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, April 26, 2005

If The Glue Sticks ...

By Mel Greenberg

WASHINGTON _ Did you ever try to put a jigsaw puzzle together and get a nice surprise when you dump the pieces on the table to find that several of them are already interlocking with each other?

That’s the way it is with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, who are ready to move to a new dimension without former All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw.

In fact, the departure of the Tennessee superstar of the late 1990s in an offseason trade involving the Los Angeles Sparks wasn’t even a conversation piece Monday at the Mystics’ media day.
(It will be in several weeks, however, when the Sparks come to town on May 10 for an exhibition game.)

Still, when it comes to the Mystics, there’s always a distraction and on Monday the disruption was the appearance of the brother NBA-playoff Wizards contingent in the MCI Center, which caused fits for the local press corps trying to handle two unrelated stories at the same time.

But where the focus was on the Mystics, it was obvious that some previous interlocking pieces already exist as the team once again tries to re-invent itself, this time under new coach Richie Adubato, who had been in charge of the New York Liberty until he was fired in early July.

One of Adubato’s former Liberty assistants, Jeff House, had already been hired by former Washington coach Michael Adams days before his departure to the University of Maryland as an assistant men’s basketball coach.

“It was just by coincidence,” Adubato said of their reunion. “Michael had shown some interest in him and I had spoken to Michael about hiring him.

“As it works out, that’s great because we have half the (former Liberty) organization here. And we actually have a veteran in every area.”

Marynell Meadors, the other new Mystics assistant, had been the original coach of the Charlotte Sting and also worked in the organization of the former Miami Sol.

That experience should help when it comes to Adubato’s reputation for having a million plays in his game strategy.

“Oh, I know a lot of them, I just don’t know the names,” Meadors joked. “Remember, I was in Miami with Ron Rothstein, and he and Richie are close friends (as well as former NBA coaches).”

Adubato also talked about Linda Hargrove, a coach of the former Portland Fire, who was an assistant to Adams last season before being promoted to general manager several months ago.

“When you come up through the coaching ranks and then become a general manager, you understand what goes on in regards to the job and complexity of it, but she also knows the players in the league, so that will help us.”

Hargrove said Adubato was at the top of the list when the head coaching position suddenly became vacant on April 15, the eve of the draft.

“We’re happy and we’re sure he’s happy,” she said.

Adubato said to expect see an emphasis on defense, trying to shut three people down, “like we did in New York.”

“But we’re still going to carry some of the system they had here before, so it’s not a difficult learning process. We had a lot of plays in New York. We will build on the ones that worked very well for them (Washington) at the end of last season (during the run to the playoffs).”

The coaching staff isn’t the only place where there are some previous working relationships.

Second-year player Alana Beard, an all-American guard at Duke who was one of the league’s top rookies, is being joined by former Blue Devils teammate Iciss Tillis, a 6-5 forward, who arrived a week ago through a trade with the Detroit Shock.

“I’m definitely thrilled about it,” Beard said. “She’s a unique character. She’s a great player and she was like my sister at Duke so to have her back here and play together is great.”

Beard and top-draft pick Temeka Johnson, who starred at LSU, played together in USA Basketball competition.

Another new player is veteran Charlotte Smith-Taylor, who played in the WNBA with the Charlotte Sting and had been in the former American Basketball League.

A niece of Hall of Famer David Thompson, Smith-Taylor is noted for the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer that gave North Carolina a come-from-behind NCAA title over Louisiana Tech.

“I’m just excited about a new opportunity,” Smith-Taylor said. “Sometimes change is good.

“I’ve also coached against some of the players here on the team (as an assistant at her alma mater), so I’m familiar with their personnel. I played against Richie for a few years, so I know his expectations and I just see a lot of potential in the players we have here.

“It all starts with team chemistry and they’ve done a good job with that.”

Former George Washington star Cathy Joens almost made the Liberty squad last year, Adubato said, and now she’s back from Europe to try to make the Washington team in the same town she excelled as a collegian.

“I was really excited, especially with Jeff being here, also,” Joens said of having a comfort level with the coaching staff, which is looking to add to an outside shooter.

“We’re right in my back yard, practically.

