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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guru's NCAA/WNIT Musings: Louisville Seed Not in the Cards

By Mel Greenberg

Well while the Guru didn't get into the actual seeding forecasts, the countdown of where things were in terms of locks and bubbles pretty much played out.

But some of the Guru's kitchen cabinet who have been in power centers in the past couldn't help but wonder at some of the moves made by the committee.

One person who has a handle on good data offered the following puzzlement versus the data of how did not Louisville land a No. 2 seed instead of a third compared to others on the 2 line.

The committee chair provided one answer during the teleconference but here is an analysis sent to Guru central and the suggested 2 line with comparisons.

Here is the reasoning:

Stanford had a 3 RPI
3 losses to UConn, Southern Cal, and Washington
6 nonconference games against the top 50

Duke had a 4 RPI
6 losses to UConn, Notre Dame (3-ACC), and UNC (2 ACC)
6 nonconference games against the top 50

Louisville had an 8 RPI
4 losses to Uconn (3 AAC) Kentucky
3 nonconference games against the Top 50

Baylor had a 10 RPI
4 losses to UConn, Kentucky, West Va. (B-12), Kansas (RPI-127)
2 nonconference games against the top 50

West Virginia had an 11 RPI
4 losses to Baylor (2 in B-12), Texas (B-12) and Ohio St.
0 nonconference games against the Top 50.

Lucas Marksmanship

Narberth's Maggie Lucas, who is finishing up her stellar career at Penn State, was the scoring sensation in the tracker of the Guru's PhilahoopsW 10-team group organized in terms of local Division I coverage.

To date Lucas was the leader in 30 or more points with three games while Delaware senior Kelsey Buchanan had 1 as did La Salle's Alicia Cropper.

Lucas and Buchanan each had a season-high 33 points to top all players hitting that milestone.

Lucas had nine games of 25 or more points to lead that increment, followed by Buchanan with four, Princeton's Blake Dietrick with three, Saint Joseph's Erin Shields with two, a total tied by Penn's Alyssa Baron, Rutgers Kahleah Copper, and Temple's Feyonda Fitzgerald.

The Owls' Tyonna Williams, Villanova's Emily Leer, Rutgers' Rachel Hollivay and rookie Tyler Scaife each had one.

In terms of 20 or more points, Lucas had 16 games, Copper and Buchanan, who will meet each other Thursday night in a WNIT opener at Rutgers, had 10, while Baron had nine, Penn State's Ariel Edwards and Saint Joseph's Shields had 7 each, and Dietrick, Cropper, and Fitzgerald each had six.

Rebounding highs of 19 were achieved once each by Penn's Sydney Stipanovich, Delaware's Buchanan and Joy Caracciolo, and La Salle's Leeza Burdgess.

Rutgers' Laney had 10 or more rebounds 15 times, Stipanovich had 10,Penn State's Talia East, Temple's Natasha Thames, and Delaware's Buchanan had eight each, and Temple's Shi-Heria Shipp and Burdgess had seven each.

Category additions are still alive for the PhilahoopsW schools in the NCAA (Penn State, Penn, Saint Joseph's) and WNIT (Delaware, Rutgers, Princeton and Villanova), while the seasons of Drexel, Temple and La Salle have ended.

AP Poll Milestones

With the final Associated Press poll of season No. 38 completed, the Guru has closed a database that will need another revision of sorts on July 1 when Rutgers, Louisville, and Western Kentucky, among several others, change conferences.

In terms of all-time appearances by coaches, Tennessee coach emeritus Pat Summitt, remains untouchable for years with 618, followed by Georgia's Andy Landers with 509, Stanford's Tara VanDerveer at 466, Connecticut's Geno Auriemma at 426, Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer at 411, former Texas coach Jody Conradt at 495, Chattanooga's Jim Foster at 370, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell at 364, former Penn State coach Rene Portland at 336, and former Virginia coach Debbie Ryan at 328 -- two more than the late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow to round out the top 11.

In this group, everyone but Portland are either in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., or Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., while Summitt, VanDerveer, Auriemma, Stringer, Conradt and Hatchell are in both.

Notre Dame's Muffett McGraw, whose Irish have a No. 1 seed, made the biggest climb on the alltime list to No. 16 with 275 appeaeances -- all with Notre Dame.

Foster narrowly missed becoming the first to have four different ranked teams in the poll but is the first to have four different teams in the NCAA field, including past stints at Saint Joseph's, Vanderbilt and Ohio State.

She is 15 appearances behind former Auburn coach Joe Ciampi and 20 behind former Duke and Texas coach Gail Goestenkors, who is now an assistant with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks.

Maryland became the eighth team in history to reach 400 appearances, which happened with Monday's final poll of the season.

WNIT Homecoming

Villanova hosts Quinnipiac Wednesday night in a WNIT opener with one of the new members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this past season.

Quinnipiac coach Triscia Fabbri, whose Bobcats almost upset perrennial MAAC champion Marist in the conference title game, is a native of Delran and her brothers Tony and John Sacca were Penn State quarterbacks.

Both Sacca and Penn's Mike McLaughlin, then at Holy Family, were under consideration in a past coaching search at La Salle when former coach Tom Lochner, now an assistant at Delaware, was promoted prior to the current run by Jeff Williams.

Inside the NCAA Bracket

If Saint Joseph's beat Georgia Sunday in the Storrs subregional, it means, barring the upset of the universe in the other game, that the men's and women's teams of the Hawks and UConn will face each other on opening weekend.

On Monday Cynthia Cooper-Dyke became the ninth individual to play on an Associated Press ranked team and later coach that team when Southern Cal made the final poll for the Trojans' first rankings appearance since 2011.

The other eight are Florida's Amanda Butler, Colorado's Linda Lappe, former LSU coach Pokey Chatman now with the WNBA Chicago Sky, former Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry now with the Atlantic 10 as an assistant commissioner over women's basketball, Southern Cal's Cheryl Miller making the Trojans the only school to have two in the player/coach at alma mater category, former Mississippi coach Carol Ross, who is now head coach of the WNBA Sparks and also coached Florida into the rankings, former Oregon coach Bev Smith, and Tennessee's Holly Warlick.

In all 32 individuals have played and coached an AP ranked team.

It would not surprise the Guru to see the following teams upset their way to the Sweet 16: (numbers are seed not AP rankings) No. 5 Norh Carolina State in Los Angeles, No. 7 DePaul in Durham, N.C., though that would be remarkable; No. 5 Michigan State in Chapel Hill, N.C.; No. 11 Florida at Penn State, No. 6 Syracuse at Lexington, Ky.; and No. 7 LSU which is home at Baton Rouge, La., as an underseed to No. 2 West Virginia.

There will be more to come and the Guru will be handling Penn in the Maryland sub-regional for his alma mater Inquirer newspaper.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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