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WNBA MEDIA CONFERENCE
April 13, 2020
New York, New York
Q. What are your thoughts on Chennedy Carter and how her game will translate to the WNBA. And also with the Dallas Wings having four first-round picks, do you see them keeping all four picks?
REBECCA LOBO: Chennedy Carter's talent obviously translates really well -- her ability to score, her effectiveness in the pick-and-roll game. You hear some people call her a generational talent. This is a player who is clearly capable of being a big-time scoring threat in the WNBA.
It'll be interesting to see, once we have a season, how she does on other facets of the game, getting teammates involved, how she does on the defensive end of the floor. But without question her scoring ability is right there in terms of WNBA talent.
Dallas, it'll be interesting to see if they end up with all the picks that they have right now. You could see potentially a trade happening before the draft or even on draft day that might change the number of picks they end up with. But it's got to be an exciting time for fans of the Dallas Wings because they've got the foundation with Arike Ogunbowale and will have a big opportunity to build in a big way around her with this draft. They will have some nice building blocks for their franchise going forward.
HOLLY ROWE: I was just on the phone with Gary Blair, the coach from Texas A&M, and he had the most wonderful things to say about Chennedy that I wanted to point out: Number one, she can get her own shot. Getting your own shot in the WNBA is a premium skill and she possesses that better than anybody in the college game right now. So I think that was an important point that Gary Blair pointed out to me recently.
And then he made another fun point: There were a few times in the NCAA Tournament, one where she made a game-winning shot, and the second year, the next year, she had an opportunity and passed it to a teammate, to trust a teammate to hit a shot. And I thought that was a good depiction of a player who understands when it's her time and a player who understands when it's time to trust a teammate. I thought that was a great distinction that her college coach made about Chennedy.
Then with Dallas, I'm just excited for them because they did lose some big [players] in Skylar Diggins and Glory Johnson. They have spots to fill. They have a great fan base and a good coach in Brian Agler, who has won championships, knows how to put together a championship team. I'm just so excited for Dallas. I think this is a fun time for their franchise.
I would be surprised if they used all [their first-round] picks, if we didn't see some sort of a deal and used some sort of that leverage that they have in the first round. They have four overall picks, so I'm excited for Dallas and I could see them making some moves.
Q. I've got a question about Bella Alarie coming out of Princeton and wondering what stands out to you guys about her game, especially kind of a point forward, in-between player. And then how significant it is for the Ivy League to have a player who could go in the first round. Obviously, I know there are a couple of representatives from the Ivy, but Bella seems like she could be a big one.
HOLLY ROWE: I have a fun story: I just did a conference call with Bella. She's still taking classes online and she's writing a thesis right now. So I just think it's fascinating, to your point, that we have an Ivy Leaguer available in the WNBA Draft who is currently working on her thesis about a 1920s Broadway show and how it impacted society. So balancing her education and her basketball is a fascinating, unique thing that Bella brings.
I just watched some great highlights of her and I love her mobility. I think the thing that stands out to me is her mobility and length. She's got a huge upside to her game. And she has been able to overcome that her godfather is Jay Bilas. One of her greatest talents is she has been able to overcome that in her life. That's said with a smile. That's said with a laugh.
Q. Rebecca, a tough one for you: Who would have won the hypothetical Oregon vs. South Carolina matchup? And I realize that's looking back, but what is the impact of the loss of the NCAA Tournament not only for those players and those programs but for the WNBA, because it would have been a multi-weekend showcase for a lot of top-level talent?
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, I think that's one that's a really interesting piece is that usually this time of year when we're talking to coaches or GMs, there's one or two players who they talk about -- their draft stock skyrocketed throughout the course of the NCAA Tournament. And because we didn't have a tournament, we didn't have a chance to see those players or to have those experiences.
Holly was just talking about Bella Alarie. She's one of those who a lot of people are excited about her talent, but would have loved to have seen her in the tournament against a different level of competition than maybe she's got every day in the Ivy League. There's always a player who can make her mark in big moments, and we missed out on all of that.
