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WNBA Draft Watch 2020: Beatrice Mompremier leads Miami Hurricanes in new-look ACC

If traditional, back-to-the-basket post players appeal to you, Miami Hurricanes center Beatrice Mompremier has probably been on your radar. The ACC Preseason Player of the Year hasn’t missed a beat since bursting onto the scene as a junior. She’s now considered by most to be an early first-round WNBA Draft selection.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Miami vs Syracuse
Beatrice Mompremier (right) possesses a tall, athletic frame that makes her a can’t-miss frontcourt prospect.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Things are looking a little different in the ACC these days. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost five players to the WNBA Draft last spring. With a 5-8 record, the Irish are having a tough time filling the gaps those players left behind. Then, you have teams like the North Carolina Tar Heels and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets whose strong showings in non-conference play have them off to unexpectedly good starts.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the play of Miami Hurricanes center Beatrice Mompremier. She’s been a double-double machine since transferring from Baylor. With so many big ACC names now in the pros, she’s become arguably the conference’s most dominant player.

Honors and statistics

After a terrific junior season in which she averaged better than 16 points and 12 rebounds per game, Mompremier was named the ACC Preseason Player of the Year for 2019-20. She was also named to the watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award, which is given to the nation’s top center.

Now a senior, Mompremier is once again putting up gaudy statistics, averaging 16.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. She’s also blocking 1.8 shots per contest. Mompremier scored a season-high 31 points against DePaul back in November, a game in which she also collected 18 rebounds.

As a part of USA Basketball, Mompremier won a gold medal in the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. A year later, she and USA took home silver in the 2019 Pan American Games. Mompremier started in each game of that competition.

How she helps the Hurricanes

It doesn’t take hours of film study to see how important Mompremier is to the Hurricanes. At 6-foot-4, she’s often the tallest player on the court, and even when she’s not, her ability to run the floor usually makes up the difference. Mompremier moves like a gazelle in transition, making herself an easy target for Miami’s guards — a valuable skill that will give her value right off the bat as a player in the WNBA.

Still, Mompremier gets the majority of her opportunities in the post. As one would expect, she’s a tough cover down low due to her size. But even if she misses her initial shot attempt, she’s long enough to rebound those misses on a consistent basis. Mompremier is also becoming more dangerous from the high post as her ball skills develop, thanks to a quick first step.

It’s that first step, along with her length and persistence on the glass, that will be Mompremier’s calling card as a WNBA prospect. She’s currently posting a usage rate of 31.7 percent — which, on its own, should convey her value to the Hurricanes. However, it is unlikely that whichever team drafts Mompremier will run that much offense through her, at least initially.

As a collegiate player, though, Mompremier carries her team. She’s far and away Miami’s top scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, while her 4.5 free-throw attempts per game buoy the team’s offense. The Hurricanes do have three other players scoring in double figures (Endia Banks, Kelsey Marshall and Mykea Gray), but come tournament time, the question will likely be which of them can consistently establish an inside-out game with Mompremier and take the pressure off the frontcourt star.

Watch her play

The next national TV game for the Hurricanes is on Jan. 19 when they play the rebuilding Fighting Irish (ESPN2). If you get ACC Network, there’s a far more interesting matchup before then: Miami will host No. 7 Louisville on Jan. 9, a game in which Mompremier will get an opportunity to lead her team to victory against some of the nation’s best.