Storm PF Lauren Jackson said she was running on fumes, but she looked good as she hit shots from various spots on the court in training camp practice this evening. Jackson arrived Sunday evening from her native Australia, missing the first two weeks of camp in order to participate in teammate Suzy Batkovic-Brown’s wedding.
But it’s still hard to get a clear look at the team because Batkovic-Brown won’t arrive until June 7 and F Swin Cash was out today with left knee swelling. She wore a white sleeve over the knee and cheered on the sideline.
Rookie Ashley Walker also sat out of the final portion with a calf injury, but Storm coach Brian Agler said she’s going to be fine. And, although C Janell Burse tweaked her left ankle at the end of the session, she should be good to practice on Tuesday.
It was sticky-hot in the gym and the practice went long, so hopefully the minor injuries are just a sign of tired bodies that will strengthen once the season gets under way and practice is shorter. Not a sign of the doom that only having 11 players could hold.
As players across the league are cut, Agler said he could hold onto guards A’Quonesia Franklin and Aja Praham until the deadline on Friday. He cut F La’Tangela Atkinson and C Kasha Terry on Sunday.
“It’s a tribute to them that they’re still here if you look around the league at who’s getting released right now,” Agler said of the invitees who did not play in the exhibition finale on Saturday. They trained with the practice squad today. “I think they’ve worked hard, they’re good players, they can play in this league and that’s why they’re here.”
In conversation, Agler mentions how not having guard-depth hurt his team last season. He’s wavering between having six guards or six posts this year, but it seems he’s going to go with three “traditional” backcourt players and have the rest confuse defenses with their ability to play all over the court.
Jackson said everyone looks better and that she’s ready to play.
“I feel more motivated now than I have in a little while,” said Jackson, who had right ankle surgery in August 2008. “It was fun to just get back out here and I love play under Brian. And the guys keep you pretty motivated as well, all you want to do is beat up on each other. I forgot how much fun that was. I’m just ready to go again.”