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WNBA 2011: Atlanta Dream Begin Eastern Conference Title Defense

The Atlanta Dream begin their quest for the 2011 WNBA Championship on May 15 at 8 a.m. when they open training camp at Georgia Tech's Zelnak Basketball Center. That first practice kicks off a week's worth of practices that will see 15 players competing for 11 spots on the team's regular season roster. 

The Dream's 2011 roster will feature four 2010 WNBA All-Stars in Angel McCoughtry, Iziane Castro Marques, Sancho Lyttle and new acquisition Lindsey Harding. Harding was acquired in a draft day trade that stabilizes the point guard position for Atlanta. She has started 98 of 112 career games while holding career averages of 11 points and four assists per game. Shalee Lehning started 33 games at the point for the Dream during the regular season while averaging 3.7 points and 4.8 assists per game. She is now expected to back up Harding who will give the Dream much more of an offensive threat at the point guard position than they did last season. 

While Harding adds star power to the Dream lineup, the undisputed star is none other than All-Star forward Angel McCoughtry. McCoughtry averaged 21.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. In the playoffs, McCoughtry increased those totals to 26.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. She also finished as a runner up for the Defensive Player of the Year award last season. McCoughtry gives Dream coach Marynell Meadors the luxury of having a goto scorer as well as a great defender at the forward spot.

Iziane Castro Marques returns to the shooting guard position where she had a very solid season in 2010. Castro Marques averaged 16.9 points per game while shooting a very solid 44 percent from the field. She should pair nicely with Lindsey Harding giving Atlanta one of the best back court duos in the league. 

The Dream also returns an outstanding front court tandem in Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza. Lyttle averaged 12.8 points and a team high 9.9 rebounds per game. Erika de Souza also chipped in 12.4 points and 8.3 rebounds. Combining these two with McCoughtry makes the Dream a match up nightmare for most of the WNBA. 

Here is a look at the Dream's full training camp roster. 

2011 Training Camp Roster

For more on the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, be sure and check out SB Nation's Women's basketball Blog Swish Appeal

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.