The 2018 WNBA Season at the first quarter point.

A'ja Wilson

The 2018 WNBA season has now reached the quarter point of the season as a large majority of teams have played 10 or 11 games now. Only Phoenix has played up to 13 games (the most in the WNBA, currently). A month of WNBA games has flown by in this condensed schedule, which has meant craziness around the league. Let’s break it down in terms of what teams have stood out, what players have excelled and those that have not yet so far. There’s still a lot of season left to be played, but at this point, we are starting to see what potential playoff and championship contenders could be.

Team(s) that have stood out:

The Connecticut Sun stood out in the very early part of the season before the schedule as well as injuries caught up to them. They were in first place for the start of the season but now have lost three straight and sit in fourth place overall. The Los Angeles Sparks have been the steadying force and as a result of other teams slipping up, they are now in first place. They’ve been solid and playing to their expectation level as many thought they would still be a top team. The Seattle Storm have been excellent as well and they have played really well under new coach Dan Hughes. Last but not least, is the Phoenix Mercury. Many had the Mercury making the playoffs and possibly a top 4 team, but no one expected this hot start from them. They have won eight straight games, they have the best road record and Diana Taurasi is playing excellent basketball along side Brittney Griner. Diana Taurasi may have a serious case for the WNBA MVP award if the Mercury keep this up.

Players that have stood out:

As mentioned above, Diana Taurasi has stood out early one quarter in the WNBA season, but Natasha Howard has been an excellent addition to the Seattle Storm. She has played well beside Breanna Stewart which has allowed her offensive game to flourish. She’s on track to being a WNBA All Star next month. Chiney Ogwumike has also stood out from the Sun simply because she was injured last season and has performed well so far. If not for her injuries, she would have already been in star form. She’s just that good. Elizabeth Cambage from Dallas also stands out because, despite not playing in the WNBA for many years, she’s become the second best player for the Wings and she’s performed really well for that team.

Team(s) that have not performed well so far

The two teams that have not played well so far are the defending WNBA champion the Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty. Prior to the season starting, many thought the Lynx would be the #1 team to beat but so far they have not been that team. As for the New York Liberty, they were thought of being a playoff contender but so far, they have struggled. Even with a healthy lineup, they have not been consistent so far and would miss the playoffs as they sit in ninth place overall.  Both the Liberty and the Lynx can be better than they are right now and they still have three quarters of the WNBA season to prove it.

The 2018 WNBA Rookie Class

ROOKIES!! These WNBA rookies came to play this season. Led by A’ja Wilson, the #1 overall WNBA draft pick, Kelsey Mitchell, Kia Nurse, Ariel Atkins, Victoria Vivians, Myisha Hines Allen, Azura Stevens, Diamond DeShields, Gabby Williams have ALL shown flashes or have had games in which they have stood out so far. These rookies are different from previous recent classes because they have played well or have contributed to their teams in some kind of capacity. The WNBA is in good hands with these rookies as some of them have shown superstar or WNBA All Star potential. Some have shown they can be future great defenders or great starters.

SCHEDULE

The WNBA schedule is a talking point because let’s face it, these condensed schedule is nuts. We are already in Week 5, some teams have been on crazy road trips out West, some teams have played 4 games in 7 days, etc. Also there have been some really bad back to back game schedules. Each team will experience it or already have experienced it. Teams are now starting to lose players due to it which does not help teams in terms of making the playoffs. Thanks a lot, FIBA. It’s all your fault. (On the other hand, it does increase the amount of WNBA games on the schedule, which is a bonus for us, personally speaking)

STAT LEADERS

Point guard / Shooting guard Skylar Diggins-Smith currently leads the WNBA in scoring with 21.9 points per game followed by Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles.

Center Sylvia Fowles leads the way in rebounding with 11.8 rebounds per game followed by Elizabeth Williams and Alyssa Thomas.

Point guard Sue Bird leads the way in assists with 5.9 assists per game followed by Chelsea Gray and Skylar Diggins- Smith

There’s many more categories, but I chose the main three statistics.


 

That wraps up the 2018 WNBA season at the quarter point. There’s still so much to be decided, and we will have much more to discuss when the WNBA reaches at it’s halfway point, so stay tuned for that blog post. (The halfway point — believe it or not, is in two weeks!)

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

2018 WNBA Mock Draft Version 2.0

With the Elite 8 games over and the Final Four set to begin on Friday, it is now time to unveil the second version of my 2018 WNBA Mock Draft. The first version received so many views unexpectedly and it was just simply amazing to see. You can view it here.

