Indiana Fever general manager Lin Dunn coached the team to the 2012 WNBA title. (Photo courtesy of Indiana Fever, PSE/Matt Kryger)
Indiana Fever general manager Lin Dunn coached the team to the 2012 WNBA title. (Photo courtesy of Indiana Fever, PSE/Matt Kryger)

Lin Dunn has been involved with women’s basketball since 1970, and her resume includes a WNBA championship in 2012 as head coach of the Indiana Fever. Her job now as Fever general manager is to help the franchise get back to its winning ways when Indiana went 135-103 under Dunn from 2008 to 2014.

The Fever are building their team through the WNBA Draft and added a significant piece last month when they selected South Carolina superstar Aliyah Boston with the No. 1 overall choice. Last year, they used the second overall pick on former Baylor All-American NaLyssa Smith.

The two forwards bring height and strength in the post, and their qualities were on display last Sunday in a preseason-opening loss against the Chicago Sky.

[ More Bally Sports: Home | News | Videos ]

"I was real pleased with Boston and with Smith. They both looked comfortable," Dunn told Bally Sports. "They didn't play a whole lot of minutes, but I think when we play the next exhibition game and we're working more towards the five and who the next backup players are, then we'll see them getting more touches."

Both players are young (Boston is 21, Smith is 22). In fact, 11 players on Indiana's preseason roster are rookies or sophomores. Against Chicago, the Fever struggled to make shots and had a hard time stopping the Sky's bevy of 3-pointers, but Dunn has faith in Indiana's young talent.

"I know they're going to get better," Dunn said. "Every day we practice, every day we scrimmage, I'm impressed with our coaches. I know their work ethic. I know their attention to detail. I'm optimistic about this group.

"Now, we're babies, and you know how babies are. Babies have to crawl and they have to walk and they have to run, so you have to be a little bit patient with them. I just got to make sure I get the right babies on this team."

The task of whittling down a training-camp squad of 16 players to 12 by the start of the season began this week, as the team waived LaDazhia Williams, a rookie from LSU. The cuts won’t stop there.

In order to make roster decisions, Dunn is observing everything her players do.

"We're evaluating who are the 12 players we're going to keep, who are going to be the first five," Dunn said. "Our starting point guard, Erica Wheeler, didn't play (Sunday), so that was a factor too. But we'll see her next week at the next exhibition.

"It's more about those last (No.) 10, 11, 12 spots. Who's going to make this team? I'm paying attention to who's in the game, and I'm watching the bench. I'm watching how they handle themselves on and off the court."

It's a departure from when she was Fever head coach for seven seasons. Every one of those teams went to the playoffs, including five trips to the Eastern Conference finals.

Now, Dunn is trying to build a team that will end Indiana's postseason drought that started in 2016.

"When I was a coach, I was just watching strategies, how to think about getting somebody else another shot or another touch, or changing a defensive scheme to disrupt a player that was hurting us," Dunn said. "I look at the game totally different now.

"I'm just watching the individual plays, what people are doing and whether they're turning the ball over or how they're making passes. It's just different. It's really different."

Featured Podcast

See all