Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A few notes on ... Danielle Page

We're officially past the midway point ...

Danielle Page
Averages: 1.0 point, 2.5 rebounds (two games)

The Good:I've been planning on doing something for the paper on Page — and the break may be a good opportunity — but although the rookie out of Nebraska hasn't played much, you can still see during practice why the Sun kept her. She's long and athletic at 6-foot-2, and like everybody else in the Sun's frontcourt, has a nice touch from 12 feet out, especially at the elbows and the top of the key. She's also what every team needs: A hard-working practice player who's constantly voicing her support of teammates. She probably was the biggest long-shot to make the team out of training camp — more so than Kerri Gardin — but made the final cut by displaying the things she did well in college (rebounding, defense) while showing a little unexpected offensive flair, too. Page holds Nebraska's program record for blocks in a season.

Also — and this is just a funny observation — but Page spends a part following most practices attempting to dunk. She usually has someone throw the ball up near the rim as an alley-oop, including Sun media relations director Bill Tavares. And she definitely gets close, at times pinning the ball against the bottom of the rim or losing a handle on the ball as she elevates, but I've heard no word yet that she's actually accomplished it. Stayed tuned, though.

The Bad:It's hard to critique Page because we haven't seen much of her in games, but there are some things she needs to do if she hopes to get playing time in future seasons, namely adding strength and different facets to her game, including in the post. But a year working in the Sun's system will certainly help in all areas.

Outlook:With essentially four players at her current position (Asjha Jones, Tamika Whitmore, Tamika Raymond and Sandrine Gruda), don't expect Page to immediately jump into any sort of time, unless someone from that group is misses time with an injury. She hasn't dressed since May 24, and any bumps and bruises that may have forced the Sun's regulars to the bench for a game (Whitmore, for one, has been playing through knee and back troubles) should be relieved by the Olympic break. Personally, I haven't seen enough of Page to say whether she has a definitive future in the league after this season, but for someone who wasn't expected by many to even be in the WNBA at this point, she definitely has a good start.

On deck: Tamika Raymond
In the hole: Ketia Swanier

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