6:49 P.M. (EASTERN TIME)
Mechelle Voepel reports for espnW on the WNBA, women’s basketball and other university sports. Foypel started treating women’s basketball in 1984 and has been working for ESPN since 1996.
For the second year in a row, New York Freedom will be the first choice, but the WNBA 2021 project now contains many more questions than answers. Will there be a full season of college basketball to test the talent? Will one of the top high school students decide to return next season, as allowed by the NCAA, due to the effects of COVID-19? How many juniors are eligible?
Will the Wings of Dallas, last season’s youngest WNBA team (average age 24.20 years), use the top three spots in the first round just like last April? Or will the wings try to trade the selection for one or two veterans? How will a free agency that was more active last season affect the project?
Nothing seems clear, not even the first choice. Kentucky junior defender Ryan Howard tops ESPN’s list of top college basketball players for 2020-21, and many believe she could have been the first if she had been considered. In 2021 she won’t be 22 yet, and the only way to do that is to finish school early. A Kentucky spokesman said Friday that Howard does not intend to do this and plans to end his academic career in 2022.
We have included two juniors in this classified project, who can participate under this condition: We don’t know if she’s leaving early yet. In 2020, three eligible young people were selected for the first round – Satou Saballi from Oregon, Chennedy Carter from Texas A&M and Megan Walker from UConn – who dropped out of high school this year.
Expect this ridiculousness to change drastically over the course of the season until the editorial team in April – and it probably will.
1. Freedom of New York: Charlie Collier, C, Texas.
She’s only a junior and that’s okay, because she turns 22 in September. The Collier train has increased in size in recent weeks. In her second year, she averaged 13.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, but with 1.5 meters in the preseason she has become stronger and still looks fit for the Longhorns’ new coach, Vick Schaefer. This includes a 44-point performance against North Texas and an average of 30.3 PPG and 12.0 RPG for three games. It will be interesting to see how she treats Texas A&M on Sunday (20:30 ET, ESPN). With so much uncertainty about number 1, Collier seems at least a reasonable assumption at the moment. It could have helped the Liberty team, which was in last place in 2020 and had to fight for a lot compared to the best teams in the championship.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Charlie Collier Junior from Texas is eligible for the WNBA Draft 2021 and can also qualify for the New York Liberty Number 1. Stephen Spillman / Texas Athletics
2. The wings of Dallas: Aari MacDonald, SG, Arizona.
She won the design last season, but decided to return to Arizona and is one of the best players in the Pac-12 and the country. With a length of six feet she is small, but incredibly fast, capable and fearless. After her first season in Washington, D.C., she averaged 22.5 PPGs, 6.1 RPGs and 4.2 assists per game in two seasons in Arizona. She also has a former WNBA player as mentor to Wildcats coach Adia Barnes. The wings can, as mentioned above, decide to treat this or any other choice. And since they already have Araik Ogunbowell, Dallas may not think McDonald’s is the right guy. But she could be the best player at this early stage.
3. Atlanta’s dream: Avak Kuijer, Si, Finland
With a promising 1.80m position, Mrs. Quiera will only turn 20 August next year. So we’ll have to see how ready it can be for the WNBA in 2021. But the potential is so offensive and defensive that it could be a lottery choice. Especially with a design that does not enjoy much confidence. A dream can’t hurt to have more depth in the bed. If they don’t get it in a free desk, they can consider a developing perspective with a high ceiling as a rewarding opportunity.
4. Indian fever: Rennia Davis, SF, Tennessee.
First season debutant, 6’2 vanguard / defender, average of 14.8 HPC, 7.8 RPG and 1.8 APG. Davis can be compared to the former Lady Wol Shekinna Stricklen, a nine-year-old WNBA veteran who is also a 6-2 All-Star player. Indiana Executive Director Tamika Kutchings of Tennessee can guide them in that direction, and Davis may also need her.
5. The wings of Dallas: Arella Girantes, SG, Rutgers.
After her first year at Texas Tech University, Guirantes returned closer to her home in New York and prospered for the Scarlet Knights. Last season she played an average of 20.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.1 APG, and also played an average of 37.1 minutes per game against the team. Their 36-point victory over Ohio in February was one of the most exciting individual performances of the past season. Perhaps the success of Rutger’s graduates Bethnia Lainey and Cajlia Copper in 2020 could also help Girant’s profile.
6. Phoenix Mercury: Eveena Westbrook, PG, UConn.
She is one of the two juniors we receive because they are the right age, although they have not indicated that they will leave early. Westbrook has a good height of 6 feet and is very experienced. In 2018-19 she started working in Tennessee for two seasons: 14.9 PCO, 3.6 GPA and 5.3 GPA as Grade 10 students. She was out last season after joining UConn and is expected to play a lot for Husky this season. Mercury can see it as a bridge across the backyard to the future.
7. The wings of Dallas: Michaela Oninvere, SF, UCLA.
Her physical capacities are abundant; last season she had an average of 18.9 CACs and 8.9 GPAs, while her second year was 18.3 and 8.5. Their ability to defend themselves against different types of players should also be useful. However, the problem is that as a low-level striker – she is on the 6-0 list – she probably needs more security skills for the next level. She can get 3 points – she has reached 41 points in her career – and it will help her if she can improve there. However, the key for the team that takes it can be to focus on what it’s doing well, not what it can’t do.
8. Chicago Sky: Dana Evans, SG, Louisville.
Sure, it’s small – 5-6, but look at last season’s WNBA Rookie of the Year: Crystal Minnesota Dangerous Field 5-5. Courtney Wonderluth and Ellie Quigley have long been anchored in the Garden of Paradise, but Evans can be a good addition to their ability to score and defend goals. Last season the average APG was 18.0 and APG 4.2.
9. Minnesota Left: Natasha Mac, FP, Oklahoma.
After a solid university career, Mac played only one season with Stillwater. So fans outside the Big 12 probably haven’t seen them very often. But last season she averaged 17.6 PPGs and 12.5 RPGs in the 6-4 and also had 96 blocked shots and was called Big 12 rookie of the year. She doesn’t shoot on three, but she does everything else pretty good.
10. Los Angeles Sparks: N’dea Jones, PF, Texas A&M.
In today’s basketball, which is rather poorly placed, the 6-2 Jones cannot be considered universal enough, nor does it shoot 3 balls. But she’s a solid defender and a tireless worker on the boards, with a double-digit average drop (11.3, 11.7) over the past two seasons. And with the departure of Aggis’ Chennedy Carter we see that the number of Jones’ forwards will increase again this season. This was the case in the first three games, where she had an average of 19.3 PPG compared to 11.0 last season.
11. The storm in Seattle: Tiana Mangakaya, P.G., Syracuse.
Mangakahia, one of the best stories in college sports, has come back after spending last season in prison for breast cancer. Of course she is only 5-6 years old, but her productivity cannot be denied; she has an average of 17.1 CAC and 9.1 CAC in two seasons with Syracuse. The Australian Guard may be the oldest player on the team – they turn 25 in April, but what is positive is that they are mature. If she’s still available at that time, Storm might consider her as another point guard behind Sue Bird.
12. Las Vegas bait: Erin Bowley, SF, Oregon.
As with everything in this project, it is very difficult to guess what the aces will do. Last season they were the worst team in the WNBA with Kelsey Ploom, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury. 1. Pain is another kind of 3-point arrow 6 2. Pain. After the first season at Notre Dame she moved to Oregon and shot 43% (108 out of 251) in 2018-19 and 44.1% (78 out of 177) behind the bow in the last season. The combination of its size and the bombardment of its perimeter may be attractive to Las Vegas if its protection is considered sufficient.
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