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.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Moore's Not The Same at UConn

By Mel Greenberg

"Moore Moore Moore."

"How Do You Like Her? How Do You Like Her?"

-- With Apologies to the Andrea True Connection.

Oops. Hi there.

Your Guru was downloading some ancient disco music from the internet for a future road trip and after Maya Moore's performance against Stanford carving the Cardinal instead of the turkey on Thursday night, we began humming music in our mind to envision UConn's all-America promotional video for its fabulous freshman.

Anyhow, it's not the same in Huskies land since Moore's arrival off her play to date. Bonafide expectations of another NCAA title are the result, even though the expectations of an unbonafide nature, themselves, never go away.

And now that you've been entertained, if you haven't been down the block to women's hoops guru, you can take a break from your Black Friday shopping to read how Rutgers has become a barrier to the potential of three teams going unbeaten into the Women's Final Four.

-- Mel

Monday, November 19, 2007

That's The Rutgers We Saw Last Spring

By Mel Greenberg

Now that you've been sufficiently teased, a roundup of Sunday action, including the Beltway romp of Rutgers at George Washington and Maryland's triumph over LSU in College Park, can be found by hitting this link to get to women's hoops guru.

The AP voting site apparently has finally updated the current list of voters which offers how each cast their ballot. A link is listed somewhere at this site in the last month. We'll put up the link again over at philly.com Monday night after the next poll is released.

Also, Kathleen Radebaugh has a Big Five feature on Ashley Morris.

-- Mel

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Morning Down The Street

By Mel Greenberg

Unless it's the middle of Saturday night elsewhere on the planet, this morning (Nov. 18), the link to women's hoops guru offers exciting news about team member Acacia O'Connor in a separate post, while also setting up the Beltway clashes of LSU-Maryland and Rutgers-George Washington, along with other items.

-- Mel

Friday, November 16, 2007

Catching Up With the Newer (Cyber) Neighborhood

By Mel Greenberg

As usual, thanks for stopping here. If this is your visit in a while or initial visit today, recent posts over at women's hoops guru include a recap of Thursday's USA-Stanford and Tennessee-Oklahoma games, a Stephen K. Lee's report on Rutgers' big signing haul, some odds and ends from us, including news about a new postseason tournament that will bring 32 more teams into the March Madness mix.

You know the drill. And if not, just hit the link referencing the Philly.com site.

-- Mel

Monday, November 12, 2007

City Series Notebook: `Nova Grabs Opener

(Guru's Note: Some timing issues and technologial glitches have sent Kathleen Radebaugh's first City Series/ Big Five-Drexel coverage over here. An account of the closely-fought Rutgers-Stanford showdown up north can be found over at women's hoops guru.)

-- Mel

By Kathleen Radebaugh

PHILADELPHIA _ This is a different Villanova team. This is a different team that brings new athleticism and new names to remember to the Big 5.

Wildcat senior Stacie Witman is likely to be the Big Five player of the week, although she was limited to nine points in a 49-47 loss at Loyola, Md., Sunday, as Villanova's shooting went cold in the second half.

On a very chilly Friday afternoon, Witman, a starting forward, scored a career-high 31 points against La Salle at the Explorers' Tom Gola Arena.

It was the season opener for both teams.

In what is the norm in Big 5 competition, the outcome was still in question towards the remaining minutes of the game, but it was Witman’s open threes that secured the win for the Wildcats, 64-58.

“Towards the end, Wit[man] was so hot,” said teammate Laura Kurz, a junior transfer from Duke “We just tried to give her the ball and make sure we knew where she was on the court at all times.”

At first, nobody was making shots. Almost midway through the first half, LaSalle led 13-6. For the first eight minutes, the Explorers were ahead by seven points. Senior Carlene Hightower scored seven of the Explorers’ first nine points.

Hwever, Villanova started making threes and then went on a 26-6 run til four minutes into the second half. At 16:33, the Wildcats led 44-27.

Head Coach Harry Perretta’s ethic to always keep shooting started to work in favor of the Wildcats.

“Our shots were not falling in the beginning, but Coach always tells us to keep shooting because they are eventually going to fall and that is what we did,” said Kurz.

In the second half, the shots stopped connecting at a time when Villanova reverted to its patience on offense and LaSalle was successful in chipping away the differential to only two points with nine minutes remaining in the game.

First home game, LaSalle wants a win.

First away game for Nova, they want to prove they can win on the road against notable basketball teams.

“We knew we had to dig ourselves out of this, and we were not going to go home with a loss,” said Witman. “Once my shots started to fall again and everyone was playing better defense-it just happened. Last year, we would not have dug ourselves out of the hole, but this year we will.”

