The hype surrounding the 2013 WNBA Draft class – which includes three game-changing prospects in Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, all currently playing for their respective colleges – is at an all-time high as all three have the potential to immediately make a substantial impact on a franchise. All season long, WNBA.com will update you with what each of these players is doing for their respective schools as it's never to early for WNBA fans to start following some of the future stars of this league.
It's a good thing we have digital copies of all our record books because Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins have been re-writing them at a frantic pace. Sure, their teams keep winning -- its been two months since one of those three teams have lost -- but this week's edition of Tomorrow's Stars is focused on the iconic records these individual stars are breaking. Prepare to be impressed.
Against James Madison on Feb. 10, Elena Delle Donne became the all-time leading scorer in Colonial Athletic Association history, passing former James Madison All-American Dawn Evans. Delle Donne now has over 2,700 career points and 33 30-point games on her resume.
In the team's next game -- February 4 vs. Old Dominion -- Delle Donne also set CAA records for career field goals and free throws made. Those records were previously held by Drexel's Gabriela Marginean.
“Elena’s a gamer. I’m going to call her number and she knows it. She just needs enough space to get her shot off. We’re not big on points, but the team is certainly happy for her. Elena’s a money player, plain and simple. She’s a very special player. When the game’s on the line, you give it to your money man.”
2/21 at DePaul, 3:30PM ET: Live Stats Watch on ESPNU
2/26 at Syracuse, 7PM ET: Live Stats Watch on CBS Sports Network
3/2 at Providence, 4PM ET: Live Stats
There are few stats that can encompass a player's all-around impact on a game, but the milestone Skylar Diggins reached on Feb. 17 versus Marquette is about as close as it gets. In that game, the popular point guard became the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player with at least 2,000 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds in her career.
Diggins has also moved into second place on Notre Dame's all-time scoring list. In her career, Diggins has produced 2,131 points, trailing only current Irish assistant coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham. Diggins is only 191 points away from all-time Notre Dame record, and with four more regular season games plus the Big East Tournament and NCAA Tournament, it is very possible -- if she remains healthy -- that Diggins will reach that plateau as well.
“It’s amazing. She’s the only one who’s ever done it (at Notre Dame). It’s a fitting tribute to her. She’s an amazing player. It’s an incredible accomplishment, to have your finger in that many pieces of the game. To be able to excel at so many different things ... it’s remarkable.”
Against No. 3 Connecticut on Feb. 18 -- a gritty road win for No. 1 Baylor -- Brittney Griner passed Mississippi State's LaToya Thomas to move into eighth on the all-time NCAA women's scoring list. In the process, she passed the 3,000-point plateau. The last player to reach 3,000 points was current Minnesota Lynx wing Maya Moore. Sitting at exactly 3,000 points, Griner is 393 points away from the all-time record set by Jackie Stiles. She is, however, only 122 points behind Patricia Hoskins who is second all-time.
Griner also owns the NCAA record in blocks and dunks.
What They're Saying:
In the Hartford Courant John Altavilla tried to conceptualize Griner's excellence.
"In her four seasons at Baylor, Griner has been to women's basketball what Lew Alcindor was to the men's gameduring his days at UCLA — a phenomenon. She has revolutionized the way the women's game can be played, in her case above the rim, using her size and acumen to dominate."
Last week, Lauren Hill of Mount St. Joseph University courageously took the floor for her first college game, refusing to let an inoperable brain tumor keep her from achieving her dream – and WNBA stars Elena Delle Donne and Tamika Catchings were on hand to lend their support.