Draft Night Comments from Lin Dunn & Kelly Krauskopf
Fever President/GM Kelly Krauskopf and Head Coach Lin Dunn both spoke with the media during Monday evening’s WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. Here is a transcript of what the Fever power duo had to say about first-round pick Layshia Clarendon.
(On the selection of Layshia Clarendon):
"Layshia Clarendon has about as good a mid-range game as we've seen. She's got great ball-handling skills and she defends on the perimeter. During the NCAA Tournament, her stock went up quite a bit. We've been watching her quite a bit all year long and she'd fallen below the radar a little bit. What we liked about her is that she's got a nice three-point shot, which is something she relied on alot this past year. She can create her own shot, look at the basket, very good passing skills, and we just felt like we needed another quick guard. She can play the wing for us, or backup point guard. She did a little of that at Cal. We thought she would be the best player to take at that point."
(On the availability of centers in the draft):
"All of the bigs we were looking at were gone. When Layshia was still on the board, we grabbed her and we're thrilled to have her."
(On passing on Kelly Faris):
"There were a lot of players we were looking at and Kelly was one of them. Specific to Layshia, there were a lot of things we liked about her game - her foot speed, her quickness, her ability to dribble-drive. And she has one of the best pull-up games. We talked to a lot of coaches, including people from USA Basketball, and they said if you want a scorer, [Clarendon] is the one."
(On Clarendon and Cal advancing in the NCAA Tournament):
"It reminded us of Briann January. The year we drafted Bri, she was a little bit under the radar [and we worried we might lose her]. We watched her all year and went out to see her. Her team kept advancing in the tournament and we got a little nervous. That’s what can happen when you pick at nine, the player you're zeroing in on gets taken because her profile grows in the tournament. Clarendon put her team on her back and showed she can deliver in big moments."
(On the selection of Layshia Clarendon and the celebration in the draft room):
"We were thrilled! We penciled her in at number nine; we didn't think that she'd be there. She's a terrific guard that can play the 2 position and a great defender who has a very high basketball IQ. We really loved what we saw from her [throughout her senior year]. We didn't know she'd be around and when she was, we were just thrilled."
(On the fact that Clarendon was available):
"It's always good that you can box in on key players, good players, and she was definitely somebody that we focused on. The better she did in the NCAA Tournament, the more we worried a little bit that she'd be gone. We were glad we didn't have to worry about that. I think she's going to really work well with Briann January, Erin Phillips and Katie Douglas. While [Jeanette] Pohlen’s recovering from knee surgery, [Layshia] will be used right from the get-go."
Read More: Comments from Layshia Clarendon »
(On the Phoenix Mercury being the favorite to win the WNBA title with the no. 1 overall pick in Brittney Griner):
"With them drafting Brittney Griner and a lot of their players being out all last year, they've finally recovered and so that's a really tough team. But Brittney's going to be a rookie; so no matter who you are, there's going to be an adjustment period. We’re not worried about who the favorite is, we're worried about us standing when the last game is played."
(On the versatility of the Fever's number one pick):
"[We liked] her ability to score and the ability to create her own shot and defend. We thought she was multi-talented, very versatile."
(On not taking a post player with the first pick):
"All of the bigs went early. New York took two bigs. Clarendon was the third perimeter player taken. You never know [how the draft would go]. We knew we wanted to take the best available athlete and we think we got her."
(On the status of the injured players currently on the roster):
"We don't know about Jeanette's situation completely and where she's at. She's making great progress and she's on target, but we'll have to evaluate her when training camp starts and on through the season. Will she be ready in June, July, August? We don't know exactly, but we do know she's doing well and we’ll be glad to have her back whenever that is."
(On the future of Tammy Sutton-Brown):
"The last I heard Tammy will not be back. We have to move forward without her."
(On the strategy of the upcoming season):
"The game plan is to be better. You can't ever get satisfied. You know that old saying, 'you get better or you get worse', so we have to get better – bigger, better stronger faster, tougher and deeper. Everything has gone to another level; you can see how the draft [went]. So, that's our goal, to get better."
(On the state of the WNBA and the women's game overall):
"We think this is a very deep draft. It's been a while since we've had so many talented players in the first round and that's good for the league. The players that went one, two and three are not only talented, but they're impact players. They're going to start for their respective teams."