WNBA Rookie Report: WNBA Debuts of Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally, Chennedy Carter, Tyasha Harris and more. Week 1.

Chennedy Carter, Satou Sabally, Atlanta Dream, Dallas Wings, WNBA

Week 1 of the shortened WNBA season has come to a close and WNBA rookies have finally played a WNBA game. Some rookies had a great first week, other rookies struggled, some did not get enough playing time and some rookies got injured. We have it all covered for you from our WNBA Rookie Report comittee members Teylor Hines, Blake O’Tain and myself (Aneela Khan). The rookies are put together by their respective draft order.

Sabrina Ionescu

As one of the most anticipated WNBA rookie debuts in WNBA history, Sabrina Ionescu’s first game was against one of the top WNBA teams in the Seattle Storm. She struggled from the field and was 0-8 from three. She finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Four days later, she turned it around against the Dallas Wings, another young team in the WNBA. She had 33 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. She shot 55% from the field and 60% from three. Two days later, she suffered an ankle injury and was out the rest of the game. She had 10 points in 12 minutes before the injury. Ionescu’s injury will keep her out for a month, maybe longer and so unfortunately there will be no more rookie updates of Sabrina Ionescu for a while. – Aneela

Satou Sabally

As one of the most versatile players in this draft, Satou Sabally’s WNBA rookie debut was also much anticipated. Her first game was against the Atlanta Dream in which she fouled out but had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Her second game was against New York and fellow rookie and Oregon team mate in Sabrina Ionescu. Sabally struggled in the game and finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. In Sabally’s third game of the season against the Indiana Fever, she showed her versatility and promise as she had a big game and scored 23 points and had 17(!) rebounds. In her final game of the week, she struggled and ended up with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Satou Sabally still has so much upside and will continue to get better as she gets used to the WNBA. She is now one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year. – Aneela

Lauren Cox

Cox has still not made her WNBA Debut and still remains in COVID protocol. -Blake

Chennedy Carter

Chennedy Carter is just as great as advertised. Her handles are great and she can create her own shot whenever she pleases. The most surprising, but, also positive observation of Carter’s game has been her willingness to distribute. We often discuss Chennedy’s focus on scoring the ball, but she has shown in spurts of games that she can shift her mindset. However, it’ll be in the Dream and Carter’s best interest if she starts to cut down on the turnovers. Most of her turnovers come from trying to do too much and not letting the game flow, but those errors can be fixed. Carter wrapped up the first week of play averaging 15.3 points per game along with 4 assists. -Teylor

Bella Alarie

Bella has had a slower start in the WNBA than I expected, only putting up 3 points per game. She is definitely still adjusting to this new level of competition in the WNBA. In her 12.5 minutes per game, she is averaging 1 block, which is 3rd best among rookies. -Teylor

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan

Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan started the season not playing in the Lynx’s opener, but unfortunate injuries opened the door for playing time. In the last three games, she’s averaging nearly 13 minutes on the floor. Herbert-Harrigan has yet to find her touch offensively and that could be due to adjusting to playing heavily on the perimeter. As the season progresses, the hope is that those open shots will start to fall. On the contrast, her defensive presence has been impressive. Herbert-Harrigan’s active hands and ability to be an effective defender without fouling, specifically, in the Chicago game makes her a viable asset to the Lynx’s rotation. -Teylor

Tyasha Harris

Ty Harris has the makings of an All-Rookie team candidate. Harris has showed a little bit of everything that she’s capable of since her debut. Noticeably, she’s great with change of pace and has displayed amazing court vision early on. Harris wrapped up the first week of play averaging 7.5 points per game and 4 assists on nearly 48 percent shooting from the field. Harris’ assist-to-turnover ratio sits at 4:1 to start the season. -Teylor

Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard’s playing time has been limited due to the depth of Chicago’s front court. However, with Dolson foot injury it has allowed Hebard to come off the bench and make a difference specifically with rebounding. Most notably, in her eight minutes of play against Washington she pulled down six rebounds. With making that kind of impact in such a short amount of time, Hebard’s confidence and growth going forward for the Sky could be major. -Teylor

