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Before the 2003 WNBA Draft, ESPN analyst Doris Burke gave her predictions on the how the top 10 picks would go. So how did her predictions hold up against the actual draft?
Find out in WNBA.com's top 10 comparison below:
1. Burke: LaToya Thomas, F, Mississippi State
is the most explosive player in the draft. She is the first person to lead the SEC in scoring for all four years and she’s shown the most offensive prowess historically in the league. She has a great pro body already and can score with her back to the basket or facing up. She’s just really prepared for the next level right now, no question.
Actual: LaToya Thomas
2. Chantelle Anderson, C, Vanderbilt
has true post skills. She is a legitimate five player, which increasingly is a lost art in any level of basketball, men’s or women’s. She’s got good hands, an excellent touch and great footwork. She is very sound on the defensive end of the floor and has shown more of an ability to step away and hit the 10 to 12 foot jumper as well.
Actual: Chantelle Anderson
3. Gwen Jackson, F, Tennessee
, to me, is the player who is really intriguing. She’s 6-2, an excellent athlete, she runs the floor and can score in transition. In Tennessee’s new motion offense this season, she was forced to step away, hit three pointers and go off the dribble. She rebounds with authority, and coming out of Tennessee because of the schedule that they play, she’s as prepared as she can be to play at the next level. Both Kara Lawson and Jackson have played the toughest schedule possible. If you come out of UConn or Tennessee, you’re not going to be more prepared for the pro game.
Actual: Cheryl Ford
4. Kara Lawson, G, Tennessee
I think there’s one question mark about Kara Lawson
at the next level: does she have the foot speed to guard? But she has won at every level. She’s a winner, and her ability to lead and to compete is unquestioned. She’s hit several game-winning shots. She’s an excellent three-point shooter, and she mixes that up nicely with an ability to go off the dribble. She is more substance than she is style, definitely.
Actual: Plenette Pierson
5. Cheryl Ford, C, Louisiana Tech
You talk about a player who over her four-year career who has improved more than any other player in the draft. Over the course of the last two years, Cheryl Ford
has matured to the point where she’s able to carry the burden of a team on her shoulders alone. She’s comfortable with being the go-to person, the focal point. She just has a really strong body. She has an excellent array of post moves, but her greatest strength is I still see so much of an upside. There is still so much growth that’s possible for this young woman.
Actual: Kara Lawson
6. Plenette Pierson, F, Texas Tech
took a year off at Texas Tech because of discipline problems, and I think that is a huge plus for her and will be a huge plus in the minds of WNBA coaches. Because the problems she had were her immaturity, so in the minds of these coaches, they’re getting a player who’s a year older and became so much more skilled in the year that she was off. Because this is a player who always had tremendous post skills and could use her athletic ability to rebound and score in transition and shoot and score over people, but now she is a much more complete player. She tightened up her handle, and she’s a more consistent jump shooter. She’s a bit undersized to play in the post, so the addition of perimeter skills could be pivotal.
Actual: Gwen Jackson
7. Aiysha Smith, C, LSU
is one of the better athletes in the draft. She comes out of LSU, so in terms of preparation, having played in the best conference in college basketball in the SEC, she’s proven an ability to be successful. She’s long, she’s athletic, she can guard, and she can rebound. She’s a bit inconsistent from three-point range, but there is a tremendous upside with her.
Actual: Aiysha Smith
8. Coretta Brown, G, North Carolina
has excellent size at the one guard. She has a solid handle with the right and can knock down the long-distance jumper. She's a pretty solid three-point shooter and can get off the bounce.
Actual: Sun-Min Jung
9. Jocelyn Penn, F, South Carolina
is a solid low-post scorer and short-range jump shooter. She can run the floor and score in transition, but she may be a bit undersized to compete in a very physical league.
Actual: Jocelyn Penn
10. Shaquala Williams, G, Oregon
is a really intriguing player because early on in her career at Oregon, she was dynamite – explosive scorer, excellent handle, could get where she wanted to go off the dribble. However, injury questions and a suspension this past season have put questions into the minds of coaches. Skill-wise, she has the potential to play in the league, but some questions remain.
Actual: Molly Creamer