Unlike last year, the 2005 WNBA Draft may not be as deep or as full of household
names. However, there is plenty of talent coming out of college this spring sure
to make a splash in the WNBA for years to come. After watching the NCAA Tournament
these past few weeks and keeping an eye on some of the more well-known names and
prospects, there still might be a few prospects out there that you have not heard
about yet. And while they might have slipped below your radar, they haven't gotten
past WNBA scouts are more than worthy of your consideration even if they don't
go in the top two or three picks.
Wheeler, Arizona, Point Guard:
-Extremely athletic, a great defender
who can score on the perimeter, off the dribble, she can take contact and still
finish. She still has to improve on some of her offensive skills to play the point
in the WNBA.
Hodges, Florida State, Shooting Guard:
-Had a great season at Florida
State, and is very similar to her sister (Doneeka, with the Sparks). She probably
has a more developed offensive game at this stage in her career and can be relied
on to score. She is a tremendous athlete who will be a nice role player at the
next level coming off the bench.
Mann, UC-Santa Barbara, Small Forward:
-A versatile post player and
fierce competitor capable of playing both forward positions. She has great size
for a three and plays well facing up and with her back to the basket. She can
score on the perimeter and creates matchup problems. Her weakness will be her
quickness and perimeter defense.
Montanana, George Washington, Small Forward:
-A very deceiving
player. She doesn't have the typical body for a WNBA player, but she has great
basketball instincts and understands the game very well. She can handle the ball
and score even though she looks like she can't play at all. Quickness will be
a question and she faces a tough transition because she is undersized, but has
all the fundamentals you would want in a player.
Lyttle, Houston, Center:
-A raw athlete and great rebounder who needs
to continue to develop her basketball skills. She has not played a lot of basketball,
but at the next level, she will be a role player who could develop into an impact
player with some additonal time overseas. She is an undersized post who also needs
to work on perimeter shooting and ball-handling.
Jackson, Oklahoma, Shooting Guard:
-A versatile player for Oklahoma
who played three or four positions over her career. She can do it all. At her
size, she gets a lot of rebounds while defending bigger players. She will play
two in the WNBA, so she needs to become more of a scorer and develop that aggressive
mentality as well as work on her point guard skills . She could also add some
bulk to her frame.
Matter, Ohio State, Shooting Guard:
-An excellent shooter that can
stretch the defense. She benefitted from having one of the top post players in
the country on her team, so she could be a good fit in a system where there is
a solid inside game. She still has to develop her mid-range game and work on creating
own shots. Most of her shots come from open looks when defender doubles down on
DePaul, Point Guard:
-A scorer, she led DePaul's high-powered offense.
She is a great three-point shooter with a quick first step, she scores off the
dribble and is active defensively. She is still a bit streaky and could be more
consistent. Pre-Draft camp will be important for her.
Braxton, Georgia, Center:
-Has not played college basketball the past
two years, so she is a big risk with tremendous upside. She is a solid post player
with great size in the post, great hands and footwork and good touch around the
basket. However she just had a baby in the fall. Can she make an impact this year?
Kraayeveld, Oregon, Power Forward:
-Had great NCAA Tournament, especially
her head-to-head matchup against Sandora Irvin in the first round. She is a versatile
player who may not get as much publicity, but can score from the perimeter and
with her back to the basket. She is an intriguing player who could use Pre-Draft
camp to earn herself a spot on a roster just because the post positions are not
as deep this year.
Haynie, Michigan State, Point Guard:
-This year's version of Lindsay
Whalen, the Big Ten guard who made a name for herself by leading her team to a
Final Four. After her triple-double against Vanderbilt, she is on everyone's radar.
She is athletic, active, competitive and can hit a big shot. She sees the floor
well, creates for herself and her teammates and can score off the dribble or the
pass with great poise. She is also a good rebounder for her size.