A Coach’s Insight Into the Draft

New York, April 12, 2005 – As the 2005 WNBA Draft quickly approaches, no one is busier getting ready for it than Pat Coyle. The first-year Liberty Head Coach has been scouting and strategizing along with assistants Marianne Stanley and Nick DiPillo and General Manager Carol Blazejowski. Coyle took a few minutes out of the planning to chat with nyliberty.com about Saturday's Draft.

This is your first Draft as a Head Coach – how are you feeling going into Saturday?
PC: I haven't really thought about it in that sense. I have been too busy going to tournaments, watching tapes and talking with our staff.

Compare preparing for the Draft this year as a Head Coach as opposed to previous years as an Assistant.
PC: Because of the way we go about making our selections there really is no difference in the preparations for me personally. We all have seen the players and we make the decision as a group.

What were your thoughts on the Pre-Draft Camp?
PC: Some players really helped themselves. I thought all in all it was about what I expected it to be. It's interesting to see the players that you are considering go head-to-head.

What attributes will you look for in a prospective player?
PC: At first you look at your needs then go from there. There are several things we look at: first being their skill level. The next two things we feel are very important: their character and what kind of teammate they are. These two things help with team chemistry.

The team has the core of it’s players from last year returning – how would you like to complement that group with this year’s Draft picks?
PC: As I mentioned earlier, character is a big deal with us and how they will fit in with our current team. But on the playing side of things we want players who are not only skilled but athletic and can do a lot of things.

What would you like to accomplish with this year’s Draft picks?
PC: We would like to get younger, more athletic and fill a need.

Much has been made of last year’s rookie class – what do you look forward to from this year’s class?
PC: While there is not a Taurasi in the group, you have some solid players who will find a way on to a roster. This group is solid in the wing position.

Any additional comments?
PC: It's going to be an interesting draft because there really is no clear cut favorite. Any number of players could be selected first.