The Sparks release their final roster
Some players were performing well at practice, others were playing well in games.
Sparks Coach Jennifer Gillom said the decision about who to cut simply came down to "who performed well under pressure."
The Sparks waived Shannon Bobbitt, LaToya Pringle, Lisa Willis, Rashidat Junaid, Bianca Thomas, Aisha Mohammed, Vanessa Hayden, Angel Robinson and Karina Figueroa from their roster.
Junaid, the 32nd overall draft pick, led the team in scoring during the team's first preseason game against China's national team, but she struggled in preseason play against the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Thomas, the 12th overall draft pick, did well in practice, "but in both games we played her, her performance wasn't up to par," Gillom said.
"I think those players could be looked at in the near future," Gillom said. "I just thought they weren't ready now."
The Sparks announced Thursday that they acquired Kristi Toliver from the Chicago Sky in exchange for their 2011 second-round draft pick.
Critics have questioned that decision, claiming the Sparks need a true center, not another guard.
"It's about what best fits our system," Gillom said.
She wants a fast-paced team, and said that "although some of [the players] may not be big in length, they play big. Height has nothing to do with it."
Gillom said that she couldn't be happier with the final roster heading into Saturday's season opener against the Phoenix Mercury.
And about that little general manager survey that predicted that the Mercury will win yet another title, Gillom said that hasn't psyched out her players at all.
"That makes you that much more hungry," Gillom said.
Here is the team's final roster:
Num Player Pos HT WT DOB From Yrs
24 Marie Ferdinand-Harris G 5-9 153 10/13/1978 LSU 8
22 Betty Lennox G 5-8 143 12/4/1976 Louisiana Tech 10
8 DeLisha Milton-Jones F 6-1 185 9/11/1974 Florida 11
3 Candace Parker F 6-4 175 4/19/1986 Tennessee 2
21 Ticha Penicheiro G 5-11 146 9/18/1974 ODU 12
45 Noelle Quinn G 6-0 175 1/3/1985 UCLA 3
10 Andrea Riley G 5-5 7/22/1988 Oklahoma State R
44 Tiffany Stansbury F-C 6-3 183 1/16/1983 NC State 2
32 Tina Thompson F 6-2 178 2/10/1975 USC 13
14 Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton F 6-2 186 5/26/1986 Purdue 1
20 Kristi Toliver G 5-7 130 1/27/1987 Maryland 1