4 winners of the 2023 WNBA Draft
With all eyes on a deep WNBA draft class, 4 groups made an particularly large splash with their selections Monday night time. Their expertise swimming pools point out that every will make some critical noise within the 2023 season.
1. Aliyah Boston, South Carolina, PF
7. Grace Berger, Indiana, PG
13. Taylor Mikesell, Ohio State, SG
17. LaDazhia Williams, LSU, PF
25. Victaria Saxton, South Carolina, SF
With the primary general choose, the Indiana Fever selected 2022 participant of the yr Aliyah Boston. She is going to pair up with second-year ahead NaLyssa Smith for a formidable entrance line. Boston can rating, and he or she is an excellent rebounder and defender.
“I imply, she’s generational, proper?” Fever coach Christie Sides stated. “She’s not solely the total package deal of being an awesome participant however only a nice particular person and goes to be an awesome particular person with this franchise.”
Grace Berger, the “mid-range queen,” brings toughness and protection to the roster. Taylor Mikesell is a superb three-point shooter; she shot 41 % this season for Ohio State. Mikesell may present flooring spacing for Indiana.
“Let me be clear about Grace Berger: We drafted her as a result of she’s an distinctive participant,” basic supervisor Lin Dunn stated. “She’s an distinctive participant who can play three positions, an distinctive particular person off-the-court, and simply occurs to be down the street. She is (coach) Christie Sides’ kind of participant.”
“I do know it seemed like we bought slightly grasping taking each Berger and Mikesell, two prime guards from the Huge Ten, however they’ll each rating. Additionally they could make different folks higher on the court docket. You’ve bought to return out and guard Mikesell and are available out and guard Berger.”
LaDazhia Williams will compete with Queen Egbo for a roster spot. Victaria Saxton may defend wings and bigs, however her offense should develop for her make the roster.
2. Diamond Miller, Maryland, SG
12. Maia Hirsch, France, C
16. Dorka Juhász, UConn, C
24. Brea Beal, South Carolina, SG
28. Taylor Soule, Virginia Tech, SF
Diamond Miller can rating the basketball. She averaged 19.7 for the Terps this previous season, as she is great at stepping into the lane and attending to the rim.
“I can do a number of issues,” Miller stated. “I’m a three-level scorer, and may play on either side of the court docket. “
Maia Hirsch is a draft-and-stash participant with super upside, whereas Dorka Juhasz brings dimension, with the power to knock down outdoors photographs.
Brea Beal was a projected first-round choose and fell, however might be the steal of the draft. She was a defensive participant of the yr finalist who has improved her outdoors shot lots, and should maintain enhancing it. Beal stated her skill to study and adapt is her energy.
“It’s the largest praise in the case of me, (is when somebody says I’m) in a position to soak up issues and hear and simply with the ability to adapt, do issues that coaches want from me, teammates want from me,” she stated.
6. Haley Jones, Stanford, PG
8. Laeticia Amihere, South Carolina, PF
15. Leigha Brown, Michigan, SG
Getting Haley Jones was an enormous pickup for Atlanta, as she is a flexible participant who can move, get to the basket and defend, and he or she has a excessive basketball IQ. She has been criticized for her lack of an outdoor shot, however she was not utilized that approach at Stanford.
“We’re excited to have Haley as part of the Dream,” head coach Tanisha Wright stated. “Haley is any individual who we all know is an efficient child, and he or she goes to be an awesome tradition match right here. She reveals excessive versatility in her sport, has the power to play a number of positions and does quite a lot of various things effectively, whereas additionally making others round her higher.”
With Jones’s ability set and willingness to work, there is no such thing as a purpose for her to not develop a soar shot on the professional stage. If and when she does, the sky is the restrict for her.
Laeticia Amihere is athletic, and might be an enormous asset for Atlanta along with her defensive skill.
“Laeticia’s dimension and athleticism are going to translate very effectively and can flip her right into a long-term participant on this league,” Wright stated. “Her work ethic and willingness to return in and get higher are actually going to make her a particular participant for us. We’re excited to have her right here in Atlanta, and are trying ahead to watching her develop.”
Leigha Brown will battle for a roster spot, which is able to come naturally to her, as she is a competitor.
“There’s a toughness and a tenacity about Brown that I actually like,” Wright stated. “She performs with a chip on her shoulder and isn’t afraid to go to battle – that mindset will give her a bonus as she is available in daily and competes for us.”
3. Maddy Siegrist, Villanova, PF
4. Stephanie Soares, Iowa State, C
5. Lou Lopez Sénéchal, UConn, SG
11. Abby Meyers, Maryland, SG
19. Ashley Joens, Iowa State, SF
31. Paige Robinson, Illinois State, SG
The Dallas Wings wished gamers that might shoot from the surface, they usually bought it in Maddy Siegrist. She will rating from wherever on the ground, and did simply that in her senior yr, as she averaged 29.2 factors per sport.
Normal supervisor Gregg Bibb stated the Dallas workers knew of her as early as highschool, and adopted her faculty profession with the Wildcats.
“Clearly, within the final yr, and two years, she’s risen to the highest of the nationwide highlight,” Bibb stated. “When it comes to her skill to steer Villanova and, specifically, rating the basketball because the nation’s main scorer, Maddy is excess of simply an offensive participant; I feel her defensive skill is underrated. She has nice dimension and size. She will play a mess of positions.”
The Wings made a draft day commerce to get Stephanie Soares, and in addition drafted her teammate Ashley Joens from Iowa State. Soares won’t play this yr as a consequence of a knee harm.
“We’d have thought-about Ashley Joens two years in the past if she had come out within the draft,” Bibb stated. “She was eligible to take part in, and clearly, that didn’t occur once more final yr. However, you realize, a premier shooter performs greater than her dimension and is a tricky competitor. She may be very critical about her basketball craft. Superior teammate.”
Bibb stated Soares’ expertise is price ready for.
“There aren’t that many 6-6 publish gamers who can run the ground and shoot the ball like Stephanie,” he stated. “The opposite factor that jumped off the movie for me was how good her ft have been, and her skill to complete with both hand in a small area. You don’t get that sort of full package deal that usually.”
Dallas wished taking pictures, so that they added Lou Lopez Sénéchal – a switch from Fairfield – with the fifth choose.
I’ve identified about Lou since day one at Fairfield,” Bibb stated. “I watched her transition to UConn, and he or she did it seamlessly. She is simply pure when it comes to her skill to shoot the basketball.”
Will probably be arduous for all these gamers to make the roster, however it’s clear that the Wings desire a flooring spacer for All-Star guard Arike Ogunbowale to go to work.
Preseason play begins Might 5, with the common season scheduled to tip off Might 19.