(6th in West)
Winners & Honorees
2006 Draft Recap
Dispersal Draft Results
Vickie Johnson also joined the cluster of Stars in 2006 after nine seasons in New York. She provided the young team with veteran leadership and helped all over the court, finishing second on the team in assists, third in rebounds and third in points.
The good news for San Antonio is that they fared even better on the road than they did at home. The bad news is that they didn't fare particularly well at home, where their 6-11 mark was actually worse than their 7-10 record on the road.
Former All-Star Marie Ferdinand, one of the frachise's top players, missed last season as she was out on maternity leave, which began the downward slide for the Silver Stars. A lack of cohesion was also a factor. Many of their top contributors had never played together before the season, and they were unable to win battles at either end of the court. They finished in the bottom third of the league in points per game, field goal percentage, blocks and steals.
Injuries in the latter part of the season hurt as well. Front-court players Chantelle Anderson (fractured knee cap) and LaToya Thomas (lateral meniscus tear) both missed time down the stretch, and it showed. The Silver Stars won just three of their final 16 games.
Anderson was back on her feet this offseason and was playing for Turkish team Galatasaray, but she soon found herself headed back to the injured list, undergoing surgery in February to repair a torn Achilles' tendon. The 6-6 center said the surgery went well, but it remains to be seen how fit she'll be for the start of the season. Ferdinand will be back for the Silver Stars this season (as Marie Ferdinand-Harris) as well. But she isn't the only addition in "San Antone."
2006 Starting Lineup
-G- Shannon Johnson
-G- Vickie Johnson
-F- Agnieszka Bibrzycka
-F- Sophia Young
-C- Katie Feenstra
Key 2006 Reserves
A blockbuster offseason trade sent center Katie Feenstra to Detroit in exchange for 2003 WNBA Finals MVP Ruth Riley. Riley brings postseason experience and talent and should make an immediate impact in San Antonio. Riley has averaged 8.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.52 blocks per game over the course of her six-year pro career.
Free agent forward/center Erin Buescher left the Kings and will also join the Silver Stars in 2007. Buescher averaged a career-high 9.7 points a game in 2006, and her .537 field-goal percentage was good for fifth in the league.
Another addition who should pay dividends is Sandora Irvin, whom San Antonio picked up in a trade with Phoenix. Irvin, the third pick of the 2005 Draft and the niece of former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin, has averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds a game in her two years in the league.
Overall, the loss of Shannon Johnson will hurt, but the additions should provide the Silver Stars with improved depth and new leadership. Young, a former NCAA champion (with Baylor in 2005), is a hard worker and relishes the underdog role in which San Antonio will likely be cast. If the team can stay healthy and if Anderson recovers well from her surgery, improving on 2006 should be a piece of cake.
But the real key will be whether or not coach Dan Hughes is able to meld all of the new pieces into a cohesive unit. He has done it before, so fans should have higher hopes for the Silver Stars than ever before. This is a team that will compete every night and has a very solid lineup on paper, and if they can play together, the playoffs should be within reach.