Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Notebook: Practice Squad Debuts

On Wednesday, the Storm's third practice of 2008 training camp, the team used its male practice squad for the first time. During the portion of practice open to the media, a number of different Storm units went 5-on-5 full-court against the practice squad.

Like predecessor Anne Donovan and most WNBA coaches, new Storm Head Coach Brian Agler likes using a practice squad.

"They're big and strong, have quickness and they don't know what we're doing," he said. "When we play against ourselves, we know what we're going to do to each other. It just gives us someone different to play against."

Having different bodies on the opposing team is especially valuable during training camp, with days of practice in a row uninterrupted by games. Agler expects to keep using the guys through the remainder of camp and potentially beyond.

"Training camp, definitely," Agler said. "Through the season really will depend on our schedule. If we have the time to practice, then we can use them. A lot of times you don't have time to practice very much."

With 13 players in camp, the Storm has a good-sized group to work with. However, eight of the 13 are perimeter players, which has meant some small lineups at times. 6-1 Leah Rush and 6-2 Shyra Ely made up the Storm's post duo for long stretches of practice.

"I wanted to give everybody a chance to play a little bit," explained Agler, "so we have to mix and match."

- So far, the Storm has had a clean bill of health during camp. "I think we're in pretty good shape," said Agler.

- Asked about rookies who have impressed him, Agler made note of second-round pick Allie Quigley, who played both point guard and small forward at times during the practice, demonstrating her versatility. The other player whose name came up for a second straight day was undrafted rookie guard Daphanie Kennedy.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin, you might want to mention to Coach Agler that O'Neill's natural position is PG. She's played it since she was little and was primarily a PG at UW. Tell him to try her at PG, he'll be pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

I agree. O'Neill should be given a chance at PG. At 6'1", she can see the floor better, and would pose matchup problems with shorter PG's. She could also post up a guard, which they wouldn't be able to defend.

With all the tall lineups the western conference teams can throw at the Storm, having a tall PG who can rebound is a big plus.