December 31, 2022
Locked on Women’s Basketball: 2023 WNBA Draft updated big board, Celeste Taylor and more
Which players have risen the most on our hosts' draft boards, and what should you make of recent standout performances?
Another episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball means another big board for the 2023 WNBA Draft! Co-hosts Hunter Cruse and Joshua Welch discuss which players have moved up and down on their latest draft boards.
Joshua shares an update on two Tennessee prospects, guard Jordan Horston and forward Rickea Jackson:
“I have Jordan Horston as a lottery pick now. I already thought that the defensive and rebounding game was there. The main thing we talked about last time when we went on our draft boards was just wanting to see Horston finish more, and she’s absolutely doing that. …
“We could potentially have two Tennessee players get picked on the lottery. I don’t have that yet. I moved Rickea a little back because she’s just not getting the playing time that I want to be able to showcase other things. I know she can score; I know she can rebound. But I do have questions on her limiting her turnovers and then also on the defensive side.”
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Hunter and Joshua also look at recent games around the country and how more draft prospects have performed, including Duke’s Celeste Taylor with 23 points and eight rebounds in a win over N.C. State and Michigan’s Leigha Brown and Maddie Nolan combining for 36 points in a win over Nebraska. Here’s Hunter’s take on Taylor’s professional potential:
“She’s 5’11 [and] has the highest steal rate among prospects this season. She also has a 2%-plus block rate, which that just kind of shows how her instincts are super good, being able to make plays at the rim, ground coverage ability, defending on on the perimeter then kind of translating that to the rim. And I think what makes her a first-round pick for me — I have her at No. 11 right now — is the upside that her game could become on defense.
“So a comparison you can kind of make is [former Syracuse and current Los Angeles Sparks guard] Brittney Sykes. … She has a couple of inches on Brittney Sykes. Brittney Sykes isn’t the best shooter, either, probably a little bit better passer, but the archetype of being a defense-first guard with lackluster shooting ability is similar to [where] Celeste Taylor’s at.”
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