Indiana Fever Coach Marianne Stanley smiled when she noticed her team’s period agenda.
The first matchup is in opposition to the Washington Mystics, the defending W.N.B.A. champions — and her previous squad.
“I do not know if that was by style by the league or what — most likely — but of course, I’m incredibly familiar with Washington, certainly, but it is enjoyable,” Stanley explained. “I told our group, you know you only get to be a champion if you participate in the winner, and so the route for our expansion and to the playoff and championship rounds is to perform groups like Washington. What much better way to start the year?”
Stanley, a member of the Women’s Basketball Corridor of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., who experienced been a Mystics assistant mentor considering the fact that 2010, is now at the helm of a reliable combine of tested veterans and youthful, promising talent.
But really do not call it a rebuild. This team is looking to compete now.
They absolutely have the items: Returning veterans, like Candice Dupree, Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians — back again after sitting out last season with an A.C.L. tear — and a backcourt showcasing Kelsey Mitchell, Erica Wheeler and Tiffany Mitchell. Also on tap is the 2020 No. 3 in general decide, Lauren Cox, and guard Julie Allemand.
But an uphill climb awaits: Their very last winning year was 2015, they have not reached the postseason considering the fact that 2016 and they finished past yr ranked fourth in the East at 13-21.
No matter, Stanley stays centered.
“We want to set up a culture of winning and a culture of players participating in tough and participating in together. I would expect you will see us boost each individual time we go out there,” she claimed. “That’s what excellent groups do, what championship teams do.”