The Washington Post

Mystics expect ‘highly competitive’ training camp


Washington Coach and General Manager Trudi Lacey says there’s no guarantee Monique Currie will have a place in the starting lineup. (Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST)

Washington Mystics General Manager and Coach Trudi Lacey has a list of things she’d like to accomplish when her team begins training camp Sunday, and whether it’s improved defense, better rebounding or eliminating turnovers, it all goes back to her desire for a more fundamentally sound squad than a year ago.

The Mystics finished 6-28 in 2011, undone by an inexperienced bench and a multitude of injuries that decimated the roster. Lacey has spent much of the offseason trying to fix that, adding several veteran role players, and she’s hopeful even training camp will be different this time around.

“I believe because we have players with more experience, they’ll pick up on things quicker and learn to play together faster because everything is not new to them,” Lacey said.

But the biggest addition will likely be the full-time presence of Washington native Monique Currie, who played in only the final four games of the 2011 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. In 2010 — Currie’s last full WNBA season — she averaged 14.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

“This is a great opportunity for Monique to reestablish herself as one of the elite players in the league, but more importantly for us, to become a leader for our team and help our team improve,” Lacey said.

But Currie, who spent the offseason playing in Turkey, is not guaranteed a spot in the starting five in what Lacey predicted will be a “highly competitive” camp. Lacey singled out all-star Crystal Langhorne as the lone certainty to be in the opening night lineup.

Langhorne and center Michelle Snow are both playing in Russia and will miss most of training camp, Lacey said, but they will be back in time for the start of the regular season on May 19.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.
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