Monday, March 5, 2012

Hey, CAA coaches. Got game? Elena Delle Donne wants to see it

EDD can play but can she coach?
Does Cynthia Cooper-Dyke still have Hall of Fame skills?

Is Karen Barefoot still money from the outside? Can Kenny Brooks play as good a game at point as he talks?

Elena Delle Donne doesn't just want to know. She wants these guys to prove it.

In person and via Twitter, the Delaware superstar has been chirping about a CAA coaches' exhibition game for weeks.

Now, she's ready for such a game to actually go down. And let's be honest - with the possible exception of the coaches themselves, aren't we all?

"My vision is sometime around the CAA Tournament, maybe before the banquet (Wednesday) or after, the coaches play each other," Delle Donne said with giddiness. "You can pick two coaches to represent your team, and I think players can coach it."

Any particular player-coach in mind, Elena?

"I want to be a coach," a smiling Delle Donne said. "I would be screaming about defense, that's for sure."

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke would be a hot commodity.
What about the CAA's male coaches?

"I guess they can play, but they have to play smart," Coach Delle Donne said. "They can't be going off. Men can guard each other, maybe. 

Of course, the trick is to get the coaches to sign off on this. We suspect they can come up with a hundred reasons why this simply won't work. But lack of talent isn't one of them. Cooper-Dyke, of course, is one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

"I want her," Delle Donne said.

Cunningham, previously known as Beth Morgan, was an All-American at mighty Notre Dame (remember, it was her Irish who lost to Tennessee in 1997 in the Final Four). While at Christopher Newport University, ODU's Karen Barefoot scored more points than any player ever at a Virginia college - man or woman. Delaware's Tina Martin, a two-time All-American at Lock Haven, is the all-time leading scorer in the history of her conference.

We bet Beth Cunningham could still run the show.
Of course, Martin's hoops heyday was more than 25 years ago. But Delle Donne, well, she'll draft her.

"She'll hit a jumper here and there," she said. "I guess I'd spot her up for 3. I have faith in her."

With the CAA Tournament set to begin Thursday in Upper Marlboro, Md., time is obviously running short to set something like this up. But hey, social media can work wonders. If Jeremy Lin can become a worldwide phenomenon basically overnight, why can't a CAA coaches exhibition game be arranged in 48 hours?

"Maybe we could raise money for some charity, that would be a cool thing to do," Delle Donne said. "I love it. I just really want it to happen. I think it would be hysterical."

We do, too. As for proceeds, maybe the Kay Yow Fund?

Got game, coaches? Let's see it.

Who's playing?

Denise Dillon for 3?
Given the star-studded playing resumes of most of the CAA coaches, it took us all of about 10 minutes to line up a 24-player roster - two from each of the league's 12 schools. The only rule is that one of the two has to be the head coach, as these are the people fans will most want to see play.

George Mason
Jeri Porter, two-time MVP at Liberty, 717 points in two seasons
Jim Lewis: 2 NCAA Tournament appearances and 1 NIT at West Va.

William and Mary
Debbie Taylor: Tribe alum who is in sensational shape
Meg Barber: NYU, started all but two games for Violets, in Elite Eight twice, 1228 points

Denise Dillon: All Big East '94, '06 at Villanova, 1,355 points, 677 rebounds
Amy Mallon: Big Five Player of the Year in 2002, St. Joseph's and Philadelphia Rage

Still got game, Krista?
Krista Kilburn-Steveskey: Played under Yow at NC State, three times in Sweet 16 plus USA Basketball experience
Tanika Price: Started all 31 games her senior year at Hartford

Daynia La-Force Mann: on Georgetown team that won Big East (92-93) and went to Sweet 16
Chelsea Perry: the rare center among this bunch, played at LIU and pro in Portugual

Georgia State
Sharon Baldwin Tener: Kennesaw all conference player before transferring to Georgia
Lesley Dickinson (graduate asst) 1,616 at JMU, CAA Rookie of the Year, great at the free-throw line
or Adrienne Shuler: Furman player who played for Mystics (hit game winner vs. Sparks), part of 1990 US Olympic Select Team

Old Dominion
Karen Barefoot: three-time WBCA All-American, one of two players in NCAA history to have 2,000 points and 1,000 assists, led nation in assists all four years, No. 10 jersey retired, four-time MVP and cap'n
Adrienne Goodson: Sun Belt POY 1988, freshman on 1985 ODU team that won national title; captained USA national team, WNBA all-star game (Charlotte Sting), 1,574 collegiate points 863 rebounds

Tina Martin would play some D.
Tina Martin: all time leading scorer Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, 2,157 points, retired jersey (33), Division II All-American from Lock Haven, two time player of the year
Tiara Malcom: Former CAA POY (2005) three-time All CAA selection

Beth Cunningham: honorable mention All Amrican, guided Notre Dame to Final Four in 1997, part of USA Basketball, 1997 US squad that won gold at World University Games, Played for ABL's Rage and WNBA's Mystics
Trena Trice-Hill: NC State, all ACC four times, twice on first team, 1,761 points, 984 boards

Barefoot was a player!

Joe Mathews: Radford alum. We couldn't find anything about Matthews' playing career, but we have to believe he had skills back in the day...right, Coach?
Stacy Alexander: second all-time leading scorer at St. Francis (1,556), 70 3-pointers made (school record), all NEC honors three times

James Madison
Kenny Brooks: James Madison's former crafty point guard
Lindsay Smith: Appalachian State, 1,076 points, two-time assist leader, school record for 3-pointers made (177)

UNC Wilmington
Cynthia Cooper Dyke: four-time WNBA all-star, MVP of league1997, 1998, led Houston Comets to four WNBA titles and USC to back-to-back NCAA titles, 5 medals for USA Basketball including gold in 1988 Seoul Olympics
Johnetta Perry: led 2003 Rice Owls in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage, blocked shots.
Her 142 blocked shots is second all time at Rice


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great Idea...I love it!!

  3. This is a great idea!