2004 Record
17-17, .500
(4th in East)

Points Scored
2325 (5th overall, 3rd in East)
Points Allowed
2384 (13th overall, 6th in East)
Scoring Differential
-1.7 (11th overall, 5th in East)

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 2, Alana Beard
Rd. 2 - 15, Kaayla Chones
Rd. 3 - 28, Evan Unrau

Playoff History
Three out of seven years
Last Appearance
2004, lost in First Round

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

The torch passed from one franchise player to another in 2005, a year that marked the end of the Chamique Holdsclaw era and the dawn of the Alana Beard era.

Beard
In just her rookie season, Beard, the second overall pick in 2004, was Ms. Everything for the Mystics, stepping into the leadership role and carrying the team on her back and into the playoffs. The Mystics won five of their final six games. Beard scored 20 or more points in all six games, averaging 22.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game during that span.

The Mystics were one of the league's deepest teams, boasting 10 players who averaged at least 4.0 ppg and 10 who started at least once. Their depth allowed them to flourish late in the season despite the absence of Chamique Holdsclaw; Washington won seven of it's final 10 games after their leading scorer was placed on the injured list.

Nakia Sanford finished third in balloting for the WNBA's most improved player. She was 15th in the NBA in rebounding (5.0) and grabbed 6.3 rpg in the playoff loss to Connecticut, during which Washington took the eventual Eastern Conference champs to a deciding third game.

What Went Wrong?

The Mystics were one of several teams that needed a late surge just to make the playoffs. They were languishing at 12-16 before Beard's heroics vaulted them into the postseason.

Only recently did Holdsclaw disclose that it was depression that kept her sidelined for 11 games. One of the league's brightest stars, a five-time All-Star, she appeared in her final game for Washington on July 28. The team's success over the final month, and the emergence of a leader in Beard, convinced the Mystics they could win without Holdsclaw, who was traded to Los Angeles on March 21 for another All-Star, forward DeLisha Milton-Jones.

Another career ended unexpectedly when Stacey Dales-Schuman announced her retirement in February. The 6-0 forward, a three-year veteran who averaged 8.2 ppg last season, has chosen to devote more time to a successful broadcasting career with ESPN.

There was even an off-season switch at general manager, where Judy Holland-Burton's resignation allowed Linda Hargrove to ascend from her position as assistant coach. One position that did gain some much needed continuity is at head coach, where Michael Adams begins his second season. The Mystics have had seven coaches in seven seasons.

Head Coach
Michael Adams
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Murriel Page
G- Alana Beard
F- Stacey Dales-Schuman
F- Chamique Holdsclaw
F- Nakia Sanford
C- Chasity Melvin
Key 2004 Reserves
Tamicha Jackson
Aiysha Smith
Coco Miller
Key Additions
DeLisha_Milton-Jones
Key Losses

Chamique Holdsclaw
Stacey Dales-Schuman

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Milton-Jones
Hargrove didn't need much time to swing her first mega-deal as General Manager, granting Holdsclaw's wish for a fresh start and sending her to Los Angeles for Milton-Jones, a six-year veteran, along with the 13th pick in the upcoming draft. A 6-1 forward, Milton-Jones has career averages of 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds.

The Mystics enter the Draft with two picks (6, 13). Can they find a floor general who can improve upon the team's paltry (13.7 pg) assist total? Will they need to replace Murriel Page and Tamicha Jackson, both free agents who have yet to re-sign?

Will Chasity Melvin, acquired in the 2004 Dispersal Draft, resemble the player that started the 2004 season inconsistently, or will she re-emerge as the beast that averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in the playoffs?

Without question, any and all moves will be made to accommodate Beard's prodigious talents. It became clear last year that she is one of the game's brightest young talents, and building the right team around her - and not Holdsclaw - is now the team's focus for the next several years.