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Friday
Oct 24th

WNBA Draft: Monica Wright, Kelsey Griffin

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monicaCollegiate drafts in the various sports are always pretty interesting. I suppose the concept of good kids coming up and getting theirs is always something to celebrate. For the Minnesota Lynx it was quite the celebration this year, but it was sort of like someone kept on bumping the DJ table and making the record skip a few times. However, in the end, the Lynx ended up getting much better for the upcoming year, and even the year to follow.

The Lynx traded away the first pick in the WNBA draft in order to get more subsequent picks at the second and third draft slots this year. This was a pretty difficult move to make because the first pick represented the opportunity to bring in National Champion guard Tina Charles from the University of Connecticut (UCONN). Now if you didn’t happen to notice the undefeated dominating season that UCONN had this year, which was simply a carryover from last years’ National Championship, then you may have perhaps missed the collegiate career of the future Michael Jordan of the WNBA. The women’s game is evolving mightily, and you only need to watch Charles’ jumpshot form to know that men and women are equal. I don’t care where you’re from Tina Charles has one of the most beautiful jumpshots known to man.

I suppose I’m making it seem like the Lynx made a major mistake in allowing Charles to go to the Connecticut Sun, but overall the Lynx positioned themselves to be a better team, and with the second pick they picked up the University of Virginia’s all-time leading scorer in Monica Wright – Virginia is a pretty good school for athletics, so her accomplishment really says something about her ability. Not only did Wright average 23.7 points during her Senior campaign, but she also managed 6.5 rebounds, which is huge for a guard, and even more astounding were her 3.7 steals per game. With numbers like that, Wright may not be the Michael Jordan of the WNBA in the future, but she sure seems to have the ability to be his all-time great sidekick Scottie Pippen. All of those statistics have Scottie Pippen written all over them, and watching someone play defense like that will be an absolute treat for the upcoming Lynx season.

Obviously there is something more to the moves that the Lynx made in swapping a few picks and players, and that something, or rather someone, has a very familiar name. Lindsay Whalen is a name that Minnesotan’s should readily remember, because she was the best thing to come from the University of Minnesota Women’s Basketball program this decade, and perhaps ever. Whalen played guard for the Gophers, was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2002, and was subsequently drafted fourth in the following draft. Whalen’s style of play is about as fun as it comes, but she is also a very efficient leader, and this may be the greatest characteristic that she brings to the coming Lynx season. Combining Whalen with the fresh young athleticism of Wright could certainly be a championship sort of combination considering the other components of the team.

The Lynx are stacked. To think that guard Candace Wiggins may be coming off of the bench is to think that the Lynx may have the best 6th woman in the game. Last year Wiggins, along with the other young members of the line, Charde Houston and Nicky Anosike, all averaged around 13 points per game. That’s dependability. And sandwiched in-between that dependability is the lady with one of the greatest names and games in WNBA history, Seimone Augustus. Augustus will be returning from injury, but she certainly is not the type that anyone wants to bet against for a spectacular return.

As for the future, the Lynx also “wheeled and dealed” so that they may have even more impact in the 2011 draft by picking up extra first and second round picks. Next year’s draft is set up to b, perhaps, the best in WNBA history, and the Lynx have plenty of trump cards in the deck.

As for now, in the words of Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, “The goal needs to be to win a championship.” I’d say that the Lynx have all the right leading ladies to do so, including Reeve.
 

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