The WNBA offseason is a long one. Thankfully, the NCAA season is just getting underway, and it’s never too early to start thinking about what the upcoming WNBA Draft class will look like.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 draft-eligible players in the NCAA. We’ll take a deeper look at each player as the season goes on, but for now, get familiarized with these names. Chances are high you’ll be hearing them called next spring.
Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon)
2018-19 stats: 19.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.1 APG
Why she’s a prospect: No one stuffs the stat sheet like Ionescu. She’s equally deadly as a scorer (51.3 percent effective field goal percentage) and distributor (38.3 percent assist rate, 3.18 assist/turnover ratio) and the kind of talent GMs of rebuilding WNBA teams are looking for.
Lauren Cox (Baylor)
2018-19 stats: 13.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.6 BPG
Why she’s a prospect: Cox is arguably the best defensive prospect in the class. With Kalani Brown in the pros, she’ll now get plenty of time to shine as Baylor’s primary scorer. She’s a hands-down lottery pick.
Beatrice Mompremier (Miami)
2018-19 stats: 16.7 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Why she’s a prospect: There were few players with a higher rebounding rate than Mompremier last season, and there’s no reason to believe she can’t repeat that as a senior. She’s been picked as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
Kaila Charles (Maryland)
2018-19 stats: 17.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Charles is a big guard who has potential as both a slasher and defender. Expect her to run roughshod over the Big Ten as Maryland’s primary scorer.
Crystal Dangerfield (UConn)
2018-19 stats: 13.4 PPG, 5.9 APG, 1.6 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Dangerfield is the latest point guard prospect running the UConn machine. With scorers like Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson now in the WNBA, she can gain valuable experience leading the team as a senior.
Joyner Holmes (Texas)
2018-19 stats: 11.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.0 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Holmes is a high-ceiling post player who can handle and pass the basketball better than most at her size. If she can hone those skills, she’ll be an attractive first-round option for WNBA GMs.
Ruthy Hebard (Oregon)
2018-19 stats: 16.1 PPG (66.7% FG), 9.2 RPG
Why she’s a prospect: Hebard has made a name for herself as one of the most efficient players in the nation. As a junior, she scored a ridiculous 1.35 points per scoring attempt, good enough for seventh-best in the country.
Mikayla Pivec (Oregon State)
2018-19 stats: 15.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.4 APG
Why she’s a prospect: Pivec’s all-around stat line as a junior was impressive, especially her 41.7 percent accuracy from 3-point range. There’s not much she can’t do on the court.
Tynice Martin (West Virginia)
2018-19 stats: 18.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.6 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Martin is an explosive, long wing player who can score in bunches. Her athleticism and frame will appeal to WNBA GMs, especially if she can improve her scoring efficiency as a senior.
Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M)*
2018-19 stats: 23.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.4 APG
Why she’s a prospect: In just two collegiate seasons, Carter already has become one of the NCAA’s most exciting players. There’s no shot she can’t make and she excels at getting to the foul line as well, making her a nearly impossible one-on-one cover.
Bella Alarie (Princeton)
2018-19 stats: 22.8 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.8 BPG
Why she’s a prospect: Alarie can dominate the game in just about any way you could ask: scoring, rebounding and defense. She’s the focal point of every opposing defense. Yet, while her per-game averages might not translate to the WNBA, she’s going to get a lot more room to work than she currently does in the Ivy League.
Aari McDonald (Arizona)*
2018-19 stats: 24.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.6 APG
Why she’s a prospect: An explosive combo guard, McDonald is a terror off the dribble. Only two players got to the free throw line more often than she did last season. She can distribute, too (34.2 percent assist rate).
Satou Sabally (Oregon)*
2018-19 stats: 16.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: There aren’t many players at any level who possess the combination of size and skill that Sabally does. She knocked down 41.5 percent of her 3-point attempts as a sophomore, which makes her a “stretch four” candidate. But there’s a good chance she develops into much more than that.
Destiny Slocum (Oregon State)*
2018-19 stats: 15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.5 APG
Why she’s a prospect: Slocum is skilled with the basketball and has plenty of shot-making ability. Last season, her assist rate of 36.1 percent ranked 20th in the country.
Te’a Cooper (Baylor)
2018-19 stats: 11.9 PPG, 2.2 APG, 1.1 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: It’s yet another fresh start for Cooper, who will be playing on her third team as a collegiate athlete. Baylor is expected to dominate the Big 12. If she plays well as a part of that, her draft stock will definitely rise.
Tyasha Harris (South Carolina)
2018-19 stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.7 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: At 5-foot-10, Harris is tall for a point guard and she’s absolutely excellent at taking care of the basketball. As a junior, she posted an assist/turnover ratio of 3.20 — among the best in the NCAA.
Kiah Gillespie (Florida State)
2018-19 stats: 16.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG
Why she’s a prospect: Gillespie is a double-double threat (she had 13 of them as a junior) whose outside shot has made significant progress. If that continues, she’ll have a viable WNBA skill at 6-foot-2.
Erica Ogwumike (Rice)
2018-19 stats: 16.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.7 APG
Why she’s a prospect: Much like her sisters, Ogwumike is a high-energy player who is relentless on the boards. She gets to the free throw line often and there are few better rebounding guards.
DiJonai Carrington (Stanford)
2018-19 stats: 14.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Carrington scored in double figures in all but one Pac-12 game last season. With Stanford bringing in a ton of young talent, she’s primed to be the face of one of the best teams in the NCAA.
Ayana Mitchell (LSU)
2018-19 stats: 13.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 1.7 SPG
Why she’s a prospect: Mitchell is an elite rebounder, especially for her size. She racked up 16 double-doubles last season and her 15.2 percent offensive rebounding rate ranked in the 98th percentile nationwide.
* Junior, eligible for the 2020 WNBA Draft
All statistics in this article courtesy of Her Hoop Stats.