Upcoming WNBA coverage/International coverage for the 2021 season/Tokyo Olympics

2021 WNBA Season

The WNBA season is ONE week away now and that means that my WNBA coverage will begin. My WNBA coverage for the 2021 WNBA season will be in a few places. It can be hard to track it all down so I wrote this post to keep tabs of it all.

First of all, the WNBA weekly power rankings will be back at Hashtag Basketball. This will be the third year that I am contributing to Hashtag Basketball. Me and Eric Nemchock are dividing the WNBA teams and writing up weekly WNBA weekly rankings that will be published every Monday, so make sure you follow the Twitter account so you can get notified when they go live every Monday.

Second, I’m helping contribute to the New York Liberty coverage for NetsRepublic. This is my first year contributing to this site and I have written a few New York Liberty articles already for them. Expect that to continue as I will write articles, game previews, post game recaps, etc. It should be an interesting 2021 season for the Liberty and I look forward to helping the NetsRepublic team this season. Follow them on Twitter to stay updated on the New York Liberty this summer.

Third, I’m helping contribute WNBA articles/features for Her Hoop Stats. I’ve already started contributing articles for them and I look forward to continuing that this WNBA season. The articles will be posted biweekly (2x a month). I will also write features/articles on the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team that will be written in July and August when the Olympics take place.

Fourth, I will be posting WNBA weekly awards watch on my blog every week. I’ll keep track of all of the awards and who stood out every week during the WNBA season. This is new as I’ve never done this before. I think it’s unique and a neat idea to see who was the top performers during the WNBA season. Make sure to check back every Monday for the blog post.

Fifth, I will post about the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team on my blog by writing the game previews, game recaps and one or two features about the team. I plan on covering the team on what could be a historic Olympic year for the Canadian women. I plan on being here for every minute of it.

Sixth, I have a special project coming up that involves the WNBA and once the details are finalized, I will reveal more about it.

This is where you can find my WNBA and Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage for this summer. Make sure you continue to tune in and help support the WNBA to new heights!

Aneela

WNBA Scoring/Rebounds/Assists Milestones to watch for in the 2021 season

Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky.

The 2021 WNBA season is upon us and it’s time to track the annual scoring, rebounding and assists milestones that WNBA players will hit this season. There are several players who are going to hit big milestones. Diana Taurasi will hit 9000 career points and will be the first ever WNBA player to do so. Sue Bird has a decent shot of being the first ever WNBA player to hit 3000 career assists at 40 years old. Courtney Vandersloot will join an elite group of players after she hits the 3000 career points mark, the 1000 rebounds mark and the 2000 assists mark this season. She will join Sue Bird as the only other WNBA players to achieve those milestones.

My inspiration comes from Kevin Brown, who started an amazing WNBA website devoted to tracking these statistics and more. Kurtis Zimmerman also has an amazing WNBA and women’s college basketball website that has so much knowledge and information. Both are wonderful websites and I suggest bookmarking both of them.

In this post, I included players who very close to hitting their milestones and who have hit a certain mark before so that it is an achievable goal for them this season. For example, Sylvia Fowles needs 513 points to reach 6000 points this season. That may seem like a lot for some players, but Fowles has scored 600+ points in four WNBA seasons in her career. She has also scored 520 points in one season. She is more than capable of hitting this mark which is why she is on the list.

NOTE: All of the players listed are all on guaranteed contracts which means that they will be on the roster come opening day on May 14th. The players who are on unprotected contracts and or training camp contracts are noted with an asterisk.

Scoring

9000

Diana Taurasi needs 69 points to reach 9000 career points. (Phoenix Mercury, 2004 WNBA Draft Class)

7000

Candice Dupree needs 272 points to reach 7000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2006 WNBA Draft Class)

6000

  • Tina Charles needs 18 points to reach 6000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2010 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Angel McCoughtry needs 215 points to reach 6000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Candace Parker needs 316 points to reach 6000 career points. (Chicago Sky, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Sylvia Fowles needs 513 points to reach 6000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)

4000

  • Brittney Griner needs 121 points to reach 4000 career points. (Phoenix Mercury, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Elena Delle Donne needs 147 points to reach 4000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)

3000

  • Shavonte Zellous needs 18 points to reach 3000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 41 points to reach 3000 career points. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kayla McBride needs 142 points to reach 3000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Briann January needs 252 points to reach 3000 career points. (Connecticut Sun, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jewell Loyd needs 273 points to reach 3000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Odyssey Sims needs 394 points to reach 3000 career points. (Atlanta Dream, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Breanna Stewart needs 587 points to reach 3000 career points. (Seattle Storm, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)

2000

  • Liz Cambage needs 47 points to reach 2000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jessica Breland needs 234 points to reach 2000 career points. (Indiana Fever, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Williams needs 305 points to reach 2000 career points .(Atlanta Dream, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jonquel Jones needs 348 points to reach 2000 career points. (Connecticut Sun, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Chiney Ogwumike needs 351 points to reach 2000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Elizabeth Williams needs 353 points to reach 2000 career points. (Atlanta Dream, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • A’ja Wilson needs 438 points to reach 2000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2018 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Ariel Atkins needs 7 points to reach 1000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2018 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Amanda Zahui B needs 47 points to reach 1000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Natasha Cloud needs 56 points to reach 1000 career points. (Washington Mystics, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Isabelle Harrison needs 180 points to reach 1000 career points. (Dallas Wings, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kelsey Plum needs 148 points to reach 1000 career points. (Las Vegas Aces, 2017 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Napheesa Collier needs 201 points to reach 1000 career points. (Minnesota Lynx, 2019 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Bria Holmes needs 203 points to reach 1000 career points. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Moriah Jefferson needs 206 points to reach 1000 career points. (Dallas Wings, 2016 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Betnijah Laney needs 251 points to reach 1000 career points. (New York Liberty, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)

Rebounds

3000

Candace Parker needs 98 rebounds to reach 3000 career rebounds. (Chicago Sky, 2008 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Dearica Hamby needs 69 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Las Vegas Aces, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Kiah Stokes needs 85 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (New York Liberty, 2015 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 89 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Jasmine Thomas needs 91 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Connecticut Sun, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Chiney Ogwumike needs 104 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Liz Cambage needs 108 rebounds to reach 1000 career rebounds. (Las Vegas Aces, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)

Assists

3000

Sue Bird needs 112 assists to reach 3000 career assists. (Seattle Storm, 2002 WNBA Draft Class)

2000

  • Diana Taurasi needs 47 assists to reach 2000 career assists. (Phoenix Mercury, 2004 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Courtney Vandersloot needs 96 assists to reach 2000 career assists. (Chicago Sky, 2011 WNBA Draft Class)

1000

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith needs 81 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Phoenix Mercury, 2013 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Angel McCoughtry needs 87 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Las Vegas Aces, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)
  • Shavonte Zellous needs 88 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Washington Mystics, 2009 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Seimone Augustus needs 89 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Los Angeles Sparks, 2006 WNBA Draft Class)*
  • Chelsea Gray needs 193 assists to reach 1000 career assists. (Las Vegas Aces, 2014 WNBA Draft Class)

2021 WNBA Awards – Preseason Watch!

2021 WNBA Season

The WNBA season tips off in less than three weeks and with that, comes something new to www.wbasketballblog.com this season. I am now tracking the WNBA awards watch, every week once the WNBA season starts! It will be updated every Monday, so make sure you are subscribed to receive it via your inbox. This should give us a sense of which player is performing well in certain categories. It also will tell us who was consistent throughout the entire WNBA season by the end of the regular season.

There are two things to keep in mind. 1.) It is still in a pandemic, so player performance may be altered by it. 2.) It is also a delayed Olympic year, so about half of the players are either coming after August, or not coming over at all. Somehow, the WNBA also scheduled a WNBA All Star Game as well, so the season will feel like a grind and players are going to be exhausted playing through that as well. It is going to be one of the toughest seasons yet for WNBA players to experience.

With all of that said, I now present below my predictions for the WNBA awards that get handed out during playoffs in September/October. (Pre season edition)

WNBA Awards Watch – Pre season

Executive of the Year

Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx

Coach of the Year

Mike Thibault, Washington Mystics

Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm

Most Improved Player

Kia Nurse, Phoenix Mercury

Sixth Woman of the Year

Azura Stevens, Chicago Sky

All Defense Team

First Team

  • Aja Wilson – Las Vegas Aces
  • Elizabeth Williams – Atlanta Dream
  • Sylvia Fowles – Minnesota Lynx (originally had Alyssa Thomas from the Connecticut Sun)
  • Brittney Sykes – Los Angeles Sparks
  • Natasha Howard – New York Liberty

Second Team

  • Napheesa Collier – Minnesota Lynx
  • Betnijah Laney – New York Liberty (*originally had Gabby Williams of the Chicago Sky but she will not play in the upcoming WNBA season due to the French national team commitments)
  • Ariel Atkins – Washington Mystics
  • Brianna Turner – Phoenix Mercury
  • Jasmine Thomas – Connecticut Sun

Defensive Player of the Year

Elizabeth Williams – Atlanta Dream (originally had Alyssa Thomas from the Connecticut Sun, but she is held out of the season with an injury)

All WNBA Teams

First Team

  • Candace Parker – Chicago Sky
  • A’ja Wilson – Las Vegas Aces
  • Napheesa Collier – Minnesota Lynx
  • Courtney Vandersloot – Chicago Sky
  • Chelsea Gray – Las Vegas Aces

Second Team

  • Nneka Ogwumike – Los Angeles Sparks (originally had Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun)
  • Elena Delle Donne – Washington Mystics
  • Breanna Stewart – Seattle Storm
  • Sabrina Ionescu – New York Liberty
  • Jewell Loyd – Seattle Storm

MVP

Napheesa Collier – Minnesota Lynx

*Rookie of the Year and All Rookie Team will be updated once rosters have finalized. *

2021 FINAL WNBA Mock Draft

Dana Evans of Louisville.

