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Which team did the best for itself in the draft?

After four rounds of the 2001 WNBA Draft, it's safe to say nearly every team got stronger. But, according to's Kesa Dillon and Stacey Terrien, two teams did better than the rest. Let us know what you think!

You don't want to know what I was thinking when I found out Indiana had traded center Kara Wolters to Sacramento. Okay maybe you do. It went something like this: "What are they doing? Are they crazy?"

After a sub-par, borderline, non-existent season with the Houston Comets, Wolters recovered nicely with the Fever and ended up leading the team in three categories, including scoring with 11.9 ppg.

Normally that would be nothing to brag about, but under the circumstances -- expansion team status and the Eastern Conference void of a dominant center -- Indiana didn't do too shabby with Wolters in the middle.

So now you clearly understand my scratching my head when they decided to ship her Sac-Town.

But then came draft on April 20 and it all became clear ... there was a method to the madness. Head Coach/GM Nell Fortner and company walked away with the All-Class 2001 team. She racked up five players at every position that can either contribute right away or be a role player off the bench without diminishing the talent pool on the floor.

And in my estimation, the Fever came up with a "Big Three" of their own. The Irish's Niele Ivey was a steal being drafted in the second round (19th overall). Coming off an NCAA Championship, she brings experience to the point guard position and will possibly be backing up Rita Williams.

In the middle is Kelly Schumacher. At 6-5, she's got two inches to make up for with the loss of Wolters, but her impeccable timing will amount to no loss of numbers in the R&B (rebounds and blocks) category. Not to mention her passing ability and the fact she can hit the 15-footer.

And last but not least with the third overall pick, Tamika Catchings. She can do it all: shoot (take you to the hole and post you up), handle the ball and DEFEND!

So there is a happy ending to this story after all -- there is life after "Big Girl."

And maybe, just maybe, this story will have a postseason addendum.
-- Kesa Dillon

Asking which team did the best for themselves in this year's draft is like asking a kid which is the best piece of candy they got from the store. In a draft oozing with talent, the question must be, who did the best for THEMSELVES and which team is immediately better because of it? The answer: the Seattle Storm, of course.

You have to give the edge to Seattle, who had the first overall pick, but wisely kept it. Why? Lauren Jackson is a franchise player who is young, athletic, versatile, and though only at the beginning of her career, has proven herself in international competition.

With one pick, in one draft, the Storm immediately answer the question that every team at one point or another has to answer: who do we build our team around? The answer in Seattle is Jackson. Other coaches agree and call Jackson a "once-in-a-lifetime, Lisa Leslie-type player." Tom Maher, Head Coach of the Washington Mystics and former Head Coach of the Australian Olympic team that won a silver medal in 2000, even went as far as to say that any team that gets Jackson is an "immediate playoff team."

While most college players need time to develop, Jackson has proven that against international competition, including players like Leslie and Yolanda Griffith, she's capable of a double-double every night.

Jackson warrants the double team, so she will be creating shots and drawing the defense for her teammates which will allow for more options and more scoring, both problems for Seattle last season.

Furthermore, we all know how important rebounding is in the WNBA, and with no one on the Storm grabbing more than 4.2 boards per game last season, Jackson will have a field day under the hoop, and create more possessions, and thus more opportunities, for her team.

You must have a great post to compete in the West and Seattle, with a single pick in the draft, becomes formidable. By adding Semeka Randall, a defensive specialist out of Tennessee, and Juana Brown, a quick guard with the ability to score, the Storm improve instantly by leaps and bounds.

It's not easy to compete in the West, but look out, here come the Storm.
-- Stacey Terrien


Shots from the Perimeter: You told us who did the best in the draft

Storm select Aussie Jackson with top pick

Notre Dame: Official pipeline to the WNBA

Complete list of 2001 Draft picks

2001 Draft team-by-team picks

Quotes from selected picks

Video highlights from the 2001 WNBA Draft

Coaches' post-draft comments

Draftee chat transcripts