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April 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Live from Storm headquarters: The WNBA Draft

SeattleStorm.pngI’m not in the war room, but I’m in a board room close to it at the Storm headquarters and I’ll be making blog updates from the draft.
You’ve got a few minutes before the show gets started, so checkout this good read from ESPN on Australian teen phenom Liz Cambage. Author Mechelle Voepel spoke with Storm star Lauren Jackson about her fellow countrywoman following the same steps she did a decade ago.
Don’t forget to tune-in to the draft on ESPN at noon. The final two rounds will be on ESPNU and NBA-TV.
NEW PREZ?: Renee Brown, the WNBA’s Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations, is handling the draft today. A league spokesman has stuck to the notion that a replacement for Donna Orender will be named before the 15th season begins June 3.
#WINNING: So jealous of Minnesota and the Lynx’s ability to get exactly what they needed in selecting Maya Moore (Connecticut) with the No. 1 overall pick and Amber Harris (Xavier) at No. 4. With Lindsay Whalen running the point, this team should roll deep in the playoffs. Excuse me, make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
BIG APPLE: Washingtonian Courtney Vandersloot was selected No. 3 overall to Chicago, the highest for a player with local roots. The Sky could use it and Pokey Chatman, a former PG herself, will be a great coach for Vandersloot to learn from in continuing her career. Vandersloot was regarded as the best PG out of college since Storm All-Star Sue Bird, who plays for Chatman in Russia.
A STEAL: Guess word on Alex Montgomery wasn’t so quiet. New York nabbed the Georgia Tech star at No. 10, stunning the in-studio analysts and probably most prognosticators. I thought the Storm could get the Tacoma native, who’d fit in well with her rebounding and shooting. Yet, her defense was too tempting for first-year Liberty coach/GM John Whiesnant, who’ll bring his signature “white line” system to New York. This could be a trade, however.

ANOTHER GUARD: The Storm drafted Duke PG Jasmine Thomas. Here’s a link to our story posted on the web. (Apologies for any delay, the website comes before the blog).
BIG SELL: Normally you’d expect the big pitch from UConn coach Geno Auriemma. Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, who just won the NCAA championship, two-stepped into the role for F Danielle Adams, who remains undrafted midway in the second round. Adams, who dropped weight to become a post who can knock down the three-pointer, is looked at a player who’d have to transition from power forward to small forward. Unfortunately it wasn’t successful for players like Ashley Walker and Courtney Paris, which may have tainted Adams’ chances.
TREY BEIN: Vandersloot’s buddy Angie Bjorklund will be joining her in Chicago. The Tennessee star, a noted three-point specialist, was selected with the 17th overall pick (second round). Vandersloot has played with Bjorklund, a Spokane native, Indiana G Briann January and LA PG Kristi Toliver during summer open gym.
SCOOPED UP: Adams was selected with the 20th overall pick to San Antonio, so she won’t have that big of a trip from College Station.
GETTING BOARD: The Storm selected Arizona star Ify Ibekwe with the 24th pick in the second round. Ibekwe was regarded by ESPN analysts as a mini-Swin Cash. Ibekwe averaged 16.1 points and 9.9 boards in helping the Wildcats finish 21-12.
MS. SMITH TO SEATTLE?: Rumors are swirling and it could land on All-Star veteran Katie Smith playing for Seattle, according to a reliable source. Smith was cored by Washington, so it would have to be a trade in order for Agler to get her in a Storm jersey. That could be announced after the draft today or in the future. Seattle will also have to get creative with its salary cap. Smith, a three-time Olympian, may only have one season remaining in the tank, wanting to close it out with former coaches Agler and Nancy Darsch and teammates from Bird to Cash.
ANOTHER DUKIE: The Storm selected Duke C Krystal Thomas with the 36th overall and last pick of the draft. I’ll be back after interviews with trades and closing notes.
BEST DRESSED: Seriously? True, Moore and TAMU PG Sydney Colson rocked it in metallic and animal prints, respectively. But Cambage was the showstopper with her black, ostrich-feather accented dress by an Australian designer. She’s shown below by photographer Jennifer Pottheiser.



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