So there are a few players, especially from mid-major schools, coaches or GMs who say, I wish I saw this player in the tournament or in that moment, what kind of a winner are they. We missed out on that as fans of the game and of course the players missed out on that experience, which is a shame.
But that's one of the things I'm so excited about for this draft is even though the circumstances are far from ideal, and even though none of the players got a chance, especially the seniors, to fulfill, I'm sure, their dream for their collegiate career, there's still going to be dreams coming true for so many of these women on Friday. We get a chance to experience that and be a part of that, and that's one of the reasons it's one of my absolute favorite events to cover.
Q. And did you have a particular view as to who would have won in the hypothetical, Oregon or South Carolina?
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, I purposely ignored that portion of your question. Who knows. I covered Oregon a lot this year. I saw them play their last game in the Pac-12 Tournament, and they are just so good on the offensive end. They are improved defensively. Certain years you're around teams and you feel like they might be a team of destiny, and they had kind of a vibe to them. They had Sabrina [Ionescu]. No one else had Sabrina. That's not to take anything away from South Carolina because they're an amazing team and they could have obviously won the national championship. But it just felt to me that there was something about Oregon this year and their ability to score and to have the leader -- and Sabrina just is a difference maker, and Oregon is the team that had her.
Q. I would like your opinion, either of you, on the strength of this draft compared to maybe last year's. And the second question is there's usually somebody taken after the first half of the first round or maybe early into the second that a few years from now people look back and say, why did that person go so low? Who do you think that person might be this year?
REBECCA LOBO: It's tough to compare this year to last year. I think the biggest difference is that Sabrina would have been No. 1 last year, and she will most likely be No. 1 this year. She is a talent unlike most, and so she adds something extra to this draft that last year's didn't necessarily have.
I'm not sure who that player could be, that being later in the first round, early in the second round. I think this is an interesting year in that because of the free agency movement that we saw in the offseason, there are some teams that simply don't have a lot of room on their roster.
This is going to be a very unique year in that in the past a player who maybe went undrafted was still able to go to a training camp, because players were coming late from their overseas commitments. So a player would get an opportunity to be in a camp for a couple of days or maybe a week before one of the veterans returned and took that training camp spot. That's not the case this year. Everybody presumably, if we have a season, once camp starts, is here and will be in camp unless they're an international player to start with. So the opportunities might be a little bit tougher to come by.
Q. I just wanted to ask who you think might be a surprise pick of the first round? We know Sabrina is pretty much probably going to go No. 1. How might it shake out after that and who do you think might be a surprise pick?
HOLLY ROWE: I think Bella Alarie is somebody that maybe is not as well known on a national scale because of playing in the Ivy League and maybe not as many of her games being on TV. Like Rebecca said, she did play in the NCAA Tournament, but this could have been a special year for her to have that moment to skyrocket her.
I think Elena Delle Donne in the Delaware year, getting to the Sweet 16 and advancing -- she was already a big talent, but that propelled her even further. And I think Bella is somebody that people are intrigued with. She has length and size and shooting ability that people crave in this league. I think she is somebody that is projected in some of the first-round mock drafts to go high. I think she's somebody that people are going to get excited to know more about because we haven't seen her so [often] on the national scene.
Q. I wondered if either of you think Megan Walker or Bella Alarie could be available when the Mercury pick at 10, and if not, who do you think could be a logical pick for the Mercury at that spot?
REBECCA LOBO: I think there's a slight chance that Megan Walker could be available. I don't necessarily think Bella Alarie would be available there. Phoenix is in a relatively good position that they have their Big Three coming in, assuming Diana Taurasi is healthy, Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner. They're in a situation, will they be looking at the best available. Wing, combo guard might be ideal for them because they have depth in the post. It will depend on what happens in the picks above them. But I think there's a chance that Walker will be available.
Q. I'm seeing Baylor forward Lauren Cox associated with the Indiana Fever at No. 3. Do you feel like Cox would be a good fit for the Fever, or is there another player who may be a better fit in terms of that No. 3 overall pick?
