Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A New Coach

For the time being the Storm have at least one more season in Seattle and they are without a GM, a coach, and enough players to stage a practice, let alone a game. Karen Bryant has a lot of work in front of her.

A lot of coaching names are being thrown around on the net. I have seen everything from a plug for Dennis Rodman (no thank you), to plugs for Michelle Timms, Carrie Graf (one of those was mine), Mike Thibault (I think the Sun might have an issue with that), Shelly Patterson, Nancy Lieberman (didn't that experiment already fail?), Rick Mahorn, Sandy Brondello, Van Chancellor (my son would develop too many cavities), and even Paul Westhead (he is busy with the high paying NBA gig right now.) There have also been a number of college and WNBA assistants mentioned, but I have no idea who most of them are.

My gut tells me that it will be a tough sell no matter who they try to nab. The uncertain future of the franchise, its star players and where/if the team will play beyond 2008 all make the job a high risk venture. The best college coaches have solid jobs with decent salaries and are not likely to take a risky leap to the WNBA. A strong WNBA assistant looking to make their own as a head coach is a possibility, they know they have a chance to go back to being an assistant or nailing a college job down the road if they do well. I wonder if an Aussie based WNBL coach might consider it if they don't have off-season GM type duties at home. The seasons are complimentary in schedule, and it would be a chance to coach Lauren Jackson against some of the best players in the world.

As I said yesterday, I still think the Storm need a strong perimeter oriented coach with a defensive focus. They would need to bring in a solid assistant for the "bigs," but I think Anne Donovan has left the Storm with one of the most talented and best prepared front courts in the league. LJ, JB, Wendy and Ashley can sustain their performances and continue to learn, but Sue, Betty, Katie, Izi and any young draft picks or holdovers from last year need some focused guidance.

I really believe the Storm need separate GM and coaching positions right now. The two need to be on the same page, but the responsibilities need to be split. Anne seemed to trade well, but I was not thrilled with her draft picks over the past few years.

The Storm are in DESPERATE need of a defensive oriented, back-up, point guard. Tanisha Wright is simply not the answer. There are too many talented guards in the college ranks to settle for a player playing out of position. It would be nice to have a consistent, perimeter scorer off the bench, but I am not sure who is ready to step into that role.

This could be a really exciting time for Storm basketball. A change like this can reinvigorate the players (if they come back) and force teams to scout the Storm all over again. On the other hand it can also be mortal wound to a franchise with as much off court drama as the Storm face this season. I don't envy Karen Bryant, but I am certainly keeping my fingers crossed for her.

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