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2010 AllBasketballReview MOCK WNBA Draft

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The 2010 WNBA Draft is just 25 days away.  Many things can happen before then with trades, player movement and free agent signings, but we’ll look at this draft-eligible class and see which college and European stars will be taking their game to the WNBA this summer.

Our Mock draft looks into the current WNBA roster of each team, assess their needs and predicts what college or draft-eligible European pros might best suit those needs and why.

Spending eight years in the WNBA, sitting in on countless draft prep meetings and being involved in seven WNBA Drafts, as well as spending the last four years in the ACC, may not mean I’ll get it right but I’ll take a stab at it.

Let’s look at the First Round:

1           Connecticut Sun            Tina Charles            6-4            C            UConn

This is probably the worst kept secret and prediction in the basketball world right now.  Other than UConn finishing as undefeated National Champions, again.  A big reason for that… Tina Charles.  Charles is without a doubt the clear #1 pick and best overall player in the country.  Charles is tremendously gifted athletically and has a versatile skill set allowing her to play at both the high and low post.

ABR:

Add Tina Charles (6-4) to the Sun’s front line of: Chante Black (6-5), Sandrine Gruda (6-4), Asjha Jones (6-3), DeMya Walker (6-3) and Tamika Whitmore (6-2).  Whoa!… There’s not a better, more experienced core group of versatile posts in the East, perhaps the entire league.  Combine that with the chemistry of acquiring PTG Renee’ Montgomery (former Charles team mate at UConn) with the shooting of Jekabsone-Zogota (39.4% on 3’s) and Tan White (37.7% on 3’s) and Aisha Jones (31.3% on 3’s).  Defenses have a lot of issues to contend with in Connecticut.

2            Minnesota Lynx            Monica Wright            5-10            G            Virginia

ACC Player of the Year, ACC leading scorer, 6th leading scorer nationally (3rd All-Time Scorer in ACC History), ACC Defensive Player of the Year.  The accolades go on and on, but what impressed me the most is that she is a humble, wonderful, hard working and confident person.  A true joy to know and coach.  Wright is an explosive guard who gets her own shot, is tremendous in transition, has a killer pull-up and mid-range game and has improved her 3-point range every year.  She’ll fit in perfectly into the Lynx backcourt plans and will grow into a tremendous pro.

ABR:

The backcourt rotation of Lindsay Whalen, Candice Wiggans and Simone Augustus needs an explosive scorer.  I like Hamchétou Maïga-Ba and Kelly Miller, but neither has the explosiveness of Wright.  Look for Wright to be able to be the chameleon in that backcourt, helping at any of the three guard spots.

3            Minnesota Lynx            Alysha Clark            5-10                        F Middle TN State

Did Minnesota say scoring?… Look no further than Alysha Clark.  28.7 PPG, #1 in the Nation, 62.2% FG, 32.7% 3FG add in 11.5 RPG.  And how about this for the month of March… 40, 44, 48 in back-to-back-to-back games.  Are you kidding me?  DANG!  Clark has the ability to create her own shot, finish in transition as well as post up and score on the block against guards or forwards.

ABR:

My only question is if you Minnesota will burn back-to-back first round picks on two wings and pass up on a big or trade a pick for a young veteran player.  It’s not often you are blessed with two picks this high in the same draft.  The 2010 draft is only 4 or 5 impact players deep and Minnesota is potentially setting its’ roster for the next several years.  It may be hard to pass on Appel or Amber Harris with this pick.

4            Chicago Sky            Epiphanny Prince            5-9            G Botas Spor/Rutgers

Prince is tough, a proven leader and scorer and has the skills to be a point or an off guard in the WNBA.  She has experience in the pro game by electing to forego her last season of eligibility at Rutgers and play overseas for Botas Spor.  Prince is good in the pick & roll, has 3-point range, can finish with contact and has the ability to run a team.

ABR:

An underestimated aspect of Epiphanny’s game is her defense.  Coming from Rutgers, she learned to defend from one of the best.   She will defend with a fury and she will be able to lead those around her.  With the guard corps of Dominique Canty, Jia Perkins, K.B. Sharp, Erin Thorn and Kristi Toliver, Prince will have an opportunity to have an immediate impact in the Sky backcourt.

5            San Antonio Silver Stars            Andrea Riley            5-5            PTG Oklahoma State

Can the Silver Stars pass on Jane Appel here?  No one has her going this late.  Yes they can, unless they have a deal in the works were they draft Appel and trade her.  San Antonio has plenty of options and talent at the 4 and 5.  The recent trade the Silver Stars made bringing Michelle Snow to San Antonio allows them to “go off the board” a little with this pick and fill a different need.

ABR:

Riley is a jet-quick PTG, who loves to run and push the ball up the floor and can create open shots for others.  With guards Helen Darling (32 in August), Becky Hammon (just turned 33 March 11th), *HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY!, Roneeka Hodges (28 in July) and Edwige Lawson-Wade (31 in May) can all still play, but this allows the Silver Stars to start setting themselves up for the future as well.

6            Washington Mystics            Jayne Appel            6-4            C            Stanford

The Mystics could use another post player, and one of Appel’s ability would pay immediate dividends to the Mystics.  Opponents in the East will have to guard Appel on the block, leaving guards Matee Ajavon, Alana Beard, Marissa Coleman, Monique Currie and Lindsey Harding with a great deal of room to penetrate, score and kick for open looks.  If you were to tell Julie Plank and GM Angela Taylor Appel would be there at 6… they’d jump for joy.

ABR:

Jane Appel is the real deal.  She is easily talented enough, skilled enough and well respected enough to go anywhere with picks 1 – 5.  The situation of the first five teams needs and some question of just how much better is the already gifted Appel going to get drop her to #6 for me.  More than any other team, this would be a great fit for her.

7            Tulsa Shock            Amber Harris            6-5            4/5                        Xavier

If you are starting a team, as Nolan Richardson is, you look for a PTG and/or a post.  If Andrea Riley (the perfect home-town fit on all fronts for Tulsa) is gone, then the pickings are slim.  The Shock could also use a versatile forward.  Enter Harris.  Harris needs strength to play on the low block in the WNBA, but her perimeter shooting, her ability to drive and her shot blocking make her a nice complement to Kara Braxton (6-6), Taj McWilliams (6-2) and Olayinka Sanni (6-2).

**Amber Harris can elect to return to Xavier for one more season.  Sources say that she and fellow RS-Jr. Tashia Phiilips want to return to help Xavier to win a National Championship.  If they win it all this year (with UConn playing?… not likely) they may both jump to the WNBA this summer.**

ABR TRADE ALERT: Let’s play GM here. Nikki Teasley (PTG 6-0) is a Free Agent and the only true PTG on the roster.  If it’s me, I’m working like mad on three things:  1.) To trade up and pick Riley,  2.)  to sign FA Teasely and 3.)  to also try to sign FA Katie Smith (who has indicated she won’t play in Tulsa).  Couple Smith with the #7 pick and see if we can find another young PTG to run this team and lead a new franchise into the future.  Now Smith doesn’t have to do this. She’s an unrestricted FA, but if she did it might make a better deal for her, the league and everyone involved.  What team is out there that is very close to winning it all?  Who needs a proven champion, leader, scorer and team player like Katie Smith and the #7 pick?  Who also has a PTG worthy of this level trade.  Answer:  Indiana.  The Fever are on the verge of a championship in Indiana, they were so close last year.  Catchings, Smith, Douglas and Sutton-Brown might just get it done for Lin Dunn if this trade happens.  The #7 Pick and Katie Smith to Indiana for Briann January?  January is the PTG of the future in Indiana, but for a potential championship – the future is now.  I don’t know the ins-and-outs of Indiana’s salary cap, that’s for the bigwigs to figure out.  Rumors of the team moving last year means the Fever needs to win it now, not plan for “down the road.”  Even if Indiana has to flip picks and give Tulsa #11 – do it, add Harris or Kelsey Griffin to the Fever with that pick, strengthen your depth and put yourself in a position for a ring!

8            Los Angeles Sparks            Kelsey Griffin            6-2            F            Nebraska

Griffin has destroyed the Big 12, ranked as the Nation’s #1 Women’s Basketball Conference by collegrpi.com She has an extremely high skill level – especially from the high post where she passes, shoots and will rebound the basketball.  The All Big 12 selection is a very good screener and her feel for the game and basketball IQ are exceptional.

