Training Camp Notebook - May 13
"14 players," Donovan told the media afterwards. "Unbelievable.
Edwards practiced for the first time this season.
MVP Lauren Jackson returned to practice, although she took herself out before the Storm started going fullcourt. Donovan is hoping to have Jackson back in the lineup tomorrow, and Jackson said she plans to play, but her status won't be known for certain until shortly before tip-off.
Today was also the first practice for Storm reserve post Simone Edwards, who finally arrived after concluding her season in Italy, just a week before the Storm opens the regular season. (Edwards returned to Seattle yesterday, but the Storm had the day off.)
"It puts her behind, definitely," Donovan said of Edwards' late arrival. "In terms of working her into the rotation, with 14 players at Sacramento tomorrow, that puts her 14th right now. It's going to be hard for her.
"I assume that our 12-man roster will come out of these 15 folks," Donovan later added. "It's down to crunch time and they know it."
"I'm still trying to get my body to wake up," Edwards joked after practice in trademark fashion. "Last game in Italy was Saturday, flew Monday morning, and I just had time to re-pack my bag and then I'm back here."
In addition to the time difference and the smaller ball, Edwards has to familiarize herself with a number of new faces on the Storm.
"There are a lot of new faces, that's the first thing to get used to," she said. "Thank God some of them I know from the league or even playing overseas. It's good to see some of the old faces, like Lauren, Sue (Bird), Kamila (Vodichkova) and Adia (Barnes)."
Many of those newcomers are up front, presenting Edwards her stiffest challenge yet in terms of securing playing time and even making the Storm's final roster. Center Janell Burse, one of two posts to be in Seattle throughout training camp, has likely locked up the role as the primary backup to Jackson and Vodichkova, while Maren Walseth and Andrea Gardner-Combs have already had an opportunity to show their skills.
Edwards welcomes the battle.
"For me, it's about competition. It doesn't matter what the competition is. I feel I improved my game in Italy, work on it a little, and I want the competition. It's good. If I make it, I make it. If not, at least I tried. I'm not worried about it. Basically, I want this team to be good, no matter what. I'm sure, in the end, the better the competition, the better the team will be. If I came back and there was no competition, I would be worried."
Edwards also spoke candidly about re-evaluating how she's performed in the WNBA while in Italy, and her new approach that she hopes can make her as successful as she has been playing overseas.
"I feel like I'm two different players," Edwards explained. "I go overseas, I compete against WNBA players on competing teams. I finished in Italy as the leading rebounder and one of the top scorers. And then I always come back over and, because the role changes, I put myself in the corner. I can't shoot, I can't rebound. I need to come back with the same attitude - not come back to be a star, but come back and play my game. Be calm, play with confidence, and just play my game."