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, July 08, 2014

WNBA: Vets and Youngsters Blend As All-Star Starting Lineups Announced

By Rob Knox (@knoxrob1)

A mixture of veterans and youngsters highlight the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star game starting lineups, which was selected by fan voting and announced Tuesday night during the telecast between Minnesota and Los Angeles.

Overall, the 10 players voted to start include five players with over five years of experience, four who have been in the league less than four years and one rookie. Furthermore, the league’s top five scorers were all voted starters by the fans.

Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore – MVP of the 2013 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile – led all players with 28,389 votes following final returns of the 2014 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by Boost Mobile. Moore leads the WNBA in scoring with a 22.8 point per game average.

Chicago Sky frontcourt star Elena Delle Donne – the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year and the leading vote-getter for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star a year ago – topped the Eastern Conference and ranked second overall with 26,129 votes.

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, Delle Donne’s status as a participant in the game is questionable as the former Delaware all-American is currently on leave receiving treatments for Lyme disease. She hasn’t played since June 25.

She missed last season's game because of a concussion suffered in a game shortly before the annual summer classic.

The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 game will take place at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Saturday, July 19, and will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET.

This will be the first time since 2000 that Phoenix will host the league’s annual summer showcase.

Joining three-time All-Star starter Moore in the Western Conference frontcourt are 2013 regular-season MVP and MVP of Boost Mobile All-Star 2013 Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks (23,555), as well as 2013 WNBA No. 1 overall draft pick Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury (18,432).

This marks the third time Parker has been selected as an All-Star starter and the second such honor for Griner.

Parker also was selected in 2011 but did not play due to a knee injury, as was the case last season for Griner.

At the backcourt spots for the West will be seven-time All-Star and 2009 regular-season MVP Diana Taurasi of Phoenix (19,404) and Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock (17,937).

Taurasi, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the 18th time in her career Monday, recently moved into second place on the all-time WNBA scoring list.

Diggins was the No. 3 overall selection in the heralded 2013 draft class behind Griner and Delle Donne. Diggins, the WNBA’s second leading scorer behind Moore, will be making her first All-Star appearance.

The Western Conference lineup will feature four No. 1 overall draft picks, including the top selections from 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2013 (Taurasi, Parker, Moore, and Griner, respectively).

Also voted to the Eastern Conference frontcourt alongside Delle Donne are Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry (17,562) and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (13,939).

McCoughtry – the 2009 Rookie of the Year – was a starter in her two prior All-Star appearances.

Catchings – the 2011 regular-season MVP and 2012 WNBA Finals MVP – has been voted as a starter for all nine All-Star contests played since her first active season in the WNBA (2002).

The starting guards for the East will be Atlanta’s Shoni Schimmel (25,601) – the No. 8 overall pick this past April – and 2007 WNBA Finals MVP Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty (10,104).

While Schimmel’s selection as a starter marks the third consecutive Boost Mobile All-Star Game in which a rookie was voted to the starting lineup (Moore, 2011; Delle Donne and Griner, 2013), Pondexter, the former Rutgers all-American, will be making her sixth All-Star appearance and her third in a row as a starter.

Six of the 10 combined starters played in the former Big East configuration: Schimmel, McCoughtry (Louisville), Pondexter (Rutgers), Taurasi, Moore (Connecticut), and Diggins (Notre Dame) while Catchings and Parker are former Tennessee standouts.

The 12 WNBA head coaches will select the reserves by voting for six players within their own conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players, and a player from either position.

Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The league will announce the reserves during ESPN2’s national telecast of the Sparks and Fever on Tuesday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET.

Replacement players, who will take the roster spot of players who cannot play due to injury, will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie.

Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury will be made by the head coach of the respective All-Star team.

Under WNBA guidelines, the coach of the previous season's conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that the coach remains in the same position.

Since Fred Williams – head coach of the 2013 Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream – is now at the helm in Tulsa, the East head coach – Atlanta’s Michael Cooper – was selected based on the club with the best winning percentage through games on June 29.

Cooper earned the honor after guiding his club to an 11-4 mark (.733) at that point in the season. Minnesota Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, a South Jersey native and former La Salle star who guided the Lynx to the 2013 WNBA title, will lead the West squad.

Individual tickets for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 start at just $20 and can be purchased online at PhoenixMercury.com/allstar, through Ticketmaster viaTicketmaster.com, by dialing 800-745-3000, or at the US Airways Center Ticket Office.

For every All-Star Game ticket sold, the Mercury will donate $1 to its “All-Stars and Stripes” program benefiting local military heroes and their families.



- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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