Coach: Van Chancellor

1998 record: 27-3 l Won the West l Won the WNBA championship

The two-time defending WNBA champions have had an emotional offseason. Starting point guard Kim Perrot continues to recover from lung and brain cancer. With Perrot out indefinitely, the Comets may struggle early while they adjust to a new offensive leader. Sonja Henning, who played for the ABL's San Jose Lasers, appears to have a slight edge over Jennifer Rizzoti for the starting point guard spot. This is a talented team with lots of depth, which could cause some team chemistry problems when there aren't enough minutes to go around. Cynthia Cooper, the league's two-time MVP, led the WNBA in scoring (22.7 points per game) and three-pointers (64) last season. Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson joined Cooper on the WNBA first team last season. The Comets bulked up in the low post by drafting 6-3, 206-pound Natalia Zasulskaya and 6-7, 227-pound Kara Wolters. Wolters broke her toe loading luggage on her way to Houston and has been slowed by the injury. Zasulskaya is playing on the Russian Olympic qualifying team and was expected to join the Comets this week.

Web site: www.wnba.com/comets/

Top Players

Cynthia Cooper

5-10, 150 lbs.

Sonja Henning

5-7, 143 lbs.

Polina Tzekova

6-4, 189 lbs.

Sheryl Swoopes

6-0, 145 lbs.

Tina Thompson

6-2, 178 lbs.

Last Year's Starting Lineup

G

Cynthia Cooper

G

Kim Perrot

C

Monica Lamb

F

Sheryl Swoopes

F

Tina Thompson

1998 Team Statistics

PPG FG pct. 3pt. pct. FT Pct. RPG APG

76.2 .436 .338 .802 30.9 14.3

Opponent Statistics

PPG FG pct. 3pt. pct. FT Pct. RPG APG

63.6 .404 .298 .723 31.8 15.0

Schedule

June

10 at Orlando 8

12 Washington 4

17 Utah 8:30

19 at Minnesota 8

22 Los Angeles 8

24 at Detroit 7:30

25 at Washington 7

28 Orlando 8:30

30 at Utah 10

July

1 Cleveland 8:30

3 New York 2

6 Minnesota 8:30

8 at Sacramento 10

9 at Phoenix 8

11 Sacramento 8

16 at Utah 9

18 at Los Angeles 8:30

19 at Phoenix 8

23 at Charlotte 7:30

25 at Minnesota 6

27 Detroit 8:30

29 at Cleveland 12

31 Phoenix 4

August

2 Sacramento 8:30

6 Charlotte 8:30

8 at New York 4

12 Los Angeles 8:30

14 Minnesota 4

16 Utah 8

18 Phoenix 8:30

20 at Los Angeles 10:30

21 at Sacramento 10

CAPTION: Top player: Cynthia Cooper