Lacey Ready to Tip-Off Training Camp on Sunday

For the past six months, Trudi Lacey has been focused on building the Mystics roster as General Manager of the team. On Sunday, Lacey will begin her other Mystics role, head coach, as the team opens training camp with their first practice of the season at 1:00pm.

It has been a long six months, with Lacey the GM revamping the Mystics roster to fit the style of play that Lacey the coach wants to run; a fast paced game with a large emphasis on defense. In the overhaul of the roster, Lacey has had the challenge of adding young talented players while still focusing on building off the success the 2010 team had. It is the ultimate challenge for every GM; looking for the future with young, talented players, while winning in the present.

“I think that is the dual hat that I wear as GM/Coach,” said Lacey. “The coach part of me wants to continue building off the success we’ve had the past few seasons. To get quality players that will keep us competitive immediately. The GM part of me is looking to the future. Not too far down the road but to continue to grow off that solid base that we have now. So I think we’ve done a good job of balancing that.”

It’s hard to argue that Lacey’s balancing act thus far has been spot on. Entering training camp, the team looks to have a bright long-term future. Six of the Mystics training camp roster invitees are rookies with Ta’Shia Phillips, Victoria Dunlap and Jasmine Thomas all first-rounders.

However, while the team is young, Lacey has also filled brought in experience veterans like Kelly Miller and Nicky Anosike, and young free agents fighting for a roster spot with Megan Frazee and Sequoia Holmes.

The meshing of young and experienced, combined with a returning nucleus of Alana Beard, Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman gives the Mystics a boatload of options that will ensure an extremely competitive camp.

“I don’t want anybody thinking they can come into camp with the mindset that ‘I can coast and I’m going to start and play’. You are going to have to earn it. That just sets the tone for the season. Everything that we accomplish we are going to have to earn it. So we have to go into camp with that mentality,” said Lacey.

While Lacey has an expectation for the players to change mentality, she herself will have to change mentality as the head coach. With her last head coaching experience on the WNBA level being in 2006, Lacey herself will have to adjust back into the head coaching role after being an assistant for the past two seasons.

“The good news is that I’ve learned a lot from my previous experience,” said Lacey. “Little things that I did before that didn’t work well and others that did that I can learn from. I think this go-round I’m more willing to think outside the box and try different things and see what really works. When you are younger you have a mindset that it is my way. I’m more secure in who I am now. Either way I just want it to work.”

With an infusion of talented youth and a veteran presence, it looks like things are going to work out just fine for Lacey and the Mystics.