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.

Monday, October 06, 2014

SEC Players Past and Present Were Part Of USA Basketball's Successful Summer

( Guru's Note: The conference count on the national team: Former Big East thanks to UConn: 6 of which 1 has AAC experience, Big 12 has 2, then 1 each for SEC, Big 10, Atlantic 10 when played, and Pac-12. )

By Mike Siroky

The Southeastern Conference was represented at this year's sweeping win of the FIBA World Championship for Women in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey by Seimone Augustus of LSU.

She played in all six games and was the fourth-best scorer, at 9.3 per game, with the fourth-most playing time, 19.7 minutes more per game, more than, among others, Brittney Greiner.

It's just one of the league's many summer highlights as the 2014-10-15 season is almost upon us.

Starting with coach Dawn Staley, of upstart and NCAA top seed South Carolina. USA Basketball coach Geno Auriemma recognized her as an up-and-coming coach by adding her to the coaching staff, even though none of her players made the team.

Incoming freshman A'ja Wilson was on the world championship 18-under team. Staley coached that one. Wilson led the team in scoring at 19.0. Paris Key of Vanderbilt, another newbie, was also on the roster.

"This is why you play, this is why you want to represent your country, for times like this," said Staley when the big championship was won.

"It was really an eye-opening experience as a coach. There are other coaches that have a different perspective on coaching. It opens you up to a new brand of basketball, something you can use in your own coaching styles."

Auriemma never took his foot off the gas and kept the pressure from within so great that playing was a breeze.

"It’s very difficult to win these championships," he said.

"There’s a lot of great teams and they’re getting better all the time. You can tell by the games, and it’s really, really difficult. For us to be able to do that, even though everybody expects us to do it, that doesn’t make it easier.

"I’m really proud of our team. These guys make a great sacrifice, because they just finished playing in their own league, in the WNBA and a lot of them are getting ready to go play in Europe. So, it’s a tremendous sacrifice that they made for their country and I can’t be more proud of them."

•The national 3-on-3 team featured Cierra Burdick of Tennessee and Tiffany Mitchell of South Carolina. They won the World Championship in Moscow, defeating the host team, 8-1, completing a 9-0 run.

•The WNBA itself had 35 current and former WNBA players on rosters of 11 of the 16 participating countries, including Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.

The American team had 11 of 12 players with league experience. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, both UConn legends, were members of the USA’s gold-medal-winning teams at the 2002 and 2010 FIBA World Championships.

Bird, the first four-time USA World Championship Team member, and Taurasi, the reigning MVP of the 2014 WNBA Finals, is a three-time member of the USA’s World Championship squad.

Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims, teammates on the NCAA champions at Baylor in 2012, also were teammates for USA Basketball this year.

Ten current WNBA players represented Australia, Brazil, France, Serbia, and Spain.
Staley, as a former WNBA player, is another WNBA link.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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