The Dallas Wings have been searching for stability in the coaching box the last six years. They’ve gone through five head coaches in that period and hope Latricia Trammell can be the long-term solution after she agreed to become their next leader. It won’t be easy but Trammell has the track record to get what a team needs out of her. Here’s what she needs to do in order for the Wings to take their next step forward as a franchise.

Stabilize the defense

While the Wings showed flashes of being a solid defense group during Vickie Johnson’s tenure, the team struggled to find cohesiveness on that end of the floor over the last two seasons. They owned the ninth-worth defense rating (104.3) in 2022 and ranked in the bottom three in opponents points in the paint per game. The Wings will potentially be without one of their best on-ball defenders in Allisha Gray, who is “likely” to be traded, according to Khristina Williams at Girls Talk Sports TV.

Getting the most out of a defense is Trammell’s speciality. The Los Angeles Sparks teams she helped coach were among the elite defense groups in the WNBA and elevated the defense of two-time champion Candace Parker, who won Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

“Coach T has been huge in our team’s development as well as my development defensively,” Parker said after capturing the award.

It is still early in the offseason and there could be changes to the roster before free agency starts next January. Marina Mabrey and Teaira McCowan are both restricted free agents and the Wings have multiple non-guaranteed contracts they could wipe from the books. If Trammell and the front office want to explore ways to crack down defensively via free agency, they have the flexibility to do so. Whatever the result is, Trammell’s tallest task will be recreating the Wings’ defensive identity.

Developing Veronica Burton’s offensive game

The moment she stepped on a WNBA court, Veronica Burton was capable of playing All-WNBA level defense. The Wings had a 101.7 defensive rating with her on the floor last season compared to 108.3 when she was off it. Trammell is going to be able to implement schemes knowing Burton can locked up players on and off the ball.

The next step in Burton’s development is going to be her shooting. When Arike Ogunbowale missed the rest of the regular season after tearing her Crest Core Muscle on Aug. 10, Burton was able to generate open looks for her teammates but struggling mightily to connect from beyond the arc. Her 27.9 3P% in the regular season let teams like the Connecticut Sun, who defeated Dallas in the first round, to sag off her and crowd the paint. That won’t due especially if the post-reliant McCowan returns to the team.

As of right now, the Wings have a crowded backcourt that consists of ball handlers who shoot from the outside. Burton’s defense will keep her on the floor but she could have a short leash if she doesn’t develop as threat from the perimeter.

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Connect with Arike Ogunbowale and develop her as a facilitator

When Ogunbowale gets going offensively, there isn’t a better show in the WNBA. The deep threes, fadeaways on the baseline and her acrobatic finishes at the rim are all great entertainment. However, she hasn’t developed as a facilitator since coming into the league. The all-star has been at the top of the leaderboard in points per game throughout her career at the expense of being inefficient. Last year, she shot 44.2% on two-point attempts and only averaged 3.6 APG, a mark she has hovered around her entire time in Dallas.

  • 2019:  3.2 APG
  • 2020: 3.4 APG
  • 2021: 3.3 APG
  • 2022: 3.6 APG

There’s the possibility that Ogunbowale isn’t made to be a pure point guard. Trammell and the Wings’ offense could benefit from moving the former No. 6 pick off the ball and find space coming off screens to maximize her talent on offense. The one-on-five route Dallas’ fans have seen the last four years isn’t going to work against elite defenses. Trammell should make it a priority to talk with Ogunbowale about how she can make her teammates better or change the way she functions within the offense.