Guru Report: Temple Dominates Big Five Awards
By Mel Greenberg
PHILADELPHIA -- Temple dominated the Big 5 postseason women's awards after sweeping to the City Series season with a 4-0 record.
The Owls have now won five outright titles at 4-0 each and shared one crown with St. Joseph's at 3-1 in six of the last seven seasons.
Villanova won the title last season.
The banquet is Tuesday, April 19 at Drexelbrook in Delaware County, though with the release Friday of all the winners nothing is left for suspense as far as the individual awards.
Drexel actually had the same 4-0 record against the same opponents as Temple when the Dragons began the season on their nonconference portion of the schedule.
However, Drexel is not considered part of the official Big 5 family, though the Dragons do get invited at times to Big 5 events. Temple and Drexel did not play each other this season and though the Guru suggested an informal summer game as part of the Dept. of Recreation action, it is probably not feasible under NCAA rules.
Temple coach Tonya Cardoza made it three-for-three as Big Five coach of the year since being hired by the Owls in July 2008.
Cardoza was also picked as the Atlantic 10 coach of the year.
Newcomer Shey Peddy, a junior transfer who grew up in Cardoza's hometown of Roxbury, Mass., was named the player of the year in the vote by coaches and select media.
Temple also placed three players on the all-Big 5 first team: Peddy, junior Kristen McCarthy, who was the Big 5 player of the year last season; and senior Qwedia Wallace. Penn freshman Alyssa Baron, also the freshman of the year recipient, also made the first team, as did La Salle senior Ashley Gale, who was also voted the most improved player.
St. Joseph's Katie Kuester won the sportsmanship award to round out individual honors.
The All-Big 5 second team consisted of Villanova's Laura Sweeney and Landsay Kimmel, a junior and transfer from Temple; St. Joseph's Kuester and Michelle Baker and La Salle freshman Jess Koci.
All-Academic honors, which go to one from each school, went to Marli Bennett (Temple); Emily Suhey (Villanova); Chelsea Connor (La Salle); Caroline Nicholson (Penn) and Shelby Smith (St. Joseph's).
St. Joseph's Poastseason Banquet
The Guru did say he would catch up with the Hawks awards at their banquet on Wednesday night and now that an email arrived, the winners are:
Most Valuable Player: Michelle Baker
Chris Dijulia Inspirational Player: Dominique Bryant
Offensive Player and Loyalty/Leadership: Katie Kuester
Most Improved and Patricia Ryan Unsung Hero: Kelly Cavallo
Roosevelt Hunter Community Service: Mireia Vila
Reverend Emory Ross Academic Excellence: Shelby Smith.
Additionally, assistant coach Stephanie McCaffrey (nee Graff) was inducted into the St. Joseph's Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.