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, August 19, 2010

Guru Potpourri: WNBA Playoffs Suspended?

By Mel Greenberg

Now that the Guru has your attention, the headline above is not just a mere ploy in the middle of the night writing this post to have you all spend some time here.

Well, maybe it is.

But it's like this, friends. The other night while finishing up the previous post in New York, the Guru knows when he was using his iPad and visiting the WNBA.com website he did see the file that chronicles the daily playoff scenario if the action got under way in that specific time period.

So, in the spirit of having fun while waiting to be on hand for the New York Liberty's final three games, the Guru had planned in this space right now to show every potential finish and consequence of how the final regular season standings and playoffs pairings might look at the close of business Sunday night.

But in trying to take a shortcut by using the WNBA.com file, it somehow disappeared unless the laptop configuration is blanking the link to the playoff file.

Conspiracy theoriest might argue that since the Guru was going to assume a Liberty win over Tulsa to put New York in a projected tie with the Indiana Fever going into Friday night, Lib management found a way to tap the Guru's mind and afraid of being hexed, put up a roadblock knowing there was no way to get help at this hour.

The Guru has one friend in Columbia, South Carolina, who shall remain unidentified but who is from this city and is known to be awake working on their computer at this hour or downloading music as the Guru has spent many hours doing himself.

Anyhow, with only one game being played Thursday night -- Tulsa at New York -- the Guru will prevail in the next 24 hours. He may even get a train earlier home than 3 a.m. this time.

Missing Lynx?

After watching her well-known coach at Tennessee declare "Hell, No, I won't play," cancelling the fabled UConn series in the summer of 2007, Brooklyn-born Niky Anosike, drafted in 2008, has told the Minnesota Lynx, "Hell, No, I won't go."

Details are not available on why Anosike balked at the important final three-game road trip that will determine if the Lynx make the playoffs or have two shots at the Maya Moore lottery draft derby.

The assumption is that the UConn senior star will be the number No. 1 pick as was former teammate Tina Charles last April. Tulsa, with by far the worst record, will have the best shot.

Minnesota already owns the Connecticut Sun pick for the lottery, courtesy of a draft-day deal last April that saw former Nebraska star Kelsey Griffin dealt to the Sun for the 2011 pick when neither Lynx or Connecticut management would even dream that the Casino-land based team in Uncasville would miss the postseason for the second straight year.

The Lynx are in a three-way tie for third in the West with the San Antonio Silver Stars and Los Angeles Sparks going into the last two games.

Minnesota is at Los Angeles Friday night, a key game which could take care of business ahead of Sunday action and maybe not. The Sparks have to go to the Seattle Storm Saturday while Minnesota will be at Indiana Sunday.

If the Sparks win Friday, they already own the tie-breaker on season-series anyway, the last games will be academic. But if the Lynx win, both could lose their final games and Minnesota will still have the advantage off of a potential Friday win, which would be the first against L.A. this season.

Minnesota loses out in a three-way deadlock finish for the third and fourth West seeds.

The Minnesota Star Tribune web site alluded to Anosike having suffered with a leg injury problem.

The Guru does have a direct well-placed Lynx source somewhere in the vicinity of the Minnesota oval office but stumbled into the transaction too late to make an inquiry while writing this post.

In the meantime, a Philly Atlantic-10 connection may have gone into play in replacing Anosike with former George Washington star Jessica Adair.

The former Colonial played most of her collegiate ball under former GWU coach Joe McKeown, the Father Judge grad from Philly who has since moved to the Chicago area to rebuild the fortunes of Northwestern in the Big 10.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, who played at La Salle in Philadelphia in the late 1980s, was once an assistant to McKeown with the Colonials.

Adair spent most of training camp with Minnesota but was ahead of former Drexel star Gabriela Marginean, the all-time women's scorer in Philadelphia collegiate history who is now playing in Europe.

It is not known if attempts were made to get Marginean back ahead of Adair, a 6-foot-4 center.

Atlantic 10 Tourney Heads North

Almost a year ago the Atlantic 10 packed up its gear from its downtown headquarters in Philadelphia and went South -- like to Newport News, Va., where the closest A-10 school to the new home office is Richmond.

Months later the conference went neutral site for the first time, holding the women's tournament at the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., sort of near Washington.

That same facility will be used this season for the Colonial Athletic Association women's tournament, which, if anything, means it is an easy access trip for fans of Delaware, which should be even more improved in Elena Delle Donne's second season.

Anyhow, back to the A-10, which on Wednesday announced the women's tournament will again be at a neutral site but moving from crab country to lobster land sort of near Boston.

The event will run March 4-7 at the Tsongas Center at Mass.-Lowell which is somewhat Northwest of Boston's Logan Airport beyond the I-495 Beltway.

The nearest member schools, which really aren't that near, are UMass at Amherst and then the University of Rhode Island located in Kingston near Newport.

Rhode Island second-year coach Cathy Inglese spent a long time coaching Boston College in terms of one Beantown tie, while Temple coach Tonya Cardoza calls home at Roxbury, a suburb of Boston.

According to A-10 SID chatter Wednesday on facebook, the Tsongas Center, which opened in 1998 and seats 6,500, is said to be a very nice facility by the Merrimack River, geographically unlike the previous location, which was billed as near the Potomac River, though to get there one must enjoy a half-day hike in the woods.

The arena overlooks the river in Lowell, while it is easy to overlook the Potomac at Rush hour on I-495 in the suburbs of the nation's capital.

That all said, time to sign off. Oh, for those who have asked at games, the Guru's twitter is @womhoopsguru.

Will file next from Madison Square Garden.

-- Mel

5 Comments:

Blogger Natalie said...

This post comes as close as anything I've seen in buying the story spun by the Minnesota Lynx. Knowing what I do of Anosike, from her collegiate and professional career, I just don't believe that she'd decline to travel with the team, if not for her torn meniscus. She's just not the type of player to be insubordinate.

I believe, like many others, that the Lynx are using this suspension as a way to subvert the WNBA rule on players (because without Anosike, the Lynx still have 9--you need 8 to get that waiver). It's a shame that more reporters aren't looking into it and that the league's not investigating something that even Mechelle Voepel agrees looks suspect.

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