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, December 21, 2006

Guru World Welcomes New Member: Drexel (Men's) Upset Highlights Debut

Guru’s note: The young talent keeps flowing in our direction.

Several weeks ago, after your Guru spoke at the Seven Sisters Tournament at Bryn Mawr College, members of the traveling parties of the various teams stopped by our table to continue the discussion.

Among them was Acacia O’Connor (pronounced, if I’m right, A-Kay-Sha), the senior editor of her school paper at Vassar College.

A week later she emailed the Guru.

Upon learning that Acacia lived in Syracuse and was going home for the holidays, the Guru noted he was going to be in the neighborhood to cover the Drexel men’s game at the Carrier Dome.

We invited her to join us on press row and observe the Guru navigating the men's side of the aisle in his on-going gender-equity experience.

The day and night of activity also included a great meal at Dinosaur Barbeque, which was previously highly recommended by Jonathan.

Next month, Acacia will become the Guru’s first foreign correspondent while she spends the semester in Italy. Because this blog is also about all facets of the Guru’s world besides the reasons you all normally stop by, we gave Acacia the OK to debut with her impressions of her night at a men’s game.

She intends to follow up in the next 24 hours with her take on the male practice players issue in the women’s game. And we give her a go-ahead in a precede next time to tell you a little more about herself.

Erin, meanwhile, will be on the scene at UConn Thursday night for the ceremony honoring the former Huskies all-Americans and also the game against Colorado State.

We mentioned Jonathan, who is currently suffering at home with some kind of stomach virus. So feel free to send him get well wishes.

Finally, Kate has finished her tour of duty with the Targum and will be trying the PR side of the world for a while, working next semester as an intern in the Rutgers Sports Information Deptartment.

She may check in at some point to say hello – she’s working here in town at Jefferson Hospital over the break – although we think she should post her Targum farewell piece, which was eloquently written. We leave that decision to her.

So, enough of the Guru, who will be at Penn-Drexel women Thursday afternoon, Villanova-Temple women on Friday, and Wis.-Milwaukee/La Salle women in town on Saturday.

-- Mel

Drexel Upsets Syracuse in Cinderella-Style

By Acacia O’Connor

SYRACUSE, N.Y. _ As the final seconds ticked off the clock, looking at the disappointed faces of Nichols, Watkins and the rest of the Syracuse Men’s team, I wanted to be sad.

I had just watched the Drexel Dragons—a school relatively unknown to the world of “Big East consecutive champs” and “Carmelo Anthony”—overtake the Orangemen on home turf. Several things made lament impossible, not least of which were the giddy screams of the 5 visiting Drexel fans behind me.

For a start, the story is amazing.

The Dragons, who have been described as the “red-headed stepchild” of Philly college sports, have already beaten two Big Five schools, including a first-ever win at Villanova, and now have upset 23rd-ranked Syracuse.

If their roll continues…well, let’s not jinx it.

There are few true basketball fans who don’t love an underdog success. Even as a Syracusan, I had to admit it was exciting.

Then there was my seat.

Not only was I in front of the handful of Drexel fans, I was also courtside for the first time in my life, and I was between Mel Greenberg and two very enthused writers for the Drexel University Triangle.

Not twenty feet away were the celebrating Dragons, congratulating one another with overjoyed grins on their faces.

Don’t get me wrong, it was frustrating, painful even, to watch Nichols’ 31-point career high game go to waste.

Seeing Terrence Roberts limp off the court after going down in the first half was disheartening. There was essentially a shared sigh by the sixteen thousand Syracuse fans as they filed out. It was partly my duty to sigh right along.

But the excitement was visible on the faces of Coach Bruiser Flint, Frank Elegar and Bashir Mason during the post-game press conference. (Did I mention that I was sitting in on the post-game press conference? And that I was shadowing Mel Greenberg?)

They deserved the win.

They had fought hard for it—not only Tuesday night—but for the past several seasons when, as they noted, they didn’t have the athletes it took to win games against teams like Syracuse or Villanova.

It was a little bid of validation and the good vibes were catching.

Now, if this were late March instead of December, would I have caught the Drexel excitement the same way?

Come on, I told you I’m from Syracuse.

But still, nothing boosts holiday cheer and goodwill toward all than to share the true joy of a great Cinderella story.

-- Acacia


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention! That was a fun game for us.

Shawn Gauby
Drexel Triangle

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