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

Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players (1997-2020) Bracket Challenge Selection Committee Weighs in on the Final Four.

The Final Four for the Greatest Women’s Basketball Players from 1997-2020 is set. The selection committee has been crucial in terms of deciding what players would make the the top 64. Now that we are down to the Final Four, it is time to get the selection committee members thoughts on what they thought of the Final Four as well as their general thoughts about it all.

Question 1: At first glance, what do you make of the Final Four that was voted on by Twitter?

Alexandria:  I believe that the final four women players are made up of players that have done and/or still doing great things for women’s basketball and are some of the popular players.

Porter: There was no surprises when it came to the Final Four as all 1 seeds made it.

Colleen: I think the final four is well represented and was well chosen.

Katie: I’m not that surprised by the Final Four results. I was expecting it to be chalk, especially given who the #1 seeds were. I may be a little surprised that Sabrina Ionescu didn’t overtake Maya Moore with all the publicity that Ionescu received(s), but it’s Maya. Also, Sabrina didn’t have the opportunity in the tournament last year to add to her legacy.

Mary: I’m surprised it went chalk. I really expected A’ja to surge to a victory. 

Jaison: It seems very UCONN-centric and they are some of the more popular WNBA players.

Mike: Not surprising. Those players are amazing and they were the #1 seeds for a reason. 

Glenn: To me, it’s not surprising that the top #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. You could make a strong case for A’ja Wilson had she been in a different bracket and Sabrina Ionescu had a strong case for making the Final Four as well.

Question 2: As a selection committee member, what surprised you the most about the whole process?

Alexandria: Nothing really surprised me about this process. 

Porter: The biggest surprise was the reaction from the players who liked and shared the polls via their Instagram Stories, retweets on Twitter, etc. It was nice to see the women’s basketball players appreciate it!

Colleen: I am a newer women’s basketball fan, so I did not watch some of these women play in college, so having the input and opinions of others was surprising, in a good way.

Katie: The entire process was very difficult. Any time you make a “best of” list, it’s going to be hard because everyone brings their own value set to the rankings. Do you favor championships? Stats? Meaningfulness to your team? Position? Era? All these things factor in. I guess I was surprised that everyone’s pool of 64 players wasn’t all that different. There were maybe like 10 spots that were disputed? (I don’t know the exact number, but that’s what it seemed like). But the rankings within the 64 were very different, especially beyond the 1 and 2 seeds. 

Mary: How hard it was to pick a 64 person field. And then initially I misunderstood the possible choices, because of what years were involved, but that just made it harder to choose. (I still think Husker legend Kelsey Griffin belongs in this 64. (Joking of course!)

Jaison: There weren’t any surprises to me really. Wait, I thought Britney Griner would have made it to the Final Four.

Mike: I was surprised how many players were seeded higher based on team championships won rather than individual accomplishments.

Glenn: I would have seeded them very differently in my personal opinion. I think that if certain players should have been seeded a bit higher and some lower than they were originally seeded. But it is difficult, because it is hard to judge what the general public will do.

Question 3: Who do you think will be named the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Player (1997-2020)?

Alexandria: I think Diana Taurasi will be named greatest women’s college player

Porter: I think Diana Taurasi will be the winner as she in my opinion was the greatest to ever play for UCONN and all of college basketball.

Colleen: I think ultimately it will be Breanna Stewart.

Katie: I think it’s going to come down to Taurasi and Stewart. Personally, I think Breanna Stewart is the greatest women’s college basketball player ever, but Diana Taurasi is the greatest women’s basketball player (as of right now), if that makes sense. It’s hard to argue with 4 championships, 4 Tournament MOPs, and 3 POYs. Diana has the benefit of age to accumulate the WNBA championships and Olympic gold medals. I remember Stewie’s freshman year in the Final Four… she single-handedly (it seemed) beat my Notre Dame team. If she weren’t out there, ND would’ve won the game, and presumably the National Championship. She did that as a freshman. So, a long-winded way of saying, I think Breanna Stewart will be named the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Player.

Mary: Breanna Stewart.

Jaison: Breanna Stewart

Mike:  Breanna Stewart, because of the 4 championships.

Glenn: Breanna Stewart, I think will win because of the 4 consecutive championships she won in college.

Question 4: During the voting process, were you surprised by any of the results? If so, why? Or why not?

Alexandria:  No, I wasn’t shocked by any results. When there is a mass vote like this some people vote of pure popularity and not off talent so with some of the votes I expected that to happen.   

Porter: I think this went great and wouldn’t change a thing. 

