Day 2: Moore Following Whalen's Path

Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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Lindsey Moore might have been as disappointed as anyone to find out Lindsay Whalen was ill on the opening day of Training Camp on Sunday. The Lynx’s first round selection out of Nebraska in April grew up watching Whalen, idolizing her for the way she gets her teammates involved and knows when to take a game over.

For a young point guard looking to make a name for herself in her first WNBA Training Camp, getting to share the court with one of her favorite players is somewhat of an added thrill in an already exhilarating situation.

She’s an athlete Moore has watched going as far back as the Gophers’ Final Four run in 2004. Now, she has a chance to learn from her each day.

“I just hope to do what she does for them so that when she comes off the floor there is no drop off,” Moore said. “It’s just maintained, and being consistent is the main thing.”

So far, so good.

It’s awfully early in this Training Camp. Two of the Lynx’s starters—Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson—haven’t even arrived in town yet. Rookies are just learning the playbook, and everyone is learning to play with one another. There’s a long ways to go, and coach Cheryl Reeve admitted when camp opened it’s very early to tell how the rookies will adjust and look by the end of camp.

But Moore has looked impressive early on with the way she can shoot, and she also gained praise from Reeve for how she navigates the pick-and-roll.

Sounds like another Lindsay we know, right?

On Tuesday, Whalen said she noticed positives in the young point guard.

“She really works hard,” Whalen said. “You can tell she’s been playing in a really good program down in Nebraska, and you know you can see she sees the court well and runs the team well. It’s exciting to see young players come in with the talent in the league, especially other point guards with me being a point guard myself.”

Have Moore on the team and striking up conversations of how she’s grown up watching Whalen sparks a discussion on how the women’s game has changed during Whalen’s career. She didn’t have professional female basketball players to look up to and make an imprint on her when she was really young—the WNBA didn’t form until she was a freshman in Hutchinson.

She said on Monday her favorite player growing up was Charles Barkley, because she was a Phoenix Suns fan prior to the Kevin Garnett era in Minnesota.

But nowadays, she is the one young women are admiring. At this stage in her career, those players are now entering the NBA and are, in Moore’s case, becoming her teammate. She said it’s an enjoyable part of being a professional athlete—knowing that she and her peers can help mold the next generation of players in hopes of helping them make the next generation even better.

For now, however, it’s a work in progress on the 2013 Lynx. Whalen is still the All-Star, Olympic Gold Medalist, WNBA champion that has become one of the top point guards in the world. Moore, a standout at Nebraska who helped the Huskers to success in her tenure, is trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

On Sunday, she went through all the physicals, got her playbook, hit the court and did the extra work after practice. She arrive in Minnesota on Saturday, because she still needed to graduate college before leaving Lincoln.

It’s been a whirlwind for Moore since Draft night, but in a good way. She’s where she wants to be.

“The way they have their system is awesome, and they have some really good players on the team,” Moore said.

Reeve said each day is a stepping stone toward becoming more and more comfortable.

“I’ll have to try to get [the rookies] to be confident in themselves to do what they do,” Reeve said. “But I thought Lindsay was very much herself. I thought she took the lead when she needed to take the lead.”

Quick Hits

  • Reeve said the expanded 3-point line is something she’s noticing in terms of helping space floor. With the type of dribble penetrators the Lynx have, having that extra spacing could really open up holes in the defense. Whalen said since the 3-point line is at the same distance as international play, she’s used to it a bit. She’s shooting from NBA 3-point range to make it feel like the WNBA line isn’t as far.

  • Another rule change is the defensive three second violation, which is a little more complicated. Reeve said it’s something the team needs to be conscious of all the time. It can’t be a deterrent on help defense, but the players need to be cognoscente of where they’re at and how they’re rotating. “We talk about it every time we play defense now. We want to be a great help team. We have to be active off the ball,” Reeve said.

  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.