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  1. #16

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    I have a feeling that if Paige's college career goes as planned, she won't need a good word from Whalen regarding her draft status.


  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    I have a feeling that if Paige's college career goes as planned, she won't need a good word from Whalen regarding her draft status.
    She won't, as long as it goes as she hopes it does. But, for local girls that hope to eventually play for the Lynx, Whalen probably has better connections than any other college head coach.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gopherdudepart2 View Post
    I am 100% confident Kenisha Bell is going to make the Lynx. You cannot teach her instincts on defense and rebounding, she is great at positioning and has tremendous speed. Bell will make this Lynx team on talent and determination. She brings rebounding and the ability to push the ball up the court which is what this Lynx team needs. Sylvia Fowles will benefit a lot from Kenisha pulling down the ball and getting her easy fast break layup points to quick passes to Fowles. Bell has all of the tools, and being around better players she will realize she doesn't need to try and carry the bigger burden on the Lynx team of scoring as much.
    I think tryouts will be Dillard and Bell against each other.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbwannabe View Post
    I think tryouts will be Dillard and Bell against each other.
    If the competition is indeed between the two lowest drafted guards, then perhaps Bell needs to work hard on her three-point shot in the next couple weeks. Not only is that consistent with what Sheryl wants, but her competition is a Pitts-caliber three-point shooter who nailed 105 treys this year (Pitts made 81). Cierra Dillard shot .341 on threes this year, whereas Keke Bell shot .271 from deep. For reference, Pitts three-point shooting percentage was .352 and Perez was .409.

    Also, about 46% of Dillard’s shots were three-point attempts compared to only 11% triple attempts from Bell. So historically (as we knew) Bell is more of a driver and Dillard is more of a shooter. Their other statistics are quite similar, as we see from the following chart.

    Stat Cierra Dillard Kenisha Bell
    Points/G 25.176 19.094
    2FG% .424 .409
    3FG% .341 .271
    FG% .386 .394
    eFG% .464 .392
    FT% .812 .702
    A/G 5.7 4.406
    R/G 4.9 5.875
    STL/G 2.853 1.969

    Bell had about one more rebound per game, and Dillard had an extra assist per game. Dillard has her beat by 11% in free throw shooting. We think of Bell as getting a lot of steals, but Dillard got an extra steal per game.

    Owing to a higher percentage of well-shot treys, Dillard’s points per game was about 6 points higher than Bell’s - and in fact quite near the bar set by Gustafson (in fact Cierra was 2nd place in NCAA Div I scoring, 2.6 points lower than Megan). Kenisha came in 39th place in overall points per game - 10 slots lower than Sabrina Ionescu’s 19.9 points - and bear in mind that in the mock drafts Sabrina was conjectured as #1 draft pick until she declared she was sticking around her Senior year to take care of “unfinished business.”

    In the above stats it may seem a bit weird that Bell edged out Dillard ever-so-slightly In field-goal percentage, while at the same time Dillard edged out Bell in two-point field-goal percent and was 7% better in three-point field-goal percent. That is not a contradiction. Bell’s overall percentage is slightly higher because she shot so few treys - and with this two-pointer emphasis her overall shooting percentage should be (and is) higher. However, I’ve also included Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) since that weights treys more heavily to reflect their higher value. In that stat Dillard bested Bell by 7%. And that’s the stat that Sheryl is interested in.

    Clearly, Bell needs to perfect her three-point shooting and her 18-footer in short order (and then take more of them) if she wants to be a Lynx.
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 04-16-2019 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by CutDownTheNet View Post
    If the competition is indeed between the two lowest drafted guards, then perhaps Bell needs to work hard on her three-point shot in the next couple weeks. Not only is that consistent with what Sheryl wants, but her competition is a Pitts-caliber three-point shooter who nailed 105 treys this year (Pitts made 81). Cierra Dillard shot .341 on threes this year, whereas Keke Bell shot .271 from deep. For reference, Pitts three-point shooting percentage was .352 and Perez was .409.

    Also, about 46% of Dillard’s shots were three-point attempts compared to only 11% triple attempts from Bell. So historically (as we knew) Bell is more of a driver and Dillard is more of a shooter. Their other statistics are quite similar, as we see from the following chart.

    Stat Cierra Dillard Kenisha Bell
    Points/G 25.176 19.094
    2FG% .424 .409
    3FG% .341 .271
    FG% .386 .394
    eFG% .464 .392
    FT% .812 .702
    A/G 5.7 4.406
    R/G 4.9 5.875
    STL/G 2.853 1.969

    Bell had about one more rebound per game, and Dillard had an extra assist per game. Dillard has her beat by 11% in free throw shooting. We think of Bell as getting a lot of steals, but Dillard got an extra steal per game.

    Owing to a higher percentage of well-shot treys, Dillard’s points per game was about 6 points higher than Bell’s - and in fact quite near the bar set by Gustafson (in fact Cierra was 2nd place in NCAA Div I scoring, 2.6 points lower than Megan). Kenisha came in 39th place in overall points per game - 10 slots lower than Sabrina Ionescu’s 19.9 points - and bear in mind that in the mock drafts Sabrina was conjectured as #1 draft pick until she declared she was sticking around her Senior year to take care of “unfinished business.”

    In the above stats it may seem a bit weird that Bell edged out Dillard ever-so-slightly In field-goal percentage, while at the same time Dillard edged out Bell in two-point field-goal percent and was 7% better in three-point field-goal percent. That is not a contradiction. Bell’s overall percentage is slightly higher because she shot so few treys - and with this two-pointer emphasis her overall shooting percentage should be (and is) higher. However, I’ve also included Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) since that weights treys more heavily to reflect their higher value. In that stat Dillard bested Bell by 7%. And that’s the stat that Sheryl is interested in.

    Clearly, Bell needs to perfect her three-point shooting and her 18-footer in short order (and then take more of them) if she wants to be a Lynx.
    nice analysis!
    Rags

    College sports matter because college matters and pros don't.

  6. #21

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    Bell didn’t even get a mention in the latest Lynx Off-season Podcast, which included a phone interview with Napheesa Collier, Lynx’s #6 pick.
    https://www.soundcloud.com/lynx-radio/pod19_lf_21

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Bell didn’t even get a mention in the latest Lynx Off-season Podcast, which included a phone interview with Napheesa Collier, Lynx’s #6 pick.
    https://www.soundcloud.com/lynx-radio/pod19_lf_21
    I've noticed this as well, as the WNBA articles focus on Collier, Shepard, and Dillard. I know Keke has her foibles, but I sure wish her the best. She was vital to the Gophers this season. Her speed and defense are noteworthy. Go Keke!

  8. #23

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  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    I'm surprised there is a highlight video on Kenesha Bell. I looked for one, and couldn't find anything.
    She certainly deserves her own highlight video.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbwannabe View Post
    I think tryouts will be Dillard and Bell against each other.
    it's perhaps a good-news/bad-news story for Kenisha Bell relative to her prospects of making the Lynx team (versus the backup option of playing overseas). On the one hand per "Minnesota Lynx Complete 2019 Training Camp Roster: Lynx sign Collier, Shepard, Dillard and Bell; add Shao and Emery to roster" https://lynx.wnba.com/news/minnesota...ng-camp-roster she's mentioned in the article and she's on the Lynx payroll and she's part of the 18-player training camp roster. On the other hand, about a week ago the Lynx traded Alexis Jones to LA for Odyssey Sims. You may remember her as the last-second-shot-maker and in-your-face-defender who annoyed the heck out of Whalen in her last Lynx season. Sims was in free-agency and apparently the Lynx wanted her enough to pick up the tab (which apparently the Sparks were not able to match). The Lynx are working with the cash salary-cap surplus saved by Whalen retiring, Maya Moore sitting out this year, and Rebekkah Brunson in unknown status due to ongoing concussion protocol from the broken nose last season. It's unclear whether the Lynx will hold a roster spot in reserve for Brunson (who is also in free-agency, and apparently hasn't yet committed to coming back or retiring or being traded, but has been busy lately with a new baby and selling waffles and being on the T-Wolves Fox-Sports-North broadcast team along with Jim Pete). Also note that (at the moment) Brunson is not mentioned on the roster list. I'm guessing no roster spot will be reserved for Maya Moore who has declared to take the year off, and who (although on the roster) is noted on the roster list as "suspended" (along with Kelsey Griffin).

