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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Washington Shows Early Signs of Promise in Preseason Win Over Minnesota

(Guru's note: Joining team Guru this summer, particularly out of Washington with Rob Knox, but also both to be at other places, is Lamar Carter, who, hard to believe in time, almost a decade ago was a contemporary of the Guru's original core of bloggers and bloggerettes, who have since done well, especially the group out of Rutgers, of which he was primarily a sports photographer in his student days.

His game story is followed by Rob filing separates on rookies Natasha Cloud out of Saint Joseph's, and Blake Dietrick out of Princeton.

You can follow a lot of Lamar's other stuff by using his twitter @lcarter031

Lamar just completed his second year as assistant athletic director for media relations at Howard University in Washington.

He also did some of the same work previously at ASA Brooklyn and was a media specialist at the Against All Odds Foundation out of Newark. Lamar is likely to also be shooting at games but until we figure a better look for this site for the Guru's work in addition to what the Guru does for Blue Star Media, follow his twitter to look at the gallery. When pictures are planned to post, the Guru will mention it in a precede not as lengthy as this one at the top of Rob's reporting.

By Lamar Carter (@LCarter031)

The early buzz out of the District of Columbia is that the Washington Mystics may be building something special – even if the 2015 campaign is only two preseason games old plus one special analytical scrimmage that was held here Tuesday afternoon.

Second year guard Tayler Hill scored a game-high 18 points off the bench and the Mystics defeated the Minnesota Lynx 89-63 on Wednesday morning in the team's impressive preseason home opener in the Verizon Center.

Hill, who missed most of the 2014 season after the birth of her first child, didn’t show any rust when it came to her shot – the Ohio State product went 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the field and over 57 percent from three (4-of-7) against Minnesota.

When asked about the faith she displayed in her shot, Hill cited the work she’s put in to get back to this point.

“The more you practice it, the more confident you get so I’ve gotten to be pretty confident in where I am with my shot, but I know it doesn’t stop here,” said Hill.

Hill also added three rebounds, two steals and a block and has posted averages of 13.5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals per game in Washington’s two exhibition contests.

In addition to Hill, center Emma Meesseman (11 points) and guards Kara Lawson (11), Bria Hartley (10) and Natasha Cloud (10) each scored in double figures.

“We had five in double figures and we had two more close,” Coach Mike Thibault said. “It shows that we’re moving the basketball and it shows we’re unselfish.”

One of those top scorers – Cloud – is another reason the Mystic faithful are excited about what the year could bring.

The 6-0 rookie from Saint Joseph’s got her first WNBA start in Wednesday’s game, shooting 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line. From the opening tip, Cloud, looked very much at ease with the speed of the game while always seeming to make the right play at the right time.

“It was a good feeling being out there today,” Cloud said. “It’s all still kind of surreal [playing at this level] but this team has made me extremely comfortable.

"I’m very comfortable in the offenses that we’re running and I’m able to just go out and play basketball.”

Added Thibault, “Cloud’s going to be really special. I think she could be one of the best rookies that comes into the league this year, if not the best.”

Even Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve was impressed with the Mystics’ early returns on their effort.

“Washington is really, really committed to what they’re doing. It’s not complicated what they do, they just do it really well and they’re really committed to it,” Reeve said of the Mystics’ execution.

Washington held a one-point edge at halftime (43-42) after both teams exchanged 25-point quarters but a 29-10 third period gave the Mystics a sizable cushion.

A deeper examination of the box score showed all but one Mystics player scoring at least one basket and the home team winning several key categories, including every shooting category, assists, steals and blocks.

Looking at the bigger picture, Washington’s play has the team feeling good about the direction it’s heading in as the season opener approaches.

“I think this team can go as far as it wants to go,” said Hill. “We control our own destiny. We’ve got a really good team, a really deep team. We can go one through 12 and everyone plays their position well so I think we can go far.”

NEXT UP: The Mystics will hit the road on Friday (May 29) for their preseason finale against the Indiana Fever before opening the 2015 regular season on the road against the Connecticut Sun on Friday, June 5 and at home against the New York Liberty on Saturday, June 6.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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