We’re three months away from the 2021 WNBA Draft, and this has been an interesting college season to say the least. While some teams have been forced to cancel their seasons, others have had to schedule games with less than a 24-hour notice. Live sports in the midst of a pandemic has presented challenges for everyone.
BUT… according to many, the show must go on.
There have been some awesome performances by many of the top prospects. We’ve had some to rise on our board, and others have possibly seen their names fall.
As stated before, the NCAA has granted an additional year of eligibility to athletes of winter sports due to the impact of COVID-19. The list of names below could look a lot different if some opted to return to their programs for an additional year in order to raise their stock.
Let’s take a look!
- New York– Rhyne Howard – Kentucky, 6-2 G
Howard has been as advertised since her freshman season, and is one of the most exciting players to watch. While not meeting the age requirement, there’s much speculation around if she’d declare if she were to complete her degree early. If so, she’s the type of player that would be too good to pass up with the Number 1 pick even if the Liberty roster already contains a load of guards. She possesses the ability to create her shot and score from all areas of the floor. Her frame allows her to play multiple positions and often controls the offense. She’s currently averaging 20.4ppg, 7.1rpg, and 3.7apg.
- Dallas– Charli Collier – Texas, 6-5 C
Collier is another junior that’ll be eligible. Also in contention for being drafted No. 1, she provides scoring, defense, and size. She’s currently averaging a double-double with 22.2ppg and 10.3rpg for the Longhorns. With the Wings finishing 10th in rebounding last season, Collier will certainly provide help in that area and they could look to keep her in the state of Texas.
- Atlanta– Awak Kuier – Finland, 6-4 C
The Dream will be loaded with guards, so will their post play be an area of concern? There are many potential targets for Atlanta during free agency, so this is an interesting position for them. Will Kuier pique their interest? She’s an intriguing talent that could provide size and mobility for the Dream. She’s one of the youngest players in this draft with a high ceiling.
- Indiana – Dana Evans – Louisville, 5-6 G
Evans is the leader for Louisville. On nearly every watch list to begin her senior season, the reigning ACC Player of the Year is averaging 19.7ppg and 4.2apg throughout the first 10 games this season. What need will Indiana look to address in this draft? Will they look to add another guard to their rotation and bring Evans home?
- Dallas – Rennia Davis – Tennessee, 6-2 G/F
Davis is a versatile player with guard skills in a forward’s body. While her senior season has seen her numbers dip across most statistical categories, it’s due to additional help on the roster and not having to shoulder most of the load. Davis has career averages of 14.8ppg and 7.8rpg. She’s a physical player that could be a solid rotation piece for the Wings should they be unable to re-sign Allisha Gray in free agency.
- Phoenix – Aari McDonald – Arizona, 5-6 G
McDonald is an exciting player. She provides a complete game on both ends of the court, and is currently averaging 18.8ppg, 5.8rpg, and 5.2apg for the Wildcats. She’d provide youth for the Mercury while learning the ropes from a veteran backcourt presence of Taurasi, Diggins-Smith, and Hartley.
- Dallas – Michaela Onyenwere – UCLA, 6-0 F
As stated earlier, the Wings finished in the bottom half of the league for rebounding last season. Onyenwere has averaged over 7rpg for her college career and has shown a propensity for tracking the loose balls. She’s not the biggest threat from beyond the arc as a guard, but Onyenwere is a physical player with the ability to defend multiple positions. She’s currently averaging 18.7ppg and 8.4rpg.
- Chicago – Arella Guirantes – Rutgers, 5-11 G
Guirantes was considered a favorite for a few teams in the 2020 draft, but opted to return for her senior season. She’s currently averaging an impressive stat line of 22.5ppg, 7.1rpg, 5.4apg and 2.4bpg in eight games so far for the Scarlet Knights. Guirantes is a sizeable guard that is able to produce offensively along with the ability to rebound well which could provide a spark for Coach Wade’s energetic Sky team.
- Minnesota – Chelsea Dungee – Arkansas, 5-11 G
Dungee can score at a high volume. Currently averaging 21.4ppg and 3.6rpg, she’s the leader for the Razorbacks. She’s fearless in her drives to the basket and finishes through contact. Connecting at 80% front the stripe, she’s first in the country in made free throws and second in attempts.
- Los Angeles – Natasha Mack – Oklahoma State, 6-4 F/C
Mack is fierce in the paint. She’s currently averaging 19.3ppg, 11.3rpg, and 4.1bpg. Heading into free agency, there are many questions surrounding the Sparks. What will they look like in 2021? Mack could provide additional defensive size down low for Coach Fisher’s squad.
- Seattle – N’dea Jones – Texas A&M, 6-2 F
Seattle’s front court is currently anchored by Stewart and Howard. With free agency underway, will that still be the case once the draft arrives? Drafting Jones for post depth could be beneficial for the defending WNBA Champs. She’s currently averaging 13.3ppg and 10.5 rpg for the Top-10 Aggies.
- Las Vegas – Destanni Henderson – South Carolina, 5-7 G
Henderson is just a junior, but will be eligible due to age. She’s developed her game after playing two years behind Ty Harris, and is now the starting point guard for Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks. Henderson is lightning quick with the ball and gets out in transition with just a few dribbles. It’s also a plus that she’s not a defensive liability. Standing at 5’7”, she’s currently averaging 13.1ppg 6.2rpg to go along with 5.6apg. She’s SEC tough, and finishes through contact. As we know, guard play was an area of concern for the Aces during the 2020 season. Will Bill Laimbeer look to take a guard here?
Other notable potential picks: CeCe Hooks (Ohio), Vivian Gray (Texas Tech), Erin Boley (Oregon), Tiana Mangakahia (Syracuse), *Evina Westbrook (UConn), Lindsey Pulliam (Northwestern), Destiny Slocum (Arkansas), DiDi Richards (Baylor), Unique Thompson (Auburn), Ameshya Williams (Jackson State), LeLe Grissett (South Carolina), Janelle Bailey (North Carolina), Ali Patbergh (Indiana), and *Shakira Austin (Ole Miss)