ABR:

In Griffin, the Sparks get a tremendous compliment to Vanessa Hayden (C, 6-4) DeLisha Milton-Jones (F, 6-1) Candace Parker (F, 6-4) Tina Thompson (F, 6-2).  There is tremendous size, skill, experience and versatility with this roster.  Candace, Tina and DeLisha could play anywhere at the 2, 3 or 4, with some combination of Shannon Bobbitt, Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Betty Lennox, Ticha Penicheiro with them.  Interesting and dangerous potential in the West for new coach Jen Gillom.

9            Atlanta Dream            Jacinta Monroe            6-5            F                        FSU

Jacinta Monroe can run, defend, rebound, shoot the high post jumper and block shots. The Dream are a guard heavy roster right now with many “Tweeners” playing at the 3 and the 4.  Monroe would give them another athletic, around the basket player that has the ability and skill set to excel in the pro game from the high post.  She could really be a steal at #9 in the long run.

ABR:

Jacinta needs to add strength, consistency and range to her jump shot and has a tendency to disappear in games at times, but she’s long and talented and as she improves overall and establishes that she will work and play hard every game, she can take the place of the recently traded Michelle Snow.

10            Seattle Storm            Allison Hightower            5-10            G           LSU

Hightower brings a tenacious defensive presence to the game along with her offensive capabilities.  Playing for the Hall of Fame and legendary WNBA coach Van Chancellor she will be ready for the expectations that Brian Agler will have for her.  The Storm needs an explosive guard who can score.  Hightower doesn’t need to come in and carry the Storm with Jackson, Sue Bird and Cash but it would help if they can get a player at 10 that can help.  Hightower might just be that player.

ABR:

Hightower’s ability to break down a defense from either wing spot with her drive, pull-up or 3 will continue to improve and develop as she adds strength and experience.  This is a quality player to be available at 10 and one that could find her way on to an opening day roster.

11            Indiana Fever            Danielle McCray            5-11            G/F            Kansas

McCray is perhaps one of the most flexible players available in the draft.  Her versatility allows her to do a little bit of everything. McCray’s ability to shoot the basketball is tremendous and a great asset.  Any team, at any level can always use shooters.  She could add an extra outside presence for Indiana.  When adding to a roster with the 11th pick, a player who may or may not make it to opening day, the ability to do it with an all around player is a key.  Those type of players, like McCray, can provide depth and play a variety of roles in practice and when preparing for opponents as they develop and adjust to the pro game.

ABR:

McCray’s greatest asset is probably the fact she might be able to be on the “unable to perform list” for 2010.  If she is not fully recovered from her knee injury and if the Fever can draft her, not having to worry about finding a roster spot for her while retaining her rights until 2011, that is a huge plus.

12            Los Angeles Sparks            Alexis Gray-Lawson            5-8            G            Cal

I just want to say Gray-Lawson tore us apart (at Virginia) in the NCAA Tournament in 2009.  She was tremendous.  That made a believer out of me.  This year she received her third All Pac-10 award, averaged 17.5 PPG, while becoming the career leader in 3’s at Cal.  She is a player whose competitive spirit and tenacity are undeniable.  Gray-Lawson gives the Sparks another scoring weapon that can also defend.  The bonus for the league and the Sparks is she played at Cal and is from Oakland.

ABR:

Gray-Lawson is a flat out scorer. She can be streaky from 3 (30.3%), that will need to improve, and is tremendous off the dribble possessing a very good mid-range game.  Gray-Lawson has the ability to take contact and get herself to the free throw line, 171 FTA in 31 games.

There you have it… the 2010 MOCK WNBA Draft.

Let’s hear what you have to say and why.

Comments

  1. Hi Jeff,

    It was great to see you at the GW/Dayton game. As a Mystics STH, I would love for Jane Appel to fall to number 6! Somehow, though, I don’t think we’re going to get that lucky.

    As for Tulsa signing Katie Smith, I think we’ll see the Mystics signing her on Tuesday. :-)

  2. Thank you Judith!… It was great seeing all of you again as well.

    We can only hope that Appel will be there for the loyal DC fan base. Angela, Julie and that staff have done a fantastic job of restoring the faith, building a team and the addition of Katie Smith would really be a major step towards their goal of bringing a championship banner to the Verizon Center. Thanks for the “inside scoop!”

  3. Ta’Shia Phillips isn’t a redshirt junior and can’t jump to the WNBA this year. Harris is and could, but Phillips cannot.

  4. You guys messed up by not having the Lynx select Prince. You recognized Prince for her point guard skills. Kelly Miller is a free agent who hasn’t re-signed with the Lynx, so this is one of the few areas of need for the Lynx. Prince is staunch at defense and good at the pick and roll, two points of emphasis with the new coach of the Lynx, Reeeve.

  5. Hard to see McCray staying in the first round with her knee. I know Catchings did, but McCray ain’t Catch.

    I don’t think Gray-Lawson is a WNBA caliber player.

  6. Great job, Jeff!

    (Admittedly, I like your draft picks because I’m a Cal fan and you are so admiring and respectful of our Lexi. Nice to get a little East Coast love now and then.)

  7. Where do you project Kalana Greene of UConn to go?

    With her defensive skills, rebounding and improving shooting touch, she’s better then some of the players you mentioned in your picks.

  8. Did someone say “Jane Appel” I’m jumping for you for joy right now! I had the opportunity to meet her at the at Bender Arena. She’s precious, that would be a blessing. Dream and thoughts do come true. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, I’m excited and I can’t wait til tomorrow…Go Mystics

  9. Mary!

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your insight on Jayne Appel. Everyone I have spoken with raves about her, both on and off the court. We’ve all seen her play, there’s no question she has ability. It’s also great to learn the other side of the person too.

    It’s a long shot, but I hope she ends up in Washington too!

    Thanks!

  10. Dave!,

    Great thoughts!, thank you for them and for visiting.

    You’re right, Greene is a talented and skilled prospect. She has had several clutch performances this year for UConn and be a key to some victories for the Huskies. There is an argument for her being in the late first round. People have wondered aloud when she is in the WNBA, will she be even better than she is at UConn. Suggesting that having Maya and Tina there overshadows her abilities. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but understand the concept.

    I think that she’ll be in the last 3 picks of the first round or the first 2 of the second round.

    Thanks Dave! Keep checking in with us!

  11. Melanie!

    A hollar for the Cal fans! Thank you for visiting and for your comments.

    I coached at Virginia (with current Cal assistant Jen Hoover) and my respect, admiration and appreciation of Lexi comes from her…. and preparing for and playing Cal in the NCAA’s last year.

    Watching tape for that game, going through game prep and formulating ways to slow Lexi down were challenging. She’s a good one.

    That is a tremendous staff and program you have out there. Keep it rolln’!

    Thanks again!

  12. I agree, McCray is not the same player as Catchings, but unless a player who is going to be drafted is going to come to a team and make an immediate impact (meaning: start or give signifigant minutes, points, rebounds or steals) then with roster limits at 11 players including Injured Reserve – many draft picks get cut. If there is a very talented player who you can “hide” for a year, then it sometimes makes sense to use a draft pick and secure their rights for two years.

    Gray-Lawson is not a lock to make a team, but again if she is on the board when LA is picking at 12 it’s a good pick on a lot of fronts. She’s talented enough to compete for a roster spot, she played (some what) locally and she’s from Oakland. The WNBA and the team GM’s and owners may not admit it, but if there is a choice between two similar players in the late first or second round; one from “local” and one from far away, some will take local.

    Thanks for checking in!

  13. Shades!

    Great points, you could be right on the money. The X-Factor here is a brand new head coach. We assume she’ll play like they did in Detroit where they won 3 WNBA Championships, but Cheryl has been in the drivers seat in the W so no one knows for sure except her. No question Prince could help the Lynx, but Wright is a more explosive and versital guard.

    Also, and this will be unpopular, if Prince stayed at Rutgers this past season her visability for Reeves and the entire WNBA would have been enhanced greatly. I’m not passing judgement onher decision to go overseas, I’m recognizing the trade-off. WNBA coaches and GM’s see nearly every game of the BCS conference schools. Prince didn’t play at all for half the year waiting in Russia for clearance, then played well for Botas Spor. How visible is Botas Spor? I wonder how many teams went over to see her live. Prince, more than any player in the draft, can change the selections dramatically.

    Thanks for checking in and your insight!