HOLLY ROWE: I thought something important that happened with Lauren Cox at Baylor could translate well to Indiana. She did play for several years with Kalani Brown, where she had to step out and be the 4. She does have the range to play on the wing, defend on the wing, using her length. Lauren Cox is someone who could fit with a big like Teaira McCowan. That would not be unfamiliar territory for her. So I think it's an intriguing fit that those two players could complement each other, much like Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox did at Baylor, winning a national championship last year.
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, I agree, and Indiana has a need at the 4 position. You look at Lauren Cox and then you kind of see a player who might fit the culture that Indiana has always been very proud of when it comes to the Fever. They also have a need at the 2, so could Chennedy Carter be a player that they think fits them? Certainly her game and her ability to score from the 2 spot is something that could benefit them on the court.
Q. I want to ask you about Jocelyn Willoughby from Virginia. Do you see her getting drafted on Friday and maybe what round could be a possibility? And do you see her skill set translating to the WNBA?
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, Jocelyn will get drafted. The question is just going to be where. Will she be an early- to mid-second-round pick potentially? A lot of the people I have spoken to have talked about Jocelyn. Again, not necessarily in the first round, but maybe earlier in the second round, mid-second round.
I think definitely her game translates. Her body translates. She can score at a high clip and high efficiency from the three-point line. She can take it to the basket. She's got a good frame. She's a good finisher. She gets to the free throw line. A lot of potential. And that's what a lot of coaches -- that's in a lot of ways what the draft is. It's not only what they're going to be right away, but with seasoning, playing overseas, more time with your WNBA team, what can you become? Do you have those tools? And she is a player who has those tools.
Q. Rebecca, can you speak to in this league how difficult it is for second- and third-round picks to make the WNBA as rookies?
REBECCA LOBO: It's the hardest professional league to make in terms of the percentage of people that play. There are 144 jobs when every team is carrying a full roster. At the beginning of this season not every team, most likely, will be carrying a full roster of 12. A couple will have to have a 11 until a certain point in the season when the salary cap will allow them to fit a 12th.
It is very, very difficult to make a WNBA roster, even more difficult for a second-round pick or even a third-round pick to make it. That being said, there are certain teams that, if you are in the draft this year, you hope draft you. You hope you're drafted by the New York Liberty because they have a lot more positions on their roster to make a team. There are fewer roster spots at a place like Washington or Seattle just because of the makeup of their veterans and the success that they've had.
So it's very, very difficult to make a WNBA team, and especially for players out of the top 12 or 14 [in the draft].
Q. Rebecca, it looks like Sabrina will play in New York in the Barclays Center. What do you think of the potential of a player already well known like she is to kind of magnify the spotlight on the league overall, and how would you assess her potential to become an old-school big New York star?
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, I think the potential without question is there. I think to me she's a perfect fit for New York. The New York fan base is just a little bit different. Even 20-plus years ago when I was there, you could be walking through Central Park and people would start talking to you about basketball. There's an awareness of sports and a sports culture in the city that I think is a little bit different. I think Sabrina is perfectly suited for that, not only her game, which is next level, but her personality, her drive, her will to win. She fits in in high-pressure moments. She lives in them. She craves them. She comes through in them. And there's nothing bigger than being in New York City.
HOLLY ROWE: If I could jump in here, I've been researching the Romanian population of New York City. About 22,000 Romanians live around there. I think you would see huge support for her and that culture. She is a first-generation American. Her parents fled the country. That's a little fun fact that people could dig into: how people in that population there in New York would come and support Sabrina. She has become quite a folk hero to them.
Q. Rebecca, I want to talk to you specifically about three bigs who are talked about quite a bit and have been on this call in Satou Sabally, Lauren Cox and Bella Alarie. When you look at those three, where do you see each of them standing out in terms of not only their ceiling but also what their floor is, not just the type of 4s that have been successful at the college level but where the 4 game is going as well?
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, it's the most skilled position in the WNBA right now, the 4 spot. Elena Delle Donne, Breanna Stewart, that's the way the game is thriving right now in the WNBA.
Satou, I think she is going to be able to come in and contribute pretty quickly. Her game, I think, translates right away, and there is a very high ceiling. There's a lot of room still for improvement for her, even though she's going to be pretty ready when she comes in.
Lauren Cox is interesting because there's a conversation I think of, is she a 4 or is she a 5? Is she better suited, especially on the defensive end, to guard a 5 in the WNBA than she might be at the 4 spot? I think she will also, depending on the situation and where she goes, contribute right away, and will have some success with the things she does well and will be able to learn pretty quickly in terms of the things that she needs to improve on.
I think Bella, the floor may be a little bit different for Bella just because of physical strength. She's not quite as strong as those other two, but she can get there. It seems like her body is still in the process of developing and strengthening and turning into the grown woman that you see in the WNBA. But I think, again, hopefully a situation for her where she can continue to learn and doesn't have to do too much her rookie year. She is a player with a really high ceiling, good work ethic, smart player, really good physical tools, but her body might mature a little bit later than those other two women.
Q. I just wanted to ask about a couple of South Carolina players, just how high you think point guard Tyasha Harris will go in the draft, and also wanted to ask you if you thought Mikiah Herbert Harrigan could creep into the first round.
HOLLY ROWE: I think Tyasha is somebody who will be a high draft pick. Her savvy, her floor leadership, her increased ability to shoot. I loved that her freshman year she wasn't known as a shooter and some teams would sag off of her and that bothered her, and she made it a point to become more efficient scorer from three, which she did this season. I think she took a huge step forward this year. She's being tutored by the best point guard in the world at times, Dawn Staley. So I think Ty Harris is somebody who could go in the first round.
And then Kiki Harrigan, I think she took a huge step forward this year, and a person who is able to dominate when she wants. She'll have more size to face in the WNBA, but she is an athletic, big post that I thought took a huge step forward from a confidence standpoint this year. She is an intriguing prospect because I don't think she has seen her best basketball yet.
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, everybody likes Ty Harris. Just when you bring her name up to people in the WNBA, nothing but respect for Ty Harris and her game. I think she could potentially go as high as 4 to Atlanta. They have a need for a point guard, and outside of Sabrina, she is probably the best point guard in this draft.
And then in terms of Herbert Harrigan, I love her. I love her game. I love her fire, the way she competes. I think she's a player who if we had had an NCAA Tournament, we talked about this a little bit earlier, I think she's a player who could have seen her stock rise because it seems like in big moments she elevates herself and she just has a competitiveness and a will to win that is elite. I would not be surprised at all to see her go mid-to-late first round, but I can't imagine her slipping much farther than a couple spots in the second round.
Q. I wanted to ask you about Sabrina as well. Following up on what you said earlier, what is it that makes her such a star or makes her different from some of the top talents that have come out in the draft in recent years? What is it that sets her apart?
REBECCA LOBO: I asked that same question to a lot of people that I talked to about getting ready for the draft. It's almost universal: The answer is her competitive fire. Her competitive will to win, her desire to win -- that's mentioned even before her skills. Great shooter. She has great size. Terrific in the pick-and-roll. She can pass. She's got everything you'd want in the skill set. But the No. 1 thing people talk about is her competitiveness and her competitive fire. Whether it's a player like Diana Taurasi or Sue Bird, that's a thing that can separate the great ones. She has proved that she has that and thrives in those moments and loves it.
And she loves basketball. She seems to be one of those players who lives and breathes basketball. If basketball is on TV, men or women, whatever level it is, she's going to be watching it. A true student.
Q. I know, Rebecca, you said this is one of your favorite events to cover. I'm just curious from your perspective, and you as well Holly, just the opportunity that you think this event presents just in terms of being on ESPN for the first time and taking up a little bit of space in the vacuum we have in sports right now.
