Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Report: Catchings, Milton-Jones, Lawson named to U.S. team

It appears Lindsay Whalen won't be going to the Olympics.

Tamika Catchings, DeLisha Milton-Jones and Kara Lawson have earned the final three spots on the U.S. women's national team, "a person familiar with the choices" told the Associated Press Wednesday. According to the report, the person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was planned for Thursday.

The report did not say who would be named alternates, but Whalen seems like a no-brainer to be named. For the Sun, it's probably a great thing she isn't going. That means every one of its players besides Erin Phillips (who is playing for Australia) will have the entire month to rest and recharge, similar to the 2004 Connecticut team that went on a tear to finish the regular seasonand reached the WNBA finals.

Catchings gives the U.S. team added versatility in the frontcourt — U.S. coach Anne Donovan called her a "no-brainer" if she was healthy — while Milton-Jones (the third Sparks player on the team) will add more length and size. Milton-Jones was a member of the 2000 Olympic team that won gold in Sydney. Truthfully, I don't see why she is a far better pick than Swin Cash, but I guess she's a more natural power forward when compared to Cash, especially on a team loaded with centers in Lisa Leslie, Syvlia Fowles (if she's 100 percent), Tina Thompson and even Candace Parker. Lawson, one of the league's most respected veterans, will be making her first Olympic appearance.

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