Pay Attention To This Year’s WNBA Draft

04.10.09 10 years ago 7 Comments

By now you’re familiar with our “Pass the Mic” series – a feature where he give the pen and pad to some of our best readers to let them drop knowledge on the game we love. We’ve had previous posts on everything from game-saving rule changes to essays on how money is ruining the world’s greatest game to how to get your girl to love the NBA.

Today we’re turning the space over to Lamar Carter, one of our best Ballers Network Brand Ambassadors and a manager for the Big East Ballers (the women’s champion at the West 4th Street Pro Classic), to recap yesterday’s WNBA Draft.

by Lamar Carter

ATLANTA DREAM

First Round Pick
Angel McCoughtry, Louisville (1st overall)
Other Picks
Shalee Lehning, Kansas State (2nd Round/25th)
Jessica Morrow, Baylor (3rd Round/27th)
Analysis
McCoughtry is a more than ideal pick for the Dream, who have completely revamped their team this season. Her ability to do a little bit of everything on both ends of the court, along with the veteran additions to Atlanta’s roster, should equal positive improvement from a 4-30 2008 campaign. McCoughtry’s energy should rub off on everyone in the locker room and electrify the growing Atlanta fan base.

CHICAGO SKY

First Round
Kristi Toliver, Maryland (3rd overall)
Other Picks
Danielle Gant, Texas A&M (2nd Round/16th)
Jennifer Risper, Baylor (3rd Round/29th)
Analysis
Bringing Kristi Toliver into the mix gives Chicago another young high caliber talent to add to the solid core of Sylvia Fowles in the post, Quianna Chaney on the perimeter, Armintie Price in the passing lanes and Candice Dupree everywhere else. Toliver is a proven winner and exudes confidence from the point. Gant and Risper are tough guards and could contribute on both ends for the Sky.

CONNECTICUT SUN

First Round
Chante Black, Duke (10th overall)
Other Picks
Lyndra Littles, Virginia (2nd Round/17th)
Alba Torrens, Real Club Celta Indepo (3rd Round/36th)
Analysis
Black will add another strong rebounding presence to the Sun’s frontcourt and could pay dividends immediately in that regard. Connecticut will be looking to get past the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2009 and having someone as capable as Black in the postseason shouldn’t hurt those chances.

DETROIT SHOCK

First Round
Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh (11th overall)
Other Picks
Brittany Miller, Florida State (2nd Round/18th)
Tanae Davis-Cain, Florida State (3rd Round/37th)
Analysis
This pick makes perfect sense for the Shock. They make a Pre-Draft trade with Atlanta for their 18th overall pick (which turned out to be FSU’s Miller) and replace guard Ashley Shields with another tough-minded, highly skilled guard. Zellous did so much for Pittsburgh and her energetic style and scorer’s mentality should blend well in Coach Bill Laimbeer‘s system.

INDIANA FEVER

First Round
Briann January, Arizona State (6th overall)
Other Picks
Christina Wirth, Vanderbilt (2nd Round/19th)
Danielle Campbell, Purdue (3rd Round/32nd)
Analysis
Another savvy pick, as Indiana brings in a very intellectual and quick guard in January to help spell Tully Bevilaqua and possibly take over the reigns whenever that time comes. January had a strong NCAA Tournament, leading the Sun Devils to a second Regional Final in three years, ultimately losing to eventual champion UConn. She will be a very productive pro guard for years to come.

LOS ANGELES SPARKS

First Round
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Purdue (13th overall)
Other Picks
Ashley Paris, Oklahoma (2nd Round/22nd)
Britney Jordan, Texas A&M-Commerce (3rd Round/35th)
Analysis
– Wisdom-Hylton gives the Sparks some youth and size in the frontcourt, and not a moment too soon. Yes, Los Angeles added Tina Thompson in the offseason, but she, along with Lisa Leslie, won’t be along forever. That being said, picking up a post with Wisdom-Hylton’s skill set is a sound investment in the future as well as some insurance for the present, as the Sparks wait for Candace Parker to return from the birth of her first child. Ashley Paris can also help in that regard, with her strong work ethic and ability to face up and play back to the basket.

