With two legitimate WNBA superstars in Sue Bird and 2003 WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, the Seattle Storm are only one scorer away from being a championship contender out west. Storm head coach Anne Donovan discussed the Storm's needs in the upcoming draft as well as some key prospects she has had her eye on.
How have you been preparing for the draft?
“We have about four people from our staff that go around and watch as many games as we can. We all try and evaluate players more than once and it takes different eyes to see them. Before April 17, we will have seen the players in a lot different situations and there is a lot tape to back up what we see in person.”
Q: Are there any specific areas you are looking to improve upon with the draft?
"We have a couple of areas that we are looking to fill. Specifically, we are still looking for another perimeter player since we lost Adia Barnes to an ACL injury last year and we aren’t sure how she will perform this year. So that is an area where we can add a whole lot of depth."
Q: What prospects do you think might available when you are scheduled to pick>
“There are a lot of good perimeter players available, but Chandi Jones and Shameka Christon are two of the players that we are looking closely at and would fit in well with us.”
Q: When did you begin to prepare for the upcoming draft?
“From the end of last season, particularly with this draft because it is so deep and so strong. There is just so much talent, and even at pick 19, we are going to get a good player.”
Q: How did your role as a coach with the U.S. Women's Senior National Team in the game against college All-Stars help you to prepare?
Seattle has the sixth overall pick on April 17.
“I was really impressed with them. I thought that every individual college player had at least a moment or two against our WNBA players that really showed me stuff. Substance is the key word with all of them. They came out to prove that they are capable of handling the physical play of the WNBA players and I was impressed."
Q: How is this year's draft different than past drafts?
“I don’t think that there is any comparison. We are even looking at a second round where all of the players could make teams and that has not been the case in the past.”
Q: Would you say that more draft picks will have a chance of of getting quality playing time this season?
“There are a few immediate starters that will come out of this year’s Draft as well as several rotation players and by the time the season is over, you are going to see a whole lot more from this class be in the rotation and maybe even in the starting lineup.”
Q: What kind of role does international scouting play in your draft preparation?
“I have been fortunate enough to work with the U.S. National Team so I have been overseas and I have gotten to see that talent pool. We already have so many foreign players in Seattle that that may not be the market we are looking to go into. Last year we went with Sun Ming Jung from Korea with our second round pick, but I don’t know that we will take a foreign player this year.”
Q: You will have the chance to coach Diana Taurasi in her time with Team USA against Japan. From what you have seen, do you think she is the real deal?
“I think she will have no trouble making an adjustment to our League. Diana is ready for the WNBA.”