Women's Basketball

    Legette-Jack to Participate in NCAA Mock Selection Exercise

    Go Hoosiers! IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack
    Go Hoosiers!
    IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack
    Go Hoosiers!

    July 15, 2009

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack has been selected among 16 NCAA Division I coaches to take part in a mock selection exercise at the NCAA national office on Thursday, July 16-Friday, July 17.

    The exercise will provide education in the selection, seeding and bracketing of the Division I women's basketball championship. The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball staff will conduct the mock session, with members of the Division I Women's Basketball Committee on hand to provide assistance.

    "This is a great opportunity to get insight on how our committee selects the 64 teams," Legette-Jack said. "I feel that the committee has always done a great job and now I will be able to see how it works from the inside. I am anxious and excited to be a part of the mock committee."

    Both the Division I Men's Basketball staff and the women's staff began conducting mock selections with national print and electronic media members in 2007 in an attempt to demystify the process that the 10-person men's and women's basketball committees go through each March when the much anticipated championship brackets are constructed and announced.

    This is the first time the mock committee will consist entirely of coaches and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) administrators.

    List of coaches participating:
    Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
    Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt
    Joanne Boyle, California
    Doug Bruno, DePaul
    Sherri Coale, Oklahoma
    Brian Giorgis, Marist
    Gail Goestenkors, Texas
    Shann Hart, IUPUI
    Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina
    Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee State
    Wendy Larry, Old Dominion
    Felisha Legette-Jack, Indiana
    Curt Miller, Bowling Green
    Jeff Mittie, TCU
    Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford
    Audra Smith, Alabama-Birmingham
    WBCA Chief Executive Officer Beth Bass
    WBCA consultant Betty Jaynes



    The mock committee will have access to all the tools (reports, game results, RPI calculations, etc.) and will follow the same principles and procedures the actual committee follows when they put together the championship bracket. The exercise will give the mock selectors a taste of the five-to-six days the real committee goes through on an annual basis.

    The NCAA staff expanded the process last February when four active coaches, Sherri Coale of Oklahoma, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame, Gary Blair of Texas A&M and Doug Bruno of DePaul, accepted an invitation to attend a mock session despite the demands of an ongoing season.

    The exercise proved to be a positive educational experience, and the leadership of the WBCA and NCAA women's basketball staffs collaborated to coordinate a summer session, which is occurring in the middle of the all-important July prospect evaluation period.

    All of the coaches will come straight to Indianapolis after being on the road for most of the last 10 days scouting prospective student-athletes to fill their rosters for the upcoming seasons.

    "I am so proud of the dedication and commitment that our coaches are putting forth," said Bass, who will be attending her third mock selection. "They are going to be dog tired, but they understand this is important."

    Coale, the current president of the WBCA, came away convinced that the Division I Women's Basketball Committee follows all the principles and procedures after participating in the mock selection last February.

    She believes the other coaches going into the mock exercise will have the same type of eye-opening experience she had.

    "When the championship bracket comes out and it has some twists or turns, sometimes coaches don't understand the process and come to conclusions that have no basis," said Coale, who guided Oklahoma to the 2009 Women's Final Four. "For most of us, we're involved with the development of our team and controlling those factors that enable us to control our own destiny. We don't take the time to understand what the committee's charge is. In order to fully understand it, you have to go through it."

    This summer mock selection exercise will be a different challenge since everyone already knows how the 2008-09 season finished and the mock selectors will be asked to base their discussions on the results from the 2008-09 regular season and 2009 conference tournaments.

    Bass believes the coaches will benefit by seeing all the variables that go into the selection, seeding and bracketing of the championship field. She said she has learned something each time she's gone through the process.

    Coale said all of the coaches making the effort to be in Indianapolis rather than going back to their respective campuses shows how committed this group is to growing women's basketball.

    "We can't go into this thinking that this mock bracket exercise will immediately change anything in our careers," Coale said. "But hopefully it paves the way for the future of our sport and helps those who come behind us. Coming to do this mock exercise is a gesture of how valuable the game is for us, and how important it is for us to continue to be caretakers of the game."


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