Most of us writing for Swish Appeal are fans of the WNBA and some of us will be covering college games.
So as a bridge between the two, we looked at some numbers and have talked to people over time and came up with the following list of 2011 WNBA Draft prospects in the college ranks.
For now, these are in alphabetical order. During the season - as we have occasion to watch these players in action to complement statistics or last year's observations - we'll rank them more systematically.
Why 13? That pretty much covers the first round of the WNBA Draft, plus a couple of second round possibilities (this list does not include Australia's 6'8" center Liz Cambage). As the season progresses and prospects rise or fall, we'll update the list, but the following are our focus at this stage.
Each player named linked to their school website bio:
Jessica Breland, 6'3", F, North Carolina
Victoria Dunlap, 6'1", F, Kentucky
Amy Jaeschke, 6'5", C, Northwestern
Jantel Lavender, 6'4", C, Ohio State
Sarah Miles, 5'7", PG, West Virginia
Maya Moore, 6'0", F, Connecticut
Kayla Pedersen, 6'4", Stanford
Ta'Shia Phillips, 6'6", Xavier
Danielle Robinson, 5'9", PG, Oklahoma
Carolyn Swords, 6'6", C, Boston College
Jasmine Thomas, 5'9", PG, Duke
Courtney Vandersloot, 5'8", PG, Gonzaga
- For more potential prospects, check out the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
- The very preliminary surface level assessment of this group: adding in Cambage, if you think you favorite team needs a center there will be ample opportunity to get one.
- There may eventually be some debate about whether the Lynx should take the most talented post player - whether you consider that to be Cambage or Harris - instead of Moore with #1.
So a counter-argument: Moore is a somewhat unique talent - with her athleticism and Team USA experience she's arguably the most "WNBA ready" player in the draft. If the Lynx really need a post player, there's no reason not to take Moore #1 and then wait for whoever falls to #4. Given that it's highly unlikely the Sky will select a center - though Harris seems like a reasonable fit - the Lynx will still be in very strong position at #4 to pick a very talented post player.
There are definitely reasons to pick someone other than Moore #1, but in terms of a draft strategy getting selecting Moore wouldn't preclude getting a very talented post player at #4. That's a nice addition to any team. And with a whole season ahead of us, that #4 pick stands to only look stronger come draft time.
Swish Appeal 2011 WNBA Draft Prospects: Five More Notable Players