Dream makes Rhyne Howard first overall pick

the Atlanta Dream made Rhyne Howard of Kentucky the first overall pick in 2022 WNBA Monday night draft. Howard and Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith has been running mock drafts all season.

The Dream acquired the pick in an exchange with the Washington Mystics last Wednesday. The Mystics, who were given the No. 3 pick and the No. 14 pick as part of the deal, won the toss in December even though the Indiana fever held the best rating at 44%. Fever has four picks in the first round.

The draft came eight days after South Carolina won their second national championship in program history at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Held at Spring Studios in the Tribeca section of New York, this is the first in-person draft since 2019.

A total of 108 college players gave up the rest of their NCAA eligibility to enter the draft, but only 36 players are drafted each year. Roster spots are rare in the WNBA with only a maximum of 12 allowed per team, but many are reduced to the minimum of 11 due to the salary cap. Those who were drafted outside of the first round are far from making the rosters for 2022.

The players will report for training camps which begin on April 17. The 26th season kicks off on Friday, May 6, with a longer schedule of 36 games for each team, with the finals ending ahead of the FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup 2022 scheduled for September. The WNBA released more details on his TV program last week which includes games on ABC, CBS and Prime.

Kentucky's Rhyne Howard carries the trophy after Kentucky defeated South Carolina in the NCAA Southeastern Conference Women's College Basketball Tournament Championship Game Sunday, March 6, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey )

Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard carries the trophy after Kentucky defeated South Carolina in the NCAA Southeastern Conference Women’s College Basketball Tournament Championship Game Sunday, March 6, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

2022 WNBA Draft Order

First round

1. Atlanta Dream (from Washington) – Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Howard, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 20.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the Wildcats this season. Kentucky shocked eventual champion South Carolina in the SEC Tournament Championship Game, but took an early exit from the NCAA Tournament. For four years at Kentucky, Howard was 44 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from 3-point range. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native is a two-time SEC Player of the Year selection and only the ninth player to be a three-time Associated Press All-America First-Team pick.

2. Indiana FeverNaLyssa Smith, Baylor

Smith, a 6-foot-4 forward, averaged 22.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for the Bears in 2021-22. She shot 55% from the field. Under the guidance of Baylor freshman head coach Nicki Collen, formerly of the Atlanta Dream, Smith has extended his shot beyond the arc. The Texas native won the Wade Trophy as the nation’s top player last season and added a second Katrina McClain award this year as Division I’s top power forward. Smith earned the second-largest share of wins (12.8) behind Naismith of South Carolina winner Aliyah Boston. .

3. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta) — Shakira meets in Austin, Ole Miss

Austin, a 6-foot-5 center, averaged 15.2 points, nine rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in his second season with Ole Miss. The Fredericksburg, Va. native was an ACC player with Maryland and traded to Ole mIss prior to the 2020-21 season. The program went 7-23 before his arrival and 23-7 this year to return to the tournament for the first time since 2007.

4. Indiana Fever (from Los Angeles)—Emily Engstler, Louisville

Engstler is a tenacious defenseman who has done a bit of everything for the Cardinals and kept them in their Final Four game against South Carolina. The 6-foot-1 winger averaged 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks as a senior following his transfer from Syracuse. The Queens native was a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and is an All-ACC First Team and All-Defensive Team selection. She earned co-sixth player of the year honors while with Syracuse as a junior.

5. Liberty of New York — Nyara Sabally, Oregon

Sabally, a 6-foot-5 center/forward, averaged 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, both leading the Oregon team. She is the younger sister of Satou Sabally, the Dallas Wings’ second overall pick in 2020, and plays internationally for her home country of Germany. Sabally has missed a lot of time due to knee injuries but has a huge advantage and has long been seen as potentially more talented than her older sister.

6. Indiana Fever (from Dallas) – Lexie Hull, Stanford

Hull is a surprise pick at No. 6 for Indiana after a major NCAA tournament. She entered the Final Four as the tournament’s leading scorer thanks in large part to the 36-point outburst in the second round against Kansas. Hull were 14 of 21 (66.7%) and 6 of 11 (54.5%) within 3 point range. He scored career highs in points, field goals, 3-point attempts and steals. Hull has a high basketball IQ and finished his college career with the best 3-point shot in any of his four years.

