Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rob Knox's WNBA Report: Renee Montgomery Values Lynx Wins As Her Top Priority

By ROB KNOX (@knoxrob1)

There’s only one thing that matters for Minnesota Lynx guard Renee Montgomery, a tenacious, vivacious and ruthless ball of kinetic energy with a sweet smile.

“Winning is important,” Montgomery said Monday afternoon. “I feel we have a great chance to win here. Adjustment to playing a smaller role. For me, this is my ninth season and as you get older, you begin to value different things and my priority list changed.”

A former UConn star, Montgomery signed a two-year contract to remain with the Lynx in the offseason.

She was happy and comfortable.

Montgomery is part of a loaded bench brigade for Minnesota which also includes veterans Jia Perkins, Natasha Howard and Plentte Pierson. Their presence enables Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve to confidently go nine deep without a drop-off in performance.

The undefeated Lynx (3-0 overall) will look to remain perfect when it hosts the Connecticut Sun (0-2) Tuesday night at 8 p.m.on ESPN2. Montgomery played for the Sun from 2009-14.

This season, Montgomery is averaging 5.0 points per game in 14.9 minutes through three games. She scored seven points and had two steals in 18 entertaining minutes during the Lynx’s impressive road win against New York last week.

Montgomery is still getting into season shape after playing overseas for Basket 90 Gdynia in Poland where she averaged 18.0 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 11 games. Playing in that country, Montgomery was one of the top players on her team and she admitted it took some getting used to.

“Playing overseas is change and I am role player here,” Montgomery said. “You have to switch that mode over there. I had to take more shots and be a lot more for the team. It makes you tougher because you know the scouting report is going to be about you.”

While Montgomery shined overseas, Maya Moore decided not to play during the offseason and rest. It has done her some good as she looks refreshed at the start of the season. Moore is averaging 16 points per game, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists.

“I benefited from the mental rest,” Moore said. “Taking that break has helped because I have more to give during this WNBA season. There’s a lot that we pour into the game when we are playing year round. (Resting) doesn’t mean you’re going to be amazing. You just have to go out and prove it every day.”

The Sun are coming off an 81-79 loss to the Indiana Fever on Sunday afternoon despite placing five players in double figures.

 Second-year center Jonquel Jones, a George Washington product, had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Former Penn State star Alex Bentley contributed 14 points and UConn product Morgan Tuck tallied 13 points. Tuck leads the Sun in scoring through two games with a 14.0 point per game average.

Montgomery and the Lynx won’t be taking the Sun lightly. The Sun won two of the three meetings against Minnesota last season.

“The Sun is a relentless team,” Montgomery said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re up 10 or down by 10. They are going to play hard at all times. They are always hard to play against. You can’t go on a run and expect them to fold. They are always going to be relentless. They are going to pick up their defense and they are hard to play against.”

Loyd Lighting It Up Early

Seattle’s Jewel Loyd is leading the WNBA in scoring with a 26.0 point per game average after lighting up the Mystics for 26 points in Sunday’s 81-71 victory.

The Storm have won two straight after an opening loss to the reigning champion Sparks. Loyd has also been efficient as she’s also shooting 60 percent from the field through three games.

 She has scored at least 25 points in every game this season. Loyd scored a season best 27 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Indiana Fever in an 87-82 win on May 14. The Storm’s next game is Friday against the New York Liberty.

Players of the Week

Layshia Clarendon of the Atlanta Dream and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played May 13-21 – the opening week of the 2017 regular season.

Clarendon earned Player of the Week honors for the first time in her five-year career.  The former University of California standout led the Dream to a 2-1 record.

  For the week, Clarendon ranked second among Eastern Conference players in assists (6.0 apg), fifth in scoring (16.3 ppg), tied for fifth in field goal percentage (.500, 17-of-34) and seventh in free throw percentage (.929, 13-of-14).

Fowles earned Player of the Week honors for the eighth time in her 10-year career.

  Among Western Conference players, she ranked second in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and blocks (2.0 bpg), third in steals (2.0 spg), fourth in scoring (21.7 ppg) and sixth in sixth in field goal percentage (.575, 23-of-40).  The former LSU standout recorded two double-doubles to lead Minnesota to a 3-0 start as the Lynx extended its May winning streak to 20 games (5-0 in 2012, 6-0 in 2014, 6-0 in 2016 and 3-0 in 2017).

Next Twitter Game

An afternoon affair on Thursday, May 25 at 12 p.m. when Dallas visits San Antonio.

Boyd Done For Season

One of the bright young talents of the league, Liberty guard Brittany Boyd is out for the season after an MRI at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) confirmed a torn left Achilles tendon. She suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of the Liberty’s game against the Minnesota Lynx last Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

“Brittany suffered an unfortunate injury after working hard to come into this season prepared to lead our team from the point guard position,” said Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer in a press release. “She had an excellent training camp, and was poised for a breakout season, as evidenced by the way she performed in our first two games. We are all hoping for a speedy recovery.”

Griner Dominates

Playing like the No. 1 overall draft pick, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner enjoyed a monster week in leading the Mercury to a pair of victories over the Fever (85-62) and Silver Stars (78-72). She averaged 26 points and 11.5 rebounds last week. The former Baylor star notched her first double-double of the season with a career best 32 points and 10 rebounds against the Fever.

 She followed up her stellar performance with another big night in San Antonio on Friday, posting a second-straight double-double with game highs in points (20) and rebounds (13). Griner also had a game-high four blocks against the Stars.


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