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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Guru's NCAA Report: Rutgers' Stringer Coaching Two Generations of Laneys

By Mel Greenberg

PISCATAWAY, N.J. –
It’s not true that ageless Hall of Fame Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer has been stalking the sidelines forever.

Yet it could seem that way since this season she would be arguably in a rare situation for now having guided one all-American star in the past and now beginning this season her daughter with equal potential.

Betnijah Laney, a 6-0 freshman guard-forward out of Clayton, Delaware, and Smyrna High, is part of the Scarlet Knights heralded group of newcomers, arriving with Briyona Canty of Willingboro, N.J., and Trenton Catholic possessing McDonald’s All-American honors among a list of accolades.

Her mother Yolanda was an all-American at Cheyney in suburban Philadelphia, helping to lead the Wolves as a freshman to the first NCAA title game in 1982 when the squad lost to Baylor coach Kim Mulkey’s Louisiana Tech squad in Norfolk, Va.

While it may seem like destiny that the younger Laney would follow in her mom’s footsteps to play for Stringer, she took her time making a decision even though she had spent several decades watching Rutgers here after Stringer came back East in 1995 from guiding Iowa.

“It might have been (destiny) but I wanted to take my time and go on all my visits to see what other opportunities there were, because I had been around Rutgers my whole life. So it was like no one else every existed..” Laney said here last week at the Scarlet Knights’ media day.

Laney is also a cousin of red-shirt senior Khadijah Rushdan out of St. Elizabeth High in Wilmington, Del.

“But I saw this was the place for me.”

Laney remembers being impressed by the Scarlet Knights as far back as 2000 when Rutgers reached the Final Four in Philadelphia to make Stringer the first men’s or women’s coach to have guided three different teams to the national semifinals.

In 1993 Stringer’s Hawkeyes reached the finals losing to Big Ten rival Ohio State and Buckeyes freshman Katie Smith in the semifinals in Atlanta.

“I think we’re going to be really good this year,” Laney said. “We have a whole lot of different things we’re bringing into the season.”

Rutgers, however, will be without senior Chelsey Lee, who suffered a shoulder injury in an offseason pickup game, though she said she will return next season rather than potentially head for the pros.

Lee is important in playing the front part of Stringer’s vaulted 55 defensive press.

Laney averaged 23.7 points and 10 rebounds along with 4.4 steals, 4.3 assists, and 1.2 blocked shots per game.

Unlike noted newcomers from the past, Laney knew what was in store for her in terms of learning Stringer’s noted, but complicated, defensive schemes.

“It’s not that bad,” Laney said. “Coming in, my mom prepared me with what I was going to have to do in college so it wasn’t too bad.

“I mean there is a difference from high school to college but I think I was well prepared.”

Stringer was asked to compare the two Laneys though it is now three decades since she first coached Yolanda at Cheyney.

“The similarity between Yolanda Laney and Betnijah Laney is that they are both extremely competitive,” Stringer said. “That’s No. 1.

“No. 2 they believe in what they believe in and that’s a real special quality today when people are not so sure of themselves and are willing to change. And that’s why I say each of these freshman have a mind of their own and that’s nice.

“They know right from wrong. They know what it means to have a good work ethic – not trying to come up short. They came here not to just win games – They came here for something specia,” Stringer continued.

“We want to win a national championship. We say it. We profess it and she was one of the first persons to say that. You would not know she’s a freshman. You would not know that,” Stringer said of the younger Laney.

“Not in the way she plays. Not in the things she says – the way she admonishes, the way she encourages and the way she competes.

“Yolanda was a two-time Kodak All-American and you just don’t become that wishing and hoping. I had a lot of great players but Yolanda was a great player. I suspect that Betnijah is going to be as great if not better if possible.”

As for the national championship remaining the goal since Stringer arrived at Rutgers, she quickly responded, “Yes. Why wouldn’t it be. That’s the highest level.

“So that’s what we’re shooting for. All things have to be right. We don’t need to come up short as we play or the goals that we want. So we would like to do that.

Rutgers was picked fourth in the Big East coaches’ preseason poll and returned to the Associated Press rankings with a start at No. 16 from the nationwide media panel after being absent from the Scarlet Knights’ longtime weekly residency for virtually two seasons.