Colleen: I was surprised by some of the closer polls, some of the matchups I thought would be blow outs but the polls were close. 

Katie: I’m not too surprised by the voting. Some results here and there made me raise my eyebrows, but it was fairly chalk. I guess maybe that’s what surprised me the most– that there weren’t more upsets.

Jaison: I’m not surprised. I think basketball is relatively new to some people so the voting process went the way it did.

Mike: .Not surprised. It’s Twitter, so it becomes a bit of a popularity contest. Seems like some players won based on their WNBA career instead of their NCAA career.

Final question: What are your final thoughts on the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players Challenge? Do you think it was different? What would you have done differently?

Alexandria: My final thoughts about the bracket is that I enjoyed it. It’s fun creating the list and thinking of memories of all these great players. Then to watch it all to come together and people vote is exciting. I appreciate being apart of this and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

Porter: The votes and the committee having different inputs were awesome and can’t wait to do the next one!

Colleen: I liked it. I would be interested to do another in a smaller one. Instead of the greatest of all time, doing potentially the greatest of of the early 2000’s or the greatest of a certain conference. There is nothing I would do differently. 

Katie: As I said earlier, with everyone bringing different criteria to the conversation of who is “best”, I thought there would be more discrepancy in who would move on. I guess the committee got it mostly right! 🙂

Mary: I tried to clear my mind of expectations as I found the final field of 64 to contain folks I had not thought of in spaces I had not thought of. I would order my 64 now very differently having seen the field as selected. I learned a lot. 

Jaison: This is first I’ve ever seen or heard about something like this. I think it was done very well and it takes a lot of work to put something like this together. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Mike: It was fun. Only thing to do differently would be to maybe extend the time period to the 80’s and early 90’s. But there was already a bit of a recency bias in some of the matchups in this challenge, so it might have been worse to include those players who many people on Twitter never saw. 

Glenn: Yes, I would shake up the bracket! It’s because I have been a women’s college basketball fan for so long and I have seen some great players play that were in my opinion, under seeded or over seeded. I would place them in different brackets so I could see the results differently. Other than that, I am thankful to be apart of this Greatest Women’s College Basketball Bracket Challenge and it was very nice to see how well received the challenge was.

WNIT Semifinals Recaps

Ole Miss women's basketball

The WNIT semifinals took place in Memphis, Tennessee. Four teams were battling for a spot in the final. Delaware, Rice, Ole Miss and Northern Iowa. Before they reached the semifinals, here’s a quick refresher on how they got here. Day 1, Day 2 and Regional Final results/recaps.

Rice vs Delaware

Coming into this game, both Rice and Delaware had impressive victories beforehand. It was going to be a battle between Nancy Mulkey and Jasmine Dickey. However, Nancy Mulkey was held scoreless in this game and Jasmine Dickey struggled shooting in this game. Rice led 6-0 early in the game and it just got bigger as the game went on. Rice was up by as many as 20 points at one point in the game, due to the shooting struggles of Delaware. Rice was able to pull away and were able to hold off Delaware in the fourth quarter to advance to the WNIT Final.

Ole Miss vs Northern Iowa

Coming into this game, Ole Miss was looking to make some more noise as head coach Yolett McCuin was back on the sidelines after Covid protocols kept her out. Northern Iowa was looking to prove themselves as well. But, it was Ole Miss who won out. They won because of their defense, their ability to draw fouls and getting to the free throw line. Northern Iowa did make it a game, but they could never get more closer than 8 or 9 points and Ole Miss held on to win the game and advance to the WNIT final. They will face Rice in the final and it should be very interesting. The final will air on FloHoops and will be played at 1 pm local time, 2 pm EST on Sunday afternoon.

2021 WNBA Draft Declaration Tracker

2021 WNBA Draft

The WNBA Draft is rapidly approaching and seniors as well as redshirt juniors who are eligible for the WNBA Draft have to opt in this year due to the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility. It can be tough to figure out who is leaving and who is staying, so this tracker will keep track of the WNBA Draft Prospects who have declared for the draft. It will also include the links in which they have stated that they are declaring for the 2021 WNBA Draft.

Players who are not playing in the Final Four have until April 1st, and college seniors/red shirt juniors who are playing in the Final Four will have 48 hours to decide.

*Please note, I only have players who have posted publicly about leaving and or there are indications that they are leaving.*

*The official WNBA college draft prospects list is now out. I have added the other 21 names that did also declare, but not publicly.*

2021 WNBA Draft Declaration Tracker