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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unkindest cuts of all

There are no lack of things that the WNBA does which makes me scratch my head in disbelief. Certainly at the top of the list is a refusal to go back to the 13-players rosters.

I look at some of the names of players being cut (Vicki Baugh, Dawn Evans, Brittany Rayburn immediately come to mind) and believe that if they were able to be on a roster and be developed that they could play in the league. It wasn't long ago that teams, if they had the salary cap, could carry up to 13 players with only 11 able to be active for games. When you factor in the fact that injured players can't be placed on the suspended lists, teams are put in rather precarious situations. There's no way the Phoenix Mercury is going to put an injured Penny Taylor on waivers so the Mercury will be prevented from having an 11-player roster this season. Somebody needs to explain to me how this is a good thing for Phoenix or the league.

Let's be honest, there are teams relying on sponsorships just to survive so there are bigger issues facing the WNBA but to me the development of players would make for a better product and that should be one of the league's primary goals. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.

It's completely unrealistic to think that the WNBA could rely on something resembling the D-League which helps to develop young NBA prospects. However, watching teams take fliers on foreign players or players not healthy enough to continue their collegiate careers rather than drafting top college prospects made a mockery of the entire process. You can't blame the teams. If you're the Minnesota Lynx and have the bulk of a championship team returning, what's the purpose of taking a player late in the first round or early in the second round only to have to cut them loose a month later? Or take the situation of the Connecticut Sun who signed veterans Mistie (Bass) Mims and Sidney Spencer to strengthen its bench. That leaves a promising prospect like Evans and second-round pick Chay Shegog (who is still one of 12 players on the Sun's roster) fighting an uphill battle. Teams don't want egg on their face as a result of cutting loose first-round picks but with so many rosters spots locked in, there's not much that the decision makers of the league's best teams can do with the current 11-player roster.


Anonymous Lorena Wood said...

WNBA season is Too Short, so teams would still Not successfully develop players even if they were allowed 13.

Most coaches at the college or pro level Prefer a Rotation of 8 players or less.

How is that Developing players?

Other than the 2000-01 UConn Huskies - who did not win the NCAA title - name 1 college or pro team that Successfully used a Rotation where 9 or 10 players averaged 10+ MPG.

Coaches at the college and pro level are More Concerned with Winning rather than Developing players for a "rainy day".

Coaches get Paid to Win their Divisions, earn a Playoff Sport, and Compete for a Championship.

These coaches are More Concerned with Preserving Chemistry with their Rotation Players rather than Developing the Bench Players.

And these coaches Knowingly do this at the Expense of Wearing Out the Legs of the rotation players.

Veterans like Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are Too Valuable to get Run Into the Ground.

Injury Prone players like Candace Parker and Lauren Jackson should play as Minimal Minutes as possible.

Brian Agler and Geno Auriemma are the "worst" culprits when it comes to "developing" players.

Both coaches Moan and Groan that they have "No Depth" during March Madness and WNBA Playoffs.

Yet, they Fail miserably at Developing the players on their bench.

Players get Better in Actual Games than in Practice.

Yanking players after 1 Mistake is Not going to Develop them.

Develop the players by Playing them Meaningful Minutes thru out the entire Regular Season.

I do Not care how successful both coaches are.

These coaches take Credit for coaching "genius" when they Win a Championship with Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird, and Swin Cash or Maya Moore, Tina Charles, and Renee Montgomery.

But when 1 of their 3 super stars is Out with Injury or on Duty for their Country or Graduates, suddenly the coaches become as "ordinary" as the Bench Players.

Seriously, how Difficult is it to Win a Championship when a Coach has 3 Healthy Legitimate Stars?

Minnesota Lynx would have Won the WNBA Championship last season Without the great Maya Moore.

In summary, here are 2 legitimate reasons why the Roster Size is Not as Important as you might think.

WNBA and WCBB seasons are Very Short compared to the NBA. Games are at a Premium, so there is Less likelyhood of Player Development

Most pro or college coaches Prefer a Rotation of 8 Players or Less. So the 9th, 10th, and 11th players - and sometimes the 8th player - do Not play Meaningful Minutes.

6:47 PM 

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