Friday, June 2, 2006
Staley's team bests Dupree's in teacher-pupil matchup
Rookie Candice Dupree has played in the WNBA for only a month, but Friday night, she faced one opponent she's very familiar with: Dawn Staley.
Until last March, Staley coached Dupree at Temple University, where the two teamed up to lead the Owls to their third straight Atlantic 10 title. Friday, Staley's Houston Comets beat Dupree's Chicago Sky 71-60 in what was believed to be the first meeting in the WNBA between a player and her former college coach.
Going into the game, Dupree -- the sixth overall pick in April's draft -- led Chicago in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg) in what many already consider a stellar rookie campaign.
The 21-year-old -- who Staley has said has the skill set of a young Tim Duncan or Lisa Leslie -- said before Friday's game that she looked forward to playing against her former coach.
"I'm more excited than anything; I know she'll make it fun," Dupree said on WNBA.com. "[Staley] likes to talk trash and I'm the quiet one. I saw her last night after dinner and she told me not to get scored on."
Dupree finished with seven points and six rebounds in the loss. Staley had four points, six rebounds and three assists.
Staley, who's 36 and already has announced she will retire from the WNBA following this season, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA All-Star who ranks as one of the top point guards in U.S. history. She has been named an assistant for the USA Basketball senior women's national team for September's World Championships and is a two-time A-10 coach of the year.
And, though their time at Temple together is over, Staley isn't done coaching Dupree yet. Staley says that she and Dupree still talk by phone after most games.
"I talk to Candice probably every time she plays a game just to see how she's scoring, where she's scoring, and just giving her a little insight from playing in this league and being successful," Staley has said. "I always tell her, 'This isn't Temple -- everything is not set up for you to get a touch every time down the floor.' She's going to have to do some other things to make herself valuable to her team.
"Do I think she should get more touches? Certainly. I think she's that special. She's not a selfish player. She's not going to force up shots. When she's double-teamed, she's going to find the open player."
Together last spring, Staley and Dupree led Temple to the first threepeat at the A-10 tourney in 20 years.