  14. Blake!,

    Thanks for that info. My understanding from speaking with coaches, WNBA staff’s and players is that Ta’Shia Phillips, though a junior, would graduate from Xavier this year. The WNBA’s criteria for being draft eligible is: complete your eligibility, graduate or your class has graduated or a European professional for at least one season. If she will graduate this year, she would be draft eligible.

    When I spoke to Coach McGuff at the Atlantic 10 tournament I did not ask him that specifically, I’ll have to give him a call. Thanks.

    Either way, I don’t think she will come out this year. They have a really good thing going at Xavier and very well could be in the running for a National Championship next year with those two staying!

    Thanks Blake!

  15. Of course, Minnie is not going to pass up on Appel. Silly, a honest appraisal of their roster would tell anyone this. They need a tall, good passing center to go with Anosike. It was almost like you were just hoping Washington could get the pick. I do agree that Minnie is setting their roster for the next few years, and Wright and Appel will be wonderful additions!

  16. Craig!,

    We’ll see!… I don’t really think with Anosike, Rebekkah Brunson, Quanitra Hollingsworth, Charde Houston, Rashanda McCants, Anna Montanana (6 players) 5 of which are proven (Anosike, Brunson, Hollingsworth, Houston and McCants) you can draft another post. Those 5 will make the roster. Montanana played well, is versatile – stretches defenses with her ability to shoot, but is a liability defensively. Another big bodied post (Appel) is not a guarentee or needed more than an aggressive, scoring wing. Out of those 5 – Anosike, Brunson, Hollingsworth, Houston and McCants – who do you cut to draft and keep Appel?

    In the past they have kept 5 gurads and 6 posts for the allowable 11 player roster. The 5 guards right now are: Seimone Augustus, Hamchétou Maïga-Ba, Kelly Miller (FA), Lindsay Whalen, Candice Wiggins. Whalen and Wiggans will handle the point. Miller, Augustus and Maiga-Ba are your wings… Monica Wright and Clark are better than Miller and Maïga-Ba now.

    In my time in the WNBA I never saw anyone go with 7 posts and 4 guards.

    Thanks Craig!

  17. RE: Minnesota Sorry Jeff but MCants is not a post. Houston, you can count on 1 hand the number of people she can defend in the post. She best serves the team as a reserve anyway. Don’t let the all-star appearance fool you. Appel walks in door bring more to the table then Hollingsworth. To say Clark is better then Maiga-Ba without having played 1 min in the Pros seems a bt of a stretch. I’ll take Maiga-Ba’s experience over taking the time in developing Clark. Odds of Miller coming back are becoming slimmer by the day. So not to worry I’m sure you still will never see a team w/7 post & 4 guards. Wright & Appel are the picks for MN. Combined they can make McCants expendable. Time will tell.

  18. Jeff, so you and Jennifer Hoover worked together; I wondered how you knew so much about Lexi. Jen is marvelous–and unusually articulate, if you’ll forgive me, for a coach; her pre-game talks to fans are very popular at Cal.

  19. Marie!,

    Thanks for joining in!

    McCants, with Seimone healthy, will play the 4 or power forward spot and continue to develop as a small forward. McCants, though not a center, is a post – a power forward naturally. Can she possibly become a small foward? (like Seimone) perhaps, but she isn’t there yet. Whatever her strengths or weaknesses are, rosters in the WNBA are built on two things: 1.) salary cap and 2.) the “6 – 5″ breakdown. 6 guards – 5 posts or 5 guards – 6 posts. Some teams go 5 – 5 with one wildcard, usually a player that can play multiple spots: 2,3 or 4 or 3,4 or 5. for me, McCants is that wild card and I keep her around to see if she can become a full time small forward.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Minnesota takes Appel, she is definately a great addition to any team. The breakdown of Minnesota’s need for me is just much greater in the back court than the front court. Appel does bring more than Hollingsworth, but teams don’t normally dump their first round pick (#9 overall) after one season. Most players coming to the pro game take at least 2-3 years to come into their own. Especially one that is 6’5 and can run and rebound (she averaged 6 rpg in her last 3 games – that put her in the top 20 in the league and she was in the league in rebounding for the entire season in only 12 mpg at <a href="the #7 ranked reserve center“>3.2rpg. In terms of rebounds per minute played, that’s 1 rebound every 3.75 min played… that’s pretty good. The best rebounder in the league was Candace Parker and she was 244 rebs in 815 min = 1 reb every 3.34 min played. Hollingsworth has a chance, she’s worth keeping aroudn for another year at least.

    Seimone has yet to play a healthy season. Maïga-Ba turned 32 in April and has started only 71 games in her 312 game, 8 year career, averaging 17 mpg and 5.6 ppg. Those are concerns. She’ll be a very good veteran pressence in the locker room and give solid minutes – but in the long haul, Clark and Wright could have much better careers, much greater impact. As you said Miller is a big question in regards to resigning. Taking two legitimate scoring wings and continuing to develop the posts and power forwards they have seems to make more sense.

    Thanks Marie!… Great stuff!

  20. Cal and Lynx fan here.

    First, glad to see Lexi in the first round. I think the Sparks would be a good place for her given the weakness in guards there.

    As for Seimone, she is one of the best wings in the league. While she hasn’t lead the league in PER (that honor usually goes to Lauren Jackson), she’s second as a guard who shoots 48.2% career wise and was up around 57% last season. She already IS at the pinnacle of the league – even if it hasn’t always translated to on court results. It’s always hard to see how players will translate to the W. While it’s possible the other two might surpass her, it would seem unlikely.

    I would argue we’re pretty much set at the guard spots. A rotation of Whalen / Wiggins / Augustus / Maiga-ba / Wright would be fine.

    McCants does not play PF for us. She plays SF and she’s the one I see most pushed by Wright. Clark would be a duplication for us. Unless you see her in the Sophia Young category? The only problem then is that we already have one undersized PF who has done better than her. Regardless, I do not see her sticking on the roster.

    It’s the posts I’m worried about. Anosike and Brunson are great. Houston, I suppose, will be fine as a change of pace PF off the bench (note that she’s not particularly good at defense to put it mildly though which will hurt her esp. since Coach Reeves values that). Hollingsworth is still young. She’s fine as perhaps the bench warmer for now in the hopes that she’ll develop but she’s certainly not starter quality or even significant minutes reserve quality yet. With only three quality posts, this would seem the biggest problem. Additionally, a true center with height would help a lot.

    Rotation to me would look like this:
    Whalen / Wiggins
    Augustus / Wiggins
    Maiga-Ba / Wright
    Brunson / Houston
    Anosike / Appel / Hollingsworth

    Last player, scrub backup PG or another post with height.

  21. Good, Good stuff! Thank you for sharing!

    We’ll see how it all goes down. Any way we slice it, they know and we don’t and I love all the different scenarios.

    Enjoy!

  22. Jeff
    I respectfully disagree on McCants, She may have played some PF in college after Pringle & Larkins left but much like Katreus brought out, she’s not a pro PF SF is what she is. Her built is too thin (to my surprise she’s built like Pringle but shorter) and she does not have the skill set to play PF. She is nowhere near a So Young type. With or without Seimone she never played PF last season. And were would her mins come from at PF ? She does not get mins from Brunson, Anosike or Houston (evern w/her limitations, haa) for that matter. She’s also got to toughen up. Has a tendacy to be too passive. I’m sure maturity will help w/that. Whatever position though, she’s 3rd, 4th or 5th option on this team. She will have to bring it hard in camp. She’s a wild card in that she could bring some trade value.

    When you say Seimone has yet to play a healthy season? I’ll trust you not refereing to her 4 yr career.She was in her 3rd season before missing any gms (3) & we know what happened in her 4th. So I’ll assume you mean post ACL.

    You seem to have a concern about our ability to put points on the board. The last 2 seasons we’ve been near the top of the league in putting up points. With an experienced PG I’m not as worried about our ability to put pts on the board. (Defense is were we should all be looking at, lol ) Clark is interesting but she’s a wasted pick to me. Not becasue of lack of talent, just that as others have pointed out, she is a dupblicate of what we have. Wings come around all the time. Post w/some skills don’t.

    Those of us long time Lynx fans have watched this team go through years of a “developmenal’ process. More then half of our roster is still developing & maturing. Maiga-Ba will be the only player on our roster over 28 yr old. She is short term but her experience out ways developing a rookie duplicate IMO.

    In no way was I implying dumping last yrs #9 pick. Oh nooo. Hollingsworth is worth keeping to see how she comes along. My point was mainly Appel brings a down low presence our other post don’t bring. We can use her 6-4 frame & b-ball IQ.

    By the way Thank you Jeff for interacting w/fans & hearing us out :)
    I think I’ll be ok with who ever the front office/coach draft (Wright/Appel hee hee) Really though I’m excited to have an experienced PG in Whalen, getting Seimone back in the line-up at 60, 70 80 or whatever percent, Wiggins, Anosike & co. a yr older, Brunson now in a Lynx jersey. It’s going to be a fun summer in the Twin Cities.

  23. Outstanding analysis! Thank you. All very valid points. I agree on McCants – but there aren’t too many minutes for her to play SF. If she is going to have value – it should be as that 3/4, do a little of everything player. She might not be able to do that in the WNBA yet though, especically on the defensive end.

    Post ACL for Seimone is correct… it is such a devestating injury. We have all seen so many athletes never regain the form they once knew. That, combined with the existing posts on the roster, is another reason I like Clark.

    Your “post with skills” comment is very, very true. I have always believed that when building a program you start with a point guard and a post. The pressure of drafting Appel may just be too great to pass on. Don’t get me wrong, she is worthy of the #2 or #3 pick, I love her game, I think she will have a very good career in the WNBA and help Minnesota or any other team. It will be interesting to see how Appel handles the speed of the post game in the WNBA compared to the PAC-10. Even the big bodied posts in the league are faster than her, but she has dealt with that her entire career and excelled. The interesting thing is always the overall composition of the roster, the potential of trades and any guarenteed contracts. Those things we don’t know and they always play into the equation.

    Excellent thoughts on Maiga-Ba!

    No!, THANK YOU for reading my ramblings and for joining in and offer your opinions. This is a lot of fun for me. :-)

    Enjoy the WNBA Draft and the season!

  24. where do u think Shanavia Dowdell from LaTech will end up? i think she is very underrated since she plays in the WAC, but just look at her stats because they speak for them self

  25. Hey Nathan!,

    Thanks for visiting and joining in. I haven’t really seen enough of Shanavia Dowdell to give you an honest evaluation. I do know one thing for sure… That coaching staff will have her as ready as any for where ever she ends up.

    Teresa Weatherspoon helped lead the Liberty to 3 Eastern Conference Championships while I was coaching in New York and her associate head coach (Daron Park) directed Maryland to a 28-1 record while Brenda Frese was having twins. They are outstanding!

    The toughest thing for players like Shanavia is exposure and a consistent level of competition that help WNBA GM’s and coaches feel confident in drafting them. Clark from MT State leads the Nation in scoring, so she catches their attention. I think Shanavia has improved her game since I saw her live (La Tech was in the Virginia Tournament). She shoots an occational 3 and still scores and rebounds in and around the basket very well. At 6’2 she’s not a big center and her face up game is probably not consistent enough yet to be a full time PF. It will be interesting to see if a team takes her in the middle to late second round or if she slips into the third.

    Shanavia might possibly be a late round selection or go undrafted and be invited to a team’s training camp.

    Thanks!

  26. Hey all,

    Big OSU fan and was pretty annoyed they didn’t sneak further through the tourney. Any chance any of their other seniors could grace the WNBA? Namely Cunningham the Australian?

  27. Thanks for checking in!

    I haven’t heard a great deal about her being in the first two rounds. I really haven’t seen enough of her to make a fair assesment.

    Let’s hope draft day is a good one for her!

  28. Is there any chance Maya Moore will come out? I also think that there is no way the lynx can pass on Jayne Appel, she is just too good, but I don’t think she will get much playing time this year. She needs to heal and get into better shape. I think the post rotation will be Anosike, Brunson ,and Houston because Brunson can move over to center.

  29. Hey!… thanks for checking in and your comments! Very good insight!

    The idea of Maya Moore coming out would be awesome, but the WNBA does NOT allow any prospect to come out until their class graduates, unless: they have played a minimum of one (1) season overseas. See Epiphany Prince post!, or if the women has graduated herself and could forgo her senior year… remember Candace Parker.

    I believe that Minnesota will take Appel, but not for the “she’s just too good,” part of it. She is exceptional as a college player. Nearly every GM I have spoken to agrees, they are not sold on how good a pro she will be. Minnesota will take her at 3 because the popular perception is just too much.

    Thanks again for checking in! Come back again soon.

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