New Season, New Players, New Game Plan
In her first off-season as Mystics GM and Head Coach, Trudi Lacey has been crystal clear on the team identity she is looking to put in place: this year’s Mystics’ team will be built on the foundation of defense and scoring in transition.
With that in mind, Lacey went out and signed three players that will fit the Mystics’ new style of play, first signing guard Maurita Reid and then adding guard/forward Sequoia Holmes and post presence Angel Robinson.
The three moves were unquestionably under the radar, Holmes is the only one with WNBA experience, yet calculated. All three players are young; Reid is the oldest at 25, but at the same time ready to contribute.
“We decided to go after young athletic types,” Lacey said, “We have been very intentional about the players we've signed in the off season in terms of fitting into our system and not just signing players to sign players.”
Holmes is a perfect example of the type of player Lacey was looking for to fit the Mystics’ style and also add depth at a position of need. With Monique Currie possibly out for the season, Holmes provides depth at the wing and also brings a strong defensive tenacity and versatility.
“She’s had some experience in the league and as a defensive oriented player she gives us flexibility to defend a three, but can potentially defend a four,” coach Lacey said, “She fits into my defensive scheme in being able to switch up and defend multiple players.”
Another player that excels first and foremost on the defensive end is Reid. As a senior at the University of Miami, Reid was named to the ACC All-Defensive team, and her defensive prowess has only grown during her time overseas. This season in Croatia, Reid has averaged a mind-boggling five steals per game while also scoring 17 points a game and dishing out five assists.
“Reid is going to help us defensively,” Coach Lacey said, “She will be able to pressure the ball and changeup defense. It will be a matter of how quickly she can learn the professional game.”
Lastly there is Angel Robinson. Just 23 years old, Robinson gives the team size down low and sticking with the theme of this team, the ability to run in transition.
“Angel fits our mold in terms of being a long athletic post player,” coach Lacey said, “She's a player that has tremendous upside and we think she can develop and help us in the paint. We're excited to have her and work with her.”
The three players will make up a second unit that will allow the Mystics to impose the style of play they want. Reid, Holmes and Robinson all have the ability to play multiple positions and will allow the team to play big or small depending on the opponent and the match-ups they are looking to expose.
“I envisioned our 2nd group as being the rebel group that we can put in, change tempo defensively; get some quick baskets from our defense and being able to switch defenses up and give us a different look. I like that they give us options to play differently,” Coach Lacey said.
Off Season Action
While all three players are currently playing overseas, communication with Holmes, Reid and Robinson has taken off well before the start of training camp.
The Mystics coaches have already started to discuss what the players’ contributions can be for the team and areas that they need to work on prior to coming to camp.
“It has taken some time, but we have signed players that have a legitimate chance at making our team,” Lacey said, “They have to get here, fight it out and prove that they belong, but that was the reason we signed them.”