Mock Draft Commentary
Here are the thoughts behind the picks...
1. Atlanta Dream - Renee Montgomery (Connecticut)
Renee Montgomery has been, far and away, one of the best players throughout the seasons. As the winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award, Montgomery has proved the critics wrong. Many questioned her ability to run a team and not turn the over, while also still being a scoring threat. She's been able to show she can do that, which is why Atlanta will take her. Meadors loves her game.
2. Washington Mystics - Marissa Coleman (Maryland)
Location aside, Coleman is a legit #2 pick. Coleman has the skill and the size to not only compete at this level, but excel. Washington feels they have filled their two key needs in the point guard and center, so I expect the Mystics to take the best player available. Coleman proved in the NCAAs that she can take over games and do it in multiple ways. Plus, she is a local who will sell tickets.
3. Chicago Sky - Angel McCoughtry (Louisville)
The Sky need a wing and in a bad way. Since the retirement of Stacey Dales, the Sky have looked to Armintie Price and Brooke Wyckoff to fill the void, but neither has delivered. I expect Angel to deliver, which is why I expect the Sky to take her. She can shoot and defend, something that would be useful to their team.
4. Minnesota Lynx - Courtney Paris (Oklahoma)
After the Lynx traded away their two centers in Vanessa Hayden and Nicole Ohlde, it was to no one's surprise that Minnesota is looking in the interior. Paris is the most dominant post player in the history and despite her lack of conditioning, her ability to defend, score and rebound is extraordinary.
5. Phoenix Mercury - DeWanna Bonner (Auburn)
In the up-tempo style that Phoenix runs, Bonner should excel. Sure, she's thin. But who cares when she's already down the court laying it up for two? Bonner is one of the best running posts/wings in the nation and her skillset should be explosive in Phoenix.
6. Indiana Fever - Kristi Toliver (Maryland)
Indiana has needed a back up point guard for quite some time now. Not only does Toliver give them a back up at that position, but she also gives them a scorer, which is something Indiana doesn't always seem to have. Toliver's ability to score will be good for her, but I expect Indiana to make her defend more than her Maryland coaches did.
7. Sacramento Monarchs - Shavonte Zellous (Pittsburgh)
Sacramento needs help on the perimeter and Zellous has been one of the most explosive scorers nationally. Zellous gets good elevation on her jump shot and can score on demand. When Shavonte gets hot, there are very little people that can stop her because of her extreme athleticism. Sacramento can always use more offense, particularly on the perimeter.
8. New York Liberty - Briann January (Arizona State)
The New York Liberty look primed to make their second straight trip to the WNBA final. The one thing holding them back? Perimeter scoring. The Liberty can use another guard who can score, especially after losing Thorn to Chicago. Very few people had a better tourney than Briann January. Most know her as a defender, but this is someone who can consistently sink jumpers from deep and score against contact.
9. Minnesota Lynx - Ashley Walker (California)
The Minnesota Lynx love their Pac 10 players. Walker is a player who had a breakout season and who starred for the California Golden Bears. Walker can score with her back to the basket or in face up situations, plus she's a good rebounder. All of those are qualities Minnesota needs.
10. Connecticut Sun - Kia Vaughn (Rutgers)
Kia Vaughn played well down the stretch, including a strong performance against the Connecticut Huskies. Vaughn remains one of the most inconsistent posts in this draft. However, when she plays like she's supposed to, Vaughn could easily be a top 5 player in this class. Vaughn combines physicality with excellent footwork - things that could help her in the WNBA.
11. Detroit Shock - Lyndra Littles (Virginia)
Bill Laimbeer has already made it clear that he is looking for either a guard or a small forward. In Lyndra Littles, you pretty much get both. This is a player who can pretty much score on most spots on the floor. She's got great athleticism and strong versatility, giving her the ability to play different positions. Seems ideal for me.
12. Seattle Storm - Linsday Wisdom-Hylton (Purdue)
Lauren Jackson's decision is still up in the air, but whether she comes backs to Seattle or not, Wisdom-Hylton seems like a great pick up for this team. She may not be the flashiest player but she is one of the most consistent players in the nation. People overlook her ability to block shots and if LJ heads to Phoenix, Wisdom-Hylton's defense will pay off.
