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WNBA Draft 2011 Prospect Capsule: Ta’Shia Phillips – "She Just Doesn't Let a Day Go By Where She's Not Trying To Get Better"

<em>Ta'Shia Phillips Shows off her skills sure to make a WNBA team happy on draft day (Photo courtesy of Xavier Athletics)</em>
Ta'Shia Phillips Shows off her skills sure to make a WNBA team happy on draft day (Photo courtesy of Xavier Athletics)

From now until the WNBA draft on April 11, 2011, Swish Appeal will be providing you with information, quotes and audio clips on some of the top prospects.  We hope you enjoy them, and they help you prepare for the new crop of WNBA players entering the league this summer!

"The reason she's such a great player is she's so relentless in how she plays and how she approaches the game," former Xavier coach Kevin McGuff said. "She's a perfectionist, and she just doesn't let a day go by where she's not trying to get better, not trying to impact our team in a positive way."  A true center in a world of hybrid posts, Ta'Shia Phillips is a dominant inside presence, a rebounding machine with a variety of post moves on offense.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

A 6'6 center, Ta'Shia Phillips capped her career at Xavier with Honorable Mention All-American selection this year.   Phillips, alongside 6'5 Amber Harris, presented a combination that was unseen in most NCAA circles, and elevated mid-major Xavier to Top 10 national status.  She will bring to a WNBA team a willingness to work hard and be a strong, physical presence inside.

STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

  • Averaged 16.1 points per game, up from 13.9 ppg as a junior
  • 2nd in the nation in rebounds per game with 12.4
  • 3rd in the nation in field goal percentage with 60.5% accuracy
  • 2nd in the nation with 22 double-doubles, for a career total of 77
  • Made under 63% of her foul shots
  • Not a "great" shot blocker despite being 6'6, averaging 1.6 per game

STRAIGHT FROM THE PLAYER'S MOUTH

A McDonald's first team All-American and Miss Indiana Basketball, Ta'Shia Phillips had her choice of schools to attend, and had verbally committed to local Purdue before coaching changes led to her changing her mind.  Ta'Shia talked with me about choosing Xavier and playing for the "underdog" nationally.

Dishin & Swishin: Ta'Shia Phillips on Xavier and Being the Underdog

One thing that Ta'Shia really excels at is rebounding.  She has studied it, practiced it, and loves going after every shot.  I talked to her about her outstanding rebounding ability.

Dishin & Swishin: Ta'Shia Phillips on Rebounding

For four years now Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris have been a "matched set," both coming from Indiana, playing with or against each other throughout High School and AAU and then on to Xavier.  I interviewed them both together for Dishin & Swishin, and they both talked about the WNBA.

Dishin & Swishin: Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris on the WNBA

WHAT THE COACHES SAY

Mike Neighbors has been an assistant coach at Xavier during Ta'Shia's time there.   Voted one of the Rising Stars in coaching in 2009, Coach Neighbors talked with me about his star center.

Dishin & Swishin: Mike Neighbors on Ta'Shia Phillips

FROM ELSEWHERE ON THE ‘NET

Ta'Shia Phillips Is one of a kind

Like the paper-and-ink books that accumulate in Phillips' room, waiting to be read page by page rather than button by button by the voracious reader, there is something a little old school about her game and demeanor. And like the best of the books, she's a classic in her own right.

"She's such a great player, and the reason she's such a great player is she's so relentless in how she plays and how she approaches the game," Xavier coach Kevin McGuff said. "She's a perfectionist, and she just doesn't let a day go by where she's not trying to get better, not trying to impact our team in a positive way."