I will have TWO more versions of this mock draft. One right after the Final Four and then the FINAL version just a couple of days before the actual WNBA Draft which will take place on April 12. You may have already noticed some slight differences between the first and second version. Some players stock rose while others fell. Also, a new name is in the draft because of early declarations. Look for those in my next two versions IF more players declare early or if there are any pre – draft trades.

* As always, my Mock Drafts are a mix between NCAA tournament results / overall play plus the overall fit on the team*

FIRST ROUND

  1. A’ja Wilson (F) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Kelsey Mitchell (G) – Indiana Fever
  3. Gabby Williams (F) – Chicago Sky
  4. Diamond DeShields (G/F) – Chicago Sky
  5. Jordin Canada (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Lexie Brown (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Victoria Vivians (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Maria Vadeeva (C) – Indiana Fever
  9. Kia Nurse (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Ariel Atkins (G) – 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. Shakayla Thomas (G) – Minnesota Lynx
  6. Brooke McCarty (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Katelynn Flaherty (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Tyra Buss (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Loryn Goodwin (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  10. Mercedes Russell (C) – New York Liberty
  11. Carlie Wagner (G) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Natalie Butler (C) – Minnesota Lynx

THIRD ROUND

  1. Vionise Pierre – Louis (C) – Phoenix Mercury
  2. Teana Muldrow (F) – Indiana Fever
  3. AJ Alix (G) – Atlanta Dream
  4. Rebecca Greenwell (G) – Chicago Sky
  5. Roshunda Johnson (F) – Seattle Storm
  6. Lexie Bando (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Morgan William (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Gabbi Ortiz (G) – Las Vegas Aces
  9. Maria Jespersen (F) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Stephanie Reid (G) – New York Liberty
  11. Kaylee Jensen (C) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Raisa Musina (C) – Minnesota Lynx

2018 WNBA Mock Draft Version 1.0

With the NCAA women’s tournament well underway and the first two rounds officially completed, it is now time to unveil my WNBA mock draft for this year. I put a poll on Twitter asking if people would be interested in a weekly WNBA mock draft after every round and most people said yes. So, here we are! The first of my WNBA mock draft is below. I will have three more versions of mock drafts after this one. One after the Elite 8, one after the Final 4 and the final mock draft a couple of days before the official WNBA Draft. Just a reminder, that the WNBA Draft is on April 12th at 7 pm on ESPN2.

*FYI, my mock drafts are based somewhat on the results of the first two rounds of the NCAA tourney plus overall play & fit on a team*

FIRST ROUND

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

SECOND ROUND

  1. Jaime Nared – (F) – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Marie Gulich – (C) – Indiana Fever
  3. Tyler Scaife –  (G) – Connecticut Sun
  4. Shakayla Thomas – (G) – Atlanta Dream
  5. Myisha Hines – Allen (F) – Minnesota Lynx
  6. Brooke McCarty – (G) – Dallas Wings
  7. Katelynn Flaherty – (G) – Washington Mystics
  8. Vionise Pierre – Louis – (C) – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Tyra Buss – (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  10. Mercedes Russell – (C) – New York Liberty
  11. Rebecca Greenwell – (G) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Natalie Butler – (C) – Minnesota Lynx

THIRD ROUND

  1. Carlie Wagner – (G) – Phoenix Mercury
  2. Loryn Goodwin – (G) – Indiana Fever
  3. Morgan William – (G) – Atlanta Dream
  4. AJ Alix – (G) – Chicago Sky
  5. Stephanie Reid – (G) – Seattle Storm
  6. Teana Muldrow – (F) – Dallas Wings
  7. Roshunda Johnson – (F) – Washington Mystics
  8. Gabbi Ortiz – (G) – Las Vegas Aces
  9. Lexie Bando – (G) – Connecticut Sun
  10. Tashia Brown – (F) – New York Liberty
  11. Kaylee Jensen – (C) – Los Angeles Sparks
  12. Raisa Musina – (C) – Minnesota Lynx

 

Women’s College Basketball Players Rankings – Class by Class! Week 16

This is it. We have reached the final week before conference tournaments begin and NCAA March Madness starts. This was the week in many outstanding college basketball seniors had their last games in which they got to say goodbye to their schools and the fans. Since this is such a deep senior class, they had many memorable moments over their four years of college. Good luck moving forward seniors, and good luck to those who will be lucky enough to play in the WNBA this summer.

I will have the FINAL overall women’s college basketball rankings next week released on Monday, March 5th. This will be the final week in which the rankings are week to week based.

Listed below are the top 36 seniors, the top 27 juniors, the top 18 sophomores and the top 9 freshmen for the week of February 19th to February 25th. The previous weeks rankings can be found here. Have any questions? Check my FAQ page.

