Monday, April 27, 2015

Guru Report: Live From Loretto

By Mel Greenberg

Guru Report: Live From Loretto

By Mel Greenberg

LORETTO, Pa. - Fasten your seatbelt  and get ready for a Guru multi-media experience.

Extended words here, picture to come shortly on facebook, and then from the newest involvement a test tweet.

Incidentally, print coverage has been extended because the sports department's Mike Jensen is on his way here even as we author this post.

The Guru is sequestered in the John F. Kennedy student center on the campus of St. Francis of Pennsylvania, nestled in the Allegheny Mountains.

It is a few hours before the St. Francis women's basketball home opener in the Maurice Stokes Center, drawing attention because the opponent is the University of Delaware, whose redshirt-freshman Elena Delle Donne will at last begin her collegiate career after a year's postponement.

Although as has been chronicled here and elsewhere about how the graduate of Wilmington's Ursuline Academy had given back her scholarship in August 2008 to the University of Connecticut, which went on to another unbeaten season, when Delle Donne gets off the team bus in a short while, she may think she never left Storrs that fateful night.

In fact, the thousands who go to Gampel Pavilion regularly might think Storrs is a metropolis compared to this locale.

But it is peaceful and a one-pizza house town.

The Guru knows this because he just had lunch a little while ago with Red Flashes coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl, the former Penn State star and assistant who is in her third season. Also joining was assistant coach Joe Haigh, whom the Guru first got to know when he was Beth Cunningham's assistant at VCU.

The ride through the hills after leaving Route 22 involves some tricky curves and on arrival at the main entrance, the GPS basically told the Guru, you're here at the front door, you didn't ask me to take you through the campus.

But if the environs is a haystack, the Guru without technological help found the pizza joint that would be akin to the proverbial needle.

Well, that is it for now. The Guru promised an ESPN type he would be around for whatever unknown reason.

The students are a mixed bag in terms of TV culture. Dr. Phil was on more TV sets here than the ongoing basketball marathon. But when Judge Judy followed, it was time to change the channel to that game show hosted by that redneck Jeff Foxworthy.

Well, time to go to the arena. We'll be back via blackberry with photos and tweets.

Oh yeah, we might even remember we have to write a print story for edition.

  -- Mel

Inquirer Sports Columnist
About this blog
Mel Greenberg covers college and pro women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked for 38 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. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Click here for Mel's list of All-Decade players from Philadelphia-area schools.

Other contributors

Jonathan Tannenwald is a producer with In addition to covering the local college scene, he spent two years as the Washington Mystics beat writer for Women's Hoops Guru. He also writes his own blog, Soft Pretzel Logic, which covers men's college basketball, football, and other sports.

Kathleen Radebaugh is a recent graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She covered women's basketball for the school's newspaper, The Hawk, and served as sports editor her sophomore year. She was also a four-year member of the varsity crew team.

Erin Semagin Damio covers the University of Connecticut and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun for the blog, and contributes other features. The Storrs, Conn., native also attends Northeastern University, where she is a coxswain on the varsity crew team.

Acacia O'Connor is based in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the Mystics and the college basketball scene in the nation's capital. A graduate of Vassar college, she played on the varsity women's basketball team and was editor of the student newspaper.

Click on any of the contributors' names above to e-mail them.

Reach Mel at

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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