The 2005 WNBA Draft Live
Storm Ends Blackmonís Wait
Posted at 11:21 p.m.
I donít know about anyone else, but I didnít realize that Steffanie Blackmon was in attendance at the Draft. Expected to go somewhere in the second round, she lasted all the way until the second to last pick overall, where the Storm finally ended her wait. While thatís a very difficult moment for Blackmon on the heels of winning the NCAA Championship with Baylor a couple of weeks ago, youíve got to be pleased as a Storm fan to get a player with mid-second round value this low in the Draft. That wraps up our live coverage of the WNBA Draft, but be sure to check out the new storm.wnba.com throughout the afternoon for more coverage after Anne Donovan addresses the media.
You Might Be a Storm Fan Ö
Posted at 11:03 p.m.
If you have NBA TV or are streaming the WNBA Draft online and youíre not enjoying Ann Meyers, Rebecca Lobo and WNBA coaches discussing the Stormís chances of repeating, you are not a Storm fan. As much as the actual experience of winning the championship, a lot of the fun is hearing the Storm referred to Ė or, in my case, referring to the team as Ė the WNBA Champion Storm. Get used to seeing that name.
Two Rounds In the Books
Posted at 10:53 p.m.
After the Los Angeles Sparks make DeeDee Wheeler their first pick, the most surprising drop out of the first two rounds comes from a local player, Oregon forward Cathrine Krayeeveld. Baylorís Steffanie Blackmon is another player I expected to be off the board by now.
Storm Goes Defensive Again
Posted at 10:50 p.m.
With their second-round pick, the Storm has added another fine defender on the perimeter. This time, itís Connecticut forward Ashley Battle, the Big Eastís 2003 Defensive Player of the Year and someone Anne Donovan had mentioned as a possible first-round pick. She has to be very happy to get Battle in the second round here.
Posted at 10:39 p.m.
Our first foreigner selected is Aussie Erin Phillips by the Connecticut Sun. I didnít realize Phillips was eligible for the draft Ė and must confess some confusion in general on those rules Ė but otherwise this shouldnít be a surprise. Sun Coach Mike Thibault scouted in Australia this winter and was outspoken in his praise of Belinda Snell, who ended up signing with Phoenix. If Keegan says sheís a steal, Iím inclined to agree. Sandwiched around that pick, Nikita Bell ends up in Detroit and the Monarchs get another guard in Chelsea Newton.
A Couple More in the Books
Posted at 10:32 p.m.
Angelina Williams goes to Phoenix and Erica Taylor to Washington with our last two picks. I wonder how much Williams duplicates what Shereka Wright gives the Mercury Ė tough to see her beating out Wright in camp. Taylor is nice value there for the Mystics.
Batteastís Slide Ends
Posted at 10:24 p.m.
Well, do I get credit for picking Jacqueline Batteast to the Lynx even if I had it in the first round? Batteast becomes the last likely first-rounder to go as Minnesota goes with a second small forward type. It will be worth watching how this plays out with backups like Amanda Lassiter and Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert who were already with the Lynx. They just added a lot of competition. Interesting montage of 2001 Katie Smith highlights as NBA TV went to break before the pick.
Before Batteast, Indiana went with Yolanda Paige, giving them a pair of undersized guards today.
Starting the Second Round
Posted at 10:14 p.m.
A pair of players who slipped out of the first round go early in the second in Shyra Ely to San Antonio and Roneeka Hodges to Houston. The Silver Stars come away today with three very solid prospects (and one very bad liar in Coach Dan Hughes) and have done some nice work. The winner in Houston is Sheila Lambert after the Comets donít pick a point guard with either of their top two picks.
Through the First Round
Posted at 10:06 p.m.
The scuttle was not wrong about Dionnah Jackson, who slipped all the way to the last pick of the first round, where the Detroit Shock took her 13th. I missed on that one pretty badly, leaving her as the sixth pick.
The Wright Pick
Posted at 9:51 p.m.
After Kristen Mann to Minnesota and a strangely long wait Ė I kept glancing at the Storm Draft Room, but couldnít see or hear anything out of the ordinary Ė the Storm goes with Tanisha Wright from Penn State. Now Iím kicking myself for not keeping Wright as the Stormís pick in yesterdayís mock draft, though I think I get some credit for nailing my first version. Wright gives the Storm a quality perimeter defender, something they havenít had coming off the bench since Amanda Lassiter stepped into the starting lineup in 2003, so I really like this move.
