Saturday, May 5, 2007

What to Watch For

The Storm tips off the preseason this afternoon at 3 p.m. against the Indiana Fever, but really those two squads exist in name only at this point of the preseason. Like the Storm, Indiana is missing three starters - Anna DeForge, Tamika Whitmore and Tammy Sutton-Brown. The Fever is also without two top reserves, Sheri Sam and Tan White. The Storm won't truly get a look at a team that should be a serious contender in the East.

Who is in camp for Indiana? Well, a pair of All-Defensive First Teamers in perennial MVP contender Tamika Catchings and former Storm guard Tully Bevilaqua. Indiana also has Ebony Hoffman, a starter 33 times in 34 games last season, who will probably give up her starting job to newly-acquired Sutton-Brown.

I believe newly-acquired Ann Strother has reported to camp, and then you've got the rookies - 6-7 Alison Bales from Duke was Indiana's first-round pick, and the Fever got good value in the second round with Iowa State's Lyndsey Medders.

On the Storm side, the first goal is simply to stay healthy with only seven players likely to see action. The lack of depth on the perimeter will severely test rookie Katie Gearlds, but it's also an opportunity. Shyra Ely, like Gearlds an Indiana native, should play heavy, heavy minutes as she battles for a spot on the roster.

Along with Ely, this game is important for Tye'sha Fluker and Ashley Robinson, who still have to make the team. It's possible and maybe even likely the Storm will keep both players and five posts. Strong showings today will make that decision easier.

No comments: