Ask The Messenger

When you have questions, takes you to the inside sources for answers. Ask The Messenger your most pressing questions, even the silly ones! Fever PR guy Kevin Messenger will field your questions and deliver your answers!

Submit Questions | Straight From The Messenger

  • All submitted questions must include your first name and hometown to be considered.
  • Not all questions will be answered, but all will be reviewed.

    Please note: This is a forum for team, franchise and player-related questions and answers only. Requests of a personal nature will not be accepted. Requests for player apperances should be sent to the Community Relations department.

    Ask The Messenger | July 27, 2008

    Q: Hello Messenger! I'm a faithful Fever Fan for the last 4 years and this year at the beginning of the season, I was super stoked becuase of the new line-up and the chance to really win it all this year. Unforunately, the season has been a let down all most to me. My questions are these: With Tan White being a scorer, not a point guard, why is she still being are point guard, or just bringing the ball up the court? Her assist to turnover....its disturbing. And secondly, I admire Coach Dunn and respect her passion for the game, but is she really leading the team in the right direction at this point? Yes, its her first year, but something is not clicking and she still hasn't found out what it is. But I will stick with the Fever becuase when its playoff time, things change... Thanks! (John Mac from Indianapolis)

    A: John, I'm giving you credit for two good questions. The first, about Tan, is pretty simple --- no, she is not the preferred point guard. You're right, she is absolutely a "2" guard and a shooting guard, and vulnerable to turnovers. The reason for her recent ballhandling at the point, though, is rather simple, two of our four guards are on the shelf right now. Tully Bevilaqua is in Australia, and Sherill Baker still has a cast on her wrist. That leaves Tan, LaToya Bond and Katie Douglas as our primary ballhandlers until after the Olympic Break. It's not ideal, but we have to go with it. LaToya started the game at Chicago last Tuesday, the first game without Tully. Tan came on in relief and the coaching staff was, shall we say, "more pleased" with Tan in that role. Plus, psychologically, it gets Tan back into the starting lineup.

    As for the comment on Coach Dunn, I think that it is fair for anyone to question. I'm not certain that anybody has all the answers, though, and I do believe that any coach in his or her first season --- especially with some of the roster turnover that we've had --- deserves a fair shot. So I'm not ever going to be critical in this regard and I'm not sure I'd be a truly qualified critic, anyway. But from the standpoint that we have very definitely struggled and already lost as many games as we did in any of our three previous seasons, I think that it is fair for the coach to be criticized or questioned by our fans. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and we absolutely welcome our fans' passions, which certainly includes the valid concerns you have shared.

    I don't think I totally answered your second question, haha! Point is, though, I'm not sure it's capable of being answered just yet! And regardless of eventual answers, it's a valid question for fans to ask. Our team is your team ... and while decisions might not always be made publically, we always welcome the enthusiasm and passion and concern.

    Ask The Messenger | July 27, 2008

    Q: Kevin, I watched the outdoor game on TV and I was at the Seattle game. It seemed like Lin put Kristen Mann a lot more. Mann is really good and I think she needs more playing time to get some good points. She was really good when she played for Minnesota and she got some good minutes and contributed a lot. Do you think she deserves more time on the floor? (Emily from Indianapolis)

    A: Yes, I think she at least deserves a little more of a look than she's receiving, though I can't speak for what decisions are being made, or how or why. The trade for Mann occurred in part because we wanted reserve help at the "3" and "4" spots, and she was someone who could fill both roles. But since her arrival, Tamika Catchings has become much more healthy which has taken most of those reserve minutes. And we've also been struggling from a shooting standpoint which has thrust Allison Feaster into a little more of a shooting role. The big question is, where are those minutes going to be found, in order to get her onto the floor? Or, from another perspective, is it really a priority to get her any additional minutes?

    Ask The Messenger | July 17, 2008

    Q: Kevin, I read your last review. I agree with what you said about some of the things the Fever are lacking. ONE ANSWER --- IVORY LATTA!!!!!!! I could not believe when both the Fever and the Liberty passed up on Ivory Latta in the Draft!!!! Look at some of her stats so far this year: 3 pt% = 37%, A/TO ratio = 83/37 = 2.24. I was a big fan of hers in College. She not only can play, she has that "swagger" that most of the great players have and especially need today, and that is especially what the Liberty has lacked since losing Theresa Weatherspoon. (Alan)

    A: Alan, thanks. I like Latta, too, and was surprised that Detroit traded her to the Dream early this season as part of the Expansion Draft. To your question, if you meant this year's draft, she was selected in '07 by the Shock. She was the 11th overall selection, after we had chosen Alison Bales with the ninth pick. At the time, the Fever had really wanted a shooter, and really coveted Katie Gearlds, who was selected sixth by Anne Donovan, then with the Storm. Our second option was to go big. We didn't anticipate the 6-7 Bales being on the board, so we went with size.

    Being where we are now, yeah, perhaps it might have made sense to grab Latta. Hindsight is always nice, and it's why fans always have the best answers, right?

    Taking another look down our lineup, though, I also think we've done well for ourselves in picking up Sherill Baker. I do think she is a player that we really miss in the lineup right now. Problem is, she's nursing a bruised wrist and we're not getting anything out of her when we could use her. We did lack quickness against Latta and the dream. Our backcourt has been struggling. But Baker is our quickest guard, a strong defender and perhaps our best penetrator. She's a nice player off the bench ... and I'd bet that Latta, or Betty Lennox, might not have been as dominant yesterday if we had another quick guard to defend.

    Ask The Messenger | July 17, 2008

    Q: Hi. It seemed like Kasha and Allison played with a calm confidence against the fever. I saw Kasha swipe Ebony s hand off from her at one time. She played with an attitude. I wish that they could have developed like that while they were still here. Bernie is great. I fear that she might go the same route as Kasha though, if she does not get enough time to relax and get into her game. (David)

    A: Thanks for your question, Dave. And yes, I, too, thought that both Kasha Terry and Alison Bales played with a different tenacity in yesterday's game, than when we were used to seeing them. It was nice to see that. It's unfortunate that we had not seen it consistently while they were in Fever colors. Regarding Bernadette, I think her biggest obstacle still is the language. Even in my limited "conversations" with her, I think she is becoming more comfortable. We all saw that great game she played against the Sparks early in the season, and we all remember that so clearly and we wonder, "why can't she do that every night?" Very often, as our sets and lineups have continued changing, several players have had difficulty with adjusting and I'm sure Bernie's language barrier doesn't make it any easier.

    Ask The Messenger | July 13, 2008

    Q: When does Tully leave to prepare for Olympics? I know LJ played her final game last night. Thanks. (Mike in Washington, D.C.)

    A: Tully will play the Outdoor Game in New York, on July 19. She will return to Australia, from N.Y., on Sunday, July 20. Should the Outdoor Game be canceled due to weather and the game be played Sunday at Madison Square Garden, Tully will not play in that game.

    Ask The Messenger | July 12, 2008

    Q: Hi Kevin, we are big fans and my wife and I enjoy reading your entries. I heard the coaches yelling "PUSH IT!" a lot at the outdoor practice on Thursday. Do you think we will finally see the uptempo offense that Lin Dunn spoke of early in the season against Chicago on Saturday? The 48 points vs Washington was embarrassing with all of the scorers we have! (Heather and Michael)

    A: Michael, I can tell you that I hear Lin shouting to "push it" during every practice. That's not new, even though it may have been the first you'd actually heard her saying it. The 48 points at Washington, in my estimation, was more a product of missed shots, poor shots and the inability to find better shots. Certainly we will find our best shots in transition and yes, we are always wanting to push the tempo. However, we are not the quickest of teams - and especially against an athletic team like the Mystics. At virtually every position in that game, their matchup was quicker than the Fever - thus making it difficult to score in transition or even find penetration in the half-court. Our inability to score in the half-court offense has plagued this team for awhile now, for multiple reasons. That's one reason to try and push tempo and not get stagnant in a half-court game.

    That is one of the reasons that I've liked seeing the emergence of LaToya Bond and Sherill Baker this season. They give us an alternative to Tully Bevilaqua at the point. We all love Tully, but her strength is not breaking down defenses on the drive, nor is her strength to beat zones with her shot. Therefore, teams are not always forced to defend her. That's not the case with Bond and Baker. But they have their own deficiencies on the defensive end sometimes, and with Sherill out of the lineup temporarily, it limits our versatility somewhat. My guess is that Baker would have seen considerable minutes against the Mystics.

    Ask The Messenger | July 9, 2008

    Q: My question is why are we struggling so much on the road? The game with Washington was a prime example and was very disappointing for the fans and I am sure it is for the players as well. We have such a great group of players that I think everyone is scratching their head as to what is going on. We had such high expectations this year for the Fever. I realize that it takes some time for the players to adjust with Tamika coming back – but they also played better at the beginning of the season and she was not in the line up. This is the time to make the run and I hope we are in it to do just that – but we have to learn to win on the road and play our A game for 40 minutes – not the first quarter or half. (Barb from Henryville)

    A: Well stated, Barb, well put. I don't have that answer. I think we're all scratching our heads a bit at that loss in Washington.

    Ask The Messenger | July 6, 2008

    Q: Just wondering if the outdoor game between NY & the Fever is going to be carried on local TV. I know the game will be carried on MSG TV, but it appears that no other outlets are going to be picking it for broadcast. Why hasn't the Fox-Indiana or NBA picked it up yet? If I could afford to go the NY for the game I would have booked a flight. However since can't I can't afford it, it appears that myself an the majority for the Fever Fans will only be listen to game.

    Since this game is the first outside game for professional basketball I am kind of surprised and yet not surprised that no one is picking up TV rights to the game. It still is very disappointing that after 9 seasons for Indiana and several more the WNBA that the respect is still not there for the WNBA. We all know if it was a NBA game it would have been picked up by ESPN or Fox as soon as it was mentioned. (Marge from Indianapolis)

    A: Marge, I can assure you that a local viewing opportunity is in the works. I share some of the frustration in scheduling more games for TV, but I also have to be realistic about the economics of the situation. I can't speak for ESPN about carrying this game. The game has always been a part of the Liberty's local TV package on the MSG Network, so it's always been planned for television. If the game is to be fed locally in Indianapolis, though, it probably won't be without the Fever likely paying a substantial fee for the feed from MSG. Hence it comes down to sponsorship and economics.

    We have a great league, and a growing league with growing sponsorships. But the reality is that television costs dollars and we're not yet to the point where producing games across the country is automatic. [Notice that our local package on FSN on produces local games from Conseco Fieldhouse.]

    Ask The Messenger | July 8, 2008

    Q: G'day there, more of a comment than a question. Huge congrats to Tully, she has had a couple of articles down under about getting her first shot at the olympics. Glad to see her team/state are as proud of her (don't know if they will be when she is playing against you guys and winning!), but you guys should be cheering Aussie, Aussie, Aussie Oi, Oi, Oi! (I know pronounced the same, but us Aussies are particular!). Looking forward to the Olympics and of course the Aussies winning! (Jess from Australia)

    A: Jess, thanks!

    First, let me assure you, we have fans cheering Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi, Oi, Oi every game! Especially last night! And thanks for the spelling clarification. Perhaps you'll write back and tell us what it means? Haha.

    As for the Olympics, let me say this ... if Tully is winning, we'll be happy. Of course, we also want for our Americans to win as well, but Tully deserves it and wish her absolutely the best, even if that means a silver medal for our Red, White and Blue. OK, we might prefer it the other way around, but in all sincerity, we like to claim Tully as one of our own and we really do wish her and her "other" team the very best of luck in Beijing.

    Ask The Messenger | July 6, 2008

    Q: What's with Baker's wrist? (Linda from Kokoma)

    A: Linda, great question. In fact, I know our medical staff is curious about it themselves. We know that she tweaked it slightly in the game at Houston a week ago, but there was no apparent injury. Each day, she's been treated slightly by our trainers, but there was never any evidence of significant injury and she had continued playing and practicing with no significant discomfort. Yesterday, however, prior to morning shooting practice, it had swelled for the first time and it became a greater concern. Last night's wrap was the first it had been wrap. We'll call her day-to-day for the time being, with a right wrist sprain.

    Ask The Messenger | July 6, 2008

    Q: What has happened to KT? It just seems like she stopped playing the game. They need to take her out and put Tan in, Tan has been playing so well. She deserves to be in the game, she has played her heart out and done well for the team. Lin needs to think about that, and what is good for the well fare of the whole team. Just a thought. With Ebony, Tully, Tan, Catch, and Tammy, I think we could take it all the way and bring home a CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. (Mel from Pendleton)

    A: Mel, are we watching the same games? Obviously, KT has struggled of late, as compared to her red-hot beginning. In a way, I think she raised the bar of her own expectations by the way she started the season. KT is not going to carry this team all season long. That's my first point. But where I actually disagree with you is the recent play of Tan White. I won't bore you with numbers ... but during our 2-5 stretch recently, Tan's shooting numbers and turnovers were the worst on the team. In part, it did coincide with losing a spot as a starter when Catchings made her way back into the lineup. Perhaps that was a mental thing -- and you've seen in our two home games last week that Lin reverted to putting Tan back in the starting lineup. It's helped a little, but prior to that, KT and Tan, both, had shot horribly over the previous 6 to 8 games.

    Ask The Messenger | July 6, 2008

    Q: Hi Kevin, What has happened to our Fever? I am just speechless when it comes to the team these days. We have a collection of some of the best talent around and now have one of the worst records we have had in years. I know the turnovers are way up but it seems like they just aren't clicking as a team. What's your opinion on our problem and what can we do to "fix" it? Is Lynn's coaching so different now that the players are having difficulty with the plays, is it the return of Tamika into the lineup, rotating to many players...I just don't know but it needs a tune-up real quick! We need help and fast!! (KC in Indianapolis)

    A: KC, I'm smiling while answering this. And it's not because it's been a few days since answering and we've won two-in-a-row since you asked your question. Simply put ... I love your passion, for that is what raises your sense of urgency. But I'm going to answer the same as if I had answered a week ago --- and that is to say, yes, we needed a tune-up but we're not in dire straights and there is absolutely no reason to panic.

    [Putting myself back in time prior to our last two wins, and the 4th of July trade.]

    Let me caution you and say that I genuinely have been disappointed in our four recent road losses. We didn't play well in at least two of those, and the triple-overtime game was not only a hearbreaker but perhaps a back-breaker with regard to the dismal effort two nights later in Houston.

    Yes, we have some of the best talent. But what people have got to realize is that the Tamika Catchings that has been active on the floor through her first 7-8 games, is NOT the same Tamika that fans have been accustomed to seeing. She's not yet the same player. So, I have to plead with you and other fans, to be patient. Really. We have time. None of us like losing and we've not played well, agreed. But yes, there is absolutely time to right the ship!

    I'll address this at greater length in an upcoming blog, but I'll break our season into three parts so far ... Without Catchings; Catchings Rehab; and Turning The Corner.

    We were 5-3 to begin the year, and that was great. I wrote in an early blog that I felt we should consider ourselves fortunate to be 3-2 in our first five games. We were 4-1. Things were great. Then we began integrating Catchings into the lineup. Good thing, right? Yes, obviously, but it required a change. And it came at precisely the same time that we began a six-games-in-11-days schedule. That meant no real practice time. Plus, after every game that Catchings played at first, she often sat through most of our limited practice sessions. That integration is a difficult thing when coaches don't have significant time to really work on details - and without that person who is being integrated into the lineup! We were 2-5 in that stretch, and that's obviously why you wrote your question!

    But there still is plenty of time left. And, as the team returned home, we had time to get onto the practice floor again. And time to heal. And, voila, two wins this week. Have we turned the corner entirely? Are we where we need to be? Is it time to relax and say all is solved? No, not yet. But we're on the way.

    Ask The Messenger | June 27, 2008

    Q: Hey this is luke from Memphis and I want to go to a fever game and sit on the floor… 7 considered a group? And is the cost for 7 people to sit on the floor $79. (Luke in Memphis)

    A: Luke, if you click on this link, it will direct you to a Fever seating chart for Conseco Fieldhouse. This link will give you more information about Indiana Fever group outings. That will give you the appropriate prices for different levels of seats. One of our ticket representatives could assist you more directly, but ordinarily, no, seven people would not usually constitute group rates. Typically, I think 20 people would qualify for a group. If you called (317) 917-2500 and asked for a Fever sales consultant, I'm sure they could get you great seats. We have good seats available for most games, and attending a Fever game with a group is a fun way to go. Thanks for your interest!

    Ask The Messenger | June 27, 2008

    Q: Why does Khadijah play only sparingly amounts of time. She was a consistent double-double in collage.Now she never sees the floor. (Mari Ellen)

    A: Mari, thanks for your note. The simplest answer is that on a team of veterans, she is our only rookie. The WNBA is a pretty significant leap in talent from the college game and, while the Fever staff is enthusiastic about Khadijah's future, she is not an automatic contributor on the court. She was the 26th selection in a very deep draft this past April. She will play and she will continue to gain minutes and show improvement, I'm sure. But she will also bide her time as a reserve, and in many games may be designative as "inactive." We carry 12 players on our roster, and WNBA rules allow for only 11 active players each game. KD has been that player through most of our early season.

    Ask The Messenger | June 21, 2008

    Q: Is Carlos Knox with the Fever. If so, in what capacity? (Mike from Indianapolis)

    A: Mike, yes, former IUPUI scoring star Carlos Knox is indeed involved with the team this season, though not in an official capacity. During Tamika Catchings' winter rehabilitation, Carlos began assisting with some of her workouts and his involvement has continued into the season with the Fever. And his involvement has extended beyond work with just Catchings. Carlos attends most Fever practices as serves as what I will call a "volunteer coach." It is obviously a benefit to have a former player involved with our program, with his knowledge and abilities.

    Ask The Messenger | May 27, 2008

    Q: What happened to Kristen Newlin? (Joyce from Denver, Colo.)

    A: Kristen was waived during the final week of training camp.

    Ask The Messenger | May 22, 2008

    Q: Know you mentioned in the preseason that Dunn wants to play faster this season in one of the previous blogs. Did we see that more against Detroit (86 possessions instead of the 72 vs Washington)? (Mike from Washington, D.C.)

    A: Mike, I'm not sure if the increased possessions was a product of anything that Indiana did, or Detroit. With Deanna Nolan of course, the Shock likes to get out on the break, too. Remember that we also turned the ball over a ton last night. Quicker tempo, or not, we need to control to ball to be effective. I think what you will see is, if not more running or transition, certainly more attacking the basket in both transition and the half-court offense.

    Ask The Messenger | May 21, 2008

    Q: Where was Bernadette Ngoyisa on opening night? (Becky from Indianapolis)

    A: Becky, good question, I knew that people would have wondered about her. When we made the trade with Chicago last week, we actually traded for her negotiating rights. She did not play in 2007, but Chicago still owned her rights. Kelly Krauskopf is hopeful of signing her soon. My guess is that we may see her within a couple of weeks.

    On a related note, the Fever waived Laine Selwyn following Monday's practice, and anticipate signing another guard later this week. At whatever point that Ngoyisa arrives, because of our salary cap, the Fever will likely need to waive one more person. Indiana expects to carry a roster of 12 players.

    Ask The Messenger | May 14, 2008

    Q: Kevin-What do you anticipate as the starting line-up to begin the 2008 season this Saturday? (Becky from Indianapolis)

    A: Hi Becky! I look forward to seeing your 3-point high-fives up and down the steps again this season! OK, here's my totally uneducated guesstimate, even though we know that Douglas, Hoffman and Sutton-Brown won't arrive until later this week. I'll give you Sutton-Brown in the post, even though when she arrived in similar fashion last year, she played but actually didn't start the opener. And her Turkish teammate Hoffman will get the nod at the 4. I think she is more natural there than Alison Bales, though Bales will see time there and given Hoffman's late arrival, Ali could start. At the 3, we have the third late arrival, Ms Douglas. The backcourt is probably pretty easy - Tan White and Tully Bevilaqua. The only other name to factor in could be Allison Feaster. She played a really nice game at Seattle and will give the club some very good leadership. If the coaches like Tan's presence off the bench and want to see more of Feaster's leadership, seeing her start at the off-guard wouldn't shock me. There you have it, my unofficial seven-player starting lineup guesstimate. You didn't expect me to be definitive, did you?

    Ask The Messenger | May 13, 2008

    Q: Tamika Catchings - any new update on her status? Is it still really up in the air or are we more and more thinking not till the Olympics? With all the late arrivals and new pieces can we expect a slower start this year especially if Catchings cant go? Thanks for your coverage of the Fever and I love the blog. Thanks! (Mike from Washington, D.C.)

    A: As Lin Dunn put it during a Season Ticket Holders event the other night, "we don't know exactly when she will be back, but we DO know she WILL be back!" There is no exact timetable for her return. Now, don't take that as a negative. That only means that her status will not be rushed! For the good of her career, and of course for the good of her status for the upcoming Olympics, there is absolutely nothing good that could come from a return too early. Therefore, the Fever will be very careful. Heck, Tamika would rather be back in action tomorrow - I can assure you of that! But the Fever will continue to be careful with her. I have seen her cutting on the floor and beginning to work hard in more and more basketball-related activities. She even practiced briefly with the team for the first time on Tuesday afternoon. What I have not seen her doing, yet, is any sort of jumping. I'm no medical professional, but following an Achilles tendon surgery, I would imagine that would be one of her final phases. She is working hard, daily. And I think she's getting close - which is right on schedule with the doctors' initial estimates of about nine months. She won't play Saturday, of course. And realistically, I'm not expecting to see her in game action until at least June. Will she miss five games? Six? 10? 12? No telling and I can't even wager a guess.

    As for your second question ... I would not be surprised to see a slow start. I think that's fair to imagine and I say that for two reasons: one, is the Catchings factor, of course; and the second is that with some of our changes and new pieces, I think it is fair to expect a slow learning curve for the first week or two. Plus, a third reason is to consider our early season schedule -- after the opener vs. Washington, we're at Detroit, at Connecticut, home vs. the new-look Sparks, then home against the Shock again. I've seen a couple of early predictions, and the Shock and Sparks are picked as conference champions in both. They comprise three of our first five games, plus a date with perennial power and East rival Connecticut. Realistically, without Catch and knowing that three starters won't arrive until at least Thursday or Friday, I think that a 3-2 or 2-3 start will be pretty decent. That will leave 29 games to play and lots and lots of chances to get back toward 20 wins and another playoff run!

    Ask The Messenger | May 12, 2008

    Q: Hi! I really like your column. here's the question: why didn't we do a sign & trade with Anna DeForge? I know she was unrestricted but wouldn't it have made good sense to offer her a little more than Minnesota and then make a trade? Ideally I would have liked to have had her re-sign with us regardless, and then play Katie at the 3 and move Tamika to the 4, as we have a huge hole there now without Whit. thanks! (JC Morgan)

    A: JC, your question is a good one, at least from the standpoint that yes, I know that we had hoped to re-sign Anna, and for just that reason. There was an initial hope to be able to play Anna at the 2, Katie the 3 and Tamika at the 4. Nice lineup! But being that she was unrestricted, and I can't say this for sure because I'm not at all involved in the negotiations process, we really had little to do with her signing with the Lynx. I know that Kelly Krauskopf was in conversations with her, but we might not even have known the dollars being offered to her by Minnesota. A sign & trade was likely not an option. Anna made the choice that she felt was best for her own interests, and we obviously wish her well. She was a great asset to the Fever for two years, and she was instrumental in our efforts in the 2007 playoffs.

    Ask The Messenger | May 10, 2008

    Q: Do you have any information on Kelly Schumacher? She has always been a long time favorite of my daughter since her days in Indy and is a class act. I’ve noticed she isn’t on the Phoenix training camp roster and she isn’t listed signing with anyone else. (Jon in Oakland, Calif.)

    A: Jon, I'll tell you, honestly, no I don't! I've actually looked on a few websites and I don't see her on a WNBA club right now. She played in Russia last winter. I'll try to find out more.

    Ask The Messenger | April 11, 2008

    Q: With KT and Allison Feaster now with the team, and the drafting of Khadjah Whittington (who should have been a first rounder) This team is better than last year. My question is, has the Fever considered signing Ashley Robinson from the Storm to a contract? If Ebony steps up this year, things will be great, but it never hurts to have a little insurance. There's signs the Storm would not try to keep her. (Brian in Nevada)

    A: Brian, I cannot speak to the contract situation with Ashley Robinson. Yes, we are looking for a good year from Ebony Hoffman, and yes, I know that with the absence of Tamika Whitmore, the Fever will hope that she steps up her game. I can only surmise though, that at some point, even if Robinson were an interest, the Fever could be limited by the salary cap when it comes to signing too many free agents.

    Ask The Messenger | March 4, 2008

    Q: Why don't the fever list the players on thier website who sign a training camp contract? It seems that the Sparks are the only team that list anything at all for 2008. (Brian in Nevada)

    A: Brian, I can't speak for other WNBA teams, but the Fever does announce all of its free agents. We have done that each season. Sometimes the timing has varied, and they are not always announced at the time of each individual signing.

    Ask The Messenger | March 4, 2008

    Q: I was just wondering..doesn't Tan White have a contract? I heard that they were going to extend her contract to this year. i was just worried because I am her biggest fan and i didnt want her to leave so soon. (Shardonae in Indianapolis)

    A: Shardonae, no worries. Tan is already under contract for 2008!

    Ask The Messenger | February 27, 2008

    Q: Hi Kevin, thanks for the insight on the DeForge vs. Douglas scenario. I have to say that being a big DeForge fan it was sad to hear that she had signed with the Lynx. BUT, I have been a Douglas fan since her days at Purdue with Stephanie White....which by the way would have been a HUGE fan draw had she been brought in as an assistant coach! I wish Anna continued success (except against us of course) with her new team and glad to see Katie back home where she belongs!! My question is this: What is the status of Sheri Sam? With Tamika, Tully and now Katie on the defensive end, all we need is to have Sheri to top off one of not the best defensive teams in the WNBA for 2008! Are there any plans to re-sign Sheri? Any thoughts? (KC in Indianapolis)

    A: Yes, KC, I know that Kelly Krauskopf is hoping to re-sign all of the free agents from last year's team. Hoffman and Sutton-Brown are locked-up and Catchings will follow shortly. Anna got away unfortunately, but hopefully Sheri will return, too.

    I like the role that Sheri played late last season, especially when Catch got hurt. Her maturity and experience was reflected on the court, and it helped us get through that six-game losing streak. I am not certain when Sheri will return from playing overseas, but I do know that she could be an important contributor again, especially until Catchings returns to full strength. And yes, how about that defense? Lin Dunn will certainly play a pressure style of defense, and you can expect the Fever to play a little more up-tempo than the past few years. Thanks for the question!

    Ask The Messenger | February 27, 2008

    Q: It is great to have Katie Douglas back in the state of Indiana. As an experienced veteran I believe she will be an invaluable asset to the team. Can you tell us if there is any plans to bring back another loved Katie, Katie Gearlds? I know she has expressed gratitude to Seattle but often talks in her webpage of missing home, family, and friend. Any word on any more possible homecomings? If not for this year could we ever see her come home as well and be a part of the Fever family which she watched growing up as a little kid? (Sarah Ziegler in Fishers, Ind.)

    A: Sarah, thanks for the question! Obviously we would love having more hometown players! And I can tell you that the Fever had hoped to draft Katie Gearlds in last year's draft. The Katie Douglas trade was a long time in coming, and she is an seven-year veteran who had the benefit and leverage of free agency. With Katie Gearlds only being a rookie, she will have three more seasons before she becomes a free agent, and then the stars will have to align properly for that move to take place! Fortunately for Douglas and for the Fever, those stars aligned quite nicely within the past week.

    Ask The Messenger | February 22, 2008

    Q: Great we got Katie..what a disappointment to lose Anna. That was a huge loss. Also..what are they doing for our weak center position? Tammy S-B couldn't play worth a hoot last season with the guard on her face. We really broke down in our rebound and scoring. Another thing..Alison she returning? Are they spending time to teach her to be an assertive player? I hope giving up our first round doesn't hurt us. I hope when Amber Harris is up for grabs in the next yr or so..we get her!!! I apologize if any of this comes across so critical, oh, and I also forgot to mention Ebony Hoffman -- will she be back?...I am sooooo happy with Linn Dunn as Coach..what are her plans to strengthen our team and add speed? (Deb in Indianapolis)

    A: Alright, Deb, here goes! You've given me lots of ground to cover! On signing Katie, what more can I say? I just wrote my thoughts in my blog, so I'll direct you there for any more on Douglas.

    Regarding the center position, I'm not ready to say that we were weak at that position. And no, I don't mind you being critical ... we want our fans to be concerned and if that's your concern, than so be it! While I think that we were inconsistent in getting good, quality production out of our post last year, I don't think it was really a weakness. From an offensive standpoint, we struggled to score baskets alot of times - inside and outside. Not every team is going to have All-Star players at all five spots on the floor, so you often have to put people in the right positions in order for them to excel. Taking Tammy, for instance, she is never going to be a bruiser inside. That's not her game. Does that make her a bad player? Of course not. Does it make us weak at that position? Not necessarily.

    When did Tammy play her best games last year? In the first half of the season when we were running more. And that is absolutely her game. She will beat most post players up and down the floor. How many other centers do you see in the WNBA or NBA beating other players up and down the floor for fast break layups? She can't be expected to run and run and run, during every possession, but she is agreeably more of a finesse player than a bruiser. So, we need to put her in those positions. We began to struggle when Tamika Catchings got hurt last year. And I'm honestly not sure why, but what it did was put people into different situations and the Fever certainly didn't adapt too well. I don't think it was solely her absence that was cause for our struggles, but if it allowed other teams to pack defenses more tightly against us, then that takes away Tammy's game.

    Yes, Alison Bales will be back for a second pro season, and yes, Ebony is back! She was made a three-year offer by Phoenix, but Kelly Krauskopf matched the free agency offer and she'll be back for 2008, no matter what name she wears on the back of her jersey!

    On Amber Harris, well, we'll have to wait and watch her college career progress at Xavier! She is another great product of our state, but if she goes too high in the draft, it might be difficult for the Fever to snag her --- if we continue having success on the court and drafting at the bottom of the pool!

    On Coach Dunn - yes, we're all excited about a new direction and a new staff. We had a great team last year. But she is certainly a very dynamic person and, given a floor full of talent, I'm sure we'll all have fun watching how she assembles her team. Gary Kloppenburg is a very knowledgable assistant coach who has been with Lin previously, and Jim Lewis, signed just today officially, has a boatload of experience! Lewis actually coached Catchings in USA Basketball circles about 10 years ago, and he's been pretty prominent in an array of positions on the high school, college and pro level.

    Keep the questions coming!

    Ask The Messenger | November 15, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin! I would like to know -- does (or will) the Fever have any open try-outs for the upcoming season? If so, when? and what do you have to do to be a part of that try-out? Thanks! (Levette Stallings)

    A: Levette, there was a time that WNBA teams had conducted open tryouts in their local markets, but as the league has progressed to its current level, no, there are no longer any open tryouts. All of our players come direct from major college programs, or other pro leagues overseas. That said, if there is ever a small college player or a local free agent worthy of making a team, I'm sure most general managers would leap at the opportunity to find that "diamond in the rough!" If you, or someone you know, would like that opportunity to show their skills, I would recommend a letter accompanied with tape or video.

    Ask The Messenger | November 12, 2007
    Q: Hey Kevin! What does Ann Strother's coaching job with the Colorado team mean regarding her involvement with the Fever? Is she still a member of the Fever? Has she now retired from the WNBA or will she be able to do both? (Becky Hardy in Indianapolis)

    A: Thanks for the question, Becky, you're actually the third person to ask. No need to worry - no, Ann did not retire from playing basketball and yes, she is still a member of the Indiana Fever. Technically-speaking, she is not actually a coach. She is the director of operations for the Colorado women's basketball team. The best examples of this, for Fever fans, are Coquese Washington and Charlotte Smith. Coquese coached at Notre Dame for several years while continuing to play in the WNBA, and Charlotte was an assistant at the University of North Carolina during her year with the Fever. Olympia Scott coached college basketball for a year in between playing in the WNBA, Dawn Staley did it for several years while coaching at Temple, and even Stephanie White began her coaching career while still playing in the WNBA.

    The only decision Ann made was whether to spend the winter months playing in Spain, or establishing the beginning of a career in coaching, closer to home.

    Ask The Messenger | received September 6, 2007
    Q: Did the Fever players stay to support Tamika? How is she doing? (Mary McNulty in Nebraska)

    A: I'm not sure that any players stayed in town solely to support Tamika, but yes, there were a number of players here for the better part of last week, or more, and I can assure you that plenty of tears were shed with her, and for her. One of the reasons that Tamika is the player that she is, like Tully, is that she brings people together and makes people around her, better. Her teammates gravitate toward her. She is considered a friend, not just a teammate. All of her teammates certainly supported her with their time and well-wishes during the past week, though some had obligations that required them to begin leaving by week's end.

    Ask The Messenger | received September 5, 2007

    Q: How can we send Tamika thank you notes for a great season, and get well cards for her recovery over the next 9 months? I know many of us would like to do that. (Kim Davis)

    A: Kim, thank you for the thought. And thank you from Tamika. Any well wishes or thank you notes to Tamika may be sent c/o the Indiana Fever at 125 S. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Ind. 46204.

    Ask The Messenger | received September 5, 2007

    Q: Hey D.J. I know five of our players are free agents now do you have any clue as to who will be staying with us? When will we know who re-signs and who doesn't? Let me know what you can. Thanks. (Wendy Ruse)

    A: Wendy asked these questions of her Fever ticket representative, D.J. Parker. D.J. forwarded to me, with a request for other information about next year's Olympics and possible scheduling.

    For Wendy's questions, first, the simply reply about free agency is that we just don't know yet. Those answers are likely not to come until at least January. Typically, teams and free agents can typically begin speaking to one another during the opening weeks of January, and may begin negotiating and signing contracts about mid-January. This year, however, things could change with the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players association and the WNBA. The CBA will be re-negotiated following the season. Nothing will take place until the new CBA is established, and with that, there's no telling what new rules might arise. It will make for an interesting offseason!

    As for scheduling around next year's Olympics, nothing has yet been announced. The prevailing thought, though, is that something similar to the 2004 schedule will take place. With the Olympics in Greece in 2004, the WNBA went on hiatus for one month surrounding the Olympics in August. Twenty-eight games were played prior to Aug. 1, with the remaining six regular season games taking place after Sept. 1, with the playoffs immediately thereafter. There's no telling what dates or scheduling might take place, but it's believed that something similar could take shape for 2008.

    Ask The Messenger | received September 4, 2007

    Q: I might have missed something, but why did Tan White not play in game 3 against Detroit? (Leah in Indianapolis)

    A: Second person to ask about Tan ... thanks for the question, Leah. Since I hadn't posted anything last week, here is the reply I just wrote for Dianne!

    And a good observation on Tan White. Yes, her right thumb was bandaged, and she was actually close to being designated as "inactive" for Game 3 of the series. I'm uncertan when her injury occurred, but she was hampered with it in Game 2, also. She was given medical clearance to play a little more than an hour before Game 3, but I'm sure her effectiveness would have been compromised to the point that Coach Winters chose not to use her. How might her presence have helped to impact the Fever's defense of Deanna Nolan --- that is perhaps the biggest question posed by her absence.

    Ask The Messenger | received September 4, 2007

    Q: HI there, There are a number of us who simply wanted to tell the Fever that we believe in them. There are a group of us watching in Bloomington, IN at a restaurant called Opie Taylor's. We are hooping and hollering at the TV. We wish that we could be with them to scream and let them know how many people are watching them and wishing them the very best. We love you guys!! We know you can come back tomorrow, shut out the audience and kick Detroit's ass!!

    Love your fans in Bloomington!! (Nancy Kalina in Bloomington, Ind.)

    A: Thank you, Nancy, and all of your friends in Bloomington!

    Ask The Messenger | received September 4, 2007

    Q: This question is for The Messenger Kevin. I have been watching the Fever all season and just cannot believe what I am seeing. I don't believe the Fever can beat Detroit and go to the Finals. It is not because of the talent they have on the floor but they have to fight a battle on two fronts every game. The players have to fight night after night against tough competition and also battle against horrific coaching moves. I know Fever Fans love Tully the starting point guard. She has toughness and leadership that she brings to the table. HOWEVER....I see glaring weaknesses in her game at the age that she is now that hinder the Fever's offense. It takes her WAY TOO long to push the ball up the floor in order to get the Fever into any kind of offense. I have seen multiple games where the Fever end up getting shot clock violations called on them because she takes too long to get the offense started and heaven forbid if the other team starts pressuring her (that is a whole different issue). This is not to pile on Tully but that is a fact. The question I have is why doesn't KB Sharp log at least half of the minutes that Tully gets in the games. KB is faster than most WNBA guards and she can pretty much break a press by herself. She doesn't make stupid turnovers. I have seen games where she has accomplished just as much in half the time statistically as Tully does in 25 or 30 minutes of play. Does Brian Winters plan on playing Tully most of the game until she is 50 years old or time to retire? Tully is a warrior but she is WAY past her prime. She is not much of a threat on the perimeter like Anna Deforge and she cannot beat anyone in the league off the dribble to help collapse defenses in order to create easier shots for her teammates. Don't you think it is time for Brian Winters to start investing more time in KB Sharp as she could and should be the Fever point guard of the future? Take today's game for instance where the the Fever fell short against the Shock (Game 2 of the playoffs). With KB in the game...they cut the lead from 29 to 12 points and Detroit still had their starters in the game a majority of that time. I know Fever fans don't want to hear it but with Tully logging the majority of minutes on this team....The Fever are going nowhere but home at the end of this series.

    A: I received this question through my email (not the website) two days after it was asked, but I thought the subject matter warranted a reply. I wish the person asking had offered an identity, but regardless, I've got no issue with the question.

    In short, generally speaking, I don't disagree with this person's assessment. I really don't. However, circumstances do dictate that Tully direct our offense and therefore I don't disagree with the coaching decisions. Let me explain.

    There is one aspect of this person's argument that is absolutely false - that is the accusation that Tully makes stupid turnovers. I'll point to the Detroit series, itself. Tully had a total of eight turnovers in six playoff games, total. In one stretch of 82 minutes between the first quarter of Game 3 vs. Connecticut, and the opening minutes of Game 2 at Detroit - Tully did not commit a single turnover. So, remove that from the argument. There is nobody in the WNBA that guards the ball better than Tully Bevilaqua.

    Some history - three years ago (2004), we didn't have any "true" point guard. Kelly Miller (who is doing a fine job for Phoenix in this week's Finals) was Indiana's only alternative, but, as fast and energetic as Kelly was, she didn't guard the ball. She knew only one speed, and during the 2004-05 offseason, Kelly Krauskopf made the offseason move to bring Tully to Indianapolis.

    Neither Kelly nor Brian Winters has ever expected Tully to be an exceptional offensive point guard - except to control the tempo and guard the ball. And provide the superior leadership that she has. Her calling card is tenacious defense. She has never been an exceptional shooter, she'll tell you that herself. She will never be an oustanding offensive threat. What separates Tully from the rest of the league is her tenacity, her knowledge, her strong will, her attitude, her willingness to put "team" above all else, and her ability to bring people together.

    As for K.B., yes, she is faster than most opponents. Yes, she moves the ball up the floor infinitely faster. And yes, K.B. may we be the Fever's point guard of the future - that remains to be seen. But K.B. is really no more an offensive threat than Tully, except in driving to the basket. I'll take Tully's shot over K.B.'s right now. Comparing just turnovers, K.B. had 26 in 454 minutes (0.8 per game, 0.55 per minute), in a solid improvement over 2006. Tully had 53 in 901 minutes (1.6 per game, 0.58 per minute), to continue one of her trademark characteristics. Tully shot 37 percent from 3-point range, K.B. shot 31.

    The point is this, ultimately, with Tully as your point guard, yes, you have to pick your poison. She is not the ideal offensive player. Never has been, never will be. What we gain in intangibles, tenacity and steady play, we certainly lack in offensive productivity. She is a quarterback on the floor, she is not a scorer. And yes, what results often times is that teams can sag off of Tully and, effectively, play five defenders against our four other players. But would that be any different with K.B. in a half-court offense?

    We all love Tully for all of those intangibles. She is one of my personal favorites for all of those intangible reasons, and for just those reasons, I wouldn't change our lineup at this point. The point about Tully's offense is very valid and not lost on our staff. If we were speaking about offense alone, yes, she might even be considered a liability. Yes, a new point guard must be groomed for the future. K.B. is a likely candidate, but except for her speed and youth, she is no more an offensive threat currently than Tully. It is a position of concern, with K.B. currently atop the list for the time that Tully's career comes to a close.

    Ask The Messenger | asked September 4, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin, first off I want to say, Thank You Fever for an outstanding season! I was in Detroit for the games and the FEVER fans where there trying to will us to a victory. We enjoyed every minute of the game even with the losses. I love this team and the fans in Indiana because they are there thru thick and thin. I think that Sheri Sam said it best, “You just hate to get so close and come up short” It was tough for the players because I know they really wanted to win.

    My question though is why didn’t Tan White play in game three? I noticed she had a bandage on her thumb. Can you tell us what might have happened to her if anything? (Dianne Hornbeak in Indianapolis)

    A: Dianne, thank you for the sentiment. It was a very difficult and sour way to end things, especially after going up 1-0 in that series.

    And a good observation on Tan White. Yes, her right thumb was bandaged, and she was actually close to being designated as "inactive" for Game 3 of the series. I'm uncertan when her injury occurred, but she was hampered with it in Game 2, also. She was given medical clearance to play a little more than an hour before Game 3, but I'm sure her effectiveness would have been compromised to the point that Coach Winters chose not to use her. How might her presence have helped to impact the Fever's defense of Deanna Nolan --- that is perhaps the biggest question posed by her absence.

    Ask The Messenger | asked September 4, 2007

    Q: How come the web site doesn’t include a tab to thank the Fever for a wonderful brand of exciting basketball? Thanks for an exciting season and we are looking forward to 2008. (John & Neda)

    A: John and Neda - I'm not sure if you're wanting to thank the Fever? Or thank the fans? Regardless, I'd like to do both. In fact, we've had some graphics made specifically to thank our fans, but they weren't done for posting by September 4, mostly because I hadn't anticipated the season ending so abruptly! That said, they'll post this week and yes, absolutely, from a franchise standpoint, we are grateful to our fans and thankful for their devotion to our players and our franchise.

    I have been in this league for five years now. I believe this - that the Fever fans are as dedicated to their team and franchise as any in the WNBA. Our fan base is not as large as some, but day in and day out, from one season to the next, our fan base has been devoted and absolutely supportive. Our fans are active and energized. As a franchise, we realize that. We're thankful for it. And it is not PR-speak to say that we hope to win a championship as much for our fans, as much as for ourselves. They really, truly, go hand-in-hand, and as a franchise, we are devoted to those who have supported us.

    Ask The Messenger | asked September 3, 2007

    Q: Hey Kev...great season too bad we were out coached in the Shock series! Coach Winters said last year we needed a center...well he got one and they don't support her up front! What's up with that? (Takuya in Indianapolis)

    A: Takuya, thanks for your note and I wish I'd answered this one earlier! I don't want anyone to think I avoided the question. Frankly, I don't agree with your viewpoint and I'm not saying that because I'm trying to defend our coach or any particular strategies. The one thing I'm not is a coach, and I won't begin to get into strategies or x's and o's.

    I believe two things about the Detroit series - the Shock were more talented at more positions on the floor, and the Fever didn't shoot the ball well enough to win. I can't personally blame the coach for either of those issues.

    When the Detroit guards shoot the ball - they're tough to beat. Nolan could be the best offensive player in the league, in my book, at least the toughest to guard. And when Katie Smith is shooting it well, together, they're a great tandem.

    Yes, we got the center that we needed, but keep this in mind -- when teams constantly zone an opponent, they collaps on the interior. Detroit is big and physical to begin with, with Braxton, Pierson, Ford. With those players collapsing in a zone, it forced the Fever to hit shots. We didn't. Frankly, we have been bothered by zones the past two-to-three years. Anna DeForge had a great series against Connecticut to keep the Sun from beating us with the zone, but she wasn't that hot against Detroit. And neither was anyone else. Catchings has never been a drop-dead shooter from the perimeter, and besides Ann Strother, the Fever just doesn't have a lot of real pure shooters. Therefore, Detroit was able to collapse in that zone, take away our interior and dare us to beat them on the perimeter.

    I don't blame that on coaching. When our shooters perform on a high level, we were successful against the zone this year, better than a year ago. But between Detroit's talent and our inability to shoot the ball, that is my opinion on why we lost that series.

    Ask The Messenger | asked September 2, 2007

    Q: Now the Fever have their backs against the wall in Detroit. We cheered as loudly as we could today, unfortunately we will be cheering from home tonight. After this disappointing loss Sunday what is the mindset of the players? Will they be ready to come and play the game of their lives tonight? Please tell them one thing, "WIN" GO FEVER!!!!!!! (The Brown Family)

    A: Alright, we've never gotten an email from a whole family before! Haha. To try and put myself back into our frame of mind from last Sunday evening when I first received your question, my thought at the time was that we were very disappointed. We had not intended to check back in at our hotel that night after the loss. Because of a tight time frame to catch a possible return flight to Indy in the event of a win, we had checked out of the hotel that morning, on the way to the arena for a 1:00 tip. After the game, nobody wanted to go back to the hotel again.

    As for your cheering from home on Monday night, I can only presume that you were among the many fans who made the trip to Detroit on Sunday. There were lots of you, which was something noted not just by the Fever staff, but even by the WNBA staff and ESPN crew with whom I spoke that afternoon. There was a significant Indiana presence in the stands on that Sunday afternoon. It was noticed, and I know noticed by the players alike.

    I know the players were ready for Monday night's game, evidenced by our early lead (20-7 at one point). I won't blame the loss on Tamika's eventual injury late in the second quarter, I can't use that as an excuse. I think we were ready, but the Shock was a formidable opponent, obviously. They deserve credit for coming back. Who knows what could have transpired in the second half without the adversity faced earlier in the game.

    Thanks for your question. Sorry for my delay!

    Ask The Messenger | September 1, 2007

    Q: Kevin, while watching the Detroit-NY play off game Tuesday night, I noticed that NY questioned when both Laimbeer and Mahorn were both standing... it appeared Mahorn was taunting the NY players. The refs made him sit down. What are the rules? I noticed tonight that both Laimbeer and Mahorn were up at the same time... also it seemed like the Shock bench players were almost on the playing floor. Maybe the Fever Staff should be questioning this behavior. Luckily, it did not seem to make a difference tonight, but when they are in Detroit without the home crowd it might. Go Fever !!!! (Candice from Indianapolis)

    A: Candice, very good question. According to the literal, letter-of-the-law rule in print, yes, assistant coaches and other personnel are to remain on the bench. The intent of the rule, of course, is to limit people besides the head coach from engaging in excess communication with game officials or other in-game participants. The obvious nature of coaching, however, draws most assistant coaches from the bench, from time to time, to bark instructions or offer support to one's own players. Even Fever assistant coaches Lin Dunn and Julie Plank come off the bench occasionally to speak with Indiana players.

    The intent of the rule is to contain anything excessive. It is my understanding that this issue has been addressed between the league office and all teams this week. Game officials have been asked to keep an eye on anything excessive or unsportsmanlike, but I do not expect the literal, letter-of-the-law to be applied in all instances. In my personal opinion, that would be silly. That would result in a technical foul even if an assistant coach stepped up to instruct a player as she ran past the bench.

    If the actions of a particular coach abuses the spirit of the rule, then they should be penalized. And that is what game officials will watch and enforce. Technical fouls would be the assessed penalty assessed.

    Ask The Messenger | August 30, 2007

    Q: Yo-Yo Kev - Three words: OH. MY. GOD. I can't take much more of this heart-stopping action. Way to go, High-Temps. You can officially call me "The Artist Formerly Known as Turk," cuz I am changing my name to "Tamika is The B to the O-M-B!" Doesn't even matter which Tamika...just pick one. It's all good. Can't wait to see you shock the Shock. I got lucky and was at the airport when the team returned from CT on Friday...The Artist was spending some time in the city by the Bay...what a way to return home; walking right into the middle of a Fever rally. Awesome to see so many of my fellow Fever Fans supporting the ladies. My question, 'cuz I know you're curious...Does the W follow the N and vote for MVP before the playoffs start? If so, uh...why? Someone worried about a bad 3-game series ruining 34 games of work? Reputations are made in the postseason, baby. That's when the money's on the line. You got to bring it to bling it, I say. Any chance of getting that rule modified? The Artist says Go Fever.

    Hey Laimbeer, I think you're great in those Geico commercials! (Turk from Logansport)

    A: Sifting through all that, let me identify your question! Oh - MVP voting! Yes, it is done at the close of the regular season in order to account for all players, not just those who qualify for playoffs. Essentially, yes, the MVP award is a reflection of regular season performance, not the playoffs. As for the rest of today's entry ... I'll just say, "Go Fever," and leave it that. Thanks for the question, Turk!

    Ask The Messenger | August 30, 2007

    Q: I do not live near Indiana so I would find it hard to attend any Fever home games. My question is regarding player signed photos. Are they available and if so how would I go about getting one? Thanks again, Harry.

    A: Harry, thanks for following the Fever from so far away! We do have autographed items from the players that are often requested, and our community relations manager handles most of those. The best thing to do is submit a request in writing to Roberta Courtright. I can't promise that every request can be accommodated, but we do get many such requests and our players are always very willing to sign for our fans.

    Ask The Messenger | August 28, 2007

    Q: Anna DeForge is by far the best looking woman in the WNBA. I love her beautiful smile and the way she plays the game. I am curious to know if Anna is married? Thanks, Harry.

    A: No Harry, Anna is not married.

    Ask The Messenger | August 27, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin..... What a great game on saturday!!!!! Might you be able to explain to me why no Indianapolis TV station or the FOX network could televise a PLAYOFF basketball game. This is CRAZY!!!!!. Why also does not ESPN jut televise all of the games?? If you look, the only game for Indiana televised on ESPN was on Thursday night. I don't get it>>>>>> I had to watch the game via the WEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Fever... (Dawn from Batesville)

    A: Dawn, thanks for the enthusiasm! And yes, we'd all like to see more games televised! ESPN and ABC put together a schedule at the beginning of the playoff season, mapping out all of its times and slots for games. Depending on matchups and time zones, different games are slotted at different times. For instance, if San Antonio had been the No. 3 seed instead of the No. 2 seed in the West, Saturday's Fever game would likely have been at 1 p.m., on ABC, but the Central Time Zone fit better into its schedule. I'm really not certain of all the factors, but that is how the national games are decided. As for local games, yes, there was initial conversation about FOX Sports Indiana airing some of our playoff games as part of its Fever TV package. But in the interest of trying to drive people into the arena to attend the games instead of staying home and watching on TV, the franchise chose not to pursue that possibility. The fans are truly important to our success, and we have made every effort to fill our seats.

    As we advance to the conference finals and eventually the WNBA Finals, virtually all games will air nationally. Technically, even the first-round had every game on national TV, but that is counting NBATV. I realize, of course, that not all households have NBATV as part of their cable lineup.

    Ask The Messenger | August 27, 2007

    Q: What a FANtastic Fever game, the energy of the players and the strategie used to overcome the great players on the Suns. I am asking how Ebony Hoffman is doing, she took a hard fall in the last quarter and appeared to injury her left leg. What is her injury and status for the playoffs? (Laura Easley)

    A: Laura, thanks for your question. Ebony is ok, but the hamstring is still sore. I spoke with her during shooting practice today and she definitely won't play in tonight's Game 3 with the Sun, but hopes to be ready for a possible conference finals matchup on Friday.

    Ask The Messenger | August 27, 2007

    Q: Dad and I were wondering why the team is called Fever. Please advise. (Dean Everett)

    A: Dean, the franchise was named "Fever" to symbolize the excitement and passion for basketball in Indiana.

    Here is a quote from Kelly Krauskopf in a Dec. 17, 1999 news release about the naming of the team: “It goes without saying that Indiana has the most passionate and loyal basketball fans,” Krauskopf said. “We worked with the league office to develop a name that captures that passion and appeals to all ages of our fan base. We hope everyone catches WNBA Fever this summer as we begin our inaugural season.”

    Ask The Messenger | August 2, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin, I have a burning question that since we can't ask the players I am going to ask you. Here goes: Do you have any idea what Diana Taurasi said to Anna DeForge (towards the end of the Phoenix game) when Anna made her three point shot in front of her? Whatever it was looked like Anna couldn't believe Taurasi would say it. The look on Anna's face was so priceless I just gotta know! I love to watch Anna play, especially when she is red hot, fired up, driving to the hoop, and burning the nets with three pointers. Was Ms. Taurasi was dissin' our Anna! She is an Indi"anna" Fever player sorry for you Phoenix! Go #30! (Kerri in Indianapolis)

    A: Kerri, we definitely have your answer - and we went straight to the source, Anna, herself! (See, you really can ask the players ... I'll get you all the answers!)

    Anna said that both of them were joking and laughing during the whole exchange. I wouldn't doubt a small bit of trash-talking mixed in, but nevertheless you had two high-quality athletes competing at what they do best. Here is Anna's version of the exchange, beginning with Anna's remark to Diana about a foul on a previous possession which gave Taurasi a four-point play opportunity:

    Anna: "You know I didn't foul you on that three!"
    Diana: "Maybe a little with the body!"
    Anna: "Like that slap you just gave me (talking about her own made three)!"

    Ask The Messenger | August 1, 2007

    Q: Do you know why Ann did not play tonight? She seemed to be doing a good job in the past 2 games. (Angie Pierstorff)

    A: Matchups, matchups, matchups! I'm sure that Ann didn't play against the Mystics for a similar reason that Kasha Terry didn't play at Phoenix. Whether defending against a matchup or trying to create a particular mismatch, that is how Ann, Kasha and Alison Bales will likely be used through the rest of the season. No reason other than that. She earned some valuable playing time with her efforts at Seattle and Phoenix. Don't read anything more into her absence on Tuesday night.

    Ask The Messenger | July 31, 2007

    Q: First, what happened to 'Ask the Fever'? Second, why is Tamika Whitmore out of the starting five? There are two other players who I, and several others, feel should be at the end of the bench. Anyway, she is doing well so I hope Winters is happy about that. (I doubt it). In your opinion, Messenger, does this look like 'the' team that was hyped up to win it all? Now we get to see what 'coaching' is all about. (Niesha in Tupelo, Miss.)

    A: Niesha, thanks for the interest. Unfortunately, 'Ask The Fever' was discontinued last fall when the players went overseas. This format took its place when the blog was established as regular content on the website. Realistically though, I'm sure more people would like to hear from the players than from me, but this was admittedly easier to maintain so we've kept it in this format. It's probably about time for the return of 'Ask The Fever,' so stay tuned for that eventuality!

    As for Tamika Whitmore, yes, she was obviously a part of the Seattle Shakeup. I honestly cannot tell you any of the specific reasons that Fever coaches had for replacing Whit or Sheri Sam from the lineup after the game in Seattle. I really don't know the reasons. But I can certainly tell you that there was significant concern of some chemistry issues after that game, and change was warranted. Personally, I'm glad changes were made. A shakeup was needed, somewhere, somehow - if for no other reason than purely a wake-up call. Whether it was Whit, or Tammy Sutton-Brown, or Sheri or Anna DeForge, I would not have been surprised of any changes that would have been made after the sleepless night in Seattle.

    To Whit's credit - I have thought that her performances both at Phoenix and tonight against Washington, are to be applauded. Does that mean I think Coach Winters should re-insert her back into the starting lineup? Not necessarily. I'm one of those people who isn't concerned so much with who physically steps onto the floor for the opening tip. I'm interested in who is going to play well, and in what combinations. If team chemistry somehow dictates that Whit is performing better off the bench, than for the foreseeable future, that would be my vote. In the end, I just want production.

    Is this the team to win it all? Not sure yet. Right now, no. Two weeks ago, I'd have said, "yes, maybe, definitely maybe."

    Ask The Messenger | July 31, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin, its one of your favorite traveling Fever Fans (All Star Airport); I don’t really have a question but a comment. I believe in the Fever and I know after the game against Phoenix they now believe in themselves again. I know we lost but I can’t be mad with only 13 turnovers. Leave it on the court every night is all I ask. Thank you, ladies for putting it back together. I love you and I believe in you. Go Fever! (Diane in Indianapolis)

    A: Thanks, Diane. Well-stated.

    Ask The Messenger | July 30, 2007

    Q: I guess it is hard to understand why such a GROUP of talented players cannot win games without Tamika. A team is not one player, although it is understood the impact that Tamika has on every aspect of the game. Someone(s) need to step up and lead this team on – one play at a time, one quarter at a time, and one game at a time. They have gone SO far to let it go. I know that Tamika has to feel really bad watching what is happening right now – it is not her fault. Wouldn’t it be better to make some changes in line up now before we get to the end and are fighting just for a play off spot? It is evident that Connecticut has our number because Douglas and Whalen beat us every time. I know the team is disappointed – so are the fans. LOVE THAT FEVER – YOU CAN DO IT!! Keep that in your mind every game. (Barbara Elliott in Southern Indiana)

    A: Barbara, I couldn't have said it better, myself! And yes, the lineup did change on Sunday, just prior to your email evidently! Whether it was the addition of Ebony Hoffman and Tan White to the starting lineup, or just the shakeup itself, Sunday's game was clearly a much better effort and performance than that from Friday night in Seattle. It is difficult to fathom how a team as talented can have such difficulty without a single player - I agree. But the overall value of a Tamika Catchings is being understood right now. She impacts every facet of the Fever's game, offensively and defensively, as well as her leadership, energy and drive. The Fever is still in a good situation, so far as qualifying for the playoffs, but trust me, nobody here is happy with current results, either! We need to win and turn things around in order to be moving forwad for the playoffs, not backwards!

    With support from fans like yourself, hopefully we can turn the corner and get back on track. Thanks, Barbara!

    Ask The Messenger | July 28, 2007

    Q: Finally, Ann Strother was allowed to play ball last night in Seattle. Can you tell me why Brian doesn't play Ann more when the starters are not scoring? She was shooting the lights off in the pre-season games and now she is just wasting away on the bench. The game last Tuesday against San Antonio should have been won by us. Brian could have put in Ann for offense, but instead he takes out Anna DeForge who had the hottest shooting hand in OT for what? Why doesn't Brian rotate his players more? If all tlhe players had some ample playing time, then they would not be so rusty when they are put into the game. I just don't get it and I am getting very frustrated. Do you think Tamika will be able to return the first week in August? What is your gut instinct on how this will season will turn out with CT right on our heels and Detroit down with Cheryl Ford. Respectfully, Rhonda Lewis.

    A: Rhonda, thanks for your questions. I know that lots of people appear frustrated with playing time and substitution patterns (at least that's what most of my questions are about!), but I can only ask people to consider that not all 11 or 12 players are going to play regularly. It's just not a realistic expectation. I've addressed some of that before.

    With regard to Ann, specifically, I, too, was glad to see her productive last night. It was good for her, good for her confidence, and good for our bench for her and Ali and Kasha all to get some significant time. Coach Winters is going to play the lineup that he feels is best equipped to consistently win games. Period. Each of those three players could still be considered as "youngsters." And Ann plays a position that is particularly loaded. The question is what matchups does Brian hope to exploit or create in each game. Ann is a smart player and an excellent shooter, but rarely will she be the best or quickest defender in a given situation. We are a very defensive-minded team, so that will be a factor in most decisions.

    The tone after last night's game was, in short, "those who will play hard, and play smart, and execute, will play." I don't expect any dramatic changes, but I will not be surprised to see added minutes for Strother, Bales, Terry or even Ebony Hoffman, although she is already firmly entrenched in the rotation.

    It's definitely a tough time we are undergoing without Ms Catchings. It was a bad time for her unfortunate injury. Not only is she such a skilled and active player on both ends of the floor - she is very much one of the team's hardest workers and the heart and soul and focal point of everything we do. Our coaches' challenge is to find ways to make adjustments to compensate for those losses.

    In my opinion, the answer does not lie exclusively in expecting other players to "step up" and fill larger roles - we don't have another player like Catchings who is capable doing as many things - nobody does. The task at hand, somehow, is to make some adjustments - whether it be to strategies, substitution patterns or tweaking a lineup. The problem is that we've played a game or traveled on seven of the eight days since the injury, thus leaving little opportunity to implement those adjustments.

    As for her return? I'm personally guessing sometime during the second week of August - leaving roughly a week or more left in the regular season. Keep in mind, I'm neither a coach nor a trainer, so you can take my opinions with a grain of salt! If she returns sooner, all the better!

    How will the Fever fare and how does it impact playoffs? Well, certainly there have been alot of injuries in the league this summer. But Detroit has continued to win off and on without Cheryl Ford, and San Antonio has continued winning despite the occasional absences of Hammon, Riley and Buescher - the same as Sacramento is doing now without DeMya Walker.

    So, where will we finish? I'm not much into predictions, but I can do math with anyone. The race in the East could get tighter if we don't put a stop to the losing skid, no doubt. Our cushion was so significant, though, that I do still believe that this is not only a playoff team, but a Finals contender. Presuming that Winters and court-leader Bevilaqua can engineer a turnaround without Catchings. If Catch makes it back with 4 to 5 games before the playoffs begin - yes, I believe this team can be every bit the contender that people thought we were just two weeks ago.

    Ask The Messenger | July 27, 2007

    Q: Hey Kevin I was at the Sacramento game last night. I was wondering I know a bunch of the WNBA players have been injured this season and most for the rest of the season. Most of the teams who lose a players picks up another player. So I was wondering if Indiana would consider trying to pick up another forward??? Thanks. (Lauren Wolske in Brownsburg, Ind.)

    A: Lauren, thanks for your question, but no, the Fever won't be looking for any roster replacements for Tamika Catchings. Two reasons. First, she will return in a couple of weeks, so there would be no point to add anybody. Second, the Fever roster is already stocked with 11 other players. The Fever couldn't add another player both for salary cap reasons and the fact that there wouldn't be any such player available to fill her role.

    Ask The Messenger | July 27, 2007

    Q: Seeing that the team is sucking wind without their star, would it be too much to ask for this coach to look down the end of the bench and play Strother and Bales? Give them a chance. It couldn't be worse and they come from pretty good programs. LIKE UCONN AND DUKE ! (Fading Fan)

    A: Fading, I'm disappointed in you for two reasons. First, have some pride in your fandom and let's not hide behind a generic moniker. Second, a true fan will weather the adversity and low points in order to better enjoy and celebrate the successes. It's far to easy to proclaim yourself a fan only with the home team is winning.

    Ask The Messenger | July 26, 2007

    Q: Long time, no write. I've literally been out of the country (fyi...all the Fever Fans in Sweden say 'howdy'). Very dismayed to get back home and see what has happened to the High-Temps. Tam-Tam, get back as soon as you can-can, baby. If this doesn't prove TC is the MVP, then some folks should lose their voting privileges ASAP. My question...who among the Indy media vote for postseason bling-bling? Is it D-Dog Woods and C-Dog Denari? Who chooses the voters in each city? Are you Da Man in Indy, K-Dog? The Turkster is back, and the Fever will now get back on track! p.s...I missed the Detroit game at the House. Is Caveman Laimbeer still ugly? Holla. (Turk in Logansport, Ind.)

    A: Wow.

    OK, Turk, good to hear from you again. And to answer your last question first - yes. Welcome back from Sweden and we'll hope to see you at Tuesday's game with the Mystics again! As for MVP voting - it's a two-horse race and current activity suggests that one horse continues her stunning pace (Lauren Jackson) while the other's absence is speaking for her value (Tamika Catchings). If you reversed the situations, Seattle would be making adjustments to try and counter for the loss of Jackson, and probably lose a few games the same as the Fever has. If Catchings were still active, there is no doubt her pace would still be that of the best all-around, all-everything player in the league.

    Really, they are two different types of players. A vote for either of them would not be a bad vote. Here is why I would vote for Catchings, if I had a vote - there is absolutely nothing that she does not do! And no other player in the league can say that so emphatically. Secondly, when we play Seattle, guess who usually guards Jackson, even despite the size differential? Yes, Catchings. When she is the best player to guard virtually anyone, and crosses over from one position to another - and her team suffers so much by her absence - yes, I term that player as "most valuable."

    But I'm admittedly biased, and I also don't have a vote. As for who does vote? Big secret, Turk ... big, big secret. WNBA gods would strike me down for posting such privileged information to the Fever website!

    Ask The Messenger | July 21, 2007

    Q: Is it just me or does coach Winters fail to feel the pulse of energy when certain lineups are in the game? it seems that often when he brings in Hoffman, there's an energy boost yet often he pulls her after 2 minutes. Looking over the stats, whenever she gets more than 12-15 mins her production is way up and the team wins. When she's playing minimal the team struggles. What gives with his subsitutions? (Olivia Castillo in Newport Beach, Calif.

    A: Olivia, I, too, love Ebony's energy. Alot of times when she is replaced in a game is because of matchup situations. Ebony is an undersized post player, and so against taller players, she has historically struggled down low. She brings great energy and effort under the boards, and will always have a place in the rotation, even though her minutes might not be in as large a quantity as her fans would like! She has a fantastic role on this team. Everyone loves Ebony, and she's definitely got a significant role, on and off the floor - I'm not just talking about her effervescent personality! But I must note, too, that while you point to her greater minutes in games that we win, remember that I'm a statistician by nature! I can also tell you that her greatest minutes have often come late in games when a victory may have been well in-hand.

    Ask The Messenger | July 12, 2007

    Q: Kevin ... I don't understand why Alison Bales does not get put in earlier in the 4th quarters of games where the Fever are way ahead...she usually only gets in with about 4 minutes left...I realize she has a lot of learning to do and needs to improve before she can get more playing time in closer games...however the thing that concerns me is that if the unthinkable were to happen like Tammy getting injured then Alison would have to play a lot more....she needs more than a few minutes at the end of games to develop ... what do you think? (Darla in Indianapolis)

    A: Darla, thanks for the question. I should have replied sooner. In short, I would like to see Alison and Kasha and Ann get some earlier minutes sometimes, for exactly the scenario that you present. But from a coaching standpoint, it's a tough call. And that's what we're talking about, right? "If you were the coach ... ?" Even a 10-point lead isn't usually safe, and especially on a team like the Fever who is prone sometimes to unforced turnovers. We've given up leads late in games this year, so I'm not sure that going that deep is always an automatic idea. It's a fine line. I share your interests, but I don't see it changing. Like I responded in my last entry - almost nobody in the WNBA uses all 11 or 12 players on its roster.

    Ask The Messenger | July 3, 2007

    Q: I would like to see Annie [Strother] get to play. It doesn't appear that she is being played at all, and I for one am extremely disappointed. She is a great player and needs to be given an opportunity to play. She cannot produce by just keeping the bench warm. (Gail in Castle Rock, Colo.)

    A: Gail, I certainly understand the concern. And thank you for your question. The question regarding Ann Strother and Alison Bales, in particular, has been asked often. And you know, personally, sure, I'd like to see them play more, too. I think we all would - all the way to the top of the organization, and I mean that sincerely.

    But here's the problem - it's really tough to go more than 8 or 9 players deep in a regular playing rotation. Ann and Alison are currently sitting in those 10th and 11th spots, unfortunately. Sheri Sam is probably the "9th" player in the current rotation, at least going by average minutes played. Sheri plays the same position as Ann, so let's pose the question - "Is Sheri that much better than Ann?"

    Personally, I don't think so, either. (I knew you would say "no!")

    But there is a fine line, and I'll point to two advantages for Sheri - experience and defense.

    Sheri is as veteran a player as we have on this team. And on any championship team, there will always be those valuable role players whose experience rises to the occasion. Sheri has been an All-Star, she's won a title and she has been a starter in this league for eight seasons. And, perhaps the biggest difference between Ann and Sheri, is on the defensive side of the ball. They play the same positions, but they are different types of players. Ann is a steady, smart player whose greatest attribute is her shooting. Sheri is more of an athletic player who is a skilled defender, one of the league's all-time steals leaders, and quicker than Ann. Consider the Fever's emphasis on defense, and there is a very significant reason for the difference between #9 and #10/11 in the player rotation.

    It's not a knock on Ann. It's simply an advantage for Sheri, given our style of play. Ann's lack of minutes is solely a product of being a very young player on a really deep, contending team.

    To substantiate my argument, too, since this question has been asked so often about both Ann and Alison, I did a little research!

    Of 13 WNBA teams, through games of July 1, only Connecticut and Chicago have rosters with as many as 11 players appearing in at least 10 games. Six teams show just 10 players in 10 or more games, Indiana and three others have established nine-player rotations, and Houston has only eight players with 10+ games. The only reason that Connecticut and Chicago have as many, is that their rosters have fluctuated and lineups have varied.

    One step further, of those 13 teams, not a single team has more than 10 players that average double-figure minutes. Five teams have 10 such players, the Fever is one of five teams with nine such players, and Detroit and Seattle have only seven players who average double-digit minutes.

    So, you see, Gail, there is really no team that goes that far down its bench. And we have a much more veteran team than most!

    Ask The Messenger | June 6, 2007

    Q: Hey Kevin. I have loved the Indiana Fever forever, and have been a season ticket holder for a couple years. So this past season i found out that we where getting Ann Strother. Then found out that Anna DeForge was coming back and then I decided to do Full Season Courtside. So anyhoot, the point is What is Up with Ann Strother sitting on the bench like last year?..... Not that I'm not happy or want or to be mean. But she scored 15 in the preseason game that she started and now shes not playing like Amber Jacobs of the Minnesota Lynx. Tthey are playing just like 2-3 minutes if that... So what is up with that??? Thanks. (Lauren Wolske in Brownsburg, Ind.)

    A: Lauren, thanks for the note. I think the Fever will get some minutes from Ann before the year's done, certainly - but in Phoenix, she played behind Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter. Here, she plays behind DeForge and Tamika Catchings. Not to mention Tan White. Sheri Sam is certainly in the mix, too, and as a more veteran player, Sheri is getting more minutes right now. Ann's got good length and a shooter's touch, and she's a smart player, so she will get her time. Remember, though, she's really not got much more experience than a rookie, and that start and those points in the preseason came without DeForge, White, Whitmore and Sutton-Brown in the lineup. She is a talented youngster on a bench that is pretty long with veterans right now, particularly at her position.

    Ask The Messenger | June 5, 2007

    Q: We are wondering if Allison Bales is injured or in the dog house? We noticed last night she did not play at all even thought Tammy Sutton-Brown was in foul trouble. Her playing time has decreased every game until this one when she did not play at all. I would think she would be an integral part of the 2007 Fever with her 6'7" height. Thanks (Candice in Indianapolis)

    A: Candice, thanks for the question. Obviously a good observation, and actually, I had a conversation with Brian Winters about that just yesterday. I don't think that Alison is in the proverbial dog house and I know she is not injured. What you witnessed in Sunday's game was perhaps another example of Indiana's new depth, and Coach Winters' ability to play against different matchups. I had been surprised, also, that she didn't play at all. But Brian pointed out that Washington didn't present the size that some teams will, and their perimeter players were very big. I think you'll see a difference in the numbers with tonight's game at New York - as the Liberty will start 6-7 rookie Jessica Davenport. Matchups will dictate an awful lot of the lineups you see this season.

    Ask The Messenger | May 25, 2007

    Q: Great start for the High-Temps, punking Minny the way they did. LA up next tonight...looking for more of the same, especially with the Sparks minus Lovely Lisa Leslie, a.k.a, Big Momma-To-Be. What are The W's roster rules in that the Sparks get an extra player to make up for Leslie being out or what? Does LL just stay on the Inactive List all season? Can we call whoever takes Leslie's spot "The Babysitter?" Just wondering. See you at the House, where I'll be dancing like nobody's watching. Out, ya'll. (Turk in Logansport, Ind.)

    A: I've never heard the Fever called the High-Temps before! As for the question, Lisa Leslie is actually on the Sparks' roster, though listed on the inactive list. She says she is hopeful of playing later in August, after giving birth to her first child in June. No extra players, she just stays inactive.

    Ask The Messenger | May 21, 2007

    Q: Right after the game on Saturday, there was an extremely tall blonde standing in the lobby talking to one of the security guards (just outside the section 1 area). Any ideas about who she was and if she is someone the Fever interested in talking to? She looked like a basketball player (tall and fit). Just curious if you knew! (Ken Norris)

    A: Ummmm, Ken? You gotta give me more information than that, my friend. Wish I could help! Hopefully we'll see you on Thursday and you can scout for the tall mystery lady again!

    Ask The Messenger | May 21, 2007

    Q: Hello, why was Sheri Sam on the injured reserve list for Saturday's game? Will she be available to play in Thursday's game? Thanks, Sal.

    A: Thanks for the question, Sal. First, as a point of information, Sheri was on what is now called the Inactive List, not an injured list. The WNBA terminology has changed in the past two years, and players no longer have to be injured to be inactive. But second, Sheri simply had not yet arrived in Indy for Saturday's game. That's why she was listed as inactive. And yes, she will be eligible to play on Thursday! Coincidentally, my latest blog entry just referenced her first practice today.

    Ask The Messenger | May 17, 2007

    Q: Mr. Messenger, I recently saw that Paris Hilton had her jail sentence reduced, and one can only assume that it had something to do with her fans signing the online petition. My question to you is this… Is there any hope of using an online petition to bring back Linda Frohlich? I miss the umlaut. (Dot in Atlanta, Ind.)

    A: We miss her, too! Linda was a favorite of teammates and staff, alike, but I don't think even a petition would be enough to wedge an extra spot on this Fever roster. She was a great teammate and a wonderful person, and the one thing that she brought everyday, besides her bright smile, was a willingness to work and make the team better. One of the reasons for Fever success the past two years has certainly been its chemistry, and Linda was no doubt a part of that. But there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, and neither was she the only reason for good chemistry. Unfortunately for Linda, the Fever has gotten better, pure and simple. And bigger. As much as we all would love to have her here, she doesn't have the size of Bales or Sutton-Brown, nor the versatility of Sam or Strother. We wish her all the best and we'll remember her for the part she played in a franchise-record 21 wins last season!

    Thanks for the question, Dot. Anyone with an email address that begins with "feverfanatic@--------" is a worthy contributor to!

    Ask The Messenger | May 16, 2007

    Q: Yo, Kev, Just got home from the rally on the Circle....I rallied my you-know-what off! Never been so happy to not have a job. Anyway, on the coaching front ...
    I am not in any way saying I want to get rid of Brian Winters...I love the Big Stoic...but eventually, some day, there will presumably be a need for a new coach. I know Reggie Miller said he doesn't want to coach in the NBA, but what about in The "W?" The time commitment wouldn't be as great. And let's be honest, if that caveman Bill Laimbeer can win a championship (my apologies to intelligent, hard-working cave people everywhere), then Reginald Wayne would be The W's version of Red Freakin' Auerbach. Your thoughts, K-man? Look for me on Opening Night. I will be loud, proud, and drawing a crowd!!!! (Turk from Logansport, Ind.)

    A: Turk, from my PR standpoint, I'll be honest. I didn't initially want to address your question! Nobody likes to talk about coaches or any proverbial hot-seat. Especially before the season even begins!

    But we're not talking in those terms and I LOVE your enthusiasm! Anyone that rallies like you deserves a reply! As for my thoughts on Reggie, well, I've honestly never had a conversation with the man and I couldn't begin to gauge his interest or success in the coaching profession. I think that coaching requires a particular mindset. Sure, there are all different types of coaches, but you have to have the drive to teach and convey a uniform message to a dozen or so players that need to respond as a unit. That is a talent in and of itself.

    As for Brian, he's got a singular approach and focus - and that is to mold the Fever roster into a unit that plays outstanding basketball. He may be stoic, as you say, or mild-mannered. In WNBA circles, perhaps he's the anti-Laimbeer in terms of personality. Regardless of labels, all he has done with the Fever in three seasons is win. His coaching staff is secure and entering its fourth year together - only Connecticut's staff has been together longer (five). He has been a head coach and an assistant in the NBA and, relatively speaking, how about the thought that this is the first time in his career that he has been handed a talented roster. I say that and, of course now, yes, the Fever need to succeed. But two straight years of franchise records for wins is pretty good!

    If Reggie ever does coach in the WNBA though, I think we'd have some real history on our hands. I am certain that there is no pro sports league in American history with a brother-sister combination that both served as head coaches in the same league. Sister Cheryl coached the Phoenix Mercury during its first four seasons, 1997-00.

    Ask The Messenger | May 11, 2007

    Q: Hi Kevin, I'm from Ocala Florida, my name is Kathy Mack, I'm the mother of rookie Jessica Dickson, would like to know if there's a link to listen to the preseason games and regular games via internet. Thanks for any info. (Kathy in Ocala, Fla.)

    A: Hi Kathy, thanks for your question! A good question for all Fever fans who can't attend games, in fact! All of the Fever's regular season games are carried live on WIBC 1070 AM in Indianapolis. The WIBC website does have live audio capability, and it can be accessed by clicking Unfortunately, no preseason games are on radio or TV.

    Ask The Messenger | May 11, 2007

    Q: If YOU were to determine the Fever's roster today....would Ann Strother be on that roster? (Milt)

    A: Fortunately, Milt, I don't have to make that decision. And not to cop out on your question, but it's hardly the place of the PR director to voice a public opinion on such matters, so I'll let the suspense linger for another week!

    I'll say this - that Ann has certainly performed well in both preseason games, and I was impressed to see her play the entire fourth quarter during Thursday's game with Los Angeles. It was a fourth quarter in which the Fever was scrambling to come from behind, and Brian Winters was certainly trying to win the game, while taking every opportunity to evaluate players. For Strother, I thought that was a good sign for her chances.

    The coaching staff obviously likes Jessica Dickson, too, evidenced by the start she received against the Sparks. The rookie has really good quickness and skills. For sake of competition and for sake of seeing her best efforts, it's too bad she didn't have a better game against L.A. -- especially given that she'd missed the first preseason game to attend her graduation at South Florida, and her nerves may have gotten the best of her while beginning Thursday's game 0-for-7 from the field.

    Three days of practice, and Tuesday's game at Chicago, will give coaches a final opportunity to evaluate. It is their decision that will matter!

    Ask The Messenger | May 6, 2007

    Q: Thank you for taking questions...not enough of this kind of thing for us diehards...Does Coach Winters have any plans to use Tamika Catchings at the point this year and let her create off the dribble? With her ballhandling skills, wouldn't that be better than waiting for someone else to get her the ball, hoping they don't throw it into the stands? p.s...LOVE the blog.! (Turk from Logansport, Ind.)

    A: Turk, great question, and in fact I've spoken with Brian Winters about his thoughts on this topic. Essentially, Tamika already does this a little bit - often taking her own rebound and moving up the floor with the opportunity to create. Brian encourages that. And yes, he has given though to Tamika handling duties at the point sometimes, but he points out that it's not what he wants to do regularly. Tamika is obviously a unique type of player, and putting her in that situation can certainly present mismatches. And it's always a good thing for the offense to run through Tamika. But a downside to her handling the ball too often is that it would take her out of the rest of her game. Would she be available to rebound as often? Would she be able to cut and drive, or play off a screen quite as often? And with Tamika running the offense, would the Fever be as effective defensively without Tully Bevilaqua?

    With Catchings, the Fever has one of the game's most versatile talents. Might she be the WNBA equivalent of the "point forward" that Magic Johnson made famous in the NBA? Yes, she is probably capable of playing every position on the floor. Last year, without the Fever's new size, she even guarded the post on occasion. She is a special player who will certainly handle the ball, and your idea is not lost on the Fever coaching staff.

    One thing is for sure with the season ahead - the Fever will have options and versatility. Thanks for reading and thanks for following the Fever!

    Ask The Messenger | April 30, 2007

    Q: You say there is no real separation between the players trying to earn a spot on the roster; on a message board I read from an observer of recent Fever practices that Erin Lawless has been doing extremely well and that keeping her might become a priority for the Fever. Do you not agree with that? And if so why is that; just a matter of different needs by the Fever? Thanks! (Sandra from Wheeling, Ill.)

    A: Sandra, thanks for the question. My point with the previous question had been only that, in only 4-5 practices, it was really too early to tell. And even now that rookies have been here for a week, it's still difficult to imagine anyone "pulling ahead" just yet. Let's remember - none of these rookies is competing yet against anybody they will need to beat for a roster spot. As for Erin, she has been a very active, energetic player who has performed well. Coaches like her. She's been a good addition to our camp. I stand by my previous thought, though, that the final players to make our roster might largely be determined by positional needs. We'll be a very deep team, no matter who are the final players chosen. Erin and a Purdue connection would be a great addition to our roster, but if the coaches want to keep an extra point guard or shooting guard, for instance ... well, you can connect the dots!

    [By the way, stay tuned for an interview with Erin that will run on later this week!]

    Ask The Messenger | April 27, 2007

    Q: I realize it’s early and a lot of veterans aren’t in camp yet, but just wondering what you can tell us about the rookies who are in camp…as far as how they are doing? Impressing the coaches? Have any of them pulled ahead as far as making a push to make the roster? (Aimee in Chicago, Ill.)

    A: Aimee, you’re right, unfortunately it really is a little too early to tell too much. They’ve really only played against themselves. With her size alone, Alison Bales is certain to be a factor and should make the team. But beyond that and with the depth of our roster, there will probably be about 6-7 players in camp (including Ann Strother, perhaps), battling for a final one or two positions. What it might likely come down to is, after determining the top two players at each position, at what position might the coaches wish to carry an extra player? Remember, WNBA active rosters only carry 11 players. We have 10 veteran players already, not counting Strother. A lot will be determined during the first two weeks of May.

    Ask The Messenger | April 19, 2007

    Q: Is Linda Frohlich still with the Fever? You did not mention anything about her playing in Europe. Did she not play with Catchings in Europe last year? Thanking you in advance for your response, Go Fever!!!! (Davi-May)

    A: Davi-May, thank you for your question! Many thanks are extended to Linda Frohlich for her time and service with the Fever, and from me in particular! Linda was wonderful in updating fans with her Journals From Istanbul over the past winter months, and she was a fantastic teammate during the 2006 Fever season. However, with the addition of our new free agents, she was waived by the Fever prior to the beginning of training camp, largely due to salary cap considerations. On a side note, Linda is still competing with Tammy Sutton-Brown as a member of the Fenerbahce team in Turkey which has advanced to the Turkish league finals. The Indiana Fever wishes Linda the very best of luck in all of her future endeavors, on and off the court!