Mystics 2012 roster


With former face of the franchise Alana Beard gone, Monique Currie, above, is ready to take charge of the Mystics. (Mystics)
May 18, 2012
Roster

No. 22 Matee Ajavon

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 5-8, 160

Experience:

Fifth year

Last season:

14.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 rpg

Strengths:

One of the few bright spots on last year’s team, Ajavon emerged as an offensive force capable of scoring with the best in the WNBA. She averaged career highs in every major offensive category thanks to her combination of strength and quickness driving to the basket.

Weaknesses:

Even Ajavon concedes consistency is still an issue — she shot just 39.1 percent from the field — and it remains to be seen how effective she can be with more weapons to take on some of the scoring brunt. Ajavon also has battled a knee injury throughout the preseason.

No. 3 Dominique Canty

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 5-9, 166

Experience:

14th season

Last season:

4.1 ppg, 2 apg,

1.2 rpg

Strengths:

Signed in the offseason as a free agent, Canty can play anywhere on the perimeter, and after 13 years in the WNBA, she’s a veteran voice on a team that featured few last year. Her grit and toughness will be assets coming off the bench.

Weaknesses:

Canty averaged career lows in most statistical categories last year in Chicago, and she must prove that it was the result of a nagging knee injury and a decrease in minutes rather than age.

No. 25 Monique Currie

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-0, 177

Experience: Seventh season

Last season:

11.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2 apg

Strengths:

An inside-outside force on both ends during her last full season in 2010, Currie was a WNBA all-star who looked to be on the verge of becoming one of the league’s elite players. Currie also proved this winter in Turkey that she is healthy after missing most of 2011 with a knee injury.

Weaknesses:

Currie never has become the superstar some predicted she would be after starring at Duke last decade, and if the Mystics are to rebound from last year’s disastrous campaign, Currie will need to elevate her game to another level on both ends.

No. 21 Natasha Lacy

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 5-10, 165

Experience:
Third season

Last season:

5 ppg, 2.2 rpg,

1.7 apg

Strengths:

Acquired in an offseason trade with Los Angeles, Lacy made the roster after a strong preseason in which she averaged 11 points, 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds. She excels on the defensive end of the floor.

Weaknesses:

Lacy might be hard pressed to get minutes in Washington’s crowded back court, especially since she struggles shooting from the perimeter and has had issues with turnovers in the past.

No. 1 Crystal Langhorne

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-2, 190

Experience:

Fifth season

Last season: 18.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.6 apg

Strengths:

One of the team’s stalwarts the past two years, Langhorne was named a captain this preseason after improving her scoring average for a fourth-straight season in 2011. With Currie back, she won’t have to shoulder such a heavy offensive load, either.

Weaknesses:

Langhorne has increasingly faced double teams in recent years, and Coach Trudi Lacey would like to see her star improve at distributing the ball to open teammates in such situations. She’ll also need to become more of a vocal leader this year.

No. 20 Natalie Novosel

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 5-11, 165

Experience: Rookie

Last season: 15.0 ppg, 3.9 apg, 2.4 rpg (at Notre Dame)

Strengths:

A threat from three-point range who knows how to pick her spots well, Novosel was Notre Dame’s leading scorer last year. She is nicknamed “Nasty” because of her hard-nosed style on both ends of the floor.

Weaknesses:

Novosel has said this preseason that she is adjusting to the speed of the WNBA. She’ll also need to show she can be effective off the dribble at the pro level.

No. 45 Noelle Quinn

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 6-0, 175

Experience:

Sixth season

Last season:

5.1 ppg, 2 apg,

1.8 rpg

Strengths:

Quinn, the No. 4 pick in the 2007 WNBA draft, led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio last year. Her decision-making and ability to play all over the perimeter has already endeared her to her coach, who named Quinn one of the team’s captains this year along with Langhorne and Currie.

Weaknesses:

After leading Los Angeles to the playoffs two years in a row, including 2010 when she had career highs in points (10.2), rebounds (four), starts (34) and minutes per game (32.5), Quinn saw her numbers fall in every statistical category last year.

No. 43 Ashley Robinson

Position: Center

Height/Weight: 6-4, 180

Experience: Ninth season

Last season:

3.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg,

1 bpg

Strengths:

One of the league’s top shot blockers, Robinson will take on an expanded role this year complementing Langhorne inside. She can hit the high-post jumper, and averaged career highs in points, blocks and rebounds per game last season.

Weaknesses:

Robinson always played second fiddle to star Lauren Jackson in Seattle, and as a result, sometimes her confidence could wane. Robinson will need to prove she can be a force now that she’ll be receiving consistent playing time.

No. 2 Michelle Snow

Position: Center

Height/Weight: 6-5, 158

Experience:

11th season

Last season:

5.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Strengths:

Snow is an elite shot blocker and rebounder and a key part of Lacey’s offseason movement of acquiring more veteran role players. Snow has started 267 games over the course of her WNBA career, more than any other player on the Mystics roster.

Weaknesses:

At one point in her career Snow was a double-digit scorer on offense, but her numbers have fluctuated in recent years. She won’t need to score that much with the Mystics, but Snow must improve upon her 45.6 percent shooting from last season.

No. 5 Jasmine Thomas

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 5-9, 145

Experience: Second season

Last season:

6.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.9 apg

Strengths:

Thomas flourished during the second half of the 2011 season, starting six games as she grew more comfortable in Lacey’s system. Known for her defense, Thomas proved she is capable of penetrating the lane and being a floor general in the WNBA.

Weaknesses:

Thomas’s decision-making still needs work. She shot just 35.3 percent from the field last year and had nearly as many turnovers (55) as assists (64). Thomas has also been hampered by tendonitis in her ankle this preseason.

No. 14 Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-2, 186

Experience: Fourth season

Last season:

1.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.6 apg

Strengths:

A late addition during training camp, Wisdom-Hylton should help the Mystics on the defensive end of the floor, where she can guard multiple positions — a trait that Lacey has emphasized this offseason.

Weaknesses:

Wisdom-Hylton was waived by the Chicago Sky last week, and it remains to be seen if she fits into the Mystics’ long-term plans. She did not appear in either of the team’s two preseason games.

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