SENIORS

  1. A’ja Wilson – South Carolina
  2. Kelsey Mitchell – Ohio State
  3. Jordin Canada – UCLA (+3)
  4. Monique Billings – UCLA (+4)
  5. Lexie Brown – Duke (+4)
  6. Victoria Vivians – Mississippi State (+2)
  7. Brooke McCarty – Texas (+10)
  8. Gabby Williams – Connecticut (-5)
  9. Kristy Wallace – Baylor (NR)
  10. Rebecca Greenwell – Duke (NR)
  11. Stephanie Mavunga – Ohio State (+2)
  12. Marie Gulich – Oregon State (+4)
  13. Jaime Nared – Tennessee (-6)
  14. Mercedes Russell – Tennessee (-4)
  15. Carlie Wagner – Minnesota (+10)
  16. Brittany McPhee – Stanford (+2)
  17. Katelynn Flaherty – Michigan (+2)
  18. Chelsea Nelson – NC State (+9)
  19. Myisha Hines-Allen – Louisville (-8)
  20. Ariel Atkins – Texas (-8)
  21. Linnae Harper – Ohio State (NR)
  22. Shakayla Thomas – Florida State (-8)
  23. Dekeiya Cohen – Baylor (NR)
  24. Tyra Buss – Indiana (-3)
  25. Jessica Lindstrom – Green Bay (+1)
  26. Roshunda Johnson – Mississippi State (NR)
  27. Maria Jespersen – South Florida (+2)
  28. Teana Muldrow – West Virginia (+2)
  29. Jordan Frericks – Missouri (NR)
  30. Allie LeClaire – Green Bay (-2)
  31. Mackenzie Engram – Georgia (NR)
  32. Kylee Smith – Belmont (+3)
  33. Jasmine Trimboli – South Dakota (NR)
  34. Carly Fabbri – Quinnipiac (NR)
  35. Macy Miller – South Dakota State (-4)
  36. China Dow – FGCU (NR)

JUNIORS

  1. Megan Gustafson – Iowa (+2)
  2. Teaira McCowan – Mississippi State (+2)
  3. Kalani Brown – Baylor (-2)
  4. Azura Stevens – Connecticut (+1)
  5. Napheesa Collier – Connecticut (+1)
  6. Asia Durr – Louisville (-4)
  7. Marina Mabrey – Notre Dame (+6)
  8. Sophie Cunningham – Missouri
  9. Maite Cazorla – Oregon (+14)
  10. Caliya Robinson – Georgia (+16)
  11. Arike Ogunbowale – Notre Dame (-1)
  12. Allazia Blockton – Marquette (+2)
  13. Kitija Laksa – South Florida (+6)
  14. Katie Lou Samuelson – Connecticut (-7)
  15. Kristine Anigwe – California (+2)
  16. Hallie Thome – Michigan (-4)
  17. Chloe Jackson – LSU (NR)
  18. Kenisha Bell – Minnesota (-2)
  19. Alanna Smith – Stanford (+1)
  20. Ashton Millender – DePaul (NR)
  21. Erika Davenport – Marquette (NR)
  22. Maddie Simon – Nebraska (NR)
  23. Kennedy Burke – UCLA (NR)
  24. Katie McWilliams – Oregon State (NR)
  25. Sam Fuehring – Louisville (NR)
  26. Kianna Ibis – Arizona State (-8)
  27. Angel Golden – Bethune-Cookman (NR)

SOPHOMORES

  1. Sabrina Ionescu – Oregon
  2. Ruthy Hebard – Oregon
  3. Jackie Young – Notre Dame (+3)
  4. Lauren Cox – Baylor
  5. Tiana Mangakahia – Syracuse (+2)
  6. Nicole Ekhomu – Florida State (NR)
  7. Kaila Charles – Maryland (-4)
  8. Ayana Mitchell – LSU (+8)
  9. Kelly Campbell – DePaul (NR)
  10. Mary Gedaka – Villanova (NR)
  11. Akienreh Johnson – Michigan (NR)
  12. Makenzie Meyer – Iowa (NR)
  13. Dominique Toussant – Virginia (NR)
  14. Kaila Ealey – NC State (NR)
  15. Joyner Holmes – Texas (NR)
  16. Stephanie Jones – Maryland (-6)
  17. Jeannie Boehm – Harvard (NR)
  18. Nasrine Ulel – FGCU (NR)

FRESHMEN

  1. Chennedy Carter – Texas A&M
  2. Rennia Davis – Tennessee (-1)
  3. Evina Westbrook – Tennessee (NR)
  4. Satou Sabally – Oregon
  5. Janelle Bailey – North Carolina
  6. Abby Meyers – Princeton (NR)
  7. Karly Murphy – Green Bay (NR)
  8. Kate Cain – Nebraska (-1)
  9. Digna Strautmane – Syracuse (NR)