Coach: Richie Adubato

1998 record: 18-12

3rd in East

Did not make playoffs

After reaching the finals in the league's first season, New York's talent-laden squad missed the playoffs last season by one game. New coach Richie Adubato, who spent 19 years in the NBA as a head coach and assistant with Detroit, Dallas and Orlando, was hired to replace Nancy Darsch. Under Adubato the Liberty is expected to emphasize pressure defense -- which should make two-time WNBA defensive player of the year Teresa Weatherspoon happy -- and retain much of its half-court, inside-oriented offense. New York picked up former ABL standout and three-point specialist Crystal Robinson to bolster its perimeter scoring and eliminate some of the double-teams in the low post. Still, the Liberty's most glaring deficiency has been the lack of a go-to player. Weatherspoon is defensive-oriented. Sophia Witherspoon is solid, but as the team's leading scorer she averaged just 13.8 points per game last season. Lobo is inconsistent. None of them appear prepared to take over games.

Web site: www.wnba.com/liberty/

Top Players

Sophia Witherspoon 5-10, 145 lbs.

Teresa Weatherspoon 5-8, 161 lbs.

Rebecca Lobo 6-4, 185 lbs.

Vickie Johnson 5-9, 150 lbs.

Kym Hampton 6-2, 210 lbs.

Last Year's Starting Lineup

G Sophia Witherspoon

G Teresa Weatherspoon

C Rebecca Lobo

F Vickie Johnson

F Kym Hampton

Schedule

June

10Cleveland7:30

12at Charlotte7:30

14Washington7:30

18Los Angeles7

20Detroit4

25Orlando7:30

27Charlotte4

28at Detroit7:30

July

1Phoenix7:30

3at Houston2

5Sacramento7:30

6at Washington7:30

8at Cleveland7

11Minnesota4

17at Minnesota3:30

18Utah4

22at Sacramento10

24at Los Angeles4

26Charlotte7:30

29at Orlando7:30

30at Charlotte7:30

August

1Orlando4

3at Utah9

6at Phoenix9

8Houston4

9at Orlando8

11at Washington7

13at Detroit8

15Detroit4

17Washington7:30

19Cleveland7:30

21at Cleveland2

CAPTION: Top player: Teresa Weatherspoon