WNBA Player Rankings: Week 6

SECAUCUS, N.J., June 26, 2007 -- "If I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere. It's up to you, New York, New York."

I normally don't run around quoting songs but in this case it was a perfect fit. In her eight seasons in New York, Becky Hammon emerged as a fan favorite thanks to her outstanding play.

But during April's WNBA Draft, the Liberty shipped the point guard off to the Silver Stars and in the process, changed the face of two franchises.

"It was difficult leaving New York," said Hammon in a recent phone interview. "That is part of the business. I still talk to some of the Liberty players, quite a few actually. If we don't talk on the phone, we text each other. They are friends of mine."

While getting traded is never easy, Hammon has definitely made the most out of the opportunity. She was just named the Western Conference Player of the Week after leading San Antonio to a 3-0 record.

The Silver Stars, who haven't posted a winning record since leaving Utah in 2003, went 13-21 last season. With Hammon running the show, they are currently the hottest team in the league. They sport a record of 8-4 and are just a half-game out of first place in the West.

"I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out," Hammon said. "I looked at our roster and thought that we could make a playoff push. We come into practice every day knowing that our goal is to make a championship run. That is what we’re working for. It was sad to leave New York but this is a new opportunity and a new challenge."

Hammon is enjoying a career season for San Antonio, which has won four games in a row. She is averaging 18.7 points and 5.4 assists per game, while draining 91.5 percent of her free throws.

"The team is playing well," Hammon said. "I'm doing what I have to do for us to win, whether it's distributing the ball or scoring. It is all about winning. We have a really talented team. We have great depth and a good bench but there is still lots of room to improve. Being named player of the week is a nice honor but you don't get honors unless you win. That is what's important."

She is making the adjustment to life in San Antonio.

"There aren't as many people here, so it reminds me of how I grew up," said Hammon, who is from South Dakota. "I like diversity. The fans have been great. They greet us at the airport. Every city has their hardcore base and we're trying to build off that. We want to get the city excited about what we're doing."

Line of the Week
Lauren Jackson (Storm)
June 24 win vs. Sparks
35 points, 14-22 FG, 10 rebounds

Now here are the player rankings for the season through June 25.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Tamika Catchings, Indiana
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.5 9.2 4.0 2.9 1.2 .406 .869
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    Here we are six weeks into the season and Catchings is the only player to occupy the top spot. How can you argue against her? Unless her numbers take a big dip or the Fever go on a losing streak, she is going to be hard to beat.

  • 2. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.6 8.7 1.0 0.8 2.0 .506 .909
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Lauren Jackson is probably the most talented player in the WNBA. She is capable of doing everything on the court but it takes a little more to be an MVP. At present time the Storm have a 6-6 record.

  • 3. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.7 3.1 5.4 1.2 0.3 .462 .915
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Hammon ranks fifth among league leaders in scoring, first in assists per game and second in free-throw percentage. She has been named the Western Conference Player of the Week twice.

  • 4. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    14.8 3.7 4.1 1.5 0.4 .459 .813
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    In a possible Finals preview, Nolan played her best game albeit in a loss to the Monarchs. The speedy guard zoomed through Sacramento's defense for a season-high 23 points and also handed out four assists and grabbed three rebounds.

  • 5. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.5 3.9 3.9 1.3 1.1 .416 .899
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    Taurasi received a two-game suspension Saturday for inappropriate conduct toward game officials. She sat out Phoenix's game on Sunday against the Comets and will also miss Saturday's contest against Houston.

  • 6. Candice Dupree, Chicago
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.7 7.9 1.4 0.7 1.5 .529 .788
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    The Sky have cooled off, dropping two in a row, but Dupree remains red hot. The second-year forward erupted for 21 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to the Monarchs and she scored 26 against the Mystics.

  • 7. Rebekkah Brunson, Sacramento
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    11.5 8.3 0.8 1.3 1.1 .531 .723
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    Brunson's numbers don't jump off the screen at you but she does a lot of the dirty work for the top team in the Western Conference.

  • 8. Sophia Young, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    14.7 5.9 1.5 1.6 0.3 .500 .731
  • Last Week's Rank - 14
    Yes, Young had a stinker against the Liberty, only scoring five points on 2-for-8 shooting, but she has been stellar offensively during the other three games of the Silver Stars' hot streak.

  • 9. Seimone Augustus, Minnesota
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.2 3.7 2.2 0.9 0.6 .500 .836
  • Last Week's Rank - 12
    As the Lynx begin to string together some wins, Augustus is slowly moving her way up the rankings. Minnesota has won three of four and she has a combined 50 points in her last two games.

  • 10. Katie Smith, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    13.8 4.2 4.4 0.8 0.2 .374 .849
  • Last Week's Rank - Unranked
    The shooting percentage is ugly but her other numbers across the board are solid. Teammate Cheryl Ford has been slowed by injuries and Smith has been there to pick up the slack for the best team in the league.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Asjha Jones (Connecticut): 16.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 3.1 APG - (10)
    12. Katie Douglas (Connecticut): 16.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.3 APG - (11)
    13. Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles): 12.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.2 APG - (13)
    14. Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix): 17.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.8 APG - (7)
    15. Cheryl Ford (Detroit): 13.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.1 APG - (9)

  • Dropped out: Shameka Christon (New York).
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