    I would claim that Alexis Jones might not have been that much competition to either Bell or Dillard. But Sims certainly is - and the Lynx just paid money for Sims, so she's on the team. Here's the training camp roster (and it's actually 19 players instead of the 18 the article stated) as they head into training camp shortly ...

    No Player Pos Yrs
    0 Karima Christmas-Kelly F 8
    1 Odyssey Sims G 5
    2 Erlana Larkins F 9
    3 Danielle Robinson G 7
    4 Lexie Brown G 1
    5 Taylor Emery G R
    7 Shao Ting F R
    8 Cierra Dillard G R
    9 Cecilia Zandalasini F 2
    10 Jessica Shepard F R
    12 Jillian Alleyne F R
    14 Temi (not a swearword, Mr. censor) F a g benle C 2
    15 Kenisha Bell G R
    20 Kelsey Griffin (suspended) F 5
    23 Maya Moore (suspended) F 8
    24 Napheesa Collier F R
    33 Seimone Augustus G 13
    34 Sylvia Fowles C 11
    92 Damiris Dantas F 4
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 04-30-2019 at 11:44 AM.

  11. #26

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    To break that down a little more, and assuming no roster spots held for either Moore or Brunson, and assuming 2 centers + 5 forwards + 5 guards, and other reasonabe assumptions, we have ...

    Two centers who make the team for sure (Sylvia and Temi). Three forwards who make the team (pretty-much) for sure (Zandalasini, Collier, Shephard). Three guards who make the team for sure (Augustus, Robinson, Sims).

    That leaves 6 forwards competing for 2 forward roster spots. And the following 4 guards competing for 2 guard roster spots (listed in somewhat biased order):
    Kenisha Bell
    Cierra Dillard
    Lexie Brown
    Taylor Emery

    Good luck, Kenisha! Show them your hustle (and practice your out-court shots between now and then).

  12. #27

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    Dantas has a guaranteed contract, so she’s a for sure. She’ll probably be the starter, sans Brunson.

    F@gbenle and Zandalisini are said to be late arrivals to the team because of overseas obligations. Their spots will be held by placeholders who will probably be dismissed on their arrival.

    Not sure what to think of Shao Ting. It was a lot of trouble getting her here. Will they cut her again? They might keep her until Zandalisini arrives.

    Lexie Brown - traded #18 pick for her. Has a year experience on the rookies. Reeve likes experience.
    Cierra Dillard - #20 pick
    Kenisha Bell - #30 pick
    Taylor Emery - undrafted
    Last edited by Shades; 04-30-2019 at 02:30 PM.

  13. #28

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  14. #29

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    If Dantas is in, that makes the forward competition more intense, with the following competing for one forward roster spot:

    Jillian Alleyne
    Shao Ting
    Erlana Larkins
    Karima Christmas-Kelly

    There’s a very low probability that Reeve might go 6-forwards/4-guards but I don’t think so. The paranoia of last year (about covering for Brunson if injured, which happened twice actually) should be gone now that the Lynx hit the lottery jackpot with Collier and Shepard. So I doubt they’d take 2 forwards from the above list of 4, unless they absolutely loved both of them.

    On the other extreme is another very low probability option of the Lynx going 4-forwards/6-guards, namely passing on all 4 fifth-forward candidates and picking 3 of the 4 lowest guard candidates noted in two prior posts. Probably unlikely.

    Nevertheless, assuming Keke beats out Taylor Emery, that leaves two feasible ways that she could make the team - we’ll call them the Hard Way, and the Really Hard Way ...

    The Hard Way: Beat out either Cierra Dillard or Lexie Brown.

