2006 Record
21-13, .618
(2nd in West)

Points Scored
74.6 ppg (6th overall, 4th in West)
Points Allowed
70.7 ppg (3rd overall, 1st in West)
Rebounds Per Game
33.5 (8th overall, 6th in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
All-Defensive Second Team
Yolanda Griffith
Most Improved Player
Erin Buescher
All-Star
Yolanda Griffith

2006 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 13, Kim Smith
Rd. 1 - 14, Scholanda Hoston
Rd. 3 - 41, Lamisha Augustine

Dispersal Draft Results
Pick 10: LaToya Bond

Playoff History
Seven out of 10 years
Last Appearance
2006, Lost in WNBA Finals

2006 In Review:
What Went Right?

Griffith
The 2005 champs kept it going in 2006, finishing second in the West and earning a spot in the postseason. In the Western semis, Sacramento exploited Houston's weaknesses and swept the series, winning both games by 20-plus points. Next up was the top-seeded L.A. Sparks and the Monarchs successfully defended their crown, sweeping their way to the Western Conference title. In one of the most exciting Finals in WNBA history, the Monarchs fell to the Detroit Shock in a nail-biting five-game series.

Defense was the key to Sacramento's success throughout the season. The Monarchs poisoned the competition becoming the only team in the league to hold its opponents to under 30 rebounds per game. They led the West allowing only 70.7 points per game and finished second overall in steals with 9.71 per game.

Yolanda Griffith was the Monarchs' top all-around player, leading the squad in points per game (12.0), rebounds per game (6.44) and blocks per game (0.47) throughout the season. The eight-year veteran was also rewarded for her defensive play, being named to the All-Defensive Second Team. She was selected to start for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game and was also named to both the WNBA's All-Decade Team as well as the Monarchs' All-Decade Team.

What Went Wrong?

When the Monarchs did struggle, it was on the offensive end. Ball distribution was a key issue, as the team was in the bottom third in assists. They also had more shots blocked per game than any other team in the league (4.21).While there were no other glaring deficiencies, they simply lacked the offensive firepower and depth of a typical team trying to defend its title.

Yolanda Griffith remained a dominant force, but there were stretches last season when it became clear that her best days may be behind her. Despite being the only Monarchs player to average more than 10 ppg, she had the least productive year of her career, at least statistically: Her averages in ppg, rpg, bpg, field goal percentage and minutes per game were all career lows.

After the season, Coach John Whisenant stepped down, opting instead to focus on his general manager duties. Whisenant brought the Monarchs their only title and is responsible for much of the talent on the roster. He also built a system that fit the players he brought in (or vice versa).

Looking Ahead To 2007:
Key Questions
Lawson

The search for a coach netted Jenny Boucek, a former assistant in Seattle. But will she keep Whisenant's system in place? How committed is she to the White Line? What happens when the going gets tough?

Head Coach
-Jenny Boucek

2006 Starting Lineup
-G- Ticha Penicheiro
-G- Kara Lawson
-F- Nicole Powell
-F- DeMya Walker
-C- Yolanda Griffith

Key 2006 Reserves
-Rebekkah Brunson
-Kristin Haynie
-Erin Buescher
-Hamchetou Maiga-Ba
-Scholanda Dorrell

Key Additions
-Adrian Williams
-LaToya Bond
-Chelsea Newton
-LaTangela Atkinson

Key Losses
-Erin Buescher
-Hamchetou Maiga-Ba
The good news is that the players she has know the system and the Monarchs processes quite well. And the team has already taken steps to answer the biggest question - whether or not the starting lineup will be back in place in 2007. The re-signing of sharpshooting sparkplug Kara Lawson helped to answer that question. After only four years in the WNBA, Lawson has emerged as the steadying influence for Sacramento and has already made her mark in the team's history books. Named to the Monarchs' All-Decade Team largely for her high-scoring ability and leadership in the backcourt, she is tied for the franchise high with a record six 3-pointers in a game. (She's done it twice.)

The Monarchs should have veteran point guard Ticha Penicheiro back and also re-signed center Brittany Wilkins, who is coming off her rookie season and will provide some depth down low. But a big move in bolstering backcourt depth was the re-acquisition of defensive specialist Chelsea Newton. Newton helped the Monarchs win the title in 2005, but was lost to the Sky in the Expansion Draft prior to 2006. The Monarchs gave the Sky their first round pick (#10 pick) for Newtown and the 21st pick in the Draft.

The Monarchs did lose Sixth Woman Erin Buescher to San Antonio and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba, so must look to adding bodies to the bench. The team gave up its second-round draft pick this year to acquire center Adrian Williams from the Minnesota Lynx. She is six-year veteran an a former All-Star player whom the Monarchs feel will fit in well in Sacramento. "This is a great move for the team as the Monarchs continue to evolve," said coach Jenny Boucek after the trade.

Also adding depth to the squad will be sophomore LaToya Bond, who the Monarchs picked up in the Dispersal Draft. She is an athletic, aggressive point guard capable of stepping in and eating up valuable minutes.

The Monarchs have looked to Yolanda Griffith to lead the team over the past eight years, but the team must also consider its future. Adding depth to the roster and talent around Griffith is crucial for the Monarchs this offseason if they can legitimately hope to stay near the top in the West. If Sacramento can continue to incorporate more players into its offensive plans and stay solid defensively, a third straight appearance in the Finals could be within reach.