Trudi Lacey Chat Transcript
Coach Lacey chatted live on Wednesday|
Charlotte Sting General Manager and Head Coach Trudi Lacey guided her team to an 18-16 record in her first year at the helm and has spent the offseason traveling the country and scouting the talent for the upcoming 2004 WNBA Draft.
The Sting hold the No. 3 overall pick and look to improve upon last year's second place finish in the Eastern Conference. Chat with Coach Lacey about this year's senior class, the outlook for the Sting, coaching Coach Staley, and who to watch for in the NCAA Tournament.
Lacey chatted live with fans on Wednesday. See what she had to say about the draft and much much more:
Barry (Phoenix): Coach Lacey, what are you looking for with third pick, as far as a position? Are you focusing mainly on guards/wings, such as Duke's Alana Beard or Houston's Chandi Jones?
Trudi Lacey: What we're looking for is the best player available with a variety of skills, who can compliment our current players. Of course, I would love Alana Beard.
Matt, Secaucus, N.J.: How serious a look will you give Florida's Vanessa Hayden, and will both her and Houston's Chandi Jones' early exit from the NCAA affect their standing?
Trudi Lacey: We will definitely give Vanessa a good look. She had an excellent senior season. Jones is one of the best scorers in the game today. Matt, at this point, I think most of the WNBA coaches know these players well enough and have seen them enough, that an early exit from the NCAA tournament won't negatively affect their standing among the coaches.
Curt (Gastonia): What players might be available that you will look at with the 18th and 22nd or 23rd picks?
Trudi Lacey: That's tough. It depends on who gets picked before then. The one good thing about this draft is that it is deep. We think at 18 and 22 we can get quality players who can contribute to our squad.
Jill: Hey Coach, what impact do you think the two new pickups (Richardson and Wolters) will have?
Trudi Lacey: The will improve our front line. Olympia gives us an athletic post player who has size. Kara is a former Olympian who can give us some experience and great size on the low block.
Barb (Chester): How will Allison Feaster continue to improve this year? Is she the future of the Sting?
Trudi Lacey: Allison spends her offseason in France, playing all year round. She has added some skills to her game over there. I'd like her to continue to improve in scoring off the dribble. She is in the prime of her career and I look forward to seeing her be a major part of the Charlotte Sting's success for many years.
John (Charlotte): Do you have any scouts out internationally? What is your protocol for judging foreign talent?
Trudi Lacey: We do have an international scout, who also works for the Bobcats, checking out international players. The one thing I like about international players is their overall skill level -- their shooting, dribbling, passing.
Bill (NC): With Dawn Staley being a coach, is it ever hard to coach her? Does she ever have any ideas that you impliment?
Trudi Lacey: Dawn is one of the easiest players I've ever had to coach. With her serving as head coach at Temple, it probably makes her more sensitive to what I have to go through. We have a healthy respect for each other, and if she as any suggestions, I certainly listen to them, like with all my players. I'm open to suggestions, but by the same token, they know that I make the final decisions.
#55: Who are your picks to make the NCAA final four and who's gonna win it all?
Trudi Lacey: What's interesting this year, is there is more parity, making it a very exciting tournament. Obviously the powerhouses are still in there...Tennessee, Connecticut, and Duke, but I think Texas has a good shot too. Being the ACC person I am, I have to go with Duke to win it all.
KimArt (PA): Without Cleveland and such a strong rookie class coming in...how hard will it be to make a WNBA roster this year?
Trudi Lacey: Hey Kim, that's a very good observation. Based on what happened last year, with one or two games separating playoff teams, there is lots of parity in our league. With the Cleveland dispersal and with international players coming in the league and the very strong draft we have, making rosters will be very, very difficult this year.
Greenville: Women coaches seem to be becoming extinct in the WNBA. As one of the few, what do you think will help to open up these coaching positions again for the many qualified women out there? Thanks and go Sting!
Trudi Lacey: That is another interesting situation. It seems to be the trend now, to hire coaches associated with NBA. I feel there are many female coaches who are qualified. Anne Donovan, Suzie McConnell Serio and myself have to do the best jobs we can, which we always do. The bottom line is winning. That's what we need to do. For myself, I will keep doing my best and hopefully, that will serve as a path for women who follow me.
Michelle (Greensboro): What has been the biggest challenge or adjustment for you since being promoted to GM? Congrats by the way!
Trudi Lacey: Thank you very much, Michelle. I think the biggest challenge for me, is balancing the dual role, in terms of contract negotiations and overseeing basketball operation as GM, but at the same time I need to keep relating to my players and helping to guide them to success on the court this season.
henry (Raleigh): Ive been a Sting fan since moving to north carolina. What do you think it will take to win the WNBA title this year?
Trudi Lacey: Henry, we would love to see the WNBA Championship to come to Charlotte this year. What it takes is to get talented young women, which we have, to play together as a team, with precision. We need to get quality people in here who can help us achieve our goals.
Sue - Sacramento: Coach - How do you expect the one month layoff for the Olympics to effect the teams? What will you be doing with your players to try to reduce the effects? Do you feel the teams with fewer or no Olympic players will be better off after that month or worse off due to lack of competition than the teams with several Olympic players?
Trudi Lacey: Sue, another great question. The affects are yet to be seen, because we've never dealt with this before. There are a number of challenges. No. 1, we want to give players a little time off, so they can be ready to play when they come back. We also want to keep players who don't go to the Olympics in touch with the community during the break, so we can keep the momentum built up at the start of the season.
Trudi Lacey: I want to thank everyone for joining me on the chat today. It was a great experience to interact with our fans. I hope you will continue to support the WNBA and the Charlotte Sting. We are looking forward to an excellent season and I hope you will come out and enjoy it with us.