2014 Draft Watch: Opposites Attack
Women's college ball really picked up this week -- especially for Maryland and Connecticut. No. 8 Maryland brought home two 49+ wins and UConn (No. 1) met Duke (No. 2) in a highly anticipated battle on Dec. 17 where UConn came out on top. Maryland and UConn also have two of the hottest seniors in the nation right now in Alyssa Thomas and Stefanie Dolson. The two share an incredible talent, work ethic and dedication to the sport, but their presence couldn't be any more different. Thomas is a strong, silent straight-to-business type, while Dolson is a spirited, high-energy center.
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)
Although Alyssa Thomas is reportedly quiet and somewhat shy, she is anything but on the court. The senior Maryland guard/forward proved exactly that last season when the Terrapins were forced to shuffle things around due to numerous season-ending injuries. Thomas, a 6’2” forward, switched to the point guard position and excelled. She led Maryland to a second-place ACC finish that year despite their early adversity.
This year Thomas is averaging 16 PPG and 11 rebounds. The Terps are ranked No. 8 and are 10-1 on the season. Thomas has 10 straight double-doubles this season and is the only player in Maryland history to put up three career triple-doubles. This week she was named ACC player of the week for the ninth time in her career.
The Terrapins are healthy this year and Thomas is back at the forward position. They -- and she -- are expected to do well in the tournament.
Stefanie Dolson (UConn)
Stefanie Dolson is often regarded as the heart of UConn basketball. She is know for her incredible spirit, charisma and drive on and off the court.
When she started as a freshman, the 6'5" center was not as fast nor as athletic as some of the other posts in the league. But at the conclusion of her first season, Dolson changed her work habits and worked on her game. When she returned for her sophomore season, she was one of the most athletic centers in the league and also one of the smartest.
Dolson is averaging 14 PPG, 10 rebounds and (an almost unheard of for a center) four assists. "How many assists did Stefanie have? Six? There are some centers in the country who don't get six assists in a full year," Coach Geno Auriemma told espnW after the Duke game last night.
Dolson also put up 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Lady Huskies vs. Duke.
Other Notable Seniors:
Oklahoma's Aaryn Ellenberg is averaging 18 points per game for Oklahoma this season. Oklahoma is ranked No. 20 and is 7-3 this year.
Michelle Plouffe, Utah's senior forward, is averaging a double-double with 19 ppg and 11 rebounds.
And Duke's 6'1" guard Tricia Liston is averaging 18 ppg for the Blue Devils.
Updates (as of 12/17/2013):
Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford) - 25 ppg, 11, rpg, 1 apg.
Chelsea Gray (Duke) - 12 ppg, 5 rpg, 8 apg.
Odyseey Sims (Baylor) - 29 ppg, 4 rpg, 5 apg.
Previous Draft Watches: