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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kelly Faris likely to become UConn's 13th WNBA first-round pick

                                                                                                (Associated Press photo)
Kelly Faris is expected to be taken in the first round in Monday's WNBA draft

There is a sense of uncertainty right now in Kelly Faris' world.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the former UConn guard will become the 13th Husky to be taken in the first round in the WNBA draft since 2001. Where she ends up being taken, well that is still be determined.

“I don't know,” said Faris, who finished fifth all-time at UConn in steals and sixth in assists. “We will see what happens, it is one of those things that is kind of up in the air and you will have to wait and see.”

The pre-draft speculation has centered around Faris potentially landing somewhere between picks 6-9. Barring a major stunner, Brittney Griner of Baylor will go first to Phoenix with Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame the next two picks.

Washington has the No. 4 pick and the Mystics coach is Mike Thibault formerly of the Connecticut Sun who joked on Thursday’s conference call that Washington has the top pick in “the other draft.” The feeling is the Thibault will take a post player at No. 4 and with New York having the No. 5 pick, Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer said he’d like to take a post player as well.

Seattle, picking sixth, figures to be the earliest Faris could go. New York picks again at No. 7 and some mock drafts have slotted Faris to the Liberty with that selection. San Antonio and Indiana are other possible landing spots. Indiana would be intriguing since Faris grew up in nearby Plainfield, Ind. If Faris is still sitting there when the Connecticut Sun pick at No. 11 it will be an interesting dilemma for the Sun which would seem to be better served taking a post player since the Sun has a major void at forward with Asjha Jones sitting out the 2013 season.

The track record of UConn graduates certainly is a factor which could help Faris come draft day.
There have been 24 former UConn players drafted by WNBA teams since 1998 and the only one not to play in the league was current assistant coach Shea Ralph but that was a result of her surgically-repaired knees not allowing her to pursue a professional career than an indication of her status of a potential professional player.

“I think when you go to a program like this the expectations are high and people automatically think certain things about you, the caliber of player that you are and because of all the people that went before and they performed the way that they did and set a standard,” Faris said. “They have definitely paved the way for the rest of us.”

Here's a look at the UConn players taken in the WNBA draft.
1998 Rita Williams 2-13 Washington
1999 Kara Wolters 3-36 Houston
1999 Jen Rizzotti 4-48 Houston
2000 Paige Sauer 2-31 Los Angeles
2001 Svet Abrosimova 1-7 Minnesota
2001 Kelly Schumacher 1-14 Indiana
2001 Shea Ralph 3-40 Utah
2002 Sue Bird 1-1 Seattle
2002 Swin Cash 1-2 Detroit
2002 Asjha Jones 1-4 Washington
2002 Tamika Williams 1-6 Minnesota
2004 Diana Taurasi 1-1 Phoenix
2005 Jessica Moore 2-24 Charlotte
2005 Ashley Battle 2-25 Seattle
2006 Barbara Turner 1-11 Seattle
2006 Ann Strother 2-15 Houston
2006 Willnett Crockett 2-22 Los Angeles
2008 Ketia Swanier 1-12 Connecticut
2008 Charde Houston 3-30 Minnesota
2009 Renee Montgomery 1-4 Minnesota
2010 Tina Charles 1-1 Connecticut
2010 Kalana Greene 2-13 New York
2011 Maya Moore 1-1 Minnesota
2012 Tiffany Hayes 2-14 Atlanta
*-Former UConn stars Rebecca Lobo and Nykesha Sales were not drafted since they were allotted to the New York and Orlando franchises.


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