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Rob's Take on the ACC Women's Top 50 List

I posted my original list on August 20th. The "real" list came out
today. Here are the differences:

Players on my list who did not make the ACC's top 50:

Clemson: Laura Cottrell, Amy Geren
Duke: Peppi Browne, Ali Day, Hilary Howard
Florida State: Latavia Coleman
Georgia Tech: Dolores Boots
Maryland: Debbie Lytle
UNC: None
NC State: Angie Armstrong, Sharon Manning
Virginia: Cathy Grimes, Daphne Hawkins, Nancy Mayer, Tora Suber
Wake Forest: None

Players on the ACC's list not on mine:

Clemson: Jessica Barr, Chrissy Floyd
Duke: Michele Van Gorp
Florida State: Tia Paschal
Georgia Tech: Joyce Pierce
Maryland: Jessie Hicks, Marcia Richardson
UNC: Marsha Mann, Bernadette McGlade, Nikki Teasley
NC State: Trena Trice, Susan Yow
Virginia: Dena Evans
Wake Forest: Jenny Mitchell

The areas of disagreement fall into four areas:

1. I Blew It. There was no excuse for missing 1994 Kodak All-American
Jessica Barr. And Joyce Pierce was another no-brainer that I just

2. Too Short. Marsha Mann and Susan Yow both played exactly 1 year in the
early ACC. Yow was a Kodak All-American, Mann an NWIT All-American (a
lesser grade). This list should honor great careers, not just one great
year. And Mann's one great year wasn't nearly as great as Yow's or
Michele Van Gorp's 1999 season. I kept Gorp off my list for the same
reason: she played 2 seasons at Duke and only 1 of them was a great one.
On the other hand, while Chrissy Floyd's first three years have been very
good, but she really needs a great senior campaign to truly cement that.
I certainly wouldn't pick her over fellow Clemson great Amy
Geren--especially since Geren actually won a couple of ACC titles.

3. Reasonable Minds May Differ. Including Marcia Richardson is
reasonable--Kodak finalist, ACC tourney MVP, All-ACC, #3 scorer in
Maryland's history. Same goes for Jessie Hicks. She was on great
Maryland teams, put up good numbers and got some league & national
recognition. Trena Trice definitely has the credentials to be on this
team and she was one of my last cuts. Same goes for Nikki Teasley.
Bernadette McGlade's selection is a bit iffier in my opinion. Her
biggest accomplishment is being UNC's all-time leader in rebounds. She's
not nearly decorated enough to be on this list and I suspect her being
commissioner of women's sports in the ACC was a factor (much like Val
Ackerman's post-hoops career of running the WNBA had to be a factor in
getting her voted on).

4. Huh? I am convinced that Dena Evans was voted on because of her
amazing performance in the '93 ACC Finals. Compared to the Virginia
players who were snubbed, she doesn't even rate. If you had to pick
another player for FSU, picking Tia Paschal over Latavia Coleman was just
plain silly. Paschal only played part of her career in the ACC and even
though she got the 'noles into the NCAA's a couple of times, her numbers
just don't stack up to Coleman's. Compared to other ACC players, Wake's
Jenny Mitchell is good but not great. Including her just to get 2 players
from every ACC program--if that is indeed what the voters set out to do--
is a weak, cowardly way to assemble a list that is supposed to salute
greatness. Tabbing her over Howard (a 1st team All-ACC player who led her
team to an elite 8 and a final four), Geren, Sharon Manning, Tora Suber,
etc is pretty hard to justify.

The program that really got screwed here is Virginia. Cathy Grimes was
first team All-ACC once and second team once. Nancy Mayer was second team
twice and first team once. Tora Suber was first team once and
second team once. Daphne Hawkins was first team twice and second
team once and didn't make the top 50! And these are all on teams that won
a ton of games. The other dominant ACC program from the 80's and early
90's, NC State, also deserved to get all-time assist leader Angie
Armstrong on there. Still and all, the list generated some controversy
and discussion--which is really what it's there for, after all. Here's to
a great 50th season.