Storm coach Brian Agler was pleased with the closed-door scrimmage his team ran through this afternoon in Las Vegas. Seattle played a round-robin-type format against Phoenix and Sacramento, which was without PG Ticha Penicheiro (shoulder).
“It was my first time,” he said via cell phone this evening. “I liked the format. We had the chance to play a lot more people and evaluate more. You could play and analyze what just happened [instead of waiting after a complete game]. It was good.”
Agler said the Storm started slow, but started to play the way he wanted toward the end, with C Ashley Robinson standing out as “someone who had a good day.” Robinson, a 6-foot-5 returnee, is in a camp battle for the post position and worked on her shooting while playing in Turkey this offseason. The focus has carried over to camp.
“I was on a team where my coach let me shoot 20 times a game,” said Robinson, who replaced F Camille Little on the Turkish squad. “It sounds weird, but when you go and you only score two points every now and then and then, to go score 22 points in a game? It does something. It at least proves to yourself that you can put the ball in the hole.”
Robinson averaged 0.9 points, 10.1 minutes and appeared in 33 games last season. Adding scoring could help her secure a spot because of the limited rosters (11 players) and need for versatility plus productivity.
Janelle Burse, Kasha Terry, Ashley Walker, and Little are also in contention for the post positions. Australians Suzy Batkovic and Lauren Jackson aren’t in camp and will be on the opening-day roster.
“We still have some kinks to workout — ball movement and playing with what we’re given,” said Terry of the scrimmage. She played minutes with G A’Quonesia Franklin, G Aja Parham, F La’Tangela Atkinson, and either Burse or Robinson. “Competition all-around was pretty tough. You have to stay on your toes.”
Storm G Sue Bird played in the 10-minute games today as well as G Tanisha Wright, who first practiced on Sunday and still needs time to adjust to tweaks in the system, according to Agler. Both are probable starters from Saturday’s exhibition finale at Phoenix.
Teammate Swin Cash worked with assistant coach Shelley Patterson. Agler said she could participate in contact drills Friday in Phoenix.
“If I were a guessing person, I would guess she would be in some contact tomorrow,” Agler said.