MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Australian basketball player Liz Cambage poses during a portrait shoot at St Kilda Beach on March 29, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
From now until the WNBA draft on April 11, 2011, Swish Appeal will be providing you with information, quotes and audio clips on some of the top prospects. We hope you enjoy them, and they help you prepare for the new crop of WNBA players entering the league this summer!
Not many people outside of Australia heard of Elizabeth Cambage prior to the 2010 FIBA World Championships. But there was the teenage sensation, all 6'8 of her was on display, showing off post moves with skill against the likes of Sylvia Fowles and Tina Charles. She wasn't afraid to be physical, and she backed down from no one. She now will be eligible for the WNBA draft, but she comes with questions; the biggest of which is will she even come here and play for multiple seasons?
Easily the most intriguing player in the WNBA draft, the result of her size (6’8), age (she’s 19), skill level, and the fact she is from another country. Elizabeth Cambage has exploded on the season with her breakout performance in the 2010 World Championships, and has followed that with an MVP season for the Bulleen Boomers in Australia’s WNBL.
STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
- Averaged 22.3 ppg in the WNBL to lead the league
- Averaged 8.2 rebounds per game (3rd in the league)
- Shot 58.9% from the field (3rd in the league)
- Scored 30 or more points four times this season
- Averaged 13.6 ppg in 2010 FIBA World Championships for Opals (11th best)
- Averaged only 5.4 rebounds per game in the World Championships
WHAT HER TEAMMATE (AND OPPONENT) SAYS
Tully Bevilaqua is a long time veteran of the WNBA, WNBL and member of the Opals. She has played with a young Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor, and now with a young Elizabeth Cambage. This past winter, as a member of the West Coast Waves of the WNBL, she played against Cambage. Tully discussed with me Cambage and her potential impact on the WNBA.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
Carrie Graf coached Liz Cambage on the 2010 FIBA World Championships Opals team, and against her this past WNBL season as coach of the Canberra Capitals. She talked about the young and talented center.
Geno Auriemma is the head coach of the USA Senior National team, and as such got to see the startling improvement in Cambage's game from the time first seen in July at the WNBA All-Star weekend scrimmage, to the September scrimmages in Hartford, and finally to the World Championships themselves. He came away very impressed.
FROM ELSEWHERE ON THE ‘NET
"She's got a whole lot of work to do, she's really raw in a lot of ways, but she's got wonderful size,'' Graf said of Cambage.
"She's a good learner, she's got to develop a body that can sustain effort and work on her fundamental skills set. No matter how big you are, you've still got to be able to put the ball in the hole. To score that many points in 13 minutes is not as easy as it sounds and she was certainly efficient around the basket.
"She's a work in progress, but she's definitely one of the most exciting prospects in Australian women's basketball.''
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Liz Cambage 2010/11 WNBL MVP Season Highlights
WHAT THE TULSA SHOCK SAY
Teresa Edwards is the Director of Player Personnel for the Tulsa Shock. She has gone to Australia to see Cambage play in person, and she has talked with and about her with many people. The "elephant in the room" is the fact that Australia has made it perfectly clear that they want their players to stay home for the 2012 season and not play in the WNBA. As a young team, building a fan base, that would be tough for Tulsa. Would that stop the Shock from taking Cambage at #2 in the draft?