2004 Record
18-16, .529
(4th in West)

Points Scored
2165 (12th overall, 7th in West)
Points Allowed
2190 (2nd overall, 1st in West)
Scoring Differential
-0.7 (7th overall, 5th in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
Olympian
Katie Smith
Coach of the Year
Suzie McConnell Serio
Sportsmanship Award
Teresa Edwards

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 6, Nicole Ohlde
Rd. 1 - 7, Vanessa Hayden
Rd. 2 - 20, Tasha Butts
Rd. 3 - 33, Amber Jacobs
Rd. 3 - 38, Kate Bulger

Playoff History
Twice in seven years
Last Appearance
2004, Lost in First Round

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

The Minnesota Lynx qualified for the playoffs in 2004 with only five players from the 2003 squad. Despite a roster overhaul, the Lynx equaled their franchise-best with a 18-16 mark, qualifying as the third seed in the mighty Western Conference.

Smith
Coach Suzie McConnell Serio edged Connecticut coach Mike Thibault for Coach of the Year honors. She guided her team to the postseason even though leading scorer Katie Smith was lost for the final 11 games of the season with a knee injury.

When available, Smith was once again one of the game's top scorers. The four-time All-Star averaged 18.8 points per game and, on June 11, reached the 3,000-point plateau faster than any other player in WNBA history. With 3,299 points, Smith is the fourth-leading scorer in the league's history.

One of the great players to grace the game, Teresa Edwards turned 40 on July 19, but started every game for the Lynx for the second straight season, and averaged 5.7 ppg. She was named the winner of the WNBA's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship award.

The Lynx boasted one of the league's top rookies in Nicole Ohlde, the 6-5 center from Kansas State. The sixth overall player taken, Ohlde gave Diana Taurasi and Alana Beard stiff competition for Rookie of the Year, averaging 11.7 points and leading all first-year players with 5.7 rebounds per game. Her field goal percentage of 44.2 percent also led all rookies.

Three other first-year players also made an impact; point guard Amber Jacobs, forward Tasha Butts and center Vanessa Hayden. The four rookies were among 11 different players that averaged 10 or more minutes last year, giving McConnell Serio one of the deepest benches in the league. Five of those players were 6-2 or taller.

What Went Wrong?

The Lynx were playing their best basketball prior to the Olympic break, winning nine of 12 before the month-long hiatus. Unfortunately, Minnesota lost more than its momentum during the break; they lost Smith, their leading scorer, to a twisted knee that ended her season.

The loss of the six-year veteran slowed down the Lynx, who finished with a 3-5 mark in September and were swept by eventual champion Seattle in the first round of the playoffs.

Statistically, the team's biggest problem was holding onto the ball. They committed 18.0 turnovers per game, while forcing only 14.8 per contest.

Head Coach
Suzie McConnell Serio
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Helen Darling
G- Katie Smith
F- Svetlana Abrosimova
F- Tamika Williams
C- Nicole Ohlde
Key 2004 Reserves
Amber Jacobs
Vanessa Hayden
Tasha Butts
Amanda Lassiter
Key Additions
Key Losses
Helen Darling

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Ohlde
The only substantial change for the Lynx is at point guard, where point guard Kristi Harrower returns after a one-year stint with the Australian National Team. Harrower will battle second-year player Jacobs and rookie Nuria Martinez for the starting job. Which player will provide the floor leadership? Collectively, can they cut down on the turnovers?

Incumbent point guard Helen Darling was traded to Charlotte in the off-season; in return, the Lynx received a swap of second-round picks. Minnesota will have the 11th and 17th overall picks in the WNBA Draft. Will either pick yield a prospect that can help immediately?

The Lynx were an inconsistent team in 2004, finishing only 8-8 against the five lottery teams, but posting a 10-8 record against the seven other playoff teams. The Lynx were swept by Indiana and Charlotte, but swept Connecticut and Detroit. This time around, can they win the games they're supposed to win?

With seven of their first 10 games against playoff teams from 2004, the Lynx will be tested early. Smith is expected to participate in training camp, Ohlde and the rest of the 2004 rookie class will be a year wiser, and the team is one of the biggest and deepest in the West, whether or not free agents Svetlana Abrosimova and Amanda Lassiter return. Are they ready to challenge Seattle and Los Angeles for a division title?