But Catchings was not the only player putting up impressive numbers. Big forward Tamika Whitmore, a 2006 All-Star, averaged 15.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Shooting guard Anna DeForge, who recently returned from Poland where she won the league title with Wisla Can Pack, averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 boards a night. Point guard Tully Bevilaqua averaged 6.6 points a game and came up big on defense averaging 2.1 spg. Center Ebony Hoffman is back as well, and hopes to improve on her 2006 career highs of 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.
NOT COMING BACK
The Fever also lost Charlotte Smith, who announced her retirement after eight seasons in the league.
Indiana waived German Linda Frohlich in April to make room for rookie Jessica Dickson. Several weeks earlier, they traded LaTangela Atkinson to the Sacramento Monarchs for a 2008 second-round draft pick.
This winter, the Fever added several significant veterans to their roster. They selected veteran guard/forward Sheri Sam in the Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft. Last season, Sam averaged 10.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 1.48 spg and should step right in off the bench to eat up valuable minutes on the wing.
In the aforementioned Olympia Scott exchange, the Fever got forward Ann Strother in return. Entering only her sophomore year in the league, she is still learning and adjusting but is a solid shooter with a lot of potential. Having appeared in only eight games last season for the Mercury, the Fever look forward to finding out what the former UConn Husky can really do.
The Fever also made a solid addition via the draft, choosing Duke's Alison Bales in the first round. The 6-7 Bales will likely come off the bench, adding size, strength and skill to the Fever's front line.
Indiana also landed rookie forward Jessica Dickson from Sacramento in a trade several days after the draft. Dickson was a prolific scorer at South Florida, but she'll be fighting for minutes on this deep roster.
It is not likely that the Fever's starting lineup will change much, if at all,
from last season. While there are several new additions -- the pickup of Alison
Bales should prove to be particularly helpful -- the core of the team remains
the same. With a stronger group of reserves than last year, expect to see a
solid Fever team on the court and, eventually, a long run in the postseason.