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2008 Small Forward Prospects

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Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | April 4, 2008
Storm.wnba.com is taking a look at the top prospects for the April 9 WNBA Draft on a position-by-position basis. That continues today with small forwards. The consensus top two players available come from very different backgrounds. Essence Carson has starred on the national stage, playing in the championship game for Rutgers last March. Meanwhile, Amber Holt has emerged as a top prospect in relative obscurity at Middle Tennessee State. The Storm has signed several players who can play small forward to training camp contracts, but could still add another small forward under a "best player available" philosophy.

Also see: PG Prospects | SG Prospects

ESSENCE CARSON
From: Rutgers | Height: 6-0 | Born: 7/28/86
Key Stats - PPG: 10.8 | RPG: 5.2 | APG: 2.6
On a Rutgers team known for its defense, Carson has stood out for her effort at that end of the floor. Carson won Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors each of the last three seasons, joining Notre Dame's Ruth Riley as the only players so honored in conference history. Carson has the combination of size and athleticism to be a legit stopper at the WNBA level as well. Carson's game is not as polished on the offensive end, but she can hit the three enough to keep defenses honest.

AMBER HOLT
From: Middle Tennessee State | Height: 6-0 | Born: 6/7/85
Key Stats - PPG: 27.3 | RPG: 8.0 | APG: 3.2
After heading to Middle Tennessee State after playing JC ball at Southeastern Illinois College, Holt quickly put the NCAA world on notice of her ability. In her first game as a Blue Raider against the defending champion Maryland Terrapins, Holt had 28 points and eight boards. Following the graduation of 2007 third-round pick Chrissy Givens, Holt was the Middle Tennessee State offense as a senior, scoring nearly 40% of the team's total points. Holt played primarily inside in college, but her skillset is versatile enough she should be able to make the transition to likely playing more of a perimeter game in the pros.

KHADIJAH WHITTINGTON
From: North Carolina State | Height: 6-1 | Born: 8/5/86
Key Stats - PPG: 16.8 | RPG: 11.7 | APG: 1.4
The only ACC player to average a double-double, Whittington became the fourth player in school history to post 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. Whittington could be a tweener at the WNBA level. At 6-1, she may find it tough to play inside, but she did not make a three-pointer in her entire NCAA career. She should be fine on defense, where her versatility is made manifest in her 2.4 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. Her vertical makes her a threat defensively and on the glass.

CHARDE HOUSTON
From: Connecticut | Height: 6-1 | Born: 4/10/86
Key Stats - PPG: 6.5 | RPG: 3.9 | APG: 1.2
It was a trying senior season for Houston, who saw her minutes per game cut from 26.3 to 15.5 as she slipped out of Geno Auriemma's starting lineup. Houston found redemption in the Big East Tournament, winning Most Outstanding Player honors. Houston has as much talent as almost anyone available and was a top recruit for UConn, but has yet to entirely match that potential with production. Like Whittington, Houston never hit a three in her college career and will have to improve her range.

TAMERA YOUNG
From: James Madison | Height: 6-2 | Born: 10/30/86
Key Stats - PPG: 20.4 | RPG: 10.4 | APG: 3.0
In her final game at James Madison, Young became the Colonial Athletic Association's all-time leading scorer with 2,121 points. As a senior, she led the conference in both scoring and rebounding and was, naturally, named Player of the Year. Young combines perimeter skills with good size and rebounding ability that allowed her to average a double-double last season.

OTHER SMALL FORWARD PROSPECTS
Alex Anderson, Tennessee-Chattanooga - Two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year averaged 20-10 as a junior.
Morenike Atunrase, Texas A&M - Former Big 12 Freshman of the Year thrived in reserve role as senior.
Meg Bulger, West Virginia - Sharpshooter was accidentally drafted by Sacramento in third round last April, but had planned to return for fifth season after missing 2006-07 season due to knee surgery.
Janie Mitchell, Georgia Tech - Named State of Georgia Women's College Player of the Year as a senior.
Hanna Zavecz, Wyoming - Three-time All-Mountain West pick was NIT's MVP as a junior.