WNBA will feel immediate impact from this year’s draft

April 12, 2011 11:00am

By adding the No. 1 overall draft pick in Maya Moore, the Minnesota Lynx will be expected to be a contender immediately.

Basketball is unique among team sports because of the impact a single player can make. While you have star players across the entire spectrum of sports, in basketball an impact player’s presence can be felt on each and every possession. While we anticipate the start of the new WNBA season, let’s take a look at yesterday’s top 5 draft picks, whose impact should be felt immediately this upcoming season.

1. Maya Moore F (UConn): Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Moore transitions to the WNBA as possibly the greatest collegiate player ever. She ends her career at UConn with 150 wins and 2 national titles. Moore was only the collegiate player on the national team that won a world championship, and is expected to continue as an impact player with the national squad. She is expected to turn the Lynx into contender almost instantly.  While expectations for Minnesota and Moore are very high, there is every reason to believe the hype is warranted.

2. Liz Cambage C (Australia): Selected by the Tulsa Shock
Cambage makes her way to the WNBA from overseas, playing in Australia. At 6’8″ Cambage’s physical tools will make her as tough a match-up as there is in the WNBA. Tulsa hopes her inside presence can bring stability to both ends of the court, something the Shock desperately lacked last season. Although she is only 19 years old, she has already played professionally and is a member of the Australian national team.

3. Courtney Vandersloot G (Gonzaga): Selected by the Chicago Sky
The Sky drafted the best pure distributor in college this past season. Vandersloot led the country in both assists per game and assist/turnover ratio. Her impact should be felt immediately as she will be expected to do what she does best, run their offense and get the ball into the hands of scorers. While her outside shooting and defense remain to be seen on the WNBA level, Chicago knows they are getting a special point guard they hope will pay dividends for years to come.

4. Amber Harris F (Xavier): Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Taking Amber Harris with the 4th overall selection, the Lynx added arguably the two most talented players in this year’s draft. At 6’5” Harris has the all-around game that helped her to average a double-double, 2.5 blocks per game and shoot over 52% from the field during her senior season.  Look for Harris to contribute inside with her post game

5. Jantel Lavender C (Ohio State): Selected by the Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks took 4-time Big-10 player of the Lavender adding a true center they were missing last season. Lavender will allow other Sparks players, like Candace Parker, to play their more suited position at forward. The Sparks hope Lavender will improve their 2nd to last rebounding average last season giving them a needed inside presence. Lavender averaged a double-double during her college career while scoring in double digits in every collegiate game she played.


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