- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 8, 2002

The three incumbent Washington Mystics starters currently playing overseas need not hurry home right now, the team looks pretty strong without them.
An outstanding draft and the development of the Mystics younger players has the team in position to compete without starters Murriel Page, Vicky Bullett and Annie Burgess and top reserves Helen Luz and Audrey Sauret. If the WNBA season opened today, the Mystics would appear to be in fine shape, and they'll find out roughly how they stand in Friday's exhibition game against the New York Liberty at MCI Center.
Start with combination guard Stacey Dales-Schuman, the third overall pick in last month's WNBA Draft. The versatile Dales-Schuman can score, pass and rebound when necessary, can play both guard spots and small forward; she just might become the first WNBA player to record a triple-double. The rookie out of Oklahoma will look forward to playing alongside Chamique Holdsclaw.
"I love playing with her, she has some of the best hands that I've ever played with," Dales-Schuman said of Holdsclaw. "It's like it's magnetic and the ball just zings to her hands. Who better to find than Chamique? She knows how to score, how to create, and if we're in the open court and I have the ball, I'm going to find her."
Multiskilled 6-2 forward Asjha Jones is another of the gems the Mystics pulled out of the draft. The Mystics selected Jones, out of Connecticut, with the draft's fourth overall pick.
The Mystics aren't old, they have skill and size, and with Dales-Schuman and Jones, lethal scoring options. That could never be said about the Mystics in the past. This season could be a case of worst (10-22) to first.
"All [of the new players] have competed in the heat of the battle in college," Holdsclaw said of the Mystics' newcomers. "You have people that are used to being in the spotlight the competitive situation that helps a great deal."
Dales-Schuman, a Canadian and two-time first-team All-American, led the national runner-up Sooners with 17 points, five rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. Jones averaged 14 points and 6.6 rebounds for the undefeated national champion Huskies.
Yesterday, the Mystics traded reserve center Cass Bauer-Bilodeau to the Sacramento Monarchs for a third-round pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft. The Mystics have 13 players on the roster. Once players return from overseas, they must keep the roster at 15 until May 24, when the limit becomes 13.
Dales-Schuman and Jones aren't the only newcomers to shine. Center Teresa Geter, the Mystics' third-round pick (36th overall) out of South Carolina, has impressed first-year coach Marianne Stanley and may make the team.
The 6-4 Geter began her collegiate career at Tennessee and was the Lady Vols' starting center on the 1997-98 undefeated national champion team that featured Holdsclaw. Earlier in the week, the Mystics waived centers LaNisha Cartwell and Carolyn Moos, perhaps meaning Geter is in line to make the roster.
"I'm my hardest critic and for me to say that I'm doing well, then I think I'm doing pretty well," Geter said of Mystics' training camp.
Free agent forward Maren Walseth, a 6-2 free agent forward out of Penn State, can knock down 3-pointers and has shown an ability to run the floor. With just an 11-player active roster and two on the injured list, Stanley has some tough decisions. But without a doubt, the Mystics' first-round draft picks are keepers.
"More has been expected of Asjha and Stacey and there has been a little more pressure on them coming in, but they've delivered in every way," Stanley said. "Their attitude is great, they both work really hard, the skills are there, and they are going to be in our rotation no question."


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