Pleased with posts, Lynx likely to add to perimeter
Minnesota Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio sounded extremely pleased after the WNBA draft lottery. Kind of like someone who just got B-I-N-G-O when the prize was a trip to Hawaii and not a thermos.
"It's huge; this is going to be a great draft for us to have two picks, especially No. 1," McConnell Serio said. "In recent years, there have been really good players to come into the league and 'special' players. I think there are a few in this draft who can be in that special category. We're looking forward to following this college season."
Along with beating the odds to get No. 1, the Lynx also have a pick at No. 7. Pretty much everybody who follows the WNBA knows what Minnesota wants: guards. One of the shooting variety and one of the point variety could be very helpful.
With Nicole Ohlde, Vanessa Hayden and Tamika Williams inside, things look good in the paint. Getting them the ball and replacing Katie Smith's points from the outside (she was traded to Detroit at the end of July) are Lynx priorities.
"We view our post game as really solid, so if you look at where we need help, it's the perimeter," McConnell Serio said. "It will be interesting and exciting to see which player looks best with our personnel as far as the No. 1 pick."
I'd guess most folks expect that LSU guard Seimone Augustus, the returning consensus national player of the year, or Rutgers' guard Cappie Pondexter will be the Lynx's first selection, barring injury issues. Augustus has a scoring capacity that's quite tantalizing, of course, and great size. Pondexter can play either guard position.
McConnell Serio said she doesn't think it's any secret right now that the top four college seniors are considered to be -- not necessarily in this order -- Augustus, Pondexter, Baylor's Sophia Young and Duke's Monique Currie. And beyond them, there should be several other strong players in the first round, such as Texas Tech's Erin Grant, DePaul's Khara Smith, Utah's Kim Smith, Michigan State's Liz Shimek, Notre Dame's Megan Duffy, UConn's Ann Strother and UCLA's Lisa Willis and Nikki Blue. Those are just names that come to mind now; certainly others will emerge through the course of this season.
The other lottery teams -- No. 2 Phoenix, No. 3 Charlotte, No. 4 San Antonio and No. 5 Washington -- all should be able to pick someone who can help right away.
As for the Lynx, there is also this question: Did getting the No. 1 pick alter Minnesota's strategy at all in terms of whom it will protect from the expansion draft?
"We have meetings about that; the list is due to the league Nov. 1 and we haven't finalized it yet," McConnell Serio said. "We'll have to talk about it to see if anything has changed. But I know our first four or five [protected] players won't change."
Of course, when you have the No. 1 pick, there are less scenarios to worry about. You get whomever you want most.
"We've talked about how maybe we're a player away -- very close to being the team that we need to be to be really successful," said McConnell Serio, whose Lynx were 14-20 this past season after making the playoffs the year before. "Is the player we get at No. 1 that player? To not just make the playoffs, but have a viable option of winning the championship? That's what we hope."Mechelle Voepel of The Kansas City Star is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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