2009 WNBA Draft Live
Storm Takes Freshour No. 38
Posted at 2:10 p.m.
With its third-round pick, the Storm selected Florida State wing Mara Freshour. A 6-1 player who can defend multiple positions, Freshour is a talented outside shooter. She hit 39.5 percent of her threes during her career and is second in Seminoles history in threes. Freshour is also a very bright player who was honored as ACC All-Academic each of her first three years. A captain as a senior, she played in more games (131) than any other Florida State player and was named Third Team All-ACC as a senior.
That wraps up our live coverage, but be sure to check back with storm.wnba.com this afternoon as we get thoughts from Brian Agler and more.
All Quiet on the Trade Front
Posted at 2:00 p.m.
One surprise of the draft so far: No trades, at least not announced. It can sometimes take a while for all the deals to get out, but usually the big moves make their way to the Draft Room before they become official. We've yet to hear anything involving picks or veteran players.
The Storm coaching staff got on the phone with Ashley Walker, congratulating her on being the Storm's pick and preparing for her to attend training camp next month.
Second Round Complete
Posted at 1:45 p.m.
We're now through two full rounds of the WNBA Draft. The best picks late in the second round, in my opinion, were the international players - Jelena Milovanovic to Washington and Sonja Petrovic to San Antonio. They can hang on to those players' rights and allow them to develop overseas, while American players drafted this late are going to have a tough time making teams. The coaching staff has gathered in the hallway to trade notes on their rankings of players for the third-round pick, which is still 12 selections away.
Second Round Under Way
Posted at 1:30 p.m.
We're now midway through the second round. Actually, on the conference call where teams are making picks, we're a little bit ahead of the ESPNU/NBA TV broadcast. The most interesting pick in the second round has probably been Detroit taking Britany Miller, a post who played at Florida State but spent last year overseas after leading the team. Ashley Paris is the last player left in the Green Room and has tumbled a bit. I expected her to go in the first round.
See Ashley Walker and the Storm!
Posted at 1:20 p.m.
In conjunction with the draft, the Storm is launching a special 10th Anniversary Tipoff Offer. Get tickets to one of 10 different games for just $10. Click here for the list of the games and to purchase.
First Round in the Books
Posted at 1:00 p.m.
With Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton going to Los Angeles, we've completed the first round. If you're watching at home, it's time to switch to NBA TV or ESPNU to follow the rest of the draft. Things have quieted down a bit in the Draft Room since the Storm will not pick again until the penultimate pick of the third round, No. 38 overall. Some notable players who are still on the board include Ashley Paris, Christina Wirth, Danielle Gant and Shalee Lehning.
Ashley Walker Scouting Report
Posted at 12:57 p.m.
Here's what we said about Walker in ranking her the No. 1 power forward on the board:
Key Stats - PPG: 19.8 | RPG: 8.6 | APG: 1.7
Bio: A steady force who helped Cal challenge Stanford for Pac-10 supremacy, Walker led the conference in scoring this season at nearly 20 points per game. Using soft touch in the paint, Walker shot over 55 percent from the field and was named to the Associated Press' All-American Third Team.
Coach Agler says ... "Probably one of the better offensive players in the draft. Had a great year for Cal. She's really developing the versatility of her game. She's extended her range to the three-point line now and just has great touch around the basket."
Sheehy's WNBA comparison: Tangela Smith.
Storm Takes Ashley Walker
Posted at 12:52 p.m.
The newest member of your Seattle Storm is Ashley Walker, the California forward who was considered a possible top-10 pick. Walker was one of a handful of players the Storm had targeted from early in this draft process, and it was a pleasant surprise that the draft played out that she was still available. Walker offers some post depth for the Storm and is versatile enough to step out and play on the perimeter offensively with her improving jumper.
Storm On the Clock
Posted at 12:48 p.m.
The discussion heated up over the last commercial break as the Storm awaited going on the clock. As expected, the Shock went for Shavonte Zellous. Now the Storm has three minutes to decide as the coaching staff shares their thoughts.
Getting Close for the Storm
Posted at 12:46 p.m.
With Connecticut taking Chante Black, we've got just one pick - Detroit - between us and the Storm. A couple of players have dropped in Pitt guard Shavonte Zellous (who I expect to go to Detroit) and California forward Ashley Walker. There are plenty of talented players still on the board, so no matter which direction the Storm goes there is going to be value.
Here's a Curveball
Posted at 12:44 p.m.
Every year there's at least one pick that completely catches everyone off guard. This year's first nominee is Minnesota taking VCU's Quanitra Hollingsworth in the first round. With Courtney Paris and Kia Vaughn (who went No. 8 to New York) off the board, the Lynx went for the young Hollingsworth. I've followed her for a while, since when Wendy Palmer was an assistant coach at VCU, and I love her combination of intelligence and potential. Still, I never imagined Hollingsworth going in the first round.
