Phoenix Mercury Offseason Overseas Update: Week 11

February 24, 2017

Emma Cannon | Forward #32 | Chevakata (Russia)

Finding herself in her first Mercury overseas report is Emma Cannon. Cannon, who was signed by the Mercury on February 8 has been playing overseas in Russian this season for Chevakata. The 6-foot-2 leads the Russian League in scoring at 21.2 points per game, ranking ahead of multiple WNBA stars. Cannon nearly averages a double-double, recording a league-best 9.8 rebounds per game, while also shooting a team-best 53.7-percent from the field and adding 1.7 steals a game. She has turned in huge performances against two of the best international teams this season, UMMC Ekaterinburg (Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi) and Dynamo Kursk (WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumika, Angel McCoughtry); she tallied 27 points and eight rebounds against the former, and is averaging 27.0 points and 4.0 boards in two games against the latter.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 26: Russian League, Chavakata at Dynamo Moscow; March 3: Russian League, Chavakata vs. Enisey

Cayla George | Center #32 | Uniqa Sopron (Hungary)

Making her debut in the Mercury overseas report after re-joining Phoenix last week is Cayla George (formerly Cayla Francis). George has played for Uniqa Sopron in Hungary this season alongside new Mercury teammate Yvonne Turner. Despite not qualifying for the EuroLeague tournament this season, George averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in eight games, while shooting 51.8-percent from the field. The center has put up similar numbers in 15 games of Hungarian League play, averaging 11.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest. In both EuroLeague and Hungarian League play combined, George has shot an impressive 91.5-percent (43-of-47) from the free throw line, and has knocked down a combined 17 three-pointers.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 26: Hungarian League, Uniqa Sopron vs. Cegledi EKK

Brittney Griner | Center #42 | UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)

In UMMC Ekaterinburg’s last six games, Brittney Griner has appeared in three of those contests (all EuroLeague games), averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per games in the wins. She shot a blistering 69.2-percent from the field, while Ekaterinbug won by an average of 21 points in the three games. Griner is currently averaging 16.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 21 games played overseas (EuroLeague and Russian League), while shooting 63.3-percent (140-of-221) from the floor and 84.5-percent (60-of-71) from the free throw line. In EuroLeague play, Griner ranks fourth in the league in scoring (16.6 ppg), first in blocks per game (2.5 bpg) and leads the league in field goal percentage (.624). Griner and Ekat will be off from EuroLeague play until March 7 when the team will take on Familia Schio in a three-game series in the quarterfinals of the EuroLeague tournament.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 26: Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg at Dynamo Kursk; March 3; Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Zadezhda

Alex Harden | Guard #15 | Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael (Israel)

Alex Harden and Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael went 1-3 in their last four games, picking up an 86-61 win on February 13. Harden recorded a double-double in three of those four games, just missing the fourth by one rebound on February 23, snapping her streak of six-straight double-doubles. The Mercury guard is averaging 17.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals in 17 games overseas, all of which are team highs. Harden and the team finished the regular season with a record of 3-13 and are currently in second stage play.

Upcoming Games This Week: March 6: Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael at Hapoel Petah Tikva

Leilani Mitchell | Guard #6 | Sydney Uni Flames (Australia)

Also making her debut in the Mercury overseas report, but is no new name in Phoenix, is Leilani Mitchell. Mitchell has appeared in 24 games with the Sydney Uni Flames in Australia this season, averaging 16.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-high 6.2 assists. She leads the WNBL in assists per game and is one of only two players in the league to rank in the top 10 in points, assists and steals per game. The former University of Utah standout led Sydney to a league-best 18-6 record during the regular season, and will begin tournament play on February 25.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 25: WNBL, Sydney at Townsville

Shay Murphy | Guard #14 | Samsun Canik (Turkey)

Another first timer in the overseas report, but is no new face to the Mercury, is Shay Murphy, who was signed by Phoenix on February 22. Murphy has spent her offseason overseas in Turkey playing for Samsun Canik. In 17 games with Samsun, Murphy is averaging team-bests in scoring (16.6 ppg) and steals (2.5 spg), to go along with grabbing 6.9 boards per game and dishing 2.8 steals. She ranks just outside the top 10 in scoring and rebounding per game, but her 2.8 steals a game rank in the top three in the Turkish League. Murphy and Samsun have eight games remaining in their regular season slate of games and will look to improve on their current 4-15 record.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 25: Turkish League, Samsun Canik vs. Mersin MBK

Sonja Petrovic | Forward #5 | ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)

Sonja Petrovic made appearances in four of USK Praha’s last six games, three of which were EuroLeague contests. After scoring only seven points in Praha’s 100-45, ZBL League win, on February 5, the Olympic bronze medalist went on to score double-figures in three-straight games, including a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) on February 22. While Praha remains undefeated (20-0) in ZBL League play, the team has dropped three-straight EuroLeague games after beginning the season 9-2. Petrovic is tied for second in scoring in the EuroLeague with Diana Taurasi at 17.4 points per game, ranks third in rebounds (8.6 rpg) and leads the league in free throw percentage (.915), having knocked down 43 of her 47 attempts at the line. Petrovic continues to remain on pace to become the only player in the EuroLeague to average at least 13 points and seven rebounds in each of the last four EuroLeague seasons (four players had averaged 13 points and seven rebounds in each of the last three seasons).

