Throughout the NCAA season, a couple of us on the Swish Appeal team have tracked the progress of 2012 WNBA Draft prospects.
A mock draft and some of my thoughts on top prospects were posted at the Minnesota Lynx' 2012 Draft Central site, but in the course of discussions with others and a look at statistics, I had compiled a list of over 50 players that stood out for one reason or another prior to making those picks. I meant to post those prior to the tournament, but before jumping into our full draft coverage we'll post an overview of players we've "discussed" during this season.
Bear in mind that "discussed" doesn't necessarily mean a player is destined for stardom - in many cases, someone said what about Player X and we might've taken a look, gone over strengths and weaknesses, come up with a similar player who's a better prospect, and then said the player doesn't have the potential to make a roster. In other cases, a player might be put forward as a foil or someone whose numbers are deceptively strong or weak.
All of that is just to say that it's obvious that not everyone on this list will be drafted, much less make a WNBA roster - simple arithmetic will tell you that if the draft only has 36 picks - some of which will go to foreign players that aren't expected to come to the U.S. immediately - it's impossible for 55 NCAA players to be drafted. Perhaps needless to say, I also wouldn't necessarily say these are the "top 50" seniors given how the list was compiled - they're just the folks I've looked at thus far.
In other words, it's like a working draft that we've sort of put together through conversation. But I had this sitting on my computer, so I'm sharing.
Nevertheless, for those not familiar with the statistics in isolation, the broader range of players can be useful in helping to understand what type of players put up different types of numbers and how they compare to other players at their position.
So first, a brief explanation of these numbers.
- All of the shooting efficiency numbers (2p%, 3p%, TS%, Usage%, PPWS) were taken from Women's Basketball State, most just before conference tournaments began. Explanations of all of those stats can be found in their statistics primer.
- Rebound percentage was also taken from WBB State and is the percentage of opponents' missed shots that were rebounded successfully. Offensive rebounding rate matters a bit more than defensive rebounding rate for draft prospects, but we'll get to that later.
- Steal percentage is also from WBB State and represents an estimate of the percentage of steals a player registered while on the floor.
- Free throw rate (FTA/FGA) and free throw production rate (FTM/FGA) were added and are not the same formulas as WBB State's.
- Pure point rating and points per empty possession were calculated according to the formulas in our statistics glossary.
- As an additional note, all of these numbers were taken prior to the CBI/NCAA/WNIT tournaments unless otherwise indicated.
For some additional insight on what those numbers mean for a player's pro potential, check out ESPN's John Hollinger's description of his NBA draft rater from the past - different league, but much of the wisdom there can be applied to the NCAA to WNBA transition as well.
If you have any additional players that are glaringly draft-worthy prospects, feel free to share in the comments.
Center and power forwards
Click here to see a list of patterns among successful centers in past years.
|Bennett, Kali||Arizona State||6'5"||45.2||45||24.15||0.9||0.23||0.13||15.42|
|Bravard, Ciera||Florida State||6'4"||54.2||60.1||28.4||1.2||0.66||0.47||15.27|
|Broomfield, Laura||North Carolina||6'1"||46.1||47.1||22.81||0.9||0.49||0.22||24.45|
|Elonu, Adaora (full)
|Goodlett, Sasha||Georgia Tech||6'5"||52.5||56.9||25.08||1.1||0.41||0.29||15.86|
|Hampton, Keisha *||DePaul||6'2"||46.3||54.6||33.03||1.1||0.40||0.30||11.72|
|Johnson, Lykendra||Michigan St.||6'1"||46.4||48.4||24.35||1||0.44||0.24||20.52|
|Peters, Devereaux||Notre Dame||6'2"||55.8||58.7||24.44||1.2||0.38||0.26||24.2|
|Santiago, Kristina||Cal Poly||6'1"||55.7||58.8||34.66||1.2||0.35||0.25||18.26|
|Shegog, Chay||North Carolina||6'5"||53||55.4||24.79||1.1||0.44||0.26||12.76|
* Hampton missed the majority of this season so these are her junior season statistics.
Small forwards, shooting guards, combo guards
Click here for a look at a few statistical patterns from the past for shooting guard prospects, which could easily be applied to small forwards or "combo guards".
|Condrey, Terran (full)
|James, Tavelyn||Eastern Michigan||5'7"||46.4||31.1||52.3||31.36||1||28.63||24.76||3.5|
|Jenkins, Jessica (full)
|McCarthy, Kristen (full)
|Novosel, Natalie||Notre Dame||5'11"||46.1||42.9||57.3||27.35||1.2||42.94||35.73||2.41|
|Perkins, Jazmine (full)
|Rayburn, Brittany (full)
|Redmon, Katelan (full)
|Rushdan, Khadijah (full)
|Sykes, April (full)
|White, Tyra||Texas A&M||6'0"||42.2||25.6||44.4||24.51||0.9||28.57||16.40||1.72|
|Wojta, Julie||Green Bay||6'0"||53.9||37.3||58.6||28.05||1.2||29.39||23.88||6.18|
Click here for a description of past statistical patterns of successful point guard prospects, which tends to be harder to determine than some of the other positions.
The first 6 of these columns are based on end of season statistics, the final three put together independently based on pre-tournament statistics (and the differences were small enough that I haven't adjusted these tables yet).
|Bendolph, Jasmine||La Tech||5'7"||41.2||38.1||49.8||18.81||1||10.89||2.48||1.26|
|Carter, Sydney||Texas A&M||5'6"||35.5||21.6||41.1||20.68||0.8||28.92||-0.14||1.02|
|Cooper, Chene||Eastern Washington||5'0"||39.6||32.1||49||20.96||1||37.35||5.10||1.50|
|Jacobson, Kelsey||Florida Gulf Coast||5'8"||34.9||35.5||52.8||18.09||1.1||17.52||0.39||2.09|
|Jones, Georgia||Oral Roberts||5'8"||33.3||33.3||45.6||18.9||0.9||12.35||4.12||1.46|
|Prahalis, Samantha||Ohio State||5'7"||48.7||34.6||55||27.97||1.1||28.13||3.28||2.17|
|Steed, Haley *||BYU||5'4"||34.8||33.5||47.7||17.02||0.9||19||6.29||1.31|
* Steed has the option of returning to BYU for a seventh season and the latest reports indicate that she will.
What is your feeling about the quality of the 2012 WNBA Draft class as of right now?
Strong (on par with the top five draft classes of all-time) (17 votes)
Average (46 votes)
Weak (similar to the five least productive draft classes of all-time) (82 votes)
Too soon to tell (6 votes)
151 total votes