Witman scored back-to-back three pointers with less than two minutes remaining in the game, pushing the lead back up to eight points for the Wildcats. Witman then completed 4-of-4 throws in the game’s final seconds.

Villanova did exceptionally well always finding Witman on the court.

LaSalle had to foul Witman, an exceptional free throw shooter, in order to be back on offense, but Witman made her shots at the charity strip.

“It was a team effort tonight, with getting passes and getting one more rebound and helping on defense,” said Witman. “My numbers might have shown on the board, but it was team effort, especially on defense.”

Witman went 6-for-6 from the line in the game, hit five three-point baskets, and added a team-high seven rebounds. Witman was the only player to score in double figures. For her first time playing as a Wildcat, Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) contributed nine points. Kruz, starting junior forward, transferred from Duke University. Struggling with injuries at Duke, this was Kruz first big game as a starter in four years.

Kurz, along with her teammate Witman, look in shape and have more of an athletic build in comparison to their competition.

Kurz just has more nerves with her game right, especially with her shooting, because she is coming off of consecutive seasons of injuries.

“This is her first game when what she does is going to affect the outcome of the game,” said Perretta. “Now she is in a pressured situation and its been four years since then. At Duke, she was not in a pressured situation. She has to work her way back in.”

“I missed a lot of shots I should have made,” said Kurz “I am a little disappointed in how I played, but we won and that is the most important thing. It was a big win for us. They are a good team and it is tough to win on the road against LaSalle."

Witman was the only Villanova player to score in double figures. Perretta wants his players to be constantly shooting and taking advantage of those open looks not just for practice, but for the win.

“Laura, Lisa [Karcic], and Stacie are our three primary scorers,” said Perretta. “When they get shots, they cannot pass them up, especially Stacie because she is playing well in the beginning of the season. One time she did not shoot the ball, she turned it over. I told her I would rather her shoot it because if she goes 1-for-5 that is still three points. If she hesitates and doesn’t shoot, we might not win the game.”

Next Big 5 game for Villanova is a home game on Dec. 1 against Penn followed by another home against Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 5.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hawks Top Mountain Hawks as St. Joe's Edges Lehigh

By Mel Greenberg

A game-time last minute decision and clear weather spurred us to drive 60 miles North to Lehigh for St. Joseph's season opener.

And so it was as the Hawks were about to receive a reporter's last rites -- also known as start writing a story before the actual game ends -- that if we had continued to type away on the computer, our coverage would have been right up there with the "Dewey Beats Truman" headline, which, in a way reveals how old we're getting.

But we were smart enough to pause during a rally from a 15-point deficit and also pleased we were smart enough to make the trip. To read an enhanced version of the roundup lede that's in the print edition of Sunday's paper, just hit the link and go right over to Women's Hoops Guru.

And thanks for stopping by.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Rutgers Women Tune Out China Tuning Up for Stanford

By Mel Greenberg

PISCATAWAY, N.J. _ Yes we were here Thursday night for the exhibition game. But use the women's hoops guru link to find our report over at Philly.com.

-- Mel

Sunday, November 04, 2007

AP Votes Revealed -- Again

By Mel Greenberg

Well, I had to give you something for stopping by in either direction going or arriving from women's hoops guru at Philly.com where more data updated off the AP preseason vote is now posted such as current decade and overall appearances in the top five and top 10 by teams.

And here is the link from last season to reveal how the AP board voted, but caution, the chart has last year's group. There have since been 17 additions and subtractions. If you click on a name, such as mine in the pennsylvania group along with Walt Moody up at Penn State and Joanne Harrop in Pittsburgh, you'll get our preseason vote showing week 1. If you click on a voter no longer on the board, you'll get the vote from week 19, the final poll.

Here's the voter link.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

AP 2007-08 Preseason Poll Released

By Mel Greenberg

Hi all on a late Saturday nite, Nov. 3. If this is your first stop, you can begin the tour of preseason AP info over at women's hoops guru, which will be updated with more later as we take advantage of an extra-hour of non-sleep.

-- Mel

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tricks and Treats Offered by Maryland and USA

By Mel Greenberg

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- Welcome to November and the original blog. But to read how we spent Halloween a 100 miles or so south of here, go directly to women's hoops guru, where we forgot to tell Jonathan his CAA bag arrived and it's in a box under my desk in the office.

And we also forgot to mention that since we'll be on the desk, here, Erin will be on the scene in Storrs for the Connecticut-America game now that she's recovered from the Red Sox celebration.

Thanks for stopping by.

-- Mel