Welcome to the first edition of Liberty Thursday where we take a look at the stories surrounding the New York Liberty for the past week.
The New York Liberty had a mostly horrendous off-season. The ownership group tried to sell the club and then moved them out to Westchester. New coach Katie Smith was unable to entice any big name free agents to the team.
However, the draft changed all this where they were able to select two players who would have been middle first round picks in any other draft in Kia Nurse and Mercedes Russell. However, after the Liberty signed Marissa Coleman, they have 23 players on their training camp roster. Smith has the unenviable task of trimming this down to the required 12 at the start of the season.
Below is probably how the Liberty will view their roster;
|Definite||Probable||Fighting for a spot|
|Tina Charles||Lindsay Allen||Tashia Brown|
|Epiphany Prince||Rebecca Allen||Kelly Faris|
|Kia Nurse||Brittany Boyd||Reshanda Gray|
|Sugar Rogers||Kia Vaughn||Ify Ibekwe|
|Kiah Stokes||Shavonte Zellous||Roshunda Johnson|
|Bria Hartley||Mercedes Russell|| Kolby Morgan
Amanda Zahul B
Of the definite, Tina Charles is always going to be a standout. Look for her to break records this year. Epiphany Prince and Sugar Rodgers are players who make things happen.
Kiah Stokes and Bria Hartley are part of the core which helped the Liberty be the third best team in the WNBA last season. The one surprise in this list might be Kia Nurse. I am high on Nurse, she always seems to make the right call and she will be called upon at an early stage in her career to run the Liberty from the point.
On the probable list, Lindsay Allen needs to have a break out year but I think Smith will use her more and more as the season goes on. Rebecca Allen is a sharp shooter who will be used to space the offense. Brittany Boyd, Shavonte Zellous and Kia Vaughn are all solid pieces for the Liberty as well.
Again I have put a rookie in this list which may surprise some people. Mercedes Russell is a talent who will back up Charles effectively. Russell is a tremendous rebounder with a good inside game.
In the fighting for a spot there are several players who could easily make the team. Nayo Raincock-Egunwe, Schoni Schimmel and Amanda Zahul B can mix it for short patches in the WNBA but look to be overshadowed by other players coming in. Marissa Coleman is a talent but needs to make a fresh start of it in New York.
Lesley Robinson and Kolby Morgan will most probably make up the numbers and will get cut early.
The Liberty open their preseason with a game in Connecticut against the Dallas Wings on May 7th. On the 8th of May they again play in Connecticut, this time against the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Liberty then play their opening regular season game on the 20th of May away against the Chicago Sky. The first chance Liberty fans have to see their team play is on May 25th when they host the Minnesota Lynx.
Come back again next week for your next installment of Thursday Liberty.