Friday, May 30, 2008

A Husky Update (2nd edition)

Every week, we’ll take a look around the league at UConn alums and how they’re performing in the WNBA. Apologies for the late update (it usually comes Thursday). There were some computer problems yesterday afternoon.

Atlanta Dream:
(1) Ann Strother, G/F (UConn, 2006): 0.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, eight minutes played (one game)
Low-down: Strother hasn’t seen any action since the Dream’s season opener at Connecticut. She and Kristen Mann are the only players who haven’t played in two or more games.

Connecticut Sun:
(1) Asjha Jones, F (2002): 12.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 55.6 shooting percentage
Low-down: Jones had a streak of 13 games in double figures scoring snapped Tuesday in the Sun’s 75-46 loss to the Indiana Fever. With Connecticut shooting poorly from the outside, Indiana cheated into the paint all night, in turn limiting Jones touches; she only took five shots. Still, she had 12 points and five rebounds in the Sun’s win over Sacramento earlier in the week, and should benefit with the introduction of Sandrine Gruda to the Sun’s frontcourt.

(2) Tamika Raymond, F (2002): 3.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 33.3 shooting percentage
Low-down: Raymond continues to provide the Sun with a consistent rebounder and paint presence. The 6-foot-2 forward scored three points and grabbed four rebounds in 13 minutes against Indiana, though she missed three free throws. But with Jones, Gruda and Tamika Whitmore, she isn’t counted on for much scoring.

(3) Ketia Swanier, G (2008): 0.0 points, 0.3 assists, 3.0 minutes
Low-down: Swanier played a season-high eight minutes against Indiana, checking in during the second quarter for the first time in the regular season. She’s yet to score this season, and at times, looked overwhelmed against the Fever’s pressure defense.

(4) Barbara Turner, G/F (2006): 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 21 minutes
Low-down: Through four games, Turner is making an early case for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. She leads the Sun in 3s (nine) and 3-point percentage (42.9), and already has set a career high with 17 points against Sacramento. Sun coach Mike Thibault did say he may change the starting lineup for tonight’s game with New York. Turner is a good candidate, though Turner’s energy off the bench would be hard to duplicate.

Los Angeles Sparks:
(1) Jessica Moore, F/C (2005): 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 6.7 minutes
Low-down: Moore’s only points this season came in the Sparks’ double-overtime loss to Indiana Thursday, as she netted six and grabbed two rebounds in nine minutes. She took just one shot in six minutes in Los Angeles’ 74-56 win over Atlanta four days prior.

Minnesota Lynx:
(1) Charde Houston, F (2008): 12.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 14.7 minutes
Low-down: Houston followed her 21-point performance in the Lynx opener by playing just seven scoreless minutes Tuesday against Houston. But she may have had her best game Thursday, totaling 15 points and six rebounds in a season-high 21 minutes.

New York Liberty:
(1) Ashley Battle, G/F (2005): 1.3 points, 8.7 minutes
Low-down: Battle is averaging a team-low in points and at least through three games, has lost minutes to the Liberty’s younger bench players, namely Essence Carson and Leilani Mitchell. After playing 10 minutes against the Sun in New York’s season opener, her minutes have actually gone down each game.

Phoenix Mercury:
(1) Willnett Crocket, F (2006): 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds
Low-down: Crockett has come off the bench since starting in the Mercury’s season opener, and scored just one point in each of her last two games. But she did log a season-high 15 minutes against San Antonio on May 20.

(2) Diana Taurasi, G/F (2004): 22.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists
Low-down: Through three games, the Mercury are still winless, but Taurasi continues to be an across-the-board contributor. She ranks fourth in the league in scoring and hasn’t scored fewer than 20 points this season. With Cappie Pondexter (5.0 assists per game), Phoenix’s top two scorers are also sharing the ball well. The Mercury go for their win at Minnesota on Saturday.

Seattle Storm:
(1) Sue Bird, G (2002): 16.0 points, 6.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds
Low-down: Bird is again among the league leaders in assists, ranking second behind the Sun’s Lindsay Whalen, and she had seven on May 24 in a 15-point loss to San Antonio. Bird, though, hasn’t quite found her stroke (36.7 percent), and made 4-of-12 against the Silver Stars. Bird’s a career 42.6 percent shooter.

(2) Swin Cash, F (2002): 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 52.2 shooting percentage
Low-down: The Storm aren’t necessarily running a lot of plays for Cash, but she has settled in nicely within the Seattle offense. She hasn’t scored fewer than 13 points this season and has been quite efficient while doing it; she made 6-of-9 from the field on May 24 and has missed just one free throw this year (16-of-17).

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