The team began 2009-10 at No. 25 and then quickly dropped out. That was after the previous summer when current WNBA All-Star Epiphanny Prince decided to bypass her senior season and play overseas to prepare herself for the next level back in the United States.

Last season, though Rutgers continued to land in the NCAA, in part of brought about with a strong finish and also in part for achieving strong RPI numbers in terms of the competition the Scarlet Knights meets both in the Big East and outside playing the likes of Tennessee, for example.

“Now would I be disappointed if we came up short? (this season),” Stringer asked rhetorically. “I just want to be able to recognize where we are and know we made tremendous strides.

“That means that if we have a national championship, that would be great. But if not, I don’t want to be that person to say, `Wow, we failed.’

“Because how could you fail. Right now I’m extremely impressed by the members of our group. The first thing we waned to address was they win together and lose together.

“So if one person does something wrong, they probably all are going to be punished. Because we are going to win and lose, up and down – I’m only talking about things like going to class late.

“Because these are good kids. They really are enjoyable to be around. They have a smile on their face and what’s great about it is they know what we want to do.

“I’m excited about them. I am really and truly excited about this group of players –just the blend. It’s the right one.”

-- Mel

6 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.17
nike air max, gucci handbags, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet online, burberry outlet online, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, ugg australia, michael kors outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, ugg outlet, christian louboutin, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet, cheap ugg boots outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley vault, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, cheap ugg boots, michael kors outlet online sale, replica watches, nike free, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet online, longchamp handbags, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, nike outlet, jordan shoes

2:05 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.17
nike air max, gucci handbags, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet online, burberry outlet online, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, ugg australia, michael kors outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, ugg outlet, christian louboutin, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet, cheap ugg boots outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley vault, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, cheap ugg boots, michael kors outlet online sale, replica watches, nike free, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet online, longchamp handbags, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, nike outlet, jordan shoes

2:05 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors uk, michael kors outlet online, ray ban uk, scarpe hogan, ray ban pas cher, lacoste pas cher, coach purses, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry pas cher, lululemon outlet online, hollister, hermes pas cher, nike roshe run, coach outlet, nike blazer pas cher, tn pas cher, longchamp, hollister uk, new balance pas cher, louboutin, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, michael kors, vans pas cher, north face, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, air jordan, nike air max, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion jeans, nike free pas cher, true religion, air max pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, timberland pas cher, kate spade outlet online, guess pas cher, coach outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors canada, nike air force

2:08 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors uk, michael kors outlet online, ray ban uk, scarpe hogan, ray ban pas cher, lacoste pas cher, coach purses, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry pas cher, lululemon outlet online, hollister, hermes pas cher, nike roshe run, coach outlet, nike blazer pas cher, tn pas cher, longchamp, hollister uk, new balance pas cher, louboutin, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, michael kors, vans pas cher, north face, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, air jordan, nike air max, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion jeans, nike free pas cher, true religion, air max pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, timberland pas cher, kate spade outlet online, guess pas cher, coach outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors canada, nike air force

2:08 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike free, nike air max, reebok shoes, ghd, wedding dresses, celine handbags, beats headphones, nfl jerseys, air max, jimmy choo shoes, mac cosmetics, hollister, mcm handbags, north face jackets, abercrombie and fitch, vans outlet, baseball bats, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, nike air max, ralph lauren uk, longchamp, giuseppe zanotti, p90x workout, nike trainers, insanity workout, instyler ionic styler, soccer jerseys, lululemon outlet, abercrombie and fitch, north face jackets, herve leger, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, birkin bag, nike roshe, mulberry uk, nike air huarache, chi flat iron, hollister clothing store, nike roshe, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, babyliss, new balance outlet

2:12 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

air max, pandora uk, coach outlet, ugg soldes, replica watches, toms outlet, vans, ray ban, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, converse, supra shoes, karen millen, hollister canada, marc jacobs handbags, louis vuitton pas cher, doke gabbana outlet, ugg boots, links of london uk, swarovski jewelry, ugg, iphone case, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, thomas sabo uk, louis vuitton uk, timberland boots, pandora jewelry, juicy couture, uggs canada, converse shoes, louboutin, swarovski uk, oakley, sac lancel, montre femme, louis vuitton canada, abercrombie, ralph lauren, sac louis vuitton, gucci, michael kors handbags, juicy couture outlet, ugg, pandora charms, wedding dress
ninest123 09.17

2:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home