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June 4, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Storm prepares for final roster cuts and season opener

SeattleStorm.pngHave you checked out the WNBA’s transaction page? We predicted this at the beginning of training camp, but seeing names like Tan White (Indiana), Ivory Latta (Atlanta) and Ashley Paris (Los Angeles) litter the page is still a shock.
Some will be snatched up quickly by other teams. Plenty will either call it quits or pack up for overseas play in hopes of trying again next season.
Seattle is preparing to add two to the list. Coach Brian Agler wanted to speak with the players first before making the news public, stating only that “I think we know what direction we’re going to go.” Still, it’s been obvious all week that training camp invitees Aja Parham and A’Quoniesa Franklin would be the final cuts. UPDATE: The Storm waived Parham and Franklin following practice today.
The competitive guards only played with the practice squad and did not appear in Saturday’s exhibition finale against Phoenix. Wouldn’t be surprised if they popped up later, however.
With center Suzy Batkovic-Brown arriving Sunday, Agler has opted to go with six posts on his roster and said he’s going to utilize rookie Ashley Walker. That will keep Seattle competitive with Los Angeles, the only other team in the league with a talented frontline.
Yet for the season-opener at Sacramento on Saturday, Agler will only have 10 players and is going to start three guards in Sue Bird, Tanisha Wright, and Shannon Johnson. Inside will be Camille Little and Lauren Jackson.
The lineup will change depending on the health of center Janell Burse, who tweaked her left shoulder on Tuesday and rejoined full-contact practice today wearing a black sleeve. Exams showed no major damage and it’s the first time she’s had a subluxed shoulder in three years.
“I only missed one day of practice, which usually I would miss more in the past,” Burse said. “It hasn’t given me problems in years, so it’s like, why now? But it got forced out. Hopefully it’ll be OK much faster.”
Agler also has to work Batkovic-Brown into the rotation, so once Seattle completes its tough open — five games in nine days, four on the road — he’ll re-evaluate the team. Forward Swin Cash should also be healthier to break into the starting lineup.
“Right now, she’s just getting back into the swing of things,” Agler said. “I envision her playing this weekend. It’ll all depend on her.
“Two weeks into the season, or even a couple of games into the season you start to realize where you’re at in a comparison basis and what you need to do to get better…I don’t think we can do a whole lot until we fully understand what Suzy’s going to bring.”



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