Sunday, May 03, 2009

Someone Old, Someone New, Someone Borrowed, Someone Blue . . . or Brown?

When last season ended, it was painfully obvious that the Mystics were in dire need of an extreme makeover. That work began last fall with the hiring of GM Angela Taylor and, in turn, a new coaching staff headed by Julie Plank. Led by Angela, the new brain trust made a number of off-season moves trying to remake the roster to whatever extent possible before opening day 2009.

They brought in someone "old," as in a former Mystic -- center Chasity Melvin, who (as we've previously written) will bring a veteran presence to the frontcourt. They brought in someone "new," well, actually, a few someones new, starting with PG Lindsey Harding, acquired during the winter in a trade from the Lynx, and, of course, Terps' star, Marissa Coleman, the Mystics' first round draft pick (#2 overall), plus several later-rounders. And they permanently "borrowed" guard Matee Ajavon from the (sadly no-longer) Houston Comets.

And just this past Friday, the Mystics signed (the colorful but non-rhyming) free agent Kiesha Brown, who, like Chas, also fits the "old" (as in former Mystic) category, having played for DC from 2002-05. So that's two popular Mystics vets back on board. We expect that Brown and Blue are now competing for a single backup-PG spot.

And quite a competition it will be. With the signing of Kiesha, and with those other off-season additions, the Mystics' roster now stands at a whopping 17 (that's after Laurie Koehn, Andrea Gardner and Krystal Vaughn were cut on April 15th . . . a very taxing day, and Crystal Smith and second round draft pick Camille LeNoir were cut last Friday). According to WNBA rules, teams must trim their rosters to 15 by the start of training camp on May 17th, and then to 11 by opening day. Which means that GM Taylor now has at least 2 more cuts to make before training camp opens, and a total of 6 more cuts to make before opening day. And that's assuming, as other teams trim their rosters to 11, Angela doesn't decide to bring in any other waived players for a look-see.

The BCs think that probably 10 players are virtual "locks" or "highly probables" for this year's team: Beard, Coleman, Currie, Harding, Ajavon, Melvin, Humphrey, Sanford, Langhorne and Miller. That makes for a very tough competition for that remaining spot. Assuming that Nikki and Kiesha are going head-to-head for that one position, this means that anyone else -- whether on the current roster, or a new pick-up -- would need to land a knock-out punch against a "probable" to gain a roster slot.

Whatever happens between now and the season opener, there's no question that while the Mystics' uniforms will still be blue, with the old, new, borrowed, and possible pick-ups off waivers, the one thing the BCs can say with certainty is that the 2009 Mystics are going to look very different from the 2008 team.


At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to tell my "former season ticket holding buddies" that there's a new administration in town - thanks for giving me more ammo!! Let's also hope our new President and his family find their way to the Center this summer!!

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

And to quote, "...the one thing the BCs can say with certainty is that the 2009 Mystics are going to look very different from the 2008 team." That's something we're ALL hoping for!

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Stevo said...

The 2009 Mystics are going to be a pleasant surprise to all of us diehard fans. I truly believe this will be their finest season!!!!

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Well said, Stevo! By the way, did you hear Laurie Koehn signed a training-camp contract with Phoenix? I hope she does well there.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous stevo said...

Phoenix run and gun style might be best suited for her. ( defense is secondary)

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't left a comment before, but I enjoy reading your blog and sharing your news with my kids! Let's hope things go better this time around!


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