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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More history for UConn's Big Three?

There is finally some suspense surrounding the UConn women's basketball team and it will play out on ESPN2 tomorrow night.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson will be taken with the first two picks in the WNBA Draft with Stewart going to Seattle and Jefferson to San Antonio. Then the fun starts as the rest of the first round festivities will be determined by what the Connecticut Sun do with picks No. 3 and 4.

If the Sun take Morgan Tuck with the third pick which seems like a realistic possibility, it would mark the first time that three players from the same program have gone with the top three picks in the draft.

I went through all the former NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, Major League Lacrosse, different versions of the pro women's soccer leagues as well as National Pro Fastpitch (softball) and found 12 previous occurrences where the top two picks came from the same school or junior hockey program. It should be noted that in 1997 there were two drafts and former USC stars Tina Thompson and Pam McGee were the top two picks but it was nearly 15 years since McGee graduated from USC so this does not fit the criteria of teammates going at the top of the draft.

Here's the list I came up with of players going No. 1 and 2.
2002 UConn:
1. Sue Bird, Seattle; 2. Swin Cash, Detroit
2012 Kentucky:
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans; 2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte
2000 Penn State:
1. Courtney Brown, DE Cleveland; 2. LaVar Arrington, LB Washington
1984 Nebraska: 1. Irving Fryar, WR New England; 2. Dean Steinkuhler, OT Houston
1967 Michigan State: 1. Bubba Smith, DT Baltimore; 2 Clint Jones, RB Minnesota
1969 Montreal Junior Canadiens:
1. Rejean Houle, RW Montreal; 2. Marc Tardif, LW Montreal
1963 St. Michael's Juveniles: 1. Garry Monahan, C Montreal; 2. Pete Mahovlich, LW Detroit
1975 JANUARY DRAFT South Carolina State:
1. Gene Richards, OF San Diego; 2. Willie Aikens, 1B California
1976 JANUARY-SECONDARY DRAFT USC: 1. Pete Redfern, P Minnesota; 2. Dennis Littlejohn, C San Francisco
2014 North Carolina: 1. Crystal Dunn, Washington; 2. Kealia Ohai, Houston
2015 Oklahoma:
1. Lauren Chamberlain, 1B USSSA Florida Pride; 2. Shelby Pendley, IF USSSA Florida Pride
2001 Princeton:
1. Ryan Mollett D Rochester; 2. Trevor Tierney G New Jersey

Here's the closest I could come to finding an instance where teammates went with the top three picks
2015 NWSL: UCLA's Sarah Killon, Abby Dahlkemper and Samantha Mewis were selected with picks No. 2, 3 and 4.
2011 MLS SuperDraft: Akron's Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen and Zarek Valentin were taken with picks No. 2, 3 and 4 in 2011 MLS SuperDraft
2010 NFL draft: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy and Trent Williams were taken 1st, 3rd and 4th,
2002 WNBA Draft: UConn's Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Asjha Jones went with picks No. 1, 2 and 4


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim -

WNBA salaries are terrible. Year round basketball takes its toll on the body.

Breanna Stewart has already started playing year round basketball.

2015 summer USA basketball.
2015-16 NCAA season.
2016 WNBA season.
2016 Olympics.
2016-17 overseas season.

I could envision Breanna Stewart being paid by an overseas team to skip the 2017 WNBA season. Rest from basketball contact. Strength train. Market her "brand" thru Nike or some other major company. Charity work.

Do you think Seattle has already considered that Breanna might be paid to skip a WNBA season in the future?

Do you think Seattle would select Stewart with the first draft pick and then trade her at the completion of the WNBA draft?

I am not speculating the following as trades. Just giving random scenarios as examples. Trade a transcendent player for multiple players who might not skip a WNBA season except for injury.

#1 Breanna to Connecticut.
Chiney, #3, #15 picks to Seattle.

#1 Breanna to Dallas.
Skylar, established player, 2 first round draft picks to Seattle.

Thanks for any thoughts you choose to share.

8:21 AM 

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