Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today Phoenix Mercury G/F Diana Taurasi become the first former UConn player to be named WNBA Most Valuable Player. She garnered 27 1st-place votes and 323 points overall en route to being named the 2009 WNBA MVP. She led the league in scoring at 20.4ppg on her way to winning her third Peak Performer Award for Scoring and being the leading vote-getter for the All-WNBA teams (named to the 2009 All-WNBA First Team).

On Sept. 5, Taurasi became the fastest player to 4,000 career points doing so in 197 games to break Lauren Jackson’s record (209). She led the league in three pointers made with 79 and ranked seventh in the league in three-point shooting percentage (40.7). Taurasi ranks 13th in league history for points scored (4,029) and third in all-time points per game (20.3). This season, Taurasi ranked among the WNBA’s top ten leaders in nearly every category, including points per game (first), three point field goals made (first), three-point field goals attempted (fourth), three-point field goal percentage (seventh), free throws made (third), free throws attempted (fifth), free throw percentage (sixth), field goals made (fifth), field goals attempted (10th), blocks per game (eighth) and defensive rebounds per game (sixth).

She was also named to 2009 First Team All-WNBA, her fourth consecutive honor and fifth overall in her six WNBA seasons (2005 season was named to the Second Team), a WNBA All-Star, her fourth such appearance, and earned the 10th-career Player of the Week Award for the week of Aug. 17th. Her efforts helped propel the Mercury to the best record in the WNBA at 23-11, which also tied a franchise record, and the top overall seed in the 2009 WNBA Playoffs.

Currently, Taurasi has led (23.8ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.7apg) the Mercury to the 2009 WNBA Finals to face the Indiana Fever. Game 1 of the Finals begins tonight on ESPN2 live from Phoenix at 9:00pm. Check out the rest of the Finals schedule here.

2009 All-WNBA Teams
First Team:
G Becky Hammon, San Antonio (169) [3 MVP votes, 77]
G Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix (151) [1 MVP vote, 99]
F Tamika Catchings Indiana (167) [3 MVP votes, 163]
F Diana Taurasi Phoenix (201) [27 MVP votes, 323]
C Lauren Jackson, Seattle (179)
Second Team:
G Katie Douglas, Indiana (138) [5 MVP votes, 128]
G Deanna Nolan, Detroit (75)
F Candace Parker, Los Angeles (100)
F Sophia Young, San Antonio (72)
C Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles (69)

Today Minnesota Lynx and former UConn All-American PG Renee Montgomery was added to the USA Senior National Team training camp roster. She becomes the 7th current or former UConn player named to the roster which will be coached by UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma. Montgomery's Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Jennifer Gillom was recently named an assistant coach for the USA Senior National Team along with DePaul Head Coach Doug Bruno. The other six UConn players are Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tina Charles, Asjha Jones, Maya Moore, and Diana Taurasi (Taurasi who will not attend camp due to participation in 2009 WNBA Finals).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today Minnesota Lynx and former UConn All-American PG Renee Montgomery was named to the 2009 WNBA Adidas All-Rookie Team. Montgomery garnered 11 of the possible 12 coaches votes (coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team). Montgomery, the No. 4 overall draft pick, became a consistent option off the bench in her first season. She averaged 9.0 points and 2.1 assists. Montgomery, who started nine games this season ranked third on the Lynx in assists and ranked in the top five among rookies in assists and points. She tallied a career-high 24 points in a 95-88 win over the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 7th.

2009 WNBA Adidas All-Rookie Team:
F DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix (12)
F Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta (12)
G Renee Montgomery Minnesota (11)
G Shavonte Zellous Detroit (11)
F Marissa Coleman Washington Mystics (6)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time to play with the BIG Girls!!!

Today USA Sr. National Team and UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma announced that UConn All-Americans Sr C Tina Charles and Jr Maya Moore along with Stanford All-American Sr C Jayne Appel, have been invited to participate in the first practice sessions for the USA Sr. National Team from Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2009 at American University in Washington, D.C. They are the only three college players that have been invited. Moore is still recovering from a sprained knee that she got during practice for the World University Games. According to Auriemma, she's progressing fine and will be ready for the camp. In the time since, it has been determined that that a pair of Connecticut Sun players, former UConn All-American Asjha Jones and Lindsay Whalen, have also been invited. The practice session begins a process that will lead to the 12-member 2012 U.S. Olympic team. The first major competition for the squad will be the 2010 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, in late September 2010.

"We need to see how good they are in relation to the professionals," Auriemma said.