RAISING THEIR GAME

NYLiberty.com offers an analysis of four Liberty standouts who have stepped up their play this season, taking to heart the team motto of, "Raising the Game." Could one of these lucky ladies wind up on the ballot for the WNBA’s “Most Improved Player of the Year,” at the end of the summer? Read on to find out the facts and then cast your vote.



CATHRINE KRAAYEVELD
Position: Forward
Height: 6’4”
College: Oregon ‘05
Experience: Third Season
2007 Team Leading Scorer: Four Times
Career Average Coming Into 2007:
Points 7.2 | Rebounds 3.6 | Assists 0.7 | Steals .39 | FT Pct .793 | Min 21.9
2007 Season Average (As of Aug-5):
Points: 10.9 | Rebounds: 4.7 | Assists 1.4 | Steals 1.1 | FT Pct .831 | Min 30.0

With just 13 starts last season, forward Cathrine Kraayeveld put in overtime during the off-season by working out back home in Seattle and playing overseas to raise her game on all levels. Her hard work has paid off for both her’s and the Liberty’s advantage. Kraayeveld has not missed a start in the Liberty’s 26 games this season.

In 2006, she scored in double figures nine times, while this season she almost doubled that number, with 16 games in double digits on the year thus far. During the Liberty’s first six matches, Kraayeveld was the team’s most consistent scorer – shooting .542 from beyond-the-arc and averaging 14.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

This season, she has set new career highs in seven statistical categories – including, points, rebounds, assists, field goals made and attempted, three-point field goals attempted and free throws attempted.



JANEL MCCARVILLE
Position: Forward/Center
Height: 6’2”
College: Minnesota ‘05
Experience: Third Season
2007 Team Leading Scorer: Eight Times
Career Average Coming Into 2007:
Points 3.2 | Rebounds 3.12 | Assists .62 | Steals .5 | FG Pct .423 | Ft Pct - .638 | Min 12.6
2007 Season Average (As of Aug-5):
Points: 8.8 | Rebounds: 4.4 | Assists .90 | Steals 1.2 | FG Pct .554 | Ft Pct - .833 | Min 18.6

Coming into this season, the No. 1 pick from the 2005 WNBA Draft, had only six career starts and posted double figures just three times. Fast forward to this month and McCarville has already surpassed her previous two seasons in Charlotte by leaps and bounds. She has already scored in double figures 11 times in 2007. McCarville is currently holding onto the WNAB's overall No. 1 field-goal percentage of .554, eclipsing the League's leading scorer in Lauren Jackson.

McCarville has been the bright spot in the Liberty’s second half of the season run towards the WNBA Playoffs. Since the All-Star break, she has averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals, while in the first half of the season, she averaged 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds. When put up against Eastern Conference teams this season, McCarville has turned in veteran-esque performances. Her first career double-doubles came in July against two of the top teams from the East. In New York’s three meetings with the Sun, McCarville has averaged 16 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and posted 17 points and 10.5 rebounds across three games against the defending WNBA Champion Shock.



LOREE MOORE
Position: Guard
Height: 5’9”
College: Tennessee ‘06
Experience: Third Season
2007 Team Leading Scorer: Seven Times
Career Average Coming Into 2007:
Points 4.0 | Rebounds 2.94 | Assists 2.43 | Steals 1.2 | FG Pct .344 | Min 19.5
2007 Season Average (As of Aug-5):
Points: 9.9 | Rebounds: 3.7 | Assists 4.7 | Steals 2.5 | FG Pct .409 | Min 34.1

There have only been three games this season when the Liberty’s starting point guard, Loree Moore has not recorded a steal. In fact ever since June 24th in Indiana – when Moore recorded five steals – she has made out like a bandit, averaging 3.1 steals in the last 14 games. With 68 steals and seven games left on the year, she has already passed her 2006 season total (62).

This summer, Moore has enhanced her leadership abilities, recording seven times as the team’s leading scorer. The most improved part of her game this season has been her log-range shooting ability, currently firing off a career best .405 percentage.



ERIN THORN
Position: Guard
Height: 5’10”
College: Brigham Young ‘03
Experience: Fifth Season
2007 Team Leading Scorer: Five Times
Career Average Coming Into 2007:
Points 3.4 | Rebounds .8 | Assists .8 | Steals .20 | FG Pct .370 | Min 10.4
2007 Season Average (As of Aug-5):
Points: 10.4 | Rebounds: 3.4 | Assists 2.5 | Steals .90 | FG Pct .455 | Min 30.5

In her previous four seasons in a Liberty uniform, Erin Thorn started just two games. On May 20th this season, Thorn made her first Opening Day start and showed everyone just what she had been waiting to do since arriving in the Big Apple. The end result was a career-high 28-point performance on eight of 16 from the field, including a career-high seven treys – as well as her first WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor.

This summer, Thorn has thrived in her new role as one the Liberty’s go-to players, posting double figures nine times in 21 games – a feat she previously only accomplished four times across 27 games last season. Thorn has scored in every game she has played in and recorded at least one rebound in all but two games.

No matter what, throughout her career, Thorn has consistently been a long-range threat for opposing teams, shooting 37 percent from behind the arc for her career. She has sunk 38 threes and shooting .413 percent this season. She is currently ranked amongst the WNBA’s Top 10 three-point gunners and has been in the Top 20 all season.

Compiled by Kimberly Griffith


NYLiberty.com wants to know which New York player you think should be nominated for the WNBA’s 2007 “Most Improved Player” honor. Cast your vote now.

Which member of the Liberty is this season's Most Improved Player?
Which member of the Liberty is this season's Most Improved Player?
View Results