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.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Guru's WNBA Report: McCoughtry Agent Says Angel To Return From Suspension And Play For Atlanta Sunday

By Mel Greenberg

The week-long suspension of Atlanta All-Star Angel McCoughtry appears to be over and the WNBA's leading scorer will play for the Dream Sunday when the Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun pay a visit to the Philips Arena at 3 p.m.

"Angel will be back on the floor playing tomorrow," McCoughtry's agent Boris Lelchitski sent word in a text message late Saturday night to the Guru of the member of the USA Olympic Gold Medalist squad who has missed four of seven games since her return from London.

Atlanta (13-13), the two-time defending Eastern Conference playoff champions, is trying to nail down another playoff spot, trailing first place Connecticut (19-6) by 6.5 games with eight games remaining holding third place ahead of New York (10-16) by three games and the fifth-place Chicago Sky (9-16) by 3.5 games.

The Sun hold a slim two-game lead over the Indiana Fever, who clinched another playoff berth Saturday night beating the visiting Chicago 81-64 to sweep the season series and drop the Sky(9-16) into fifth place a half-game behind the New York Liberty (1-16), which moved up after a home win earlier in the day over the last-place Washington 79-73 in Newark, N.J. The loss enabled the Mystics (5-21) to maintain their new reputation holding the worst won-loss record in the WNBA.

It appears an internal dispute involving McCoughtry, who had been the WNBA's leading scorer, also cost Atlanta's former coach-general manager Marynell Meadors her job.

Olympic and UConn coach Geno Aauriemma first broke word Monday through his twitter accounty that Meadors had been let go.

Co-owners Mary Brook Kelly and Kelly Loeffler announced an hour later Monday that Meadors, who also had been an assistant coach with USA squad, was let go and that assistant Fred Williams had been promoted to fill both vacancies and that assistant and former Auburn coach Joe Ciampi had been retained but that Sue Panek had also been dismissed.

Williams later announced after Tuesday's game with visiting Tulsa won by the Shock that McCoughtry, a former Louisville star and native of Baltimore who was drafted overall No. 1 in 2009, had been suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules.

She did not play in Thursday's home win over Washington, though Williams and McCoughtry did meet concerning her current discipline.

McCoughtry also did not play in two other games, which was said to be "for personal reasons." She missed the first post-Olympic home game with Chicago and a trip to Washington.

She showed up in street clothes for the Olympic tribute but then did not join her teammates on the bench and sat in the stands away from where her squad was located.

McCounghtry, who is the WNBA's leading scorer with a 22.2 scoring average, played in last Saturday's home loss to Minnesota and said afterwards she had asked and been granted time off, though the previous Thursday night McCoughtry tweeted while out on the social ciruit in Atlanta.

Kelly Kline, publisher of Fullcourt.com, reported last Tuesday before the Dream game from Atlanta, where she is based, that the Dream players had stripped McCoughtry holding a tri-captaincy position that they gave her along with also honoring both Amintie Price and Sancho Lyttle at the beginning of the season.

Williams said at the end of the week that he had had some good meetings, that some clubs had inquired about McCoughtry but she was going nowhere.

Should she actually appear Sunday as her agent indicated, the story of the last two weeks will continue.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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