2011 WNBA Draft - Centers
Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | April 8, 2011
StormBasketball.com is taking a look at the top prospects for the April 11 WNBA Draft on a position-by-position basis. For the top players on the board, Storm Head Coach Brian Agler offers his insider take as well as a comparison to a current WNBA player. Today we wrap up with centers.
From: Australia | Height: 6-8 | Born: 2/18/91
Key Stats - PPG: 22.3 | RPG: 8.4 | BPG: 2.8
Bio: Cambage is the draft's most interesting prospect. She has dominated the competition in the Australian WNBL, where she was named MVP after leading the Bulleen Boomers to the championship, and has played well for the Opals in international play. However, Cambage's ability to play at that level against WNBA opponents on a nightly basis remains to be seen. Cambage's upside is immense. Her combination of size and offensive skill may be unmatched in league history.
Coach Agler says … "Tremendous talent. Great size."
WNBA comparison: "There's no one like her in our league."
From: Ohio State | Height: 6-4 | Born: 11/22/88
Key Stats - PPG: 22.8 | RPG: 10.9 | BPG: 1.8
Bio: Lavender was one of the best players in the Big Ten from her arrival in Columbus, winning at least a share of conference player of the year honors all four seasons - a feat unmatched in conference history. Lavender overpowered opponents in the paint, while also showing the ability to beat double teams by finding teammates on the perimeter.
Coach Agler says … "Really has come on here late. I think her stock has gone up in the last month. Good back-to-the-basket player. Can face up."
WNBA comparison: "Not sure."
From: Xavier | Height: 6-6 | Born: 1/24/89
Key Stats - PPG: 16.1 | RPG: 12.4 | BPG: 1.6
Bio: A physical post with excellent size for the position, Phillips teamed up with Amber Harris to give Xavier the nation's strongest one-two punch in the paint. Phillips was best on the glass, where she nearly led the nation in rebounds per game. She's a high-percentage shooter around the basket who made more than 60 percent of her attempts all four years of her career. The question for Phillips will be her ability to defend against more athletic centers like the Storm's Lauren Jackson.
WNBA comparison: "Sort of like Erika De Souza."
From: Boston College | Height: 6-6 | Born: 7/19/89
Key Stats - PPG: 17.5 | RPG: 9.5 | BPG: 1.5
Bio: The strength of Swords' game is her accurate shooting around the basket. She made 71.4 percent of her attempts as a senior, which led the NCAA by a wide margin (the next highest percentage was 66.0). With her size and soft touch around the basket, Swords is a sure finisher. She finished her career as Boston College's all-time leader in games, starts, rebounds, blocks and double-doubles and second in school history in scoring.
Coach Agler says … "Very similar to Jaeschke. More of a back-to-the-basket player, though. A little bigger. Good hands."
WNBA comparison: "Jayne Appel, maybe."
From: Northwestern | Height: 6-5 | Born: 4/26/89
Key Stats - PPG: 21.4 | RPG: 9.0 | BPG: 3.2
Bio: Jaeschke has a unique combination of skills in that her two best attributes are her shooting range on offense and her shot blocking on defense. She made 16 threes as a senior and shot a strong 77.9 percent at the free throw line. At the other end, she ranked sixth in the country in blocked shots per game and finished as the fourth all-time leading shot blocker in Big Ten history.
Coach Agler says … "Big post player. Can shoot the three-point shot. Very European-like."
WNBA comparison: "A little like Elena Baranova."
OTHER CENTER PROSPECTS
Krystal Thomas, Duke - A defensive specialist who led the ACC in rebounding.
Louella Tomlinson, St. Mary's - The lanky Aussie became the NCAA's all-time leading shot blocker during the season and averaged 4.7 swats per game, just edging out Brittney Griner to lead the country.