- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2002

Two weeks ago in San Antonio, Oklahoma's Stacey Dales-Schuman and Connecticut's Asjha Jones opposed each other in the NCAA women's national championship game. Now they're teammates.
The Washington Mystics added two likely starters when they chose Dales-Schuman with the third pick and Jones with the fourth in yesterday's WNBA Draft.
Dales-Schuman, a 6-foot guard from Canada, can competently play point guard, shooting guard or small forward and is viewed as the most versatile backcourt player in the draft. The 6-2 Jones was instrumental in helping lead national champion UConn to a 39-0 record and can play either power forward or center adequately.
"I felt like we were in a situation where we really couldn't lose in this particular draft, knowing you can go six or seven deep and have two picks in that elite group," Mystics coach Marianne Stanley said. "We were feeling very confident, no matter which way the draft fell, we're going to be in a great position to get two people who can bring a lot to the table to help us improve this franchise."
With two picks in the third round, the Mystics chose 6-2 Alabama center LaNisha Cartwell with the 33rd pick and 6-4 South Carolina forward/center Teresa Geter with the 36th.
Selecting Dales-Schuman and Jones fills many needs for the Mystics, but perhaps more importantly these two bring a winning mentality to the Mystics, who have never posted a winning record.
Dales-Schuman, who got married last Saturday, dropped into the Mystics' laps when the Detroit Shock selected Connecticut forward Swin Cash with the second overall pick. Many felt Dales-Schuman, a two-time first-team All-American and two-time Big 12 player of the year, was headed to Motor City at No.2.
"The Mystics have had their share of adversity," said Dales-Schuman, who is the first player in Oklahoma history to record 1,700 points, 600 rebounds and 700 assists. "It's exciting. Challenges make people better. When I entered Oklahoma, the year before I arrived they went 5-22 and two weeks ago we went to the Final Four."
Dales-Schuman, who averaged 17 points, five rebounds, and 4.9 assists this season, will be a scoring complement to forward Chamique Holdsclaw. For now, the plan is to start Dales-Schuman at point guard but not limit her to playmaking duties.
"She said she will play any position the coach wants her to play, which is music to our ears," said Pat Summitt, the Mystics' newly hired player personnel consultant. "Watching her passing skills, she can score, she's had the international game and the experience there, obviously she's a winner."
Jones is one of four UConn players taken in the draft's first six picks. Originally from Piscataway, N.J., Jones never missed a game during her four-year college career. She left Storrs as the all-time leader in games played at 144.
Jones averaged 14 points and 6.6 rebounds this season for the Huskies. Jones knows that when playing center she'll be giving away inches against taller pivots in the WNBA, especially Utah's 7-2 Margo Dydek.
"That's unchartered territory she's a foot taller than me," Jones said. "But it's fine, because I've been [playing center] for the past four years." Jones is a low-post scorer who also can step out and shoot from 15 feet.
Geter played for Summitt at Tennessee and transferred to South Carolina after two seasons. She started at center on Tennessee's undefeated 1998 NCAA championship team that featured Holdsclaw.
"I thought she would be one of the best offensive rebounders to play at Tennessee, [but] she just left early," Summitt said. "I think she has to decide how hard she is willing to work and what level of intensity she is willing to bring."

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide