(7th in West)
2097 (14th overall, 7th in West)
2270 (6th overall, 3rd in West)
-5.1 (13th overall, 6th in West)
88.4 (14th overall, 7th in West)
95.6 (4th overall, 3rd in West)
Possessions per 40 min.
68.5, (8th overall, 5th in West)
What are these stats?
Award Winners & Honorees
2003 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 – 5, Plenette Pierson
Rd. 2 – 16, Petra Ujhelyi
Rd. 3 – 31, Telisha Quarles
Three out of seven years
2000, Lost in First Round
2003 In Review:
What Went Right?
Anna DeForge made the most of her second opportunity in the WNBA, leading the Mercury in scoring a year ago and ranking ninth in the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage (41.2) and 11th in steals per game (1.50).
The Mercury boasted the fourth best defense in the WNBA in large part because they forced the opposition into 610 turnovers – 25.7 percent of all possessions.
Adrian Williams became Phoenix’s first All-Star since Brandy Reed played in the 2000 game. The 6-4 center/forward averaged 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds on the season and ranked seventh in the league in steals per game (1.68).
And of course, every cloud has its silver lining. Despite the Mercury’s struggles last season, it did land them the first pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft.
What Went Wrong?
The Mercury offense was the worst the WNBA has seen, relative to the league average, since the 2000 season. Phoenix’s Offensive Efficiency Rating of 88.4 was nearly 10 percent worse than the league average. In 2000, Miami was 12 percent worse than the league average, and Seattle was 15 percent worse.
The Mercury were also challenged by an inconsistent lineup. In all, a WNBA-record 21 players saw action for the Mercury last season.
|2003 Starting Line-up|
|Key 2003 Reserves|
|F||Penny Taylor (DD)|
Looking Ahead To 2004:
Can Diana Taurasi turn things around in Phoenix? She’s not coming in to a bare cupboard with DeForge, Williams and dispersal draft selection Penny Taylor
on board, but Taurasi is going to be taxed this summer like no women’s basketball player before her. Not only is she expected to carry the Mercury, but she will compete for a spot on the 2004 US Olympic Team that will participate in the Athens Games in August, all following a tough senior season at Connecticut.
Can the Mercury improve their rebounding? Phoenix hasn’t been even a league-average rebounding team since the 1999 season, and 2003 was no exception.
Who will coach the Mercury? As of posting time, Phoenix had yet to announce the hiring of a new head coach to replace John Shumate.