April 27, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Aliyah Boston arrives in Indiana, where the Fever have roster crunch 

Howard and Tony chat about Aliyah Boston's arrival in Indiana and her impact on the team — Emily Engstler's departure

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. The Aliyah Boston Show has arrived in Indiana, where The Next‘s Fever beat reporter Tony East was live to document the proceedings. He joins host Howard Megdal and host for the day Juliet Megdal to discuss Boston’s fit and impact on the team, along with the decision by Lin Dunn to jettison Emily Engstler. And what that means for the likeliest 12 players head coach Christie Sides will start with in the 2023 season.

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Tony East talks about his first impression of seeing Aliyah Boston in market:

“Yeah, as soon as they won the lottery, right? They were showing the highlights of her with Destanni Henderson present at the lottery drawing party the Fever had; there they were on the TV together, playing in South Carolina. And, assuming she went out, which I guess was rocky for a little bit there. I think everybody knew the first pick would be a huge day for the Fever. That’s the first time they’ve ever won the lottery.

And it’s a player that fits kind of exactly what they need right now, right? Like a defensive captain, someone who understands the angles and positioning of that end of the floor can get everybody else organized and be a defensive leader while also being a very talented offensive player who doesn’t subtract from anything.

It sounds like they’re going to do on that end of the floor with new head coach Christie Sides. I think that was a big part of the presser hearing about their first interaction together down at South Carolina with Christie going down for practice. They met for the first time and Sides was talking about how she was so nervous on the way down; how do I strategize what I say to her to make this a good interaction for us. And make this great and she just said, You know what, Aliyah, whatever decision you make, go pro or not, and I’ll support it. They chatted for a little bit and now here we are with a monumental Monday, certainly for the Fever.”

Tony East talks about the frontcourt in Indiana and Emily Engstler being waived before training camp begins:

“Emily Engstler is a really good defensive player. I thought she would have fit well with Christie Sides last year, and if she had made her layups would have looked like one of the best players in the league. But that finishing part was not there in her game.

And there’s going to be a frontcourt crunch for the Fever, certainly, given who they’ve drafted and signed, and whatever their final determination factor was, whether it’s they couldn’t get anything foreign trade, she wasn’t going to make the team anyway, or the injury was too serious, it could be a number of things. That, combined with the numbers game of having, again, 12 picks in the last two years, they had to move on from someone. And with camp starting in four days, now they have to get down to 15 at some point; it’s time.”

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Written by The Next

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