This was the first time I made it to one of these. It was nice. The stars aligned to make it possible, first, my wife is unemployed until March (through a freak of local theatre calendars and our holiday vaction schedule), the Husky game that followed the Warm Up had three seniors that I am tracking and there is a bus that leaves the end of my street and drops me off in front of BOA Stadium in 20 minutes. It was my first chance to see any of my senior prospects play live (though I have my tickets to the first round of the tournament!)
First of all, stlkr23 was there, or at least some of her was there. Last time I saw her she had 50 more lbs on her frame. For someone like me who fell of the carb wagon, quit running and put on 40 lbs, she was inspirational. Wow! Way to go stlker23!
The usual suspects abounded, Kevin Pelton the MC, CEO Karen Bryant, owners Lisa, Ginny and Ann. I was surprised to see Anne Meyers Drysdale, the GM for the Phoenix Mercury in attendance, but she was covering the ASU/Husky game for FSN. Coach Agler flew in just to answer some questions for us, which I will get to shortly. A final surprise was Sheryl Swoopes and her family, but in a strange twist, she was only watching the game, not part of the Storm event.
Ok, here are the key tidbits that I picked up from the Q&A:
1) Lauren is no closer to a decision. Agler plans one to two more trips to Russia to attempt to woo her. The crowd threw some bad Mojo towards Anen Meyers to keep her voice silent in LJ's ear. Brian and the owners are willing to compile fan email pleas to Lauren to add to their wooing cycle.
2) JB is coming back once they clear some details on her contract, hopefully by the end of this week.
3) Yo is giving serious thought to giving us one more year. She had fun playing in China and might be up for another go.
4) Agler is working on closing the deal with a veteran point guard with a serious WNBA and international resume. The only UFA that fits that bill at WNBA.com in Shannon (Pee Wee) Johnson, but there could be other PG's in Europe that haven't played in the WNBA for a couple of years that might fit the bill as well.
5) Agler's ideal post rotation for the 2009 season would be LJ, Yo, JB, Camille Little and Ashley Robinson.
6) If Agler gets what he wants in the post he will hope to grab the best wing player available in the draft to compete for his final roster spot.
Sue, Mysterious Veteran
Tanisha, Sheryl, Draft Pick or Camp Invitee
Swin, Sheryl, Draft Pick or Camp Invitee
LJ, Camille, ARob
Yo, JB, ARob
That is an 11 player roster folks. That is all she wrote unless something falls through.
7) Agler answered Karen Bryant's request to give us some potential draftees to watch out for...his reply was to watch the following schools (I am adding the top seniors on those rosters for your perusal):
Pittsburgh: Shavonte Zellous (5'10" G)
In my overall top 20 senior prospect list at the moment. She is a very strong shooter, showing above 50% in all three shooting areas I track. The only areas she shows strong is Usage (her team depends on her) and Individual rating. I think someone else looking for shooting will snatch her up, but she could slide to the twelvth pick.
North Carolina: Rashanda McCants (6'1" SF)
McCants is just outside my top 25 list at the moment, but that is only because my stats can't track defense. She could be the best one on one wing defender in the NCAA at the moment. She is also a strong rebounder, coming in strong on rebounds per 40 minutes from the Small Forward position. She might be available at the 12th pick, but I doubt it. We will have to see how international players effect the draft this year.
Oklahoma: Ashley Paris (6'3" PF)
This is a pipe dream. We know Courtney is gone in the top five picks, but I think Ashley is gone in the top 10. She is in my overall top 5 list right now. She ranks in every statistical category I am tracking except Usage. Her team depends on her sister, not her, to win games. She is having a fabulous season, and has shown that she can be a great second post to a team with a strong post player.
California: Ashley Walker (6'1" PF)
Ashley Walker is in my top 5 list as well. She will go long before pick #12. She ranks in every statistical area I track. She is having a brilliant season and has been number one on my list a number of times this season.
California: Devanei Hampton (6'3" C)
I have heard she is a bit of a head case, but rumors are worthless. Then again her play this season hasn't been worth much at all. I don't see anyone taking her in the first round. Her talent could make her a steal in the later rounds, but only if she plays like she did early in her college career.
Texas A&M: Takia Starks (5'8" SG)
Starks is too small to play shooting guard in the pros, and her shooting is not so hot. I don't see her even getting drafted unless it is in the third round.
Texas A&M: Danielle Gant (5'11" SF)
Gant is in my top 10 and is very likely available at number 12. A true scorer, she ranks high in floor percentage and shoots over 50% in all the shooting stats I track. She tracks well in WinScore, BoxScore, offensive rebounding % and Individual Rating. Danielle could well be the pick. Should would have to play the shooting guard in the pros, and I would like to see her on the defensive end before I evaluate her.