It’s always a fun weekend as the WNBA gathers to celebrate the world’s best players, with USA Basketball joining the mix for this year’s Stars at the Sun game. The Storm was well represented, even with Lauren Jackson sitting out as she continues on the road to recovery from her concussion (more on that process later today after the team’s early evening practice). For your reading pleasure from the weekend:
Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles leads Team USA over WNBA, 99-72 – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
“Sylvia is key; I don’t think there’s anybody in the world who can stop her when she has her mind set,” said Storm forward Swin Cash, who finished with 13 points and three assists. “As long as I’m around, I’m going to continue to push her because when you have somebody like that on your team that you know you need in order to win, it can’t always be the coach. It has to be Sue (Bird), it has to be Diana (Taurasi), it has to be me — not only getting on her, but motivating her and telling her she is that good.”
Storm stars Swin Cash, Sue Bird reunite with former college coach Geno Auriemma – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
Cash, the 2009 All-Star Game MVP, has been fighting for a spot on the roster since a back injury kept her out of the 2008 Olympic Games. She’s one of six UConn players who could be named to the U.S. team when rosters are due Sept. 21.
“She’s perfect for this team because she can do so many things,” said Auriemma, the coach of USA Basketball through the London Olympics in 2012. “I’m sure there are people out there who think because Geno’s the coach, they’ve got all these UConn people on the team.
Storm star Lauren Jackson practices with WNBA stars, but won’t play Saturday – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
Jackson, voted to the WNBA lineup by fans, will not play in the game against USA Basketball on Saturday due to suffering a concussion on July 3. Jackson missed Seattle’s win against New York on Tuesday and remains questionable for Wednesday’s game in Phoenix.
“I’m so much better,” said Jackson, who is still being evaluated. “I’m not symptomatic anymore. I was definitely beat up there for a minute, but life is good.”
Game thread: WNBA Stars vs. USA Basketball – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times Women’s Hoops Blog
A Priceless Lesson for USA Basketball – Frank Della Femina, WNBA.com
Fowles’ Dominant Performance a Welcome Sight to USA Teammates – Brian Martin, WNBA.com
“The only person who can stop her really is herself, as cliché as that is, but it’s very true in Sylvia’s case,” said Bird. “Coach Auriemma knows that and he really gets on her and he wants her to be that dominant player. She had an okay first half but for her to respond the way she did in the second and just basically get every rebound and hit every layup, that was great and we’re going to need that from her.”
Q. How much would you say the absence of Lauren Jackson hurt you today?
COACH AGLER: Well, I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome because, you know, there was quite a difference in the score. But, I mean, you’re talking about arguably the best player in the world, impacting both ends of the floor. I’ve said this multiple times. The reason that she is so valuable is the fact that she really dominates at both ends of the floor. She’s not just an offensive player. You’re talking about somebody that can defend multiple people, that can alter shots and block shots, that can roam the lane and really impact things that happen around the basket.
Win a good start for Team USA – Graham Hayes, ESPN.com
Lobo: You can definitely tell a difference when Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are on the court because they have so much experience playing together. Whether it was playing alongside each other at UConn, or internationally with the Olympic team, or in the offseason in Russia, they share a special chemistry.
Looking at USA vs. Australia Scrimmage – DishinNSwishin, SwishAppeal.com
Abby Bishop played extremely well against her WNBA counterparts, and had a very nice pump fake, dribble jump shot combo that she used a couple of times in hitting 5 of 8 shots for 11 points.