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that looked at mid-season COY candidates in the Big 6, I used my “waiting for the dryer to finish up” time to put together a list for some of the other conference candidates. Feedback welcome:

Ivy: Courtney Banghart/Princeton — I am surprised no ones has snatched her up.

American East: Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Albany/Kelly Greenberg, Boston University.ln the three years KAH has been there, the Danes have established something, outpacing Hartford. Ditto with BU — lordy, has Greenberg REALLY been their nine years? It’s a dogfight.

A-10: Dayton’s Jim Jabir gets all the attention, and rightly so, but at Fordham, Stephanie Gaitley has more victories this season than the Rams have complied in a decade of games (or so it seems). I was skeered for her when she left Monmouth, but she seems to thrive when challenged.

Horizon: Youngstown State/Bob Boldon. The Penguins have been the laughingstock of the league for years, and not just because of their tuxedos. Have you ever tried to play basketball in a tuxedo? They’re still no Green Bay, but they’re much improved under this second year coach.

MAC: Central Michigan/Sue Guevara seems to have found her home at Central Michigan, and she’s done a great job (especially now that the shady dealings at EMU have been exposed).

NEC: Quinnipiac/Longtime coach Tricia Fabbri has the Bobcats on their longest winning streak in program history.

Mountain West: Fresno State/Raegan Pebely: The Bulldogs lost their coach lost their coach (and we know how THAT turned out), replaced late, and are still nipping at last year’s surprise, San Diego State. Shouldn’t actually be a surprise, Pebely has earned COY honors before.

Southern: Wes Moore and Chattanooga have reestablished the “natural” order, but under Charlotte Smith (yes, THAT Charlotte Smith) Elon has surprised the heck outta folks.

SWAC: Cynthia Cooper returned to the SWAC and has made an immediate impact on Texas Southern. Last year they won a total of 2 conference games. This year, they’re second in the Conference (with the only overall winning record — which ain’t sayin’ much, but it is a winning record.)

Sun Belt: Western Kentucky/Michelle Clark-Heard. Mel’s already mentioned this coach as a Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year. (Though, considering the record of honorees post-award, you might wanna miss being tapped.)

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Mechelle says the race is wide open.

So what does the Academy Awards show have to do with the coach of the year race in women’s basketball? Nothing, really. It’s just that the Oscars are Sunday, and I enjoy making these forced links to one of the few areas of pop culture in which I still attempt to stay current.

Perhaps I should connect a coaching award to the Best Director nominees. But there are only five of those, and I have six coach nominees. Plus, some of my forced links are just to movie titles, not actually to what the movie was about. I really couldn’t cheat that same way with using the names of the directors.

So here we go, by alphabetical order, with the Best Picture candidate the nominee represents (if only in my own mind). Then at the end, the Oscar winner … er, my pick right now for coach of the year.

I love her “others deserving mention.”

Names I’d add to the ODM list: Rick Insell (MSTU),  Niki Reid Geckeler (Howard) and Adrian Wiggins (Fresno State).

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And the winner(s) is (are)

Reeve Named WNBA Coach of the Year

Moore Named WNBA Rookie of the Year

All Rookie Team

6th Woman of the Year (Which should really be renamed the DB award)

Most Improved Player of the Year (Yes, BCBG25, the Lib ARE the anti-Sting!)

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How good is Washington U coach Nancy Fahey? Good enough to be named the WBCA DIII Coach of the Year.

Fahey, who has a 595-105 record in 25 years at Washington, is the only coach in NCAA Division III history to win five national championships, including a stretch of four straight crowns from 1998 through 2001. Tonight, Fahey continues pursuit of her sixth national title when the defending national champion Bears (24-5) make their record 10th appearance in the NCAA Division III Women’s Final Four in Bloomington, Ill.

Fahey doesn’t coach the DIII Player of the Year — that delight goes to Amherst coach GP Gromacki. The player? Jaclyn Daigneault.

Daigneault, a 5-foot-11 senior guard-forward, leads Amherst (30-1) into the NCAA Division III Women’s Final Four national semifinals tonight. She is Amherst’s top scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.2 rpg), and her .616 field-goal percentage ranks third among all Division III players nationally. Daigneault has scored at least 20 points in eight games and has recorded six double-doubles this season.

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