June 25, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Noelle Quinn has the Seattle Storm playing like WNBA contenders

Quinn: 'I feel like we're still not there you know, we're getting better, we're scratching the surface'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn joins host Howard Megdal to talk about the Seattle Storm’s journey back to title contention and what it took to get there. After playing for UCLA and graduating in 2007, Quinn was drafted No. 4 overall to the Minnesota Lynx. She played for five teams during her 12 seasons in the league, including the Storm, where she began her coaching career under Dan Hughes. Quinn was elevated to head coach in 2021.

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First, they discussed how the team made its way back to the elite tier of WNBA teams and their blockbuster 2024 free agency which included signing both Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike.

“There’s the surprise where I feel like we’re still not there you know, we’re getting better, we’re scratching the surface,” Quinn said. “But to have a backcourt like we do, an elite, competitive point guard in Skylar, a great score in Jewell, and just the consummate pro and presidential Nneka, everything is clicking. Not quite where we need to be, but I think their competitive spirit, their desire to want to win, their desire to play with one another, has really jumped started the season and sparked the highs so far in a season. Obviously, we know we have a lot of work to do. Because, you know, with a shortened training camp, in a season where you don’t have a lot of practice time, you’re learning and growth happens during the games. And everyone’s been locked into the details of the game, trying to be disciplined [and learn] our systems while we learn each other, and I think we’ve been super locked into that.”

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Then, Quinn and Megdal talked about the mental side of the rebuild and how the front office has been planning for a future that still feels uncertain.

“I think we have a special group and a special opportunity and so, you know, why not?” Quinn said. “Why not see what year one looks like, knowing that we’re very realistic, it’s not easy to do it. And even … our 2018 team, that took some time to cook up as well, it just doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about the chemistry building, it’s about staying healthy during the season, it’s about all these other nuances that come into play when you’re trying to build and play at a high level. It’s not an overnight process, though we have amazing athletes who are so talented and can do amazing things on a basketball court.

“There’s a reality to a season, it’s tough, there’s highs and lows, things get amplified when you lose two in a row. Things are easier to get through when you’re winning and you’re kind of battling those during the year. But for me, and particularly this year, it’s kind of like for me, why not? Why not try to continue to compete at a high level? Why not, you know we talk about our north star, well why can’t that be to get to the playoffs and hopefully try to compete for a championship? And because we have really good pieces and their chemistry is really accelerated and that gives me hope that we can do some special things,” she continued.

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Tune in to hear Quinn discuss the growth of Jordan Hoston, what it takes to be a WNBA title contender, Quinn’s memories of her own WNBA playing career, bringing back Jewell Loyd and much more. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

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