Stacey Dales Schuman Rates the Top Seniors

Dales-Schuman will be playing with one of these seven in '04.
Andrew D. Bernstein
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Many experts are calling the 2004 WNBA Draft the most exciting in League history. An extraordinarily deep and well-rounded returning senior class has a lot to do with it. Seven of the ten 2003 Kodak All-Americans were only juniors, and none of them disappointed in the 2003-04 season.

Washinton Mystics guard Stacey Dales-Schuman spent her WNBA offseason serving as a women's college basketball analyst for ESPN and has probably spent as much time watching the prospects play this season than many scouts. Of course, she does have somewhat of a vested interest - Washington has the second pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft.

Alana Beard: "She is a wonderful individual. But besides that, in terms of her game, she has a quickness and athleticism that is so important to the evolution of women’s basketball. Additionally, she provides a unique aspect to the game because of her defense. She has the ability to score the basketball, but defensively, she creates chaos and ultimately offense for her team."

Kelly Mazzante: "She is a scorer. She has one of the quickest releases that I have ever seen. I think she can help a team coming into a game more to start. She will really excel in a game in which she can come off of a screen, catch and shoot. In a matter of seconds the ball is gone and in. Her scoring capability is exceptional."

Nicole Ohlde: "The fans of the WNBA are in for a real treat. Nicole is a big player who stands at 6-4, 6-5. Besides the fact that she can dunk, which proves her athleticism, her elevation and her maneuverability with her back to the basket make her very unique. She can get out and run the floor. She is another good person and will really help a team."

Nicole Powell: "Another versatile player. She is averaging a double-double this year, which is remarkable, because she is a guard. She started her career playing point guard, running the floor, but has naturally moved into her natural position, which is a 3 or 4 power forward/swing-type of player. She is unique because of her size, which will giver her an advantage. She is not the quickest player out there, however she has other things that more than make up for it. She passes the ball extraordinarily well and she knows how to find a rebound. She has great basketball instincts."

Diana Taurasi: "She is the best player in women’s college basketball. She has a unique attitude, she is versatile and her passing skills complement her overall game. She has improved so much defensively that she can now be considered a strong defensive player, especially by playing team defense. She helps her team incredibly by creating steals, blocking shots and knowing where to be. But it is her attitude that separates her from the pack. She has a raw attitude that is unquestionably one of the best that I have ever seen."

Iciss Tillis: "I would say she is more of a finesse player, another athletic individual. She has unique passing skills for her size. At 6-5, she can get up and grab the rim, however, she likes to float around the outside. She has a soft shooting touch and her passing skills create match-up problems for the opposition."

Lindsay Whalen: "I think the word that describes Lindsay is ‘tough.’ Wow, she is gritty. She is another player like Alana Beard that has the attitude and ability to lead a basketball team. She is extremely versatile. Having watched her play the last few seasons, she likes the challenge of carrying her team on her back. This is a separating quality that has made her a Kodak All-American. She can shoot the ball, but it is her passing that really stands out."