No. 22 Matee Ajavon

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 5-8, 160.

Experience: Sixth year.

Last year: 7.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2 apg.

Ajavon’s scoring dropped significantly after a career year in 2012, but Thibault told her to spend the offseason focusing on improving defensively and cutting down on her turnovers. A streaky three-point shooter with a lightning quick first step, Ajavon will need to log minutes as the team’s backup point guard.

No. 25 Monique Currie

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-0, 173

Experience: Eighth season

Last year: 12 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg

Currie suffered through an up-and-down 2012 campaign and even spent six games coming off the bench. But no player on the roster should benefit from the upgrade at point guard than Currie. The fearless slasher often found the lane packed with defenders without any other consistent threats along the perimeter.

No. 4 Tayler Hill

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 5-10, 145

Experience: Rookie

Last year: 21.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg (at Ohio State)

The No. 4 pick in this year’s WNBA draft, Hill is being counted on to provide a three-point shooting boost to a team that lacked accuracy from outside a year ago. Hill, who earned all-Big Ten first team and all-Big Ten defensive team honors last season, has been in the mix for a starting spot since training camp began.

No. 1 Crystal Langhorne

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-2, 185

Experience: Sixth season

Last year: 14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.4 apg

Langhorne’s statistics suffered as the Mystics endured a 5-29 campaign last season, but the former all-star remains a force in the low post when she’s not forced to combat a litany of double teams. Washington will continue to feed her plenty down low, and Langhorne has become an increasingly effective jump shooter out of the pick-and-roll.

No. 12 Ivory Latta

Position: Guard.

Height/weight: 5-6, 138.

Experience: Seventh season.

Last year: 14.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.3 apg

The hope is Latta fills the void Washington has had at point guard the past two seasons. The former North Carolina star averaged career highs in points, field goal percentage and rebounds with Tulsa in 2012, and her playmaking ability should create space for the rest of the lineup.

No. 5 Nadirah McKenith

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 5-7, 155

Experience: Rookie

Last year: 13.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.5 apg (at St. John’s)

A second-round pick in this year’s WNBA draft, McKenith will provide point guard depth behind Latta and Ajavon. She led the Big East in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio during conference play last season.

No. 33 Emma Meesseman

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-4, 182

Experience: Rookie

Last year: 12.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2 apg (in France)

Meesseman was supposed to be a developmental second-round draft pick from Europe who contributed to the Mystics in the future. But her outside shooting touch and playmaking ability from the power forward position have convinced Thibault the Belgian could be the steal of the draft. Don’t be surprised if Meesseman, who played professionally in France last year, sees heavy playing time immediately.

No. 31 Jessica Moore

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-3, 175

Experience: Ninth season

Last year: 1.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg

With four rookies on the roster, Thibault signed Moore midway through training camp to help the team’s younger players and provide veteran leadership in the locker room. She will add depth inside, but her minutes likely will be limited barring injury.

No. 44 Tierra Ruffin-Pratt

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 5-10, 183

Experience: Rookie

Last year: 15.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.5 apg (at North Carolina)

An undrafted free agent, Ruffin-Pratt surprised Thibault in training camp, giving him no choice but to cut last year’s first-round draft choice, Natalie Novosel, because of her impressive play. The former three-time All-Met from T.C. Williams played point guard at North Carolina last season and could thrive in Thibault’s up-tempo offense

No. 2 Michelle Snow

Position: Center

Height/weight: 6-5, 145

Experience: 12th season

Last year: 5.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.6 apg

Snow is at the tail end of her career but showed throughout 2012 she still can be effective in the right role. The Mystics need her rebounding, shot-blocking and toughness off the bench, but it remains to be seen how she handles the diminished playing time. Snow played her best a year ago when she was in the starting lineup.

No. 9 Kia Vaughn

Position: Center

Height/weight: 6-4, 205

Experience: Fifth season

Last year: 6.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 apg

Acquired in an offseason trade with New York, Vaughn likely will move into the starting lineup, and the hope is her presence will take some pressure off Langhorne in the post. But the Mystics need Vaughn to return to her 2011 form — when she set career highs in points, rebounds and field goal percentage — after a disappointing campaign last year.

Mystics schedule
date opponent time
Monday at Tulsa 3 (ESPN2)
Sunday Atlanta 4
June 7 at Connecticut 7
June 8 Minnesota 7
June 16 Indiana 2
June 18 at Seattle 10
June 21 at Phoenix 10
June 23 at Los Angeles 8:30
June 27 Phoenix 7
June 28 at Atlanta 7:30
June 30 Tulsa 4
July 6 Seattle 7
July 10 at Chicago 12:30
July 12 at San Antonio 8
July 16 San Antonio 7
July 19 at Indiana 7
July 21 Indiana 4
July 24 Chicago 11:30 a.m.
July 31 New York 7
Aug. 2 at Chicago 8:30
Aug. 4 Los Angeles 4
Aug. 6 at New York 11 a.m.
Aug. 8 at Minnesota 8
Aug. 11 Connecticut 4
Aug. 16 at New York 7:30
Aug. 18 at Atlanta 3
Aug. 20 Chicago 7
Aug. 23 Atlanta 7
Aug. 28 at Atlanta 7
Sept. 6 at Connecticut 7
Sept. 8 Chicago 4
Sept. 10 at Indiana 7
Sept. 13 Connecticut 7
Sept. 15 New York 4

2013 Mystics preview

Washington features four rookies as it tries to rebound from last season’s 5-29 campaign