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LAM Dec 7 '17
This story appears in ESPN The Magazines November 28 Tall Ball Issue. Puma Rihanna CZ . Subscribe today!POINT GUARDS, BASKETBALLS vertically challenged demographic, tend to view post players with a mix of exasperation and admiration. South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, a former point herself, is no different when she looks at 6-foot-4 senior center Alaina Coates.It seems like for bigs, theres no middle ground, the 5-5 Staley says. Theyre either soft or theyre physical, its not like theres an in-between.Soft is a bit harsh -- even bigs who drift to the perimeter still end up taking some punishment inside. But Staley sees the womens game changing, with fewer pure centers who play with their backs to the basket and dont act like 3-point shooters.Of course, part of her perspective comes from having such a valuable commodity in Coates. And with junior Aja Wilson, a 6-5 forward who prefers to face the basket, she has two very different types of dominant bigs. The Gamecocks relied on the inside-outside strength of the duo to go 33-2 and win the SEC title last season.While Wilson is a superstar -- she was a consensus All-American and national player of the year candidate last season -- and the face of one of the countrys best teams, Coates is also an elite professional prospect, one who will be in the mix to become the WNBAs No. 1 draft pick in April.Because of her willingness to play a style that few are willing to play, shell find her way into a positive role with a WNBA team, says Cori Close, coach of Pac-12 preseason favorite UCLA, which will face South Carolina on Dec. 18. You cant put a price tag on it.In the WNBA, big players with guard skills abound: Los Angeles 6-4 forward-center Candace Parker, Chicagos 6-5 forward-guard Elena Delle Donne and Seattles 6-4 forward Breanna Stewart are all among the two tallest players on their teams, but only Parker is designated as a center. No matter how theyre listed, they have similar styles: Stewart made 45 3s this past season, Delle Donne 43 and Parker 42.In contrast, Minnesotas 6-6 Sylvia Fowles has attempted just one 3-pointer in nine WNBA seasons. Phoenixs 6-9 star Brittney Griner has taken none. Fowles says its simple: Players such as Coates should perfect what they do best.Staley, who played alongside 6-5 Lisa Leslie in the Olympics -- Leslie was a four-time Olympian and three-time MVP with Los Angeles -- has the same vision for Coates. Lisa was really smart in that she knew where she was going to make the most money, Staley says. Which was: Ive got to get down there and score in the paint. She worked at it.Staley says Coates, while still a work in progress, can be the most dominant player in the country just being a back-to-the-basket player. Shes embraced that.That allows Staley a luxury that few other college coaches have. According to Synergy Sports Technology, the Gamecocks posted up 64 percent more than the national average last season.Coates considers Wilson the perfect high-low partner -- I trust Aja -- and they share the joy of being local stars who have helped South Carolina become the nations attendance leader (14,978 per home game last season) in womens basketball. Coates is from Irmo, just northwest of Columbia, and Wilson is from Hopkins, to the southeast. Their towns are 35 minutes apart, with the university downtown right between them.Alaina and I have been playing together since we were 12 or 13 years old, with AAU, Wilson says. Its fun to have a true back-to-the-basket player, especially with a person like me whos not. Its a nice balance.Coates, who posted up 33.3 percent more than the average player last season, was the only center among the SECs top 20 scorers (12.1 points per game). Just 15 percent of the SECs top 41 rebounders were centers, with Coates leading at 10.3 rpg.She was mentored from an early age by her father, Gary Coates, a command sergeant major in the Army National Guard and active-duty military for 33 years. Playing the post makes you mature, says Gary, whose brother, Ben Coates, was an NFL tight end for 10 seasons.Alaina has taken her dads lessons to heart.I enjoy being a 5, she says. Being a center means youre going to war down there on the block. I like the feeling that Im going to bully my way around out there.The kindhearted Coates says this with a laugh. But Staley prefers Coates to have a bit of an edge. That may be the difference in the Gamecocks run at the 2017 national title.I dont like when she plays passive or when she makes herself blend in, Staley says. Shes physical, shes imposing, shes mobile, shes quick. Shes all of those things.And if shes anything less than that, then she might as well be 5-11. Pánské/Dámské Fenty Puma by Rihanna Suede Creepers Boty Zelené Burgundské . Ouellette, from Montreal, already has three Olympic gold medals since joining the team in 1999. Puma Creepers Velvet . -- Matt Kuchar and Harris English ran away with the Franklin Templeton Shootout, shooting a 14-under 58 on Sunday in the final-round scramble to break the tournament course record. . -- Linebacker Myles Jack ran for four touchdowns, defensive end Cassius Marsh caught a scoring pass, and No. NEW YORK -- New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares is struggling to play with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb, and hes likely bound for the disabled list and surgery, a source told Mets plan to promote Brandon Nimmo from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Lagares in time for Fridays game against the Colorado Rockies.Lagares originally suffered the injury on June 4 while making a diving catch to rob Ichiro Suzuki of a run-scoring, extra-base hit in Miami.After trying to play with the injury, Lagares ultimately landed on the disabled list. He eventually returned July 2, but the thumb issue continues to nag him.Mets officials previously have indicated that surgery was likely inevitable, but they hoped to at least delay the procedure until the offseason. Puma Basket Heart Damske. With the Mets averse to using Yoenis Cespedes in center field as he deals with flare-ups in his strained right quadriceps, the team now has no righty-hitting center fielders on their roster minus Lagares.So perhaps the Mets will now make that a target as the non-waiver deadline nears on Monday.Nimmo had been demoted July 18, when Michael Conforto returned to the majors. Nimmo hit .235 with one homer and four RBIs in 51 at-bats with the Mets during his first stint with the club. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '