Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bird, Cash are All-Star game starters

Former UConn stars Sue Bird and Swin Cash were named starters for the Western Conference squad for the July 25 WNBA All-Star game which will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena.

In a remarkably tight vote, Bird finished as the third leading vote getter in the Western Conference finishing 400 votes behind fellow guard Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars and 94 behind her Seattle Storm teammate Lauren Jackson. Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles, who missed her seventh straight game with a knee injury, was named the Western Conference's starting center while Cash beat out San Antonio's Sophia Young, Phoenix's Cappie Pondexter and Tina Thompson to earn the second starting forward position alongside Jackson, her Seattle teammate.

The biggest surprise had to be that former UConn star Diana Taurasi and her Phoenix teammate Pondexter, the league's top two scorers, were not voted onto the starting lineup. One has to wonder how much Taurasi's July 2 arrest on suspicion of DUI hurt her voting tally.

For the Eastern Conference, Indiana's Tamika Catchings was the runaway leader in votes with 94,316. She is joined in the starting lineup by Chicago's Candice Dupree and Sylvia Fowles, Indiana's Katie Douglas and Alana Beard of Washington. I have to admit to being a bit stunned that former UConn star Asjha Jones of the Connecticut Sun finished 19th among Eastern Conference players and seventh among Eastern Conference forwards in voting.

I would expect to see Jones and Lindsay Whalen named as Eastern Conference reserves. Taurasi, assuming not punishment is handed down before July 25, I would imagine would also earn an invite. Another former UConn star, Minnesota's second-year forward Charde Houston would also have to be considered a candidate for a spot on the Western Conference although I think her Minnesota teammate Candice Wiggins may get the nod. I found it interesting that only three of the top 10 players in efficiency rating (No. 2 Jackson, No. 6 Hammon and No. 8 Catchings) were named starters.

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