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, May 03, 2012

Guru's Musings: The Butler Does It Jumping To The A-10; Blue Hens Hobnob With The Veep

By Mel Greenberg

First, since the Guru's coaching carousel tracker seems to be catching attention, the original blog will stay in place rather than keep moving it up and it will update daily or as warranted as changes and hires and departures continue.

The Guru will alert through twitter @womhoopsguru and in precedes here when an update has occurred and you can just look down the left column inside blogspot to get to the link.

The carousel at the moment is just under this post while another new post above has some fun just for Connecticut Sun fans in the WNBA giving them a chance to pick the all-time media team of the decade as a companion to the current ballot asking for the top 10 Sun players of all time to celebrate the team's 10 years at the Mohegan Sun since moving from its former designation prior to 2003 as the Orlando Miracle.

The Guru after offering the media ballot picks will give his choices for the all-Sun team.

So moving on with some of the news of the day, since Butler will become part of the Atlantic 10 following next season replacing Temple after the Owls' departure for the Big East, people in town here where St. Joseph's and La Salle are still in the conference may want to know a little bit about the Bulldogs.

Their coach Beth Couture has had a record of success in 10 years in the Horizon League since coming over from Presbyterian, though this past season the team slipped to 9-9 in the conference and 13-17 overall.

But after struggling the first season at 6-23, the team then jumped to a level for several seasons at 14-15, 14-14, 15-14 and 16-15. Then in 2007-08, Butler jumped to marks of 20-10, 20-12, 23-10, and 20-14 prior to this season and the previous three records resulted in appearances in the WNIT.

At the moment the one player among many younger Bulldogs who will be on the roster when Butler begins Atlantic 10 play is Sarah Hamm, who was the second leading scorer at 11.1 points per game in her sophomore season.

Other than Wisconsin-Green Bay within the league and a nonconference tilt with Bowling Green of the MAC, it doesn't seem that Butler saw much, so needless to say it looks like it will be a challenge in the Bulldogs' new conference at the outset.

Shey--ing So

The Guru checked in with Jeff House, assistant coach of the WNBA Chicago Sky where Temple star Shey Peddy was taken in the second round and 23rd overall in the recent WNBA draft.

House made several visits here down the stretch to check out Peddy and Sky head coach Pokey Chatman saw several clips and liked what she saw enough that the thinking is that given Peddy's versatility if she proves herself in training camp, she has a chance to make the squad and be developed for the future to move up to a more active role when an aging veteran such as Ticha Penecheiro, the former Old Dominion All-American, decides to call it quits.

Chicago will be at the Prudential Center in the morning a week from Monday to meet the New York Liberty in a preseason game.

Kentucky Lock-Up?

The Wildcats sent an email around announcing a press conference tentatively set for Thursday afternoon in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington involving women's coach Matthew Mitchell and athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

To paraphrase an old rock song "Smells Like Contract Extension."

Certainly Mitchell is not ready to join the five starters of the Kentucky men's champion NCAA squad and declare for the NBA draft. But given the way jobs keep opening in the middle of the current chaos there's no time like the present to keep the former Tennessee assistant to Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt in place given the Wildcats' success and liklihood they will be the Southeastern Conference favorite as well as one of the Final Four contenders in the next mini crowd behind defending champion Baylor and semifinalist Connecticut.

Speaking of Tennessee, the addition of former Illinois head coach Jolette Law, a former longtime associate head coach to Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers who mined considerable talent for the Scarlet Knights besides the attraction of her former boss in New Jersey, means the new era with the Lady Vols under former associate head coach Holly Warlick has a chance to succeed.

Blue Hens in Washington

The recognition of Delaware's school record-breaking season crashing onto the national scene with all-American Elena Delle Donne continues Thursday with a trip to the state legislature in Dover.

"Yeah, that would normally be a really big deal," said assistant coach Tom Lochner, the former La Salle head coach who joined Tina Martin's staff this past season. "But coming this week, the event has some competition."

That would be Tuesday's visit to Washington where famed alum and current vice president of the United States Joe Biden hosted the team for eight hours, giving them a total tour of the White House and then a poolside dinner at his residence.

Maybe Biden still can't over the fact that the weekend Barack Obama was selecting him as a running mate in 2008 when he was still the Delaware U.S. Senator, Delle Donne drew a larger local media turnout two days later when a press conference was held at the university to announce her enrollment and at that time joining the volleyball team.

When Biden had shown up for the championship game in 2009 in St. Louis when UConn beat St. Louis, someone in the media room remarked, "Guess he didn't get the memo that Delle Donne isn't here with UConn, she's back at Delaware."

Good thing not many in the administration or adjuncts in the media follow women's basketball, though the president has an awareness.

When Obama's aides were running a deception to keep secret his surprise trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday they put out an advance schedule saying Obama was going to be in meetings all day with Biden.

But Biden was preparing to be the gracious host.

"It was unbelievable the gave he gave us his time. He spent about eight hours straight," Lochner said.

The Guru hears that one highlight was Obama's daughter Sasha getting thrilled and excited when she spotted Delle Donne in the White House.

And you all thought a career at UConn was an end-all. Well, most of the time, but not always.

This could be interesting next year if the adminstration gets re-elected and the WNBA Washington Mystics land in the lotto and end up drafting Delle Donne. The result might be a bunch of nights in the Verizon Center when the Secret Service will be checking the place out in advance of visits from the nearby White House neighbors.

That's it for musings. Depending which way you are reading the triple threat posts today, on to the Conn Sun stuff.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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