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, January 04, 2007

A Marathon Day For The Guru

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA _ While we were dealing with offering sentiments to the 68 or so layoff casualties in the Inquirer newsroom, as he mentioned, Jonathan greeted us upon arrival with word of Houston coach Van Chancellor's resignation from the Comets and demise of the Charlotte Sting roster in the WNBA.

A tough day got tougher concerning the long years coach Chancellor and the Guru go back together.

After making the rounds to co-workers who will soon depart, as Jonathan noted, we had to head over to Hawk Hill for the Villanova-St. Joseph's showdown, whose coverage is at Philly.com.

On the way, we checked in with Ann Meyers, now the Phoenix Mercury general manager, to see if she knew the pecking order for the dispersal draft.

At that hour (early Wednesday evening), Meyers had not heard, but assumed that the normal reverse finish of last summer would be in play, giving Phoenix the fifth pick. That would probably deprive the Mercury of a bonus post player such as Janel McCarville, Monique Currie, or Tammy Sutton-Brown, unless there is a deal to be made.

Then we had a quick chat with Acacia, who promises to write to you this weekend before taking off to Italy to open the Guru's first foreign bureau during her semester studying for Vassar. We are getting her a list of WNBA players in that country so she can send some features.

Erin should be offering the next part of the recent Huskies tribute ceremony real soon.

Then we sat for what was a mundane breather between the Wildcats and Hawks. It was so mundane that the two defensive teams were at 33-33 or something like that a chunk of the way through the second half.

At one point, we threatened to put another name on our story so the public will never know we had to sit and endure the lack of production.

But just as we gazed across the court, Villanova coach Harry Perretta made a dash to a room behind the stands and the Wildcats' offense, or for what passed for it, vanished with him.

Associate head coach Joe Mullaney Jr. handled the team the rest of the way as St. Joseph's came to life and snapped a four-game losing streak to Villanova.

Perretta, it was learned, had been suffering from a stomach virus.

Then, while the St. Joe men took the floor against Duquense in an Atlantic Ten game, we were chasing Drexel men's coach Bruiser Flint by phone for the home office to get quotes from the Dragon's eighth straight win, which occurred against Georgia State in Atlanta that afternoon.

In the middle of a pile of email on our blackberry covering everything from job openings to school reports, a note from Kate popped out of nowhere making sure we had survived the cuts.

She reports her between semesters job at Jefferson is going fine and she will re-appear soon to say hello to you on the blog.

Finally, we caught up with Chancellor and told him he didn't have to resign from Houston to clear dates in June as a candidate for one of our escorts or video introduction when we become part of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

We also signed him as an analyst for us once he settles in to his new life.

Asked his highlights, Chancellor responded, "Winning the first WNBA title with the Comets" -- Houston won the next three, "winning the gold medal" (as coach of the U.S. olympic team in Greece), and "the Mississippi team that went to the elite eight." The Rebels lost to the unbeaten Texas team in Austin that season (1986). "

Then a return here to blow out a zillion emails from the publishing system in-box so we would be allowed to respond to more email several hours from now in bed.

Shortly after that, the Guru plans to co-host or whatever the Atlantic Ten preview conference call as the conference coaches give their assessment heading into league play.

That said, it's time to head home for another busy day that will no longer include the Delaware-Hofstra CAA showdown Thursday night south of us in Newark.

The Guru volunteered to help the cause here on the desk since the layoff casualties were immediately dismissed and the sports copy desk has been severely shredded.

And if we didn't say it earlier because we didn't realize which medium Jonathan was discussing when he posted the WNBA stuff, thanks for the quick heads up in getting the news out here.

-- Mel


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