With most of last year's team still overseas, coach and staff can focus on the newcomers.
Only three players from the 2011 WNBA championship team will be there Sunday afternoon for the first day of Lynx training camp. Guards Candice Wiggins and Monica Wright and center Jessica Adair, all reserves, will be at Target Center. The arrival of six teammates from last season will be delayed by overseas commitments.
"I've been in the league a long time; this is part of the WNBA," third-year Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "I am looking forward to seeing the newcomers."
The Lynx will have three draft picks in camp: Devereaux Peters, a Notre Dame forward taken No. 3 overall; guard Julie Wojta of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and forward Kayla Standish of Gonzaga. Veteran guard Erin Thorn, a free agent signed in the offseason, also will be there, along with several camp invitees.
Reeve said those new players will have the full attention of her and her staff the first week. Everyone is expected in camp by May 7 except for veteran center Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
"I'm really excited," Reeve said about camp opening. "It has been a great offseason. I enjoyed becoming part of the community. And now it's time for basketball."
Reeve said she hopes to build the team on its staples last season: defensive rebounding, stingy defense and efficient offense.
Three returning Lynx starters -- guards Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus and forward Maya Moore -- will play for the U.S. team in the Summer Olympics in London, but Reeve said she won't change how she uses them the first half of the season. "When they come back," Reeve said, "we'll know how they are mentally and physically to decide their minutes."
If she has to play her bench more, Reeve has high hopes. "We like Candice and the path she was on. She just needs to be more consistent," Reeve said. "Jessica became a big factor as the season went on, and I see Monica having an expanded role."
And Peters? "She just needs to be who she is," Reeve said, "and do what she does: set great screens, make the right reads defending in our system and get every rebound that comes her way."
|Baltimore - K. Gausman||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - B. Morrow|
|Minnesota - S. Diamond||6:08 PM|
|Detroit - R. Porcello|
|Cleveland - Z. McAllister||6:10 PM|
|Boston - R. Dempster|
|LA Angels - J. Blanton||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - E. Santana|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|