“My main strength is being an outside shooter. I have to make sure I show that and be solid in other parts of the game as well.

“There’s a lot of people here who can play multiple positions, so that’s great,” Joens added.

* * *
Speaking of George Washington, the luxury of not being on deadline, Monday, allowed us to venture across town on the other side of the White House to visit Colonials coach Joe McKeown, a graduate of Father Judge High in Philadelphia.

While waxing nostalgic in his office in a row house across 22nd Street from the Smith Center, assistants Lisa Cermignano, a graduate of Gloucester Catholic in South Jersey, and Tajama Ngongba (nee Abraham), who were Colonials stars in the mid-1990s, were busy assembling their recruiting tracking list into a computer database.

Due to a new cultural development in the nation’s capital called baseball, we needed to delay our departure because our nice little short-cut discovered last summer that is saving 40 minutes both ways in and out of the District happens to run near RFK Stadium, where the Nationals call home until the new stadium is built.

So we hit the jackpot with a free and legal parking space right near the Knight-Ridder News Bureau where we finally had a chance to visit some longtime friends in their still relatively-new digs that will limit our ability to drop in out of the blue as in the past.

In showing off the headquarters one of the staffers noted that cell phone reception is virtually impossible, an interesting occurrence since inside staffers were given cell phones in the previous location several blocks away in a cost-saving implementation.

Then we headed North and because the Baltimore Orioles were on the road at Boston, we were able to venture traffic-free into the town, whose main newspaper houses a nest of Inquirer immigrant journalists, and partake of a well-known Chesapeake Bay delight.

Then it was time to head North and get on a keyboard and file this report.

Unitl next post:

-- Mel

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Washington Merry-Go-Round II

By Mel Greenberg

It didn't take the WNBA's Washington Mystics long to fill the six-day-old vacant head coaching job after Michael Adams jumped on the Metro's Green Line from the MCI Center to College Park, Md., on April 15, to join the staff of Gary Williams with the University of Maryland men's team.

The job went to former New York Liberty coach Richie Adubato, the victim of the Fourth-of-July weekend massacre by general manager Carol Blazejowski last season that resulted in the elevation of assistant Patty Coyle to interim head coach.

After Coyle led the team to the playoffs, she was rewarded with the job outright in the offseason by Blazejowski.

Adubato follows a path originated after the 1998 season in which Nancy Darsch, now a Minnesota Lynx assistant, was fired from New York and took the Washington job, while Adubato replaced her on the Liberty.

The new Washington coach will re-unite with former assistant Jeff House who had been hired along with Marynell Meadors by Adams days before he skipped the District.

Meadors was the coach of the Charlotte Sting during the WNBA's inaugural season in 1997, and also coached the Tennessee Tech powerhouse in the early 1970s before moving on to several other collegiate programs.

We had mentioned that Joe Ciampi, the former Auburn women's coach who retired a year ago and will be inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville in June, might get the Washington job.

Ciampi was involved in negotiations according to a source familiar with the discussions but the two sides could not come to an agreement.

Incidentally, when New York and Washington meet, the Liberty bench will also include assistant Marianne Stanley, the only person to last as head coach for two seasons with the Mystics (2002-03) in the eight-year history of the franchise.

Adubato will be the first Mystics coach to start the season without All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, not counting Washington's first season which was before she completed a stellar career at the University of Tennessee.

Holdsclaw was the star of drama in the nation's capital last summer when she left the team in early July, never to return after since being trade to Los Angeles for Sparks All-Star DeLisha Milton last month.

After Holdsclaw's departure, the team rallied to make the playoffs.

Adubato will take control of a roster that shows overall improvement from a year ago.

That's the report for now.

Until next time:

-- Mel

Sunday, April 17, 2005

WNBA Draft is a Breeze

By Mel Greenberg

SECAUCUS, N.J. _ The WNBA's annual three-round draft flowed quickly and efficiently on a day that contained few surprises.

Janel McCarville, the all-American Minnesota center, was taken as the first pick of the Charlotte Sting, giving all-star veteran point guard Dawn Staley, who also coaches Temple, another new target to feed inside.

McCarville and three others immediately taken after her selection were the consensus top four candidates in no particular order.