13. Los Angeles Sparks - Ashley Paris (Oklahoma)
The last pick of the second round may be the oddest. The Sparks obviously need a guard, but Ashley Paris is the best available and better than the next available guard. Paris lost 40 lbs in the offsesaon just for this moment - to make a WNBA. This summer, she'll see if her hard work has paid off. I think the Sparks give her that chance.
14. San Antonio Silver Stars - Chante Black (Duke)
The Silver Stars need a post in a bad way. Ann Wauters is gone for at least half of the season, if not more, and to be honest, she was about the only true post presence offensively (unless you count Sophia Young) that San Antonio had. Chante Black may struggle on offense in the pros but she could excel defensively. Easy choice for Dan Hughes.
15. Minnesota Lynx - Christina Wirth (Vanderbilt)
Christina Wirth was money for Vanderbilt in the NCAA tournament. Wirth took over against Kansas State and excelled against an athletic Maryland team. She seems like the ideal 11th spot on a roster, mostly because she can play multiple positions and play them well.
16. Chicago Sky - Shalee Lehning (Kansas State)
Shalee Lehning may be the best playmaker in the nation. She finds ways to get her teammates the ball, even in tough situations. Seems ideal for a Chicago team that struggle to assist the ball last season. Canty isn't a true point, so Lehning seem like a good pick to me. Not that she'll start, but she could spell minutes for Canty if they want to move her to the shooting guard.
17. Connecticut Sun - Sha Brooks (Florida)
Sha Brooks can go off the bounce and score better than most people in the nation. I think Mike Thibault will like her consistency and work ethic. Despite being extremely small, Brooks has excelled the nation's most athletic conference. Last year Thibault said his team struggled to knock down key shots. Brooks could hit those shots.
18. Atlanta Dream - Danielle Gant (Texas A&M)
Atlanta doesn't have a lot of roster spots available, but if they have some, they will be in the backcourt. Atlanta struggled to defend last year and Gan comes from a program where ugly is the new pretty. I could see Meadors taking Gant because of her intensity on the defensive end and her versatility on offense.
19. Indiana Dream - Candyce Bingham (Louisville)
Candyce Bingam was key in Louisville's upsets of both Maryland and Oklahoma. Bingham played post in college, mostly because of her team's lack of a post player, but I think Bingham's best bet is to play more of a wing role. She's quietly productive and versatile. I think it'd be a nice selection for the Fever.
20. Sacramento Monarchs - Marlies Gipson (Kansas State)
Sacramento took a guard in the first, so I think they'll get a post in the second. Gipson is undersized but doesn't play like it. She had nearly 2 blocks per game, and this coming against players at the center position. Also, Gipson can score from many areas, both interior and out.
21. New York Liberty - Devanei Hampton (California)
The Pac 10 player of the year as a sophomore, Hampton has regressed a bit. However, late this season, particularly in the NCAAs, she began to show her old self once again. Hampton is one of the more physical players in this draft and New York's posts got dominated by Detroit last year. Hampton can help them there.
22. Los Angeles Sparks - Whitney Boddie (Auburn)
Flat out - the Sparks need a guard. They traded away Temeka Johnson, so ultimately, they need a point guard. Boddie is excellent in the open floor and explosive on offense in transition. As one of the nation's assist leaders, she has shown she can dish out the ball. She'll have plenty of options in LA.
23. Washington Mystics - Aisha Mohammed (Virginia)
Washington will go with some more ACC flavor. Mohammed is an athletic, rangy center. She's not known for her scoring, but rebounding and defense is her thing. When I look at Washington's roster, I see a lack of rebounding and defense. Mohammed's ideal for them.
24. Washington Mystics - Abby Waner (Duke)
Once again, more ACC flavor for the Mystics. This time, sharp shooter Abby Waner. She's been inconsistent late in her career, but Washington needs all of the shooting they can get. Plus, she's a good perimeter defender and might love to be reunited with Harding and Currie.
25. Atlanta Dream - Rashanda McCants (North Carolina)
Again, roster spots are scarce in the ATL, but McCant's defense and versitality may at least give her a shot. She had an awful performance in her finale in the NCAA tournament, but dispite her troubles, she's still a probable second rounder.
