Australian Alison Lacey, a 6-foot point guard who played at Iowa State, was taken by the Storm with the No. 10 overall pick in the WNBA draft.
Connecticut might have made the splashiest moves, using trades to nab four of the top 15 picks in Thursday’s WNBA draft. But Seattle quietly selected promising pieces to hopefully help break a five-year trend of exiting in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Storm hasn’t had a reliable backup point guard since it won the 2004 championship, which is also the last time Seattle advanced past the opening round. That void might be filled after coach Brian Agler drafted Iowa State point guard Alison Lacey with the 10th overall pick.
Lacey, a native Australian, is an impressive ballhandler who also shot 38.9 percent from three-point range, helping the Cyclones advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. She missed the end of the regular season due to illness.
“I’m sure I asked Lauren Jackson for an autograph once or twice,” said Lacey, who’s from Canberra, the city where Jackson plays professionally. “She’s a great player and to be able to make it to another country and be successful is something I look up to. I’m excited to see the team and see what I can do at training camp.”
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And Agler, also the Storm’s director of player personnel, is eager to see Lacey. The times he and his staff made scouting trips to her games, Lacey either had a concussion or was ill. But the 6-foot player said she’s healthy and will be in Seattle when camp opens April 25.
Joining her will be Texas A&M forward Tanisha Smith, selected in the second round with the 22nd overall pick. Smith is an athletic wing who defends as well as she shoots and passes.
Smith, a native of Kansas City, has a good chance to make the final 11-player roster. Agler announced after the draft that veteran forward Katie Gearlds would not return due to a left knee injury suffered in 2009.
Gearlds missed the remainder of the season and playoffs after suffering the injury in August. She played overseas in Greece, but suffered a setback and requested the summer to focus on rehabilitation.
“They (the draft picks) lack in experience, but you create the best teams when you create training-camp competition,” said Agler, who has his top seven players returning. “There are still some players I want to take a look at.”
Agler was in New Jersey for the draft and departed for Spain to see returnees Sue Bird (Russia), Janell Burse (Poland) and free-agent signee Jana Vesela (Spain) play in the EuroLeague Final Four beginning Friday.
He’s also scouting, again. Last year, he spotted Tijana Krivacevic, who became the Storm’s third-round pick (34th overall) Thursday.
Krivacevic, who turned 20 on Thursday, is a 6-5 Hungarian center who isn’t expected to be available until May at the earliest. She’s playing overseas.
“We want to put our final roster together a week out from opening day,” said Agler, whose team’s season opener is May 16 against Los Angeles. “Those first two weeks will be busy and we’ll spend it as the evaluation. We have so many (players arriving late), most will have just a week to show what they can do.”
• The Storm signed former Roosevelt High and Iowa State standout Lindsey Wilson to the training-camp roster.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org