The Washington Mystics opened training camp on Sunday, April 29, at Verizon Center in D.C. While this year's camp is not open to the public, Mystics General Manager and Coach Trudi Lacey would like for her team to be more fundamentally sound than they were last season. She comes to camp with a list of things she'd like to accomplish, including improved defense, eliminating turnovers and better rebounding.
The Mystics' training camp roster includes All-Star Crystal Langhorne and veterans Monique Currie and Dominique Canty. First round picks Natalie Novosel and LaSondra Barrett as well as free agent Laura Harper were also in attendance.
"I believe because we have players with more experience, they'll pick up on things quicker and learn to play together faster [as] everything is not new to them," Lacey said.
In 2011, the Mystics posted a 6-28 record, largely due to an inexperienced bench and several injuries that decimated the roster. Lacey spent a significant part of the off season trying to address the issue, adding multiple veteran role players – and, she's optimistic that even training camp will be different this year.
In all likelihood, the biggest addition will be the full-time presence of Washington, D.C., native Monique Currie, who played in only the final four games of the 2011 season because of a torn anterior ligament. In 2010, Currie played a full season and averaged 14.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
"This is a great opportunity for Monique to re-establish herself as one of the elite players in the league, but more importantly for us, to become a leader for our team and help our team improve," Lacey said.
Lacey has stated that this training camp will be "highly competitive". As a result, Currie, who spent the off-season playing in Turkey, is not guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation.
Lacey identified all-star Crystal Langhorne as the only player who is certain to be in the opening night starting lineup. Center Michelle Snow and Langhorne are both playing in Russia, and will miss most of training camp, Lacey said, but they will return in time for the start of the regular season on May 19.