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Women's Hoop: Belt Media day, Coley preseason all-conference, FIU predicted 2nd in East.

Ever look at your iPod and see a song that seems as out of place in yourTop 25 Most Played as Harvard would be in the BCS Top 25? Playlist or playlist placement explains every other song in my Top 25 except No. 18, Al B. Sure's "Nite and Day." Obviously, I like the song or it wouldn't be on my iPod. But in heavier iPod lifetime rotation than anything by Stevie Wonder or Billy Preston? I need to get my musical priorities in order...

Seven hours into a day after three hours sleep and one coffee, that's what's knocking around my head. I'd have gone back home for sleep after dropping the kid off at school, but it's Sun Belt Media Teleconference Day for women's basketball. Before a full coffee and technical difficulties right before FIU's Cindy Russo came on turned the call into a "Survivor" individual immunity challenge (why haven't they voted Russell's nephew off yet?), the preseason coaches polls were announced.

Sophomore guard Jerica Coley was named to the preseason all-conference first team. Junior forward Finda Mansare got a third-team honor. Russo sang of Coley, "She's right up there with the best players I've coached." She also described Coley as a coaches dream: "She listens, says "OK," then goes out and does it. That's rare these days." Though Coley's been a leader by example, Russo said, they're trying to get her to be a more vocal leader.

Russo also named Mansare, along with Coley and junior guard Carmen Miloglav, when ticking off team leaders after I asked about those who have helped coalesce a roster that's half new. Despite the newness, Russo said, "I don't think we've had a bad practice." She also said of Mansare and 6-1 guard Fanni Hutlassa, both of Hungary "We're working on them being more physical. I'm not sure if it's a European thing. We have some guards who'll take your head off from Europe."

FIU got one first place vote in the East and was picked second behind Middle Tennessee State, predicted to be first by nine of the Sun Belt coaches. Russo disagreed when a reporter suggested there was talent separation between Middle and the rest of the Sun Belt.
"We all have six or seven players who are above "mid-major" caliber," she said, but if anybody loses two or three, that team's kneecapped unlike a Tennessee or a UConn, "which just goes down and pulls them off the bench." She pointed to injuries for as the major factor for the team's inconsistency over the last three years.

OK, off to lunch. I'll be back on tonight after the game. As usual, no live blogging from me, but I'll be a-Tweeting (http://twitter.com/DavidJNeal) until deadline pressures force me to get double humpin' to please on the game story.

(I'd close by inserting video of Parliament doing "Theme From The Black Hole" live, but not sure the lyrics and connotation would pass Herald muster.)


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