Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Huskies update

This is the first in a new weekly post that will focus on UConn alums around the WNBA and what they’re doing. It will be updated every Tuesday afternoon.

Connecticut Sun:
(1) Nykesha Sales (UConn, 1998): 15.4 points, 4.33 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game
Low-down: After missing four straight games (and five of six) due to a sprained ankle/bothersome hip/sore Achilles’ tendon, Sales returned for the final two games of the Sun’s West Coast road trip, scoring 15 and 23 points respectively. Katie Douglas made a good point Monday in practice, saying Sales not only brings another offensive weapon to the Sun but one with fresh legs.

(2) Asjha Jones (2002): 15.9 points, 6.63 rebounds, 46.9 field-goal percentage
Low-down: Jones’s success as a first-year starter has been well-chronicled. Expect more of the same in the second half. Jones has played starter-like minutes the last two years and the better the guards around her are playing – which they are as of late – the more it will free up opportunities for her down low.

Detroit Shock:
(1) Swin Cash (2002): 11.7 points, 6.05 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Low-down: Cash was passed over for the All-Star team, but she’s still effective as ever, hitting on all her career averages in nearly every offensive category. More so, she’s looked as good as she has since coming back from a 2005 knee injury. Expect her to continue to be one of the Shock’s key contributors as they vie for their second straight WNBA title.

Indiana Fever:
(1) Ann Strother (2006): 0.5 points, 0.33 rebounds (in six games played)
Low-down: Strother has seen limited time this season, moving to the inactive list for the fourth time this season in the Fever’s last game. Strother has only played in one game since seeing 1 minutes, 48 seconds of time on June 16, and in that contest, she went 0-for-2 in 3:15 of action against Chicago.

New York Liberty:
(1) Ashley Battle (2005): 7.7 points, 4.05 rebounds, 1.00 steals
Low-down: Battle has been a steady contributor off the bench for the Liberty, the only team to not have a player named to this year’s All-Star game. She’s scored just 17 points in her last four games but was on fire to end June, topping 30 minutes in five straight games and scoring in double digits in four of them. Her best game, however, stands as her 18-point performance at Mohegan Sun Arena on June 20. She’s started five games this year.

Phoenix Mercury:
(1) Diana Taurasi (2004): 17.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists
Low-down: Taurasi has continued to be one of the league’s top players, though it doesn’t look as if she’ll come close to reaching her WNBA-record 25.3 scoring average of last season. She was also suspended two games for comments she made to a ref at the end of a game this season. Still, one of the greatest players in UConn history continues to make that same case in WNBA history, as she is the leader of the league’s best offense again this season.

(2) Kelly Schumacher (2001): 4.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists
Low-down: The Mercury’s primary center, Schumacher is sometimes lost in the mix of how the high-scoring Mercury play but she gives Phoenix solid minutes off the bench (16.6) but has had her best games against the East. All three of her double-digit scoring performances came against Indiana (14 points), Detroit (10) and Chicago (10).

Seattle Storm:
(1) Sue Bird (2002): 10.4 points, 5.0 assists, 1.56 steals
Low-down: The leading vote-getter in this year’s All-Star Game, Bird is second in the league in assists but has been sidelined the last week and half (and missed the All-Star Game) after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to remove “particles.” There’s a good chance Bird returns, however on Friday – when the Storm visit the Sun.

Los Angeles Sparks:
(1) Jessica Moore (2005): 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds
Low-down: A full-time starter last year for the Sparks Moore has started just seven of 19 games this season and has shot just 32.8 percent from the floor. She isn’t the only Sparks player struggling though as L.A. has lost six straight and are among the worst teams in the league right now.

Houston Comets:
(1) Barbara Turner (2006): 4.9 points, 1.7 rebounds
Low-down: Turner has seen time in just 11 games this season, after signing as a free agent with the Comets. She hasn’t topped 10 minutes mid-June and has been ruled inactive five times since then.

Minnesota Lynx:
(1) Svetlana Abrosimova (2001): 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Low-down: Abrosimova visits Mohegan Sun Arena with the Lynx tonight and as always, expect the crowd to give her a warm welcome. The six-year veteran has been steady this whole year for the up-and-down Lynx, who took a big hit when they lost point guard Lindsay Harding to a torn ACL before the All-Star break. Abrosimova had her best game of the season recently, though, when she scored 20 points in a 91-83 loss at Washington, the same night Harding went down.

(2) Tamika Raymond (2002): 1.6 points, 1.25 rebounds (through eight games)
Low-down: Raymond has been limited to eight games this season due to a variety of injuries that include a mild concussion and strained hamstring that kept her out at the start of the season. She’s played sparingly since, seeing a combined 14 minutes after playing 20 minutes on June 13.


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