HOLLY ROWE: I think it's exciting. I think, number one, it's huge that we're on ESPN, and it's huge that we're on ESPN for two hours, not changing networks, which is the first time since I've been doing the draft that we've done that. I think it's wonderful because just through social media and contacts I'm having with coaches and players, I just feel like even though we will be doing it in a remote, unique fashion because of what's happening in our country right now, I still feel like the buzz and the excitement is higher than ever. Mostly because we don't have sports, people can really focus on this. Some years past we would have just ended the NCAA Tournament and just hurried and had to get the draft ready. So I think the lead-up to this has been good.
I just tweeted out the draft promo that some wonderful people at ESPN marketing did yesterday. It already had 40,000 views for the draft promo just in a couple hours yesterday. I'm just really excited that people care. The buzz is there. I do feel like at least for me anyway, it's filling this hole in my heart of having no sports right now, and it's even more magnified because we all want something good and positive right now in sports.
Q. A number of Florida State players are in consideration in this draft. How would you evaluate them and what range do you think they're kind of looking at come Friday?
REBECCA LOBO: I'll start with Kiah Gillespie because I think she'll be the first Florida State player taken. I think like early second round is the starting point for Kiah. And then it'll depend on what happens with other teams.
In terms of their guards, I think you're looking at second to third round. [Nicki] Ekhomu, I believe a knee issue might be her problem. With their guards, we're looking later in the rounds.
HOLLY ROWE: I'll just add a little bit on Kiah. I just finished an interview I did with Kiah Gillespie and she's about as delightful of a human being as you'd like to find. She is dedicated to working on her craft. She's had lots of GMs and coaches looking at her. At 6-2, she's got a great frame. She's committed to getting in even better shape, and with her skill set of being able to play inside and outside, she's an intriguing prospect. I think she is somebody that you could see making an impact in the WNBA.
Q. I wanted to get your thoughts on the players from Iowa. First, Kathleen Doyle, looks like probably second round, maybe early third round on her. Where do you see her profile at now, and what did this year do for her to cement herself in this draft? And then also Drake's Becca Hittner and Sara Rhine, two players who are probably outside the draft but obviously scored a lot of points and I would imagine have a professional future somewhere.
REBECCA LOBO: I'll start with Kathleen. I talked earlier how if Ty Harris' name comes up, everybody likes Ty Harris. That's the same situation for Kathleen Doyle, just in terms of people love the way she plays, love her fire, her mentality, her toughness, her grittiness. Those are all the things that are spoken about even before her skills on the basketball court, which she's a great passer, can shoot the basketball.
Yeah, probably somewhere in the second round. But because of her competitiveness and that toughness, those are the kind of players that get drafted in the second round and make a roster. Sometimes the best thing you can do is have the right attitude to be the 12th man, to come to work every single day and not be upset if you don't get a ton of minutes in games, but then when you do to be ready to play.
The kids from Drake, similar situation in that not sure that they'll get drafted. If they do, it'll be a little bit later. But they could end up in a camp. Competitive kids who can shoot the basketball always give themselves a chance to make an impression.
Q. Rebecca, I was curious if you could speak a little bit about Megan Walker and how you think her entering the draft as a junior as opposed to getting that extra year at UConn could affect how she starts off in the league? And if you could even speak a little bit more to this emerging trend of draft-eligible juniors who are deciding to enter the draft instead of getting that extra year, if you think that's going to be -- now that there's three draft-eligible juniors that are in this draft, that this could be the start of a bigger trend or what effect it could have both at the collegiate and pro levels?
REBECCA LOBO: Sure, I'll start with the second part of that question first. The first time we really saw it in a big way was the year Jewell Loyd came out and Amanda Zahui B the same year, a little bit unexpected. I think now we've come more to expect it, but it still isn't huge numbers. It's three this year. And I think that's because, it's not like anybody after their junior year could come out. You have to turn 22 in the year of the draft. Some will be impacted, too, on transfer rules, if those change, because players sit out a year, then after a junior year if they've transferred have the opportunity to come into the draft.
I don't know how many people are going to meet the criteria to turn it into a situation where year after year we're having more than three or maybe four players. I still think it's going to continue to be a smaller number.
