Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guru's Musings: WNBA Draft Will East Appel's Pain

By Mel Greenberg

Guru's Musings: WNBA Draft Will East Appel's Pain


By Mel Greenberg

  In some cases, the WNBA draft coming less than 48 hours after the NCAA women's title game will keep the highs going.

That would be in Connecticut where UConn star Tina Charles will go as quickly as Sun coach Mike Thibauldt wants to tease the masses when his organization takes the first turn on the clock. The big suspense is now over whether he will also add Huskies star Kalana Greene, whose stock continued to rise as her team bulldozed its way down the stretch to an unprecedented second straight unbeaten season.

The Sun are in position to grab Greene after gaining the seventh overall pick in a trade with the Tulsa -- formerly Detroit -- Shock.

Meanwhile, back on the West Coast, Stanford was still hurting after throwing away a chance to stop the Huskies' record streak, now at 78.

  It was revealed that star center Jayne Appel also had a stress fracture besides the right ankle sprain that helped limit her along with the UConn defense to 0 points.

  However, Appel will go quickly behind Charles depending on needs and she will be all smiles when she learns the next stop in a prolific basketball career.

  Two years ago, the Guru asked Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer in Tampa whether it was a good thing for the draft to come so quickly on the heels of the collegiate championship, which back then was the next day.

  The Women's Basketball Hall of Famer, whose team had just lost to Tennessee after giving UConn its last loss in the semifinals.

  VanDerveer liked the idea that seniors could quickly move on to the next phase of their careers without dwelling over what just had occurred.

     Biden Got The Memo

  There was some speculation that Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill were anxious to see Connecticut in the title game so he can resume ties with Elena Delle Donne from the days when she was making shots as a high school phenom in Delaware and he was still the United States senator from that state.

  No truth to that so apparently he got the word that Delle Donne's UConn experience two years ago was less than 48 hours before she headed home with a severe case of home sickness that ulitmately resulted in her playing the sport near her home this season with the Blue Hens.

   Incidentally, with former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in the house to cheer for Stanford where she once drew a paycheck, it would have been a nice motif in San Antonio for a notable with the last name of Beans to in the Alamodome also so it could be mentioned that Rice and Beans were among the crowd of about 22,000 spectators.

   Local Draft Hopefuls

  Names that may or may not be taken Thursday from Division I schools of interest here include Drexel's Gabriela Marginean and Penn State's Tyra Grant. Of course, former Rutgers star Epiphanny Prince is expected to go high after foregoing her senior season to play in Europe.

   Former Villanova star Laura Kurz recently signed a training camp contract with the Seattle Storm and coach Brian Agler said he like the Wildcats leader who helped restore the team to prominence after she transferred from Duke.

  Since the Guru plans to be on the scene at NBA Entertainment Studios off the Jersey Turnpike, he is going to sign off now.

    -- Mel


Inquirer Sports Columnist
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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 Philly.com. 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 poll416@gmail.com.

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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