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More on the WNBA Draft

Here are a few more goodies on the WNBA draft. First are quotes from our dynamic duo, and a very nice photo gallery from the event. Here's a quick Q&A from Alana and one from Iciss as well as a bigger chat wrap with all of the first rounders and some second
rounders. Also check out commissioner Val Ackerman's comments on Beard.
Also check out Nancy Lieberman's draft report card, though I can't say I agree with much of
what she says (bashing Kaayla Chones as the #15 pick but praising Ashley
Robinson as the #14 is inexplicable). Vera Jones had some comments on Iciss Tillis. Rebecca Lobo had some amusing comments
about things behind the scenes, including complimenting Alana on her
white suit and noting the permanent smile on the face of Iciss' lovely
mother, Melanie Hughes-Morris. Lastly, here's a Beard feature from the Mystics' home page, and scroll down on the Shock's home
page for a great shot of Iciss and her mom.

Prior to the dispersal of the Cleveland Rockers, Washington was a team
that needed size. However, they were able to obtain former NC State great
Chasity Melvin in the dispersal draft, solving that need. Being able to
draft her successor, Kaayla Chones, is great bonus. Chones will finally
be in a situation where she's not the only offensive option for her team,
and will thrive using her big body and good footwork one-on-one,
especially with Beard feeding her the ball and Chamique Holdsclaw drawing
double-teams. Alana will almost certainly start; the incumbents at 2 and
3 are Stacey Dales-Schumann and CoCo Miller. Even Holdsclaw admitted that
the backcourt needed to get more competitive. Drafting Beard and getting
Tamicha Jackson in a trade suddenly improves the Mystics' quickness and
ability to penetrate. Dales-Schumann and Miller struggled in both those
areas, though both are solid shooters. Washington's other major area of
concern was defense; they were one of the worst in the league and it's a
big reason why they only won 9 games (along with Holdsclaw's perpetual
injury problems). Beard and Melvin will immediately correct that and get
big minutes as a result.

Tillis comes into a different situation, playing for the WNBA champions.
Not only did the Detroit Shock manage to unseat the LA Sparks, they did it
with an appealling, uptempo style that made for the most entertaining
finals in history. (The real "Shock" here is that Bill "Bad Boy" Laimbeer
is the architect of this style!) Only now is the WNBA really starting to become
a league where an aesthetically appealling style of ball being played,
though the too-short season, lack of training camp time and abbreviated
playoff series are still factors that hurt the league. Iciss will not be
a starter on a team with a deep frontcourt that includes Ruth Riley, Swin
Cash and rookie of the year Cheryl Ford (aka Karl Malone's daughter).
What Detroit does not possess is a post player that can step out and hit
the jumper, and Iciss will be able to do that right away. Her ability to
run the floor and finish in transition makes her a perfect fit for this
club. Her size and quickness will give opposing threes fits on defense,
while her length, shot-blocking and deceptive toughness will allow her to
stand up to the fours in the league. Laimbeer chose Iciss at #11 (he also
had the 13th pick, which he parlayed into Chandi Jones) because he knew
that the LA Sparks wanted her at #12 and he was delighted to stick it to
the Sparks and Michael Cooper.

Congratulations to both players...the future is yours!