Posts Tagged ‘ Briann January ’

Erin Phillips: the forgotten Fever player

June 29, 2011 7:06am
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Prior to the start of the 2011 WNBA season, excitement was building in Feverland due to the acquisition of Australian national team guard Erin Phillips from Seattle for a third-round pick. She was heralded as a possible alternative to Briann January at the starting PG position due to her scoring ability, defensive prowess, and playmaking ability. Head coach Lin Dunn even compared her to former fan favorite Tully Bevilaqua, Phillips’ countrywoman.

Since then, however, the 26-year-old has seen her role on the team diminish, as marginal players like Shavonte Zellous and Shannon Bobbitt have seen their minutes increase. Phillips’ numbers are nothing to write home about (about 4ppg on 34% shooting), but those logging minutes ahead of her from the bench aren’t exactly setting the world on fire (Bobbitt, for example, is shooting 19% from the field). Phillips has expressed displeasure in the past with the Connecticut Sun WRT playing time. One has to wonder how long it will take before she does the same in Indiana–if she does the same in Indiana.

With Briann January likely out for some time due to a knee injury suffered during the 91-86 win over the Phoenix Mercury on June 28, the time is now for Phillips to prove she belongs back in the rotation. It took an injury to superstar Katie Douglas for Bobbitt to go from bench ornament to rotation-worthy, so perhaps the same can happen for Phillips.

Fever defeat Liberty on the road, 86-80

June 12, 2011 12:00pm
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Fueled by a sprited fourth-quarter comeback, the Indiana Fever came away from the weekend home-and-home series with the New York Liberty with a split. Rookie G Jeanette Pohlen hit what proved to be the game clincher with a three-pointer from the corner. The Fever survived a number of negative factors, namely 11 combined turnovers from PGs Briann January (seven) and Erin Phillips (four) and poor play overall from starting center Tammy Sutton-Brown, to defeat the surprisingly offensive-minded Liberty.

As for New York, this is the third straight game where they gave up 80+ points. If this team is to continue to be better than the sum of its parts, a better weak side defensive effort will need to be implemented. There were a number of times where the White Line Defense was exposed, and most of those instances involved kick-outs to the corners for wide-open three-point shots. It will be interesting to see the adjustments head coach John Whisenant will have to make to avoid teams heating up from three against his team.

To the point, Part 3 (Indiana Fever)

May 24, 2011 6:53am
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The Indiana Fever once again made the playoffs in 2010, but their season did not turn out as planned. An early start to training camp (with several starters battling for the Turkish League title), injuries, lack of rebounding, and an improved Eastern Conference meant that the then defending Eastern Conference champions would have to protect their title without home court advantage (which didn’t happen thanks to the Liberty). A major reason for Indy’s decline in 2010 had to do with point guard instability.

Though anointed the starter at the beginning of the season, Briann January would once again lose her spot to veteran Tully Bevilaqua, whose style of play meshed better with the ball-dominant superstar wing duo in Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas. This season, however, it appears that the point guard position will be more of an open competition between the 24-year-old January and Australian national team member and Euroleague star Erin Phillips, who is only 26.  Regardless of who starts at the point, the starter will be at least a decade younger than the seasoned vet Bevilaqua (who now plays for the San Antonio Silver Stars).  Will the Fever’s championship aspirations receive a boost thanks to more youth at the point or will they stumble due to [relative] inexperience?  Stay tuned!

Indiana will play its first game of the preseason against the Minnesota Lynx at 12pm central time in St. Paul, Minnesota (Concordia University).

Injury Report