MINNESOTA LYNX

First Round
Renee Montgomery, UConn (4th overall)
Quanitra Hollingsworth, VCU (9th overall)
Other Picks
Rashanda McCants, UNC (2nd Round/15th)
Emily Fox, Minnesota (3rd Round/30th)
Analysis
Last year, the Lynx drafted well and picked up all-everything guard Candice Wiggins and forwards Charde Houston and Nicky Anosike. That trio helped Seimone Augustus and Minnesota stay in the chase for the playoffs until the very end. Adding a dynamic floor leader in Montgomery, an athletic and aggressive post in Hollingsworth (who may be the youngest player drafted in WNBA history as a 20 year old college graduate), and an athletic perimeter player in McCants means the Lynx should be in the hunt once again in the West.

NEW YORK LIBERTY

First Round
Kia Vaughn, Rutgers (8th overall)
Other Picks
Abby Waner, Duke (2nd Round/21st)
Analysis
The Liberty pulled the trigger on another Rutgers Scarlet Knight in drafting Vaughn, a center with a pro-ready body and a skill set that can only improve. Vaughn is strong around the basket and can be a game-changing force in the New York frontcourt. She should grow exponentially as an offensive threat, as other Rutgers stars such as Phoenix’s Cappie Pondexter and the Liberty’s Essence Carson have once they arrived in the W.

PHOENIX MERCURY

First Round
DeWanna Bonner, Auburn (5th overall)
Other Picks
Sha Brooks, Florida (3rd Round/31st)
Jessica Adair, George Washington (3rd Round/34th)
Analysis
Phoenix picking Bonner at number five makes perfect sense. When Penny Taylor left the team last year to prepare for the Olympics, the Mercury missed her terribly. Having another long and athletic body to plug into Coach Corey Gaines‘ run-and-gun system and roaming defense is essential for Phoenix’s success this year. Bonner is a hyper-athletic player who can play possibly three or four positions with her post play and guard-like skills. Playing with Diana Taurasi and Pondexter should bring out the best in her.

SACRAMENTO MONARCHS

First Round
Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (7th overall)
Other Picks
Whitney Boddie, Auburn (2nd Round/20th)
Morgan Warburton, Utah (3rd Round/33rd)
Analysis
Sacramento gets a great player in Courtney Paris who can help in the post if DeMyia Walker has any lingering issues from the injured patella tendon that took her out in 2008. Young front players Laura Harper and Crystal Kelly played well last season and if Paris and fit in and perform like she did for the Sooners, the Monarchs should be strong. Whitney Boddie is an ultra-quick guard who can take it to the hood at will. She will only benefit from being around and learning from guard Ticha Penicheiro.

SAN ANTONIO SILVER STARS

First Round
– No Selection
Other Picks
Megan Frazee, Liberty (2nd Round/14th)
Sonja Petrovic, Belgrade, Serbia (2nd Round/26th)
Candyce Bingham, Louisville (3rd Round/39th)
Analysis
The Silver Stars didn’t have a first round selection, but made solid picks with their choices of Frazee, the Big South Women’s Basketball Player of the Year; Petrovic, and overseas product with gold medal international experience playing for Serbia, and Bingham, a solid contributor for the National Finalist Cardinals and every bit as influential in Louisville’s recent success as McCoughtry.

SEATTLE STORM

First Round
Ashley Walker, California (12th overall)
Other Picks
Mara Freshour, Florida State (3rd Round/38th)
Analysis
Walker has been said to be too small for the forward position in the WNBA, but her game says otherwise. Extremely active on offense and defense, Walker should be able to bring a spark to the Storm at either forward position to spell the likes of Swin Cash, Camille Little and Ashley Robinson.

WASHINGTON MYSTICS

First Round
Marissa Coleman, Maryland (2nd overall)
Other Picks
Camille LeNoir, USC (2nd Round/23rd)
Jelena Milovanovic, MKB Euroleasing (2nd Round/24th)
Josephine Owino, Union (TN) (3rd Round/28th)
Analysis
Maryland seems to be Washington’s pipeline for top draft picks – last year Crystal Langhorne was the choice and she played well in her rookie campaign, and Coleman should be no different. The ACC Tournament MVP should be able to contribute immediately and joins a talented group in the nation’s capital that includes Langhorne, Alana Beard, Tasha Humphrey, Monique Currie, and new arrivals Lindsay Harding and Matee Ajavon.

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