Washington Mystics Assistant Coach Marianne Stanley talks about this year’s team.

June 13, 2011 7:03am

The Washington Mystics finished up this week of basketball with an overtime win in Atlanta, over the defending Eastern conference champions, before falling at home on Saturday, to the Chicago Sky. Earlier in the week assistant coach Marianne Stanley talked with Hoops Insider about her return for her second consecutive season on the Washington Mystics bench and her expectations for this year’s team.

Stanley has extensive experience coaching in the WNBA. She was the Washington assistant in 2001 and was the head coach in 2002 and 2003. In addition to her stop in Washington, she has also been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Sparks and the New York Liberty.  In 2002, she was voted the WNBA Coach of the Year and inducted in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

HI: What is like to be returning to the Mystics after so many years?

MS: “This is my second year with the Mystics and I am really excited to return. My experience here in Washington has always been very positive, as this is my second stint with them.  I am really excited about the organization and how committed they are to the team. We’re just trying to put the best product on the floor and I am happy to be a part of that. I am excited and really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

HI: What will be your greatest contribution and how will you help the Mystics this year?

MS: “Having been an assistant and head coach on the pro level, as well as internationally, I think I can bring a perspective to whatever we are working on at the moment. For example, if we’re working on defense I can bring a perspective that can help assist in what Coach Lacey wants, which is have a good pressure defensive system both half court and full court. Using my expertise and experience to lend additional support to what she wants to accomplish. Offensively, I can help incorporate some different looks to our system, utilizing our players and every position possible to score.”

HI: Which Mystics player(s) do you think is capable of surprising fans the most this season?

MS: “I think the fans will be surprised with the number of new faces we have on the team. There have been quite a few changes. We have some time to gel and get comfortable with one another, so we as a team will be able to surprise fans. Our young players are rookies and will be bringing a youthful energy that you want in a team. We have a good blend of perimeter and pulse people, the most probable thing they will bring to us will be a post presence. That can also be said for Nicky Anosike, who isn’t a rookie but a new player to the team and an aggressive post player who has proven herself in this league as someone who can really dominate the post. I think Kelly Miller, our acquisition in the guard position from Atlanta, has experience that lends itself well to a young team and to a team that is reshaping itself. She will act as a calming force to get it done and win.”

HI: How good do you think the Mystics can be this year, with new players and as a young team?

MS: “I think we can be very good. We’re coming off of two seasons where we have accomplished a lot of things. The experience that was gained by all of the players who have returned, is very good experience. You add to that, the new faces acquired through trades and those who came through the draft. We have a good blend of perimeter, post and a little bit of depth at the front line. I think that we have players that can get up and down the floor pretty quickly and that can help you both offensively and defensively. I think that although we have a lot of new faces, it will take some time to gel but we can be very successful. I think it makes the league very competitive this year. I don’t think there is any clear cut favorite in the Eastern Conference.”


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