The Seattle Storm are just one year removed from a WNBA championship, but were knocked out in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in 2005 by the Houston Comets. That series showed that the Storm were feeling the effects of some offseason departures the previous season. However they made moves in this offseason to compensate for those losses and could return a tough team in 2006. Last year's top pick, Tanisha Wright, made a big impact as a rookie. Will the 11th pick in this year's draft do the same? Coach Anne Donovan shares her thoughts on the Draft.

Q. How have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft? What methods do you utilize to scout players for the draft?
Our staff utilizes any and all methods to analyze players for the draft. The most effective means is a live scout, but we also use videotapes, statistical analysis and talk with as many people who know the draftees, as possible before making our selections.

Q. When do you start getting prepared for the draft?
I don't know that you ever stop preparing. Our staff is continually watching the college and foreign players, keeping up on their whereabouts and how they are performing.

Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses are you looking to bolster with your picks?
We have addressed our most immediate need in free agency by acquiring Wendy Palmer. With our draft picks we will select the players who we feel can develop and become solid players for the Storm, for years to come.

Q. What are the most important traits you look for in prospects? What players that you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
The "Big 4" have consistently shown why WNBA teams are most interested in them. Augustus, Pondexter, Young and Currie have all had tremendous senior campaigns and have led their teams to good position in March.

Q. With your pick, are you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available players?
We hope to select the best player available with the 11 pick, a player who we feel can shore up one of our roster positions.

Q. What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League this season? Surprises? Starters vs. Rotation players?
I think the 4 players I mentioned all have capability in making a starters impact on their respective teams. The complete players, who can contribute at both ends of the floor will find a way into the rotation.

Q. How important is the Tournament in helping you make last minute decisions? How closely does a player's performance in the NCAA Tournament affect her draft status?
The NCAA Tournament just adds the ability to see these potential draft pick again, and go against very different competition then they have seen recently in their conference play. Can they take their game and teams to the next level? Can they handle the pressure of the "Madness"? Any additional evaluations can only help in this process.

Q. How does this year's Draft compare to previous ones?
The draft will be solid. The top half of the first round will be players that will be seen on the court this summer. The latter part of the first round and a several of the second round picks, may be strong enough to bolster the depth of many teams.

Q. Are you looking to trade or considering trading picks/players?
We have no plans to trade our first round pick at this time.

Q. Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
We certainly keep a close watch on what is happening overseas. Our roster in Seattle has had more then its fair share of foreign players and truth be told, I would like to balance that out a bit. However, a good foreign player, who wants to compete in the best league in the world and has the drive and focus to help us go after another championship...is always welcome!

Q. What kinds of traits do you look for in players?
The athletic talent and skills are obvious. It is in the intangibles that can help us separate. We like to coach confident players who have an internal drive to be great, to be a part of something bigger then themselves...to be a part of championship basketball.

Q. With free agency as an option now (along with the limitations of a salary cap), are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency, or trades?
I believe to successfully manage our cap, we have to continually look for all the above. Draft picks are important, because they provide you with a young player, who fits the salary cap situation ideally. Free Agents can help address some immediate concerns, but can lead to long term cap issues if not thought out thoroughly. Trades are always an interesting way of tweaking your roster, but the Storm has limitations in this area.