7. Dallas Wings (from Chicago) — Veronica Burton, North West

Burton is one of only two to have been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year three times, joining current Atlanta Dream head coach Tanisha Wright (Penn State). The 5-9 point guard averages 17.8 PPG and 6.4 APG. Burton’s late grandfather, Ron Burton, was the NFL New England Patriots’ first-ever draft pick.

8. Los Vegas Aces (from Phoenix) – Mya Hollingshed, Colorado

Hollingshed, a 6-3 forward, brings good size to the Aces. She averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in her final season at Colorado and also led the team in 3-point shooting (39 .6%). A fifth-year senior, Hollingshed was also selected to the All-Pac-12 first team last season.

9. Los Angeles Sparks (from Seattle) — Rae Burrell, Tennessee

Burrell, a 6-1 guard/forward, averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 22 games after missing time early in the season with a leg injury. As a junior, she averaged 17 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.8 APG and shot 45.8% from the field, including 40.2% from 3-pointers. She was named to Wichita’s All-Tournament Team.

10. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota) – Queen Egbo, Baylor

Egbo, a 6-3 center, averaged 11 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 23.4 minutes per game for Baylor. She is a second-team All-Big 12 selection last year and a former sixth conference player of the year. Egbo was not expected to make the first round, but has the advantage of having played for a former WNBA head coach in Nicki Collen for one season before heading to the WNBA.

11. Las Vegas Ace Kierstan Bell, FGCU

Bell averaged 23.5 points per game, ranking fourth in Division I, with 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.9 blocks per game, a combination that hadn’t been accomplished by any player since 2009-10, according to Her Hoop Stats. His usage rate (38%) is the highest of all players and it ranks in the top 10 for efficiency as the mid-major club’s go-to scorer who made a splash as the tournament’s No.12 seed.

12. Connecticut Sun — Nia Clouden, State of Michigan

Clouden loaded into the best gamer chatlosing 50 points, a single-game program record, on Florida’s Gulf Coast in December. The 5-8 guard has led the Spartans in scoring for the past three years, averaging 20 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.2 APG and shooting 42.7%. A native of Baltimore, Clouden started in the first game of his freshman season and was twice selected to the All-Big Ten first team.

Second turn

13. Las Vegas Aces (from Indiana) – Khayla Pointer, LSU

14. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta) – Christyn Williams, UConn

15. Atlanta Dream (from Los Angeles) – Naz Hillmon, Michigan

16. Los Angeles Sparks (from Washington) – Kianna Smith, Louisville

17. Seattle Storm (from New York) – Elissa Cunane, NC State

18. New York Liberty (from Seattle via Dallas) — Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech

19. Los Angeles Sparks (from Chicago) — Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn

20. Indiana Fever (from Phoenix) – Destanni Henderson, South Carolina

21. Seattle Storm — Evina Westbrook, UConn

22. Minnesota Lynx – Kayla Jones, NC State

23. Las Vegas Ace — Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech

24. Connecticut Sun — Jordan Lewis, Baylor

Third round

25. Indiana Fever – Ameshya Williams-Holiday, Jackson State

26. Phoenix Mercury (from Atlanta) — Maya Dodson, Notre Dame

27. Los Angeles Sparks—Amy Atwell, Hawaii

28. Minnesota Lynx (from Washington) – Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota

29. New York Liberty – Sika Koné, Mali

30. Dallas Wings—Jasmine Dickey, Delaware

31. Dallas Wings (from Chicago) – Jazz Bond, North Florida

32. Phoenix Mercury—Macee Williams, IUPUI

33. Seattle Storm — Jade Melbourne, Australia

34. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota) – Ali Patberg, Indiana

35. Las Vegas Ace — Faustine Aifuwa, LSU

36. Connecticut Sun—Kiara Smith, Florida

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