Posts Tagged ‘ Taj McWilliams-Franklin ’

Minnesota Lynx assistant Jim Petersen talks with Hoops Insider

June 3, 2011 2:01pm
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With the Minnesota Lynx set to tipoff the 2011 season, we spoke with Lynx assistant coach Jim Petersen who is in his second season as an assistant with the Lynx. Coach Petersen boasts a heralded playing career including 8 years in the NBA, a Big-10 championship during his four years at the University of Minnesota and a Minnesota Mr. Basketball award. Coach Petersen also serves as the color commentator for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

On the health of Augustus and Wiggins

Both of them are back to where they were before they were injured. Seimone has looked as good as she looked prior to two seasons ago. She is in tremendous shape right now and is playing well.

Candace is in the same boat, but she has experienced some knee swelling, although she can get through it with treatment.  She is looking as quick as I ever seen her. From a quickness standpoint, she’s in tip-top shape.

 

On the depth of Minnesota’s backcourt and versatility it allows

We have players that can play multiple positions. Lindsey Whalen will be the starting point guard. Candace can play a dual role and play the shooting guard position as well, which gives us a lot of versatility. Seimone Augustus can play the shooting guard and the small forward. Monica Wright can also initiate the offense as a combo guard. Hornbuckle can go one through three. She is our third PG, but she can play the shooting guard and small forward position in our offense.

 

On players that will surprise Lynx fans this season

Fans will be pleasantly surprised by what an impact Taj will have. She is like a coach on the floor. She has an ability to communicate what might be coming, like a formation on an out of bounds play. From a veteran leadership standpoint, that will be what Lynx fans notice most.

They will see a maturity in Monica Wright’s game. She could be a bit out of control last year, because we needed her as a rookie to come in a score for us with so many injuries. You are going to notice a maturity that will be an eye opener for some folks.

Amber Harris is really talented. When they see how big Amber Harris is, and what a great touch she has around the hoop, they will be pleasantly surprised.

 

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Hoops Insider interview with SLAMOnline’s Stephen Litel

May 31, 2011 4:20pm
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As we get ready for Friday’s season opener, between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, we brought in WNBA and SLAMOnline writer Stephen Litel who kindly agreed to share his thoughts on the Minnesota Lynx. With over six years of experience covering the league, there was no shortage of information as Stephen gave us his insightful takes about this year’s team.

 

HI: It is rare that rookies make a dramatic impact in their first season. What contributions can we expect from Minnesota’s two top draft picks Maya Moore and Amber Harris this season?

SL: No matter what the sport, it does take rookies time to adjust to the professional level. However, if there are any two rookies who are most suited towards adjusting quickly to the WNBA, it’s Maya Moore and Amber Harris.

Everyone knows Moore’s history as simply one of the best collegiate players in history and it was a foregone conclusion she would be the number one pick this year a few years ago. She was ready for the WNBA long ago and her history of dominating in college, as well as playing with the WNBA’s best with USA Basketball gives her an upper-hand in adjusting very quickly.

Harris looked very impressive in her preseason debut last week. She gave Lynx fans a glimpse of why Minnesota (and yours truly) have been so big on her for the past couple seasons and with the post situation in Minnesota, she will receive big minutes right off the bat. At the team’s media day a few weeks back, she spoke glowingly of learning the WNBA game from players with as much success as Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Rebekkah Brunson and she is correct. The two veterans will be able to give the athletic and already-basketball-savvy rookie pointers as the season goes along.

It would be unfair to them to expect them to play to their full potential immediately, but knowing the intelligence, athletic ability and work ethic of both Maya Moore and Amber Harris, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see solid play very quickly.

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ESPN.com Chat with Taj McWilliams-Franklin

May 26, 2011 2:26pm
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Taj McWilliams-Franklin will be a hit with fans on and off the court in Minnesota, if she is not already. It is great to find athletes embracing social media and connecting directly with the fans. You can read Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s chat with ESPN.com here. We linked to a training camp journal on her Facebook in a previous post.

Good Insight from Two Training Camp Journals

May 20, 2011 3:00pm
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With training camps in full swing, WNBA teams are trying to narrow down their rosters in anticipation for the start of the regular season. Here are two training camp journals that provide some very interesting first-hand insight into the what goes on in a preseason WNBA training camp.

Minnesota Lynx Training Camp: Taj McWilliams-Franklin of the Minnesota Lynx writes about her training camp experiences on Facebook at The Taj 11 Fan Page. She has named her blog ”Training for a Title: The journey of the Minnesota Lynx”

San Antonio Silver Stars Training Camp: Alysha Clark, who was released by the Silver Stars last season, is back in camp trying to make the team this season. She is writing about her training camp experiences at Swish Appeal. Here is her latest entry from Friday, May 20th.

Injury Report