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Women's Hoops

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

May 22, 2006 at 8:34 PM

Dunk this

It might not have been the best exercise considering Storm center Janell Burse is working her way back from a slight labrum tear in her upper left arm, but the WNBA veteran was on the far hoop practicing dunking after the team’s practice Monday.
Burse returned to contact drills after missing most of training camp because of the injury. When she cut along baseline for a layin against the practice squad and was hit on the left shoulder, assistant coach Jessie Kenlaw blurted, “That’s confirmation JB, you’re ready!” But surely that wasn’t meant for the post to run off and dunk.
“Nobody ever did it in Seattle so I think it would be nice,” said Burse of why she’s working on the move, including strength training to improve her vertical jump. “I don’t think it’s too far, it’s just a matter of me not losing the ball on the way up. On paper, I can dunk. It’s just a matter of controlling the ball.”
Burse dunked twice in high school, but once she injured her back, she stopped trying. Watching Candace Parker (Tennessee) and WNBA centers Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles) and Michelle Snow (Houston) dunk over the years, the itch has returned for the 6-foot-5 Burse.
“But it would have to be when we’re up 20,” she said.
Oh, and the shoulder? It’s fine. Burse hopes to make her 2006 debut in Phoenix on Thursday or Sacramento on May 31.

Mag tag

It looked like innovative marketing. The hood of Storm forward Lauren Jackson’s Jeep was tagged with several of the magnet schedules the team gave away at the game on Sunday. But Jackson scoffed at the idea of her plastering her own car with her likeness framing the team’s schedule.
“I don’t know who did that!” she squealed.
At least she’ll never miss a game.

Izzy OK

Storm forward Iziane Castro Marques is the latest to suffer a bump from a Jackson elbow.
The pair collided on a rebound attempt in the fourth quarter of the team’s season-opener win against Los Angeles. Castro Marques lay motionless after the hit and said although she could see Storm coach Anne Donovan looking and talking to her, it took Castro Marques several blinks before she realized who it was.
“All I could hear was this ringing in my head,” Castro Marques said. “I told her [Jackson] on the bench that it’s better than if it happened with my nose.”
Jackson broke guard Sue Bird’s nose and right orbital bone on a rebound in Connecticut last summer.
In and out
Donovan used all 10 players available Sunday and she said the trend will continue, although she’s not settled on who will play when, especially among the reserve perimeter players. That group was sloppy offensively at times, so Donovan needs to find the right combination to give Bird some rest and not lose momentum on the court.
In the past, Donovan avoided playing more than eight players and was frustrated if she had to go too deep into her bench last season. Depth and injuries has changed that theory this season.
“With Sue’s energy that she’s extending defensively and her aggressiveness offensively, it’s going mean that she needs to be subbed more often,” Donovan said. “We have such a deep bench that everybody’s minutes will go down as long as our bench continues to perform.”
While impressed with forward Wendy Palmer’s 18 points and 12 rebounds, Donovan wants to limit her playing time. Palmer played 30 minutes against Los Angeles.
“Her role, it can’t be as big in terms of number of minutes and her [still] be this productive in September,” Donovan said. “Our goal is to get JB in that rotation and [then] we’ve got three strong posts that can share the burden a little bit more. But when Wendy’s on the floor, she’s going to be our primary rebounder, she’s already proven that.”

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