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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!"

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July 1, 2008 1:28 PM

Olympic announcement pushed back a week

Posted by Jayda Evans

What's harder than naming the final three players for the U.S. Olympic team? Apparently getting the committee together to discuss its options.

According to sources close to the decision-making, members of the USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team committee had several scheduling conflicts that prevented them from making their final roster announcement by today, a self-imposed deadline. That means another week for fans to debate whether Storm forward Swin Cash is a better pick than Indiana forward Tamika Catchings or whether Sacramento guard Kara Lawson and forward Rebekkah Brunson should be picked over Connecticut point guard Lindsay Whalen or Washington guard Alana Beard.

USA Basketball expects to have the official announcement made by July 10. USOC will name all Olympians for all sports by the end of the month.

The Storm already has three Olympic representatives in Sue Bird (United States), Lauren Jackson (Australia) and Kelly Santos (Brazil). Jackson is the only player departing early, on July 17, to prepare with her national team, missing five Storm games.

The WNBA will "go dark" from July 28 to Aug. 27 for Olympic competition, giving non-Olympians about two weeks for vacation and requiring them to return in shifts for community work then to join as a group for practice.

"I've never thought about anything else, but that I was going to be in China," said Cash, a 2004 Olympian, of her plans if not named. "I don't have any backup plans. I don't have any vacation time planned. My only plan was China. I guess we'll know in a week or so."

Jackson will quickly reunite with Santos in Australia as their countries play each other in two games before leaving for China for the Games.

UPDATE: Jackson's "Expect Great" commercial will debut tonight during the Phoenix-Atlanta broadcast on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. PST. The players shot different versions of the campaign and this spot isn't the one Jackson told me about when interviewed following the filming in June, but it's still a good ad. Phoenix G Cappie Pondexter will also be featured tonight and you can check out both here.

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July 1, 2008 11:41 AM

Storm signs O'Neill

Posted by Jayda Evans

Teams can sign players to seven-day contracts beginning today, and the Storm promptly signed former Washington standout Kristen O'Neill. It's probably the best move the team could make to help its perimeter situation because O'Neill has been a practice player since being cut during training camp.

Storm coach Brian Agler is looking for "blue-collar" players, meaning those who'll do the dirty work. None get scrubbier than O'Neill. She's a solid defender, hustles to loose balls and was in comand of the practice squad -- knowing where each player in that group needed to be and the Storm's plays, as well. We'll see if this translates to being on the actual roster, however.

O'Neill can be signed to two seven-day contracts before the Storm has to make a decision to sign her through the remainder of the season or let her go.

Here's the release from the team:

SEATTLE, July 1, 2008 --The Seattle Storm announced today that guard Kristen O'Neill has been signed to a seven-day contract.

O'Neill played in two preseason games earlier this season for the Storm, averaging 2.5 points and 1.0 rebound per game. O'Neill played in Spain during the 2007 season. The 6-1 local player from Edmonds, Wash., is fifth all-time at the University of Washington in three-point field goals made.

The roster now stands at 12 players.

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