It’s time for TRAINING CAMP!

I got this email from the Sky a few days ago…

To breakdown that list a little bit…

ROOKIES
Epiphanny Prince
Abi Olajuwon
Samantha Whitcomb
Larissa Williams

RETURNING VETS
Tamera Young
Dominique Canty
Erin Thorn
Kristi Toliver
Mistie Bass
Jia Perkins
KB Sharp
Sylvia Fowles

NEW VETS
Shameka Christon
Catherine Kraayeveld
Courtney Paris
Sandora Irvin
Kristi Cirone

Toliver, Prince, Sharp, Fowles and Paris are still playing overseas and will join training camp when their overseas commitments are over. Sky waived Katie Mattera on Tuesday.

It’s kinda silly to start making roster predictions before seeing the team play any preseason games, but oh well, I’m gonna do it anyway. Based on this 17-player roster, here’s who I think will make the 11-man roster…

GUARDS
Canty || Perkins || Toliver || Prince || Thorn

FORWARDS
Young || Christon || Bass || Kraayeveld

CENTERS
Fowles || Paris

Remember though that there may be more changes to this training camp roster as other teams make cuts and those players becoming available off of waivers. Also, I’ve never seen Whitcomb or Williams play and I’ve only seen Cirone once. But taking the roster as is, I think we look pretty good. Very balanced.

With regards to the guards, we look really solid. I think I read somewhere that Key is thinking about using Perkins more at PG this season. I’ve been against that in the past, but I think that is a very good decision for the current makeup of this team. In the past, we were somewhat “offensively-challenged” so moving Jia from the scoring SG spot to the PG spot didn’t make much sense. This season, it appears as if there’s more balance to our roster (and more potential scorers) so I don’t think we lose too much by moving Jia to PG. Let the vets (Canty and Perkins) run the show from the PG spot and let he young’uns (Toliver and Prince) focus on scoring from the SG spot. Thorn can be utilized at both guard spots (and the SF spot) when need be. Sounds good to me.

Regarding the forwards, we look good there too. Christon’s definitely gonna be our starting SF with all backup minutes going to Young. Bass and Kraayeveld can battle it out for the starting PF spot. I don’t know much about Kraayeveld’s game, but I know Bass is solid. The Kraayeveld/Fowles post-duo may work better than a Bass/Fowles duo because, I believe Kraayeveld has more range and likes playing outside the paint, on the perimeter. This would give Fowles more space in the paint to work. On the flip-side, Fowles can’t do it all by herself down there either. This is one of those questions that really can’t be solved until preseason games get underway.

Regarding the centers, Sylvia Fowles has to stay healthy. It’s as simple as that. Paris is a nice backup. I’m sure she’s light-years better than Chen Nan and Katie Mattera…but if she’s gotta be our starting center for 10+ games while Big Syl sits with an injury, we’re screwed. This wasn’t the case in previous years because we had another dominant low-post presence that could pick up the slack when Big Syl was hurt. That isn’t the case anymore…and it didn’t work out so well in the past anyway. Like I said, this roster looks good, but they’re putting a lot of pressure on Big Syl to not only stay healthy, but also to dominate down there.

Barring a waiver wire or free-agency miracle (where the heck is Cheryl Ford playing this season?!), it looks like our success in 2010 once again hinges on Big Syl’s health…even moreso than in the past 😦

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Here are some links to info about some of the newbies you may not be familiar with…

SAMI WHITCOMB — G/F (5’10”)

Quick analysis: Washington guard Sam Whitcomb receives invite to Chicago Sky camp (from SwishAppeal.com)

What might ultimately determine Whitcomb’s fate — and her intended role in camp — is that Chicago already has a full rotation of guards and an increasing need for frontcourt players, especially with forward Shyra Ely’s season-ending injury. With many WNBA players returning from overseas, Whitcomb may be helpful to the Sky in running camp, but her chances of making the final roster seem slim.

Whitcomb Receives Invitation To Chicago Sky Training Camp (from GoHuskies.com)

Whitcomb invited to Chicago Sky training camp (from SeattePi)

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Whitcomb said in a news release. “This has been a dream and a goal of mine ever since I began playing basketball. I just want to thank Coach (Steve) Key for giving me this opportunity and to Coach Jackson for helping to develop my game.”

Sami Whitcomb player bio (from U of Washington)

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KRISTI CIRONE – G (5’8″)

Cirone signs with Sky (from Daily Herald)

“This opportunity is a dream come true,” Cirone said. “After this year’s draft and free agent signing period, I didn’t expect to have an offer and thought my dream of playing in the WNBA was over. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and feel a new excitement for basketball.”

Blurb from this Chicago Tribune article…

Word on the street: Kristi Cirone, an Illinois State and Resurrection High School graduate, will be at Chicago Sky training camp next week.

Blurb from this Pantagraph article…

Cirone invited to Sky camp: Former ISU star Kristi Cirone has been invited to preseason camp with the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. She signed a free agent contract with the Connecticut Sun last April and was the only undrafted rookie to make a WNBA roster. She played in four games before being released.

Cirone, a Chicago native, is the school’s all-time leader in scoring, 3-pointers, free throws and assists.

Last season, Cirone played against the Sky at the UIC Pavillion as a member of the Connecticut Sun. She’s a local kid and her family/friends filled an entire section behind the Connecticut Sun bench and cheered LOUDLY for her entire 8 minutes of game action. Let’s hope all those people come out to Allstate to show their Cirone support. It’ll be even better this time around because they’ll actually be cheering for the Sky!

Kristi Cirone player bio (from WNBA.com)

Kristi Cirone player bio (from Illinois State Univ.)

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LARISSA WILLIAMS — F (6’3″)

Larissa Williams player bio (from Univ. of Tulsa)

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New blog from Shyra Ely approriately titled, “I’m scheduled to be in Training Camp…”. Excerpt…

Training camp starts on Sunday. I’m laid up in my bed. Usually, around this time of the year, I’d be packing and getting myself together for training camp. I already made arrangements to drive up to Chicago on Friday, it’s just 2 1/2 hours. I was looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting the new faces. We’re staying in new apartments this year. We’re playing in All-State Arena. We’ve made some promising off-season additions to the team. I had some projects lined up with Sky CR and PR. I think this season could be our best yet. The only thing is that I won’t be contributing. I won’t get to share in what I know will be a great season for the Sky. There is a lump in my throat. This is the first time I’ve actually gotten emotional since I ended my pity party a week and a half ago. I’m not going to cry, though. I think it would be disrespectful to God, His promise, and what he has in store for me. It’s hard not to think about the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s.”

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Tamera Young has been in town for a few days and has been keeping us up with everything that’s been going on via twitter (@TYoung11). So far she has commented on Chicago’s weather, their apartments, two-a-days, physicals and, of course, food :-). Great stuff. Follow her, for sure.

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As more training camp stuff comes up, I’ll post it. The season is almost here!!!!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on April 24, 2010.

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