The 2008 WNBA Draft Live
2008 Draft in the Books
Posted at 12:32 p.m.
With Sacramento selecting Notre Dame guard Charel Allen, once considered a possible first-round pick, with the 43rd and final selection, the 2008 WNBA Draft is complete. I would say the biggest surprise of the day was that there have yet to be any trades, though we could see some completed after the draft. The first round offered some unexpected picks, but largely went to form. From the Storm's perspective, the team accomplished its goal of adding depth in the backcourt by selecting a point guard in Kimberly Beck and a shooting guard in Allie Quigley, two players who will help make for a competitive training camp.
The discussion in the Storm Draft Room has now turned to potential training-camp invitees. We're just 11 days away from the start of camp, and excitement is running high amongst the coaching staff. We saw that same excitement from newly-signed Yolanda Griffith yesterday, and I think fans are feeling the same way as we get ready for the 2008 WNBA season.
Of course, storm.wnba.com's draft day is far from over as we'll get a chance to chat with Head Coach Brian Agler and more, so be sure to check back for the most complete coverage you'll find anywhere.
The Storm Selects ...
Posted at 12:05 p.m.
With the 36th overall pick, the Storm has gone back to the backcourt, picking George Washington guard Kimberly Beck. Beck was the Atlantic-10's Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 12.5 points and 6.2 assists per game. Beck does a little of everything. She definitely is a great passer, becoming the 11th player in NCAA history to lead her conference in assists four straight seasons. She's a defender, winning A-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. She also can shoot it, hitting threes at a 37.2% clip and more than two per game as a senior. That's a strong combination for a third-round pick.
Third Round Underway
Posted at 11:54 a.m.
We're three picks into the third round of today's draft, and already two clear value picks. Sharnee Zoll and Crystal Kelly were players who had been talked about as potential first-round picks or more likely in the second round, but they've gone early in round three. Kelly makes a lot of sense for Houston, while it is surprising to see the Sparks take another point guard in Zoll after drafting Shannon Bobbitt in the second round.
Second Round Complete
Posted at 11:42 a.m.
Detroit's selection of Natasha Lacy from UTEP wraps up our second round. There were some value picks late in the second round, including Indiana getting Khadijah Whittington, a player with a high motor like Fever star Tamika Catchings. As we head to the third round, there are still several solid point guard prospects and some other interesting players on the board.
Brian Agler stepped out briefly during the second round to chat with Quigley about coming to Seattle.
Also on the NBA TV draft coverage, talk of a deal that Agler alluded to yesterday between Atlanta and San Antonio that could send Ann Wauters to the Silver Stars to team with Ruth Riley in the middle.
The Storm Selects ...
Posted at 11:26 a.m.
At No. 22 overall, the Storm has selected DePaul guard Allie Quigley. An All-Big East First Team pick and the conference's Aeropostale Scholar-Athlete as a senior, Quigley is a versatile contributor in the backcourt. At 5-11, she brings great size to the guard position and handles the ball well enough to average a team-high 3.9 assists per game from shooting guard. She also can shoot the ball, hitting better than 38% of her threes in her career.
"She's got a high basketball IQ," comments ESPN's Carolyn Peck, agreeing with Nancy Lieberman's commentary on the draft. The panel clearly likes the pick.
Run on Guards
Posted at 11:16 a.m.
Three of the first five picks in the second round have been guards - points Bobbitt and Erica White to Houston, and White's LSU backcourt-mate Quianna Chaney to Chicago a moment ago. Brian Agler said yesterday the team's priority was to add depth to the backcourt, but this run on guards could affect that.
Posted at 11:08 a.m.
A pair of champion Lady Vols start our second round. Point guard Shannon Bobbitt will join her Tennessee teammate Candace Parker in Los Angeles. Minnesota followed up by adding some size in the form of Nicky Anosike. That looks like a great pick after Anosike's big championship game last night. She'll join one of her opponents last night, Candice Wiggins.
First Round in the Books
Posted at 10:58 a.m.
The New York Liberty rounds out the first round with a terrific value pick, landing North Carolina forward Erlana Larkins. The Liberty is pretty well stocked with young posts, including Janel McCarville and 2007 lottery picks Jessica Davenport and Tiffany Jackson, but Larkins was far and away the best player available at this point of the draft. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Mercury had to be thrilled to land LaToya Pringle, an athletic defensive post who is an ideal fit for the Mercury system.
So now we head to round two (and switch over to ESPNU or NBA TV if you're watching at home). Only one player in my mock first round (LSU guard Quianna Chaney) remains on the board, but there are plenty of talented players remaining and the discussion is now starting to heat up here in the Draft Room.
