Melanie Balcomb Enterains The Crowd

by Categorized: 2013 Big East Tournament, Melanie Balcomb, SEC, Tennessee women's basketball Date:

One of the nice things about the NCAA Tournament is having the chance to talk to other coaches, perhaps even learn a few things about them and their personalities.

Sunday provided that with Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb, a Jersey girl who left Xavier 11 years ago to take the Commodores job and has helped preserve the presence the program has held in the SEC.

Balcomb, who once worked for Providence in Big East, was joking around about her Jersey accent and getting used to distinct Southern drawl that’s part of life in Nashville.

But she also had some serious things to say about a lot of things. Like the night in 1999 when her Xavier team lost to UConn at in the NCAA Tournament in 1999, 86-84.

“I don’t remember what I said to my team that night,” Balcomb said. “I was thinking about it, trying to recall what I said to prepare them mentally that night. What was the formula? Did I try to pass along a special confidence.

“I find myself comparing the team I had that night to the one I have now. Did UConn have a better team then or now? I don’;t have the answer. I was I did. I have to get a better feel for this team, where it’s at, like I had for that team [Xavier] and try to get into its head.”

Here’s what she had to say about conference realignment and the impact it might have on recruiting:

“I don’t recruit for the conference [SEC] so much. I get players from all over the nation because of the academics we have to offer. My team isn’t constructed primarily from players from the south.

“There is an element [to recruiting] that’s about rivalries and geography; whether a player is willing to leave home and how far they are willing to go. Geno can draw kids from everywhere, so I don’t believe he will see any impact.

“But I can already tell you I’ve noticed some players based in Atlanta that are canceling out teams based on conferences. A team like Maryland, no longer playing in the ACC and headed to the Big Ten, will make some kids decide if they want to go to a place where their parents won’t be able to see them play on a regular basis.”

And most interesting, her perception of how things have changed at Tennessee since Pat Summitt’s retirement after last year:

“I think it has already impacted Tennessee because Pat is a legend. She’s the John Wooden of our game. How could her absence not [have some sort of impact], but its over a long period of time when we’ll be able to determine what that will be. You’d have to by lying to say that Pat not being at Tennessee wouldn’t have an impact. Do you think Geno leaving UConn wouldn’t have an impact? Sure it would.

“Holly Warlick has done a great job at Tennessee. I am a huge fan of hers. What she did this year, winning the coach of the year [in the SEC] was phenomenal. But that’s not the question you asked.”



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7 thoughts on “Melanie Balcomb Enterains The Crowd

  1. Hojo

    It’s been 14 years, but I think a recall Uconn catching Xavier late in the second half. It was a great game. I wonder how far that team would’ve gone if Sue Bird was able to play.

  2. Steve Gee the Real

    Forget having any opinions–mine is the only one that counts. If I want your opinion I’l squeeze it out of you.
    Where do you get that from? How long have you been coaching? Dont you know geno is a HOF coach and you are not allowed to comment on his job?
    No you can’t say what Uconn should have done, I’ll tell you what I think. I am the only expert on everything.

    If you want a calmer, more decent exchanges, opinions that are accepted–then get me thrown off this site.

    If you think you want a site where people opinions are value, no matter how extreme , without “snarky”, innane, insulting, sarcastic return comments–then you need to get Steve Gee removed from this site.

    Send an email to John Altavilla and demand he be taken off this site until he cleans up his act.

    Do it today.

    1. Steve Gee the Fake

      Dear John Altavilla please remove the real Steve Gee he belongs on the boones farm yard where the government locks you up for not thinking their way

    2. UconnFan

      You must stay home all the time, because with your attitude myself or any of my friends would punch your lights out if you acted like this in any of the places we frequent!

  3. Enterain ??

    Not being an English major (Latin is my forte), I have never come across with that word. Agriculae agricula,agriculorium–Domni

    Enterain—what specifically does it mean??

    Dictionary is no help at all.

    1. Awareness

      This is from Amazon website:

      Radio Informs and Enterains You
      Unspecified | Format: MP3 Music
      From the Album Good Morning, Vietnam
      Be the first to review this item

      Apparently you may drop the “t” if you feel it may be a nuisance to type it out.

Comments are closed.