- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2001

In an attempt to get post production from their bench, the Washington Mystics activated center Cass Bauer-Bilodeau and placed center Jenny Whittle on the injured list.

The 6-foot-4 Bauer-Bilodeau was acquired in a May 27 trade from the Charlotte Sting for backup point guard Keisha Anderson. Bauer-Bilodeau missed the first four games with a strained right knee.

Whittle, who strained her right hamstring, will miss the next three games. The 6-5 Whittle won't be eligible to come off the injured list until Tuesday's game at Houston.

Most importantly, the Mystics need something from their big people coming off the bench. Whittle has yet to score a point this season. The Australian center is averaging 0.3 rebounds in five minutes.

Injured 6-2 backup center Tausha Mills isn't much better. Mills, who is playing with a bad right foot, is averaging just 1.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 8.3 minutes. Rookie center Tamara Stocks (back) has been on the injured list since the season started.

"We're struggling a little bit there, aren't we?" general manager Melissa McFerrin said. "The fact remains that we don't have a lot of size. Tausha's injury has really set us back, and it has really limited her time and her effectiveness."

The Mystics invested a great deal in Mills. They selected her with the second pick in last year's WNBA Draft, but the bruising center has yet to prove her worth. Last season Mills averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds.

"She's got to get to a stage where she has a reliable game she hasn't yet and that comes back to fundamentals," first-year coach Tom Maher said.

Mills, who played the 1998-99 season for the Chicago Condors in the defunct American Basketball League, has been injured since the beginning of the training camp in early May with plantar fasciitis in her right foot.

How much longer the Mystics can keep a less than 100 percent Mills on their 11-player active roster before placing her on the injured list remains to be seen. For now, their plan is to play her sparingly and hope her foot heals on the job. Mills also underwent offseason wrist surgery.

"[Going on the injured list is] a committee decision; we make that with the player, management and coaches," Maher said. "She is hurt clearly, but we've got other injured people as well. There is going to come a time …"

The Mystics are carrying only five frontcourt players on their active roster. With the team getting no bench production from its big players, forward Chamique Holdsclaw and center Vicky Bullett are bearing the brunt of the workload.

Holdsclaw, a 6-2 wing player, is the WNBA's second-leading rebounder (11.3). Bullett, a 33-year-old University of Maryland product, is averaging 33.3 minutes way too much playing time in the Mystics' new uptempo system.

"If I can go out there and get 10 to 15 rebounds a game, I'm going to do it," Holdsclaw said. "Vicky and Murriel [Page] are very mobile and able to move, but the bigger bodies are what we are struggling against."

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