The Indiana fever Needs a good break, and the Friday WNBA Lottery can provide it (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Fever has the highest odds of getting a first choice, which the organization has never had before.
Tamika Catchings, ranked No. 3 in 2001, is the best player in Fever history and one of the all-time greats of women’s basketball. But Indiana hasn’t made the playoffs since Catchings retired after the 2016 season.
The Fever project has achieved success in this expanse with Kelsey Mitchell (No. 2 in 2018), Victoria Viviens (No. 8 in 2018), Nalissa Smith (No. 2 in 2022) and Queen Agbo (No. 10 in 2022). But it didn’t translate to the team being competitive at the playoff level. This year, Team Fever underwent a change in pre-season training – with a team relying heavily on juniors – to finish 5-31.
A few years passed – 2021 comes to mind – when the first selection wasn’t made. But most of the time, the player in that apartment brings great value. Sometimes, you change the course of the franchise. This may be the case for 2023.
With seniors still having the option to return for Season 5 due to the pandemic-affected 2020-21 school year, there is no guarantee that all of them will be eligible for the April 2023 draft. With the information we have now, here are early predictions for the first round, with the top four picks in order of special lottery odds. them. We will update the mock draft after the Friday sweepstakes.
Gamecox South Carolina | forward | 6 feet 5 | first
It’s a sure thing in the draft, provided you’re not surprised and choose to stay in season five in college. This is not expected at this point. Boston was the top national player last season and favored repeats, as well as the Gamecocks as national champions. She is the most pro-ready college player, with elite finishing skills, footwork, defensive ability and intelligence.
Stanford Cardinal | guard | 6 ft -1 | first
After taking a big guard Ryan Howard With the #1 pick last season, Dream might see another player as the best. But there may be no one to really push Jones out of this place. The most outstanding player in the 2021 NCAA Championship, Jones could be an elite playmaker at the next level, along with becoming a more dynamic scorer than she was at Stanford.
UCLA Bruins | guard | 5 feet 9 | first
Osborne has been somewhat out of the limelight as the Bruins missed the NCAA Championship last season, although they did advance to the WNIT semifinals. A strong offensive player, Osborne led the Bruins at 16.4 PPG last season. But she’s better at defense, and the Mystics led the league in defensive rankings last season.
Maryland TRIPS | guard | 6 feet 3 | first
The Lynx missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2010, and they have to get used to life without retired center Sylvia Fowles. Miller left the Terps opener with an injury on Monday, and she struggled with problems last season as well. But provided Miller has a healthy overall season, she could be a strong offensive player, especially in a transition period for Minnesota, with room to grow in defense.
Tennessee Lady Falls | guard | 6 feet 2 | first
An elbow injury cut short Hurston’s fine junior season. Although Ohio State’s Lady Vols lost in the opening Tuesday, expectations are high for Tennessee and Hurston. It has great size and defensive instincts on the wing, which may make it valuable to the sky. While spin count and shot selection were problems, Hurston averaged 16.2 points last season, along with 9.4 rebounds.
Tennessee Lady Falls | forward | 6 feet 2 | first
Jackson is in her first season at Tennessee and it likely has a lot to do with how far Lady Falls has progressed. She was the SEC’s top scorer when she left Mississippi State last January after two coaching changes. In her time with the Bulldog, she averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. If she can get similar numbers this season, that would be good for Lady Vols and her inventory.
Aisha Blackwell scores hat-trick in Baylor win
Baylor Bears | forward / guard | 5 feet – 11 | first
Blackwell is an outstanding player, averaging 13.0 last season and 10.2 in her three years in Missouri. She is fast, powerful and has a good instinct in attack and defence. Can it adapt to more ocean play, as you’ll need to in the professional game? Having former WNBA coach Nikki Cullen spearheading her this season at Baylor should be a good preparation.
Virginia Tech Hockey | center | 6 feet 6 | first
There is no guarantee that real centers can make the transition from college to the WNBA today. But Keatley, last year’s ACC player, has things in her favour. Last season, she averaged 18.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks; She had four or more blocks on nine occasions. Kitley would have to get stronger and possibly more ferocious to be a legitimate low-mass threat and edge protector in the WNBA, but she has steadily improved in her time with the Hokies.
Ohio State Buckeyes | guard | 6 feet 2 | first
Any guard in the same conference as Caitlin Clark of Iowa is likely to be overwhelmed. But watch Sheldon: She has a pleasant dread in her drive to the basket and her opportunistic defense. It gets more and more difficult to do these things in the WNBA. But last season, she averaged 19.7 PPG while shooting 50.4% from the field and scoring nearly two steals per game.
Iowa hurricanes | forward / guard | 6 ft -1 | first
The sophomore has won the Cheryl Miller Award in the past two seasons and takes pride in being a hardworking player who will do anything to help her team. Iowa did not have many alumni to make it into the WNBA (defense is often an issue), despite Jones’s former teammate, Bridget Carlton (Lynx), he found a spot. Joens played a lot of 3-on-3 over this summer, and what she learned there could help her transition into the professional game.
Oklahoma sooner | forward | 6 feet – 0 | first
The Five-Year star thrived last season in new coach Jenny Barancic’s offensive system, averaging 18.0 points. In fact, Williams has been strong in attack throughout her breakout career and has an excellent drive. Defense isn’t her strength nor is Oklahoma’s strength, but she is a dependable key player (7.5 RPG last season).
Duke Blue Devils | guard | 5 feet – 11 | first
After spending her first two seasons in Texas, Taylor moved and averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Learning to defend helped her under Longhorns coach Vic Schaefer, something she brought to Duke. Taylor has a lot of areas she could improve as a senior – reduce one turnover – and if she does, she can get into the first round.