minneapolis: 1.Washington looks like a team with a lot of speed. What do you see as the main strength/s of the team? 2.Who do you think will compete for the "3"? Thanks.

Richie Adubato: First of all, I like Alan Beard, she started to blossom last year, as a player and a leader. She'll be running our team for the most part. I like the acquisistions we made Charlotte Smith and DeLisha Milton, they will help us, offensively and defensively. We have Chasity Melvin and Murriel Page too. In NY, I had Tari Phillips, Vickie Johnsona and Crystal Robinson who could shut down three players on the opposition, and I'd like to try and duplicate that here. I'd like to up our defensive intensity and get this team playing great defense and then we can use those offensive weapons we have to score the ball too.

Richie Adubato: As far as the 3, you are looking at Charlotte Smith and DeLisha Milton. Nakia Sanford is also promising, along with Page. But Charlotte and DeLisha are both very versatile and look good for playing the 3 or even perhaps another position.


Erica (Lauderhill): Hello Coach Adubato, It has been mentioned that you have a long list of plays to be run at any given point during a game. Will you employ all these plays w/ the Mystics or do you plan to now simplify your playlist? Thanks.

Richie Adubato: That's a good question. I was able to develop a long playlist, because I was in NY for five years, and I also had the same core of players those five years, so I could build up a repetoire of plays. Being from the Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello style of coaching, I am a proponent of pinpointing plays that can work for you..and work against your opposition, and perfecting them. That will take some time to build that up here in Washington. But if you play the Mystics, you better be prepared for lots of different sets and different plays, because I think we have the intelligent players here necessary to go after teams in a variety of ways.


Natalie, State College, PA: What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for the Mystics this season?

Richie Adubato: I think the biggest challenge is for us to first make the playoffs and then to advance in the playoffs. That begins in training camp, working on team defense, fundamentals and executing your offense, especially at the ends of games. You need to work on those areas and then make the playoffs and then once you are in you can fight for that championship.


Briana (Baltimore): How's traning camp been going? From what you can see how far do you think Washington can go?

Richie Adubato: In training camp so far, Alana Beard has played well, and so has Temecka Johnson, who played at LSU last year. With the speed we have in the backcourt, we think we can pressure teams. But it's still too early to see. We have players overseas Iciss Tillis, Chasity Melvin, DeLisha Milton, who are still not in camp, they are playing abroad right now. We could go with Johnson at the 1 at times and Beard at the 2, so we have youth and speed in the backcourt. Beard of course will start at the 1, but we've been looking at a few things there.


TonyL222(Reston,VA): Welcome to D.C., Coach. You took this job late. Do you now try to get the players to implement your system, or do you have time to build a system based on the players capabilities.

Richie Adubato: Well, obviously I took the job late, so I will build the program to fit the talents of the players we have. We have the intelligence and athleticism to fit into what I normally do, but certainly at this stage, I will be tailoring my stuff to the talents of the players I have on my roster.


Sheila, Wash. DC: Coach, what did you did after your last stint with the Liberty and did you think you be a head coach in the WNBA again?

Richie Adubato: When my stint with the Liberty ended, I went to some NBA training camps. I went to Philly with my friend Jim O'Brien. I spent a week with Don Nelson in Dallas. I also went to Memphis to work with Mike Fratello when he got the job there. I like to do this in order to keep up on the newest trends and ideas. Pro basketball is always evolving and I like to be a part of that.


Lauren (Pentagon City): you are known for wearing crazy ties at games...is this something you plan out or does it just happen?

Richie Adubato: I plan it out. I think it's important to dress well and that's part of the coaching profession. You always want to be sharp in your dressing. I've got about 350 ties and you can look for some newer brighter ones this year!


jane, newark, nj: Coach - Is there some New Jersey fraternity of coaches?

Richie Adubato: Yes there is. We started with Hubie Brown and a guy named Al Labalbo, who went on to coach with Louie Carnesseca. Mike Fratello. Brian Hill. Herman Kohl. Dick Vitale, Rollie Massimino. Most of us were in high school at the same time...except Hill and Fratello who were a bit younger. But we really had a great group that lived basketball as much as any group of coaches in the country. One story, I recall, was when we came out of a sports bar one night at 2 am. It was me, Hubie, Fratello, Dick Vitale and Kohl around Paterson, NJ and we were moving garbage cans around talking about how to cover the pick and roll. We got so loud the cops came over, thinking there was a riot, but we were just passionately trying to figure out the best way to defend that pick and roll! The cops knew us, let us go, and we continued the heated debate later on in the diner, using the salt and pepper and sugar shakers.

Richie Adubato: I want to thank Linda Hargroves for giving the opportunity to coach this team. The Mystics have been among the league-leaders in attendence and that will help us tremendously and I look forward to it. I look forward to the challenge here and working with our players here, who I think have great potential. We have great parity in the East, with Connecticut the defending champ, and Detroit being a great team. The Liberty have some good veterans and competitors. In the past three or four years, there has only been about three games separating teams in the East. It's that tight in the East. And I think we can compete among that parity. It will be great for fans to the great, close competition we have here in the WNBA East. It's similiar to the Western Conference in the NBA, where you have the teams so close to each other and really competing fiercely.