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, December 18, 2012

Guru's College Report: Time For Some Nifty AP Women's Poll Trivia

By Mel Greenberg

We interupt the beginning of this 5 a.m. report on the main channel to say at this hour, there is no further information to say that recently released WNBA Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault will be the star of the hour at 4 p.m. this afternoon at the Verizon Center when the Washington Mystics announce the latest in a historical merry-go-round of appointments in the franchise's 15-year history of mostly mediocrity.

But placed on an answer from a well placed source late Monday afternoon, there is nothing to say the coaching and/or general manager position is going to someone else.

And Thibault represents a major upgrade offering hope if not the playoffs considering the overhaul needed.

Between now and the time you see this the leaks may begin to drip. If they head in this direction prior to elsewhere, look for a definitive tweet confirming the move or, if it also comes in this direction, the move to someone else.

OK, that said, we are back on the main grid and there are several orders of business that happen on the overnight in Guru land every Monday.

One is as of last week and through most of the season, the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) again selects its men's and women's national players of the week culled from the list of conference players of the week to form the automatic nominatiion list.

As of the announcement at the end of the last season, the women's award is now named for Ann Meyers Drysdale to follow the the past and ongoing men's honor named for Oscar Robertson.

There is a winner and the announcement will come late Tuesday morning from USBWA headquarters.

As soon as it is out, the Guru will tweet at his handle @womhoopsguru.

Associated Press Women's Poll Trivia

The other thing that happens is oncde the AP releases the weekly rankings, the Guru later hits the database to update the historical files and much has happened or will happen in the next few weeks.

So, buckle up and follow along.

With the return of Colorado to the poll for the first time since 2008, Lady Buffs coach Linda Lappe becomes the 31st women to have played for and coached a team that has been ranked by the AP.

She also becomes just the eighth to play for and coach an AP ranked team at the same school.

The other seven in the distinguished group are: Amanda Butler (Florida), Pokey Chatman (LSU), Wendy Larry (Old Dominion), Cheryl Miller (Southern Cal), Carol Ross (Florida-coached/Mississippi both), Bev Smith (Oregon), and Holly Warlick (Tennessee).

Lappe also is one of six coaches on the sidelines of a ranked team for the first time this season, though all their teams have history with AP.

Part of this is due to the tidal wave of 75 changes that occurred in the offseason at Division I institutions.

The others who have or are making poll debuts in 2012-13 are Karen Aston (Texas), Jim Littell (Oklaahoma State), Tennessee's Warlick, Joe Tartamella (St. John's), and Lindsay Gottlieb (California).

Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, who is fourth on the active list for all-time rankings -- evveryone moved up one when Pat Summitt shifted to coach emeritus at Tennessee -- will soon reach Hall of Famer and former Texas coach Jody Conradt at fifth.

Conradt had 395 Texas teams show up in the AP rankings (that's Texas as in Longhorns, not several in the state), and Auriemma is now at 393.

Stanford, which needs to remain No. 1 next week, will tie its own program mark of six consecutive weeks, though that is a continent away in geographic reality from UConn, which holds all the number one marks.

The Cardinal did tie Maryland at 11th with 14 No. 1 rankings.

Baylor tied Iowa for 25th with 211 rankings and Auburn for 13th with 69 Top Five rankings.

Oklahoma tied Mississippi for 22nd with 226 rankings, while Texas A&M tied Clemson for 35th with 145 appearances.

South Carolina tied DePaul for 37th with 137 appearances.

Conference-wise, with the ongoing shifts the numbers this week show the Big 12 with six teams, losing out on the past departures of Colorado (Pac-12), Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference) and gaining West Virginia.

The SEC has five being aided by the arrival of Texas A&M. while the Atlantic Coast has four, the Pac-12 has four including the pickup of Colorado, while Ohio State's ouster by the voting board leaves the Big Ten with just Penn State and Purdue.

Dayton represents the lone mid-major coming out of the Atlantic 10 while the Big East has just three UConn, Notre Dame and Louisville, and the latter two will soon be heading to the ACC leaving just the Huskies, who may be heading for a future identity as a mid-major barring some wise decision to dispense with the whole lingo and come up with something new.

That's it for now.

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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