Posted at 9:43 p.m.
Kristin Haynie to Sacramento, Loree Moore to New York. Moore is maybe the first player we werenít completely expecting to go in the first round to be taken. (But, as Donna Orender notes, you can still cheer for her.) The Haynie-Kara Lawson teammate interview is always interesting, and one assumes those two will see the court together a fair amount next year. The Liberty gets a tall point guard to pair with Becky Hammon, but how good is Moore? Weíll see. The Stormís pick is getting close.
Connecticut Goes Big
Posted at 9:40 p.m.
Katie Feenstra with this eighth pick is one thatís been bandied about for some time, so I donít think anyone is really too surprised. The big question mark now is whether sheís headed on to San Antonio or staying with the Sun to play alongside Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Now the Monarchs come up with a pick that could shift things somewhat, depending on what they do. Iíve stuck with Roneeka Hodges, but thatís a complete shot in the dark.
Braxton to Detroit
Posted at 9:35 p.m.
Iím feeling good about nailing that one in my mock draft. Itís really an embarrassment of riches up front to have Braxton backing up Ruth Riley, assuming Braxton develops as sheís expected to. I donít think anyone would expect anything less from Bill Laimbeer in working with Braxton.
Posted at 9:33 p.m.
Chamique Holdsclaw may be in L.A., but the Mystics will still have their ďMeekĒ next season. In Johnson, they get a pure point guard who will be able to get the ball to Alana Beard and DeLisha Milton-Jones and help make up for the loss of Stacey Dales-Schuman (not a point, but a fine passer). But questions about her size will linger.
Posted at 9:30 p.m.
If you know what Washington is going to do with this pick, please let me know. A point guard (Johnson?)? Braxton? Something else? A coach? Itís anybodyís guess right now.
The Dayís First Surprise
Posted at 9:27 p.m.
Less than a half-hour in, weíre all surprised (well, apparently not Ann Meyers), as Van Chancellor opts for Sancho Lyttle despite already having a quality young center in Michelle Snow. Houston passes on Temeka Johnson and this could set off a chain reaction dropping a bunch of point guards lower than expected. I had Johnson going 11 in my first mock draft, but now that Minnesota isnít apparently going to take a point. Ö Might the Storm take one? Weíll see.
Wecker to San Antonio
Posted at 9:23 p.m.
Iíd like to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back for calling Wecker to the Silver Stars back in December. No, I didnít say this publicly or anything, but, you know, I did think it. A nice fit of player and team need here, though did anyone else not recognize Wecker with her hair straightened? She wins the award for most changed look, I imagine.
Great to see Michael Irvin so excited for his niece today Ö but notice he conspicuously didnít answer whether Sandora blocks his shot when they play one-on-one. Admit it, Michael.
Phoenix Takes Irvin
Posted at 9:17 p.m.
After some discussion on the set of Kara Braxton, the Mercury as expected takes Sandora Irvin. This is a great story of a player who worked hard and became a top pick. On the other hand, Phoenix is now officially scary this season in the Western Conference. Next up: San Antonio presumably goes with Kendra Wecker.
White You Are
Posted at 9:13 p.m.
The top two picks play out more or less as expected as Tan White goes to Indiana. This raises some interesting questions about what the Fever does on the perimeter with Kelly Miller, White and newly-signed former Storm guard Tully Bevilaqua. It will be interesting to hear Brian Winters talk about this pick and how White will fit in.
Posted at 9:09 p.m.
Well, there goes my mock draft already. So much for trying to be a little different. To me, McCarville always should have been this pick. No knock against Tan White, but the Sting didnít need to look at need and McCarville has been the top prospect in this class for some time. Now the Fever will almost certainly take White Ö right?
Posted at 9:05 p.m.
A little different look to this yearís Draft with Donna Orender running the proceedings. The Sting is now officially on the clock, and with no sure number one pick, excitement builds as the three minutes run down.
Posted at 8:54 p.m.
The Draft is almost ready to get kicked off and Iím in The Furtado Center and out of the rain deluging the Puget Sound this morning. After the Sonics clinched the Northwest Division Championship last night, itís an exciting 24 hours for the Sonics & Storm franchise. The Draft Room is about 15 feet down the hallway to my right and Iím sure itís starting to get crazy in there. Iíll try and provide commentary about every pick or every other pick, so stay with us throughout the Draft.