Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Roster Thoughts

First off, I hope everybody is enjoying the relaunched, with a new look that extends to this blog. A lot of hard work went on behind the scenes to refresh the Web site. Our Web Producer, Tony Nhoksayakham, deserves a lot of credit for his hard work to make the redesign happen.

Alright, let's talk roster, since that seems to be the main topic of discussion recently on the Internets. As you may have read, the Storm's 2008 Media Guide came out yesterday, and it doesn't include everyone still in training camp. This isn't unusual, however. Printing deadlines force the Storm and every team around the league to choose whom to include before knowing the final roster. Last year, Barbara Turner was prominently featured in the guide. This year, it includes the returning Storm players, the newcomers who were not signed to training-camp contracts and the Storm's two draft picks. That doesn't guarantee those players anything, nor does it mean anything to the players who are not in the guide.

There are nine days until final rosters are due at Noon Pacific a week from Friday. I suspect, having listened to Storm Head Coach Brian Agler in recent interviews, the coaching staff won't make its final decisions until shortly before the deadline. We could see some more cuts coming up, and the Storm will have to waive two players by the time Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson arrive in Seattle because teams are limited to 15 players physically in camp. Agler has indicated there's no real timetable for cuts besides that; the team will make a move when it becomes apparent a player doesn't have a chance to make the team.

We're used to thinking of roster competitions in terms of point guards and centers battling each other, but with the WNBA's hard salary caps, it's at least as important to look at veteran players and young players. Players on their rookie contracts and those with two or fewer years of experience give the Storm more flexibility. The Storm could potentially keep 12 players if enough of those younger players are in the final mix. However, it's not necessarily as simple as keeping the 12 best players in camp, because not all combinations will work.

While we're on the subject, one of the questions I get most frequently is along the lines of how a player is doing in camp, or asking to break down the competitors at a position. I sometimes fail to offer what should be an obligatory note of caution. Even two and a half weeks into camp, I've seen a total of about six hours of practice - some of that not even live action. That's not a lot of time to use to evaluate players. By comparison, the coaching staff has probably seen a total of at least 30 hours.

Of course, that six hours is more than fans have gotten - so far only about an hour for those who attended the open practice at Fan Fest. But the danger of preseason is reading too much into what really isn't enough information to be important - one good or bad practice, one preseason game.

I guess the bottom line is take everything you read here with a sizeable grain of salt.

1 comment:

Online ZenDoc said...

Kevin, so can you say you're almost positive these three will be cut or this one's done enough to deserve a long look and may make the final cut or comments like that? You probably could list 9 or 10 who are definitely making the team, so that only leaves a couple spots up for grabs.