Ionescu, Sabally, Cox headline WNBA mock draft
By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press had a panel of WNBA coaches and general managers hold a mock draft over the course of the season. This is the final installment with the draft on Friday.
The coaches weren’t allowed to select players for their own team. Oregon players Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally are expected to be taken with the top two picks, marking the third time that players from the same team will go 1 and 2 in the draft. It’s been rare when a third-round pick has made a roster.
1. New York: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon. The Liberty need a point guard and no one has been better in her college career than Ionescu the past four seasons. The NCAA record holder in triple-doubles will be a great fit in New York.
2. Dallas: Satou Sabally, Oregon. The first of a star studded trio of juniors to enter the draft this season. Sabally is pro-ready and will give Dallas a solid complement for Arike Ogunbowale.
3. Indiana: Lauren Cox, Baylor. Will give the Fever a very strong front court pairing of Cox and Teaira McCowan. Baylor’s star can score, block shots and pass the basketball.
4. Atlanta: Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M: A talented guard who can put points on the board in a hurry. Also has a knack for the big shot, giving coach Nicki Collen a potential late-game closer.
5. Dallas: Tyasha Harris, South Carolina. Has averaged nearly five assists a game in her career at South Carolina and learned from one of the best point guards in women’s basketball history in coach Dawn Staley.
6. Minnesota: Megan Walker, UConn. Cheryl Reeve had a lot of success picking a UConn player last season as Napheesa Collier ended up being the league’s rookie of the year. Walker can provide consistent outside threat for the Lynx.
7. Dallas (from Seattle via Connecticut and Phoenix): Ruthy Hebard, Oregon. Would give coach Brian Agler another solid frontcourt player who shoots extremely well from the field — 68.5% this season — and has incredibly good hands.
8. Chicago: Beatrice Mompremier, Miami. She has great athleticism and potential, really holding her own at a USA Basketball camp in Miami against Lynx center Sylvia Fowles. She was sidelined for much of the season with a foot injury. She averaged 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds.
9. New York (from Las Vegas via Dallas): Bella Alarie, Princeton. The three-time Ivy League player of the year averaged 17.5 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Tigers, who only lost one game this season. Has a great basketball IQ and at 6-foot-4 has guard skills and can stretch out a defense.
10. Phoenix (from Los Angeles via Connecticut): Crystal Dangerfield. A solid leader and point guard who could give some youth to that position for the Mercury.
11. Seattle (from Connecticut): Mikiah Herbert-Harrington, South Carolina. Was a steadying force for the young Gamecocks this season and can shoot the deep ball.
12. New York (from Washington): Jocelyn Willoughby, Virginia. Led the ACC in scoring last season averaging 19.2 points and can score from anywhere on the court. Shot 42% from behind the arc.
13. New York (from Atlanta): Kiah Gillespie, Florida State. Led the Seminoles in scoring (15.6 points) and rebounds (8.7) this past season and also can shoot 3s.
14. Indiana (from New York via Minnesota): Kitija Laska, South Florida. She left South Florida to play professionally in her native Latvia Laska suffered a knee injury a year ago and missed almost all of her senior season.
15. New York (from Dallas): Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5 center gives the Liberty more depth at center and a rim protector. Brewer had 16 blocks in a game early in the season.
16. Minnesota (from Indiana): Kathleen Doyle, Iowa. One of the top point guards in the country, Doyle increased her scoring output this season, averaging 18.1 points.
17. Atlanta (from Phoenix): Kylee Shook, Louisville. Gives the Dream a solid shot blocker who could compete for a spot on the roster.
18. Phoenix (from Minnesota)-:Kaila Charles, Maryland. Fits in well for the Mercury and provides them some youth and versatility.
19. Seattle: Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State. A solid rebounding guard, who can score, as well. Would give Seattle a little more depth on the wing.
20. Los Angeles (from Chicago): Haley Gorecki, Duke. Led the Blue Devils in scoring (18.5 points), rebounding (6.6 boards) and assists (4.4). Also has a strong knack to get to the foul line.
21. Dallas (from Las Vegas): Te’a Cooper, Baylor. The well-traveled guard played at three different schools in her college career and will provide some depth for Dallas.
22. Los Angeles: Erica Ogwumike, Rice. Finished off a stellar career at Rice and would give the Sparks a third member of the Ogwumike family on their roster.
23. Connecticut: Juicy Landrum, Baylor. Set NCAA record with 14 3-pointers in a game in December and could help some of the void left by the departure of Shekinna Stricklen.
24. Washington: Luisa Geiselsoder, Germany. A 6-foot-3 post who coach Mike Thibault can let develop over in Europe as she’s only 20 years old.
25. Atlanta: Jazmine Jones, Louisville.
26. New York: Mingling Chen, China.
27. Atlanta (from Dallas): Alexa Willard, Missouri State.
28. Indiana: Peyton Williams, Kansas State
29. Phoenix: Leaonna Odom, Duke
30. Chicago: (from Minnesota): Chante Stonewall, DePaul.
31. Seattle: Joyner Holmes, Texas.
32. Chicago: Stella Johnson, Rider.
33. Las Vegas: Minyon Moore, Oregon.
34. LA Sparks: Alexis Tolefree – Arkansas.
35. Connecticut: Tynice Martin, West Virginia.
36. Washington: Jaylyn Agnew., Creighton.
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