First, let’s acknowledge that the last person on the Seattle Storm’s roster was really not going to make or break their 2011 WNBA title hopes.
Nevertheless, the choice for that last spot – between point guard Sharnee Zoll and 6’5" third round draft pick Krystal Thomas – did figure to provide some insight into what coach Brian Agler feels about his depth chart, as described by Kevin Pelton of StormBasketball.com.
“Part of it has to do with the immediate health of our team, what our depth is,” explained Agler. “Then I think both of them bring special things to the table. One’s a true point guard and the other one’s a true five. We sort of need depth in both areas. I think this week, and if we get healthy, will determine who ends up on the roster.”
Today the Storm announced in a release that they’ll be keeping Thomas, which could mean that Agler felt he needed more depth at center.
The argument in favor of Zoll was that the team didn’t have anybody with the label “point guard” on their bench. However, it’s also not like they’re lacking for ball handlers – starting shooting guard Tanisha Wright is among the most efficient non-point guard ball handlers in the league, veteran addition Katie Smith is more than capable of handling the ball, and on the wing free agent acquisition Belinda Snell is a capable distributor. They obviously more than made due with Svetlana Abrosimova essentially being the only ball handler off the bench last season, so there’s no reason to believe they’re in trouble moving forward without Zoll.
What’s marginally surprising about keeping Thomas despite the team only having seldom-used Ashley Robinson as a reserve center is that she was not considered among the strongest prospects at center in the draft due to low shooting percentages.
But what she definitely could contribute at the WNBA level is defense, which only reinforces our understanding of what Agler is most focused on.