June 12, 2011

Report on Stanford alum in the WNBA

Here's a report on how Stanford alumnae and their teams are doing 10 days into the 2011 WNBA season.

Nicole Powell '04, New York Liberty

This is Nicole's eighth season in the WNBA, her second with the New York Liberty following five seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs. The Monarchs were disbanded after the 2009 season, and Nicole was selected by the Liberty in the dispersal draft.

Nicole's production dropped last season &mdash from her career-high 16.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in 2009 to 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

She's hitting her stride again this season, with a now-familiar team and a familiar coach — John Whisenant, who coached the Monarchs during Nicole's first two seasons there, is now head coach of the Liberty. In three games this season, Nicole has averaged 12.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

The Liberty are off to a good start: 2-1.

Candice Wiggins '08, Minnesota Lynx

This is Candice's fourth season with the Minnesota Lynx. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported a few months ago that her usual enthusiasm was in overdrive in anticipation of playing basketball again after rehabbing the Achilles tendon that she tore almost a year ago.

She wears a heavy brace on her right leg, but is moving well and in no apparent pain. Head coach Cheryl Reeve said during training camp that Candice looked the healthiest she has ever seen her.

Candice is expected to be a key player off the bench again this season, but hasn't played major minutes so far — about 15 per game. In four games, she has averaged 5.0 points and made 44% of her three-point attempts.

The Lynx lost the first game of the 2011 season (to the L.A. Sparks), but have won the last three.

Jayne Appel '10, San Antonio Silver Stars

This is Jayne's second season with the San Antonio Silver Starts. She had minor surgery about three weeks ago to repair the torn meniscus that was discovered during training camp. If the prognosis made then holds true, she'll be back on the court next weekend.

Although Jayne hasn't played yet this season, she's on the 2011 All-Star ballot.

The Silver Stars have begun the season very well. They've won three games and are the only undefeated team in the WNBA.

Kayla Pedersen '11, Tulsa Shock

The Tulsa Shock are off to a miserable start with four losses and no wins.

Kayla, however, is off to an impressive start in her professional career — playing major minutes very well and helping to provide some of the leadership the Shock needs so badly.

She has started three of the four games and played about 27 minutes per game. She has averaged 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Kayla keeps improving. In the Shock's most recent game, she played 39 minutes, scored a career-high 15 points, grabbed the game-high 8 rebounds and made 5 assists.

Jeanette Pohlen '11, Indiana Fever

Jeanette started her professional career modestly, as most rookies do. She played just four minutes in her first game and two in her second.

But she burst into prominence last Saturday when the Fever rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the New York Liberty. Jeanette came off the bench for 24 minutes and scored 14 points on 71% shooting. She launched four three-pointers and sank all of them — the fourth one in the last minute of the game sealed the victory for the Fever.

The Fever are 2-1 for the season.

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