Hopkins' Nia Coffey is 5th Overall Pick in the WNBA Draft

It's not every year that you have two first-round picks and two high first-round picks.

The Sky came away with Alaina Coates at the No. 2 pick. She played in 132 games, making 130 starts.

The previous high for a SC selection in the WNBA draft had been ninth, which is where Shaunzinski Gortman was taken in 2002, Jocelyn Penn in 2003, and Tiffany Mitchell last season. While I think Gray, Davis and Akhator will need some time to develop, they all have the natural abilities and instinct that are hard to teach. Its most successful link to the league is actually head coach Dawn Staley, who was a six-time All-Star and named one of the league's top 15 players of all-time. Here are five things that stood out from Thursday's draft.

Plum joins a Stars team that ranked among the league's worst offensively last season. Did they get that?

Coffey's name is littered throughout Northwestern record books. The UConn Huskies rolled through the regular season as they extended their win streak to an incredible 111 games, Washington's Kelsey Plum broke the women's NCAA all-time scoring record, and Mississippi State's improbable championship game appearance was unbelievable. UConn's Jefferson and Notre Dame's McBride are both former first-round choices by the Stars.

She averaged 20 points and 10.4 rebounds this season, her fourth consecutive as a member of the All-Big Ten first team.

Washington's Kelsey Plum was taken No. 1 by the San Antonio Stars. That's asking a lot, to put it mildly. She is seventh in school history with 229 career steals and has matched Devereaux Peters for 21st place on the Irish career scoring chart with 1,313 career points.

In the days leading up to the WNBA draft, speculation mounted that there was a chance the Stars might draft Plum and trade her. The Dallas Wings have three first-round picks. She was the number one pick back in 1999 after playing playing as a Lady Volunteer under the legendary coach Pat Summit.

She missed the entire NCAA tournament that SC won - not even getting to travel with the team to any games, an absence that drew a lot of questions - because she needed surgery on her ankle.

Only South Carolina's Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis made a decision to forego their final year of eligibility. The Sparks won the WNBA championship in 2016. Gray was in NY for the draft, joined by her brother Marlo East, sister Ashley and her parents. As they embark on the next chapter of their careers and teammates become opponents, at least in the case of Coates, it's clear this trio is far from being done as pioneers of the game. And a SC teammate will join Gray, with Dallas taking Davis 10th. I knew that it was something I wanted to do but it wasn't something that I watched like that. "It's a great opportunity".

Wiese follows former Beavers guard Jamie Weisner and center Ruth Hamblin, who were selected in last year's WNBA draft. "I'm on cloud nine right now", said Walker-Kimbrough, "All the support from Maryland means the world to me". "I couldn't be happier for them".

-With the addition Maryland's Brionna Jones, the Connecticut Sun will now have three talented young post players (the other two being Jonquel Jones and Chiney Ogwumike). "They're always an extension of our family". Michigan State guard Tori Jankoska, however, was a surprise as the No. 9 selection to Chicago.

Alexis Jones of Baylor closed out the first round, heading to Minnesota.

"I don't want to rush it", she said. "I know I'm probably going to get beat up as a rookie, but I'm looking forward to it".

For the Huskies guard, it's a dream come true.

Notre Dame point guard Lindsay Allen was selected in the second round by the New York Liberty with the 14th overall pick. Washington's Chantel Osahor, Stanford's Erica McCall and Arizona State's Sophie Brunner are also expected to be picked during the draft's three rounds. It will be held at the Samsung event space in Manhattans Meatpacking District. It's described as a "technology playground and cultural destination".

The WNBA held the draft at the Samsung event space in Manhattan, a deep contrast to the Mohegan Sun Casino in CT where the draft has been held for the past couple of years.

Did it work? There were some neat visuals because of the set-up of the structure.


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