Las Vegas wins WNBA Draft Lottery, will select first

It is only fitting that in the first season of a Las Vegas team in the WNBA that said Las Vegas team won their inaugural Draft Lottery.

 

 

 

The odds were in Vegas’ and head coach Bill Laimbeer’s favor – and for the second consecutive season, the artists formerly known as the San Antonio Stars will select with the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft. They, of course, selected Kelsey Plum with the first overall pick out of Washington last season after she set records in the collegiate ranks.

I think having the first pick just adds to the excitement here in town. We have to grow a fanbase and this goes a long way.

–Bill Laimbeer

Michael Smith also asked Laimbeer about A’ja Wilson, who many have tabbed as the likely first overall pick in next year’s Draft.

In our league, she’s probably going to be a forward, not a center. There are some really big players in our league, but she’s very talented. And — just an exciting player to watch.

 

 

In spite of a litany of confidence coming from the Hoosier State, the Indiana Fever will select with the second overall pick. The Fever did not select in last season’s Draft until the second round when they picked Erica McCall out of Stanford, but notably chose Tiffany Mitchell ninth overall out of South Carolina in the 2016 Draft.

 

 

Obviously, we’re attracted to the size, speed, athleticism. But, during this time, you want to get to know the character of the person. You want someone that can take care of the locker room, someone that’s self-motivated, work ethic, coachable, and even extend some leadership qualities.

 

–Pokey Chatman, Fever head coach

 

The Chicago Sky, who will be playing in their first season at the new Wintrust Arena in the Windy City’s South Loop near McCormick Place, were awarded picks three and four. They chose Alaina Coates out of South Carolina with last year’s second overall selection.

The announcement was made 40 minutes into the 6:00 p.m. airing of SportsCenter on Nov. 13. The lottery itself took place in Secaucus, New Jersey. According to some, the W missed the mark on this one, particularly with a huge college basketball game ESPN was airing between two of the top teams in the country–defending national champions South Carolina Gamecocks and Maryland Terrapins.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: AP/Gail Burton

As for that projected top overall pick, Wilson, she and her defending national champion Gamecocks claimed a 94-86 victory over Maryland at the Xfinity Center. Among those that were in attendance for the game – Fever head coach Chatman.

Wilson tallied 32 points along with 12 rebounds and went 10-for-19 from the field. A grand total of 85 of the Gamecocks’ 94 points came from their starting five. Tyasha Harris scored 20, Lindsey Spann added 15, and Alexis Jennings contributed a double-double 12 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

For Maryland, they were led by a 31-point, 10-rebound outing courtesy of Kaila Charles. Blair Watson also added 14 points of her own.

South Carolina had built up as much of a 26-point advantage before a furious Terps rally closed the gap to within three with the score being 87-84. The Gamecocks finished the contest with an 8-2 edge in terms of stealing the basketball. South Carolina also outdid Maryland 16-9 in the points off turnovers category.

Next up for the Gamecocks is a date with upstate Palmetto State rival Clemson on Thursday on the road. As for the Terps, they will remain in College Park on Thursday as they await Niagara.

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