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 10, 2013

Guru's College Report: AP Poll Trivia and Other Items

By Mel Greenberg

Greetings as we address both national and local items in the same blog.

Each week when the Associated Press women’s poll is released on Monday, Guru Colleague and national women’s writer Doug Feinberg gives you five facts about the rankings.

For example, he saved the Guru the trouble in his own lookup for this post which the Guru now mentions for those who don’t get to read that report that when South Carolina cracked the Top 10 this week at 9-0 that Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley in the past had taken Temple in her native Philadelphia as high as 15 in 2005.

South Carolina, incidentally, had not been in the top 10 since 2002 and did reach second in 1982, which occurred ironically just before the squad came to Philadelphia to play Saint Joseph’s.

Meanwhile, Staley, who went on to Hall of Fame stature in both Knoxville, Tenn., in the women’s hall and last September in Springfield, Mass., in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, also played with Virginia in the early 1990s
when she took the Cavaliers to a No. 1 ranking.

This is the 658th week in the 37th season of the rankings begun in 1976-77.

Now, building on that item, here are some more tidbits following the Guru’s update of the historical database and index guide following Sunday’s vote from a nationwide media panel and the outcome announced Monday.

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, one of a select few to take three different schools to an AP ranking, stands 15th in the overall file and with 288 combined appearances he is just two ranking weeks behind former Auburn coach and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Joe Ciampi.

Blair is also just seven appearances behind former Duke and Texas coach
Gail Goestenkors and is seventh among coaches currently active.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw has moved into a tie for 19th with former
Mississippi and LSU coach Van Chancellor at 261 appearances and is just six behind Joan Bonvicini, who is currently coaching Seattle but has taken Long Beach State and Arizona to ranking status. She is also nine behind the late Sue Gunter, who took Stephen F. Austin and LSU to ranking prominence. McGraw is also ninth on the active list right behind Bonvicini.

Connecticut, Duke and Stanford are the only teams to make the Top 10 every week this decade starting with the first poll in January, 2010.

The current top-ranked Huskies of UConn are the only team to be in the top five all 75 weeks in the decade and need just 10 more appearances to move into second place all time ahead of Louisiana Tech in Top 10 appearances after currently holding 364 appearances.

Coach Geno Auriemma’s squad already is second all-time in Top 5
appearances and first in No. 1 appearances with 163, way ahead of Tennessee at 163 to 112.

Duke is just one behind Texas in sixth place for total Top Five ranking appearances at 159.

Sylvia Hatchell, who is still the coach of record at North Carolina while away for the moment from the sidelines as she battles cancer, just earned her 350th appearance, which is eighth all-time and sixth on the active list in each situation 20 behind Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Jim Foster, who has also taken three different teams to rankings with Saint Joseph’s, Vanderbilt, and Ohio State.

Maryland at eighth needs just one more appearance, likely to be next week, to tie Texas in total Top 10 appearances at 224.

This week LSU and Purdue tied unranked Rutgers at 11th in overall appearances at 348 after the Scarlet Knights standing still dropped from previous status in the Top 10 for overall rankings.


Saint Joseph’s Natasha Cloud was named a co-player of the week in the Atlantic 10 and share Philadelphia Big Five player of the week honors with Penn’s Alyssa Baron, who shared Ivy honors with Princeton Michelle Miller.

La Salle’s Micahya Owens was named the Atlantic 10 rookie of the week.

For the first time in a while neither Delaware nor Drexel had anyone named for the two weekly Colonial Athletic Association awards – Delaware had a good excuse in that the Blue Hens were idle while Drexel was upset twice on the road at Colgate and Sunday at American University in a low scoring 47-43 outcome.

At the same time in the nation’s capital Penn State beat Georgetown Sunday as senior Maggie Lucas of Narberth and Germantown Academy scored 30 points and became the fourth Lady Lion to reach 2,000 points.

The first weekly United States Basketball Writers Association player of the week of the season will be announced late Tuesday morning and the Guru will tweet the information from his handle @womhoopsguru.

Catching Up and Looking Ahead

Drexel and Penn State were the only PhilahoopsW teams in action Sunday so you are caught up since Saturday’s late nite roundup following the Saint Joseph’s win at Villanova and Penn’s triumph at Bucknell.

No one played Monday and as the light schedule continues with teams in finals there is just one game on tap Tuesday night when Hofstra visits Saint Joseph’s.

On Wednesday Army visits Penn, while Princeton travels to Binghamton and Penn State visits South Dakota State. Rutgers will be the only team in action Thursday greeting nearby Wagner coached by Lisa Cermignano of South Jersey.

Delaware Defense Keeps Blue Hens Winners

Looking at current NCAA statistics, with scoring sensation Elena Delle Donne graduated and moved on to the WNBA from Delaware, the Blue Hens are way down at 176 in offense scoring average.

However, coach Tina Martin’s squad can still play defense, having lost only to Temple, and are ninth in scoring defense (53.1) and sixth in field goal percentage defense at 31.4 percent.

The Blue Hens are also 16th in rebound margin differential at 11.9.

Ok that is the news of the moment. The Guru is supposed to make a live appearance at the WNBA draft lottery announcement Tuesday afternoon when Connecticut, New York, San Antonio, and Tulsa will learn in what order they will draw the 1-4 overall picks in next April’s draft.

However, weather may preclude the late afternoon visit to the NBA studios in Secaucus, N.J., near New York so he may stay put and head straight to Saint Joseph’s for the Hofstra game.

ESPN will broadcast the results.

Until next post that’s it for now.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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