Victoria Dunlap Brings Her Defensive Intensity to the WNBA (Photo Courtesy of Kentucky Athletics)
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
University of Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell is crystal clear in describing Victoria Dunlap: she transformed his program to one with an identity, and that identity is a tough, hard working, defensive team. 3rd team AP All-American this year, Dunlap bought into the system of defense first, and has become a candidate to be a high WNBA draft pick.
Victoria Dunlap is a 6'1 forward, with abilities to impact a game on both ends of the court. She has a strong defensive mindset, and defense is important to her. She has also become an outstanding scorer in the SEC, and has helped propel Kentucky back to national prominence, while winning more than a few individual honors herself.
STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
- Led the SEC in scoring at 17 ppg
- Even though only 6'1, averaged almost 9 rebounds per game
- In the Top 10 all time at Kentucky in 7 categories, including rebounds, blocks & steals
- 2009-10 Unanimous SEC Player of the year
- Shot 45% from the floor, mostly playing in the post
- Shot only 12 3-pointers this year, but made 5
- Only shot 70% from the foul line
STRAIGHT FROM THE PLAYER'S MOUTH
According to Victoria, defense has always come to her first, and she's needed to emphasize working on her offensive game.
Dunlap is well aware that as she moves to the WNBA, she will need to continue to improve her face up offensive game, and talked about some of the work she has put in to continue to improve.
Moving on to the WNBA will be difficult, but Victoria feels playing in the SEC for four years will help with the transition. The SEC presents a struggle against a difficult team almost every night, and that grueling schedule will ease the transition to the pro game.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
Hard work, leadership, effort on both ends of the court..these are the things that Coach Mitchell is going to have to replace next season with the graduation of his All-American Dunlap. He knows that players like her, though, ones that change the face of a program are hard to find.
Bob Starkey has been assistant head coach at LSU for years, and has had the difficult task of trying to game plan for his Tigers vs Dunlap the last four years. He graciously took time to discuss his now former SEC opponent's game and where she can go with it.
FROM ELSEWHERE ON SBNATION
If you think it's easy building a powerhouse in the SEC, you try recruiting against Pat Summitt, Andy Landers, etc. and see how it goes! Matthew Mitchell is doing it, and getting the job done. Victoria Dunlap is an undersized post with extreme athleticism that allows her to control the boards against the bigger players. Dunlap has been working on her face up game, and if she can add that foul line jumper ala Tina Charles, she will be amazing to see.