Stars forward Danielle Adams will likely have additional minutes to show what she can do in Sophia Young's absence due to injury. - Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE
With Sophia Young suffering a right knee injury earlier this week, this puts the San Antonio Silver Stars in a more precarious spot for their 2013 season. While injuries could be setbacks for teams, they are also opportunities for others to show what they can do, and for San Antonio, it's no different.
There are two things at the present time that I at least can see the Stars doing in order to address Young's absence on the basketball court:
1. Expect current Stars post players to step up their games
While Young is rehabbing and out of action, the Silver Stars already have two additional post players who have made significant positive contributions last year: forward Danielle Adams and center Jayne Appel.
Adams was the team's third leading scorer playing primarily as a sixth man. One area where she hasn't been as strong as she could be is a at rebounding where I could see her use her size to get rebounds, even despite her shorter stature at 6'1." However, that may be in part because she does play often at the perimeter, especially on offense given that she is a three point shooting threat. With Young out, it is very possible that we will see Adams starting more games this season.
Appel has steadily improved as a rebounder especially during her three years as a pro. Though she only played an average of 19 minutes a game, she did average 6.5 rebounds in that time, and with Young out, Appel is likely to play more minutes per game, and grab more rebounds. The one area where she will need to contribute more is scoring where she only averaged a little over 3 points a game in all of her pro seasons and this season she should have some more opportunities to do that.
A third post player, rookie center Ziomara Morrison played limited minutes last year for the Stars, and she should have some more opportunities to show what she can do as well. Last year in her limited minutes, Morrison was able to make six of ten threes and made 9/11 free throws, and averaged nearly 9 rebounds per 40 minutes played, so there's room for growth with her as well.
2. Use free agency as a way to add post depth
The Seattle Storm in its 2011-12 offseason knew that franchise post player Lauren Jackson would be out for the first half of the season due to the Olympics. In response, the team signed Ann Wauters who held the fort until Jackson's return and the Storm ultimately made the 2012 playoffs. Perhaps the Stars could try to find a free agent post player in a similar light.
At least based on the free agent list for 2013 released by the league, there doesn't appear to be any big name post players. However, they could provide more bench support, in particular if Danielle Adams is moved to the starting lineup. Players like Le'Coe Willingham or Kara Braxton may be on Dan Hughes' radar among unrestricted free agents.
Even though Sophia Young is injured, this doesn't mean that the Silver Stars are doomed for a sub 10 win season for 2013 assuming there are no other waves of injuries, like the Phoenix Mercury faced last season to its top players. Current post players like Appel, Adams, and Morrison will have to step up their games to hold the fort and perhaps show that they can take their next steps as players, and perhaps the team can also acquire more talent in free agency. One additional area to get more talent will be the draft, but given that the Stars at this time won't be able to pick until the 8th spot, barring blockbuster trades of course, the Stars' draft strategy seems to be dependent on what they do in free agency over the next several weeks.