(7th in West)
2091 (11th overall, 6th in West)
2291 (13th overall, 6th in West)
-6.3 (16th overall, 8th in West)
92.9 (14th overall, 7th in West)
101.8 (16th overall, 8th in West)
Possessions per 40 min.
70.3 (5th overall, 4th in West)
What are these stats?
Award Winners & Honorees
2002 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award
2002 Draft Recap
Rd. 2 – 25, Tootie Shaw
Rd. 3 – 40, Kayte Christensen
Rd. 4 – 56, Amba Kongolo
Three out of six years
2000, lost in first round
2002 In Review: What Went Right?
Jennifer Gillom showed that she wasn’t set to retire yet by posting her highest scoring average since the 1999 season at 15.2 points per game. She knocked down a career-high 38.7 percent (36-of-93) of her three-point field goal attempts and was the team’s third leading rebounder at 3.7 per game.
Gordana Grubin, who came to Phoenix via an offseason trade with the Indiana Fever, set career highs in scoring (9.9), assists (3.3) and steals (1.13).
proved to be one of the few gems in the late rounds of the 2002 WNBA Draft. The third-rounder from Cal-Santa Barbara hit 50.5 percent of her field goal attempts, averaging 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds on the year while playing in 30 games for Phoenix.
What Went Wrong?
The Mercury had one of the least stable lineups in the league last season as 12 different players earned themselves at least one start in 2002. No player played more than 899 minutes and 11 players played at least 300 minutes. Gillom was the only player to average double figures in scoring and eight players averaged between four and 10 points.
Cynthia Cooper resigned as the team’s head coach one-third of the way through the season despite the fact that the team was 6-4 at the time. Under interim head coach Linda Sharp, the team struggled to a 5-17 finish.
Most of Phoenix’s problems came on the defensive end as they ranked 16th in opposition field goal percentage (.455) and three-point field goal percentage (.399), 11th in defensive rebound percentage, 14th in blocked shots and dead last in defensive efficiency.
Head Coach John Shumate
2002 Starting Line-up
G ||Kristin Veal|
G ||Gordana Grubin|
C ||Adrian Williams|
F ||Lisa Harrison|
F ||Jennifer Gillom|
Key 2002 Reserves
G ||Susanna Bonfiglio|
F ||Kayte Christensen|
F ||Adriana Moises|
G ||Tracy Reid|
F ||Jaynette Saunders|
F ||Slobodanka Tuvic|
Looking Ahead To 2003
Who on the current squad will be a part of the next Mercury playoff team? Phoenix is 24-40 (.375) over the past two seasons which is the third lowest winning percentage in the league over that time. Gillom turns 39 this summer, Harrison is 32 and Grubin turns 31 in August. The rest of the team is under 30, but none of them averaged more than 6.3 points last season.
Is Kristen Veal the Mercury’s point guard of the future?
She has two seasons in the WNBA under her belt, and she’s still just 21. As a rookie in 2001, the 6-1 Australian averaged 4.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds. She missed nine games last season, six due to injury at the start of the year, but Veal worked her way into the starting lineup for the last 10 games. For the season, she averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 assists.
Does Gillom have another All-Star caliber season in her tank? The six-year WNBA veteran’s scoring average decreased in each of the three seasons leading up to the 2002 campaign, but she bounced back in a big way last year. While new head coach John Shumate establishes the rest of his line-up, Gillom will once again need to be the rock on which the Mercury foundation is built.