The momentum and excitement from March Madness flows into the WNBA season.
Only eight days after South Carolina won the second title in program history, the selection of the best players in college games walks the orange carpet and hears their name called by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
A total of 108 players are college players who have announced that they will be drafting at Spring Studios (ESPN, 7 pm ET) in New York on Monday. That number does not include international players such as Mali’s Sika Kone. There are only 36 draft topics (3 for every 12 teams) and very few final rosters.
The three general managers of the pre-draft media call expressed confidence that this deep class player would stick to the roster even when there wasn’t much space. The Atlanta Dream, headed by General Manager Dan Padbar, completed a deal with Washington Mystics on Wednesday and was named number one. Mystics, headed by GM / head coach Mike Thibault, will be the third draft after the trade. Indiana Fever and interim general manager Lindan had second and fourth picks.
Rhyne Howard, a 6-foot-2 guard from Kentucky, and Narissa Smith, 6-foot-4 ahead of Baylor, are probably the first and second picks. In the mock draft, it’s compatible at the top, followed by Ole Miss’s Shakira Austin at number 3.
Thanks to the deep NCAA tournament runs, some players have increased their draft stock prior to the festival. Here are five players who have a big show in March and have the potential to land on the roster of training camps in April.
Point guard, 5ft 7, South Carolina
March Madness Highlights: 26 points in 9-of-20 shooting, 3-of-6 from 3 points range, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, and Paige Bueckers against her in the championship game victory vs. UConn Reduced to 1-of-5 shooting
Henderson was locked in in the final after Subpar’s early tournament show. She made a big appearance on the biggest stage, and most important than 26 points was her ability to get the Bookers out of the game. Henderson, known as “Henny,” she may have been able to leave the program because she didn’t have much time to play as an undergraduate, but she decided to continue the course instead.
Coach’s comment: “I want my seniors to finish their careers, just as Henny did,” said Dawn Staley, head coach of the University of South Carolina, after the championship match. “It’s not necessarily a national champion, it’s just growth. As there are certain things that need to be done each year in your college career. Henny has enough patience to wait for them. And now she continues to be in the record book.
“She will be the one we remember her performance. I remember she worked aggressively and defensively. And whatever the franchise to win her at the WNBA. , I know it will be good. Low maintenance, high performer. “
Analyst: “Whenever there are players who can appear on the big stage when their numbers are called, or when their team needs momentum, it’s exciting for WNBA coaches and GMs. [seeing] ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson said in a pre-draft conference call that she could perform at high levels in bright light. .. She changes the game in both defensive and offensive. However, her ability to knock down her three-point shot is eye-catching to league managers and coaches, and I think she can do it at the next level. “
projection: Low first round
Forward / Wing, 6ft-1, Louisville
March Madness Highlights: 20 points for 7-of-12 shooting, 3-of-3, 10 rebounds from 3 points range, 3 blocks against Tennessee for Sweet 16
Without Engstler, Louisville, who lost to South Carolina in the semi-finals, looks pretty ugly. Engstler is a nightmare to deal with all kinds of crime and has prompted us to return to a two-ownership game with the ultimate champion. Mikasa Robinson, whose play time was shortened when Stall moved from Syracuse, said “save the game for us” before the final four.
She averaged 14.4 points and 13.3 rebounds in the tournament, up 28% and 50% from the regular season average. She did 23 steals (average 4.6 per game). Seven of them were the best ties of the season and six were the second highest steals against Michigan.
Engstler has made steady progress throughout his career and has worked hard to develop the body of the WNBA player. Expect her to hear her name in the first round.
Coach’s comment: “Emily’s instinct for basketball is off the charts,” said Louisville head coach Jeff Walz before winning the Wichita region. “She’s reading the overtaking lane and the players who have been here since Angel McCourtley. And when you start comparing someone to Angel, you’re pretty good. That’s M’s job. She’s a basketball knack. You can read because you have. People’s Eyes She may not steal every time, but she is causing people to launch attacks from a greater distance. To a clean entry path to the post. Looks like, she gets it, now the post player has to step into the ball and is out of the scoring zone. “
Analyst: “The steal she averaged in the NCAA tournament was ridiculous,” ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo said in a conference call. “She showed everyone that she was the most destructive player in women’s college basketball, and her ability to do it in big moments was also impressive.”
projection: pick 5-10
Guard, 6ft-1, Stanford
March Madness Highlights: 36 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, 3 assists vs. Kansas
Hull entered the final four as the tournament’s top scorer, thanks to a 36-point explosion in the second round with Kansas. She ranged from 3 points to 21 14 (66.7%) and 11 6- (54.5%). It was the best of her career in her points, achieving field goals, trying three points, and stealing. Hull has a high IQ in basketball and finished her college career with her best three-point shot in her four years.
