2006 WNBA Draft Prospect Tracker

as of March 23
Seimone Augustus, LSU
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
Monique Currie, Duke
Sophia Young, Baylor
Candice Dupree, Temple
6.Sherill Baker, Georgia
Tamara James, Miami
Megan Duffy, Notre Dame
Lisa Willis, UCLA
10.Nikki Blue , UCLA
11.Ann Strother, Connecticut
Tye'sha Fluker, Tennessee
13.La'Tangela Atkinson, UNC
14.Liz Shimek, Mich. State.
By Matt Wurst
March 23, 2005

The top seniors in the 2006 class have been tracked and followed pretty much since they were freshmen. Several were McDonald's All-Americans in high school and went on to enjoy similar success college. So how will they shake out on April 5? After watching them play, talking to scouts, analysts, coaches and other "experts," here is how the top 14 picks look like they could shake out... and as the NCAA Tournament unfolds and the prospects get their final shot to impress, we'll update this list throughout as well...

1. Seimone Augustus (L.S.U.):
3/23: Nothing is changed at the top. She is averaging 23.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
3/16: The best player in the nation - you know it, I know it and the American people know it.
And if you have a problem with that, you can take it up with her dog, Tootsie Baby.

2. Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers):
3/23: Cappie's hot shooting from beyond the arc in a second round win over Texas A&M was truly a thing of beauty. With the ability to score from the outside on top of her innate ability to break you down, Pondexter is the complete offensive package.
3/16: Never a question physically, she answered a lot of questions
about her emotional maturity this season in leading her team to a great season. Ready to make a difference right away.

3. Monique Currie (Duke):
3/23: Duke's first two round NCAA Tournament games did not require any superelative effort from Monique, but we'd still love to see her take over a game at some point.
3/16: When there was some question as to whether she would come out for last year's Draft or return to Duke, there was talk that she could have been the top pick in last year's Draft. Now this is a stronger draft than last year,
but Currie didn't blow anyone away this year, yet was consistent and still better than just about everyone else. In fact, she has worked on her game and improved upon her outside shooting (44%) and pull-up jumper.

4. Sophia Young (Baylor):
3/23: Averaging a double-double in the Tournament, Sophia Young's 22 points and 10 rebounds per game has Baylor back in the Sweet 16. At this point, the Charlotte Sting (who have the third pick) could go either way between Currie and Young. With Feaster's recent pregnancy, Currie still seems like a better choice, but a lot can change between now and April 5.
3/16: The only knock on Young has been her size. So what? I'm small. She led Baylor to a title last year and has the intagibles that WNBA coaches really like. With a good Tournament, she could move up ahead of Currie.

5. Candice Dupree (Temple):
3/23: An early exit for Temple in the first round does not help Dupree's standing on this board, but it won't hurt it. For now. Dupree, who had been a lock in the five spot, should strongly consider attending pre-Draft camp in Boston on April 3 to prove that she is indeed the best player at her position in this Draft.
3/16: All reports indicate that Temple's star is shooting up the boards in Draft war rooms across the WNBA. Dawn Staley says she is most impressed by her poise and calmness under pressure (like Tim Duncan). One WNBA coach even told me that she will be the best big player to come out of this Draft when all is said and done.

6. Sherill Baker (Georgia):
3/23: Wow, do coaches like her game. Not only is Baker averaging five steals per game in the Tournament, but her defense is indeed creating her offense as well. 26 points against Hartford may not seem like a lot, but Baker's stock is rising in this Tournament.
3/16: Another player on the rise and growing in popularity with WNBA clubs because of her defensive abilities. Sherill has that unique combination of super quick hands and lightning quick foot speed - but what makes her great is how she uses the two together. Her defense creates her offense... And while some may think she is a speciality player, is that a bad thing? Look how Chelsea Newton came in and started on a championship team as proof that teams often know what kind of player they are looking for and draft accordingly.

