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Vaughn in camp with WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Vaughn in camp with WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx

FAYETTEVILLE – Former Lady Razorback point guard Brittney Vaughn is on the training camp roster for the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.

Coming off her participation in the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association’s mentoring program at the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, Vaughn received an invitation to the Lynx training camp.

The four-year starter at Arkansas is one of several point guards in camp for the Lynx, and the Lady’Backs’ fifth all-time leading assist maker has caught the attention of the staff.

“We’re glad she landed in a camp where the opportunity to showcase her talent existed,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “I’ve spoken to several of the Lynx coaches and they are very pleased with her right now.”

Vaughn started the first exhibition game of the season for the Lynx at the point last week, and was the team’s second-leading scorer in a 68-57 win over the Connecticut Sun.

Vaughn went 4-of-7 from the field and 6-of-7 at the line for her 14 points, and turned in the most minutes of any player for Minnesota with 29. The leading scorer for Minnesota was former Stanford all-American and Wade Trophy recipient Candice Wiggins with 18 points.

At Arkansas, Vaughn played for two coaching staffs, adapting to each style. As a junior, she led the Southeastern Conference in assists. This past year, Vaughn averaged 10.6 ppg and 12.4 ppg against league opponents.

“She had her best year ever at Arkansas as a senior and developed a pretty well-rounded game,” Collen said. “The system she flourished in here as a senior is very similar to what everyone runs in the WNBA, so she was well-prepared for the opportunity.”

Starting all 30 games for Arkansas this past season, Vaughn was honorable mention all-SEC by the Associated Press and voted to the league coaches’ all-defense team. Shooting 49% from the field, Vaughn was second only to post player and WNBA draft pick Lauren Ervin in accuracy. She was Arkansas’ best three-point shooter at 43.1%.

Earlier this week, Vaughn came off the bench for the Lynx in the team’s second preseason game, a 78-64 win at Indiana. She played 11 minutes in the second game with two assists off the bench.

“We’re pulling for her to make the final roster,” Collen said. “Our staff knows the talent Brittney possesses.”

The Lynx play one more preseason game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Sparks, which is the final exhibition game before next week’s final cuts.

The last Lady’Back free agent to make a WNBA roster was Wendi Willits, who played for the Sparks during their first WNBA World Championship season in 2001.

Should Vaughn make the final cut next week, she will join Shameka Christon as Arkansas players currently in the WNBA. The Lady’Backs have never had more than one player in the league during the regular season.

Christon begins her fourth season in the WNBA, all with the New York Liberty. For her 134 game career, she has averaged just under 10 ppg. She became an everyday starter for the Liberty last season with 33 starts in the 34-game season, averaging 12.4 ppg.

While drafted by the Sun, Ervin remains off the roster as an injured player. The Lady’Backs’ leading scorer and rebounder this season before her torn ACL continues her rehab work in Fayetteville to prepare for next year’s WNBA season and this winter’s European professional seasons.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)