, one of the better known programs here and nationally.

The Press & Sun covered her signing announcement last Wednesday and quoted Kimmel about choosing Temple – “I always had that in the back of my mind. I loved it. I would want to go there.

She also said of her future coach, one of the all-time guards in the game, “It’s the coach (reason she made the choice). I’ve talked to a million different coaches. I compared everybody to her. I kept reverting back, and (the others) weren’t quite up to her.”

Judging by those comments, the Staley name has shelf life even though she is in the early months of retirement from the WNBA.

The Guru, assuming he’s still around next season, had only regrets she isn’t a center for the play on words we can have on Kimmel Center. Ah, for you non-Philadelphians, that’s the name of the music hall downtown.

Marli Bennett is a 6-1 center from Pilot Mountain, N.C., and played AAU ball for Team Carolina, the same squad that once contained North Carolina all-American Ivory Latta. That squad won its third straight National AAU Junior Olympics title last spring.

The next recruit is bound to cause confusion at times at Temple when Dawnae Roberts is around. The coach has been often heard to referred to as Dawnie, so this should be fun.

Roberts was a second team Baltimore Sun all-Metro selection and the 5-9 guard helped lead Saint Frances to a 24-4 record and a fourth straight Maryland A Conference title.

The Guru will note that on a recent trip to College Park to observe the defending national Terps, someone did mention on the quick that Temple had picked up a good prospect from the area.

Qwedia Wallace is a 5-9 guard from Wilmington, N.C.

Hmmm, the Guru is beginning to notice a correlation between some of these finds from Atlantic Coast Conference recruiting country and the number of ACC teams on Temple’s nonconference schedule this season.

The final name is a junior college player 6-3 forward Shanea Cotton from Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi, where she was second team all-Panhandle Conference last season.

“I’m excited about this recruiting class,” Staley said in a statement. “They are a strong and talented group and we expect that they will contribute immediately.”

We’ll know more when we visit with Staley in the next 24 hours.

The Guru will also be in the Bethlehem area Thursday night (no.not the Mideast), if he clears his other work, to view Penn’s opener at Lehigh. (Hey, they have a good restaurant up there, if nothing else.).

The sensitivity training continues Saturday. The Guru’s blackberry lit up Wednesday night with a marching order to cover the Villanova football team’s visit to Delaware.

Considering the Guru almost didn’t make it out of the Pavilion Tuesday night after the La Salle-Villanova game due to construction at Villanova, he’s happy to take this brief road trip, although his original plans were to drive further South and catch George Washington’s game against TCU at College Park, followed by the Maryland-Arizona tilt.

-- Mel


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