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Dallas Wings load up on talent on crazy WNBA Draft night

Charli Collier and Awak Kuier went No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, to the Dallas Wings, as expected. The next six picks all went higher expected, with the Indiana Fever’s selection of Kysre Gondrezick at No. 4 being the surprise of the night.

Texas v South Carolina
Charli Collier was the No. 1 pick, as expected, in an otherwise unpredictable draft.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Charli Collier is indeed staying in her home and college state of Texas as she realized her dream of going No. 1 overall in a WNBA Draft when the Dallas Wings selected her on Thursday night. She will be joined in Dallas by an extremely versatile power forward in Awak Kuier of Finland, a pure scorer Chelsea Dungee and an absolute steal in Dana Evans, who went 13th.

For Dungee, Kysre Gondrezick and Shyla Heal, the night could not have gone any better as all three went considerably higher than expected. Gondrezick, a phenomenal scoring guard out of West Virginia, shocked everyone by going at No. 4 instead of the second or third round, which is where she was projected to go. She went from a likely training camp competitor to a highly-paid roster lock for the Indiana Fever.

With the elation of picks 3 through 8, who all went higher than expected, also comes some players who will have chips on their shoulders moving forward. Most had Rennia Davis and Arella Guirantes going No. 3 and No. 4 some order and the first fell to No. 9, while the latter fell to No. 22.

We’ve included every pick in the draft below, accompanied by where they were projected to go in our mock draft as well as ESPN’s mock draft to show just how unpredictable this year was.

1) Charli Collier - Dallas Wings

Center from Texas Longhorns

Swish Appeal mock draft: 1

ESPN mock draft: 1

Quote of the night: “It’s so exciting. I can’t wait to connect with my team and get it going. Just to have elite talent like that on the Dallas squad, it just makes it so much more fun. ... I’m looking forward to building a good relationship with all the players and all the coaches and just getting ready to get to work.”

Texas v South Carolina
Charli Collier, Texas.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

2) Awak Kuier - Dallas Wings

Power forward from Finland

Swish Appeal mock draft: 2

ESPN mock draft: 2

Quote of the night: “I feel like Dallas is going to grow into a great team. And to have so many young talents, it’s amazing for me to play with them and also learn from them. So I’m very excited.”

Awak Kuier.
Photo courtesy of the Dallas Wings vis Twitter.

3) Aari McDonald - Atlanta Dream

Point guard form Arizona Wildcats

Swish Appeal mock draft: 5

ESPN mock draft: 5

Quote of the night, on her draft stock skyrocketing leading up to the draft: “It’s been a lot going on, but through it all I never got too high, never got too low. Even after losing in the NCAA Tournament, I was never too low. I always took it from the bright side, I took from the positive in my situation. This whole journey of getting drafted into the WNBA I’ve been happy and I’m feeling blessed.”

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Semifinal-Arizona at Connecticut
Aari McDonald, Arizona.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4) Kysre Gondrezick - Indiana Fever

Point guard from West Virginia Mountaineers

Swish Appeal mock draft: 17

ESPN mock draft: 29

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-West Virginia vs Kansas State
Kysre Gondrezick (with ball), West Virginia.
Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

5) Chelsea Dungee - Dallas Wings

Shooting guard from Arkansas Razorbacks

Swish Appeal mock draft: 10

ESPN mock draft: 10

Quote of the night: “I think that I have the ability score the basketball from everywhere on the floor. I can shoot the three consistently. You’ll see more of my mid-range game, I've always had it. I didn't get to showcase it as much in college. And getting to the basket, getting fouls, getting under the defense. I think I can contribute in all those ways. And Arike (Ogubowale), I love watching Arike play. She plays with so much passion, energy, intensity. And I can’t wait to learn from her.”

