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 02, 2014

Guru's Musings: PhilahoopsW Crowd Hauls Weekly Honors

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Your Guru has been getting one inteference after another trying to go back to go forward. So we will do this piece for piece.

Following the conclusion of the holiday tournament part one sessions, the Guru's 10-team PhilahoopsW group had many individuals pick up the weekly awards given out by the conferences and Philadelphia Big 5.

In no particular order, since the Guru is yet to watch yet another Patriot League team square off from nearby -- wonder if Quinnipiac is getting a bid by beating Alabama at Mohegan to become bowl eligible -- it didn't take long for Penn freshman Michelle Nwokedi to pick up Ivy freshman of the week honors after her performance against New Hampshire last week while the parade of Princeton Tigers continue at awards central with Annie Tarakchian getting the player award as coach Courtney Banghart's operatives are off to their best start in program and league history at 7-0 following the capture of the Cancun Challenge.

Drexel's Sarah Curran was named the Colonial Athletic Association player of the week and La Salle, now on a four-game win streak after a disastrous start, saw Micahya Owen earn the Big 5 player of the week handout after leading the Explorers to the LIU tournament title in New York.

Associated Press Women's Poll Notes

In addition to some of the offerings Doug Feinberg put on line from headquarters in New York, four coaches in a row have made debuts in the rankings with teams that have had previous poll histories under their predecessors.

The return after a long absence of Oregon State got Scott Rueck aboard and the Pac-12 squad has stayed in the group since the preseason poll.

Gonzaga's brief appearance in the poll brought a new face in Lisa Fortier with Kelly Graves having moved on to Oregon.

Vic Schaefer, the fomrer longtime aide to Gary Blair at Texas A&M, gets to enjoy his own notoriety with Mississippi State's return to the rankings, and this week new Arkansas coach Jimmy Dykes in a tie with DePaul for the last spot made the rankings.

The SEC is showing conference strength with seven teams listed while the Atlantic Coast and Big Ten have five each, the Big 12 has four, the Pac-12, the other in the Power 5 group, has 3 and the American and Big East has one each.

Connecticut is the only team in the Top 5 all 93 weeks this decade beginning Jan. 4, 2010 while the Huskies are joined by Duke and Stanford as the only three to be the Top 10 the same amount of time.

Looking Ahead

Next week the race for the Big 5 title gets real interesting with City Series action seeing Villanova visiting Saint Joseph's on Sunday and then the Hawks must travel to Penn on Tuesday.

Penn is also at Lafayette Tuesday night where the Leopards have their best team in a while and Theresa Grentz on the sidelines helping Dianne Nolan.

Delaware visits Temple Wednesday night in the Liacouras Center and Villanova in number seven of the Wildcats' eight-game season-opening road trip occurs in a Big East opener at Providence.

A major clash at Rutgers Thursday night has North Carolina visiting the Scarlet Knights and Saturday Georgetown stops by Princeton, and William & Mary visits La Salle.

Seeing Red Penn State Facing Orange

We expected the Lady Lions to go into rebuilding mode after the graduation of Maggie Lucas and others, but no one saw the disastrous start on the horizon the worst in program history at 1-5.

And though each one was close it might be the modern version of the baseball Phillies' infamous 10-game slide with all losses to what could be classified mid-majors by many though Seton Hall is certainly showing stuff to battle for the Big East title.

By the way, did you notice that the Pirates' Daisha Simmons, the focal point of the transfer controversy out of Alabama this summer, was named Big East player of the week following Seton Hall winning its own tournament Sunday by beating Saint Joseph's, temporarily depriving Cindy Griffin of moving into sole possession as the all time wins coach after she moved into a tie with Chattanooga's Jim Foster on Saturday.

Following Penn State's season-opening win over Towson in the WNIT, the Lady Lions lost to Albany, Seton Hall, and St. Bonaventure all at home and then went on the road to a tournament in Atlanta, losing to Liberty and then Samford in overtime.

It does not get easier because the next stop is a visit to nationally-ranked Syracuse Thursday night before Wagner visits Sunday.

While the Huskies Were Away ...

That's right, following the trip to Kansas a week ago for a three-game set in the Hall of Fame challenge, Temple wrapped up the event Sunday playing Harvard at the Mohegan Sun, site of The American Conference tournament in March.

Being able to venture into the Nutmeg State while UConn was down in Florida, the Owls rallied to beat the Crimson, guaranteeing a smiling coach Tonya Cardoza a mentally-shorter ride home than the norm and also grabbing a win by playing someone other than the Huskies' operation under which she served 14 seasons on the staff of Geno Auriemma.

It was a great homecoming for rookie Tanaya Atkinson, who had family and friends from nearby New Haven and ended being named the MVP of the matchup with Harvard.

Notre Dame was also able to sneak into the old rivalry neighborhood and plaster Kansas ahead of a big week in which the second-year ACC operatives will play Maryland this week and then host UConn Saturday in the Jimmy V game.

Rutgers Thunder

The Scarlet Knights' football bunch rallying to beat Maryland may have been the major news for most up on the banks but following a mediocre Friday win over Colgate at home that didn't have Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer too pleased, her disposition went 180 degrees two days later when Rutgers put up 100 points in a crusher of Davidson to get ready for the Tar Heels showdown this week.

OK that's it for the moment as the Guru has to get a few things out of ther way before venturing up to Easton, Pa.

He will be tweeting tonight.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about giving some credit to a Lehigh team now 7-0 including a Win over St Joe at the field house and an easy win over Hampton two days before. Keep an eye on freshman guard Quinci Mann from San Francisco

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