The lottery balls lastly went their method, and there is little doubt which participant the Indiana Fever will choose with the WNBA’s No. 1 draft decide subsequent April.
The Fever had the best odds (44.2%) of getting the No. 1 decide, which the group beforehand by no means had. That modified Friday because the Fever gained the WNBA draft lottery, adopted by the Minnesota Lynx, the Atlanta Dream and the Washington Mystics.
Tamika Catchings, the No. 3 decide in 2001, is one of the best participant in Fever historical past and one of many all-time greats in girls’s basketball. However Indiana hasn’t made the playoffs since Catchings retired following the 2016 season.
The Fever have had draft success in that stretch with Kelsey Mitchell (No. 2 in 2018), Victoria Vivians (No. 8 in 2018), NaLyssa Smith (No. 2 in 2022) and Queen Egbo (No. 10 in 2022). However Indiana remains to be trying to grow to be actually aggressive once more. This yr, the Fever had an early season teaching change and a younger workforce completed 5-31.
Seniors nonetheless have the choice of coming again for a fifth season due to the pandemic-affected 2020-21 educational yr, so there isn’t any assure all of those gamers will make themselves eligible for the draft. However with the data now we have now, right here is an early projection of the primary spherical of the draft, which is scheduled to be April 10, 2023.
South Carolina Gamecocks | ahead | 6-foot-5 | senior
She is the participant the Fever badly want. Boston is the draft’s certain factor, supplied she does not pull a shock and choose to remain a fifth season in school. That is not anticipated at this level. Boston was the nationwide participant of the yr final season and favored to repeat, as are the Gamecocks, as nationwide champions. She is probably the most pro-ready school participant, with elite ending expertise, footwork and defensive potential and savvy. With a normal supervisor and a brand new coach targeted on protection, the Fever can get a rookie submit in Boston who’s already capable of defend at an elite professional degree.
Stanford Cardinal | guard | 6-foot-1 | senior
The Lynx missed the playoffs final season for the primary time since 2010, they usually should regulate to life with out retired middle Sylvia Fowles. The Most Excellent Participant within the 2021 NCAA event, Jones might be an elite playmaker on the subsequent degree, together with turning into a extra dynamic scorer than she has been at Stanford. It is not truthful to check anybody to greats reminiscent of Seimone Augustus or Maya Moore, who had been each No. 1 picks by Minnesota. However Jones might be an enormous guard/wing who makes her personal legacy with the Lynx.
Tennessee Girl Vols | ahead | 6-foot-2 | senior
After taking huge guard Rhyne Howard with the No. 1 decide final season — she was WNBA Rookie of the Yr — the Dream would possibly need to decide up a dynamic submit participant. Jackson is in her first season at Tennessee and certain may have lots to do with how far the Girl Vols go. She was the SEC’s main scorer when she left Mississippi State final January after two teaching adjustments. In her time with the Bulldogs, she averaged 16.2 factors, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals. If she will be able to have comparable numbers this season, will probably be good for the Girl Vols and her draft inventory.
Maryland Terps | guard | 6-foot-3 | senior
The Mystics would possibly keep near dwelling with this decide and get Maryland’s huge guard. She left the Terps’ opener with an harm Monday, and she or he had harm points final season, too. However supplied Miller has a wholesome general season, she might be a powerful offensive participant in transition with Washington, with room to develop on protection. The Mystics led the WNBA in defensive ranking final season, so her progress there may be essential. Her harm standing will likely be an enormous key, however Miller’s expertise and potential should not doubtful.
UCLA Bruins | guard | 5-foot-9 | senior
Osborne was considerably out of the highlight with the Bruins lacking the NCAA event final season, though they superior to the WNIT semifinals. A strong offensive participant, Osborne led the Bruins at 16.4 PPG final season. However she’s even higher on protection, and the Sky may see her as an essential addition on the perimeter after a disappointing finish to their 2022 season with a playoff loss to Connecticut.
Jordan Horston will get the and-1 to fall
Tennessee Girl Vols | guard | 6-foot-2 | senior
Horston had an excellent junior yr reduce brief by an elbow harm, and expectations are excessive for her and Tennessee. She has nice dimension and defensive instincts on the wing, which may make her useful to the Liberty. Whereas turnovers and shot choice have been points for Horston, she averaged 16.2 factors final season, together with 9.4 rebounds. She suffered a leg harm in Tennessee’s victory Thursday that compelled her to depart that recreation, however she has since been evaluated as day-to-day.
Baylor Bears | ahead/guard | 5-foot-11 | senior
Blackwell is an impressive rebounder, averaging 13.0 final season and 10.2 in her three years at Missouri. She is fast, sturdy and has good instincts each offensively and defensively. Can she regulate to taking part in extra on the perimeter, as she might want to within the professional recreation? Having former WNBA coach Nicki Collen guiding her this season at Baylor must be good preparation.
Virginia Tech Hokies | middle | 6-foot-6 | senior
There isn’t a assure that true facilities could make the transition from school to in the present day’s WNBA. However Kitley, ACC Participant of the Yr final season, has issues in her favor. Final season, she averaged 18.1 factors, 9.8 rebounds and a couple of.4 blocks; she had 4 or extra blocks on 9 events. Kitley has to get stronger and perhaps a bit feistier to be a respectable low-block risk and rim protector within the WNBA, however she has steadily improved in her time with the Hokies.
Jacy Sheldon makes a candy dish
Ohio State Buckeyes | guard | 6-foot-2 | senior
Any guard in the identical convention as Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is more likely to be overshadowed. However keep watch over Sheldon: She has a enjoyable fearlessness in her drives to the basket and her opportunistic protection. Doing these items get lots more durable within the WNBA. However final season, she averaged 19.7 PPG whereas taking pictures 50.4% from the sector and recorded nearly two steals per recreation.
Iowa State Cyclones | ahead/guard | 6-foot-1 | senior
The fifth-year senior has gained the Cheryl Miller Award the previous two season and takes satisfaction in being a hardworking participant who will do something to assist her workforce. Iowa State has not had many alums succeed within the WNBA (protection is usually a difficulty), though Joens’ former teammate, Bridget Carleton (Lynx), has discovered a spot. Joens performed lots of 3-on-3 over this summer time, and what she realized there may assist her transition to the professional recreation.
Oklahoma Sooners | ahead | 6-foot-0 | senior
The fifth-year senior flourished final season within the offensive system of latest coach Jennie Baranczyk, averaging 18.0 factors. The truth is, Williams has been sturdy on offense her complete Sooners profession and she or he has a superb motor. Protection is neither her nor Oklahoma’s power, however she is a reliable rebounder (7.5 RPG final season).
Duke Blue Devils | guard | 5-foot-11 | senior
After spending her first two seasons at Texas, Taylor transferred and averaged 11.0 factors and 5.5 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Studying protection below Longhorns coach Vic Schaefer helped her, and it is one thing she dropped at Duke. Taylor has loads of areas she will be able to enhance on as a senior — lowering turnovers is one — and if she does, she may get into the primary spherical.