There’s nothing like postseason play to flip the WNBA draft completely on its head.
What many view as a second season, whether it’s the NCAA Tournament or the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), provides opportunities for players: They can either reaffirm their worth or increase their draft stock. They can also lose their footing in speculative draft priority if their post-season play falters. There has been much of all of this going on the last five days, since March Madness began last Friday.
Washington’s Kelsey Plum remains the top pick after a 29-point first-round tournament showing Saturday—her average for a night. Brionna Jones jumps to the second spot because she seems unstoppable, spearheading Maryland’s run so far. Tori Jankoska jumped a few spots, because even though Michigan State lost in the first round, she left it all on the floor with 26 points. She is a force to be reckoned with.
— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_WBasketball) March 18, 2017
[More from Excelle Sports: WNBA stars pick the top three teams to watch in March Madness]
Texas A&M’s Curtyce Knox and Syracuse’s Brittney Sykes climbed a few notches due to strong performances Saturday, including taking leadership roles. Kentucky’s Evelyn Akhator, DePaul’s Jessica January, Kentucky’s Makayla Epps and Arizona State’s Sophie Brunner increased their stock with breakout games on Sunday, even though their respective teams lost.
Entering this version of the draft is NC State guard Miah Spencer. She has been a solid offensive contributor with a high assists average. In Sunday’s match up with Texas, Spencer couldn’t have fought any harder. She put up a career-high 33 points before fouling out just before game’s end, and though she was visibly upset, she maintained her composure in the face of controversial officiating. She would be a great addition to any team.
— NCAA Women's BKB (@ncaawbb) March 17, 2017
There are still two more weeks to play, and athletes could still declare for the draft early. The list might look very different after all trophies are won.
[More from Excelle Sports: The eight best basketball players to watch this March Madness]
- Kelsey Plum, G, Washington
- Brionna Jones, C, Maryland
- Alaina Coates, C, South Carolina
- Alexis Peterson, G, Syracuse
- Tori Jankoska, G, Michigan State
- Nia Coffey, F, Northwestern
- Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, G, Maryland
- Lindsay Allen, G, Notre Dame
- Alexis Jones, G, Baylor
- Sydney Wiese, G, Oregon State
- Jennie Simms, G, Old Dominion
- Precious Hall, G, James Madison
- Chantel Osahor, C, Washington
- Curtyce Knox, G, Texas A&M
- Brittney Sykes, G, Syracuse
- Evelyn Akhator, F, Kentucky
- Jessica January, G, DePaul
- Makayla Epps, G, Kentucky
- Sophie Brunner, F, Arizona State
- Peyton Little, G, Oklahoma
- Jasmine Joyner, F, Chattanooga
- Ashley Deary, G, Northwestern
- Miah Spencer, G, NC State
- Erica McCall, F, Stanford
- Lizzy Wendell, F, Drake
- Ally Lehman, G, Northern Illinois
- Bria Day, C, Syracuse
- Ronni Williams, G, Florida
- Leticia Romero, G, Florida State
- Lanay Montgomery, C, West Virginia
- Ty Petty, G, Middle Tennessee
- Imani Tate, G, UAlbany
- Feyonda Fitzgerald, G, Temple
- Nina Davis, F, Baylor
- Aaliya Lewis, G, St. John’s
- Kalani Purcell, F, BYU