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2009 WNBA Draft: Fine In '09
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15 Burning Questions
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Friday, 3 April 2009
How would you access this draft as far as depth goes?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #11

MJ's Take...
I would say that this draft ranks somewhere between 2002 and 2007 in terms of depth. Once you get past the first five or so picks, it will be hard to find a player who can actually contribute at this level without needing to be force fed minutes.

PS's Take...
I don't see this as a deep draft, I don't think a lot of 1st rounders will stick this season.

CD's Take...
I think the depth of this draft is a bit underrated. I mean, I don't expect this to rank Top 5, but I don't expect it to rank bottom 3 or 4 either. I think there are some potential stars near the top, but I think the second and third round is filled with players who probably won't stay on rosters for more than a season or two, especially consideing the strength of the 2010 class.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 12:01 AM CDT
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Thursday, 2 April 2009
Mystics looking to rebuild under new Coach, GM

The Washington Mystics have been that laughing stock of the WNBA for some moments in the league's history. Coined the "Mystakes", Washington has had it's fair share of odd departures, poor coaching, trades lost, and shots missed. In 2009, Washington is looking to set the record straight that they aren't dwelling the past, but looking to the future.

A Year to Forget
In 2008, the Washington Mystics had one of it's worse seasons in franchise history. Technically, their record didn't prove that to be true. But once you saw this group play for a good 2 minutes, you realized things weren't gelling. Throughout the season, the Mystics struggled for consistency. Their roster lacked quality stars, besides Beard and Sanford, who each had their droughts. This was a team that most expected to finish near the bottom of the league, but yet people didn't expect it to be this bad.

Out with the Old, In with the New
America vote for change in November, and Mystics did the same in preparation for the 2009 season. First, the Mystics made several in-season moves in 2008, first dismissing head coach Tree Rollins. After that, the Mystics traded star Taj McWilliams-Franklin to Detoit in exchange for Tasha Humphrey, Eshaya Murphy, and a second round pick in this year's draft. The Mystics then dismissed GM Linda Hargrove who had made many poor decisions in her time in the Capital. Once they trimmed the fat, they named Julie Plank as the Head coach and Angela Taylor as the GM. It's safe to say the Mystics are going young on both fronts. Adding Humphrey and Murphy added to their already young roster. Taylor and Plank don't have a lot of experience in the WNBA (at their respective positions), but both offer a breath of fresh air which is needed at this point. Taylor's first real move as a GM was trading for Lindsey Harding, filling their void at the point guard spot. So far, so good.

 

Breaking it down
Okay, let's see what actually went bad for the Mystics in 2008. To start, they were last in the league in scoring and gave up, on average, 7 more points to their opponents. The Mystics were also one of the worst defensive teams, finishing third from last in opponent's field goal percentage. Also, the Mystics finished last in the league in free throw percentage, converting on just sixty-six percent of their attempts. To be honest, the Mystics could choose best available at ever pick and get someone they need. Overall, they need committment to approvement by both the coaching staff and players.

Marissa or Courtney
Two months ago, it was so easy. Courtney Paris, duh! The Mystics needed a post player who could counter Nakia Sanford, who looked all by her lonesome at times for most of the season. Paris' low block skills would help Washington tremendously. The Mystics have lacked a true center for quite some time (shout out to Vickie Bullett) and Paris would fill that long time void. However, Coleman has emerged as one of the nation's hottest players. Coleman is both a savvy defender, but a versatile score. She can post up small guards, shoot from three, or go off the bounce to either score at the rack, or pick and pop. Adding to that, shes a tenacious rebounder and has a legit WNBA frame coupled with great size at her position. Adding to that, she's also from Maryland, where many Washington Mystics fans reside. If they could pick up Coleman, she might help on both fronts. The problem is that they need a center more. They traded for Monique Currie a season ago and while she's not the best, they have absolutely no one who can start at center (Sorry Chas). It's going to be either best player available or what the need is. We'll see what Taylor and Plank decide.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 10:06 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 3 April 2009 10:03 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009
What conference(s) has the most legit WNBA prospects?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #10

MJ's Take...

Big East. Three of their prospects are strong conference POY candidates and two of those players are first team All-Americans (the third could probably justify getting some 1st team AA votes). One of these players could be named the National Defensive Player of the Year. Not bad, hmm?

CD's Take...

I think the Big East has the quality of players, but I think the Big XII and ACC have depth. The drop off from McCoughtry, Montgomery and Zellous is quite large.

In the ACC you have many solid duos include Duke (Waner and Black), Maryland (Coleman and  Toliver), and Virginia (Mohammed and Littles).  I think you'll see that a lot of the ACC girls will go in the top 20). The Big XII isn't shabby either with lots of prospects, mostly from Oklahoma (Paris sisters, Texas A&M (Gant and Starks), and Baylor (Allison, Player, Morrow). I think the ACC might be the deepest conference as far as WNBA talent.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 4:07 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 April 2009 10:25 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
See You in St. Louis!
Topic: NCAA Tournament

 

It's been months in the making, but the Final Four is finally set and it includes six WNBA Draft Net prospects. These ladies will have a chance to show their stuff on the nation's stage in St. Louis. On Sunday, Renee Montgomery will bring her perfect Huskies to the first semifinal where Jillian Harmon's red hot Stanford Cardinal stand in waiting to represent the West Coast. The second semifinal features two dynamic duos. Louisville's Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham have led the Cardinals to their first Final Four berth in school history. They will meet Courtney and Ashley Paris of Oklahoma who have returned the Sooners to the Final Four for the first time since 2002. Game times are 7:00 ET and 9:30 ET respectively and should be exciting action in the final week of the season!


 


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 10:57 PM CDT
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Who are some of the players that have seperated themselves from the pack?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #9

 MJ's Take...

There are about six or seven prospects that have been in or around the lead group all season, but a few players seem to have separated from that lead group. Those players are SF Angel McCoughtry of Louisville, PG Renee Montgomery of UConn, and SF Marissa Coleman of Maryland, though not exactly in that order.

Angel’s been a favorite for #1 overall pick honors since being named Big East POY as a sophomore, and she has developed into one of the most dominant defensive players in the nation to go along with her scoring deftness. What can’t be quantified, however, are her relentless drive and her freakish length. She’s listed at 6’1, but she sure seems to be a couple inches taller than that because of her long limbs and athletic ability.

Renee has not allowed a perceived weaknesses—lack of size and shaky perimeter shooting—to derail her team’s undefeated campaign in her senior year. She brings leadership, scoring ability, ballhandling, in-your-face defense, and intensity to the PG position. The last senior PG to lead her team to an undefeated regular season wound up being drafted #1 overall in the draft, and the Atlanta Dream’s GM (Marynell Meadors) has always endorsed Renee as a possible #1 overall choice. Considering the Dream has three other PGs on the roster, that’s making one heck of a statement.

Finally, Marissa’s dominance during the final third of the ACC season places her in the highest group. WNBA GMs already liked her size, strength, and ability to shoot the ball. During her dominant stretch (which includes two ACC titles for her Maryland Terrapins), she displayed the ability to put the ball on the floor, rebound, find the open man, and set the emotional tone for her team. Her ability to play multiple positions (ballhandling SG, PF) while still being able to dominate at her natural position (SF) has her stock at its all-time high.

PS's Take...

Angel McCoughtry, Courtney Paris, Marissa Coleman, Dewanna Bonner, and Ashley Paris are really standing out at the end of the season.  Coleman in particular has made a serious push and is finishing the season in top form.

CD's Take...

For weeks, McCoughtry and Paris have been alone at the top. McCoughtry has shown she can play both ends well and has the most complete game and also one of the more flashier and offensive games. Paris' consistency in both rebounding, scoring and blocking has put her at the top. Paris has been at the top of this class for years now.

DeWanna Bonner made a push mid-season and still is among of the cream of the crop, IMO. Also, Marissa Coleman's late season breakout also has her among the elite. Two flashy, yet questionable PG's in Renee Montgomery and Kristi Toliver have also been near the top, mostly because they are among the most debated prospects. Ashley Walker was at the top early in the season, but due to Cal's struggles she may have dropped off a bit. Though, her performances in the tournament may have launched her back up there.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 2:55 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 April 2009 10:22 PM CDT
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Monday, 30 March 2009
Who do you expect to have the most successful career of this draft class?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #8

 MJ's Take...

Whether she’s drafted 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, I expect McCoughtry to have the most successful WNBA career. I’m aware of what she can do right now (score in a variety of ways and dominate on defense against strong competition not named Maya Moore). However, she has the athletic gifts to do things that no woman in her draft class and very few women in the WNBA can do—for example, double-clutches in mid-air, alley-oops, either on the way up or on the way down, Dr. J-esque reverse lay-ups. It would require Angel to develop a stronger upper-body and a tighter handle, but she’s capable of making that happen. Her classmates, on the other hand, aren’t going to acquire that level of athleticism and length.

PS's Take...

McCoughtry and Coleman will have long, successful careers.  

CD's Take...

I expect Angel McCoughtry to have a successful career. I don't think people compare her to Swoopes for nothing. Her ability to score AND defend will surely help her in her professional career. Also, Marissa Coleman. I expect Coleman to be a legit player at the wing position in a couple seasons. She's been playing so well lately and is really showing her versatility.

I have to say, despite all the chatter about her conditioning, I expect Courtney Paris to see both time in All Star games and in International competition. I think people are selling Paris very short. What she's done in four years is nothing short of amazing. I expect her to continue to play well, even at the pro level. Getting in better shape wouldn't hurt though.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 3:40 PM CDT
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Follow the draft live!

On draft day, look no further than WNBA Draft Net. Our three contributors will be sharing their opinions during the draft from our twitter page.  Check out our new page below and don't forget to add us! And don't forget to check back here on draft day to see our opinions and share yours!

 http://twitter.com/wnbadraftnet


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 11:10 AM CDT
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Sunday, 29 March 2009
Tournament Update
Topic: NCAA Tournament

As of Monday morning, only 13 WNBA Draft Net prospects remain. All 13 will be featured in the Elite Eight on Monday and Tuesday night on ESPN. Each game features multiple prospects and should present great matchups. For more information, check out our NCAA Tournament Prospect Schedule.

 http://wnbadraftnet.tripod.com/id127.html

In other news...

Kristi Cirone (Illinois State) and Shantia Grace (South Florida) each led their team to quarterfinal victories on Sunday. Cirone ousted Whitney Thomas' Indiana Hoosier team while Grace's Bulls knocked out St. Bonaventure. Cirone's team will take on the winner of Kansas/New Mexico in the WNIT semis while Grace's South Florida team will meet the Eagles of Boston College in the other semifinal.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 11:14 PM CDT
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Friday, 27 March 2009
Sky hopes to soar to new heights

 The Sky continue to struggle on and off the court, and this year they're "Playing for Keeps." What the slogan should be is "Playing for September." Let's see a breakdown of the Sky and who they might draft.

Big Syl is Big Time
Sylvia Fowles came to Chicago last summer with lots of pressure. She was the new 'it' girl in the Windy City. She brought her physical post game to a team that needed it dearly. Unfortunately, Fowles injured her knee last summer while goal tending (the first, I might add) Delisha Milton-Jones' shot. However, by August, Fowles was A-okay. Most said she led the charge for Team USA and was a key reason why the Americas not only won the gold, but left their competition miles behind. Sylvia Fowles continues to be one of the most dynamic personalities on and off the court. She's merely unstoppable.

Cheap from deep
When Stacey Dales left the Sky two seasons ago, the Sky not only lost one of the best leaders in the league, but also a legit three point shooter. Since that time, the Sky have struggled to knock down three point shots. Sure, they have Dominique Canty and despite her being a quality guard, she's not known for her three point shot. Jia Perkins is another option, who can get hot from that area, but is very streaky. The Sky might need to find someone, who can knock down shots from deep. Even if they draft a three point specialist in the third round, it could still work out. This draft isn't as deep as 2008, but you never know who might stick.

The Price isn't right
Two years ago, Armintie Price was the story of the NCAA tournament. Yes, we knew she wore skirts. Yes, we knew she was very religious and spiritual. And we also knew that she was a defensive minded guard. However, what we didn't know is that she would lay an egg in her first two seasons in Chicago. Comparisons, though a bit wild, were to Tamika Catchings. It's safe to say she hasn't live up to the billing. The question still remains - what will the Sky do with Price? Will they trade her? Doubt it. She's young and cheap. Will they start her? Possibly, but she will only be able to start at the wing, which is a position where she would be undersized.  Plus, the Sky need a shooter, and Price is anything but. If the Sky want to start Price, this could easily affect who they will draft. It'll be interesting to see how Price does in 2009 after two rather disappointing stints in the Windy City.

Rookie Paradise
If being inconsistent was a stat, I think the Sky would have multiple All Star candidates. Outside of the big three (Fowles, Dupree, Perkins), everyone has been a disappointment at different points in the season. If I were a rookie, I'd love to be selected by the Sky. There is a great chance that someone could beat out some of these players. I don't have faith in the likes of Wyckoff, Williams and Ely. Call me crazy, but those don't seem like world-beaters to me. I expect the Sky to take either Coleman or Bonner in the first round, filling their void for a wing and a shooter. In the second round, I expect the Sky to take a guard, possibly a point guard. But, if they feel Williams and Ely might disappoint, (which would be odd considering they signed Ely) they might even go for a post player. The loss of Melvin hurts them. No question. So they will need to fill her position. If the Sky does their homework, they could come out as the winners of the draft. And some would say they need to. 


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 10:33 PM CDT
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Thursday, 26 March 2009
And then there were three.

The quarterfinals in the 2009 WNIT are almost set with just one game remaining (with no WNBA prospects). Kristi Cirone (Illinois State), Shantia Grace (South Florida),  and Whitney Thomas (Indiana) are the lone remaining WNBA Draft Net Prospects.

Cirone and Thomas will meet in the Quarters, while Grace is on the other side of the bracket.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 9:31 PM CDT
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