The Indiana Fever grabbed Mississippi State all-American guard Tan White as the No. 2 choice before TCU shot-blocker Sandora Irvin, a niece of former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin, was chosen by the Phoenix Mercury.

Needless to say, Irvin was ecstatic to get a chance to play with former Connecticut superstar Diana Taurasi, last season's No. 1 pick.

San Antonio grabbed Kansas State forward Kendra Wecker as the fourth pick.

Penn State guard Tanisha Wright achieved something former teammate Kelly Mazzante was unable to in the previous draft.

Wright went in the first round to the WNBA champion Seattle Storm as the 12th pick, ahead of Oklahoma guard Dionnah Jackson who went to Detroit as the 13th and final first-round pick.

A year ago Mazzante, projected as a high first-rounder, sat forever in the NBA Entertainment Studio headquarters here until Charlotte took her in the second round as the 18th overall pick.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," Wright said in a statement from Penn State of her chance to make the Storm roster. "I'm extremely excited about this opportunity. It's going to be fun.
"There will be a lot of expectations, but it will be a fun time to be out there with all those great players."

Two Rutgers players were taken _ Chelsea Newton went in the second round as the 22nd overall pick to the Sacramento Monarchs, and Rebecca Richmond went in the third round as the 36th overall pick of the New York Liberty, which is coached by former Rutgers star Patty Coyle.

In the manner of the Mazzante letdown a year ago, Notre Dame center Jacqueline Batteast, thought to be a high first-rounder, went in the second round as the 17th overall pick to the Minnesota Lynx.

Stephanie Blackmon of the NCAA-champion Baylor Bears was taken in the third round by Seattle as the next-to-last overall choice at No. 38.

The draftees who make rosters will find somewhat of a comfort and confidence level because many of them will face former teammates or former opponents from their collegiate days who have entered the WNBA the last several seasons.

The big deal of the day involved Connecticut picking Liberty University center Katie Feenstra as the eighth overall pick and then trading her with the Sun's 2006 first-round pick to San Antonio for Margo Dydek, a former No. 1 overall pick.

The draft may not have been as star-studded as in the past but it isn't the end-all of other seasons now that teams can change their rosters through free agency.

"The intangible at this time is how is that designated player going to step in and make an impact on a team," new WNBA president Donna Orender said after performing her first major public function in announcing the picks.

"Sometimes it's a starting five, but it can be a sixth or seventh position, also," Orender said.

"We're in our ninth season," Orender added. "There is ongoing financial success with these teams. There's ongoing fan development. There's ongoing marketing support. When you look at every (measurement) of a sports business, this league, they're all pointing up.

"Do I see positive trends here? Absolutely, every day."

Players who didn't get picked will still have opportunities to sign free-agent days to training camps to try to make a team that way.

We'll be back in a day or so with either news or a life experience or both.

-- Mel

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Washington Merry-Go-Round

By Mel Greenberg
SECAUCUS, N.J. _ Draft eve in the WNBA is certainly becoming more entertaining than in earlier years with wheeling and dealing occuring right up to the last minute and beyond.
Meanwhile, even before the Charlotte Sting makes the first choice shortly after noon today and new president Donna Orender will perform her first major public act in announcing the first round picks, attention has been shifted to the nation's capital where mayhem is occurring in again in the Mystics organization.

If it's a new season, it's time for a new coach, an almost annual occurrence, this switch caused by Michael Adams' decision to become an assistant men's coach at the nearby University of Maryland.

Give Adams credit. He's the first coach to outlast former Mystics all-star Chamique Holdsclaw, who was traded last month to the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Washington Post reported Linda Hargrove, who was elevated to general manager in the offseason, as a possibility to succeed Adams for whom she was an assistant before her promotion.

She was head coach of the former WNBA Portland Fire and also coached in the defunct American Basketball League.

Hargrove said she and Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt are compiling a list of names.

An aside: When you have the best collegiate talent in the nation for next season, you can take a timeout from two major recruiting hotbeds that will be occurring elsewhere this weekend.

Here's a name, however, which just might drop in out of nowhere to many people.

