Lynx Assistant Coach Carolyn Jenkins Draft Prospects Preview

With the 2006 WNBA Draft coming up on Wednesday, April 5, Lynx Assistant Coach Carolyn Jenkins broke down the incoming prospects for

Kim Smith 6' Forward, University of Utah-

Kim would remind you a lot of our own Svetlana Abrosimova. A Canadian native, Kim possess an international flair to her game. She has good shooting range, handles the ball well for her size, and can post up smaller defenders. She is known for her tremendous work ethic, spending hours in the gym working on her game, ands she is also a near 4.0 student. Kim has been a member of the Canadian Senior National team for the past four years, and will probably participate in the World Championships in September.

Cappie Pondexter 5'6" Guard, Rutgers University-

Cappie is an excellent scoring guard who has the ability to score points in bunches. She is undoubtedly the leader of a Rutgers team that wishes to make a run at the Final Four this year, and they need her to score consistently in order for them to have a chance to get to Boston. She is also the leading candidate for Player of the Year in the Big East. Cappie has been a member of the Junior USA Basketball teams for the past 5 years, and after sitting out half of last season due to unspecified reasons, she appears to be in excellent physical condition and is in contention for player of the year honors.

Liz Shimek 6'1" Forward, Michigan State University-

Liz is a very strong inside presence for Michigan State. Her development in the past three years is primarily due to her work ethic and focus on the details of her individual game. Although undersized in most games at the power forward position, she still has the ability to rack up near double digit points and rebounds in every game. She has developed a 3pt shot, which will help her extend defenses at the professional level.

Ann Strother 6'3" Guard, University of Connecticut-

Ann was a highly touted sign for the University of Connecticut coming out of high school primarily because of her ability to play the guard position at 6'3". She has excellent shooting range, and will need to consistently score and defend for Uconn to get back to the glory days. Currently she is hampered by a stress reaction in her foot, which could affect not only the success of the University of Connecticut, but also her draft status in April.

Mistie Williams 6'3" Forward/Center, Duke University-

Mistie is a Wisconsin native (formerly Mistie Bass), and provides a good inside physical presence for Duke. She currently leads Duke in rebounding and is their second leading scorer behind Player of the Year candidate Monique Currie. Mistie has developed a 15ft high post shot, which like Liz Shimek, she will need at the professional level in order to be successful.

Seimone Augustus, 6'1" G/F LSU-

Suzie and I were in Lubbock during the State Farm Tip-off Classic on November 13 . Seimone had a tremendous game, even though she did not shoot the ball as well as she has in the past during the first half. But true to the talent that she is, when the game was on the line, she took it over, not only with her offensive prowess (she ended up with 32 points), but also with her leadership skills. Due to the loss of Temeka Johnson to graduation (Washington Mystics), LSU has a brand new point guard. However, Seimone worked very well with their inexperienced point guard, and communicated effectively with her teammates on the floor. She has the ability to create her own shot with or without the basketball better than most players in the women's game today. She makes everyone around her better, and can play off-guard as well as small forward.

Sophia Young, 6'1" F, Baylor-

During the same trip, Baylor played a very aggressive Georgia team. Sophia was unstoppable in the post by using her tremendous quickness and scoring ability in the paint. She also runs the floor faster than most perimeter players in the college game. She also appears to have extended her range out to 15ft, which will help her in the transition to the professional level. She, like Augustus, had very little rest time, but when the game was on the line, she was the difference maker. She has picked up where she left off from last year's championship run.

Erin Grant, 5'7" G, Texas Tech-

Erin is the consummate true point guard who thinks pass first and is always looking to setup her teammates. She has a very good understanding of the game, is a great floor leader, and is a four year starter for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. She is being asked to take on even more of a leadership role with the loss of senior off-guard Chelsey Dabbs to an acl injury. She has also hit big shots for the Red Raiders in crunch time, even though they have come up short in those games. While Texas Tech is struggling early, I expect them to pick up their play in time for Big 12 action.

Nikki Blue 5'8" G, UCLA-

Nikki posses a tremendous amount of offensive skill in her repertoire. She is a very good athlete who has range beyond the 3pt line, and is a very good passer, especially in transition. Her season began slowly with a loss in Waco during Baylor's home opener in which they had their championship banner ceremony. The day after Thanksgiving, I traveled to Los Angeles to watch Georgia play UCLA, and Nikki had a very complete game, scoring 13 points and dishing out 5 assists, along with collecting 5 steals. In a more recent game in which Suzie attended, she scored 20 of her 23 points in the second half to help UCLA come within 1 point of #15 Oklahoma in Norman, before experiencing a loss.

Monique Currie 6', G/F, Duke-

Monique is a very good all around player who has the ability to score off the dribble as well as anyone in the country. Her ability to create, especially in transition, is one of her many strengths. She is also extremely good on the defensive end, where she has the ability to guard any position on the perimeter. She anticipates well and pressures the ball with great intensity. During Duke's game at Texas last week, she led Duke to the road with not only with her individual offense (23 points, 9-9 ft), but also helped by coming up with key steals and deflections on the defensive end.

Photo Credits:
Seimone Augustus: Credit Steve Franz, LSU Sports Information
Cappie Pondexter: Credit Larry Levanti/Rutgers Athletic Communications
Monique Currie: Credit Jon Gardiner, Duke University Photography