(7th in East)
Winners & Honorees
2006 Draft Recap
Dispersal Draft Results
The Chicago Sky's first season in the WNBA was not an easy one. The expansion team finished last in the league with a 5-29 record, but with their rookie All-Star Candice Dupree, the team shows promise for the future.
A pleasant surprise for Chicago was center Bernadette Ngoyisa, who was acquired from San Antonio in the expansion draft held in the fall of 2005. Her scoring average improved from 4.3 ppg in San Antonio to 10.1 ppg this past season in Chicago. Ngoyisa finished third in the league in field goal percentage, shooting an impressive 52.8% from the field. The Windy City has clearly blown Bernadette's shots in the right direction, but that also raises a big question. She suffered an injury while playing overseas and her 2007 status is unknown.
Finishing last in field goal, 3-point and free throw percentage contributed mightily to the Sky's 5-29 record. If the team wants to even approach the double-digit win mark, they will need to improve upon their meager 68.3 ppg. Near the bottom of the league in assists, it would be a good time to get into the spirit of sharing.
Defensively, the team was not much better, ranking last in opponents' field goal percentage and opponents' 3-point percentage. Additionally, they allowed an average of 79.0 ppg, which ranked as the third worst in the league.
The primary reason for the team's struggles was the lack of strong leadership. Brooke Wyckoff, a contributor with the Sun before being nabbed in the expansion draft, was among the small group of veterans on the team. Yet she missed over half the team's games due to a hand injury. To make matters worse, despite having the worst record in the league, the team did not win the Draft Lottery and only has the third pick in the draft. Yet with so many pressing needs, the Sky will benefit from whatever choice they make, whether it is a point guard, a shooter or a big body in the post.
As rough as last season may have been, the sky isn't exactly falling in Chicago. Dupree will be a year older, wiser and better. Ngoyisa will continue to develop as a post presence and improve her play. The Sky also signed free agent guard Dominique Canty in the offseason, which should provide more of that veteran leadership that they were lacking. Last season, Canty averaged 10.9 ppg in an injury-shortened campaign, but is healthy again and will be another scoring option for the Chicago squad. Where else will they score? What additional perimeters players will help stretch the defense? Is this team capable of running?
And how will new head coach Bo Overton fare in his first season at the helm of a WNBA team? Last year's coach, Dave Cowens, resigned from his duties as General Manager and coach during the offseason, moving to an assistant coaching position with the Detroit Pistons. Like Cowens, Overton has years of experience in the sport but has never coached a WNBA team. He has been very successful on the collegiate level and has already worked with the Sky's Stacey Dales during her time at the University of Oklahoma. Only time will tell if his coaching style can cross over into the pros.
The Sky also sent defensive specialist Chelsea Newton, a franchise original obtained in the Expansion Draft, back to Sacramento in exchange for the Monarchs first round pick (No. 10). That gives the Sky to first round picks and an extra shot at bolstering the roster.
No matter how they come out of the gate, this is a team that should not be underestimated. The team will continue to build and grow with the tough youngsters and veterans like Wyckoff, Dales and Canty. Although they probably won't be competing for a playoff spot at the end of the season, this team is certainly on the right track and looking forward to a bright future.