Former Auburn coach Joe Ciampi, now retired, has expressed interest in becoming a candidate for an Eastern Conference team, if an opening has occurred. He will also be inducted in June as part of the 2005 class to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Ciampi, a native of upstate Pennsylvania, has done consulting work for the Mystics and he might be the right fit in Washington.

Other names out there in the assistants pool are Houston's Kevin Cook, San Antonio's Brian Agler, as well as former New York head coach Richie Adubato, who has been mentioned as a possibility for the new team in Chicago next season.

As for which way Charlotte might go, Temple coach Dawn Staley, who plays for the Sting, thought Sting coach Trudi Lacey might pick Janelle McCarville, the all-American post player at Minnesota. She acknowledged earlier this week, that Tan White, a talented Mississippi State guard, might be the No. 1 choice instead.

Whatever, we'll be back late this afternoon with all the color from the tent.

-- Mel

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Another joy of travel episode

By Mel Greenberg

Indianapolis-Chicago-Philadelphia-or-somewhere-in-between _ If my checked luggage with the system involving the rapidly diminishing dominant airline (RDDA) in Philadelphia were writing this instead of me, that would be the dateline in this little rant

The RDDA has a special approach to anger management here in the City of Brotherly Love.

It involves creating a slow burn among its passengers the minute the wheels of the plane operated by the RDDA touch down on the runway.

Did you know it is possible that from certain destinations located not too far away, the longest part of the trip involving the RDDA begins after the landing occurs?

The RDDA is like many teams on the field of competition here - it can't finish off.

I should hit the lotto, the number of times the equipment of the RDDA gets near the gate at the end of the trip and one of the following occurs:

The agent is anywhere but in the mechanical device that connects the terminal to the plane.

OR, the agent is in the mechanical device but is still figuring how to operate it.

OR, maybe neither of the first two situations have occurred, but the ground crew didn't park the plane properly.

OK, so eventually, we deplane. Sometimes, it's even exciting because the gate is near the front of the terminal. That happening creates a special formula that has recurred more than a few times when I use the RDDA -- the closer to ground transportation we are in arriving inside the terminal, the longer the wait will be to actually get out of the airport.

For instance, take the monitor screens that inform where your bags will arrive.

Several times, recently, due to a quick one-time announcement, if at all, knowledge was not available about changing which area the bags will arrive. Even if they had arrived elsewhere in the area, it was news to us.

An aside: staff of the RDDA in other cities who have had to deal problems of outbound passengers from here have been known to say: "They're killing us in Philadelphia." So much for esprit de air corp.

Our flight from Chicago arrived at 11 p.m. about the time two or three other flights arrived. Still, the airport was realitively empty at that hour.

After waiting for 30 minutes, it was time to take a trip to the complaint area of the RDDA, which seemed to be involved in a hostility hot spot. Amazingly, in the unclaimed area, several bags actually had a flight number similar to mine.

Now, on this particular trip, I was willing to cut some slack because I departed Indy on the codeshare partner of the RDDA and there was but a 50 minute window to move across three terminals in Chicago to switch planes.

Hey, remember not too long ago when the codeshare marriage was announced, one of the ingredients would be arrivals near where the other airline operates?

Although the distance the ground crew could cover is shorter than the path I had to transverse at O'Hare, I was willing in this particular situation to guess that O'Hare is the where the lugguage problem originated.

Of course, the RDDA is really at its best when you check bags two hours early for a simple non-stop flight.

Which reminds me, it would be nice if the booking itinerary might warn that bags may not make a transfer between planes in the amount of time scheduled.

If you're planning to carry on, you go ahead and ticket, because checked luggage wouldn't apply.

But at least I would be aware of the situation.

In this instance, I was arriving home, so a one-day delay wouldn't be the worse thing, but it might be going outbound.

Of course, you all have joined me as a casualty because material involved wrapping up the season is in the luggage, so you have to read this rant instead.

However, luggage wasn't the only thing last night that got snagged between locations.

The so-called print version of my season wrap up before transitioning on to the WNBA managed to drop out of sight along with several other victims between editions, but you can find that story somewhere inside of Philly.com.

Incidentally, speaking of codeshare, you might be interested in knowing that if you try to book a flight on the RDDA and the cost seems quite high, it is very possible to book with the codeshare partner who will put you on the same plane at a much cheaper price.

