Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Kelsey Plum goes No. 1 in WNBA draft

Kelsey Plum goes No. 1 in WNBA draft

To compete in the hyper-competitive Western Conference it's clear that the Stars needed some help on the offensive end, and in Plum and Coffey they got two players who can contribute right away.

Her 15.3 rebounds per game combined with Plum's 31.7 points per game made them the first pair of teammates in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding and scoring in the same season.

Summary: It goes without saying Alaina Coates isn't just one of the best post players in the history of the South Carolina Gamecocks, she might be one of the best posts in the history of the SEC.

"I'll say it's wise to always keep your options open, and so as the process draws nearer and nearer to (Thursday). just keeping the board open, keeping options open", Stocks said. "I'm very excited and very grateful that they can see my potential". The South Carolina program has produced nine WNBA draft picks, five of them under Staley, and three of them going in the top 10 on Thursday night. They took Moriah Jefferson with the No. 2 pick last season.

With the ninth pick in the draft, the Sky chose guard Tori Jankoska out of Michigan State. Even if Wilson eventually passes her as "best post in school history", No. 2 isn't a bad place to be during the golden era of SC women's basketball. With her foot still in a cast and propped on a rolling scooter, Coates said she'd be out for a little while.

"I've been dreaming about it for so long", Plum said. "[I need to be] sure I can play through contact and take some hits because I know it's not going to be easy out there". Since Chicago had taken SC center Alaina Coates at No. 2, Dallas went with Kentucky forward Evelyn Akhator at No. 3.

Unlike Coates, Gray had a year of eligibility left in college and could have returned to make another title run, but instead she chose to take her talents to the next level.

The Dallas Wings round out the top three and also have the fourth pick after a trade that sent Odyssey Sims to the Los Angeles Sparks in February.

"It gives us both something familiar in an unfamiliar situation", Davis said.

"For us, it's definitely about representing SC, but we want to grow the game", said Davis, who was coached by former WNBAer Dawn Staley at USC. The Gamecocks became just the third school to have three players taken in the opening round, joining Tennessee and UConn.

She was the No. 2 pick by Chicago, somewhat of a surprise only because the Sky already have so much size, including their top selection past year, 6-foot-7 Imani Boyette, and 6-4 Stefanie Dolson, one of the players the Sky got in trading Elena Delle Donne.

The "silent assassin", Gray could take over any game at any time, but often preferred to facilitate instead of dominating. Saniya Chong, the lone senior on the team, was picked by Dallas in the third round.

"It's so great to see those three young ladies get a chance to realize their dreams", she said.

San Antonio, which finished the 2016 season with a 7-27 record, had the first and fifth pick in the first round of the draft, breaking Seattle's two-year streak of having the first selection.

Draftsite.com projects Davis going seventh to Atlanta, while Newsday and Excelle Sports have her going twelfth to Minnesota.

But, the WNBA is a league full of bigs with similar resumes, and without Elena Delle Donne in a Sky uniform for the first time in four seasons, Coates will immediately be leaned upon to be a scoring threat.

The WNBA Draft will be held Thursday night in NY.

Borders was thrilled with the new venue.

"(She's has an) incredible skill set", Riley said of Coffey. “The most important thing was the rookies were happy.

The league will start its 21st season on May 13 with training camps opening on April 23.

As expected, Washington's record-setting senior point guard Kelsey Plum was drafted No. 1 overall Thursday afternoon in the WNBA draft.

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