7. Tamara James (Miami):
3/23: 31 points and 10 rebounds in an NIT loss last night, but if a tree scores a double-double in the forest and no one is there to see it... It really is not her fault that Baker passed James on the board, but without a national spotlight to prove her worth, it's just a waiting game.
3/16: It's too bad she won't get to play in the NCAA Tournament because it was fun watching her move her big body
down low. She'll have to wait until Draft camp in Boston on April 3 for her next chance to shine.

8. Megan Duffy (Notre Dame):
3/23: Not a bad showing in her only NCAA Tournament game, a 17-point loss to surprise Sweet 16 representative Boston College, Duffy showed she has the ability to score as well as pass.
3/16: How many pure point guards can you think of in the WNBA right now? Ok, now how many can you think of that can come into the game, handle the ball, set up her teammates, score and make minimal mistakes in the process? One per team if you're lucky? Well, add one more to that list on Draft Day.

9. Lisa Willis (UCLA):
3/23: Scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in an opening round win over Bowling Green, but disappeared in a 61-54 loss to Purdue in the second round. The WBCA College All-Star Game will be her next change to show her stuff.
3/16: Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? Well, we're talking about one of the best guard to come out of UCLA since Ann Meyers. Averaging 17.7 ppg, UCLA is the real deal once again and could make some noise in the NCAA Tourmanent.

10. Nikki Blue (UCLA):
3/23: 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals in the loss to Purdue, Blue certainly filled up the stat columns all season long and didn't do anything to fall out of the first round.
3/16: Like her backcourt-mate, Blue has been a bit under the radar having played on the west coast and in a weaker conference nationally, but make no mistake that WNBA coaches are very high on her. She is very much on the rise on this board and depending how she plays in the NCAA Tournament, could be in and around the same spot as Willis in a short period of time.

11. Ann Strother (UConn):
3/23: Welcome back to the NCAA Tournament, Miss Strother. After only scoring 8 points in an opening round blowout, Strother had a very strong game in round 2 against Virgina Tech. 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists have her moving up the big board.
3/16: I feel like she has been at UConn for seven years already since she came in and made an immediate impact alongside major stars in a championship program. Strother has struggled at times since Taurasi and co. joined the WNBA, but she has also improved steadily ever since as well. A great shooter with a good-mid-range game, Strother excels with great players around her. With the last pick in the first round, Sacramento could use a player like Strother... and already has some great players.

12. Tye'sha Fluker (Tennessee):
3/23: Not exactly blowing anyone away, Fluker has played an important role in Tennessee's two wins. At her size, she is still a first round pick.
3/16: You can't teach size, and there isn't much of it in this Draft.
She is the fourth-leading scorer on the Lady Vols this season, but also the fourth-leading rebounder. At 6-5, she is a big, wide body, an SEC big body, and a wider target than, say, former Lady Vol Ashley Robinson, who was longer.

13. La'Tangela Atkinson (North Carolina):
3/23: Not exactly putting up stellar numbers, Atkinson brings something else to whatever team she is on. 11 rebounds in a the opening round win was definitely impressive. Bottom line is that teams know what they're gonna get with Atkinson, and a big time scorer it is not.
3/16: Often overlooked because of the sensation play of junior guard Ivory Latta, Atkinson had a superb season on the nation's best team throughout the regular season. She grabbed 15 rebounds in the first win at Duke earlier this season, then scored 16 points and grabbed 11 boards in the second win. Big player in big games.

14. Liz Shimek (Michigan State):
3/23: Not exactly a surprise or shocker to be joining this board for the first time after Michigan State's run to the title game last year, but Shimek's 27 points and 8 rebounds opened some eyes in a first round win over UW-Milwaukee.

Others to keep an eye on:
Erin Grant (Texas Tech)
Shanna Zolman (Tennessee)
Kim Smith (Utah)
Zane Teilane (Western Illinois)
Khara Smith (DePaul)
Scholanda Hoston (LSU)
Mistie Williams (Duke)
Aya Traore (Purdue)