NCAA Womens Basketball: Arkansas at Tennessee
Chelsea Dungee (with ball), Arkansas.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

6) Michaela Onyenwere - New York Liberty

Small forward from UCLA Bruins

Swish Appeal mock draft: 7

ESPN mock draft: 7

Quote of the night, on playing with Sabrina Ionescu: “It’s nice not having to go against her anymore. Definitely had our battles in college, her being at Oregon. I’m really excited to be able to have her, a great player, and to get to know her off the court. It’s gonna be a good experience. Excited for her crazy passes and just having another really great basketball player alongside me.”

Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA.
Photo by Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

7) Jasmine Walker - Los Angeles Sparks

Power forward from Alabama Crimson Tide

Swish Appeal mock draft: 9

ESPN mock draft: 9

Quote of the night, on her “dog mentality”: “That’s something that’s been in me. Always going to be in me. I’m willing to bring that to the table, willing to bring that to the LA Sparks. I’m ready to work, I'm ready to win.”

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-South Carolina vs Alabama
Jasmine Walker (with ball), Alabama.
Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

8) Shyla Heal - Chicago Sky

Point guard from Australia

Swish Appeal mock draft: 13

ESPN mock draft: 18

Quote of the night: “It just feels so surreal now. I actually have been picturing this moment and visualizing it since I was a little kid. I’m just so happy all my training’s paid off. I can’t wait to get to Chicago. I’ve been talking to them for a little bit now. It seems like such a good culture and I know it’s going to be a great fit for me. So I can’t wait to get over, learn from all the veterans and keep getting better, but also contribute as well.”

WNBL Grand Final - Southside v Townsville
Shyla Heal.
Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

9) Rennia Davis - Minnesota Lynx

Small forward from Tennessee Lady Volunteers

Swish Appeal mock draft: 3

ESPN mock draft: 4

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 01 Women’s Air Force at Tennessee
Rennia Davis, Tennessee.
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

10) Stephanie Watts - Lon Angeles Sparks

Shooting guard from North Carolina Tar Heels

Swish Appeal mock draft: 23

ESPN mock draft: 20

NCAA BASKETBALL: NOV 02 Women’s Exhibition - Carson-Newman at North Carolina
Stephanie Watts, North Carolina.
Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

11) Aaliyah Wilson - Seattle Storm

Shooting guard from Texas A&M Aggies

Swish Appeal mock draft: 34

ESPN mock draft: 28

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 SEC Women’s Tournament - Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M.
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

12) Iliana Rupert - Las Vegas Aces

Center from France

Swish Appeal mock draft: 12

ESPN mock draft: 13

Quote of the night: “I’m really happy to be a part of this Las Vegas team. They already have a really beautiful team, especially inside players. I think it will be really interesting for me to have amazing players, to have Liz Cambage, A’ja Wilson there. I think my game is a little different from them, but I think I can also learn a lot. So this is why I think it’s really the best thing that could happen to me.”

Iliana Rupert.
Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images

13) Dana Evans - Dallas Wings

Point guard from Louisville Cardinals

Swish Appeal mock draft: 8

ESPN mock draft: 6

Quote of the night: “I feel blessed for the opportunity to get drafted, but I use everything as motivation so this is just another thing added to the list. ... I can’t even put into words how much it motivates me. I told somebody that I’m ready to get in the gym tonight. I kind of feel disrespected, overlooked. But that’s just been my career, my path and my journey. That’s just my story.”

14) Destiny Slocum - Las Vegas Aces

Point guard from Arkansas Razorbacks

Swish Appeal mock draft: 20

ESPN mock draft: 14

Quote of the night: “Being around a team that a lot of people know is super talented, I’m excited to go pick everybody’s brain and go in there and compete and work hard and do whatever they need me to do. So I’m excited and thankful.”

15) Raquel Carrera - Atlanta Dream

Power forward from Spain

Swish Appeal mock draft: 30

ESPN mock draft: 23

16) Natasha Mack - Chicago Sky

Power forward from Oklahoma State Cowgirls

Swish Appeal mock draft: 6

ESPN mock draft: 12

Quote of the night, on what she has to say to the old Natasha Mack: “You did it! You finally made it! You can dance, do a happy dance. You can just hug your mama real big, hug your support system who’s been there since day one. ... This is one of the best feelings in the world, I couldn't ask for anything better.”

