Among the spectators at Saturday’s UConn-Cincinnati game at he First Third Arena was Seattle coach/GM Brian Agler.
Agler said he was there scouting Kelly Faris, which is interesting because the Storm has the sixth pick in the 2013 Draft and teams usually don’t waste valuable time looking at players they feel they can’t get.
Agler said league rules prevented him from speaking specifically about Faris’ ability. But he did say this about UConn players in general – and he has coached Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Svetlana Abrosimova with the Storm.
“I can tell you that UConn are almost always ready to play in the WNBA after they graduate,” Agler said. “They just seem to get better as they get older.”
Agler said Bird just made her Euroleague debut with Moscow last week and had 10 assists after missing the first part of the season rehabbing hip surgery at UConn. She is teammates this winter with Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker.
“People look at Sue and think of her as a girl next door type. But she has a lot of toughness,” Agler said. “She is persistent and takes good care of herself. But she has played a lot of basketball and the years of wear and tear take a toll. She’s looking at beginning of the end of her career; it won’t be anytime soon, but sometime in the next five or six years. She wants to finish strong and we’d like her to do it here in Seattle as healthy as possible.”
Agler heard from Abrosimova’s agent last week who expressed her desire to return to Seattle. Agler said he’s in the process of putting the team together.
As for the draft …
“It has the three players who most think will go 1-2-3 [Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins]. I don’t know about that. There are other players who can make impact,” Agler said. Agler added he has 20 to 25 players targeted and will really start to scout hard in the conference tournaments.
As for the Huskies …
“My prediction before the season was that UConn was going to make a run at the title,” he said. “They are a year older, had a great recruiting class and they are hungry. Everyone talks about UConn’s ability to run and score, but they are such good defenders.”