Joan, Silver Spring: Hi Ritchie: Glad to have you back for another season. Hopes this gives the team some much needed continuity at the coaching spot, but how much of a turnover in the roster do you anticipate? Are we going to pick up some free agents? Maybe a player or two that you know well from the Liberty? Do you think we will get a new strong center this year? Thanks, Joan

Richie Adubato: Because we came up short in our desire to make the playoffs last year, we know we need to make additions to our team. We felt a glaring weakness we had was at the 3, where we tried to convert DeLisha Milton from a 4 to a 3. Also Muriel Page and Charlotte Smith-Taylor are both 4-3 type players. But we need a natural 3 player. We're looking at the draft, with the No. 5 pick and free agency in improving this area. As far as center, we have Chasity Melvin who did some good things last year and she improved as the season went on and we were happy with here. But we're also looking to improve that position too. You're always looking to get bigger there.


Julie, Venice Beach: How much time do you get see women's college basketball?

Richie Adubato: Primarily I watch the games on ESPN or ESPN2. Also we tape the majority of games with teams who have players we may be interested in drafting. Mainly the coaches and I and our General Manager look at the college players. Also, I go over to Europe and check out our players, DeLisha, Temeka, Alana, Coco, Laura, Muriel ...they are all overseas so I see them play, and also I check out the WNBA free agents and any European players who we think might be able to help us win here in the WNBA.


Amy (Europe): Hi coach Adubato, do you think it's good for WNBA players to play overseas during the offseason or do you think it would be better if they stayed at home and worked out individually?

Richie Adubato: That's a good question. No. 1 it's good for them to play overseas, so they can develop their game, especially the younger players. Usually the practice twice a day and have one or two games a week. This gives them ample opportunity to work on their game. No. 2, though, from the standpoint of players going from the WNBA season directly to an overseas league..and playing straight through until we start the WNBA season, it can have a negative effect. First of all, sometimes they miss WNBA training camp and that sets our whole team back. Secondly, the don't get enough rest and that weighs on them mentally and physically. I prefer a league where the players have a month off after the WNBA season and then another month off before training camp. For me, that is the ideal situation.


Alex (Damascus): Who do you want to win the superbowl?

Richie Adubato: I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, so I'm just looking for a good, well-played game. I like it when the SuperBowl is a great game, where both teams play their best and we all get to enjoy the game. After they worked so hard to get there, I pull for both teams to play their best.


helen, wash. dc: what did you learn about the game when you were a broadcaster that you use now?

Richie Adubato: Broadcasting helps you a great deal. It helps you keep up with the new offenses and defenses. Every year there are changes in the leagues and coaches never run out of things to help you win games. Because of the great minds involved, the plays and ideas are always evolving and improving. Also, going to the shootarounds on gameday, is a great opportunity to review things and keep up with the latest developments in the game.


keana, : If you were not involved in basketball what would you be doing?

Richie Adubato: I think I would be involved in basketball somehow, either as a coach or in broadcasting or adminstration. If not coaching, I'd still be around the game.


Yolanda, Baltimore: What has been the best thing that owner Sheila Johnson has brought to the team or franchise?

Richie Adubato: She's brought energy, enthusiasm, excitement. She's an owner who is dramatically involved in the team. She is very close to us as coaches and players, she is a very hands-on owner. She has also done a remarkable job marketing our team and providing us a new, terrific locker room. There are so many things she has done to help us. This is nothing new, she brings this to every area of business in her life. We as coaches and players know that she is behind us. Her new COO Curtis Simmonds is also helping her in this regard and is a big part of making the Washington Mystics a top franchise.


hank, madison, nj: how often do you get to see or talk to your old friend hubie brown and how is he doing?

Richie Adubato: I talk to Hubie, maybe once a month, as he is very busy back on the TV circuit, doing NBA games. I was happy he got Coach of the Year when he came back. And Mike Fratello, one of my best friends is now doing well at Memphis, where my son Scott is an assistant coach. We talk about things, and I try and watch Memphis play every game, on NBA TV. We and Dick Vitale and Rollie Massimino all got our start together coaching basketball in North Jersey and we all try and keep in touch and talk basketball.


Lance (Renton): Coach, do you think female WNBA head coaches have an edge over male coaches simply because they can intuitively better relate to the female players?

Richie Adubato: In the polls we've taken with the female players, coming out of college and in the WNBA, it has shown the players don't have a preference. The usual response is, it depends on the individual, whether the coach is male or female. Basketball knowledge wise, we all know what we're doing. It's about teaching the players and having a strong relationship with them, whether you are male or female. I think a female coach will have a natural advantage in that they can maybe relate to the player as a female, and because of that, I think a male coach would do well to have some good strong female assistants, in case players need that. But mostly, it comes down to what is best for the individual.

Richie Adubato: I'm looking forward to our next season and we're very excited about bringing the Washington Mystics to the playoffs and challenge for a championship. This is my second year here, and I think we will continue to improve our defense and rebounding and I look forward to working with this group and winning more games than last year. I think our fans and our new owner Sheila Johnson deserve an exciting team that can challenge for a championship and I'm looking forward to helping to achieve that here in Washington.