17) DiDi Richards - New York Liberty

Point guard from Baylor Lady Bears

Swish Appeal mock draft: 26

ESPN mock draft: 22

Quote of the night: “Being a defensive stopper, that’s something that’s gotten me this far, so I’m just hoping to keep riding it as far as it can take me. And definitely just making that strength better, so I’m definitely getting stronger in the gym laterally. And then weaknesses, I'm just trying to improve my offensive game. That’s the reason why I think I fell so low. I’m a complete player if I become an offensive threat. So I just hope to be able to showcase that in the W.”

18) Kiana Williams - Seattle Storm

Point guard from Stanford Cardinal

Swish Appeal mock draft: 11

ESPN mock draft: 8

Quote of the night: “I wasn't really necessarily worried about what number I was going to get drafted or what round. I honestly just prayed to God that I got drafted to a good situation for me. And I feel like Seattle is one of the best situations for me and I’m extremely thankful.”

19) Unique Thompson - Indiana Fever

Power forward from Auburn Tigers

Swish Appeal mock draft: 15

ESPN mock draft: 15

20) DiJonai Carrington - Connecticut Sun

Shooting guard from Baylor Lady Bears

Swish Appeal mock draft: 14

ESPN mock draft: 11

21) Micaela Kelly - Connecticut Sun

Point guard from Central Michigan Chippewas

Swish Appeal mock draft: 24

ESPN mock draft: 36

22) Arella Guirantes - Los Angeles Sparks

Shooting guard from Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Swish Appeal mock draft: 4

ESPN mock draft: 3

Quote of the night: “Definitely poked a nice little bear. It’s like that feeling when you don't get picked at the park, you're the last pick and you know you can play and you’re waiting for somebody to take a chance. I’m grateful for the chance that I have. I don’t need any more motivation, for sure.”

23) N’dea Jones - Seattle Storm

Power forward from Texas A&M Aggies

Swish Appeal mock draft: 19

ESPN mock draft: 31

Quote of the night, on her defensive versatility: “Coming from A&M, the 4 players are supposed to guard 1 through 5 and I credit coach (Gary) Blair and my coaches for allowing me to just show my defensive skill. So that's something that I could see continuing over when I do get to Seattle — maybe guarding the 2 or 3 and even possibly the 4.”

24) Trinity Baptiste - Indiana Fever

Small forward from Arizona Wildcats

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: 35

25) Valerie Higgins - New York Liberty

Power forward from Pacific Tigers

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: 33

26) Chelsey Perry - Indiana Fever

Power forward from UT Martin Skyhawks

Swish Appeal mock draft: 16

ESPN mock draft: 19

27) Lindsey Pulliam - Atlanta Dream

Shooting guard from Northwestern Wildcats

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: 16

28) Ivana Raca - Los Angeles Sparks

Small forward from Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Swish Appeal mock draft: 31

ESPN mock draft: 21

29) Marine Fauthoux - New York Liberty

Point guard from France

Swish Appeal mock draft: 33

ESPN mock draft: undrafted

30) Aleah Goodman - Connecticut Sun

Shooting guard from Oregon State Beavers

Swish Appeal mock draft: 35

ESPN mock draft: 25

31) Florencia Chagas - Indiana Fever

Point guard from Argentina

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: undrafted

32) Ciera Johnson - Phoenix Mercury

Center from Texas A&M Aggies

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: 24

33) Maya Caldwell - Indiana Fever

Guard from Georgia Bulldogs

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: undrafted

34) Aina Ayuso - Los Angeles Sparks

Point guard from Spain

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: undrafted

35) Natalie Kucowski - Seattle Storm

Power forward from Lafayette Leopards

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: 32

36) Kionna Jeter - Las Vegas Aces

Guard from Towson Tigers

Swish Appeal mock draft: undrafted

ESPN mock draft: undrafted