San Antonio Silver Stars
2003: 12-22, sixth in West.
Coach: Dee Brown (first season, 16-16 career). Arriving: G Shannon Johnson (5-7, 144; trade, Connecticut); F LaToya Thomas (6-2, 170; dispersal draft); F Agnieska Bibrzycka (6-2, 168; free agent, Europe); F Vanessa Nygaard (6-1, 175; free agent, Los Angeles); C Jessie Hicks (6-4, 188; free agent, Connecticut).
Departing: G Jennifer Azzi (5-8, 143; retired).
What to Look For: Brown, former Orlando Miracle coach, will have one of the quickest back courts in Johnson and Marie Ferdinand (13.8 ppg, 1.7 spg). Johnson should provide more scoring than Azzi. At 7-2, C Margo Dydek (11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg) is imposing underneath the basket. Adrienne Goodson (11.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) had her least productive season last year, but is capable of becoming a scoring threat. Bibrzycka was the 2003-04 European player of the year.
Will Make Playoffs If: They come together under their new coach. After reaching the Western Conference finals as the Utah Starzz in 2002, San Antonio failed to advance to the postseason after changing locations.
2003: 18-16, tied for fourth in West.
Coach: Anne Donovan (second season, 63-67 career). Arriving: G Betty Lennox (5-8, 143; dispersal draft); F Sheri Sam (6-0, 160; trade, Minnesota); C Janell Burse (6-5, 199; trade, Minnesota).
Departing: G Sandy Brondello (5-7, 136; may stay in Australia to train with national team).
What to Look For: In Lauren Jackson (21.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg), the 2003 league MVP, and Sue Bird (12.4 ppg, 6.5 apg), a two-time all-WNBA guard, Seattle had the beginnings of a contender. After the team added a pair of starters-Lennox and Sam-during the offseason, expectations are high. Donovan wants to make Seattle into more of a transition team, and she has the players to do that.
Will Make Playoffs If: Lennox and Sam mesh with Jackson and Bird.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company