2020 WNBA draft: 10 players to watch for beyond Sabrina Ionescu

Yahoo Sports

We all know about Oregon sensation Sabrina Ionescu. The all-but-assured No. 1 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft stands alone in the NCAA record books and could have been the top pick last season if she chose to leave early.

While Ionescu is the biggest star, she’s far from the only one to know in the 2020 WNBA draft that will be held virtually on April 17 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here’s a look at 10 players to know in the draft.

10 WNBA draft names to watch (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
10 WNBA draft names to watch (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Ruthy Hebard — Oregon

2019-20 Season stats: 17.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 1.5 APG

Ionescu was Oregon’s superstar, but she didn’t become the triple-double queen without key support.

Hebard completed arguably the best pick-and-roll duo in the game that Ionescu broke down in detail with game tape for the Los Angeles Times.

The 6-foot-4 power forward leaves Oregon as the No. 2 scorer in program history behind Ionescu and shot 68.5 percent (second in the NCAA) in the regular season. Her points and rebounds per game are team highs.

Satou Sabally — Oregon

Season stats: 16.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.0 APG

Oregon forward Satou Sabally (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Oregon forward Satou Sabally (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Sabally, who declared for the WNBA draft as a junior, is the third part of the Ducks trio. She diversified her game and is versatile on offense, hitting 177 3-pointers in her three-year career. The German national team’s 6-foot-4 small forward scored 25 points against Team USA in the Oregon exhibition.

Sabally said she was declaring in part due to money and taking care of her family. Her younger sister plays for Oregon.

Lauren Cox — Baylor

Season stats: 12.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 2.55 BPG

Baylor forward Lauren Cox (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Baylor forward Lauren Cox (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It can be easy to forget that Baylor is the reigning national champion and the Bears did it without star 6-foot-4 power forward Lauren Cox due to a late-game knee injury. The senior and Dallas native returned to start the 2019-20 season, but suffered a stress reaction in her right foot in November and missed seven weeks.

The Bears fared fine without her, losing their only game of the season to South Carolina at Paradise Jam until the regular season finale upset. But she was their leader and focal point. She’s a multi-time winner of the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award and made the 2019 NCAA Final Four all-tournament team.

Tyasha Harris — South Carolina

Season stats: 12.1 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 5.7 APG

South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

The No. 1-ranked Gamecocks relied on a balanced scoring attack between two seniors and three freshmen starters. Harris, a 5-foot-10 point guard, is the first in program history with 700 or more career assists and led the team to two SEC regular season titles, three SEC tournament titles and the 2017 national championship.

She was a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year award, the WBCA Wade Trophy and the Nancy Lieberman Award for nation’s best point guard.

Chennedy Carter — Texas A&M

Season stats: 21.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.5 APG

Texas A&M guard Chennedy Carter (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Texas A&M guard Chennedy Carter (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Carter was the consensus freshman of the year in 2018 and will forgo her final year of eligibility. The 5-foot-7 junior shooting guard was the fifth leading scorer in the nation and second in the NCAA tournament pool. Her 1,983 career points are second in program history, six behind first place, and she holds records for most games with at least 20 points (62) and at least 30 points (12).

Carter started her season by setting the collegiate scoring record against Team USA with 34 points in the November exhibition. In last season’s NCAA tournament, a perturbed Muffet McGraw said Carter was “absolutely unguardable” for her Notre Dame squad. “We just gotta hope she misses.”

Crystal Dangerfield — UConn

Season stats: 14.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.1 APG

South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris and Connecticut guard Crystal Dangerfield are expected to go in the first two rounds of the 2020 WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris and Connecticut guard Crystal Dangerfield are expected to go in the first two rounds of the 2020 WNBA draft. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Dangerfield, a 5-foot-5 senior point guard, wasn’t the team’s highest scorer or best rebounder. But she was the vocal leader and the key contributor in UConn’s biggest games, losses against Oregon, South Carolina and Baylor.

Dangerfield took over those games and provided the senior leadership a young squad needed. She scored a season-high 25 against the Gamecocks and 19 against the Ducks, making 4 of 6 3-pointers as the only double-digit Husky in that game. She’s a 41.6 percent shooter from deep.

Mikayla Pivec — Oregon State

Season stats: 14.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 4.5 APG

Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona Friday Jan. 10, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona Friday Jan. 10, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Pivec is in the Beavers’ top-10 for career points, rebounds and assists and became the program’s all-time rebound leader (1,033) in the Pac-12 quarterfinal against Stanford. The 5-foot-10 shooting guard was second in the conference in rebounds and fifth in shooting percentage (50.3).

Pivec’s defense earned her a finalist nod for the Naismith DPOY. The Beavers held opponents to an average 35.3 percent from the floor and an 11th-best 0.85 points per scoring attempt.

Megan Walker — UConn

Season stats: 19.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.9 APG

Connecticut's Megan Walker (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Connecticut's Megan Walker (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Walker was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior and led UConn in scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-1 small forward shot 47.7 percent from the floor, including an improved 45.1 percent (78 of 173) from beyond the arc.

The former No. 1 recruit out of high school had a tough start off the bench as a freshman and is declaring early.

Bella Alarie — Princeton

Season stats: 17.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.4 BPG

Princeton Tigers forward Bella Alarie (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Princeton Tigers forward Bella Alarie (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alarie is going high on many mock drafts and her Tigers finished the year ranked No. 22, though unfortunately we weren’t able to see what the senior small forward could do on the big stage.

The 6-foot-4 forward became the second Ivy League player to win two WBCA Coaches’ All-America honors. The captain ranks first in program history in points (1,703), blocks (249) and double-doubles (40). She’s top-10 in nearly every category. Princeton finished at 26-1 and had the nation’s second-longest win streak at 22 behind South Carolina.

Beatrice Mompremier — University of Miami

Season stats (17 games): 16.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.7 BPG

Miami forward Beatrice Mompremier (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Miami forward Beatrice Mompremier (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Mompremier was named to All-America teams and was a finalist for the 2020 Lisa Leslie Award, which ultimately went to freshman sensation Aliyah Boston of South Carolina. Mompremier became the 13th active Division I player to eclipse 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds despite missing time early in the season due to a foot injury.

The 6-foot-4 senior power forward transferred from Baylor after two seasons.

More names to watch: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (PF, South Carolina), Te’a Cooper (PG, Baylor), Kiah Gillespie (PF, Florida State), Kathleen Doyle (PG, Iowa), Haley Gorecki (SG, Duke).


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