Fresh off the first WNBA title in franchise history and three star players in Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird and Betty Lennox wrapped up to long-term deals, the Seattle Storm suffered several key losses to the starting lineup and the regular rotation. Free agency will replace some of those figures, and according to Storm head coach Anne Donovan, the 2005 WNBA Draft could fill the rest of those needs.

Q. How have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft?
"Our coaching staff watches game tapes, travels to scout live games and speaks with college coaches to ascertain information helpful in the evaluation process."

Q. When do you start getting prepared for the draft?
"We are continually in the draft preparation mode. Much of our off season is spent on roster development, through college, free agent and international evaluations."

Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses are you looking to bolster with your picks?
"We have lost a lot of experience from our Championship Team and so we are have many needs this season. Obviously, we will not be reaplacing experience lost, but we are hoping for a young player, possibly in the post, to help bolster our depth."

Seattle has the twelfth overall pick on April 16.
Jeff Reinking
WNBAE/Getty Images

Q. What are the most important traits you look for in prospects?
"Mentality is so important, is this kid tough enough? She must be a confident player, hungry to improve her game and eager to test herself against the best players in the world. Strength, or the potential and work habits to develop strength. Can the player withstand the physicality of the WNBA, a very important trait to becoming a success in the WNBA. These traits are as important to us in the evaluation process as the actual skills of the players."

Q. What players that you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
"Kendra Wecker, Tan White, Janel McCarville."

Q. With your pick, are you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available players?
"We will likely draft the best players available to us with the #12 pick."

Q. What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the league this season?
"I believe Kendra Wecker is a special talent who has the tough mentality, strength, work ethic, and versatility to make an immediate contribution to her team. Tan White is an explosive talent, and Janel McCarville is a post who will also make impact with her team early in her WNBA career. Where these players go will determine starter vs sub, but I believe all three of these players have the possibility of starting."

Q. How important is the Tournament in helping you make last minute decisions? How closely does a player's performance in the NCAA Tournament affect her draft status?
"The NCAA Tournament gives us the opportunity to evaluate a player that much further, factoring in added incentive and/or pressure. Competing out of conference against very skilled teams is a good addition to the scouting process."

Q. How does this year's Draft compare to previous ones?
"Our draft in 2004 was such a strong one, this year is much shallower."

Q. Are you looking to trade or considering trading picks/players?
"We are finally getting resolution on our free agents from last season. At this time I don't foresee any trades for the Storm."

Q. Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
"Yes, we were very involved in the international players this offseason."

Q. With free agency as an option now, are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency, or trades?
"Our goal is to field the most competitive team possible and each season our needs will change, the status of free agents will change and the strength of the draft will fluctuate. I think the answer to that question will change year by year."