Megan Walker

Megan has played in 3 games for the Liberty, after passing COVID protocol. She has struggled to begin her career, she’s only shooting 18% from the field, and 0-11 from 3. Megan has scored 2 points in each of the Liberty’s 3 games. Walker was a junior who declared for the draft early, so she is younger but having a very slow start to her career to say the least. -Blake

Jocelyn Willoughby

Willoughby has made meaningful contributions for the Liberty early in this season. She’s averaging 7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, and is shooting 55 percent from 3! Willoughby has been strong defensively too, against Atlanta she had 3 steals and 2 blocks. She has definitely put of some strong stat lines for a WNBA rookie. -Blake

Jazmine Jones

Jones has played in 3 of New York’s games. She had an outstanding performance against the Atlanta Dream. Jones scored 20 points in that game, along with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jazmine is averaging 10.3 points per game, which is 4th among rookies. Jones has also been a good rebounder averaging 3 rebounds per game, which is 5th among rookies. -Blake

Kylee Shook

Kylee Shook got off to a rough start in her first two games, but averaged 8 points and 4.5 boards in her last two. With such a young team, Shook will get a solid amount of playing time to perfect pick and pops with Clarendon running point. The main question for Shook is if she’ll be able to adapt to the physicality of the league and make a difference on the defensive of the ball like she did in college. -Teylor

Kathleen Doyle

Doyle suffered an ankle injury in practice which delayed her WNBA debut. She did make her debut against Atlanta on Sunday. She played 7 minutes 0-1 from the field, with one assist, and one turnover. Not a lot of time on the court yet for Kathleen, after her delayed debut. -Blake

Leaonna Odom

Leaonna Odom played in all four New York Liberty games in her first week as a rookie. She played the most minutes in New York’s first game and scored 9 points and had 3 rebounds. She was held scoreless in the Liberty’s second game but had 4 rebounds. In the third game, Odom scored 3 points and had 2 rebounds. In the final game of the week, Odom scored 4 points and had 1 rebound. She has shown flashes of what she can do as rookie but still has a long way to go. – Aneela

Crystal Dangerfield

Crystal Dangerfield excelled in the point guard role for Minnesota in her first week as a rookie. She had 10 points and 2 rebounds in her first game but was held scoreless in her second game. Due to injuries, Crystal Dangerfield played heavy minutes in the final two games of the week for the Minnesota Lynx and had 9 and 17 points respectively. She has played well in starters minutes, so we will see if it will be kept that way for the rest of the season. – Aneela

Brittany Brewer

Brittany Brewer has not gotten much playing time so far in the WNBA and has only seen action in 2 games for the Atlanta Dream this week. She played just 17 minutes against the Dream and had 2 points, 2 steals and 4 blocks. She just played only 3 minutes versus Indiana and was held scoreless across the board. – Aneela

Te’a Cooper

Te’a Cooper exudes the energy that the Sparks often need from their second unit along with Sykes. Her ability to execute on the pick-and-roll with both Ogwumike and Parker will keep her on the floor. The best part of Cooper’s game thus far has been her defensive prowess with how she picks players up mid-court and causes havoc. It doesn’t always result in steals or blocks, but the disruptions make a difference. It’ll be big for the Sparks if she can knock down 3-pointers consistently going forward. Through the first week of play, Cooper averaged 7.3 points per game on 47 percent shooting. -Teylor

Joyner Holmes

Holmes has played in all 4 of New York’s games so far. She’s averaging 3.5 points per game, and 2.8 rebounds per game. She is yet to hit a 3 pointer (0-7 on three point attempt). Joyner did have an excellent game against the Dallas Wings. She scored 7 points, her career high, along with 4 rebounds. -Blake

Beatrice Mompremier

Beatrice Mompremier only got limited time and played in only 3 games out of 4 for the Connecticut Sun. The most playing time she got was on July 26th against Minnesota in which she scored 2 points and had 3 rebounds in 9 minutes. – Aneela

Kaila Charles

Kaila has played in 3 of the Sun’s games, she is averaging 5.3 minutes per game. She hasn’t made a field goal yet in her WNBA career (0-3 on field goal attempts). We will see if Charles can develop a little bit more, and if the Sun utilizes her more within these next couple of games. – Blake

Jaylyn Agnew

Agnew has seen limited minutes thus far for Atlanta. In that time, the former Creighton star hasn’t been able to find a groove with her 3-point shot until their most recent game sinking both of her attempts. – Teylor

Stella Johnson

Stella Johnson has seen the court for a total of  one minute and it came in the Sky’s decisive 96-78 victory over the Sparks. There wasn’t much to dissect at that point, but hopefully Johnson can receive minutes before the team’s backup point guard arrives. -Teylor

Ezi Magbegor

Ezi Magbegor got off to a great start in her first week as a rookie. She was a terrific finisher and a great defensive presence for the Seattle Storm. She only averaged about 14 minutes per game in the four games she played but she made the most out of her minutes scoring 7.8 points per game and 2.8 rebounds per game. – Aneela

Megan Huff

Megan Huff has only played in 2 games out of 4 for the Minnesota Lynx in her first week as a rookie and has only played 3 minutes so far. – Aneela

WNBA ROOKIE REPORT: Previewing Saturday’s WNBA Rookie Debuts of Sabrina Ionescu, Joyner Holmes, Julie Allemand and more.

New York Liberty Rookies

The WNBA season tips off tomorrow and the New York Liberty’s top pick, the first overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu finally makes her long awaited WNBA pro debut. This season, there are 27 rookies, which is by far the most rookies in a WNBA season in recent years. Because of the sheer volume of rookies playing this year, we are going to file rookie reports on all 26 rookies. The rookie reports will come out every two weeks and will highlight which rookies played well, who had standout weeks, who did not play, etc.

In creating these rookie reports, we previewed the rookies who will be playing in Saturday’s Slate. Sunday’s slate of Rookie Debuts will be up by tomorrow. The Rookie Reports are written by Teylor Hines(@HipsterHoopz) Blake O’Tain(@wnbadaily) and myself. (Aneela Khan)

We will start with the first game of the season, the Seattle Storm vs the New York Liberty. There are 8 rookies featured in the game and New York has 7, the most of any team this year in the WNBA.

SEATTLE STORM

EZI MAGBEGOR (2019 WNBA DRAFT, 12th overall pick)

Ezi Magbegor is the only Seattle Storm rookie in this year’s team. However, she’s not a rookie by any means as she plays professionally in the WNBL for the Melbourne Boomers. She was drafted last year as 12th overall pick. She has basketball experience and is just 20 years old, which is younger than most if not all the 2020 WNBA draftees this year. She averaged 8.7 pts per game and 4.3 rebounds per game while playing in the WNBL. She is one of the intriguing rookies and will look to develop more behind Mercedes Russell and Natasha Howard. – Aneela Khan

NEW YORK LIBERTY

SABRINA IONESCU (1st overall pick)

Sabrina Ionescu is entering her WNBA pro debut with a lot of attention and publicity riding on her shoulders. As the top overall pick, she will be closely watched to see how she leads this very young New York Liberty team against stronger, veteran teams in the league. She will have to learn quickly and adjust to the pro game if New York wants to have any success this season. – Aneela Khan

MEGAN WALKER (9th overall pick)

Megan was one of the few Juniors that decided to declare for the WNBA Draft. Walker was an excellent shooter in college, and will bring some much needed shooting to the Liberty.  – Blake O’Tain

JOCELYN WILLOUGHBY (10th overall pick)

Willoughby is another talented shooter selected by the Liberty, in the draft. Willoughby started every game of her collegiate career. She is a great scorer, rebounder, and defender. It will be exciting to see how quickly she can translate those skills, into the much tougher WNBA. – Blake O’Tain

JAZMINE JONES (12th overall pick)

Jones is another strong shooter to add to this youth filled lineup. In college Jones did not shoot a lot of threes, but that is something she can develop as she translates her game to the pros. For her height Jones is a very talented rebounder. – Blake O’Tain

KYLEE SHOOK (13th overall pick)

Shook is a post drafted high in the second round with the opportunity in New York to get decent minutes. The Liberty’s young roster will allow the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year to show her ability to track down shots and knock the three. With a steady point guard at the helm, she could thrive early on pick and pop situations. – Teylor Hines

LEAONNA ODOM (15th overall pick)

Odom is a forward from Duke who was drafted in the second round. In New York, she will get the opportunity to prove herself, although it may be in a bench role. She can play multiple positions which should help her get some playing time. She may not be asked to do much in her rookie season, but she could really help elevate the Liberty’s bench. – Aneela Khan

JOYNER HOLMES (19th overall pick)

Holmes is a late addition to the Liberty team. She was selected by the Seattle Storm in the second round of the WNBA Draft, she was later released. Joyner brings a strong defensive presence to this young Liberty team. Her other strengths include inside scoring, and rebounding. – Blake O’Tain


Next up, is the Los Angeles Sparks vs the Phoenix Mercury. With such veteran led teams, only one rookie is featured in it.

LOS ANGELES SPARKS

T’EA COOPER (18th overall pick)

Cooper is a classic combo guard that was drafted and waived by The Phoenix Mercury due to roster cuts. This led to her signing with the Sparks where she’ll be looked at to shoot, shoot, and shoot again with Toliver out. Cooper’s pressure on the defensive side of the ball may also allow her to get more minutes in a scattered Derek Fisher rotation. Her path to making a roster was unorthodox, but her play could cement her place in the league for years to come. – Teylor Hines


Finally, we have the last matchup of the day, the Indiana Fever vs the defending WNBA champions, the Washington Mystics. There are 4 rookies featured in this matchup.

INDIANA FEVER

JULIE ALLEMAND (2016 WNBA Draft, 33rd overall pick)

Julie is a skilled passer, with excellent vision, and a good 3 point shooter. This will be Allemand’s first WNBA game, however she has already played with and against some highly skilled WNBA players. With Erica Wheeler out due to COVID-19 Allemand should see a good amount of playing time in the season opener on Saturday. Allemand will face her Belgium national team mate Emma Messamen, in the first game of Allemand’s WNBA career. – Blake O’Tain

LAUREN COX (3rd overall pick)**

Not available to play right away due to COVID 19 protocols and probably will not play in the season opener, Cox is an outstanding all-around player. She stands 6’4 but is a tremendous defender, a great shooter, and is an exceptional passer for her size. The Fever finished near the bottom as a team defensively last season. Cox will definitely help improve their defensive rating, for years to come. – Blake O’Tain

KATHLEEN DOYLE (14th overall pick)

Doyle is the definition of a floor general. She is a do-it-all kind of point guard, she is a great passer, but also is a very strong shooter. With Erica Wheeler not in the lineup due to COVID-19, look for Doyle to get lots of minutes in her first WNBA game. – Blake O’Tain

WASHINGTON MYSTICS

KIARA LESLIE (2019 WNBA Draft, 10th overall pick

Kiara Leslie’s start to her WNBA career was put to a halt due to injury after being drafted 10th by the Mystics in 2019. This year with the reigning champ’s roster looking a little different and coaches expecting to use their benches more, she’ll get the chance to show us what was missed. Leslie is a wing player that can score at all three levels, so she could be viable scoring option for Washington’s second unit. – Teylor Hains

WNBA Virtual Draft Recap — A Honest Review

wnba draft, wnba, women's basketball

The WNBA Draft took place tonight on ESPN. It was held virtually, due in part to the global pandemic and taking social distancing seriously. It was going to be an experiment for other sports leagues to see if they could also pull it off. Pulling this off was not going to be easy because of technological glitches, different WiFi structures, delays, etc.

The virtual WNBA Draft actually started off really well. They had a great introduction, honoured Gigi Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester in a nice tribute, had great studio integration with Rebecca Lobo and Ryan Ruocco and Sue Bird had intelligent insight into certain players. She would make a fantastic head coach or TV analyst, she’d be great at both. It is absolutely normal for the #1 pick to have a ton of TV air time and to take up around the first 15 minutes of draft coverage. Sabrina Ionescu does deserve that coverage. She shined in college, she deserves that spotlight.

