2018 EuroLeague Women Final Four Semi finals Recap

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well. It’s been a while since I last posted a blog post and I thought I would recap both the EuroLeague Women Final Four semi finals games.


Semi Final Game #1 : UMMC vs Dynamo Kursk

There will be a new champion in EuroLeague Women as Russian powerhouse UMMC defeated the reigning champion Dynamo Kursk by a final score of 84 to 77.

Led by Maya Moore’s 28 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, UMMC was efficient both on the perimeter and in the paint. After UMMC Ekatrinburg took a two point lead after the first quarter, Dynamo Kursk stormed back and took a nine point lead thanks to the play of Angel McCoughtry who came off the bench. However, the lead was short lived as UMMC came storming back and was only down by one at the half. In the third quarter, UMMC was red hot and Dynamo Kursk just didn’t have enough scoring power other than Angel McCoughtry to keep up. UMMC was then able to control the game from that excellent third quarter and maintained the lead to grab a win. Now, UMMC will have a chance to become Euroleague champions when they face off in the final versus either Sopron or YDU this Sunday, April 22nd.  Not only was Maya Moore excellent but Brittney Griner, Emma Messeman and Kristi Toliver helped in delivering a great win for UMMC Ekatrinburg.

Semi Final Game #2: Yakin Dogu vs Sopron Basket

The fairytale season continues on for Sopron Basket. They are heading to the Euroleague Women final versus UMMC. Sopron Basket took full advantage of the Euroleague Women Final Four being held in Sopron. From the start of the game, they took control of the game and played stellar defense versus the Euroleague’s scoring leader Kayla McBride and caused several turnovers that led to easy baskets for Sopron. They never allowed Yakin Dogu to get comfortable. They went into halftime with a 10 point lead.

After halftime, it was a different story. Despite maintaining the lead, Yakin Dogu was able to get easier baskets both on the perimeter and in the paint. Yakin Dogu’s defence was much better in the second half which caused problems for Sopron. They had trouble scoring and Yakin Dogu came back. With roughly 3 minutes left, Yakin Dogu and Sopron Basket held brief leads over another until the score was tied at 65 a piece. Jelena Milavonic then hit a huge three pointer with about two seconds remaining. Yakin Dogu then recieved a 5 second violation on the other end which sealed the deal for Sopron. This is a historic win for Sopron as they head off to the title game taking place on Sunday April 22nd.

FINAL 2018 WNBA Mock Draft

Diamond DeShields. Photo courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

Well, this is it. We have reached the final week. The WNBA Draft tips off THIS Thursday at 7 pm on ESPN2. Make sure you tune in and watch. As for me, this is the final 2018 WNBA Mock Draft you will get from this blog. Thank you everyone for your constant support through out all of these WNBA mock drafts. I have received over 2,500+ views on all three previous versions which is mind blowing. So again, THANK YOU! And I am wishing all those draftees good luck as well as to the draft invitees and may your future be forever changed.

FIRST ROUND

  1. A’ja Wilson (F) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Kelsey Mitchell (G) – Indiana Fever
  3. Diamond DeShields (G/F) – Chicago Sky
  4. Azura Stevens (F) – Chicago Sky
  5. Jordin Canada (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Gabby Williams (F) – Dallas Wings
  7. Victoria Vivians (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Lexie Brown (G) – Indiana Fever
  9. Kia Nurse (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Maria Vadeeva (C) – New York Liberty
  11. Monique Billings (F) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Marie Gulich (C) – Phoenix Mercury

SECOND ROUND

  1. Stephanie Mavunga (C) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Jaime Nared (F) – Indiana Fever
  3. Myisha Hines-Allen (F) – Connecticut Sun
  4. Jill Barta (F) – Atlanta Dream
  5. Ariel Atkins (G) – Minnesota Lynx
  6. Mercedes Russell (C) – Dallas Wings
  7. Tyler Scaife (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Loryn Goodwin (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Roshunda Johnson (F) – Phoenix Mercury
  10. Shakayla Thomas (G) – New York Liberty
  11. Tyra Buss (G) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Katelynn Flaherty (G) – Minnesota Lynx

THIRD ROUND

  1. Brooke McCarty (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  2. Natalie Butler (C) – Indiana Fever
  3. Vionise Pierre – Louis (C) – Atlanta Dream
  4. Morgan William (G) – Chicago Sky
  5. Rebecca Greenwell (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Lexi Bando (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Carlie Wagner (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Gabbi Ortiz (G) – Las Vegas Aces
  9. Linnae Harper (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Maria Jespersen (F) – New York Liberty
  11. Kaylee Jensen (C) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Raisa Musina (C) – Minnesota Lynx

WNBA Draft 2018: Your handy TV viewing guide to watching the draft.

The WNBA Draft is upon us. In just a couple of days, we will get to learn of new names, new faces who will become future stars of the WNBA. As an avid WNBA watcher for 10 years now, I think it’s time to unveil my TV viewing guide to those watching the WNBA Draft for the very first time.