We have now arrived at the end of the women’s college basketball season and the time for the WNBA Draft. The Draft will tip one week from now on ESPN. Make sure you tune in and support the next crop of young women that will enter the WNBA.

Since last releasing my WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0, not much has changed since then. Some draft prospects have moved up, and some have moved down. We also know now who exactly will be in the draft, so that makes writing a WNBA Mock Draft much easier. If you would like to check out more previous versions, you may do so below.

First Round (Draft Order courtesy of Across the Timeline – 2021 WNBA Draft Picks – Across the Timeline – Stats, facts, and memories from the storied history of women’s basketball)

I also got full rosters, plus salary cap information from Her Hoop Stats – 2021 WNBA Salary Cap Summary by Team and Key WNBA CBA Info | Her Hoop Stats

  1. Awak Kuier – Finland – Dallas Wings

One month later, and I am not changing my mind on the #1 overall pick. Awak Kuier is only 19 years old and will get better over time. She has the highest amount of potential greatness in this WNBA Draft. Either way, it does not really matter because the Dallas Wings have the top 2 picks. Between Charli Collier and Awak Kuier, I’m taking Awak Kuier first.

2. Charli Collier – Texas – Dallas Wings

Charli Collier still has some work to do to become the player she can be because she just has so much potential to be better. She did not play all that well towards the end of the NCAA tournament, which lowers her WNBA Draft stock just a bit. She absolutely made the right decision to declare early for the WNBA Draft, because next year, she would have been a late first round pick, rather than a top 2 pick this year. With all that being said, she’s still a great pick and the Dallas Wings should take her. If Awak Kuier does not show up, Charli Collier will have more opportunity to prove herself in the WNBA.

3. Dana Evans – Louisville – Atlanta Dream

From last month, Dana Evans moves up two spots. It’s not because I think she outplayed Aari McDonald, it’s because of the fit in the Atlanta Dream roster. They already have similar players that resemble Aari McDonald’s playing style. Therefore, Dana Evans is a better fit for the Dream. The Atlanta Dream have suspended Maite Cazorla for this season and Dana Evans could help fill in that point guard role for them. She can help them off the bench with her shooting and her ability to assist players. From time to time, she may be able to help the starters as well.

4. Aari McDonald – Arizona – Indiana Fever

Aari McDonald moves down a spot from last month and that is not because of her play, it’s because of the fit and the team needs. Looking at both rosters after one month has passed, and the Indiana Fever have a better opportunity for Aari McDonald to not only make the roster, but to contribute as well. Aari McDonald’s ability to be a two player will greatly help her in the WNBA, especially when it comes to the Indiana Fever because their general manager, Tamika Catchings greatly values defense. She still has some competition, especially from some good guards the Fever has, but she has better odds of making this roster than the Dream’s roster.

5. Chelsea Dungee – Arkansas – Dallas Wings

Chelsea Dungee moves down a spot from last month because the NCAA tournament did not help improve her stock. It went down just a bit to push her down a spot. Still, the Dallas Wings have to be thrilled that they get a player like Chelsea Dungee with their third first round pick and 3rd overall in the top 5. Chelsea Dungee is a great slasher, good defender and can help the Wings immediately. Great spot to land in for Dungee.

6. Arella Guirantes – Rutgers – New York Liberty

Arella Guirantes moves up two spots from last month, because her play towards the end of the season and her play in the NCAA tournament was good enough to move her up. Arella Guirantes has a really good shot of making the Liberty roster and can help the Liberty bench right away. She’s a good defender, a good playmaker and the Liberty would be wise to pick her up.

7. Rennia Davis – Tennessee – Dallas Wings

Rennia Davis moves down a spot from last month, because her play in the NCAA tournament did not improve her stock, but it also did not decrease her stock. She’s still a very solid player and the Dallas Wings have gotten yet another great player in the first round. She can help off the bench, but she may not get that many minutes right away as there are several great players ahead of her in the rotation. It’s going to be tough and it will most likely be a learning year for Rennia Davis to grow and improve in.

