By Jacob Arce
This past offseason, the Phoenix Mercury added a new weapon to their run-and-gun style offense with the acquisition of college basketball star Brittney Griner.
The 6’8” beast of a ball player helped lead the Baylor University Bears to a national title and an undefeated 40-0 season in 2012. She left college with the most blocks in a career in both women’s and men’s college basketball with a total of 736.
The Mercury drafted Griner as the number one overall pick of the 2013 draft. Even with their number one pick and their team healthy, they have started off to a rocky start losing three of their first four games.
Mercury Forward Charde Houston said they need time to come together.
“A team, such as the one we have, sometimes it does take longer to develop team chemistry,” Houston said.
In Griner’s first three games she averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
Houston said that Griner means a lot to the team with her big presence inside the paint.
Mercury Forward Candice Dupree said with Griner on the court she helps create scoring options for herself.
“We space the floor a little more, B.G. (Brittney Griner) will be on the block posting up and I’ll have the chance to float around the perimeter and knock down some jumpers,” she said.
Mercury Guard/Forward DeWanna Bonner said the presence of Griner and Dupree in the paint also helps creates more scoring options for herself as well.
“They’re great players (Griner and Dupree) and they attract a lot of attention so I can just spot up and be ready to shoot where ever I get the ball,” Bonner said.
With 30 more games left the team has plenty time to come together and build chemistry to win.
“We just keep practicing and believing in ourselves and not giving up on each other,” Houston said. “I believe we can continue to win.”