The Charlotte Sting fell short of expectations last year partially because of injuries, but when the team made a change to bring in NBA veteran guard Muggsy Bogues as its new head coach during the season, the team responded and won two of its last three games of the season. Now, with a full offseason under his belt to study and prepare, Bogues is ready to lead the Sting back to prominence. And with two first round picks, No. 3 and No. 10, that task could be greatly improved. The tough decisions for Bogues, general manager Trudi Lacey and the Sting begin April 5.

Q. How have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft? What methods do you utilize to scout players for the draft?
I've been spending a lot of time going around looking at players and scouting. I am just trying to see as many players as I can to make the best decision for our team. I am also keeping an eye on the free agency market

When you go to places you usually go to see a specific player. Sometimes I leave seeing something different. You go with an idea of what type of skills they have, but you have to wait until you get there to see what their skill level is and what position and place they are at with their game.

Q. When do you start getting prepared for the draft?

I've been getting ready since it was time to go out and start watching players. It's an on-going preparation. It never stops.

Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses are you looking to bolster with your picks?

Yes, you are always trying to better your team, and weaknesses and strengths play into that. We are looking for various players. We are always looking for skillful players. We are looking for another forward - another big player. We are looking for a back-up point guard to back up Helen (Darling) and possibly a good perimeter player. There are going to be some talented players in this draft that can come in and help teams.

Q. What are the most important traits you look for in prospects?

The most important trait is skill level and what they can do on the floor. You have to look at what their strengths are and if you can use them on the ball club. Everybody has different strengths and it just depends on what you need

All that (personality, attitude etc.) comes in play. We do background checks, talk to coaches, find out where they came from and what program they came from We check on their attitudes to make sure that they're a team player and that they don't have problems getting along with their team.

Q. What players that you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
Of course there's Seimone Augustus, Cappie Pondexter, Monique Currie and Sophia Young. Those are the top four. You can go down the board, to even player like Tye'sha Fuker from Tennessee. She kind of surprised me with her footwork and her post play. Sherrill Baker at Georgia is pretty athletic. There's Candice Dupree from Temple. You also have workaholic players like Mistie Williams, who's a Tangela Smith-type player.

Q. With your picks, are you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available players?
With the third and tenth pick I think you go with best available player but you have to also be aware of what positions you need. I like the core our team has. We just need to add more talent to it and make the pieces fit.

In the second and third round you look a little more of both what you need and what's available . Somebody could have slid under the radar and you may be able to get them.

Q. What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League this season? Surprises? Starters vs. Rotation players?

I think the four I mentioned earlier, Seimone Augustus, Cappie Pondexter, Monique Currie, and Sophia Young will be able to have an immediate impact.

Seimone Augustus is unique because her scoring ability and her skill level. She's very athletic, runs the floor well and can shoot. She's improved on her mid-range jumper and I love the baseline work. She can get her own shot.

Cappie Pondexter is an explosive player who loves the ball in her hand. She's good in the open court. She can be a combo guard and play either the 1 or the 2 position. She has a scorer's mentality and can come off screens. I think she's going to be a good pro.

Monique Currie is more laid back but she can score. Her jump shot has really improved and she's a big guard who can possibly play three positions.

As far as surprises, I mentioned Fluker before but Sherrill Baker really surprised me. I got to see her and see how clever she is with stealing the basketball. To lead the conference and nation in skills is impressive. She's a good open court player, who can get her hands on the ball. You need someone who can defend. Everyone can't be the star, so you need someone who can give you a little mixture.

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?

I think it does play a role. You always want to see consistency and you want to see them perform on the big stage. You want players to shine when they are on that stage. You continue to get a good look at them during the tournament and see them in different settings. The tournament is another way to try to build up your stock.

Q. Are you looking to trade or considering trading picks/players?
Anything is an option. You don't want to close your mind to anything. I like our core. We could position ourselves better in the draft so we would always entertain any offers.

Q. Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
Even though budgets don't allow you to go overseas a lot, it's something you are always keeping your eye on. A lot of information comes from word of mouth and from people with their eyes out there that are recommending players. There's always a concern that foreign player wouldn't come but talent is talent and if I think that if there is someone that can help our team then we would go after them

Q. What kinds of traits do you look for in players?
I think it depends on who they are, what they bring to the table and what you need on your team. You look at what's out there and try to put pieces together and make sure they all work. You look at your weaknesses and try to correct them.

Q. With free agency as an option now (along with the limitations of a salary cap), are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency, or trades?
I think we try to utilize them all to fill our needs. There weren't as many free agents this year and hopefully our draft picks can come in and contribute right away. We will use any means of finding talent that's out there. There may be someone out there who's under the radar so you search and look and try to use all the resources you can to make your team better.