Our chat with SilverStarsNation.com owners STL and HotForHammon

June 8, 2011 4:34pm
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If you are a WNBA fan and specifically a San Antonio Silver Stars fan, than you are familiar with the great work done by SilverStarsNation.com. We had the opportunity to chat with SilverStarsNation’s two owners HotForHammon (HFH) and STL (STLnTDOT) as they shared their thoughts about the upcoming season.

SilverStarsNation.com was originally created to give Silver Stars fans and Becky Hammon fans a place to communicate online. The site has since evolved into a full-blown forum where SilverStarsNation now have live chats during SASS games, an active message board, and interviews with Silver Stars players, coaches, and staff.

The Silver Stars started the season with a convincing 93-73 win over the Tulsa Shock in San Antonio’s home opener Saturday. These two teams meet again this Friday as the Silver Stars travel to Tulsa.

What do you think Dan Hughes learned from watching his team for a year and what would you expect he does differently this time around?

HFH – I think he realized they needed to get some youth and more athletic players. I also think he realized they didn’t have an identity last season. I can already see he is working to re-establish the identity of the team just by the camp coverage. As to what he will do differently, he will have to rely on some of the younger players to play significant minutes.

STL – I think Dan won’t be as passive. Last year’s team was passive and looked lost at times. There was no leadership from coaching, and it seemed like players were coaching each other on the floor instead of looking to their coaches. I also think he realized he had to bring in some younger players.

 

Last year Sandy talked about keeping the same defense but being more fun and up-tempo on offense. Do you feel Coach Hughes shares that same philosophy?

HFH – I think everything will be about defense, and anything up tempo will come off turnovers created by the defense in transition. Defense is all Coach Hughes is talking about right now. Getting back to that being the team’s identity, which is something they got away from last season.

STL – I wasn’t impressed by the “more fun & up-tempo” game the coaching staff thought they could create. I think Hughes knows this team and how to motivate the vets to get what he needs from them. Hughes is big on defense and hopefully this team will respond to that.

 

If you could pinpoint one major difference you expect to see from the 2011 version of the Silver Stars what would it be? What will fans that don’t follow San Antonio as closely be surprised to see about this year’s team?

HFH – From last year’s team to this year, the most obvious is the coaching. There is a world of difference in style from Coach Hughes. From watching the camp interviews I can already see a difference in the player’s attitudes and to how they are responding to what Coach Hughes is asking of them. I think one surprise will be they are more athletic than they have ever been and that will be different from what we are used to seeing. I also think the team chemistry will come together faster than people are expecting.

STL – This year we have a lot of players that can shoot the ball… but we also lack size in a major way. Our two centers are Riley and Appel, both who were injured a lot last season and now Appel is already hurt this season. I think our feisty defense can help us a lot and with the addition of some of the players it will free up Hammon to take more shots.

 

What adjustments will the Silver Stars need to make without Appel to start the season?

HFH – Appel is still somewhat of an unknown and still unproven. All we have is last year’s performance to go by, and based on that, we haven’t seen anything from her to be able to say she was going to a dominate post for us or a huge contributing piece of our rotation. At this point I think the Stars need to do what they have always had to do, even with her in the rotation, they will have to work as team and rebound by committee.

STL – Appel was a non-factor last season and so far has been a non-factor this season. I think the bigger question is how the Stars adjust if Appel ever gets back into playing shape.  We just have to hope Ruth can stay healthy for awhile and stay out of foul trouble and we can get some productive minutes from the young-ins.

 

What kind of impact can the Silver Stars expect from rookie Danielle Robinson this season?

HFH – I am hearing some good things about her and based on those comments, I expect some strong disruptive defense from her. When she is on the floor I expect them to use her speed and run a more. I do think she is going to have a learning curve on using that speed and being able to temper it with control. She seems willing and eager to put in the work to earn the responsibility.

STL – DRob is fast!! However, DRob up to this point has never learned how to slow it down. So we have one side of it where I hope her speed can help us defensively, but on the other side I hope that she can learn to go with the pace of the team and make some shots! I think that as long as she can contribute then that’s what we are looking for. It’s been a few years since the Stars have had a rookie that can actually make a difference.

 

What is your prediction for the Western conference? What is the best/worst case scenario for San Antonio within this Western conference race?

HFH – I think the Western Conference is much more competitive than last season. Just looking at what is on paper, I expect the top 3 teams to be Seattle, Phoenix and Minnesota and not necessarily in that order. Best case scenario would be falling into that 4th playoff spot above .500 this go around. Worst case, finishing last. But who knows, the Stars have surprised us before and once they start playing anything is possible.

STL – Worst case of course is us finishing dead last… but personally I like being the underdog when it comes to anything! And of course best case is we win the West. If I was to make a prediction right now I would say the Mercury wins the West and DT has an amazing season. It has been a long time since we have seen a healthy and rested Taurasi… and that isn’t good for any opposing team!

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