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Women's Hoops

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

May 2, 2006 at 6:04 PM

Seeing the point

Rookie Erin Grant was cut today and I don’t expect to see her back in the league.
Grant dropped to the third round (38th overall) of the April draft mainly because of her frame. She’s 5-8, 125-pounds and no amount of protein shakes would get her bulked up for the summer. Grant, who is completing her MBA at Texas Tech, was knocked around in scrimmages and wouldn’t be that different look Anne Donovan wants to backup Sue Bird.
Free agent Tocarra Williams is questionable, too. She’s committing way too many turnovers and fouls, particularly for a player who’s wanted for her defense. Williams was out of the league last summer, playing in Turkey, which may be why she’s slow to pick up some of the league’s rule changes, but Donovan is getting antsy and may just use Tanisha Wright and Shaunzinski Gortman in the slot.
One name you won’t see float through camp for a tryout at point guard is Seattle’s Shelia Lambert. Donovan drafted Lambert in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2002 draft, but Lambert only appeared in three games due to a leg injury. She bounced between Detroit and Houston the past three seasons, but is still unsigned as a Shock restricted free agent.
Sources say Lambert has a reputation of being a malcontent that’s catching up to her.
“I drafted her high because I had belief in her game, but I don’t have any experience of her as a player,” said Donovan, who would not comment about Lambert’s so-called reputation. “But there’s obviously a problem because she’s talented enough. Now, her issues are compounded with the salary issues, we’re not going to have a backup point guard in that salary range [more the $50,000].”
Rosie return
Former Roosevelt star Lindsey Wilson joined the team today – as a member of the previously all-male practice squad. It’s Wilson’s second stint in the position, participating as a practice player in 2003 and getting an actual invite to camp in 2004, where she was ultimately waived.
Wilson recently had foot surgery but has recovered, playing overseas as well as around Seattle.
Sloppy Storm
Whew! The Storm looked spent today at practice. Good thing Wednesday is an off day. At one point Donovan asked the players to look at the training facility scoreboard, then asked “Black (jersey color), you got some pride here?” The practice squad (wearing green jerseys) was beating them 18-10 at the time.
Free agent Tocarra Williams is still adjusting to rules, vet Wendy Palmer was dragging herself up and down the court, and rookie Barbara Turner made two obvious bad decisions while inbounding the ball that got her yanked off the court. The Storm lost the first scrimmage 27-12, a rare loss at camp.
The men were able to pick apart the transition defense, which is not good for a team that’s looking to improve on defense this season.
“I have to believe we’re better,” Donovan told the players as they huddled around her.
Palmer and Betty Lennox spoke in a player huddle and the team defeated the men 15-9 in the second game with Lennox and Palmer making the opening shots. Lennox and Janell Burse continue to play well together, too, the guard spotting Burse cutting to the basket twice for easy scores.
Missing in action was free agent Lindsey Yamasaki. She’s a tweener-type player, but she doesn’t seem to fit on the Storm roster.
Yamasaki, who’s 6-1, isn’t going to beat out any of the posts to make the depth chart inside and she’s nowhere near as skilled as Gortman, who plays three positions, so expect Yamasaki to be the next cut.
Touch down
Bird landed in New York this morning from Russia and text messaged close buddy Lauren Jackson that she’s here – as in stateside. Her flight to Seattle leaves early Wednesday morning so she’ll be able to practice on Thursday.
Iziane Castro Marques received her visa and will travel Thursday from Brazil. She could practice Friday if she’s not feeling the affects of jetlag.
“Brazil is…not close,” Donovan said.



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