Can DePaul Women Make 11 Straight NCAA Tournaments? Selection Party Open To Public

Can DePaul Women Make 11 Straight NCAA Tournaments? Selection Party Open To Public
I predict the DePaul Lady Blue Demons, pictured battling #2 Notre Dame, will be a #10 or #11 pick in the 2013 Women's NCAA Tournament

They're on the bubble, that's for sure.

That said, there's a reason to party, and the Blue Demons will gather at McGrath-Phillips Arena, 2323 N. Sheffield, for their annual selection show party, free and open to the public. Doors open in Lincoln Park at 5 p.m. and the ESPN selection show begins at 6 p.m.

I love the optimism of Doug Bruno, the intrepid 27-year veteran coach, whose floor at McGrath-Phillips is named for him. During the last home game of the season against Georgetown, DePaul's Lady Blue Demons sat at 19 wins, the last against Big East rival Georgetown.

At that time,  Coach Doug Bruno assessed their chances.

"If we make 20 wins this season, we certainly have a chance (at the tournament,") he offered.

Over the next few games, DePaul, hampered by injuries to scorers Anna Martin, Megan Rogowski, and others, did that and more.

The Blue Demons ended their season at 21-11, against UConn in the Big East Tournament, 91-64.  They furiously tried to  rebound from a tough first-half shooting performance, and shot 40.5 percent from the field in the second half.  Megan Rogowski came off the bench to lead DePaul with 15 points.  Jasmine Penny added 12 and Megan Podkowa scored 10 points.

However, Anna Martin, Brittany Hrynko, Katherine Harry and Chanise Jenkins  still earned Big East Conference postseason honors.

Martin earned the league's Sportsmanship Award and Hrynko shared Co-Most Improved Honors.  The third consecutive and fourth overall DePaul player to earn the conference's Sportsmanship Award.  Martin, a co-captain for the Blue Demons from Lexington, Ky, averaged a team -best 15.7 ppg.   As a senior, she battled through injuries to both knees and became a "student coach" on the sidelines. The All-American was named the team's Most Outstanding Performer as a junior after stepping up when three seniors were lost to season-ending injuries. Martin averaged 14.8 points in eight conference games.  A proficient shooter, Martin was 43-for-94 (.457) from the field which included 10 3-pointers.

Hrynko shared the league's Most Improved honors with UConn's Kelly Faris.  Hrynko, a sophomore guard, was the first DePaul player to earn this honor.  The Philadelphia native entered the Conference Championship ranked seventh in scoring with 16.3 points per game and fifth in assists (4.8 apg) and steals (2.7 spg). In her rookie campaign last season, Hrynko averaged 10.8 ppg and 1.9 steals per game. This year, Hrynko made 41 3-point field goals after making 30 in league play last year.

Leading DePaul in scoring during the Big East regular season, Hrynko became the first DePaul sophomore to earn first-team honors. The guard controlled DePaul's offense with her ability to read the floor and was impressive in her ability to shoot from anywhere on the court.

Hrynko was named to the All-Freshman team in 2011-12.

Katherine Harry and Martin earned second-team honors.  Harry led the Big East in rebounding with 10.6 boards per game in conference contests.  The senior from Columbia Mo., finished her career ranked ninth all-time in the league with 565 rebounds in 64 conference contests.  This season, Harry had the league's two best rebounding performances - grabbing 22 at Loyola in the non-conference season and finishing with 18 at Pittsburgh on Mar. 2.  The senior forward was an honorable mention selection last season.

Jenkins became the fourth DePaul freshman to be named to the league's rookie team.  Jenkins started all 16 conference games and dished out five or more assists in six games.  Jenkins ranks seventh in the league with 4.3 assists per game while her 1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks 11th.

DePaul's Lady Blue Demons, with a record of 21-11 on the season, it's  RPI ranking at No. 26,  are looking for their 11th consecutive NCAA tournament selection on Monday, Mar. 18.

Predictions:

I predict DePaul will again be selected, more than likely as a #10 or #11 seed. Additionally, my four #1 seeds are:

*Baylor

*Notre Dame

*Stanford

*Duke (note: changed)

 

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    Alison Moran

    Sports Commentator, WRLR 98.3 FM (http://wrlr.fm) Women's Sports Director, SRN Broadcasting; Guest Lecturer on Women's Sports/Women's Sports Issues

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