Indiana Fever Draft Preview

Tamika Catchings may be joined by two new first rounders for the 2014 season.
NBAE/Getty Images

First 3 Selections in 2013
  • No. 5 overall
  • No. 9 overall
  • No. 29 overall

  • Last 3 First Round Picks (Pick, Year)
  • Layshia Clarendon (9, 2013)
  • Sasha Goodlett (11, 2012)
  • Jeannette Pohlen (9, 2011)

  • Strengths
  • Championship Experience
  • All Five Starters Returning
  • Tamika Catchings

  • Areas of Improvement
  • Post Depth
  • Injuries/Staying Healthy
  • Road Record

  • Overview

    What a difference a year makes.

    This time last year, the Indiana Fever were reigning WNBA Champions and preparing to defend their title with largely the same roster. Any why not? They had proven they were not only the best team in the East but were also capable of dethroning the star-studded Minnesota Lynx. Fast forward one year, after an injury-plagued 2013 season ended with an Eastern Conference Finals loss to Angel McCoughtry and the Dream, and Indiana is embracing changes deemed necessary by the club heirarchy in order to compete for another championship in 2014.

    "It's fair to say after last year our goal now is to reload, keep our core, get and try and stay healthy and get younger," said Lin Dunn on the eve of the 2014 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. "We have all five starters back from last year, and despite our injuries we did make the WNBA Final Four, even though that isn't what they call reaching the conference finals. But we have all five back and while we have said goodbye to some other folks in an attempt to get younger, we are now ready to follow through on that through the draft."

    Two of those folks to move on during the off-season were Katie Douglas, who returned to the Connecticut Sun and Erin Phillips who joined fellow Australian Sandy Brondello in Phoenix. Both players were key factors in the 2012 championship season, but as the Fever look to get younger, roster shakeups are inevitable. As far as implementing the "get younger" policy via the draft, Indiana has two first round picks with which to begin. Dunn is looking to fill two key needs with the No. 5 and No. 9 picks up at Mohegan Sun on April 14.

    "We've got a lack of depth in the post and there are some good 'bigs' out there this year. Ogwumike will be gone by the fifth pick, of course, but depending on what other teams do, that still leaves some good options in Dolson [Stefanie, UConn], Howard [Natasha, Fla State], Gatling [Markeisha, NC State] and Achonwa (Natalie, Notre Dame]," said Dunn. "But we're also in the market for the best perimeter player we can get. Not sure who will fall where, but a versatile player, who can play more than one position and can score is key. There is alot of things going on in a basketball game, but one thing is constant, you have to score. Ideally, you're looking for someone who can score in more than one way. Someone who can hit the three and go to the rim. And someone who is a hard worker, athletic and excellent defensively."

    So, all Dunn is looking for is a hard-working, athletic, versatile player who can play multiple positions, defend and score from the three-point line and the paint. Who does that sound like?

    "Yeah, you got me," said Dunn. "That's Tamika Catchings right there. That's who I'm always looking for. Don't think I will find another one, but you can't blame a person for trying."

    2013 (top picks)
    9. Layshia Clarendon
    21. Jasmine Hassell

    2012 (top picks)
    11. Sasha Goodlett
    34. Courtney Hurt

    9. Jeannette Pohlen
    33. Jori Davis
    2013 LEADERS
    1. Tamika Catchings (17.7)
    2. Katie Douglas (15.0)
    3. Shavonte Zellous (14.7)

    1. Erlana Larkins (7.8)
    2. Tamika Catchings (7.1)
    3. Karima Christmas (4.1)

    1. Briann January (3.7)
    2. Tamika Catchings (2.4)
    3. Layshia Clarendon (1.8)