2012 in Review: Camille Little

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images
11.3 PPG 12.0
5.1 RPG 4.3
1.9 APG 1.3
0.7 SPG 1.7
0.5 BPG 0.0
27.9 MPG 27.3
Little Emerges as Leader

Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | Nov. 29, 2012

During 2012, Camille Little was the Storm's rock. As injuries and other absences kept players shuffling in and out of the starting lineup, Little was the lone constant - the only player to start all 34 games, something she's done three times during four full seasons in Seattle.

From the start of training camp, Little found herself taking on more of a leadership role as the lone returning starter at practices. In her fifth year with the Storm, and sixth in the WNBA, Little embraced the role of veteran. She was also asked to do more on the court as the Storm started the season without Lauren Jackson, busy training for the Olympics with the Australian National Team.

Early in the season, Little's play mirrored the team's. Her best performance of the first month came in the Storm's opening win against Tulsa on June 1, when Little scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Her 10 free throws in 12 attempts were both career highs. Despite the strong start, Little had a tough June, reaching double figures just three times in 11 games.

In July, Little's season would turn for the better. She began the month with a huge effort in Connecticut. Little scored 27 points, a new career high, on 10-of-13 shooting and pulled down nine boards. Behind her play, the Storm defeated the East-leading Sun in overtime without either Jackson or injured center Ann Wauters. The outing was the first of three double-figure scoring nights in a row for Little, including 18 points and nine boards against the Mercury on July 8. She finished out the first half of the season with 15 points at Phoenix as the Storm went into the WNBA's Olympic Break on a winning note.

Following the month-long break, Little kept up her strong play. Facing the Mercury again in the Storm's first game in August, Little scored 17 points with six rebounds. She had 20 points against the Minnesota Lynx on Aug. 21 in the last game before Jackson returned to the lineup. Nobody saw more benefit from the return of the Storm's star than Little, who was able to play one-on-one in the post because of the way defenses respected Jackson's outside shot. So it was that Little scored at least 10 points in each of Jackson's first three games in the lineup.

On Sept. 6 against Tulsa, Little turned playmaker against the Shock's press, handing out a career-high seven assists as the Storm set a franchise record with 29 in a blowout win. In the rematch two nights later in Tulsa, it was Little's turn to score. She surpassed her career high set two nights earlier with 28 points in just 27 minutes, adding nine rebounds. The Storm clinched a playoff berth the next day, and Little played fewer minutes before closing the regular season with 14 points and eight rebounds at Phoenix.

After a quiet Game 1 of the Storm's playoff series with Minnesota (seven points, three rebounds), Little was saddled with foul trouble much of Game 2. She was able to get back on the court in the fourth quarter and ended up playing 33 minutes thanks to the pair of overtime sessions, scoring 12 points with seven rebounds. Little's impact was felt again during Game 3, when she scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting as the Storm nearly upset the defending champions.

Little finished the season averaging a career-high 11.3 points per game, good for second on the Storm. She got to the free throw line more than ever before and made the best percentage of her career (73.9 percent), while also showing occasional range with 11 three-pointers, another career best. Thanks to her durability and consistency, Little led the team in both total points and total rebounds.

2012 Highlights:

  • Only Storm player to start all 34 games, and one of three to play all 34.
  • Averaged a career-high 11.3 points per game.
  • Scored at least 25 points twice, including 27 points at Connecticut on July 1 and a career-high 28 at Tulsa on Sept. 8.
  • Handed out a career-high seven assists against the Shock on Sept. 6.

What was your favorite Camille Little memory during the 2012 season? Share your reply in the comments.

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