Guru Report: Columbia Bue Edges Red in Summer League Finals Opener

By Mel Greenberg

   PHILADELPHIA _ It's one but perhaps a ways to go yet before being done in the best-of-three finals of the Philadelphia Dept. of Recreation NCAA Women's Summer League.

 Unlike the two earlier rounds, this time a Red rally came up just short and the top-seeded Columbia Blue team emerged with a narrow 57-56 win over its fifth-seeded opponent Wednesda night at Parkwood Youth Organization in Northeast Philadelphia.

  The outcome was not determined until an attempted game-winner at the buzzer did not drop for recent La Salle graduate Margaret Elderton, who finished with 16 points.

  The way the Red team has performed with a roster loaded with Division II West Chester players, Golden Gopher fans may soon want an NCAA upgrade for their team.

 For you readers  outside the Philadelphia area, West Chester is the same school that spawned former Immaculata coach Cathy Rush and a certain Connecticut coach named Geno Auriemma, who are both Naismith Basketball and Women's Basketball Hall of Famers It is also the school where the late Carole Eckman organized the first collegiate-only women's tournament in 1969 leading to the eventual formation of the AIAW tournaments prior to the onset of AIAW competition.

For the winning Columbia Blue, which dominated the backboards, a trio of St. Joseph's Hawks -- incoming freshmen Ashley Robinson and Shelby Smith along with senior Amy Gillespie -- each scored 10 points, while Cheney's Angel Stephens, an addition to last Monday's semifinal round, scored eight points.

St. Joseph's senior Brittany Ford did not play for Columbia Blue due to an injury sustained in Monday's action. The Guru did not attend either round and learned of the situation in the middle of the night, so he's check into it to inform Hawk fans whether or not there's cause for concern this winter.

 Columbia University's Megan Griffih scored 23 to lead Red, while La Salle senior Chelsea Connor scored eight.

 Red will try to force a third and deciding game when the two teams meet again at 7 p.m. Monday at Parkwood, DunksFerry and Mechansville Road. (For those without GPS instruments, it's near the Academy Road exist of I-95).

A deciding game, if necessary, will be at the same and site next Wednesday.

  Epiphanny Prince Officially Done at Rutgers

  In recent weeks, there had been some buzz, though unfounded and unconfirmed, in media room talk along the WNBA trail that perhaps former Rutgers' star Epiphanny Prince might be having second thoughts about last June's decision to bypass her senior and play in Europe to get a better jump start to prepare for a WNBA career.

  A cash incentive was looming for Prince, who desires to move her family in Brooklyn to a better residential area.

 Well, it's all academic now  because on Wednesday a release was emailed announcing Prince had signed with an agency, which immediate ends her eligibility with the Scarlet Knkights, though that may have already been history, depending on NCAA fine print involving those declarations.

   There is an interview with Prince in the New York Times and perhaps elsewhere.


  WNBA Playoff Dates

  For those of you with long-range planning, which the Guru was attempting, who have been unable to find the precise dates for the WNBA postseason, which will occur later than non-Olympic year normal, here they are thanks to the Guru's friends in the home office.

    Incidentally, should it occur, Phoenix is a lot cooler when October rolls around for those who could afford a mini-vacation coupled with watching game in the desert.

    Early rounds are best-of-three before the best-of-five championship series begins.

  The final round, almost seems like NBA early rounds style, in terms of spacing, but why quibble.

  Here's the dates:

  Conference Semifinals (Highest seeds home for last two).  First Set (teams obviously to be determined)  Wednesday-Sept. 16, Friday-Sept 18 (for co-religionist that is the evening start of the Jewish New Year), and, if necessary, Sunday, Sept. 20. Second Set: Thursday,-Sept. 17, Saturday-Sept. 19, and, if neceesary Monday, Sept. 21.

  Conference Finals (highest seeds home for last two): Wednesday-Sept. 23; Friday-Sept. 25, and if necessary, Saturday-Sept. 26 (which might be the first time in a long time a potential Game 3 comes back-to-back, but we may be wrong. The other religious date in that period, incidentally, comes just afterwaqrds.

   WNBA Finals with highest seed home for first two and last: Tuesday-Sept. 29, Thursday-Oct. 1, Sunday-Oct. 4, Wednesday-Oct. 7,  Friday-Oct. 9 (one week before NCAA midnight madness). And no, in the face of economic cutbacks, the league will not be busing between  cities, although some media types may have to resort to hitchhiking and finding WNBA fans willing to provide housing. (Just a little Guru humor).

    While on the topic of the WNBA, when it comes to postseason awards, the league, if it can find a sponsor, may want to think about establishing a come-back player award, as the other pro leagues do. There is at least one worthy candidate, especially if that player's team makes the playoffs. Most improved, which already has a building list, would not be the right fit for that individual.

                                Guru Life

    No, the Guru, does not twitter, although if you think he should, shoot him a one-sentence email requesting as such and perhaps if a demand is noted, there will be a chance of mind.

    And he only does facebook status when reacting to media (and SID, among others) friends' status.

   But if he did, here are some personal pearls that one could read right now.

   Why does it get wet and soggy every approaching Wednesday-Thursday darkness-into-sunrise when the Guru, returning home, considers putting out minimal trash for the weekly collection?

   In building a copy of the ITunes- Essential year-by-year duplication (1955-95 to date), among lots of other music --Yes, Dawn, Blige is in the device -- the Guru discovered several several things while exercising his guilty-pleasure: Upon seeing most titles, the melody immediately popped into his head until he hit the 1990s; Top-75s give or take a year are estimated at 3-4 hours per playlist through the early 1970s before jumping to well over 4-5 hours. Credit fror changing the singles-recording culture goes to  Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, Iron Butterfly's God of Divida, and the Doors' long-version Light My Fire, not to be confused with Jose Feliciano, who's also on board.

The Guru now has more music on the Ipod (160 gig with lots of space left) than estimated minutes left on the planet to listen to it. But hey, as our friend Jayda Evans in Seattle noted in a tell-tale post on her blog in the Northwest several years ago, at least he's prepared to share on planes, and boats, and trains (Dionne Warwick title) as well as at parties or other road trips. 

    The Guru's waitress friends in one of his (real-late) nightly diners accepted assignments to text-message him in very early afternoon Thursday so he can stop and do finances at the bank and get a long-overdue haircut now that his barber (a female btw) is back from vacation. (She's off Sun-Wed.)

   Incidentally, a kitchen-accident posted by a media-type friend of ours in Central Jersey on her facebook status inspired the Guru to order spaghetti and meatballs at 4 p.m. along with italian cream-filled pastry (begins with a C but was afraid of a making a spelling error) for desert. (Hint: Welcome back from vacation).

     That dining condition is caused by five-straight nights of intense desk deadline work which leaves the Guru out cold most of the next day, unless a situation requires otherwise.

  The Guru disovered that if he actually sits on a pillow on the bed when typing on his laptop (blue-ray disk btw), situated alongside a nice-cheap stand enabling quick reaction to write on breaking stories or to watch HD movies, he can actually see the screen better and write more efficiently and quicker.

       Finally, in the event the Seattle Storm are home the next day or so and a short guy shows up in the arena dropping the Guru's name, that would be our vacationing Phillycom-blogger friend Jonathan Tannenwald who is on limited expenses. Feel free, with the Guru's permission, to feed him.

    Come back from vacation, John Altavilla, The Guru can't keep these folks entertained forever, if that's what you call this stuff.

     Notice none of the above, not counting a plea to the Hartford Courant immediatelly above this, comes close to being under the 140-character limit required by Twitter.

    And with that,a  goodnight and good morning.

    -- Mel