While most members of the Washington Mystics will be enjoying their time off, a week to be exact as their next game is July 29. Two will be going to Connecticut this weekend for Saturday’s Boost Mobil All-Star game. Ivory Latta represented the Mystics for the East team the previous two years, this year it’ll be their starting bigs in Emma Meesseman and Stefanie Dolson.
Meesseman has started all 15 games this season, she’s scored double-digits in eight of those contests. At the start of the season she looked every bit the part of an All-Star averaging nearly 18 points a game. Then defenses started to adjust, she was giving teams too many problems. Still, she’s second on the team at 13 points a game.
Emma has a unique skill set, she’s able to operate in both the high and low post. Equipped with many moves on the block, her foot work and quickness gives her the advantage on both ends of the floor. She’s also comfortable putting the ball on the floor when needed. She’s also proved to be tough on the glass, she’s been pulling down seven a contest, earlier this year she talked about how much she’s adjusted to the physical style of ball played in the WNBA. She’s not totally happy with where she is and still sees some room for improvement. Known for her immense talents on the offensive side of the ball, she’s displayed the grittiness of a two-way player. Meesseman is averaging 1.6 blocks per game, her best defensive game this season may have been Washington’s win over Chicago in which she guarded Elena Delle Donne and made her work on the other end of the floor. Elena still had 26, but it was on just as many shots.The third-year player is very deserving of the selection, she’s a pivotal part of what makes the Mystics work.
This is Dolson’s sophomore campaign has been the opposite of her rookie year. Last year she showed glimpses of what she could be, mostly helping the team by having another player with size and physicality behind then starting center Kia Vaughn.
After an offseason that included playing with Meesseman overseas, Dolson’s game grew. She’s not only been an option on offense this season, but has shown that Washington can play through her at times which is huge. Like Meesseman, she’s a very good passer and as she’s said, sometime’s to her detriment. Dolson is true low post option, but offers the versatility of being able to step out and hit midrange jump shots as well as beyond the arc. She’s only hit one three-pointer this season, but the fact that it’s an option gives a glimpse as to the type of talent she is. This season, Dolson is averaging 13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds, like Meessean, she’s also averaging a little more than a block per game. Stefanie has really taken off this season, but there is still room to grow, but like her teammate she has a lot of time to do just that.
For the Mystics, specifically Mike Thibault, this has to be reassuring. He knows what he saw in Emma when they selected her a few years ago in the draft, three years in everyone is starting to see what he saw. Dolson’s growth is similar to her college days, her first two seasons at Uconn weren’t spectacular, she struggled getting acclimated with the collegiate game. By the time her junior year rolled around, the country got to see what type of player Auriemma saw when he recruited her. Their being teammates in Russia has definitely helped their chemistry, they often communicate on the court with out speaking. Just comfortable with each other and know what the other is going to do on either end of the floor, this may just be the first of many All-Star games for Washington’s Meesseman and Dolson.