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.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Guru Report: Maine Hires Richard Barron

By Mel Greenberg

Well, because he would be pleased to be a headliner in the Guru's blog, considering the long friendship, the Guru leads with what was official hours ago Monday with the announcement that North Carolina State assistant Richard Barron will become Maine's new coach succeeding former Bears playing legend Cindy Blodgett, who was not retained after the season.

Barron, a former head coach at Princeton where he met his wife Maureen, then holding an office down the hall as the Tigers softball coach, had previously been an aide to Kim Mulkey at Baylor after Princeton and before moving to the Wolfpack.

In moving back East, a locale he had desired in recent seasons, Barron will face one familiar coaching rival in the America East. That would be Boston University's Kelly Greenberg, who was at Penn when he arrived up the road to begin rebuilding the Tigers' fortunes.

Depending on whether Penn will return Maine's visit to the Palestra where the Quakers trounced the Bears last season, Barron could face a coach in Mike McLaughlin who is building a similar track record here in Philadelphia to the one Barron achieved with the Tigers after he arrived. Greenberg previously performed a similar turnaround at Penn after her hire home from being a Holy Cross assistant to her native Philadelphia where she was a star at La Salle and teammate of current WNBA Minnesota Lynx teammate Cheryl Reeve.

Maine will formally introduce Barron at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Bangor.

Meanwhile Barron's appears to leave the UC Santa Barbara vacancy the only one left in Division I following former Gauchos head coach Lindsay Gottlieb moving back to California where she had been an associate head coach to Joanne Boyle, who left to replace the departed Cavaliers coaching legend Debbie Ryan at Virginia.

Speaking of UVa., based on her tweets from Manchester, England, apparently former Cavaliers star and current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has made a trip across the pond to the British Isles where as a former WNBA All-Star she is helping to promote the pre-season visit later this month from the league champion runnerup Atlantic Dream.

Staley, who celebrated another birthday last week, managed to unwittingly assist the Guru's attempt to awaken earlier than usual Monday morning for some local non-basketball business because her play-by-play tweets had the affect of an alarm clock on the Guru's cell phone, which is situated nearby his pillow off an old habit from newspaper days.

World University Tryouts Announced

Well, as fast as the Guru posted the U19 tryout list in his previous blog late Sunday night/very early Monday morning (pick one), USA Basketball followed up later Monday with the 35 athletes who accepted invitations for the World University Games team tryouts which will be held concurrently May 22-25 with the 35 aspirants for the U19 team.

As has been been mentioned Delaware's Elena Delle Donne is in the group, marking her return to the USA Basketball system for the first time since 2007. Penn State's Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas are also in the group that is devoid of UConn players due to a conflict with the Huskies' plans later this summer to travel to Greece and Italy.

Here is the official list from the USA Basketball release. If not mentioned in the previous post, Hartford's Jen Rizzotti, a former UConn star, will be the head coach of the U!9 USA team while Iowa State's Bill Fennelly will head the World University Group. One of his aides his former Penn State star Suzie McConnell-Serio now coaching Duquesne, while another aide -- Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy -- is also a former Lady Lion.

And now the list:Accepting invitations to the 2011 USA World University Games Team Trials are: Lasondra Barrett (Louisiana State/Jackson, Miss.); Alex Bentley (Penn State/Indianapolis, Ind.); Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M/Stafford, Texas); Cierra Bravard (Florida State/Sandusky, Ohio); Sydney Carter (Texas A&M/DeSoto, Texas); Brittany Chambers (Kansas State/Jordan, Minn.); Carolyn Davis (Kansas/Houston, Texas); Elena Delle Donne (Delaware/Wilmington, Del.); Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.); Jasmine Dixon (UCLA/Long Beach, Calif.); Jacki Gemelos (USC/Stockton, Calif.); Briana Gilbreath (USC/Katy, Texas); Keisha Hampton (DePaul/Philadelphia, Pa.); Natasha Howard (Florida State/Toledo, Ohio); Courtney Hurt (VCU/Conyers, Ga.); Shenise Johnson (Miami/Henrietta, N.Y.); Glory Johnson (Tennessee/Knoxville, Tenn.); Lynetta Kizer (Maryland/Woodbridge, Va.); Maggie Lucas (Penn State/Narberth, Pa.); A'dia Mathies (Kentucky/Louisville, Ky.); Lindsey Moore (Nebraska/ Covington, Wash.); Natalie Novosel (Notre Dame/Lexington, Ky.); Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas); Devereaux Peters (Notre Dame/Chicago, Ill.); Jaime Printy (Iowa/Marion, Iowa); Monique Reid (Louisville/Louisville, Ky.); Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown/Suffolk, Va.); Kayla Standish (Gonzaga/Ellensburg, Wash.); Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee/Morrilton, Ark.); April Sykes (Rutgers/Starkville, Miss.); Tyra White (Texas A&M/Kansas City, Mo.); Davellyn Whyte (Arizona/Phoenix, Ariz.); Riquna Williams (Miami/Pahokee, Fla.); and Shawnice Wilson (Miami/Pittsburgh, Pa.).

That's all the news of the moment, the Guru thinks. But if not, more to follow quickly.

-- Mel


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