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, October 08, 2014

Guru's Musings: Seton Hall, WNBA TV Deal, FIBA, and Other Topics

By Mel Greenberg

Amazing how many people have come to the blog in the last 15 hours without anything new on it, but the Guru, who has been busy getting his college communication network up to date and USBWA duties handled, knows why you have visited based on early trends, so he begins with a series of topics, leading off with the Daisha Simmons situation.

However, in sordid ways it got there, the Guru is glad for Daisha that the end result is going to be a happy ending.

So there is no need to keep dwelling on the obvious in terms of NCAA rules, Alabama’s motives, etc.

But let’s look forward because what Simmons’ addition to Seton Hall does in year two of the Pirates’ revival under Tony Bozzella is make the school an even more prominent factor in the re-configured Big East as a conference contender and, dare say, depending what happens non-Big East and within the early part of the conference schedule, a potential to gain the first AP ranking for Seton Hall in two decades.

The last appearance for the South Orange, N.J., contingent was on Jan. 31, 1995 at No. 25 after rising as high as 15th in the final poll of the previous season.

If the NCAA now makes Simmons good to go, the Guru sent an overnight note to Bozzella that perhaps he might want to bring her along to Big East media day in two weeks so the local mob has another stop to visit in the room besides listening to Villanova’s Harry Perretta’s tales of yesterday and DePaul’s Doug Bruno discussing how he spent his summer vacation, other than getting soaked like the rest of us in June in the Chillin’ for Charity cause for the Kay Yow foundation started by Arizona.

Speaking of Perretta, since part of what the Guru has been doing is getting his schedule spreadsheet of local and national teams in order, he noticed that the Dean of the Big East is going to be on a retro tour, going to Chattanooga’s tournament hosted by Jim Foster, and heading to Florida in the same tournament as Geno Auriemma and Uconn.

He believes, though saying this off the top of his head, there is even a potential or definite hookup with Jose Fernandez and USF.

And Now for a Quick Commercial

If you are a journalist covering women’s basketball, you might want be part of that gender side of the membership of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

To get listed in the outstanding media guide, you have until Friday to go to the USBWA website and pay your dues $50 for pros, $25 for college and 2014 college graduates.
You can check in with the Guru to see if you past muster if you are afraid ahead of time of getting rejected and losing your payment.

There are lots of opportunities to gain exposure, if you are not already deep in work elsewhere, through the Guru’s site and also helping to handle USBWA matters involving awards and such on the women’s side.

That said, back to more musings.

WNBA TV Deal Extended

Hidden deep, but definitely not on purpose, it’s just the way the narrative goes, in the new NBA TV deal the other day was that the WNBA arrangement with ESPN that extended to 2022, now extends through 2025, another three years.

So for those who think the pro league is going to vanish soon, nothing could be further than the truth, though a league source did note to the Guru that former NBA commissioner David Stern said the doubters will never completely go away.

At this point, it doesn’t seem likely to happen for the WNBA, though perhaps someone could offer odds whether Geno will still be at UConn in 2025 or being the main star of the network on games, perhaps sharing duties with his former star Rebecca Lobo.

There is also talk of forming a new platform for viewing to be established by ESPN, though discussed about the NBA, it will interesting to see if there is a replacement for Center Court.

The announcement said of the NBA emphasis, cable subscriptions wouldn’t be needed to get more eyes on the league. Center Court has been phenomenal, considering the total of broadcast and cable availabilities in the WNBA, but many of the technical flaws that crop up could be refined.

All the USA Does is Win

To steal the title of a hip-hop song of note, it appears no matter who makes or doesn’t make the USA squad, even on short togetherness, the Americans still dominate the international scene as evidence by Sunday’s win over Spain at the FIBA World Championship, though, admittedly the competition is getting better.

One perk out of Sunday’s win is USA doesn’t have to go to Olympic qualifying tournaments next year, leaving the organization free to schedule training and friendly sessions around the WNBA schedule at various places with places in Connecticut and the University of Delaware potential spots for return visits.

If not Delaware, per se, perhaps combined with appearances up the road here in Philadelphia, considering the roots of three of the coaches, Geno Auriemma, Dawn Staley, and Cheryl Reeve, since this staff is likely not to change under Auriemma on the run-up to Brazil and the 2016 Olympics.

By the way, looking at the continuous flow of young talent into the system, the next time around, maybe there should be more concern over the health of the newer generation, who could do ample work if any of the vets heading for the last roundup run into injury problems between now and then.

About Preseason Magazines

Forecasts in the October publications prior to the start of the official weekly polls in The Associated Press and USAToday, always are good for getting the conversation going as the emphasis changes back to the collegiate channel, which will be all about getting to Tampa in April.

But there are inconsistencies in the mags such as the Guru read one ranking with comments alongside that after the 1-2 Uconn-South Carolina punch all spoke of major losses of personnel through most of the rest of the Top 10.

So, if that is so, what are they doing ranked so high. Amazing that no one picked up on Rutgers, for example, that has virtually everyone back and likely to be a factor with a fresh start in the Big 10.

The Guru did see one other listing that was much better in accounting for who is back in terms of depth.

Looking Ahead

In the next several days the Guru will post the coaching carousel he never got started over the summer, as eventful as it was, but thanks to David Saw on the West Coast, who kept his own version, the Guru has his copy to reformat in the annual Guru presentation.

Incidentally, the total changes seem like minimally a three-year low, though in the Guru’s world, the carousel for this time around is allowed to spin until opening day.

Whatever happens during the season becomes part of the next ride with some asterisks noted when one becomes a full-time coach rather than an interim on the spot when a vacancy occurs.

The Guru will also preview the local schedule, attention CAA, please get your start times done so the home tips of Drexel, James Madison, UNCW, and Towson, can – the other three being part of the missing dates at Drexel and Delaware – enable the Guru to close the spread sheet – updates are allowed, but he needs to test the spreadsheet for publishing and iPad operational purposes.
He also can then look further to give Travel Sugar Daddy a clue as to what is needed expenses-wise.

OK, that’s it for now. Glad to have given you something to read for the moment and the Guru will return soon enough.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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