8. Michaela Onyenwere – UCLA – Chicago Sky

Michaela Onyenwere moves down a spot from last month, because like Davis, Onyenwere was solid in the NCAA tournament but the players ahead of her were much better. Michaela Onyenwere will have to prove herself in the Chicago Sky training camp, but she has a good shot because her athleticism can help the Sky bench. This Sky team is preparing for a possible Finals run after they added Candace Parker to their roster, so Onyenwere might not get many minutes, or none at all if she cracks the roster. She’s still a very good player and if there is one player who can improve herself and become even better, it’s Michaela Onyenwere.

9. Natasha Mack- Oklahoma State – Minnesota Lynx

Natasha Mack stays in the 9th spot because this is a great spot for Natasha Mack to land in. Head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve greatly values defense and rebounding, which are the two traits Natasha Mack excels in. It’s going to be tough for her to earn major minutes on this roster, but she can help off the bench and give them a lift. She can also help relieve both Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles for when they need breaks or are in foul trouble.

10. Didi Richards – Baylor – Los Angeles Sparks

Didi Richards was not in my previous drafts because I felt like her lack of offense would greatly deter her from making an impact in the WNBA, but I was very wrong about that and some readers pointed that out to me. So, for that, I say that I was wrong and Didi Richards proved herself in the NCAA tournament run for Baylor. Her ability to defend will help the Sparks bench and she would be reunited with her former Baylor team mate Te’a Cooper.

11. Kiana Williams – Stanford – Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams had a great senior season for the 2021 NCAA tournament champions, the Stanford Cardinal. In the NCAA tournament, she helped the Stanford reach the Final Four thanks to her leadership. The Seattle Storm could use a player like her off the bench, where she could help relieve Jordin Canada for some minutes.

12. DiJonai Carrington – Baylor – Las Vegas Aces

DiJonai Carrington earned herself a spot in the first round after a great showing in the NCAA tournament for Baylor. It seemed as if Baylor relied on her a ton during the stretch of close games and she was able to answer the call a few times for them. Las Vegas Aces are looking to get back into the WNBA Finals and so they will be looking for immediate help from their bench. DiJonai Carrington can help the Aces and it will help fill their needs for a backup point guard/shooting guard.

Second round

  1. Destiny Slocum – Arkansas – Dallas Wings
  2. Trinity Baptiste – Arizona – Las Vegas Aces
  3. N’dea Jones – Texas A&M – Atlanta Dream
  4. Jasmine Walker – Alabama – Chicago Sky
  5. Unique Thompson -Auburn- New York Liberty
  6. Jill Townsend – Gonzaga – Seattle Storm
  7. Deja Church- DePaul – Indiana Fever
  8. Ivana Raca – Wake Forest – Connecticut Sun
  9. Aleah Goodman – Oregon State – Connecticut Sun
  10. Kysre Gondrezick – West Virginia – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Micaela Kelly – Central Michigan – Seattle Storm
  12. Aaliyah Wilson – Texas A&M – Indiana Fever

Third round

  1. Petra Holesinka – North Carolina- New York Liberty
  2. Gabby Connally – Georgia – Indiana Fever
  3. Chelsey Perry – UT Martin – Atlanta Dream
  4. Shyla Heal – Australia – Los Angeles Sparks
  5. Iliana Rupert – France – New York Liberty
  6. Tiana Mangakahia – Syracuse – Connecticut Sun
  7. Jenn Wirth – Gonzaga – Indiana Fever
  8. Lindsey Pulliam – Northwestern – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Ciera Johnson – Texas A&M – Indiana Fever
  10. Selena Lott – Marquette – Los Angeles Sparks
  11. Chasity Patterson – Kentucky – Seattle Storm
  12. Janelle Bailey – North Carolina – Las Vegas Aces

The Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players Bracket Challenge (1997-2020) Winner Is…

The winner of the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players Bracket Challenge presented by www.wbasketballblog.com is Candace Parker! Congratulations to Candace Parker. She defeated UConn Husky Diana Taurasi in the final public Twitter poll by 9% (54.2 percent compared to 45.8 percent.) View the bracket here.

Candace Parker at the University of Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Tennessee Athletics.

Candace Parker was the #1 seed in the Summitt Region. The region was named after her college coach, Patt Summitt. She defeated Dewanna Bonner in the Round of 64 and her former team mate Kristi Toliver in the Round of 32. She then, defeated Skylar Diggins in the Sweet 16. She defeated legendary Lady Vol alum Tamika Catchings in the Elite 8. In the Final four semifinal, she beat out legendary Husky Breanna Stewart who was performing extremely well in the Twitter Polls to advance to the Final.

Candace Parker had a decorated college career at the University of Tennessee and now can hold the crown for winning the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players Bracket Challenge from the year 1997 to 2020. Thank you to everyone who was on the selection committee, thank you to everyone who made and edited videos as well as images. Thank you to everyone who voted in the Twitter Polls as well as people who sparked discussions about the structure of the bracket. All of it. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

Take care,

Aneela Khan