Epiphanny Prince’s attention to defense evident
BY TINA AKOURIS email@example.com May 31, 2012 11:48PM
In the Sky's victory Wednesday at San Antonio, Epiphanny Prince moved past former Sky player Candice Dupree in steals. Prince has 145 to Dupree’s 143. | Gary Dineen~Getty Images
Sky coach/general manager Pokey Chatman had to laugh before she talked about Epiphanny Prince becoming the team’s all-time leader in steals.
Prince, buoyed by a 22-point, five-steal performance in the Sky’s 77-63 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Wednesday, moved past former Sky player Candice Dupree in steals. Prince has 145 to Dupree’s 143.
“Last year we tried to get her to play more position defense,” Chatman said. “It can be misleading, but she’s really aware of her helper defense. I laughed when I found out [about the record] because she has made a concerted effort to play more of that position defense.”
Prince scored 16 of her points in the first half at San Antonio, and the Sky (2-1) hopes she can dominate the Washington Mystics in much the same way when the teams meet Friday at Allstate Arena (7:30 p.m., Comcast 100).
Like Chatman, Prince isn’t too concerned with her stats. After the game Wednesday, she said she wasn’t aware of the record and was just glad the team won.
That response might be in line with how Prince is perceived on the court. Usually wearing a scowl, she is all business. But off the court, she’s a barrel of laughs.
“You’d never know it because she has that scowl on her face, but she is the most entertaining player on our team,” Chatman said. “She has a quick wit about her, and she’s maturing.”
Despite Prince’s three turnovers Wednesday, the Sky cut down their mistakes, committing only 13 turnovers. Compare that to the 22 turnovers the Sky had in a loss May 25 against the Indiana Fever.
“I still feel like that was a lot, and the majority of them are unforced,” center Sylvia Fowles said. “I think a lot of that is on us. It should be down to only nine or 10 a game.”
The Sky played the Mystics (1-2) in the preseason, and Fowles is still mindful of their tactics against her.
“They’re good in transition, and they have guards who can attack,” Fowles said. “They do a lot of double-teaming in the post, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before.”
Chatman said forward Sonja Petrovic should be ready to play after missing the first three games with a broken left finger. Petrovic suffered the injury with her Russian team, Spartak.
But Chatman was cautiously optimistic about guard Ticha Penicheiro, who has an injured left calf. Chatman said she doesn’t want to rush Penicheiro, especially because the Sky plays Saturday at Atlanta.