16-16, .500 (T4th in East)
2097 (10th overall, 5th in East)
2129 (7th overall, 4th in East)
-1.0 (T9th overall, 4th in East)
98.5 (7th overall, 3rd in East)
99.9 (11th overall, 5th in East)
Possessions per 40 min.
66.3 (13th overall, 5th in East)
What are these stats?
Award Winners & Honorees
All-WNBA, First Team
Rookie of the Year
2002 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 – 13, Tawana McDonald
Rd. 2 – 17, Zuzi Klimsova
Rd. 3 – 34, Kelly Komara
Rd. 4 – 49, LaKeisha Taylor
Rd. 4 – 52, Jillian Dosty
One out of three years
2002, last in first round
2002 In Review: What Went Right?
What went right for Indiana in 2002 started with the 2001 WNBA Draft. That’s when Tamika Catchings dropped into the Fever’s lap. The Indiana faithful had to wait a year to see the former Tennessee star in action, and she did not disappoint.
Catchings earned 2002 rookie of the year honors, averaging 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, a league-high 2.94 steals and 1.34 blocked shots while connecting on 39.4 percent of her shots from three-point range. She also made a run at the league’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards finishing third and second, respectively.
When the Fever acquired Coquese Washington from the Houston Comets in exchange for Rita Williams, the team was 8-13 and had just dropped four straight games. After the trade, Indiana went 8-3 to earn the team’s first trip to the playoffs. Washington averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.09 steals while hitting 45.2 percent of her three-pointers in 11 games with the Fever.
Olympia Scott-Richardson posted her best year as a pro, setting career highs in scoring (9.4), rebounding (6.8), steals (1.23), and field goal percentage (.487), providing the Fever with a much-needed inside presence.
What Went Wrong?
gave birth during the 2001-02 offseason and never quite regained her 2001 form, averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 assists in 14.4 minutes per game. Fever Head Coach Nell Fortner still wrote Ivey’s name in the lineup card on 23 occasions, but there were a handful of games where the Notre Dame grad played the first few minutes, only to be pulled for the remainder of the game. Over her last six games, Ivey averaged a scant 1.8 points and 0.7 assists while hitting 27.3 percent of her field goal attempts in just 8.3 minutes of action.
The Fever parted ways with its first-ever All-Star when they traded Rita Williams to the Houston Comets. The 5-6 guard averaged 11.4 points, 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds, hitting 37.5 percent of her shots from beyond the arc while starting 58 of 64 games in her first two seasons in Indiana. Last year, she started just one of 20 games, averaging 6.0 points, 2.2 assists, 1.9 rebounds hitting a mere 25.4 percent of her three-point field goal attempts.
Indiana’s defense, which was below average during the regular season, went further south in the playoffs as the Fever allowed New York to shoot 50.6 percent from the field in their first-round series.
Head Coach Nell Fortner
2002 Starting Line-up
G ||Niele Ivey|
G ||Nikki McCray|
C ||Olympia Scott-Richardson|
F ||Tamika Catchings|
F ||Nadine Malcolm|
Key 2002 Reserves
G ||Bridget Pettis|
F ||Kelly Schumacher|
G ||Coquese Washington|
Looking Ahead To 2003
Can Catchings avoid the sophomore jinx that has befallen three of the previous four rookie-of-the-year honorees? Tracy Reid
, Betty Lennox
and Jackie Stiles
have each struggled since carrying home the freshman hardware. Only Chamique Holdsclaw
managed to avoid the jinx.
Where will the additional offense come from? Tamika Catchings was a one-woman whirlwind for the Fever for much of the season. Only Houston’s Sheryl Swoopes scored a larger percentage of her team’s points than did Catchings. Nikki McCray and Olympia Scott-Richardson provide additional scoring punch, but Indiana could still use another presence in the paint.
How will the Fever improve on its defense? Indiana opposition connected on 44.2 percent of its field goal attempts (2nd worst in the league) and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc (6th worst in the league). The Fever also ranked 11th in the league in blocked shots.