The Phoenix Mercury began training camp with Candice Dupree and Ketia Swanier as the only rotation players in town.
Players are starting to trickle in now starting with Nicole Ohlde who I spied riding an elliptical machine in the Suns training room this morning. Camp invitee Lenae Williams and back up foward/center Brooke Smith are also in town and will be traveling with the team to Seattle for the first pre-season game against the Storm on Sunday night.
DeWanna Bonner and Temeka Johnson are expected in camp by Monday or Tuesday which only leave stars Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor arriving late.
Exact dates for their return to Phoenix aren't known yet, but both are expected to be present for the home opener against the LA Sparks on May 15th.
The Mercury held their workout today on the main court of the US Airway Center while the Phoenix Suns occupied the practice facility. With the Suns advancing deeper into the playoffs, there are bound to be more facility scheduling conflicts but nothing that can't be sorted out amongst friends.
Early Roster Thoughts:
- Back up point guard Yuko "Shin" Oga does not have the proper Work Visa since she doesn't have a contract for the season so she will not be able to play in either of the team's exhibition games but will continue to workout with the team in hopes of being signed as the third point guard.
- Last year Shin arrived with a wrist injury that hampered her play and she eventually left camp to return to Japan for treatment. This year she is healthy and reportedly playing well so far.
- If the Mercury decide to take a third point guard, Shin will have a huge edge over Oregon's Taylor Lilley.
- The player receiving the most buzz is Sequoia Holmes. Holmes was drafted by the Comets and played one season with them before being selected by the Mercury in the dispersal draft. The Mercury never brought Holmes into camp and she's been playing over seas since.
- Holmes has a 34 inch vertical leap which she demonstrated Thursday by skying to block a close in Candice Dupree shot attempt. Holmes reportedly looks much more polished and could have a good chance at making the roster as back up 2/3.
- Brooke Smith will likely duke it out with Ashly Paris for the final roster spot. Either could provide bench depth for the front line. That one could do down to the wire and end up being a tough call. Obviously, Brooke as the incumbent should have the early lead there.
- If the Mercury don't take a 3rd point guard then they might take another guard/forward which would probably mean either 2nd round draft pick Tyra Grant or the much more experienced Lenae Williams who was teammates with Temeka Johnson in France.
- While the Mercury won't be traveling their PR person like they did in years past, both Bridget Pettis and Julie Hairgrove will be with the team on the road this season.