Coach’s comment: “She will go to the floor for the ball. She’s lewd. She’s playing very hard,” Stanford University coach Tara VanDerve said during the final four week. “I think it’s going back to twins [Lexie and Lacie] Playing on their driveway. One won, so the other was bloody and cried. But she doesn’t stop. She’s playing really great and she’s out — she works in every aspect of the game. She rebounds. She defends and scores points. “
projection: 2nd round
Post, 6ft-5, Oregon
March Madness Highlights: 31 points, 12 out of 24 shots, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks, 3 assists, 3 steals vs. Belmont
Savary, a junior in red shirt, pushed Oregon almost into the second round with his back, but the duck got angry with Belmont after two overtime periods. She could have been able to promote recognition of her name to casual fans with a deeper run, but her early exit did not hurt her draft stock.
She is Satou Sabally’s sister and was ranked second overall by the Dallas Wings in 2020. Many say Nyara is more talented in the last few years. Savary has top-level experience along with her size, strength and skill as they both play for the German national team. The downside is her health. She experienced multiple ACL tears and missed two years, but the benefits are enormous.
Coach’s comment: “”[Her journey is] Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said before the tournament, “It’s a true testament to the talent of 1st, tough, 2nd, determination, and 3rd.” After a week of practice, I think she really shows how good she is. It’s very impressive for her to go out and act like a match with limited practice time, “she said.
Analyst: “Now I think people are a little skeptical about how healthy she is,” Robo said. “That would be a big factor in where she’s taken, but surely she has the size, the skills, the face up, and hitting 3. I can. It’s a little better, but she can get there. “
projection: Top 5
Center, 6ft 2, South Dakota
March Madness Highlights: 20 points, 7 of 7 shots, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block
Sjerven is some of the best post-players in the country, with Shakira Austin (top 2 predictions) from Ole Miss, Na Lyssa Smith (top 2 predictions) from Baylor, and Naz Hillmon (first round predictions) from Michigan. Played. She averaged 17.7 points, 6.4 rebounded the game on these outings and shot 62.5%. The winners of the two Summit League Defensive Players of the Year and the former sixth player were hit with more three points at a better rate than the three years at South Dakota. She spent her freshman season in New Mexico.
Coach / Analyst: Baylor head coach and former Atlanta Dream Nicki Collen called Shaben “patience and efficiency” and “working hard to get a position” before losing to South Dakota in the second round. Sticking to setting the screen.
“She’s very ready, like she started the game in 3 yesterday. This is a big shot to create an open space in the lane,” Koren said.
projection: 2nd round
What about Paige Bueckers and Aliyah Boston?
The WNBA draft eligibility rules only allow undergraduates to declare in certain circumstances.
Players who turn 22 in the draft calendar year can waive their NCAA status, like Charli Collier, who took first place overall in the Dallas Wings last year. Players who have graduated from a four-year school before or within three months of the draft can also be declared. International players who did not play jointly in the United States can also declare whether they will be 20 in the draft calendar year.
UConn’s outstanding player and 2021 Naismith Player of the Year Page Boukers will not be able to declare a WNBA draft until 2023. South Carolina Champion and 2022 Naismith Player of the Year Aria Boston cannot be declared either. The class may also include Hailey Jones of Stanford University and Hailey Van Lith of the University of Louisville if they decide to leave early. Female players rarely do so.
Name, image, and portrait rules allow female players to make money while in college, which often peaks in marketability, reducing the chances of a player wanting to leave early. The top four picks of this year’s draft can be signed for $ 74,305, dropping about $ 3,000 to the 5-8 picks, 9-12 picks, rounds 2 and 3 ($ 62,285).