After failing to qualify for the WNBA playoffs in their first five seasons,
the Minnesota Lynx have qualified for the postseason in each of the last two seasons.
However, the Lynx finished last season with a 3-5 mark in September and were swept
by eventual champion Seattle in the first round of the playoffs. So where does
Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio take her team from here? With two top picks in
last year's Draft, the youth movement may already be underway.Q. How
have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft?
"We watch a lot
of games on TV, do some traveling so we can see certain players play in person
and watch a lot of video. We are getting ready to attend the Final Four so we
can see the players play in the college all-star game and then we'll head to the
pre-draft camp in New York."
Q. When do you start getting prepared for
"We actually started preparing at the end of last season.
We talked about players that we had an interest in and that is when we made our
plans to see certain players in person. We went through the list of players and
talked about whom we thought was a first round pick, a second round pick and so
on, so we started with conversations after last season, with many of them ongoing."
The Lynx have the 11th overall pick on April 16.|
Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses
are you looking to bolster with your picks?
"We are basically looking
for depth right now. We feel very confident with the players that we have as far
as the core of players coming back from last year's team, players that made great
contributions. We have great veterans that provide us with leadership and had
a great group of rookies so we are basically looking for players that can come
in and provide us with some depth."
Q. What are the most important
traits you look for in prospects?
"Obviously, the No. 1 thing we look
for is talent. But we also look at demeanor on the floor. We look at how the player
acts and reacts with her teammates, we look at coachability and personality. We
look to see if a player is the type that wants the ball in her hands at the end
of a game and one that steps it up in big games."
Q. What players
that you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
"A number of
players have been impressive, not that we will have the luxury of drafting them
this year. Players like Kendra Wecker, Janel McCarville, Tan White and Sandora
Irvin are four players that come to mind."
Q. With your pick, are
you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available
"Probably the best player available. Going into the draft
last year, we knew that we had needs but this year if there is a player on the
board that gives us depth on the perimeter, that is probably the route we will
take. Obviously, it really depends on how the draft unfolds."
What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League
"Usually the players that are going to be the top two
or three picks in the draft are going to teams with needs. So those players you
can look at as players who will come in and probably start thus making an impact
as a rookie. McCarville, Wecker, Irvin and White are all players that will probably
fall into that category."
Q. How important is the NCAA Tournament
in helping you make last minute decisions?
"As WNBA coaches, we see
these players all year long so we really know them pretty well. The one thing
you can look for in a player during the tournament is someone who has been very
instrumental in their team's run. Katie Feenstra has been one of those players,
playing for a team that, coming in, had never won a NCAA Tournament game and they
make it to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed. Another way the tourney can help you
is by being on TV, especially for the smaller schools. On the other hand, I don't
think that playing poorly in the tournament will hurt a player when it comes to
Q. How does this year's Draft compare to previous ones?
"The top 5 picks I think will be comparable to last year's draft. This year's
draft probably won't be as deep. For example, we had four rookies make our team
a year ago, two first rounders, a second and a third. There could be some sleepers
that end up making a roster but overall I would say that it isn't as deep as previous
Q. Are you looking to trade or considering trading picks/players?
"It is something that you always consider. It is not, however, something
that we are currently looking to do right now but if there is an offer that we
couldn't refuse, an offer that would improve our team, then we would consider
Q. Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the
"Not much of it, as far as traveling. We really rely on
watching tape and through word-of-mouth when it comes to overseas recruiting."
Q. With free agency as an option now, are you more likely to fill needs
through the Draft, free agency, or trades?
"We consider all options.
Free agency definitely gives you the option to pursue players to improve your
team but the draft is something that we prepare heavily for."