In this live chat, Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager Brian Agler answered your
questions about the 2002 WNBA Draft, the Lynx' sixth pick and the upcoming season. The Lynx' last two drafts have resulted in the first-round selections of Rookie of the Year
Betty Lennox (2000) and Svetlana Abrosimova (2001).
Agler was named the first head coach and general manager of the
Minnesota Lynx on Nov. 17, 1998. The 2002 WNBA campaign marks Agler's fourth
season with the Lynx and his 20th season as a head coach at the professional
or collegiate level. He holds an all-time coaching record of 372-211 (.638
winning percentage). On July 29, 2000, Agler became the first head coach in
the history of women's professional basketball (WNBA/ABL) to record 100
Here's what Coach Agler had to say:
William (Elizabethtown NC): Coach Agler, as you look to improve from last year, at what postion does the Lynx need to improve most? You have three outstanding players in Betty Lennox, Katie Smith and Svetlana Ambrosimova and with your first round pick, do you look to draft the best available player or do you cater to a certain position to help compliment these three players?
Brian Agler: Well, I think all the teams are going to be a little more specific in a position. We have two needs -- a power forward and the right point guard. By that I mean a point guard who can play with Lennox, Smith and Abrosimova. We're looking for all players who can fit those categories.
Barry (Columbus): You have mentioned in previous question and answer sessions that you were looking at the UConn players and Tennessee's Michelle Snow. Have you had a chance to scout Danielle Crockrom of Baylor? How would she fit in the Lynx system?
Brian Agler: Well, Danielle is definitely on our board. She does fit that 4 or power forward spot. She's very good offensively and coaches think she's one of the top players in the Big 12 this year. We're high on Danielle.
Vicki Vomela: Is the team going to remain relatively the same for a 'change' this season, without losing too many?
Brian Agler: Well, as you've noticed, Vicki, we havne't made many changes. We like the core that we've built and we'll continue building through the draft.
David Dye San Francisco: Hi. I am a huge fan of Jerkisha and Jermisha Dosty. When do you think they will be drafted and are you interested in them?
Brian Agler: I think both those ladies played well at the pre-draft camp and attracted some attention. Starting last year in the tournament, people followed them through their senior year and watched them at pre-draft camp. I think they'll go in the second or third round.
mc (Durham): Where do you see Georgia Schweitzer and Michele VanGorp fitting into the Lynx's rotation this year?
Brian Agler: I defenitely see them in the rotation and having the opportunity to play quality minutes. Either one or both could be starters depending on who we draft and how things play out in training camp. They've both worked hard.
Matt (Sandusky, OH): How does the depth of talent in the WNBA Draft this year compare to last year?
Brian Agler: I don't know if it's because I spent five days with WNBA players in a veteran's camp situation vs. the U.S. national team or not, but I don't think this year's draft is as deep as it was last year, but last year's was the best in the five years of the WNBA. I do think each team will get at least one player who will help them.
Kim (Boston): In retrospect, are you satisfied with the draft picks you made last year?
Brian Agler: I thought we had an exceptional draft last year. We thought we were lucky to get Svet. We also had Schweitzer, (Erin) Buescher and (Janell) Burse make our team. We felt very good about last year.
LynxFan: Coach, what position overall in the WNBA do you think needs a lot of improvement? I mean personally I think a lot of teams would be in better shape if they had better points guards. What is your view on this?
Brian Agler: I agree with that statement. Although every team has point guards, a lot of people look at this draft in the early picks, I think you'll see 4-5 picks who are point guards so people are looking to improve there.
Eve , L A: Brian, name some players from small schools that might make it in the WNBA.
Brian Agler: I just don't see many players, probably 20 players overall, from this draft making the league.
SeattleSistah: Hi Coach. You have really built your team with the drafts. Seattle's coach Dunn has to do the same thing without an allotted player like Katie Smith. How much impact will her No. 1 pick Friday have on the Storm?
Brian Agler: I think if she picks Sue Bird, she'll have an impact on the team. Bird can be an All-Star. She has had some pretty attractive trade offers, so that's a challenge. To build with vets or with the top player in the draft.
Bianca: What insight can you give us into what other teams are planning to do in the draft, for instance, is Washington going to draft 3, 4 or are they going to trade one of the picks away? Thanks and go Lynx!
Brian Agler: I think either one of those options are possible. Right now they're trying to get the first pick in the draft and look at all of their options. I think they'll take at least one perimeter player. They may trade the two picks, or they may take a perimeter and a post. What they do will affect the remainder of the first round.
Cedric, Binghamton N.Y: Have you changed the way you coach?
Brian Agler: Well, I think we have to approach this league a bit differently then in the ABL and even in college. You don't get all your players into camp and the preseason is short, so you have to make adjustments to prepare your team for the season.
Kim, Sacramento: Coach, will Betty Lennox be 100% healthy this season? If not, who will take her place in the lineup this season?
Brian Agler: Betty is moving toward being 100% and definitely will play. She had surgery around Thanksgiving and is making drastic strides. She's training with the U.S. National team. She may be another year away from feeling normal, though, but can still contribute in a big way for the Lynx this season.
Tish, Hawaii: What do you think are the chances of the Sparks repeating?
Brian Agler: Well, I think Los Angeles has the strongest, or one of the strongest, teams in the league. They'll have the same players, but all of the other teams are getting better, so the competition will be fierce.
I want to thank the fans for all of the quality questions that were sent in. We're looking forward to Friday's draft and to a great 2002 WNBA season!