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May 12, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Final cuts: What’s your final Storm roster?

Question.jpgIt was kind of somber watching Storm practice Wednesday. In addition to Monday’s session with China’s national team, coach Brian Agler gave media another extended look at the players in action and I couldn’t help but wish it were 2008.
Not so I could see “The Shield” again before it was killed from the airwaves (why?!), but to relive the days when the WNBA had maximum 13-player rosters. Then what I watched on Wednesday would have been the team. The strongest Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird said they’ve seen in Seattle.
Instead, Agler made a pre-practice speech about the final cuts and the Storm worked as a unit to prepare for Sunday’s opener at KeyArena against Los Angeles. Two of the players dripping in sweat will not be there, however.
Who will it be? Agler said that was as clear as “looking through that wall,” teasingly gesturing toward the brick at the Royal Brougham facility. Then he later said that he knows he needs two more posts.
“We could go a variety of ways and things could be just as well no matter which way we went,” Agler said. “Right now we’re focusing on our post position.”
It was all cryptic, so I’m going against better judgment and taking a guess. Only if you’ll provide yours, too. And I’ll give you a pass since I know most have only seen the one exhibition game. Yet many of you know of the players from either watching their international stats or seeing them in college, so let ’em fly.
G Loree Moore will be cut due to knee injury. And all though I’d hate to cut her because she really could help the team, I think G Aja Parham is out, too. She’s like Tanisha Wright will less PG skills, which would be needed to push Svetlana Abrosimova out of the spot.
Abrosimova is a risk-taker, which reads as exciting to a sports reporter. The Storm could use a rattle and shake off the bench now that Wright starts and since Abrosimova can also play a little bit of PG, I’d keep her. She’s also experienced and has the needed chemistry, having played college hoops and international ball with several Storm players.
Rookie Alison Lacey is also in for me because I’d start grooming her as the next Bird. Even if it doesn’t really happen — Bird has plenty of years ahead of her — it’s good to have a backup to lessen the minutes. Plus, Lacey can play both backcourt positions.
I’m still torn between forwards Abby Bishop, Ashley Walker, Jana Vesela, and C Ashley Robinson. Someone is going home here. But as unproductive as Robinson has been, Vesela and Bishop are as unproven in the WNBA. And fans should know by now that overseas numbers don’t translate to the league, unless you’re Diana Taurasi.
Then, as good of a training camp as Walker has had — she’s 6 foot 1. Seattle needs some height and will find that out immediately against LA. But I can’t image Agler making a decision like that on height. Especially since F Camille Little (6-2) is undersized and handles herself well in the paint. Yet, add Le’coe Willingham (6-0) and it’s a stunted frontline.
Bishop (6-3) gets a slight edge to me because of Jackson and the fellow Australian’s three-point shooting. As fans saw with Suzy Batkovic-Brown in 2009, Aussies can hit the three when needed. Bishop is more talented than Batkovic-Brown and under Jackson’s wing, she could provide the Storm with what it needed all those years from Katie Gearlds — consistent three-pointers off the bench. Bishop also is big enough and aggressive enough to play inside, grabbing rounds – although not her strength.
Vesela is impressive defensively and has height at a legitimate 6-3. So, it may be the year to say good-bye to Ashley Robinson (6-4). It was hard when it was Simone Edwards and Robinson would be the same, too. Kind of like how the Mariners are feeling with Ken Griffey Jr. But Griffey did more for his team.
Too bad I can’t say the same about Robinson — on the court — otherwise she’d probably be on my final roster.
Those are my cuts — Moore, Parham and Robinson. What are yours?



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