Practice Report: Thursday May 23, 2013





Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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Thursday's practice was the last practice with 12 players on the court for the Minnesota Lynx.

By 4 p.m. CST on Thursday, head coach Cheryl Reeve will need to make a decision to cut her roster down to 11. The fact that the decision came down to the last day shows how much competition there has been so far during camp.

After practice, the team announced the release of center Pepper Wilson. It appeared as if the final spot was between Wilson and fellow rookie Sugar Rodgers.

Practice seemed to please Reeve, as players were executing on both ends of the court.

"Today's practice was much closer to practices we expect to have," Reeve said.

Center Janel McCarville (ankle) and rookie point guard Lindsey Moore (calf) both participated in practice today after being limited during Wednesday's practice. Moore was doing calf drills after practice and McCarville noted that she ran sprints with the team and hopes to join them in full-court action soon.

"They weren't going to do full-court, but we did a lot more half-court exercises which was good for everyone," Reeve said.

One thing Reeve said she wants to see more of is leadership and players holding each other accountable. She referenced a blast from the past when speaking of how much the team misses center Taj McWilliams-Franklin and her leadership on the court.

McWilliams-Franklin played for the Lynx in 2011 and 2012 before retiring at the end of last season.

"Taj was a big part of who we were," Reeve said. "...She was so steady. The little things were done with Taj was out there... You look at Taj statistically and she didn't overwhelm you. Her tremendous value was all the other stuff. "

McWilliams-Franklin joined the New York Liberty coaching staff earlier this year.

Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus have been more vocal on the court, while younger players such as Maya Moore and Monica Wright have increased their guidance to some of the team's new faces.

The team will practice on Friday before taking a two-day break before resuming practice on Monday. Minnesota will then have five days before June 1 when it hosts the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. in the Target Center.

The final team will have six practice days before the regular season, something Whalen thinks is incredibly important.

"It's always important," Whalen said. "Every season you have new opportunities to do things as a team. The more time you have to gel is really key. We are going to take every opportunity to get better."


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