Paris' Slide Ends
Posted at 12:36 p.m.
One of the big questions in the Draft Room was how far Courtney Paris would fall. Her slide has now come to an end. Paris is an interesting fit for a Sacramento team that likes to rotate a lot of players in, negating concerns about her conditioning. She'll certainly provide some post scoring and rebounding. Coach Agler also points out that Paris will be playing close to home.
Phoenix Takes Bonner
Posted at 12:28 p.m.
Quoting Brian Agler: "Now it gets interesting." With the top two point guards off the board, we figured Phoenix was likely to take DeWanna Bonner, a versatile talent who fits ideally in the Mercury's up-tempo system. I think she could be very dangerous in Phoenix. Yes, she's skinny, but so is Kevin Durant.
There's no secret that Indiana is looking for a PG. The Fever surely hoped one of the top two players would drop. Does Lin Dunn now go for Arizona State's Briann January?
Montgomery to Minnesota
Posted at 12:23 p.m.
That was quick. The Lynx did not need a lot of time to make up their minds and take Renee Montgomery. Minnesota now has some serious talent on the perimeter with Montgomery, Candice Wiggins and Seimone Augustus. But what of Kelly Miller, recently acquired by the Lynx in a big trade with Phoenix? She and Anna DeForge will apparently come off the bench for a team that is heavy on guard talent and light on posts.
A Stunner by the Sky
Posted at 12:21 p.m.
Certainly some shock in the Storm Draft Room as Chicago takes a second straight Maryland player - Kristi Toliver. The assumption was that if the Sky took a point guard, it would be Renee Montgomery, who has gone from possibly being the top overall pick to not even being the first point guard. Will Minnesota end Montgomery's slide? I did not expect them to take a point guard, but now it looks like Courtney Paris might still be available with the Lynx's second first-round pick, No. 9 overall.
Ms. Coleman Goes to Washington
Posted at 12:16 p.m.
No real surprise as the Mystics take Maryland forward Marissa Coleman at No. 2. I went for Courtney Paris in this spot in my last mock draft, but had Coleman going second before that, so it makes a lot of sense. Coleman will be a big addition to a Washington team that struggled offensively last season. Now pick No. 3 becomes very interesting. Chicago's biggest need is a wing, but the best talent available is probably either Montgomery or Courtney Paris. I had DeWanna Bonner in my first mock draft which played out like this.
McCoughtry Goes No. 1
Posted at 12:12 p.m.
Well, I'm 1-for-1 in my mock draft, and that actually means something. Most people thought the Dream would go for Montgomery, but I had a feeling that was a smokescreen. You don't make the first pick based on need, and if you felt that Angel McCoughtry was the best player available - as many people do - she has to be the pick. In terms of potential to contribute at both ends of the floor, nobody beats McCoughtry. The funny thing is she reminds me a lot of Iziane Castro Marques, at least physically. Now they are teammates with the Dream. A break before we get Washington's No. 2 pick.
Donna Opens the Draft
Posted at 12:05 p.m.
With Donna Ordender taking the podium, the 2009 WNBA Draft is officially underway. The Atlanta Dream is on the clock. The consensus is UConn's Renee Montgomery will be the choice, though I still think it could be Angel McCoughtry. We'll know shortly ... .
Posted at 12:00 p.m.
ESPN2 is now on the air. Everybody seemed to like the open with pictures of the prospects as kids. As we get underway, a few picks to watch. I feel like Atlanta (No. 1), Washington (No. 2) and Phoenix (No. 5) will really go a long ways toward determining how the draft plays out. If Minnesota passes on Courtney Paris at No. 4 and she starts to fall, that could be very interesting as well.
Posted at 11:55 a.m.
WNBA counsel Jamin Dershowitz just got done explaining the process by which the draft will be conducted via conference call. The Draft Room has filled up, with Storm PR Manager Jennifer Carroll (who'll be handling our Tweeting), CEO Karen Bryant, co-owner Lisa Brummel and her partner joining us. We're also following Suzy Batkovic's EuroCup final game while discussing some of the prospects. Excitement is building as we're just five minutes away from the start of the draft.
Inside the Draft Room
Posted at 11:15 a.m.
A couple of photos. Here's an overview of the Draft Room, which is overloaded with laptops even before I make my way in there:
And here's Storm Director of Basketball Operations Missy Bequette preparing the team's draft board with names by round:
Happy Draft Day!
Posted at 10:00 a.m.
T-minus two hours until the 2009 WNBA Draft. The Storm's braintrust, including Head Coach Brian Agler and Assistant Coaches Nancy Darsch and Shelley Patterson, has already set up shop in the Draft Room here at the Storm's business offices. Final preparation is underway as the coaching staff gets the skinny on every prospect and tries to see who is going where. In the meantime, check out my final mock draft and the rest of our Draft coverage and check back a little before Noon Pacific for the start of our live coverage.