With the NCAA Tournament in full swing and the draft just weeks away, Janel McCarville knows firsthand the hectic schedule facing this year's crop of seniors.
Less than a year ago, McCarville herself was a senior college standout leading the Minnesota into the 2005 NCAA Tournament. McCarville finished her career as a Golden Gopher averaging 14.6 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting .580 (707-1220) from the field.
On April 16, 2005, McCarville was selected by the Charlotte Sting with the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft. In her first season with the Sting, the 6-2 forward averaged 1.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 28 games with the team.
With one season under her belt, McCarville is looking forward to starting her second season in the Queen City and celebrating the Sting's 10th anniversary at the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
The Wisconsin native stopped by CharlotteSting.com to chat live with fans on Wednesday and talked about the NCAA Tournament, her Madden skills and much more.
Jamie (Eagan): What is your timetable regarding the back injury? Will we see you in WNBA arenas this summer?
Janel McCarville: I would say you will definitely see me in arenas. I'm almost 100-percent, getting back into the swing of things and I think I'll be ready to go on May 20.
Vaughnsville,OH: How did it feel to be the number one draft pick? Was it hard proving to the Sting that you were worth being the number one pick?
Janel McCarville: It was an honor to be picked No. 1 overall. I don't think I had to prove anything to anybody, because everyone knew what I could do. The hard part was the injury and not being able to contribute the way I wanted to my rookie year.
Lauralyn (Tega Cay): What do you think you would be doing if you weren't playing basketball?
Janel McCarville: Right now, I'd be finishing up school as I've not yet graduated. But I plan on graduating sometime down the line.
Margaret (Washington, D.C.): What's the biggest difference between the college game and the WNBA? Which current players do you think are best positioned to make the leap?
Janel McCarville: The biggest difference is the talent level. From 1-11 everyone can be a starter in the WNBA, but in college there are more role players who might not be able to be starters on most teams. I think the girls who have the most desire and heart will be the ones who can make in the WNBA.
Kristie (Utah): I hear you are a big video game player. What game are you playing now and what is your all-time favorite game?
Janel McCarville: Hmmm. The game I'm playing most now is NASCAR 2006. It's pretty intense and it's a good two-player game. My favorite alltime game is Madden 2006. I'm pretty rock-solid in that game, I can take on anyone in that game.
Ellen Marie (Fort Mill): Do you have any pets? If yes, what kind?
Janel McCarville: Yes, I have a miniature Pinscher and her name is Loki and I plan on bringing her everywhere with me.
Curt (Gastonia): There are some very strong, physical centers who will be coming out of college the next few years. Do you think the women's game will feature centers who are (1) stronger (Erb) or (2)more agile (Leslie) or (3) some combination of the two in the future?
Janel McCarville: I'm gonna say a combo of the two. If you look now you have Sylvia Fowles and she has power and finesse. And Candace Parker and Tasha Humphries. Tasha has finesse and power. She can bang on the inside and hit the three. And Candace is finesse who can play very effectively in the post, using her quickness. Plus she can dribble very well in the open court. Of course, she can elevate over everyone else, too.
Heather (SLC): What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
Janel McCarville: That's a good one. I'd say, it's simple: Follow your dreams, don't let anyone hold you back. If someone says you can't do it, don't listen to that. Have the drive and determination to do what you want. Don't let the haters hold you back! (Laughing)
Lindsay ( St. Paul): What is it like playing against one of your former college teammates and your good friend Lindsay Whalen. Do you guys still keep in touch?
Janel McCarville: Actually we keep in touch often. We text and IM alot over the Internet. It's fun and a great way to stay in contact. And, when she's in town, we go out and have dinner and then have a wild Madden Rematch. We had some great games in college and we're still going now.
tami, stevens point: What is your favorite vacation location?
Janel McCarville: Ha-ha (Laughing). Hi to my favorite sister-in-law! My favorite spot is Jamaica where me, her and my mother got together and had a really good time.
Katie (Mtn. View): What team do you like in the NCAA Tourney?
Janel McCarville: That's a tough one. I really think a few teams can take it. Obviously North Carolina is good, Duke is always a contender and an up and comer is Maryland. Also Tennesse or LSU can always step up and finish strong.
Ryan F. (Tiburon, CA): Hi Janel! Who in the WNBA would you say you model your game after? Do you have a favorite basketball move? Also, do you spend much time on-line?
Janel McCarville: I do not model my game after a WNBA player, I model myself after Kenyon Martin of the NBA. I love his style, he is an amazing athlete. My favorite move is either a baseline spin or fadeaway jumper. If I don't have much to do, I find myself online, but I try not to be online too much.
Tal(Cali): what up J-Mac? my question is, what have you been doing this offseason to work on your game? and what parts of your game have you been focused on working on? thanx.
Janel McCarville: That's interesting. Because of my injury I've been limited in what I can work on. But since I've been back on the court, I've been working on outside shooting and taking people off the dribble.
Janel McCarville: First off, I'd like to thank you all for writing in. The questions were great and I'd love to do it again sometime.