Indiana Fever: 2007 Preview

INDIANA FEVER
2006 Results: The Fever finished
21-13, (.618, 3rd in the East).
Roster | Stats | 2007 Schedule
Head coach: Brian Winters enters his fourth season with the team.
Purchase Fever tickets now!
2007 Probable Starters:
C:
Ebony Hoffman
PF:
Tamika Whitmore
SF:
Tamika Catchings
SG:
Anna DeForge
PG:
Tully Bevilaqua
2007 Draft Results:
Rd. 1:
Alison Bales
Rd. 2:
Lyndsey Medders
Rd. 3:
Ashley Key
2006 Leaders:
Points
Tamika Catchings, 16.3 ppg
Rebs.
Tamika Catchings, 7.5 rpg
Assts.
Tamika Catchings, 3.7 apg
Blocks
Tamika Catchings, 1.1 bpg
Steals
Tamika Catchings, 2.9 spg
Fever fans worship Tamika Catchings, who led Indiana to a franchise-best record of 21-13 in 2006. But the Fever faltered in the Eastern Semifinals and were swept by the eventual champion Detroit Shock.

COMING BACK


Catchings
The star will be back for an encore along with her entire supporting cast of starters. But Catchings is the one the Fever will rely on to put them over the top. Last year, she led the team in almost every statistical category including points (16.3), rebounds (7.5), assists (3.7), steals (2.9) and blocks (1.1). Her steals average was tops in the league. Catchings was recognized for her impressive play, earning a spot on the All-WNBA First Team, All-Defensive Team, Eastern Conference All-Star Team and All-Decade Team. She snatched up her second straight Defensive Player of the Year crown.

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.


DeForge
Also returning off the bench are guards Tan White and K.B. Sharp. Entering her third season, White in particular may be relied upon for more scoring punch, despite her solid 8.9 points a game in 2006. At 6-3, center Kasha Terry adds depth to the Fever frontcourt.

NOT COMING BACK

In an offseason trade, the Fever sent reserve center Olympia Scott to the Phoenix Mercury for Ann Strother.

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.

KEY ADDITIONS

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.


Sam
Sam's teammate in Charlotte, Tammy Sutton-Brown, has followed her to Indiana. The 6-4 Center started for the Sting in 2006 and averaged 11.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg. She should provide the team with flexibility in the paint, and will effectively fill the void left by the trade of Scott.

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.

OUTLOOK

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.

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