My Mock Draft Falls Apart
Posted at 10:52 a.m.
OK, that's a bit dramatic, but things haven't played out lately as I expected. I had Sacramento taking LaToya Pringle, but they chose to take the other top post available, Maryland's Laura Harper. Those two players were largely interchangeable on my board. Detroit took one of the sliders in the draft, Georgia's (or is it Virginia's?) Tasha Humphrey. Connecticut surprised me, but apparently not the room, by taking UConn point guard Ketia Swanier. That gives the Sun three quality point guards in Swanier, Lindsay Whalen and Aussie Erin Phillips (who is not expected to play at least until after this year's Olympics because of her commitment to the Australian National Team).
Posted at 10:42 a.m.
Back-to-back selections of players who played outside of the NCAA spotlight - James Madison's Tamera Young to Atlanta, followed by Amber Holt from Middle Tennessee State to Connecticut. Young qualifies as the first real stunner of this draft so far; she was considered a possible late-first-round pick, but this is a bit higher than she was expected to go. Holt going ninth isn't a real surprise, but her going to the Sun is a bit unexpected. She will help replace Nykesha Sales, who will not play this season to take a break from the grind of year-round basketball.
Did you know: Young went to the same high school (Laney) as Michael Jordan. No word yet on whether she made varsity as a sophomore.
Rutgers Feel to Draft
Posted at 10:35 a.m.
Two of the last three picks played under C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers - Matee Ajavon to Houston and Essence Carson to New York (the fifth pick so far I've gotten correct). Ajavon really seemed to move up in the last week or so; I didn't have her going in the first round of my first mock draft, but now she's the fifth overall pick (and might well have gone sixth to Washington, who took local product Crystal Langhorne, had she not been picked by the Comets). The player who is sliding right now is Erlana Larkins. A couple of weeks, she was a possible third overall pick to Minnesota, but she's still on the board at eight right now.
Hornbuckle to Detroit
Posted at 10:22 a.m.
As we expected, the Shock adds youth to the backcourt and remains as versatile as ever on the perimeter by drafting Tennessee's Alexis Hornbuckle. My mock draft is 4-for-4 so far, but I suspect I might be wrong about Erlana Larkins to Houston.
Top Three as Expected
Posted at 10:17 a.m.
"Well, now it gets interesting," says Storm Head Coach Brian Agler. We had a pretty good idea that Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Candice Wiggins would go 1-2-3. Trader Bill Laimbeer is a little more difficult to predict. The consensus guess, as in my mock draft, is Alexis Hornbuckle ... but we'll see.
Posted at 10:13 a.m.
As we've known since the lottery in October, assuming she would in fact declare, Candace Parker is the first overall pick. Did anyone else notice Seattle-based agent Aaron Goodwin with her family?
Sparks on the Clock
Posted at 10:07 a.m.
After Donna Orender's opening address, we're ready to begin picking. There should be no surprises in the first three picks, with Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Candice Wiggins separating themselves from the pack of prospects. Parker officially declared for the draft last night after winning her second straight national championship. After three, the draft gets more interesting, and there's scuttle about a trade involving a top-five pick.
Speaking of eligibility, WNBA counsel Jamin Dershowitz informed teams that they are responsible for determining eligibility and there will not be any compensation if they draft ineligible players. That's a reference to last year, when Meg Bulger was listed in the WNBA's Draft Guide and was picked by the Sacramento Monarchs but wished to continue her NCAA career. Sacramento has the last pick of this year's draft, No. 43 overall, as a result.
About Ready to Go
Posted at 9:57 a.m.
We're just moments away from the start of the draft. Storm Assistant Shelley Patterson notes that, without a first-round pick, it feels like everyone is watching a TV show, not participating. Because the Storm's first pick (No. 22 overall) is so far away, there's not a lot of discussion that can be done at this point. The coaching staff has considered some hypothetical possibilities about who could be available.
Welcome to The Draft Room
Posted at 9:40 a.m.
I'm reporting live from the Storm's Draft Room, the headquarters for the 2008 WNBA Draft. Thanks to Storm Head Coach Brian Agler for allowing this unprecedented access. He's joined in here by Assistant Coaches Shelley Patterson and Nancy Darsch, Director of Basketball Operations Missy Bequette, Video Coordinator Ayana Clinton and Ryan Williams from the Storm PR Department. While we wait for the live coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. on ESPN2, the Storm's braintrust is on a conference call with their league which will be used to make picks in rounds two and round three. (First-round picks are made separately via phone.) Lots of anticipation in the air as we prepare for the picks. In the meantime, check out my final mock draft and the rest of our 2008 Draft coverage and stay with us all morning as we react to all the happenings and offer the first reaction to the Storm's pick.