WashingtonMystics Mailbox: Marianne Stanley

Stanley and Miller look to better their award winning 2002 season in 2003.
Mitchell Layton/NBAE/Getty Images
Marianne Stanley begins her second season as the head coach of the Washington Mystics.

Stanley's coaching career can be described as successful and groundbreaking. Overall, she compiled an impressive 415-224 (.649) collegiate record, earning four Conference Coach of the Year and two National Coach of the Year honors. Stanley took her teams to 13 post-season appearances, competed in six Final Fours and won three National Championships (AIAW Championships-1979, 1980 and NCAA Championship-1985). She also guided her teams to nine NCAA tournament appearances (20-8) and recruited some of today's outstanding basketball stars including Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks (USC) and Adrienne Goodson of the Utah Starzz (ODU). Stanley also served as a member of the US National Team coaching staff from 1981-1993, earning three gold and two silver medals in the World Championships and Pan Am Games.

Last season she guided the Mystics to a 17-15 record, a first ever playoff series win, a berth in the Eastern Conferece Finals and was named WNBA Coach of the Year.

Stanley had some time check her mailbox and here are some of her responses to your e-mails.

Kay - Washington, DC: What are your goals for the team this season?

Marianne Stanley: The number one goal is to come back and play great basketball with the same chemistry and energy that we had last year, and to advance and become Eastern Conference Champions.

Sue - Shepherdstown, West Virginia: Are you content with the size of the team or are you looking to add some bigger players?

Marianne Stanley: You would always like to improve your size at every position and we feel like we have talented players, but occasionally we are undersized. We are keeping an eye on trying to add some height if we can. No sense of urgency, but thatís something that we are looking at.

Sherry - Alexandria, Virginia: Do you plan on selecting a small forward in the draft?

Marianne Stanley: We are still evaluating the draft and we havenít made any decisions on who we are going to select and at what position.

Sara - Richmond, Virginia: With Miami and Portland folding, are there going to be players from those teams available to the Mystics and if so who might be a good fit for the Mystics?

Marianne Stanley: We anticipate that there will be a dispersal draft of player on those two teams and we are in the process of evaluating them right now. There are quality players at every position between the two rosters and as soon as we get information from the league as to how the dispersal draft will be executed, then we'll know which direction to go in.

Samuel - Tampa Bay, Florida: Will you look to bring in another point guard to training camp?

Marianne Stanley: We're not sure at this moment what direction we are going to go in. We are still evaluating the current college seniors and also the dispersal draft has an impact. More importantly we are anticipating that our current players will come back improved. We feel good about Kiesha Brown, who is playing in the NWBL right now. All those things have to be assessed before we make final decisions.

Erica - Boston, Massachusetts : Who do you think will win the 2003 Women's NCAA Championships?

Marianne Stanley: I think itís a wide open race, but I think that Tennessee, Duke and Connecticut all look good. LSU and Kansas State are prepared at this point with veteran teams that can make some noise in the tournament and you could very well see either of them in the Final Four as well. I think that Stanford out west is playing great basketball. Depending where all these teams are places in the bracket could make a big difference as to who actually advances.

Nickie - Washington, DC: Who do you feel is the top women's college player right now?

Marianne Stanley: I think it's hard to pick one, but I really like Diana Taurasi, Bird and Powell with the underclassmen. With the seniors you have to love Anderson and Thomas as the two top seniors coming out, but there is a group of people behind them. You have a couple kids from Tennessee in Gwen Jackson and Kara Lawson and Jocelyn Penn is having a tremendous year down in South Carolina.

Jocelyn - New York, New York: What was your favorite moment from last season?

Marianne Stanley: I think having the opportunity to host a playoff game here in front of such a great crowd and to win was a great moment for all of our loyal fans and all the people internally that have worked so hard to put a quality basketball team on the floor. I think that was really a special evening for us.