Thursday, May 10, 2007

Roster Taking Shape; Zara Not Coming Over

A little more than a week away from the deadline to finalize rosters in the WNBA, the Storm is very close to its final 11-player group. Coach Anne Donovan told us after practice that the only real roster competition left is between Shyra Ely and Barbara Turner for the backup small forward spot.

Francesca Zara will not be joining the Storm this season, due to a combination of factors. Her visa was held up by the fact that the Storm did not sign her until just before training camp, her series in Russia just wrapped up (Zara is on the Spartak roster with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, though she did not see any action in the Finals) and the Italian National Team called on Zara.

Even if Zara had come to camp, however, Donovan emphasized that she would have had a tough time beating out Tanisha Wright. Wright's strong training camp has been powerful enough in Donovan's mind that she said she has not really been tempted by point guards who have come available on the waiver wire. Wright has made the team and will be the Storm's backup point guard.

The roster picture has also gained clarity up front. It appears very likely that both Tye'sha Fluker and Ashley Robinson will make the team, giving the Storm five post players.


Online Zen Doctor said...

Kevin, I'm betting all my money on Barbara Turner beating out Shyra Ely, and that's not to say that I think Shyra's a bad player (not at all), but the Storm would have to be certifiably insane to cut Barb, don't you think? Other teams would snap her up in a heartbeat. Actually, I think I'll put half my money on a third alternative: that the Storm changes their minds and decides to keep the full 12 players. I personally think that that would be the best solution. Maybe we need to do a fundraiser for the Storm so they can afford to do that. - ZenDoc

Kevin Pelton said...

Unless that fundraiser is to convince the WNBA to raise the salary cap, it's not going to do any good.

The reason for 11 has nothing to do with actual money per se - it's strictly the WNBA's hard salary cap.

Anonymous said...

I'm crushed on the backup point guard (no Zara). Wright is not a true point guard, and has only been played there out of necessity. Zara is a true point guard. I believe this will mean a two or three game difference in the record at the end of the season, and one level lower of success in the playoffs. Coach D. please get a true point guard to back up Sue.

Online Zen Doctor said...

Yea, I'm kinda bummed about Zara, too, because the point is soooooo important (even the back-up), but she actually may not have made the team, even if she came to camp. If Anne's comfortable with T at the point, then we should probably give her the benefit of the doubt, as I'm sure her ball-handling skills will improve dramatically during the year, since they have been getting better. We can't have any more 6-turnover games, though. Of course she won't play that many minutes during the regular season, either. I'm hoping you're wrong about 2 or 3 fewer wins because we don't have Zara to call on, but you could definitely be right.
- ZenDoc

Anonymous said...

Anne HAD to say she was comfortable with Tanisha!! I mean, what else COULD she say? "Man I wish Zara had came to camp instead of staying in Russia and not playing in the finals. If she had been here I would have REAL confidence in the backup point guard position." Please !!!! She simply CANNOT say something like that so she says what she has to and PRAYS that Tanisha doesn't cost us any games. Unfortunately, she probably will.