Upcoming Games This Week: March 4: ZBL League, USK Praha vs. BLK Praha

Danielle Robinson | Guard #21 | Mersin (Turkey)

Danielle Robinson made appearances in Mersin’s last six games (three Turkish League games and three EuroLeague games), averaging 9.8 points and 4.6 assists over that stretch. In EuroLeague play, the three-time WNBA all-star finished the regular season tied for seventh in assists per game at 4.9 apg. In addition to averaging 9.6 points per game, the recently acquired point guard missed only three free throws (17-of-20) in EuroLeague action. In 16 total games overseas in both the Turkish League and EuroLeague, Robinson has recorded six or more assists in six games, four or more assists in 10 games and three or more in 13 games. Robinson and Mersin will now turn their attention to solely Turkish League play, as the team did not make the EuroLeague tournament.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 25: Turkish League, Mersin vs. Botas

Stephanie Talbot | Guard #7 | AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wielkopolski (Poland)

As a draft selection by the Mercury in the 2014 WNBA Draft, Stephanie Talbot will make her WNBA debut this season, officially signing with Phoenix on February 8. Talbot is currently overseas in Poland playing for AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wielkopolski, where her versatile game as filled the box score. She currently ranks second on the team in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg), while leading the team in assists (4.5) and steals (2.7) per game. Talbot is one of only two players in the Polish League to rank in the top 10 in scoring (9th), assists (10th) and steals (4th) per game, and ranks just outside the top 10 in rebounds as well.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 25: Polish League, AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wielkopolski at Artego Bydgoszcz

Diana Taurasi | Guard #32 | UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)

Diana Taursi appeared in four of UMMC Ekaterinburg’s last eight games, scoring in double-figures in three of them. Since Taurasi arrived in Russia, Ekat has won 22-straight games, and has won by an average of 26.8 points in each of the 16 games she has played in. The four-time Olympic gold medalist is currently tied for second in scoring in the EuroLeague (17.4 ppg) with Sonja Petrovic, trailing only new Mercury member, Yvonne Turner (18.8 ppg).  Additionally, Taurasi leads the EuroLeague in made three-pointers with 38, which is 11 more than the next three players with the second-most makes (Turner, Petrovic, Kristi Toliver). Taurasi and Ekat have two regular season games remaining in Russian League play, and will begin EuroLeague tournament play on March 7 against Familia Schio in a three-game series.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 26: Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg at Dynamo Kursk; March 3; Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Zadezhda

Yvonne Turner | Guard #22 | Uniqa Sopron (Hungary)

Recently acquired guard Yvonne Turner and Uniqa Sopron wrapped up EuroLeague play on February 22 after failing to qualify for the postseason tournament. Despite the 4-10 record, Turner finished with an incredible EuroLeague season, finishing as the league’s leading scorer (18.8 ppg), ranking ahead of Petrovic, Taurasi and Griner. She finished as the only player in the EuroLeague (minimum of nine EuroLeague games played) to rank in the top 10 in points and assists per game (eighth), and also ranked fifth in steals (1.9 ppg). Turner and Sopron have four games remaining in the Hungarian League, where they are tied for the best record at 13-3.

Upcoming Games This Week: February 26: Hungarian League, Uniqa Sopron vs. Cegledi EKK

Marta Xargay | Guard #10 | ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)

Marta Xargay played in four of USK Praha’s last six games, reaching double figures in scoring just once during that span. In 25 games overseas this season, Xargay is averaging 10.2 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist has shot 84.9-percent (62-of-73) from the free throw line and 44.9-percent (84-of-187) from the field. While Xargay has helped USK Praha to a 20-0 record in ZBL League play, Praha has dropped its last three EuroLeague games, finishing 9-5 during the regular season. The team will wrap up ZBL League regular season play on March 4, and will begin quarterfinal play in the EuroLeague tournament on March 7 in a three-game series against Nadezhda.

Upcoming Games This Week: March 4: ZBL League, USK Praha vs. BLK Praha