To the point, Part 5 (Chicago Sky)

May 27, 2011 7:20am
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A perennial lottery team, the Chicago Sky brought in a new coach/GM in former LSU head coach Pokey Chatman. Chatman, who had spent the previous two years coaching Euroleague giant Spartak, brings with her valuable professional basketball knowledge (she is a WNBA novice). That said, Pokey continued the draft trend set by her predecessor (Steven Key) by selecting a point guard prospect with the team’s lottery pick. Courtney Vandersloot, the darling of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, is the only player in college basketball history to record 2000 points and 1000 assists. The highly-decorated PG is the latest highly-decorated PG prospect to be drafted by the Sky, as the team selected Maryland’s Kristi Toliver (2006 NCAA champion and 2009 ACC POY) in 2009 with its lottery pick and Epiphanny Prince (3rd team AA in 2009; played in Turkey in lieu of senior season) in 2010. Toliver was traded after one season to the LA Sparks while Prince, who did not look comfortable playing PG for the first time in her career, slides over to SG this season. It should be noted that neither Toliver nor Prince started a game at PG for the Sky.

Will that trend continue in Chicago? Seems unlikely, as the new coaching staff has a vested interest in having the three-time WCC POY start at lead guard sooner rather than later (and you would, too, if your only alternative–Dominique Canty–has not been able to lead this team to the playoffs and isn’t a true PG herself). But patience has to be exercised by the fans and the coaching staff with respect to Vandersloot’s development, as evidenced by her up and down performances this week in her first taste of WNBA action. While she’s not the next Sue Bird, it doesn’t mean that Vandersloot isn’t a valuable asset to the Sky. Like most valuable assets, however, she needs time to mature. In saying that, it would make sense for the Sky to continue to start Canty at the PG position and ease Vandersloot in as her play warrants more minutes.

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