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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

USA In Philly: Looking Ahead

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA _ Since there is enough WNBA playoff preview items all over the web, anything we would add off of Tuesday's marathon three-hour conference call would be duplication.

Our print featurized scene-setter will be in Thursday's editions of the Inquirer and found at philly.com.

So to go a different route before heading for a back-to-back in Connecticut and New York, here's an idea, barring injuries and roster cuts, who is likely to be at Temple, Sept. 13-15 for the three-day practice sessions before the game against the Australian National Team in Trenton on Sept. 16.

We're using a USA roster at the web site that was last updated on March 20, which is why USA assistant Gail Goestenkors is still listed as the head coach of Duke instead of Texas.

The playoffs could affect who is here or not depending on the length of the finals. For example, if the Seattle Storm and Connecticut Sun were in the finals, USA head coach Anne Donovan of Seattle would not be here, nor would assistant coach Mike Thibault of the Sun.

Connecticut in the finals might preclude Sun stars Lindsay Whalen and Katie Douglas.

The rest of the USA staff as assistants are Goestenkors and Temple's Dawn Staley, who, as the Pan Am games coach, led the U.S. to a gold medal last month.

Additionally, Lauren Jackson would not be with the Australian team nor would her seattle teammate Sue Bird be with the USA squad.

Based on who's already eliminated from the postseason or affilated with a college, here are the guaranteed group, as of this blog written in the wee pre-sunrise hours of Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The college trio of Candace Parker of Tennessee, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, and LSU's Sylvia Fowles come out of that category.

Minnesota was eliminated but rookie Lindsey Harding out of Duke is still recovering from last month's ACL injury. However, Lynx second-year pro Seimone Augustus would be here.

Washington's elimination sends Alana Beard and DeLisha Milton-Jones to town.

Houston's elimination brings Michelle Snow, Sheryl Swoopes, depending on her health, and Tina Thompson.

If Indiana does not make the finals, Tamika Catchings, assuming she's healthy again, would be here.

If Phoenix is in the finals, that would cost visits from Diana Taurasi and former Rutgers star Cappie Pondexter.

If New York does the improbable, Jessica Davenport would not be here, but a host of Detroit Shock players would. We also hear that New York's Loree Moore may be added to the tryout roster.

The Detroit contingent includes Swin Cash, Cheryl Ford, Deanna Nolan, and Katie Smith.

-- Mel

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