 

  1. The WNBA Draft is a big event for the WNBA and for all the 12 teams. The draft invitees get treated like superstars that day. By the time the draft starts, the anxiety and nerves set in.
  2. There will be an ESPN crew to handle the draft. Usually it’s Rebecca Lobo + another analyst, Holly Rowe and Ryan Rucco plus LaChina Robinson. Their job is to moderate and comment on all of the draft picks immediately, especially in the first round.
  3. The WNBA commissioner will come out onto the stage and declare that the draft is now underway. The timer then sets to 3:00 minutes for the first round.
  4. The first round is made for TV so those 3 minutes between picks for talking EVEN when the draft pick is in.
  5. The ESPN crew will then discuss who the top prospects are. EX: A’ja Wilson, Azura Stevens, Jordin Canada.
  6. Expect LOTS of camera shots of A’ja Wilson. And on her coach Dawn Staley
  7. If Wilson goes as #1 pick, expect Holly Rowe to interview head coach Dawn Staley as well as presumed pick A’ja Wilson.
  8. When it’s time for the #2 pick, expect lots of camera shots of Kelsey Mitchell, Azura Stevens, Gabby Williams, etc.
  9. When that #2 player is announced, look at the other players faces. That’s always fun. Or look at the parents/families faces.
  10. Expect lots of words such as “potential”, “raw talent”, “can be a contributor right away” to be used.
  11. When Holly Rowe is interviewing players, expect her to ask these two questions, 1) Congratulations! How do you feel right now? and 2) What do  you feel like you can bring to Team X?
  12. We may or may not get war room shots of teams in the first round.
  13. The first round can be dramatic occasionally. Or it can go as planned. They usually finish the first round by the alloted time, however if it goes late, you have to quickly turn to ESPNU. Which most people don’t have. It’s usually the 11th or 12th pick that ends up in that situation.
  14. Trades. For whatever reason, everyone always thinks there’s so many TRADES that will happen. NO. I’m here to set the record straight. Yes, there may be trades, but expect only 1 or 2 in the first round. The rest can be done in the second or third round but it may not have an impact.
  15. Also, if there is a trade, the ESPN crew will acknowledge it and analyze the trade on the spot. You will get the analysts opinion right away.
  16. If you want constant updates on the draft order selection, do not trust the WNBA Twitter page. It can be slow and a bit behind. ESPN on TV for the first round is reliable. After that, they are barely announced. It’s on the score ticker below the screen.
  17. If you do want constant updates, trust one of the bloggers or reporters that are there live. They will be your best source that day.
  18. When that second round starts, usually ESPN does announce the first couple of picks. But after the 15th or 16th pick, they start interviewing coaches. Or players from the first round. Expect them to interview A’ja Wilson during this time. As well as head coach Bill Laimbeer of the Las Vegas Aces.
  19. More war room shots.
  20. The second and third rounds go by so fast. Like a blur. The draft is done in the alloted time.
  21. When it’s done and completed with, expect the next ESPN program to start immediately.
  22. For the most part, ESPN does do a great job of televising the WNBA Draft. But as an avid WNBA watcher & part time blogger I would love more. I would love for the second round picks to be announced. The same with the third round.

2018 WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0

Maria Vadeeva of Russia. Photo courtesy of FIBA Basketball

*I have updated my WNBA Mock Draft with Azura Stevens declaring early*

With the conclusion of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, we now turn our attention towards the WNBA season. The third version of my 2018 WNBA Mock Draft is below. I will have one more which will be the FINAL Mock Draft which will be released on Monday, April 9th. Look for that one as well as there could be early declarations OR pre – draft day trades that often shake up the order. If you want to view the earlier versions, here is the second version.  The first version is here.

FIRST ROUND

  1. A’ja Wilson (F) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Azura Stevens (F) – Indiana Fever
  3. Kelsey Mitchell (G) – Chicago Sky
  4. Gabby Williams (F) – Chicago Sky
  5. Jordin Canada (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Diamond DeShields (G/F) – Dallas Wings
  7. Victoria Vivians (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Lexie Brown (G) – Indiana Fever
  9. Kia Nurse (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Maria Vadeeva (C) – New York Liberty
  11. Monique Billings (F) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Marie Gulich (C) – Phoenix Mercury

SECOND ROUND

  1. Stephanie Mavunga (C) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Jaime Nared (F) – Indiana Fever
  3. Myisha Hines-Allen (F) – Connecticut Sun
  4. Jill Barta (F) – Atlanta Dream
  5. Mercedes Russell (F) – Minnesota Lynx
  6. Ariel Atkins (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Shakayla Thomas (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Katelynn Flaherty (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Tyra Buss (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  10. Loryn Goodwin (G) – New York Liberty
  11. Tyler Scaife (G) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Roshunda Johnson (F) – Minnesota Lynx

THIRD ROUND

  1. Brooke McCarty (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  2. Natalie Butler (C) – Indiana Fever
  3. Vionise Pierre- Louis (C) – Atlanta Dream
  4. Morgan William (G) – Chicago Sky
  5. Rebecca Greenwell (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Lexie Bando (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Carlie Wagner (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Gabbi Ortiz (G) – Las Vegas Aces
  9. Linnae Harper (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Maria Jespersen (F) – New York Liberty
  11. Kaylee Jensen (C) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Raisa Musina (C) – Minnesota Lynx