Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
June 16, 2008 11:25 AM
Posted by Jayda Evans
Storm C Yolanda Griffith will miss her second consecutive start due a left knee and ankle injury suffered Friday in the opening half of the road San Antonio loss. Griffith walked into shootaround this morning without an apparent limp and MRIs taken on the leg showed no structural damage, but she'll be fitted for an ACL-type brace and ease her way back into practice this week.
G Tanisha Wright is going to start in Griffith's place, moving F Lauren Jackson to the center position and running a similar lineup that ended the Houston loss on Saturday. Storm coach Brian Agler is comfortable with the matchups, even though C Ashley Robinson may not be able to help with depth due to her nagging right Achilles injury.
"It [matchups] helps us, but Connecticut probably plays the game of basketball as well as anybody in the league," Agler said of the 8-2 Sun. "It's how they play together, especially at the offensive end. They might be playing as well as anybody, went into overtime [in the loss] at L.A. And before that game, they had a week of practice. I don't expect anything but great basketball out of them tonight. And it's going to be a whale of a challenge because we haven't had a chance to do a great preparation. They're a team that you'd like to have some time before you play them."
Connecticut has been in Seattle since Saturday. And former Storm F Barbara Tuner was all smiles in returning to KeyArena for Connecticut shootaround this morning. She's a spark off the bench after a rocky start to her WNBA career, getting cut by the Storm late in training camp last season for arriving late from overseas play. Turner, a third-year vet, said that Turkey knew what she was going through and she'll probably return to the country to play this offseason, thankfully not getting black balled for caving to former coach Anne Donovan's pressure to break her contract during the playoffs.
It's another reunion as Storm F Swin Cash and G Sue Bird were college roommates with Sun F Asjha Jones and Tamika Raymond at the University of Connecticut. They exchanged big hugs at shootaround. But Bird hugged practically the entire team, knowing others through USA Basketball, overseas, and on and on.
The game will be more competitive than when the Storm defeated the Sun for the 2004 title. The Sun, in the midst of a five-game road trip, is playing top-tier basketball while Seattle remains shaky, playing best at home (6-0). Here are a few stories to get you prepped from Connecticut's angle.