In terms of Megan, I think the bigger thing is where is she going to go and what is she going to be asked to do. Right now in terms of her game translating to the WNBA, she can go out there and if it's a team that can put her in the places where she really thrives, just go out there, Megan, and make some open threes for us, she'll really succeed because she does that really well. If she's in a situation where she's asked to do a few things that are out of her comfort zone, there might be a bigger learning curve for her. But she could end up in a great situation because she can shoot the basketball as well as anybody in this draft. If she goes to a team that can really focus on that, she'll have some good success.
Q. I have a quick question about the Mystics. Obviously coming off a title, only lost Kristi Toliver, so their roster is in a pretty good spot. Just in general, how would you see them approaching that first round?
REBECCA LOBO: Well, that's the beauty when you're Washington. I'm looking at my list right now, next to needs, I have written "none." They lost Kristi Toliver, which obviously is a huge loss for them, but they've brought in Leilani Mitchell, another shooter. They were 10-1, 11-1, whatever they were last year, without Kristi in the lineup, proof that they can be successful there.
So this is a team coming in, actually one of the favorites to repeat again, assuming they can get their international players in, get Elena's health, that sort of thing. But Washington isn't a team that is relying on this draft to put themselves in a position to win a championship. They are very clearly already there.
HOLLY ROWE: One kind of cool thing I'll just interject is a lot of people on social media are asking, why isn't ESPN replaying WNBA games? I'm so excited that following the draft we will replay Game 5 of the Washington-Connecticut series from last year, and we've got a lot more replays coming up. I think that's a huge, wonderful window for Washington Mystics fans to get to relive that moment from last year's Game 5 and all that it took to win it. That's kind of a cool thing you could add that fans will love.
Q. My question for Rebecca, kind of similar to the previous one about leaving school early. In the case of someone like Chennedy Carter, does that damage the NCAA game? Is that going to enhance the WNBA game? And given the new CBA, is it more financially worth it to do it for prospects who are eligible to do that, to leave after their junior year and skip the final year of college?
REBECCA LOBO: Holly, why don't you handle the financial piece because I know we were talking about that earlier today.
HOLLY ROWE: Yeah, I think it's interesting. I was just talking to Kelly Graves from Oregon. In the past, we don't consider that the WNBA money has been life changing because the salary has been a little lower. But the CBA and what they have changed for this coming season, salaries will rise, more players will get more money. I think, for example, Satou Sabally, she wants to be able to help her family in Germany. She'll have a wonderful pro career here and in Germany. I think that we sometimes think these kids don't need help financially, and that might be a misnomer. Kids want to make money. She is an example of someone who has already graduated, she has her degree and she is ready to move on to the next phase of her life and help her family financially.
So I don't see that it hurts the NCAA. The numbers are so small. We have three in this entire class this year, so I don't see that hurting the NCAA game at all. If anything, I think it adds some excitement as we have really talented women who are ready for the next step. Chennedy Carter, ready. Will they improve? Of course. But I don't think it hurts because I think it adds some excitement to both the NCAA and the WNBA.
REBECCA LOBO: I think a small interesting piece of it, at least as it relates to the WNBA Draft, is if you look at next year, next year is a good draft class, but you can't just look at the seniors. You also then have to then scour the birthdays of some of the top juniors in the country because you don't know which ones will be eligible, which ones might come out. So I would imagine, in terms of teams possibly trading picks from one year to the next year based on the strength of a draft class, you don't truly know the strength of a draft class anymore unless you can try to project some of the early entrants who might make themselves available.
Q. I would like to ask about Joyner Holmes of Texas and in particular her versatility. It seems to be special. I'd like to know how special you think it is and how that will serve her at the next level.
REBECCA LOBO: Joyner Holmes is an interesting one for that reason. She is a great athlete. She has a great WNBA body. Her versatility in terms of her ability to get rebounds and facilitate on the break the other way is something that translates really well to the WNBA.
I think she will probably be late first to early second to mid-second round. She is a player who will have to finish a little bit more efficiently around the basket, continue to expand her game. But in terms of her natural gifts and her athletic ability, those certainly would translate to the WNBA.
