Fever Concludes Second Week of Camp
May 6, 2005
The Fever received Friday off as the second week of training camp came to a close. Since camp opened May 24, the Feverís original roster of 17 has been trimmed to 15, and Indiana is 1-0 in the preseason after an 81-73 win over Detroit
Some training camp highlights and updates:
The Fever resumes practices on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in anticipation of its preseason home game with Phoenix on Tuesday, May 10 (7:00 p.m.). The Fever closes its preseason schedule with a return date at Phoenix on Sunday, May 15.
The Fever waived point guard Edniesha Curry on April 29, and rookie forward Ashley Early on May 2. The current roster currently has 15 players, though three (Tonya Massaline, Iveta Marcauskaite, Jurgita Streimikyte) will soon be added after returning from overseas commitments. Additional cuts will be made as those players arrive, to ensure that the Fever remain at the 15-player limit. WNBA rules require that rosters be at 15 players by May 3, and to 11 players by May 20.
The Fever have taken on an international appeal in camp this year Ė currently aided by the play of Australians Tully Bevilaqua and Katrina Hibbert, and veteran center Astou Ndiaye-Diatta of Senegal. Indiana will welcome a pair of Lithuanians as the third week of camp opens. Marcauskaite, a former All-Big Ten performer at the University of Illinois, joins former Fever starter Streimikyte, who returns to Indianapolis after a three-year absence.
An Australian homecoming is in order for the Feverís preseason home game vs. Phoenix on May 10 (7:00 p.m.), as no less than five Aussie players and two coaches could take the floor.
In addition to the Feverís Bevilaqua and Hibbert, Mercury coach Carrie Graf hails from Australia, as well as her first-year assistant coach Michelle Timms. Timms was the first international player ever signed by a WNBA team, and led the Aussies to their first Olympics womenís basketball medals in 1996 (bronze) and 2000 (silver). In her player biography, Bevilaqua lists Timms as her professional sports hero.
The Mercury also boast three Aussie players in training camp Ė Jae Cross, Belinda Snell and four-year WNBA veteran Penny Taylor.
Indianaís 81-73 win over Detroit was highlighted by the point guard production of veteran free agent Tully Bevilaqua. The Australian was perfect from the field, making three 3-point attempts, and perfect in six foul shots, as well. Her 15 points were more than her regular season career high of 14.
Indiana placed five players in double figures: Kelly Miller (15), Bevilaqua and Tamika Catchings (15), Deanna Jackson (10) and Jenni Benningfield (10).
Besides Bevilaqua, Benningfield was also singled out by Coach Brian Winters during his postgame comments. Benningfield, a 6-3 forward who shot 5-of-8 from the field against Detroit, was drafted by Charlotte in 2004 and waived before the 2004 regular season. She signed a free agent contract with the Fever last August but never appeared on the active roster. She played in Spain last winter and is in her second WNBA training camp.
Some key players have been absent during stretches of training camp:
- Tamika Catchings missed four days in the opening week of camp to complete the final week of courses while completing her masterís degree at the University of Tennessee. She graduates during the weekend of May 6-7, in Knoxville.
- Coretta Brown and Natalie Williams did not play against Detroit, though both were dressed and took part in warm-up drills. Both were kept out of the game, purely for rest and precautionary measures. Both have practiced regularly during camp, but each has been limited to one practice per day. Brown underwent arthroscopic surgery in March, while Williams, a 34-year old veteran with prior knee surgeries, has been limited due to soreness and added stress from two-a-day practices.
- The Fever also played against Detroit without the services of top draft pick Tan White. Like Catchings, White returned to her college campus for academic reasons. White missed the Detroit game in order to take final exams at Mississippi State.
Following its preseason games next week with Phoenix, the Fever will conduct an open practice for season ticket holders and guests on May 18 (6:00 p.m.). The practice will include a Fever scrimmage, and the first 400 season ticket holders in attendance will receive a Girls of Summer party favor! All fans are welcome. Bring a friend and Spread the Fever!
A day after the Feverís open practice, Freddy Fever and the Fever players and coaches will invade Monument Circle to join Emmis Communications in celebrating the start of the regular season! The Fever Rally On the Circle takes place from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., May 19. Join Freddy and the gang to shoot for prizes Ė including tickets to Indianaís opening game on Sunday, May 22 (6:00 p.m.).
Got a schedule? If not, mark down Sunday, May 22 (6:00 p.m.) and attend the Feverís opening game against the Charlotte Sting. From that point forward, the Fever will offer schedule giveaways at each of its first three home games!
- Schedule T-Shirts will be given away, courtesy of Community Health Network, at the opening game on May 22.
- Schedule Magnets will be given away, courtesy of The Indianapolis Star, at the second home game, May 24 vs. Phoenix.
- Schedule Posters will be given away, courtesy of McDonaldís, at the Feverís third home game, June 1 vs. Sacramento.
Got Tickets? Individual game tickets for the Indiana Feverís 2005 regular season may be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets, by visiting www.ConsecoFieldhouse.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling (877) WNBA-TIX. For season or group ticket information, call (317) 917-2500.