Dupree as Consistent, Reliable as Ever

By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: May 28, 2014

Being reliable isn’t easy.

In basketball and in life, consistency is often taken for granted.

In fact, one can make a case that Candice Dupree’s best asset is her instinctive ability to remain steady at (literally) all times.

On the court, Dupree is a machine. There’s no other way to describe her. You almost have to be characterized as one in order to put up averages of 15 points, seven rebounds and 50 percent shooting in 251 career games.

Indeed, you know exactly what you are going to get out of Dupree every time she steps onto the floor.

Now in her ninth WNBA season, Dupree’s reliability shouldn’t be mistaken for dullness; she is equally as gregarious as she is quiet. That is to say, Dupree has an indelible sense of self and a peacefulness about her that is similarly infectious.

Nor should her quietness be confused for lack of caring. Dupree is as competitive of a player as I’ve ever been around.

With all of the dynamic personalities on this Phoenix Mercury squad, Candice Dupree can often – inadvertently – be overlooked.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that Dupree has never once said anything that would resemble a complaint about her role on the Mercury. This selfless attitude has certainly garnered the respect of her teammates, all of whom understand Dupree’s immense talent and value.

“She’s a huge part of what we’re trying to do, always has been,” Diana Taurasi said definitively about Dupree. “Everyone knows how smooth she is but she’s so technically skilled.

“She still makes things look so easy on the court after all these years.”

Dupree has been asked to assume – and be effective in – multiple roles during her tenure with the Mercury, all of which have required major shifts in the way she plays. Dupree has been utilized as everything from a dominant weapon in transition to a back-to-the-basket post and most things in between (including pick-and-roll spot-up shooting).

To be able to adapt to – and succeed in – the changes in philosophy over the years is nothing short of extraordinary.

“Candice [Dupree] is such an intelligent player,” Sandy Brondello said recently. “She is so versatile that she can fit in seamlessly with whatever she’s asked to do. We need to look for her a bit more and use those skills on the offensive end.

“Her consistency will be big for us as we move forward.”