HOLLY ROWE: Yes, Joyner is great. I think that her frame alone is WNBA ready. I think she has talent. She is committed to being good. I love her footwork. She is a great personality. She would be a great asset in a market for marketing and just her fun, unique personality.
I think she is someone that could go high in the draft. First round, I would think. I'm not good at the projections so don't ask me those; Rebecca is better at those. But I love her game, and I think she is somebody that is WNBA-body ready. Her frame is fantastic.
Q. More on Oregon's Satou Sabally. She was a mismatch all throughout college and I was wondering how you think her game will translate to the next level and potentially with Dallas and that roster?
HOLLY ROWE: I just got off a 30-minute call with Kelly Graves, her college coach, just before this call. He brought up an interesting point: Her first year she came in, she was kind of hanging out at the three-point line, spot-up shooter, and that each year she has added to her game and her arsenal. Become much better in the mid range. Become a great rebounder. Their 19-game winning streak, you can check the numbers, but I think she averaged 17 points and close to eight rebounds a game in that winning streak.
So a good frame that can rebound, a great shooter, a perimeter shooter, and then he also mentioned that she really established this year her drive-and-kick game and got a much better feel for that. I think that Satou is one of the most intriguing prospects in the WNBA Draft this year from a skill standpoint. I think her versatility, what she can bring and what she will continue to grow in her toolbox may be the most versatile of anybody in this draft. I love, love, love her game.
REBECCA LOBO: Yeah, I'll just add quickly because Holly said most of it. She's got a great WNBA body that can even get stronger. She's versatile. She's got a great skill set. We covered Oregon a fair amount this year. There was one stretch of the season, we did their first Stanford game and it was right after they'd come back from their Arizona road trip where they had lost to Arizona State. Kelly Graves sat down with Satou and watched film, and basically just told her she needed to be better. She needed to play better. And she responded in a huge way throughout the rest of the season. She took the message to heart and improved and got to the free throw line more and didn't just settle for threes, and found open teammates and rebounded and got to the offensive glass better. So those are the things we like to see as well. You get challenged by a coach and how does a player respond to that, and she did.
Just such a high ceiling for this young woman, coming into a league where her position is the biggest strength of the league.
HOLLY ROWE: There's something I'd love to add that you can dig into if you're writing a story on her. She was 16 years old and moved away from home to go join the Bundesliga as kind of an amateur playing in a pro league. So she has been away from home, from Germany and Berlin, for many years. She has gotten her degree from Oregon. She has become this great prospect. I just think it's a unique piece of her story you could dig into, of leaving home at 16 to chase this basketball journey.
So she may be uniquely prepared to be on the road, to be a pro and be committed to this basketball life because she's been doing it since she was 16.
Q. Japreece Dean at UCLA, I want to get a sense of where you think she might go in the draft and what are some of her strengths and the things she would need to work on going into the pros?
REBECCA LOBO: I don't have a good handle on where Japreece could go in the draft. But she is a great competitor, great quickness. She can lead her team. I think an area she would need to improve on would be her consistency from the three-point line and her ability to hit that. She definitely has the spirit of a fighter and has quickness and can run a team from the point guard spot and facilitate and get her teammates open. But it's tough in the WNBA to be on a roster in this era if you cannot consistently make shots from the perimeter as a guard.
HOLLY ROWE: We covered Japreece last year in the NCAA Tournament. We spoke to her about the comparisons to Jordin Canada. They're different types of players and people want to compare them, but there are some similarities in that they are both undersized guards who can create their shot and create off the dribble and run a team. Jordin is someone who has improved her shooting and three-point shooting over time. I think Japreece could do the same.
I see her as that feisty, undersized player that can will her way into what she'd like to. Like Rebecca said about her consistency from the three-point line, especially the expanded three-point line. But I love her fighting spirit. She could definitely be drafted, but I could see her being a free agent that could compete for a spot given the right circumstances, because she is feisty, she'll defend and she's a difficult matchup under the gun.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports