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2009 WNBA Draft: Fine In '09
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Thursday, 9 April 2009
Do you think any teams should trade up in the draft?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #15

MJ's Take...

San Antonio should think about moving up or at least try to acquire a top eight pick. I don’t think the offensively challenged Atunrase and athletically challenged Crossley (coming off a major knee injury) are going to cut it in terms of bench contributors. They need an athletic perimeter player who can create her own offense and a strong rebounding center.

New York should consider moving up if it wants its choice of perimeter players (assuming that’s the direction the team chooses to go in).

PS's Take...

I think Detroit will try to trade up, and I think Seattle will need to trade up if they lose Lauren Jackson.

CD's Take...

I think we can see several trades during the draft and/or after the draft.  I've heard mention of Washington, Atlanta, Minnesota, Detroit, Seattle, and possibly even San Antonio.

There's a rumor that Washington and Atlanta might swap the top picks and that Atlanta may send Kristin Haynie to the capital city.

Also, Detroit is rumored to be very active today. They look to move up. And Seattle will look to move up as well, especially considering they might lose Lauren Jackson.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 9:10 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 8 April 2009
How many 2009 prospects to you expect to make rosters?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #14

MJ's Take...

I expect to see 17-20 (all 13 first-rounders, three to five second-rounders, and one or two third-rounder) kids on opening day rosters. I expect at least three of those players (including at least one 1st rounder) to be waived by midseason, and it could be more than that if the league incurs an unusual rash of injuries (and it turns out that there are even fewer WNBA-ready players in this class than previously anticipated).

PS's Take...

10-12, things are just too tight and there are some very strong veterans still available in free agency.

CD's Take...

I'm going to be optimistic and say 18-22 range. I think there are some quality players out there that fill key needs for these teams. Now, whether they will stay on the team is up for question, but I think on opening weekend, we will see close to 20 rookies making teams. If injuries to veterans take place, we could see even more.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 12:00 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 April 2009 10:47 PM CDT
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Monday, 6 April 2009
How do you think the roster cut down will affect the prospects?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #12

MJ's Take...

Most of these players won’t develop beyond what they’ve shown in college, so WYSIWYG. It’ll be difficult to develop players currently because several teams will need to win now to save themselves from possible folding. Given that these prospects, as whole, aren’t as gifted as the 2008 kids, many of whom remain on WNBA rosters for the tie being, they’ll really have to grind it out during training camp to earn the trust of their coaches.

In addition, there will be a premium on players who have the SIZE (most important) and SKILL to play two positions at the WNBA level. It could be a great year for the 6-1 athletic combo forward.

PS's Take...

There are less jobs between the loss of Houston and the roster cuts.  It will be tough for rookies and marginal veterans to make rosters.  I don't think more than 10-12 players have a shot at making a roster this year.

CD's Take...

It will obviously make it tougher to make a roster. However, I'm not sure if it will be much tougher. I mean, making a WNBA roster is already tough, this will make it just a tad bit tougher.

Obviously players that come in this season will need to prove that they re capable of being the first off the bench at their respective position because with 11 spots, that gives two spots per position and then a "utility player" of sorts. This will also make the decison-making of coaches more important.

The key will be the 11th spot. I expect the 11th player on the roster to be a player that can play multiple positions, most likely a wing who can go inside and out. Players like DeWanna Bonner, Christina Wirth, and Jillian Harmon come to mind.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 12:58 PM CDT
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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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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
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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Thursday, 26 March 2009
Does this draft class have any similarities with the 2008 class?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #7

MJ's Take...

I’m sure they were all familiar with Chris Brown and Rihanna prior to the recent news, they don’t remember what Bobby Brown was like pre-crack, and they were all big fans of Barney the Dinosaur growing up. Sorry, but that’s all I got. 2008 yielded three legit stars/2012 Olympians with the top three picks. Two of those kids already won Olympic gold in Beijing. One took home the MVP award!!! That’s a tough act to follow!

If one 2009 kid receives strong consideration for the 2012 Olympics, consider that a moral victory. I doubt you’ll find a true franchise player in this draft.

PS's Take...

Last year was a pretty strong class, but had real superstars available at the post positions.  I can't really compare the two.

CD's Take...

Obviously, there's a huge difference between the depth of the drafts. However, I think, much like in 2008, there are a  couple players who have seperated themselves from the pack. I think there are only a couple players that people could see being drafted in the top three, much like Parker, Fowles, and Wiggins.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 11:20 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 25 March 2009
What team(s) have the most to gain from this draft?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

Question #6

 MJ's Take...

While I don’t think any team will be getting a franchise player (Jackson, Bird, Whalen, Nolan, Parker, Taurasi, Pondexter, Augustus, Young, Fowles, or Wiggins) in this year’s draft, the team that has the most to gain from this draft would have to be Minnesota. They have a chance to add as many as three players to their roster in hopes of developing true depth (and not having to bring starters off the bench). If they do their homework, they might be able to fill in a few holes with the top ten draft picks.

 PS's Take...

I really only see a few strong impact players in the draft this year.  Atlanta needs a franchise player to build around for the future.  Washington is a mess and they need whatever they can get.  Chicago has a solid core which they just want to add to as they grow.  Minnesota needs to find out how to make something of all the talent they have on their roster...they need to start winning.

CD's Take...

Obviously the lower-end teams have a good number of spots available. Atlanta is the one exception with all of the free agent signings. Minnesota, Chicago and Washington all are great locations for a rookie. Also, teams like Sacramento and Seattle also have some fat to trim, especially if Seattle doesn't sign Jackson, so I think there could possibly be more spots on those teams too. If I were a rookie, I would not want to go to San Antonio, New York, and Detroit. Those are three teams with limited number of spots available.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 2:30 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Who are among the more overrated players in the draft?
Topic: 15 Burning Questions

MJ's Take...

I’m sure some will say Kia Vaughn (C, Rutgers) and Chante Black (C, Duke), but that depends on who you ask. I’ll throw a name out there—Takia Starks of Texas A&M. She’s an undersized volume shooter (shoots a ton and converts at a low 40s percentage) who cannot run an offense, is overrated defensively (A&M’s system hides her deficiencies well), and lacks a strong left hand. She isn’t going to be a SG in the WNBA (too small and not a good enough shooter to play off the ball), but she can’t play PG in college—so why is she a candidate for the first round? Because the media likes her? Makes you wonder who’s really in charge of WNBA scouting.

Oh, wait. I can top that. Forward Danielle Gant, also of A&M. She’s scrappy, undersized, has a big heart, tough as nails, and is a coach’s dream…see where I’m going with this? Analysts like her intangibles, but none of them mentions her inability to go left, the ridiculously poor handle, and how she’s anchored in the paint offensively despite being 5-10 on a good day. So, why do the analysts continue to pimp her despite her obvious flaws? If I knew the answer to that question, I’d probably be the league’s scouting director by now. It defies logic that a 5-10 college power forward can step into the WNBA and make the transition to wing. You don’t go from guarding Ashley Paris (no disrespect to AP5) one year to guarding Diana Taurasi the next with no problem! There’s a steep learning curve involved. Quick question: what happened to the last two sub-six foot post players who were drafted in the WNBA’s first round? The Washington Mystics selected both players (in successive years). The team already severed ties with one player last year while the other player is holding on to her roster spot by a string.

Perhaps I spoke too soon. I’ve got one more name—Briann January (G) of Arizona State. Is she a good defender? Yes. Does she have a nice shot? Yes. Can she put some points on the board? Yes. Does that make her deserving of all the hype she’s getting AS A POINT GUARD PROSPECT? Hardly. She is yet another undersized two-guard who people are trying to pigeonhole into the PG slot so that she’ll have a job this summer. Having seen her play against the best of the best and the worst of the worst, my opinion is the same. She can’t run a team in college and she isn’t going to magically discover how to run a team in the pros—especially not with the reduced roster sizes. Because she’s not athletic enough and too undersized to play the two in the WNBA, what other position does she play?

Okay…one more. Rashanda McCants (G/F) of UNC belongs on this list. Athletic? Yes. Good scorer and rebounder? Yes. Decent defender? Yes. Weak handle? Yes. Low basketball IQ? Yes. Poor perimeter shooter? Yes. Oft injured? Yes. Potential head case like big bro? Remains to be seen. I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten-foot pole.

PS's Take...

Lyndra Littles from Virginia has not impressed me this season, and Kia Vaughn has waited until the last weeks of her senior year to play at the level people expect.  I just don't think they are near as good as others seem to think that they are.

CD's Take...

Abby Waner and Chante Black, to me, are two overrated players. Waner is someone who had a better freshman season than any other season in her career. As she's gone on, her shooting has gotten worse and worse. Many question whether it's because Gail is gone, but you have to suck it up. Waner sometimes isn't mentally in check for games and her shooting can be flat out ridiculous. Her shot selection is pretty bad a majority of the time, as she usually shoots from 5-6 feet behind the arc, just to see it hit the backboard. She's a good defender, but I question if she will be effective at all at the pro level.

Chante Black brings great size but she's not tough enough. I don't see her being able to body down low with the best of the world in the WNBA. Sure, Black is a good shot blocker, but people in the WNBA are going to rough her up. Black has shown that she struggles against more physical competition. I don't really think she'll translate to the next level.


Posted by wnbadraftnet at 12:30 PM CDT
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