    The Really Hard Way: Beat out (by a mile) all four of the remaining forward candidates {Jillian Alleyne, Shao Ting, Erlana Larkins, Karima Christmas-Kelly}. I say “by a mile” since she’d need to impress Reeve terrifically to trigger dropping the 5th forward in favor of guard Kenisha Bell. But although at first this Really Hard Way seemed crazy-impossible to me, after further thought I’d say it’s at least feasible in principle. The key enabler is that Sheryl has four super-capable forwards in her top 4, plus she has the potential of rebounding machine Brunson returning next year - so she’s sitting pretty forward-wise (and thus could conceivably splurge on a super-fast super-defender guard who only needs to improve her shooting? - remember, shooting can be taught but speed can’t). Although short compared to a forward, recall that Bell is a great defensive rebounder. She’d have to quickly learn to shoot better than {Alleyne, Ting, Larkins, Christmas-Kelly}. So, really hard for this option to happen, yet remotely feasible, and at least it provides an alternate way that she might make the team (besides beating Dillard outright).

    Bottom line: Best way for Keke to make the team is to improve her shooting so much in training camp so that she out-shoots all of {Alleyne, Ting, Larkins, Christmas-Kelly, Emory, Dillard}. And at the same time stops shooting bad shots (per Sheryl’s request) and cuts back on turnovers (which mostly came from trying to put the Gophers on her back). Reeve has been to enough Gopher games that she knows Bell’s game and good attributes. If Bell shows she can also shoot (or at least is on the way to becoming a shooter), then she has at least a fighting chance to make the Lynx team, either the Hard Way or the Really Hard Way.
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 05-01-2019 at 01:27 AM.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by CutDownTheNet View Post
    If Dantas is in, that makes the forward competition more intense, with the following competing for one forward roster spot:

    Jillian Alleyne
    Shao Ting
    Erlana Larkins
    Karima Christmas-Kelly

    There’s a very low probability that Reeve might go 6-forwards/4-guards but I don’t think so. The paranoia of last year (about covering for Brunson if injured, which happened twice actually) should be gone now that the Lynx hit the lottery jackpot with Collier and Shepard. So I doubt they’d take 2 forwards from the above list of 4, unless they absolutely loved both of them.

    On the other extreme is another very low probability option of the Lynx going 4-forwards/6-guards, namely passing on all 4 fifth-forward candidates and picking 3 of the 4 lowest guard candidates noted in two prior posts. Probably unlikely.

    Nevertheless, assuming Keke beats out Taylor Emery, that leaves two feasible ways that she could make the team - we’ll call them the Hard Way, and the Really Hard Way ...

    The Hard Way: Beat out either Cierra Dillard or Lexie Brown.

    The Really Hard Way: Beat out (by a mile) all four of the remaining forward candidates {Jillian Alleyne, Shao Ting, Erlana Larkins, Karima Christmas-Kelly}. I say “by a mile” since she’d need to impress Reeve terrifically to trigger dropping the 5th forward in favor of guard Kenisha Bell. But although at first this Really Hard Way seemed crazy-impossible to me, after further thought I’d say it’s at least feasible in principle. The key enabler is that Sheryl has four super-capable forwards in her top 4, plus she has the potential of rebounding machine Brunson returning next year - so she’s sitting pretty forward-wise (and thus could conceivably splurge on a super-fast super-defender guard who only needs to improve her shooting? - remember, shooting can be taught but speed can’t). Although short compared to a forward, recall that Bell is a great defensive rebounder. She’d have to quickly learn to shoot better than {Alleyne, Ting, Larkins, Christmas-Kelly}. So, really hard for this option to happen, yet remotely feasible, and at least it provides an alternate way that she might make the team (besides beating Dillard outright).

    Bottom line: Best way for Keke to make the team is to improve her shooting so much in training camp so that she out-shoots all of {Alleyne, Ting, Larkins, Christmas-Kelly, Emory, Dillard}. And at the same time stops shooting bad shots (per Sheryl’s request) and cuts back on turnovers (which mostly came from trying to put the Gophers on her back). Reeve has been to enough Gopher games that she knows Bell’s game and good attributes. If Bell shows she can also shoot (or at least is on the way to becoming a shooter), then she has at least a fighting chance to make the Lynx team, either the Hard Way or the Really Hard Way.
    Realistic analysis. I really hope Keke can make it despite her odds.

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