Thursday, May 04, 2006

UConn Draftees Surviving

It seems Barbara Turner continues to impress at Seattle Storm training camp, to the point that there is even talk of her cracking the starting lineup.
I can’t say I’m too surprised that Turner has made an impact. But to be earning such high praise this soon shows how far she’s come from being a player some thought wouldn’t get much draft consideration.
Regardless of her relative lack in height (5-foot-10 is probably more accurate than her common listing of 6-foot) and the fact that she is transitioning to a new position as a pro, when Turner wants to be, she can be the hardest worker on the floor. Put that attitude together with all the natural ability Turner possesses and you’ve got one formidable player.
It would appear that simply making the roster won’t be a problem for Turner.
As for UConn’s other two drafted players, Ann Strother and Willnett Crockett — each taken in the second round — remain on their respective rosters.
Strother has survived three cuts so far from the Phoenix Mercury, including a pair of players listed above 6-foot, like Strother. I’d have a hard time picturing Strother not making Phoenix’s roster for two reasons: She was traded for, which shows a serious interest; and Strother’s best years in college came alongside Diana Taurasi, who apparently lobbied for Strother’s acquisition.
As bad as this sounds, the fact that forward Shereka Wright has been lost for the season due to injury shouldn’t hurt Strothers cause, either.
Crockett is the oddball of this trio, although she has plenty of assets to support a decision to keep her on the Los Angeles Sparks’ roster. With a pair of forwards, who appeared like prime competition for Crockett, having already been cut, it seems like Crockett’s stock is rising.
And, considering her penchant for being a big-moment player, we know she has the ability to draw upon an extra level of confidence to pull her through.


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