San Antonio Silver Stars
18-16, 4th Western Conference, lost Conference Semifinals
With only one selection in this year’s draft – No. 5 overall – the San Antonio Silver Stars could very well address their need for another rebounder. Last season, their top rebounder was 6-foot-1 Sophia Young with a little over six a game as the Silver Stars finished last in the league in rebounding margin, getting bested by nearly six boards a night.
While Dan Hughes is a proven coach, he cannot coach size. On that note, the rebounding-starved Silver Stars lost 6-foot-5 veteran forward Ruth Riley to the Chicago Sky in free agency, but they already started addressing their need for length by trading for 6-foot-3 center Tangela Smith, the WNBA all-time leader in games played. With a career rebounding average of 5.2, Smith is seventh all-time in career boards. The quest to add size did not stop with the Smith trade. The Silver Stars brought in 6-foot-4 center LaToya Williams, 6-foot-4 center Ziomara Morrison and 6-foot-2 forward Ify Ibekwe, all of whom played overseas last season. If one or two of these unproven players can step right in and earn a spot in the rotation, it could give San Antonio a much needed boost on the glass.
“With length, if you’re doing that at several positions it has the ability to maybe impact rebounding,” San Antonio Head Coach Dan Hughes said. “It’s been a common theme in free agency and I think it will be a common theme in the draft.”
San Antonio will also be looking internally for improvement as it hopes this is the year that 6-foot-4 center Jayne Appel, the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft, starts to fulfill some of her massive potential.
On the perimeter, the Silver Stars already have capable scorers and facilitators in Becky Hammon, Danielle Robinson and Jia Perkins, but they brought in guard Loree Moore, a five-year WNBA vet that hasn’t played in the league since 2009, for depth. While they will likely look for frontcourt help, the Silver Stars could be tempted by one of this year’s top wing players as they finished tied for eighth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage.
The Silver Stars, however, are in a wait-and-see mode to see who will even be available for them at No. 5. The general consensus in this draft is that after the No. 1 pick, there are no certainties, so San Antonio will be in a holding pattern as the mystery of this draft starts to unravel after the first four picks.
“It’s a very unique draft to me in a lot of ways because I can honestly say I know one player won’t be there, but beyond that, it could be there,” Hughes said. “It’s a very unique draft in that regard. Normally I could ‘X’ out more players and say for sure we shouldn’t have to worry about them at number five, but this year there’s probably only one I can say that for sure.”
The Silver Stars were above .500 last year and not far away from being a legitimate contender. If they continue to add size and hit big on the No. 5 selection -- Hughes says there’s as many as 10 players that the team is currently discussing -- they should once again be a factor in the powerful Western Conference.
--Anthony Oliva, WNBA.com
Recent Draft History
6. Danielle Robinson|
20. Danielle Adams
30. Porsha Phillips
5. Jayne Appel|
17. Alysha Clark
29. Alexis Rack
14. Megan Frazee|
26. Sonja Petrovic
39. Candyce Bingham