A Rookie A Day

PhoenixMercury.com is sitting down with each of the team's rookies to talk about their first WNBA training camp experiences.


April 27, 2007
LEAH RUSH - FORWARD - OKLAHOMA

PhoenixMercury.com: What are your impressions of your first WNBA camp?

Leah Rush: Iíve really enjoyed it so far. I think itís fast paced and high intensity. A lot of just really good basketball and itís been a lot of fun!

PhoenixMercury.com: Are you seeing any differences between the college and pro game?

Leah Rush: Certainly. I think just like from high school to college itís a step up in athleticism, strength, quickness and just overall skill. The same goes for the jump from college to the professional game. Everybody out here is a very capable player and really good; so you have to bring your A game every practice.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you think itís going to take for you to make the team?

Leah Rush: I think just a lot of energy and bringing the things that I can do to the court everyday. I think because there is so much talent out here you have to do something to stand out and you have to really show what youíre capable of doing.

PhoenixMercury.com: What were your reactions to the Mercury drafting you?

Leah Rush: I was really excited! I wasnít sure where I was going to go. Phoenix is relatively close to my home and my college town. Itís a neat town. Really great staff and all the girls have been really neat so far and so itís a great fit I think.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you feel you can bring to the team to make you stand out?

Leah Rush: I think my biggest asset is probably my versatility. I think I can play pretty much anywhere on the court. I can make things happen at any spot. So I think just being able to be a basketball player rather than a position player, thatís really something that will bode well for me.


April 26, 2007
CARRIE MOORE - GUARD - WESTERN MICHIGAN

PhoenixMercury.com: What are your impressions of the Mercury training camp?

Carrie Moore: Training camp is really intense. It is everything I thought it would be and more. The players go hard with every possession, the entire time. It is a lot of hard work but it really is a dream to be here and it is fun to be out here.

PhoenixMercury.com: Are you seeing any differences between the college and pro game?

Carrie Moore: In the pros, the players are bigger and stronger. I thought it was tough in college but in the pros everyone is a lot bigger and they are intense every minute they play.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you think it is going to take for you to make the team?

Carrie Moore: I will need to work really hard everyday in practice and I will really need to keep my mind focused. I also need to come in with confidence and work hard everyday. My hard work and dedication will give me the edge over some of the other girls here. I hope the coaches will see what I can bring to the team.

PhoenixMercury.com: What was your reaction to the Mercury inviting you to training camp?

Carrie Moore: After I was asked to attend camp, I was ecstatic. I really didnít know what my chances were after the draft and just to be here is a blessing. I am very thankful to be here with such an incredible coaching staff and players.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you feel you can bring to the team to make you stand out?

Carrie Moore: I am hard nosed basketball player and I will go hard on the court. Whatever I am asked to do, I will do it. I will try to do it to the best of my ability and I will have fun doing it too.


April 25, 2007
TYRESE SMITH - FORWARD - DELAWARE

PhoenixMercury.com: What are your impressions of your first WNBA camp?

Tyresa Smith: I really like it. I like the way they play. Itís just running and thatís something I like to do. We came in here our first practice, I was a little nervous of course, everybody I think was, and I came out here and once we started playing I got into it. I like how we just run and then he teaches what they run. So itís been fun these past couple of days, a little tiring but itís been fun.

PhoenixMercury.com: Are you seeing any differences between the college and pro game?

Tyresa Smith:Definitely! Well I donít if itís just here, but here we run a lot more then we did in college. Itís a lot tougher, and a lot stronger; itís a lot quicker. So everybody here is quick, everybody here is athletic. So itís different, much different from college.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you think itís going to take for you to make the team?

Tyresa Smith:Itís a lot of hard work. Everyday we come in here weíve got two-a-days. We didnít have that in college, so every time I come out here youíve got to give your best. Youíve got a chance to impress the coaches, the GM; so you just got to come out here and work hard every time and donít let down.

PhoenixMercury.com: What were your reactions to the Mercury drafting you?

Tyresa Smith:I was surprised actually, because before I had heard other teams were interested, but I didnít hear anything about Phoenix. I was excited to come out here to Phoenix! Especially to play with great players like this and I heard it was a great organization. So I was excited once I heard Phoenix picked me. Itís a great area and Iím happy ever since Iíve been out here. I love it out here.

PhoenixMercury.com: What do you feel you can bring to the team to make you stand out?

Tyresa Smith:A lot of energy! I think I fit in good with my quickness, athletic ability, and my defense. I feel like coming here, especially learning from the great players like Taurasi, Penny, and Cappie, besides bringing my skills I want to learn a lot from them too. I think I can bring a lot of energy and athletic ability in my quickness, help us out a lot.