Observations from Training Camp Day 1
Training camp has begun! Thirteen players donned Fever blue and white practice jerseys this afternoon for the first workout of the 2012 season on the Bankers Life Fieldhouse practice court. Missing were stars Katie Douglas, Jessica Davenport and Erin Phillips due to obligations overseas, but a nice cast of returning players gave the day a taste of seasons past.
One of the day’s most enjoyable observations was watching Briann January run effortlessly up and down the floor, cutting to the basket and acting as if she’d never missed the final 24 games of 2011. Back with a clean bill of health, Bri looked fresh and sharp and, no doubt, excited to be back on the court.
Two other observations that stood out were the play of first-round draft pick Sasha Goodlett and the leadership of Shannon Bobbitt. Goodlett was a beast down low and she spared no effort in getting up and down the floor during an end-of-practice scrimmage. She fills the lane at 6-5 and can certainly be of use working against other big posts in the Eastern Conference. She’s young and will need to work in getting accustomed to the pace and speed of the WNBA – but her hustle getting up the floor contributed to a key steal and free throws in the final seconds of that scrimmage. Bobbitt, meanwhile, was seen coaching and instructing the rookies and free agents during the scrimmage. Bobbitt was quick to educate and help the younger players while learning the nuances of the Fever offensive sets.
Earlier in the practice, assistant coaches Stephanie White and Mickie DeMoss took turns working on offensive and defensive sets. For returners like January, Bobbitt, Tamika Catchings, Shavonte Zellous, Jeanette Pohlen and Tammy Sutton-Brown, little has changed. But for the newcomers, there are but five more days to digest and learn the new system before the Fever departs for its first preseason game – next Saturday – at San Antonio.
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