In the fall, the team planned and researched extensively for the Expansion Draft and came away with a respectable nucleus of talent. First, the team was able to woo former Mystics guard Stacey Dales out of retirement and broadcasting bliss to play in Chicago. Assuming she can come back to the level she was at before taking last year off, Dales brings a variety of skills to the Sky. She is an able 3-point shooter, distributes the ball like a point guard, plays a number of positions and even gets rebounds.
Forward Brooke Wyckoff had a memorable 2005 season, hitting the biggest shot of her career in Game Two of the WNBA Finals. Her playoff experience will be an asset in Chicago and she could emerge as a team leader. Chelsea Newton may be short on experience, but the precious little that she does have is quite impressive. As an All-Rookie honoree, Newton was a defensive specialist who helped propel the Monarchs to a championship last season.
with tremendous potential who could blossom with more playing time is guard Jia
Perkins, who was selected from Charlotte. Perkins started a handful of games last
season and had a couple of 20-point games - one at Phoenix, another at Seattle
- and was not afraid to put the ball up. As a guard, she will need to work on
her perimeter shooting as she is primarily a slasher.
Looking Ahead To 2006:
Where will the leadership come from? Only guard Elaine Powell has more than four seasons of WNBA experience, but both Dales and Wyckoff have been around and in the spotlight. How will the younger players develop with more time on the court? Does second-year center Ashley Robinson have what it takes to be a starting center in the WNBA? Going up against Griffith, Leslie, Riley and Snow on a regular basis? How about Bernadette Ngoyisa, who averaged 4.3 ppg and 2.4 as a rookie in San Antonio last year? She did shoot nearly 57% from the floor. Also, can Deanna Jackson average double-digits in scoring? She averaged 12.0 ppg with the Fever in the Conference Finals off the bench.
But most importantly, what are the metrics for the team's success? Will there be an established goal for number of wins? Are the playoffs totally unrealistic? Is there a three-year plan? Perhaps the bigger goal is tickets sold and seats filled and that is something everyone has a stake in.