Thursday, May 8, 2008

Live From Practice 5/8

The Storm has returned to KeyArena for the last two days of practice before Saturday's preseason finale here against the Indiana Fever. Tanisha Wright has arrived in camp to rejoin the team.

After playing against the practice squad, now the Storm is scrimmaging against each other. Wright, Doneeka Lewis, Katie Gearlds, Shyra Ely and Yolanda Griffith are playing for the Black team. Kimberly Beck, Daphanie Kennedy, Roneeka Hodges, Ashley Robinson and Kelly Santos are in white. Coach Agler made a point of noting that Wright would play the point, with Lewis off the ball.

Transition defense seems to be a focus for the Storm today.

- With Sheryl Swoopes stepping in for Ely, suddenly we've got two very different Storm squads on the floor - one big with Robinson at power forward, one small with Gearlds at the four. Gearlds did a good job of fighting Robinson for position in the post, then showed why she can be dangerous as a power forward by sticking a three-pointer off of a pick-and-pop. Robinson did a nice job of denying Gearlds the ball and stealing an entry pass.

- Nice sequence for Hodges, who nailed a three-pointer, stole a crosscourt pass and took it the distance for a layup through contact.

- The practice guys are back on the court with the Storm working on its zone offense in the halfcourt. On the floor for the Storm are Lewis, Swoopes, Swin Cash, Ely and Griffith - the de-facto first unit of late. We'll see how that evolves as Wright gets comfortable with Agler's system.

- We haven't seen the young players together much since early in camp, but Kennedy, Allie Quigley, Kristen O'Neill, Natalie Doma and Santos have been teamed up as the zone offense drill continues.

- Now it's zone defense work, with the Storm playing a 2-3 (as the guys were earlier). Wright is in with the rest of the presumptive first unit.

- The Storm is now working on its offense against a man-to-man defense. Veterans Griffith and Swoopes both took hard tumbles. Griffith was able to bounce back up but Swoopes has required some attention from the training staff.

- Swoopes had her left ankle wrapped and elevated after practice. No official word yet.

UPDATE: Agler said Swoopes tweaked the ankle, but he wouldn't be surprised to see her back at practice tomorrow, so nothing too serious.

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