The WNBA announced its 2014 WNBA All-Star reserves with Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike becoming the first siblings to get selections in the same year. Although most of the players the Swish Appeal staff selected made it, there were a few surprises.
The WNBA announced its 2014 WNBA All-Star reserves on ESPN during tonight’s game in Indianapolis with three additional first-timers being added to the Eastern Conference roster, including star Connecticut Sun Chiney Ogwumike.
After fan selections were announced last week, the league’s 12 coaches voted on the reserves by choosing two guards, three frontcourt players, and one player independent of position. Since that official voting breakdown is not released, the following is a list of the 2014 reserves by sorted first by position and then by alphabetical order with the extra player just added to the bottom.
The 2014 WNBA All-Star Reserves
San Antonio Stars
New York Liberty
Erika de Souza
2014 WNBA All-Star reserves (click here to see the starters for each conference)
Top Rookie of the Year candidate Chiney Ogwumike will be joined by fellow reserves Chicago Sky forward Jessica Breland and Indiana Fever point guard Briann January as first-time All-Stars. Chiney will also be joined by sister Nneka who was selected to the Western Conference squad.
That the Ogwumike sisters were selected was an expected development, as were most of the picks: Albert, Pat and I were in agreement on five of the six West reserves and three in the East. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t also some surprises.
All-Star reserve surprises
The biggest surprise here might’ve been Briann January’s selection to the Eastern Conference squad. Tiffany Hayes was a player that Albert, Pat and I all agreed should make the team and January’s selection is probably part of what left Hayes off the team.
January’s selection does make sense if coaches felt the need to select a point guard: based on the numbers posted here earlier today, January was arguably the best true distributor left on the board (as in she has an assist ratio above 23%). If you subscribe to the notion that point guards should have a spot reserved for them, that choice makes some sense – obviously, I only half-committed to that by picking the most efficient healthy ball handler in the East. If not, January probably stands out as the biggest head scratcher in the game.
However, with January missing tonight’s game against the L.A. Sparks with a hyper-extended knee, it’s unclear if she’ll even play.
In the Western Conference, Glory Johnson might be mildly surprising for some: none of us had her in our top six reserve choices and a strong statistical argument could be made for Courtney Paris being the better (and more significant) player on the Tulsa Shock this season. Still, Johnson has the third-highest offensive rebounding percentage in the Western Conference and normally gets the tougher defensive assignment in the frontcourt for the Shock.
Seattle, Washington left out of this year’s game
Two teams were left without a selection this year: the Seattle Storm in the Western Conference and the Washington Mystics in the East.
For the Storm, forward Crystal Langhorne probably had the best chance of making it but it was a tight competition between her Johnson and Paris to begin with. Storm point guard Sue Bird is clearly the most prominent player left out of the game from those two teams and there will likely be some debate among fans about whether she should be in it. Yet as described earlier today Bird there are arguably four other point guards simply having better seasons to this point, which would’ve made adding her difficult.
Washington’s Emma Meesseman similarly faced a numbers game where Tamika Catchings getting a spot as a Eastern Conference starter despite being injured for most of the season limited the number of frontcourt spots available. And Catchings’ teammate Erlana Larkins probably has at least a big a gripe as any of those players, as someone that Albert, Pat and I all believed should be in the game.
We’ll discuss snubs in more depth tomorrow, but with January, Seimone Augustus and Elena Delle Donne currently out with injuries, that leaves open the possibly of someone being named to the game as a replacement player. Replacements will be named by WNBA President Laurel Richie.
For now, tell us who you think the biggest snub is by voting in the poll below.
For more analysis on why each of these players was a worthy choice for the game, check out today’s earlier stats post. For more analysis of the All-Star rosters, check out our 2014 WNBA All-Star Game section.
Poll Who was the biggest snub from the 2014 All-Star Game roster?
- Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta Dream
- Crystal Langhorne, Seattle Storm
- Erlana Larkins, Indiana Fever
- Camille Little, Seattle Storm
- Emma Meesseman, Washington Mystics
- Courtney Paris, Tulsa Shock
- Epiphanny Prince, Chicago Sky
- Penny Taylor, Phoenix Mercury
- Shavonte Zellous, Indiana Fever
- Other (please tell us who in the comments)
33 votes | Results