26. San Antonio Silver Stars - Megan Frazee (Liberty)
Many may not know about Frazee but I expect Dan Hughes to do his homework. To me, Frazee is a poor man's Lauren Jackson. She is capable of scoring both inside and out and has been the all everything player in the middle for her team. Just look at her stats and you'll understand her game.
27. Atlanta Dream - Marshae Dotson (Florida)
Marshae Dotson may be one of the more underrated prospects in the nation. Somehow, in a conference that produced Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles, Dotson (who stands at 5'11) has been consistently dominant in the paint area. I think the Dream will take a chance on her.
28. Washington Mystics - Takia Starks (Texas A&M)
Starks is spotty, but the Mystics can give her a shot. She does come from a defensive program and once again, the Mystics could use defense on their roster. Plus, Starks does possess strong athleticism. I think she's a quality third round selection.
29. Chicago Sky - Star Allen (Ohio State)
Assistant coach Stephanie White works for Big Ten Network, so I'm guessing they will take a Big Ten player in the third round. After selecting a wing and poitn guard, they could afford to draft a post player. Allen is physical and is a strong rebounder. Could be a nice compliment to Dupree.
30. Minnesota Lynx - Jillian Harmon (Stanford)
More Pac 10 love in the Twin Cities. Once again, Harmon could be a nice 11th player. She doesthe dirty work. She can practically do everything. Minnesota doesn't seem to have someone that can offer that at the moment.
31. Phoenix Mercury - Morgan Warburton (Utah)
Phoenix loves their shooters, and this one offers size. Warburton is deceptively quick and can easily create her own shot. I think this is a player to watch out for, especially in Phoenix's up tempo shooting game.
32. Indiana Fever - Porchia Green (Ball State)
Green had a great tournament and I think the Fever will select her because she's local. Not to say she isn't talented, though. She is very quick and seemed to score well against physical defenses (Tennessee in particular). A legit third rounder.
33. Sacramento Monarchs - Kristi Cirone (Illinois State)
Easily the best player available. The Monarchs traded away their back up PG, and unless they think of playing Lawson there, I expect Sacramento to find one. Cirone is by far the most underrated point guard in this class. No one talks about her, but she lets her game do the talking. Easy pick for the Monarchs if she's available.
34. Phoenix Mercury - Mandy Morales (Montana)
Morales originally signed with ASU and was a standout guard at Montana. She can shoot and pass. Again, might be a stretch but she's worth a look.
35. Los Angeles Sparks - Shantia Grace (South Florida)
Her WNIT title really helped her. Before, she wasn't on our board, but she showed she can play. LA needs guards and Grace offers both the ability to hit long range jumpers and to go off of the bounce. She's a bit small, but they need a guard like her.
36. Connecticut Sun - Alba Torrens (Spain)
Another foreign third rounder by Mike Thibault. Torrens really impressed me in Beijing. By far the most impressive of the young prospects playing there. I have to think Mike saw the same thing. Torrens is a bit slight, but incredibly versatile. She might be a big pick up in the future.
37. Detroit Shock - Sade Logan (Robert Morris)
When I watch Sade Logan play, I think immediately of Kedra Holland-Corn. This girl led the nation in three point field goal percentage her junior year but is anything but one demensional. Detroit could use her explosiveness on the perimeter.
38. Seattle Storm - Sonja Petrovic (Serbia)
Petrovic was a former FIBA Young Player of the Year and has excelled for Serbia. She was on the Euroleague Champions from Spartak, though she didn't play much at all due to a knee injury which she rested on in Serbia for most of the year. Rumor has it Petrovic is interested in playing in the league. For a team that might lose it's MVP, this is a chance worth taking.
39. San Antonio Silver Stars - Jhasmin Player (Baylor)
Another local pick. Player does add toughness to San Antonio's perimeter. Last year, the Shock stunned everyone by outplaying San Antonio's backcourt. Player can go off the bounce, something Silver Stars didn't do on a regular basis in the Finals.
Posted by wnbadraftnet
at 7:00 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 April 2009 11:08 PM CDT