College Picks of the Week

Throughout the NCAA season, Mercury General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale and Head Coach Corey Gaines will make their College Picks of the Week, selecting a player and a game to watch each week.

Week of Jan. 29





Game to watch:
Tennessee at Oklahoma
Monday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ESPN 2 HD

Coach Gaines’ comments: “This is a good warm-up game for both teams as the prepare for the NCAA tournament. You need these types of games to prep you for the challenges you’ll meet in the tournament.”

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s comments: “Pat Summitt will be going for her 1000th win as Coach of the Lady Vols. (assuming they win their game on Thursday against Ole Miss). They are loaded with sophomores and freshmen. Two of those freshmen leading the way are Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen. Oklahoma is ranked No. 2 in the country at 17-2, they play Missouri on Saturday, so could be 18-2 or 17-3, by the time they play Tennessee on Monday night.”


Week of Jan. 22





Game to watch:
Louisville at Connecticut
Monday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ESPN 2 HD/ESPN360.com

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s comments: “Certainly a wonderful matchup of two star players in Moore (UCONN) and McCoughtry (Louisville). Maya Moore was the Freshman of the Year last year and is having another terrific season for the Huskies. She also has the support of Renee Montgomery running the point and Tina Charles in the middle for a very good support system. And a system that has Geno Auriemma's #1 team still undefeated. McCoughtry is coming off a big game against Cincinnati and continues to show the country that she is one of the top players in the nation. It will be a good battle, but look for UCONN to stay undefeated.”


Week of Jan. 8


**Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Player to watch:
Ashley Walker from Cal

Cal’s Two-Time All –American and first-team All-Pac-10 honoree, Ashley Walker, is someone the Mercury is keeping an eye on this season. She is known for her consistency and spin moves. Walker has started all 96 games of her Cal career and is a co-captain with teammate Lauren Greif this season.

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s comments: “Walker is leading the Cal Bears in virtually every category. While scoring over 21 pts and almost 8 rebounds a contest, she’s shooting just under 60%. She’s consistent; she makes big time plays (like the shot that beat ASU recently). She’s a leader on the floor and wants the ball. Better inside, with back to basket and is aggressive on the boards.”



**Photo courtesy of auburntigers.com

Week of Jan. 1

Player to watch:
DeWanna Bonner from Auburn

Auburn senior DeWanna Bonner is receiving an honor most women have to wait a long time for. Her jersey was recently added to the ring of Honor display at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Last year, Bonner led her team in points (18.4) and rebounds (10.0) for the third straight year, while ranking second in the SEC in both categories behind Candace Parker (21.3 ppg) and Sylvia Fowles (10.3 rpg) last season.

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s comments: “At 6'4", she is wiry and strong. She can handle the ball and shoot from the outside like a 2-3 or go inside and get rebounds and get to the free throw line. Very talented!”


Week of Dec. 21

Game to watch:
Stanford at Tennessee
Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2/ESPN360.com



**Photo courtesy of gomarquette.com

Week of Dec. 14

Player to watch:
Krystal Ellis from Marquette

Ellis is a two-time All-BIG EAST pick and was named WNIT MVP after the team’s run through the postseason tournament. She led the team in scoring last year, averaging 19.4 points per game, a mark that ranked second in the league.

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s comments: “She's a player that thrives on competition and is a fighter. Loves to be in a pressure situation. She can beat you in a lot of different ways with her ability to get to the basket and has the three point range. Also a bit of a risk taker on defense with her ability to come up with steals."

Coach Gaines’ comments: “You have to like a player who knows how to score. She seems like the type who doesn't rush her attempts, but knows when and how to turn it up.”


Week of Dec. 7

Game to watch:
Georgia at Rutgers
Monday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com

Player to watch:
Kia Vaughn from Rutgers

Kia was recently named a candidate to the All-American team. She became the 27th player to score 1,000 career points in a Scarlet Knights uniform and ranks fourth blocked shots (217) and sixth in rebounding (842) in RU record book

Coach Gaines’ comments: “Kia is very aggressive and straight forward about the game. She is intense, focused, a vocal leader and has a good game demeanor.”