April 29, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: The Indiana Fever are making moves and creating culture

NaLyssa Smith is gliding and Queen Egbo is soaring, our Tony East reports

We have a second Locked on Women’s Basketball episode to share with you today! This one features host Alex Simon and Tony East, our Indiana Fever beat reporter. Alex and Tony take a deep dive into the Fever roster, especially all of the rookies Indiana drafted just a few weeks ago. That includes No. 2 overall pick NaLyssa Smith out of Baylor and fellow first-rounders Emily Engstler (Louisville), Lexie Hull (Stanford) and Queen Egbo (Baylor).

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“Watching [Smith] in scrimmages at [training] camp, she doesn’t run; she kind of glides,” Tony says. “It’s hard to explain. But she’s got something that I’m really excited to watch in real meaningful basketball games.”

Tony also praised Hull’s shooting as a skill that the Fever desperately need this season to complement veteran Kelsey Mitchell‘s offensive game. But the surprise of training camp for Tony has been Egbo, who was a surprise at the No. 10 pick but could be the Fever’s backup center this season.

“When they picked her and they did their presser after the first round, [interim general manager] Lin Dunn and [head coach] Marianne Stanley came in the room and talked a lot about her mobility on defense,” Tony says. “And that is something they — especially as we talked about [former Fever center] Teaira McCowan, who is not at all mobile on defense — that was something they really needed on the interior last season, someone who could not necessarily switch out but be more of a deterrent on the perimeter and pick-and-roll situations and just keep the defense moving instead of causing others to collapse or making help rotate earlier, things like that.

“[Egbo has] really stood out to me with that mobility on both ends. … I think she could be a pretty natural fit for this team.”

If you missed the episode we shared earlier today, click here to hear from host Howard Megdal and Chicago Sky beat reporter James Kay about the difficult roster decisions ahead for the Sky. And make sure to subscribe to Locked on Women’s Basketball, where we have new shows every weekday!

Written by The Next

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