March 8, 2022
Michigan State’s Nia Clouden to enter 2022 WNBA draft
'I am excited to announce that I will continue pursuing my dreams and am declaring my name in the 2022 WNBA draft'
After Michigan State lost in the Big Ten conference tournament quarterfinals to Ohio State, Nia Clouden kept the door open to returning to the Spartans.
“I haven’t made a final decision,” she said on March 4.
That door is now shut. Clouden issued a statement on her social media accounts that she is entering the 2022 WNBA Draft.
“Spartan nation: thank you for believing in me to wear this uniform and pushing me to my highest potential, trusting me and molding me into a leader,” she said in the post. “Your guidance will continue to elevate me for years to come.”
“With that being said, I am excited to announce that I will continue pursuing my dreams and am declaring my name in the 2022 WNBA draft.”
During her four years at Michigan State, Clouden averaged 16.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. She saved her best for last, putting up 20 ppg, 4.2 apg and 4.0 rpg in her senior year. This season, Clouden caught people’s attention when she put up 50 points against Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 20.
Because of the NCAA’s COVID-19 eligibility rules, Clouden could have returned for a fifth season with the Spartans. She enters the 2022 draft as one of the best available guards on the board.
Michigan State’s head coach Suzy Merchant wasn’t asked about the loss to Ohio State potentially being Clouden’s last game, but she tweeted a message today about the guard’s time in the program.
So much love and gratitude for this one… class, grit, loyal, toughness, and hard working. God has big plans ahead for you, @NiaClouden— Suzy Merchant (@SuzyMerchant) March 8, 2022
So proud of you! 💚🤍 https://t.co/E25yvTKp0K
Big Ten sees highest ratings for BTN in 2021-22 season
According to a press release from the conference, the Big Ten had its highest ratings ever this season on the Big Ten Network. The ratings went up 41% compared to the next highest mark set in 2019-20. The release continued to say that the average viewership for the Big Ten conference tournament was 120,000 viewers. The most single-game viewers for the network came during the conference tournament’s quarterfinals between Nebraska and Michigan.
More data from the release ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/g3UoTPpej0— James Kay (@James_M_Kay) March 8, 2022
The conference continued its ascension this season, with five of its teams landing in the Associated Press’ Top-25 rankings (Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Iowa and Ohio State). Nebraska also received four votes in the AP’s latest rankings. After a competitive Big Ten conference tournament, the talent within the conference is clear heading into the NCAA tournament.
“When you look at the top 5 teams and the seeding and the competitiveness of all the games that have gone on, I think it continues to validate just that we’re one of the best leagues in the country,” said Maryland’s head coach Brenda Frese after her team’s quarterfinals loss to Indiana. “I knew every game was going to be a battle. We’ve had our battles with Indiana. But I think it just speaks to the volume, speaks volumes to our league.”
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