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, January 10, 2012

Guru's USBWA Talk: Strong Candidates Field For National Player of the Week

(Guru's note: The newsy post is above this one. Trying to simplify things on the blog.)

By Mel Greenberg

Players who are cited in their respective conferences as the stars of the week continue to make a strong field for the new national women's player of the week given out by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

The winner must first be a conference selection as the player, not rookie, of the week. Though only individual can win, co-winners are each given consideration when the situation occurs. Every conference player of the week is automatically in the pool but the post here is just to give an accounting of what was seen here through emails and wire reports.

The USBWA weekly winners go into the pool for the women's national player of the year but one does not have to have been honored to still receive strong consideration from the entire membership, who is entitled to vote.

The winner will be announced early Tuesday afternoon barring technical complications -- not necessarily always from the women's side -- getting pictures to the USBWA web site.

Once the press release is out there, the Guru will tweet the winner at his @womhoopsguru

So that said, let's look at some of the performances this time around.

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins had 14 points in a win at Seton Hall and then had 16 of her 22 points in the second half at home to spur the Irish to a 74-67 win over Connecticut in overtime and gain the Big East award.

In the America East, Denise Beliveau of New Hampshire earned her second honor averaging 20.0 points and 11.5 rebounds.

Temple's Kristen McCarthy and George Washington's Tara Booker shared Atlantic 10 honors -- Booker for averaging 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in two Colonial wins. McCarthy averaged 18.5 points in two wins by the Owls -- one occurring with 0.2 seconds left on clock on a shot by McCarthy at Richmond to win the conference opener. McCarthy was also the Big Five player of the week in Philadelphia.

It continues to be hard to reduce the field in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to just one player so the co-winners this week are Shante Evans of Hofstra, a previous CAA pow, who averaged 21.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in two wins by the Pride, including a 100-97 win at William & Mary. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, the nation's leading scorer, averaged 38.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in two Blue Hens wins and she also set the school career scoring record though only a junior.

Jaleshia Roberson of Missouri State scored 23.5 points to earn player of the week notoriety in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Stanford's Nnemkadi Oguwmike, a recent USBWA winner, had another big week in the renamed Pac-12 conference averaging 32.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in two wins over Oregon and Oregon State.

Glory Johnson brought home another Southeastern Conference honor after averaging 15.7 points and 13.3 rebounds in three wins by Tennessee.

Brittany Chambers of Kansas State claimed Big 12 honors for averaging 22 points in Wildcats wins over defending NCAA champion Texas A&M and Kansas.

In the Big Ten, Minnesota's Rachel Banham averaged 23.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in wins over Indiana and Northwestern.

Damika Martinez if Iona averaged 23.0 points in three games to earn honors in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

Diamond Ford of Texas State scored 27.0 points in a win to be cited by the Southland Conference.

Sophomore Alyssa Thomas of Maryland keyed two comeback wins over Georgia Tech and in overtime at North Carolina averaging 23.0 points and 9.7 rebounds to earn the votes of the blue ribbon media panel selection the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week.

Kati Isham of Boise State scored 23 points in a win over New Mexico State to win the Mountain West award.

And over in Conference USA Gloria Brown of UTEP averaged 12.5 points and 11.0 rebounds to pick their weekly award.

-- Mel


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