With the San Antonio Stars beginning a new era during the 2016 season, what can fans expect from the new-look Silver and Black?
I sat down with Stars play-by-play broadcaster Andrew Monaco to get his thoughts on the season and Dan Hughes stopping down after 12 seasons.
SH (Stars Hoops): With the Stars rebuilding, what can fans expect from the team this season?
AM (Andrew Monaco): Gaining an identity. Building a foundation, similar to what Dan did when he first got here.
SH: Moriah Jefferson is use to a winning culture at UConn, do you think her confidence will be low after a few losses in the WNBA?
AM: Not one bit. I don’t think that is part of her makeup at all. I think you will see her game grow, as she runs this team, and becomes a leader in that PG role. The coaches love her, love her speed and basketball IQ.
SH: What was your reaction to Danielle Adams being waived?
AM: Disappointed because I like DA, personally, but you have to add something to your game every year. You can’t afford to be the same player with the same skills. The league improves, the level of talent improves, and players must improve, too.
SH: With Dan Hughes building a young core, where will the Stars find veteran leadership?
AM: The obvious answers are the older players … Jayne, Alex and the Monique Currie. But I’m interested in seeing Kayla McBride lead, and I was heartened to talk with Dearica and hear her talk about taking a leadership role.
SH: What do you make of Ruth Riley taking over as General Manager?
AM: Love it. One of my favorite people in the league. Loved her as a player. Always loved talking with her. Really glad to be working with her. She was a winner when she played, that’s for sure. I think she knows what it takes to have a successful team and will build accordingly. To get to learn from Dan is terrific for her.
SH: What can fans expect from Kayla McBride this season?
AM: Even better than last season. I think a breakout season.
SH: Can Dearica Hamby be the second coming of Sophia Young-Malcolm? If not, what current player do you think most resembles her game?
AM: I’m interested to see the player Dearica will be. Unfair to compare her to Sophia. Sophia was a special, special player. Dearica is still coming into her own.
SH: Which player (returning or new) should fans should keep their eyes on this season?
AM: The growth and development of Moriah Jefferson.
SH: Twitter question: Do you think Vickie Johnson has a chance at becoming the next Stars Head Coach?
AM: I’m a little surprised other teams haven’t come after her. She was one of the smartest players this league has ever seen, and is a dedicated assistant coach. I’m a big VJ fan. I don’t know who the Stars will look at, but I would think VJ would be in the running.
SH: With Dan retiring at the end of the season, can you share a favorite Dan Hughes memory?
AM: As a coach, broadcasting partner or friend? Haha. I cherish his friendship and absolutely appreciate all the knowledge he’s shared with me. I loved doing Spurs TV and college basketball with him.
A special thank you to Andrew Monaco for his time and continued support of Stars Hoops.