And on that note, it's time to go home and sleep this one off.

-- Mel

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm the national champion and I have to pay?

By Mel Greenberg

INDIANAPOLIS _ Those words were uttered, perhaps in jest, by a member of the new NCAA women's basketball champion Baylor Bears here a few hours ago just before the sun came up.

The location was a Steak and Shake or vice versa, an all-night joint near the RCA Dome where Baylor shaked and baked over Michigan State, especially from outside and on the backboards for an 84-62 victory Tuesday night.

The hamburger crowd included former Oklahoma and WNBA star Stacey Dales, who served as a studio analyst on the scene for ESPN for the third straight year.

Dales is no longer with the Washington Mystics, having retired in the offseason. Her studio co-host Lisa Leslie headed back to la la land for the coming of the WNBA's ninth season.

Leslie plays with the Los Angeles Sparks, a team still without a coach, but with the addition of Chamique Holdsclaw, who left Washington in mid-summer and later revealed she was suffering from depression.

It is unknown whether Dales provided Leslie any "teammate advice" for dealing with the former Tennessee sensation, but the three-time Olympic gold medalist already has previous experience on past USA basketball teams with Holdsclaw.

Meanwhile, Chris Voelz of the Women's Sports Foundation substituted for WSF president Donna Lopiano as emcee for the WBCA coach of the year luncheon

Lopiano had to attend to a family health situation back East.

Voelz began by telling the crowd, "You're waiting for the head coach and you got the assistant coach."

Soon thereafter when we got up to present the, ahem, Mel Greenberg media award to Dave Loane, a sportscaster of Illinois women's basketball and other Illini sports, we reminded Voelz she was under-valuing herself.

In our profession, we pointed out, we go to the coach for a statement and the assistant for information. :)

Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor, also the Olympic gold medal-winning coach in Athens, was seen in the room working WNBA general managers, perhaps to say hello, and perhaps to trigger a trade before the April 16 draft.

The Charlotte Sting, with the top draft pick, is still zeroing in on its selection.

As for the NCAA title game, Emily Niemann's 5-for-7 three-point shooting in the first half and Baylor's overall 45-22 rebounding advantage were the keys to Michigan State's demise.

The weekend was still a landmark with both of Tuesday night's competitors appearing in their first title game after advancing to the Women's Final Four for the first time. Their respective rallies over LSU and Tennessee Sunday night also made for exciting stuff.

As we said when we started this current discussion, our story begins a few hours before sunrise, but we are not on the front end of today, we're still on the back end of last night in broad daylight.

So on that note, with a late flight scheduled back to Philadelphia this afternoon, we'll take advantage of the extended checkout by saying good morning and good night and we'll be back after our arrival on the East Coast.

-- Mel

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A night of sociality

By Mel Greenberg
INDIANAPOLIS _ Welcome today from the city where time stands still.

Well, at least that's what's happened here last night while most of the nation was setting their clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

In this town or geographical area, to be exact, when the clocks swing forward, Indy moves to Central Daylight Time, thus none of we Easterners nor many others will adjust our clocks until it's time to leave.

But there is an exception for your correspondent. If we stay unaware of the switch, then deadlines will be busted, they will be tight tonight anyhow because of the TV starts, and you'll have to come back here to receive game stories.

The RCA Dome, home of the Indianapolis Colts, is huge, to say the least. But it is well organized for coverage of the women's final.

The press conferences for the four teams were rather uneventful.

When the workday was done, our first stop last night was at the host committee parties at NCAA headquarters down by the canal, or it could have been over at the canal. It was hard to discern which direction based on the route the shuttle bus driver took to get there.

Considering this is where the men's and women's committees now gather to form the tournament brackets, we have a better understanding why some of the seedings look the way they do.

Later, it was off to the annual WNBA party next door to our hotel.

Unlike previous years, there were not a large amount of players in the room except for those who also have collegiate jobs.

For example, Temple coach Dawn Staley, who plays for the Charlotte Sting, was a guest as a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and also a host as an All-Star point guard for the Charlotte Sting. Former Duke star Alana Beard, now with the Washington Mystics, was also in the room.

New WNBA president Donna Orender made her debut among the collegiate set, and Michael Alter, the owner of the new Chicago franchise, which will launch next season (2006) was also among the league coaching staffs and general managers who are checking out the talent crop at the finals with an eye to the draft on April 16.

The most common question we have been asked during our stay is: Is Stephen A. like that in real life and we have maintained a response of "get back to me if I ever see him." :)

Younger coaches, who may not have yet gotten the word that Connecticut has been eliminated from this year's title chase after winning the last three, were thrilled to have access to talk to coach Geno Auriemma.

Well, as the clock continues to tick, it's time to head to the arena. So we'll be back later tonight or even from press row, depending on access.

-- Mel

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Masses Arrive

By Mel Greenberg

INDIANAPOLIS _ The doors to the hotel lobby swung open and one Geno Auriemma quickly sauntered up to the check-in desk at the headquarters of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's annual convention held in association with the NCAA Women's Final Four.

It was an experience Auriemma had not undergone at these events since 1999.

For the past five Women's Finals, the coach of the Connecticut Huskies women has hit the town with his team on a bus from the airport with a full police escort.

But for the first time in a while, Auriemma's Huskies were back home in Storrs, having been eliminated last Sunday by Stanford in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Thus, it was like the old days at the sports bar before Connecticut became powerful, especially having won three straight NCAA titles through last season and also participating in two previous finals, including the one in Philadelphia when Auriemma enjoyed raising a championship trophy just down the road from his early roots.

As Auriemma settled in among a small crowd of veteran coaches, he gazed around at the room and commented, "Who are all these people?"

"You've been locked away at this event the past five years," Auriemma was told, "while all these folks grew up into becoming coaches."

The bar also contained WNBA types, who will be on hand at tonight's annual mega-mingle party.

As for the working stiffs here -- namely us -- today consists of a marathon of events, beginning with the ESPN media briefing, which will get under way in a few hours.

That will be followed by the announcement of the WBCA's Kodak all-America team.

Next comes the practices and press conferences of the four participating teams just across the way in the RCA Dome.

Then, it's back here in the media hotel headquarters for the presentation of the Associated Press player and coach of the year awards.

That will be followed by the annual high school and senior collegiate all-America games.

Later tonight, there's the aforementioned WNBA bash along with the annual host committee party, which will be held in the NCAA headquarters' Hall of Champions.

Oh yes, a story and a notebook will be filed to the Inquirer chronicling what there is to chronicle today and tonight.

And we'll be back here as we go and will offer the rest of the day's activities.

-- Mel

Friday, April 01, 2005

Indy Doings Day 2

By Mel Greenberg

The NCAA people were hard at work getting credentials ready for the masses of reporters who cover the four women's team, as well as the national group who are not team-specific.

We took advantage of the balmy weather to take a stroll down to the main mega-mall shopping area a few blocks away.

The main food eating area setup was interesting. The owners of four snack bars that are all lined up next to each other were each offering different versions of bourbon chicken, a sort of creole delight.

So much for variety being the spice of life.

Speaking of spice, you haven't died until you've tried the fare at St. Elmo's steakhouse, an appropriately-named place for one of the city's best known dining institutions that we tried for supper.

No, St. Elmo's fire has nothing to do with the tender meat - we enjoyed an excellent ribeye.

However, when it comes to their classic shrimp cocktail that is emeshed in a fiery cocktail sauce, the offering is a wonderful way to incinerate whatever organs exist on the way through the digestive track.

It was definitely the spiciest thing that has ever made its way down our throat, although the pain of the swallow eased up after a while -- probably from numbness.

Before returning to our hotel to start working on Sunday previews for those of you who can find one of our print editions, we stopped next door to see what coaches had arrived.

Doug Bruno of DePaul was on the way to a meeting where the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) all-American committee was trying to decide who their ten picks will be for this season.

We had a brief conversation later with Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow of North Carolina State, and then later joined Maryland coach Brenda Frese, Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, Georgia coach Andy Landers and a few others for some reminiscing of days when the tournament was a lot smaller in terms of the production put on by the local host committee.

The parties will heat up tonight, while we spend the day cooling down from the shrimp cocktail.

But we'll be back with another sunrise report for you early risers late tonight.

-- Mel