The Mystics start training camp today on May 6 and kick things off with Media Day. Much of the spotlight will be on the stars like Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver and the return of Emma Meesseman. But several players were also brought into training camp. It is true that their chances of making the 2019 roster are slim.
But sometimes, you never know. For example, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt was an undrafted rookie invite to camp in 2013 but made the roster and had a a successful six-year run in Washington before signing with the Sparks last February.
So let’s go through the newest faces to camp who are undrafted training camp signees:
- A.J. Alix, 5’6 G (GAS Kalyvion, Greece) — Alix was a training camp invitee last year for Washington. She played for a Greek team this past season, averaging 12.5 points and 5.2 assists per game. GAS Kalviyon was 10-12 in A1 League play last season.
- G’mrice Davis, 6’3 F/C (GAS Kalyvion, Greece) — Like Alix, Davis played last year for GAS Kalvion in Greece. She scored 18.2 points and grabbed 13.5 rebounds per game. In college, Davis played at Fordham where she was the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017-18.
- Maci Morris, 5’10 G (Kentucky Wildcats) — Morris averaged 15.1 points and 3.1 rebounds a game last year for UK, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She made 45.2 percent of her threes in the 2018-19 season and 47.5 percent of threes the season before.
- Shey Peddy, 5’10 G (TTT Riga, Latvia) — Peddy was once a training camp invitee to the Mystics in 2013. She averaged 15.2 points and 5.3 assists in 18 EuroLeague Women games in the 2018-19 season where they advanced to the quarterfinals.
Do any of these player have a chance to make the opening day roster or play for the entire season?
I don’t anticipate any of these players to make the opening day roster though of course, anything can happen. The Mystics are arguably the favorites to win the WNBA Finals this season. These players are likely end-of-the-bench reserves for depth purposes if they make it.
Could any of these players be midseason injury or Women’s EuroBasket additions?
WNBA rosters can only have 12 players at any time. However, WNBA teams can sign additional players if multiple players get injured and have to miss time. And in Washington’s case, they will have two roster spots open from approximately mid-June to early-July with Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh training and playing in Women’s EuroBasket 2019 for Belgium.
When Meesseman and Mestdagh leave, they will be suspended without pay. That term sounds punitive. But that’s the WNBA’s term for players when they miss time for midseason international commitments. The benefit of suspending players is that their unpaid earnings can be used to sign other players. That could be what some of the new training camp signings could be hoping for.
With the exception of Alix, a Texas native, the other players’ hometowns are in the East Coast based on their college profiles. So if and when they are called midseason, they can travel to Washington very quickly assuming they live in the Eastern United States. Furthermore, they will be familiar with the Mystics’ system so they won’t start from square one upon arrival.
Of the training camp invitees, Davis could be a potential frontcourt replacement when Meesseman is out. Of the remaining players, Morris looks quite intriguing while Mestdagh is out, especially if she gets acclimated to the WNBA three point line very quickly.