WNBA Player Rankings: Week 9

SECAUCUS, N.J., July 20, 2007 -- If you poll the WNBA general managers and coaches, the majority of them would tell you that this season's Race to the MVP is a two-woman competition between Seattle's Lauren Jackson and Indiana's Tamika Catchings.

And with good reason.

Jackson and Catchings are both having outstanding seasons and when they retire, there will probably be two plaques with their names on them hanging up in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Still, that won't prevent Detroit's Cheryl Ford from trying to upset the big two. If the Shock need a crucial basket, Ford is there. If Detroit needs a big rebound, Ford is there. If a Shock player needs someone to deliver a pep talk, Ford is there.

Basically, she has exhibited every quality necessary to win the league's most prestigious award this season. She is the only player in the WNBA averaging double digits in points and rebounds and Detroit has the second best record in the league.

Last Sunday she showed how truly a special player she is when she muscled inside for 16 points, 13 rebounds and five dimes to help the East slide plast the West, 103-99, at the WNBA All-Star Game.

For her efforts, the 2003 Rookie of the Year was named the game's MVP.

Line of the Week
Cheryl Ford (East)
July 15 vs. West
16 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists

If she keeps playing at her current level, it may not be the only MVP award she wins this season.

Now here are the player rankings for the season through July 19.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    The Storm have lost two in a row, but don't blame LJ who had arguably the line of the season in her first game after the All-Star Break. She lit up the Mercury for 33 points on 11-for-18 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds.

  • 2. Tamika Catchings, Indiana
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Catchings has powered the Fever, who have the top record in the WNBA, to six straight victories and eight wins in 10 games. Obviously the break did her good: She had 22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists on Wednesday against the Sky.

  • 3. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Nolan has scored at least 17 points in her last nine games for the Shock, who have run off four straight victories.

  • 4. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    Hammon, who leads the WNBA in assists, has returned to the lineup from injury and helped the Silver Stars to a five-game winning streak.

  • 5. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    With averages of 19 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, Taurasi is one of the most complete players in the league.

  • 6. Cheryl Ford, Detroit
  • Last Week's Rank - 14
    Ford is the only player in the league averaging a double-double. She is pulling down a WNBA-high 11.2 rebounds a game, while scoring 13.3 per contest.

  • 7. Rebekkah Brunson, Sacramento
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    Brunson is putting up scoring and rebounding numbers that are close to Ford for the Monarchs, who have lost their last two games.

  • 8. Katie Douglas, Connecticut
  • Last Week's Rank - 10
    The Sun are finally playing outstanding basketball, winning their last four. As usual, Douglas is at the heart of the streak. Besides scoring 17 points per game, she has been playing her normal lock-down defense.

  • 9. Candice Dupree, Chicago
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    Dupree continues to pile up the stats, but the Sky have lost five in a row to fall into last place in the East.

  • 10. Sophia Young, San Antonio
  • Last Week's Rank - 9
    The Silver Stars are the hottest team in the West and Young carried the load while Hammon was out with a sprained right ankle.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Asjha Jones (Connecticut): (11)
    12. Alana Beard (Washington): (13)
    13. Penny Taylor (Phoenix): (15)
    14. Tina Thompson (Houston): (12)
    15. Nicole Powell (Sacramento): (Unranked)

  • Dropped out: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota).