Friday, April 8, 2011

Dawn Evans a WNBA 1st-round pick?

Could JMU's Dawn Evans wind up getting selected in the first round of Monday's WNBA draft? ESPN thinks it's possible, listing the Dukes star as the 10th-best prospect in play for the 12-team draft:

Evans might surprise some people by potentially sneaking into the first round. Few can create offense like she can. She averaged an impressive 23.1 points as a senior and can really hit a hot streak and carry a team by herself. She scored a career-high 42 points against Virginia this season and scored 38 on three other occasions. Some might not like the swings, however, as there will be games when Evans scores 14 points on 22 shots. She is a guard who needs to be the focal point of the offense and needs the ball in her hands to create. She isn't a combo guard - she is a scoring point guard. She has good range out to the 3-point arc and is well-versed in operating the pick-and-roll. She isn't a fit for every team, but for the right system she could be dynamite. 

Fair points, although we're not sure the way Evans played at JMU is the only way she can play. She can set up others, too, and, if asked to be more of a distributor in the pros, we don't think she's going to just take her ball and go home. Overall, though, we like this ESPN rating. Problem is, ESPN doesn't have a team.

If Evans is chosen with one of the first 12 picks, she would become the ninth WNBA first-round draft pick from a Virginia college since the league began in 1997. The all-time Virginia draft board:

1st round
2 - Monica Wright, Virginia (Minnesota, 2010)
2 - Ticha Penicheiro, Old Dominion (Sacramento, 1998)
5 - Tammi Reiss, Virginia (Utah, 1997)
7 - Tora Suber, Virginia (Charlotte, 1997)
8 - Katie Feenstra, Liberty (Connecticut, 2005; rights traded to San Antonio)
8 - Tamera Young, James Madison (Atlanta, 2008)
9 - Quanitra Hollingsworth, VCU (Minnesota, 2009)
12 - Hamchetou Maiga, Old Dominion (Sacramento, 2002)

2nd round
2 (14th overall) - Megan Frazee, Liberty (San Antonio, 2009)
3 (19th overall) - Lucienne Berthieu, Old Dominion (Seattle, 2002)
4 (16th overall) - Clarisse Machanguana, Old Dominion (Los Angeles, 1999)
4 (17th overall) - Lyndra Littles, Virginia (Connecticut, 2009)
10 (20th overall) - Nyree Roberts, Old Dominion (Houston, 1998)
11 (23rd overall) - Mery Andrade, Old Dominion (Cleveland, 1999)
15 (27th overall) - Schuye LaRue, Virginia (Los Angeles, 2003)

3rd round
3 (27th overall) - Adrienne Goodson, Old Dominion (Utah, 1999)
3 (29th overall) - Sharnee Zoll, Virginia (Los Angeles, 2008)
4 (30th overall) - Nare Diawara, Virginia Tech (San Antonio, 2007)
4 (31st overall) - Telisha Quarles, Virginia (Phoenix, 2003)
5 (31st overall) - Ieva Kublina, Virginia Tech (Indiana, 2004)
6 (34th overall) - Krystal Vaughn, VCU (Washington, 2008)
6 (34th overall) - Kerri Gardin, Virginia Tech (Chicago, 2006)
6 (38th overall) - Svetlana Volnaya, Virginia (Detroit, 2001)
13 (45th overall) - Tere Williams, Virginia Tech (Phoenix, 2001)

4th round (1997-2002)
6 (54th overall) - Sharron Francis, Old Dominion (Minnesota, 2002)
16 (64th overall) - Tiffany Thompson, Old Dominion (Los Angeles, 2002)

Elite draft
Prior to the WNBA's initial season in 1997, the league held an elite draft of players who had played in other professional leagues. Virginia's Wendy Palmer (9th overall) and Old Dominion's Nancy Lieberman (15th) were both 2nd-round picks.

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