- The Washington Times - Friday, May 14, 2004

The Washington Mystics aren’t going to reveal anything to the Charlotte Sting tonight.

The Mystics open the regular season next Saturday at MCI Center against the Sting — eight days after playing them in Charlotte, N.C., in the second of two exhibitions. So much for working on the playbook.

“We’re not going to show them more than the last time we played them [in a scrimmage last week at MCI Center],” first-year coach Michael Adams said. “You always jot things down when you’re scrimmaging or playing exhibition games. We’re just going to work on our early stuff and not put in many plays and not give away too much because we need to use all our stuff when we play them on Saturday.”

What the Mystics will showcase for a bit is starting center Chasity Melvin. Melvin, a WNBA All-Star in 2001, probably will play 10 to 15 minutes. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound post player could help solve the Mystics’ interior problems.

Melvin, who arrived in the United States on Tuesday after playing in Poland, was in street clothes when the Mystics lost 83-80 to the Indiana Fever in their first preseason game, getting outrebounded 35-23 in the process. Melvin has had two practices with the team and is still trying to understand Adams’ offense.

“I don’t consider myself a great rebounder, but I do try to keep the post player that I’m guarding off the boards,” Melvin said. “Collectively, if we all box out, then we’ll be a great rebounding team because Chamique [Holdsclaw] gets a lot of rebounds.”

Holdsclaw, who played in 27 of 34 Mystics games last season, led the WNBA in rebounding with a 10.9 average. The plan is to move Holdsclaw to a wing position this season, which may diminish her rebounding numbers.

Melvin, who has averaged 5.4 rebounds in her six-year career, may not be the rebounding answer inside, but she appears better than the alternatives, 6-3 rookie Kaayla Chones and 6-4 veteran Nakia Sanford.

“I’m OK with my game. I know what I can do,” Melvin said. “I don’t consider myself as a jumper, I’m not going to be leaping over anybody and getting rebounds, but I try to do it as fundamentally sound as possible.”

Adams will be trying to solidify the No.8 and No.9 spots in his rotation tonight. The roster has 15 players, meaning he needs to cut two by Wednesday. Rookie forward Evan Unrau, guard Jocelyn Penn and centers Petra Ujhelyi and Sanford are among the candidates to be waived.

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