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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

May 1, 2006 at 4:44 PM

Burse getting back into form

Storm center Janell Burse posted career-high numbers last summer, finishing second to Sacramento Monarchs forward Nicole Powell in voting for the WNBA’s most improved player. Burse averaged 10 points and 5.9 rebounds.
But Donovan said the “tweaks we’re making on offense” will open up things even more for the 6 foot 5 player.
While camp started with defense, it’s trickled into offense this week. Burse was bothered by a slight tear in her left labrum, suffered in April while playing with her offseason Prague team. The injury kept her off the court until today.
But she was dominating in her return, defending well and blocking shots while grasping the Storm’s transition defense. Offensively, Burse is looking forward to playing with Lauren Jackson and Wendy Palmer, who have both demonstrated no slip in making the three-point ball.
“It felt great,” Burse said after practice. “It’s so good not to be on the sideline again. I didn’t get tired at all today and that was my biggest concern — my wind.”
The Storm will wait until Tuesday to determine how her arm is doing, however. Burse’s conditioning is good, but she said she could feel some swelling that could set back the progress she’s made.
“The thing about it is, I’m hoping she can maintain that,” Storm guard Betty Lennox said. “It’s always exciting the first day of training camp. Then you get three or four days in and you’re tired. But I think she can maintain. She looks good. We just need her to run the floor.”
Lennox has been in camp since Day 1 and is ready for Wednesday’s day off and end to two-a-day sessions.
“Yes, my body is saying it’s time for a day off,” she said.
Thursday’s practice could offer a different look, however. The WNBA mandates that all rosters must be trimmed to 15 and although the Storm doesn’t have to make any cuts to be in compliance, they will surf the waiver wire for point guards. Donovan likes the progress of newcomer Tocarra Williams and free agent Shaun Gortman, but reiterated today, “I’m still inclined to get a true point guard” to back up All-Star Sue Bird.

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