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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Looking at WNBA rosters

The WNBA season kicks off this afternoon and there are 27 players listed as rookies on the WNBA rosters.

The rookie class includes 20 players taken in this year's WNBA Draft. Eleven of the 12 first-round picks made the roster. No. 2 overall pick Alaina Coates, taken by Chicago, is still recovering from injury. Five players taken in the second round and four others going in round No. 3 made the cut which is a pretty impressive number considering that this was supposed to be a draft lacking in quality players. Two other former third-round picks made the cut (Stephanie Talbot, selected in 2014 by Phoenix and Temi Fagbenle, Minnesota's third-round selection).

The only undrafted player whose collegiate career ended this year is Sophie Brunner out of Arizona State. Phoenix's rookie class is an intriguing one since no first or second round pick are among the newcomers. Third-round pick Alexis Prince is joined by Talbot, Yvonne Turner (who was in training camp with Chicago in 2014) and Emma Cannon, who is six years removed from the end of her collegiate playing days. Dallas also has five rookies on its roster as first-round selections Evelyn Akhator, Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis, second rounder Breanna Lewis and third-round pick Saniya Chong out of UConn.

Here are some notes from the rosters
Chicago has 14 players on its roster as cuts will need to be made when Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot report after wrapping up their overseas obligations

San Antonio is at 13 players for the same reason as Kayla McBride is still overseas

Minnesota has 11 players which is a result of the contracts required for the star-studded roster

UConn leads all colleges with 14 alums on opening day rosters followed by Duke, Maryland and Rutgers with eight each. The 14 players is one shy of the record set by UConn a season ago. Tennessee also had 14 of its former players on WNBA rosters in 2008.

The most players from one college on a WNBA team this season is 3. New York (Tina Charles, Bria Hartley and Kiah Stokes) and Seattle (Sue Bird, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart) feature three UConn grads. Six of the eight Maryland alums play for Connecticut (Brionna Jones, Lynetta Kizer and Alyssa Thomas) and Washington (Tianna Hawkins, Kristi Toliver and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

Indiana, Los Angeles and Washington are the only teams with no UConn players. This is the first time in Mike Thibault's 15 seasons as a WNBA coach that he doesn't have a UConn product on his roster.

Shayla Cooper of the Chicago Sky is the only player to make a roster who was taken by a different team in the 2017 WNBA Draft as she was selected 13th overall by Connecticut

Makayla Epps of the Chicago Sky, taken 33rd overall, has the distinction of being the last of the 2017 draft picks to make the cut. Chong (picked 26th), Prince (No. 29) and Lanay Montgomery (No. 30) are the other third rounder to make rosters.


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