One thing Houston Comets coach
Van Chancellor does not like is losing. Lucky for him, it is not something he
ever had to get used to as a pro coach. However, for the first time in the franchise's
championship-rich history, the Comets missed the playoffs in 2004 and earned a
learned Lottery pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft. With that pick, Chancellor can add
another impact player to a rotation that already includes forwards Sheryl Swoopes
and Tina Thompson as well as guard Janeth Arcain.
How have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft? What methods do you utilize
to scout players for the draft?
"We have been evaluating talent by
scouting games and watching a tremendous amount of video."
do you start getting prepared for the draft?
"We started as soon as
our season ended last year. We looked over team schedules and some of the players
who would be available in the draft, and then assigned staff to scout those games."
The Comets have the fifth overall pick on April 16.|
Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses
are you looking to bolster with your picks?
"Our philosophy has always
been to take the best player available, but obviously one area we are looking
for help is at point guard."
Q. What are the most important traits
you look for in prospects?
"We look for players who are tough, hard-nosed,
gritty, and put in on the line every game."
Q. What players that
you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
"I don't think there's
any doubt that some of the most impressive players so far have been (Janel) McCarville,
(Sandora) Irvin and Tan White."
Q. With your pick, are you targeting
a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available players?
will take the best player available regardless of position."
What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League
"There are several players in this year's draft who
can help a team."
Q. How important is the Tournament in helping
you make last minute decisions?
"You really get to see a number of
players and how they handle the pressure of big games. I think it can only help
you evaluate a player."
Q. How does this year's Draft compare to
"There's not going to be a Diana Taurasi every year,
so you can forget that comparison. Every draft is different. The best way to evaluate
each year's draft is how the players perform in the WNBA."
you looking to trade or considering trading picks or players?
but I think you always keep your options open. We would only make a trade if it
improves our team or was in the best interests of the Comets."
Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
has been important to the Comets. We obviously had a lot of success with Janeth
Arcain and Polina Tzekova. We drafted in Polina in 1998 and she helped us win
a championship in 1999."
Q. What kinds of traits do you look for
"A hard worker who again is tough, hard-nosed, and willing
do the little things to help you win games."
Q. With free agency
as an option now, are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency,
"All of these can help you fill needs. Some years you may
have a high draft pick to fill a need, other years it may be a free agent or a