Sky Hoops with House
February 23, 2012

How you liking all the free agent moves now Sky Fans! WOW! I can’t tell you how excited we are about how our 2012 roster is coming together! Pokey devised a plan; she executed her plan to perfection and is putting together a tremendous balance of veteran experience, championship experience, leadership, youth and overall talent on our 2012 roster! And we aren’t done yet! We still have the draft, a few more free agents to look at and a very competitive training camp ahead of us!

Hold on tight!

If you haven’t already done so, you better get your tickets for our games at Allstate Arena! It is going to be an amazing summer and you aren’t going to want to miss a single minute of it! As Swin says in all her tweets.... #skysthelimit!

With all the signings around the league, let’s take a look at how each organization goes about building a roster.

The WNBA mandates an 11-player roster. During the very early WNBA days, 1999, the roster was comprised of: 11 active players, two players on the injured list and one developmental player. The developmental player was a player that could practice with the team but did not dress for games, play or travel with the team. During the 1999 season we had a developmental player in New York, Simone Edwards, a 6’4 post/forward out of Iowa. Simone went on to have a very solid WNBA career. In 2000 she went to Seattle and played six seasons, 178 games and started 48 games. That developmental season was critical in Simone’s growth as a player.

Now, with only 11 players the opportunities are fewer and the competition higher for earning a roster spot in the WNBA. With so many strong veteran players still in the league, great college talent coming up every year and more and more international stars bringing their talents to the WNBA it is so difficult for players to find a spot.

Many teams look at how to build a roster based on the position(s) a player can defend. Others look at how the 11 players will fit together offensively. I believe all teams look at what the roster will look like from a chemistry stand point. I am a firm believer that in any sport, a team can be blessed with great talent, with staying healthy and with strong leadership... IF there are chemistry issues, the team will lose. Period. Each player has to understand her role is vital to the team’s success, no matter what that role is. Each player has to “buy in”, to accept that role. That means that each person must sacrifice their own personal goals and agenda for those goals of the team. The creation of team chemistry is re-built every season. No team takes for granted that simply because they had good or bad chemistry one season that it will be the same the next. With an 11-player roster, this could not be more critical. There is little room for error.

The 11-player roster is a strange number. Teams must ask the question: do we carry 5 guards and 6 forwards/posts or 6 guards and 5 forwards/posts? Ultimately, someone on the roster must be what I call the Chameleon. The chameleon is the player, or players, that can play multiple positions, both in practice settings and in games. They are able to guard multiple positions on the defensive end of the floor, while possessing an offensive skill set of both a guard and a forward or post. The more chameleon type players a team has, the more versatile the team is on the floor. When a team in versatile they are harder to guard and (usually) more solid defensively.

In looking at our roster you see players like Tamera Young who’s offensive and defensive abilities, toughness and tenaciousness allow her to guard any player PG through power forward. (She’s probably take on center or two knowing T!) T is an active and skilled guard, but can switch on to players in the post (in the pick & roll for example) and take care of business. Also, players like Swin Cash and Le’Coe Willingham. Though I have never coached either of them, I have watched as Swin demonstrated her ability as a high skilled offensive player with a fearless defensive approach who can guard nearly any position on the court. Le’Coe has always impressed me as a warrior both offensively and defensively. An undersized post player in the mold of Charles Barkley: tough, can shoot it and will rebound the ball while defending anyone at the 3, 4 or 5 spots. Tamera, Swin and ‘Coe’s toughness, offensive and defensive balance make them perfect candidates for the chameleon role.

All right Sky Fans... let’s see what next week has in store for us. I will be heading out to some conference tournaments and keep you up to date on what goes on. What do you think Pokey will do next? You’ll just have to wait and see!

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