As a matter of fact, the first couple of picks were just fine. It’s when they got to the 4th pick in Chennedy Carter, and she did not have a proper microphone. The TV viewer can hear the conversation echo back and forth between her and Holly Rowe which is not great. By the way, Chennedy Carter is going to be a fantastic WNBA player. She’s going to be electric. Moving onto the 6th pick in Mikiah Herbert Harrigan in which they did not even interview her. I don’t even think ESPN realized that they missed her interview completely. I know that they acknowledged that that the 8th pick Ruthy Hebard was having some technical delays in terms of TV interview but that’s it. They never circled back.

I think ESPN’s coverage of the WNBA first round was actually pretty good. Minor problems. The issues that arose happened right around the 13th pick. We got the announcements from the commissioner on picks 13, 14, and 15 but after that, we just got them on the bottom of our screens. No offense, but when it is on TV commercials, that is when people look away, or reply to texts, emails, etc. No one is looking at the bottom of their TV screens.

On a personal level, when I am trying to tweet about certain players and how they fit or don’t fit on that team, another bunch of players would crop up. I barely had time to process it and then they never even bothered to say that was the end of Round 2. Or that the final round had started. I can’t even imagine what it was like for the players. They were robbed of their moment and the draft was swiftly finished at 8:45 pm. Not even 9 pm. We barely got acknowledgement of some of the second and third round picks. I should note, that some of the third round picks fell and can probably make a WNBA roster.

Overall, it was a mess. A hot mess. I’m so tired of women’s basketball and this is professional women’s basketball being treated like this. ESPN could have given the draft another hour. They should have slowed down their picks. Talked about a few of the second round and third round picks. They should have interviewed some more players. This was the perfect opportunity to bring in more WNBA fans as the sports world has essentially shut down and more eyes were on this draft than ever before. But, nope. That did not happen. ESPN let the WNBA down. They did them a disservice. I was severely disappointed and I know that I am not the only one.

I would say, I hope for a better WNBA Draft next year, but I think that’s hoping for too much. I think they will deliver a great first round but let us down again for the second and third rounds. Maybe one day, we will have a dedicated women’s sports channel that will get it right and deliver us the stories all of us want. Maybe one day

2020 FINAL WNBA Mock Draft

Chennedy Carter of Texas A&M is a top draft prospect.

*Update: I have now updated the mock draft one last time due to the Tina Charles trade to DC. The order has now changed*

We have now reached the month of April and so has much changed since a month ago. The world has stopped due to a global pandemic yet the WNBA has decided on a virtual WNBA draft this year. It will take place on April 17th on ESPN. Make sure to tune in to see who will get their names called.

We also have all the information on all of the potential WNBA draftees. Chennedy Carter is the latest early entrant, joining both Megan Walker and Satou Sabally. Aarion McDonald is staying back at school for her senior year,  Arella Guirantes is also staying in school, Ciara Duffy is no longer interested in a pro career, Erica Ogwumike may or may not go to medical school and that is just the gist of some of the top college players this year.

Alot has changed in my mock draft from last month. Some players have moved up, some have moved down and some are no longer there. The draft has gotten deeper since November and now there are some stars in this draft class. We still do not know if the WNBA will have a season or if it will be cancelled. Also, keep in mind that this is just a mock draft and the real draft always comes with surprises and twists as I have seen in previous years.

Without any further ado, listed below is my 2020 FINAL WNBA Mock Draft. You can view Version 1.0 here, Version 2.0 here and Version 3.0 here. I have also listed a couple of other WNBA mock drafts that you can view and compare to.

ROUND ONE

  1. New York – Sabrina Ionescu – Oregon
  2. Dallas – Satou Sabally – Oregon
  3. Indiana – Lauren Cox – Baylor
  4. Atlanta – Chennedy Carter – Texas A&M
  5. Dallas – Megan Walker – Connecticut
  6. Minnesota – Tyasha Harris – South Carolina
  7. Dallas – Ruthy Hebard – Oregon
  8. Chicago – Crystal Dangerfield – Connecticut
  9. New York – Beatrice Mompremier – Miami
  10. Phoenix – Mikiah Herbert Harrigan – South Carolina
  11. Seattle – Te’a Cooper – Baylor
  12. New York – Bella Alarie – Princeton

ROUND TWO

  1. New York – Kiah Gillespie – Florida State
  2. Indiana – Jocelyn Willoughby – Virginia
  3. New York – Joyner Holmes – Texas
  4. Minnesota – Mikayla Pivec – Oregon State
  5. Atlanta – Kathleen Doyle – Iowa
  6. Phoenix – Haley Gorecki – Duke
  7. Seattle – Tynice Martin – West Virginia
  8. Los Angeles – Kaila Charles – Maryland
  9. Dallas – Stella Johnson – Rider
  10. Los Angeles – Brittany Brewer – Texas Tech
  11. Connecticut – Shadeen Samuels – Seton Hall
  12. Washington – Leaonna Odom – Duke

ROUND THREE

  1. Atlanta – Peyton Williams – Kansas State
  2. New York – Yuan Li – China
  3. Atlanta – Minyon Moore – Oregon
  4. Indiana – Luisa Geiselsoder – Germany
  5. Phoenix – Abi Scheid – Northwestern
  6. Chicago – Kylee Shook – Louisville
  7. Seattle – Kitija Laksa – South Florida
  8. Chicago – Juicy Landrum – Baylor
  9. Las Vegas – Jazmine Jones – Louisville
  10. Los Angeles – Nadia Fingall – Stanford
  11. Connecticut – Jordan Danberry – Mississippi State
  12. Washington – Sara Rhine – Drake

2020 WNBA Mock Draft Version 3.0

megan walker, connecticut, 2020 wnba draft

We are now in March and normally around this time, the NCAA Tournament would be kicking off. Unfortunately due to the corona virus spreading across the world, the tournament was cancelled. It was for good reasons, although I, like many others were crushed since the NCAA tourney brings so many good memories and great performances. It also allows seniors to raise their stock and for the WNBA general managers to see what certain players are made of.

It also makes junior Megan Walker’s decision to join the draft early somewhat intriguing because there is still no word on whether or not the WNBA season will be cancelled and how they will deal with the draft which is happening in less than a month

I debated on whether or not to publish this latest version of the WNBA Mock Draft, but I thought my subscribers deserved a treat since I am not releasing it on Twitter and Instagram, so if you are viewing this post, it means you are viewing my blog and for that, I appreciate it. If you would like to view past versions (Version 1.0 and Version 2.0) you may do so here for Version 1.0 and here for Version 2.0. Thanks for your continued support!

ROUND ONE

  1. New York  Liberty- Sabrina Ionescu
  2. Dallas Wings – Satou Sabally
  3. Indiana Fever – Chennedy Carter**
  4. Atlanta Dream – Lauren Cox
  5. Dallas Wings – Megan Walker
  6. Minnesota Lynx – Tyasha Harris
  7. Dallas Wings – Ruthy Hebard
  8. Chicago Sky – Beatrice Mompremier
  9. Dallas Wings – Kiah Gillespie
  10. Phoenix – Mikiah Herbert Harrigan
  11. Seattle Storm -Crystal Dangerfield
  12. Washington –  Bella Alarie

ROUND TWO

  1. New York Liberty – Te’a Cooper
  2. Indiana Fever – Joyner Holmes
  3. Dallas Wings – Kathleen Doyle
  4. Minnesota Lynx – Nicki Ekhomu
  5. Atlanta Dream – Kaila Charles
  6. Phoenix Mercury – Mikayla Pivec
  7. Seattle Storm – Nausia Woolfolk
  8. Los Angeles Sparks – Haley Gorecki
  9. Dallas Wings – Leaonna Odom
  10. Los Angeles Sparks – Japreece Dean
  11. Connecticut Sun – Stephanie Jones
  12. Washington Mystics – Jocelyn Willoughby

ROUND THREE

  1. Atlanta Dream – Sara Rhine
  2. New York Liberty – Ciara Duffy
  3. Atlanta Dream – Becca Hittner
  4. Indiana Fever – Taryn McCutcheon
  5. Phoenix Mercury – Ja’Tavia Tapley
  6. Chicago Sky – Reili Richardson
  7. Seattle Storm – Katie Campbell
  8. Chicago Sky – Kylee Shook
  9. Las Vegas Aces – Jazmine Jones
  10. Los Angeles – Nadia Fingall
  11. Connecticut – Jordan Danberry
  12. Washington – Juicy Landrum