January 20, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: How do amateur scouts evaluate the WNBA Draft?

Film matters, from throughout a prospect's college career

In the latest episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, Hunter Cruse, Em Adler and Lincoln Shafer share an inside look at how they prepare for the WNBA Draft. How do they watch film? What do they look for in prospects? What skills do they value most?

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Hunter explains how he uses film from various stages of a player’s career:

“With film watching, you can’t really focus on just a senior year sample. I think that’s something a lot of people get caught up in is where they focus on just the draft year, where it’s really important to look at the freshman to sophomore … [to] junior and senior year sample. With the WNBA side, it’s so much different than scouting for the NBA because … there’s just a larger sample size [from college] in general for you to just feel stronger about your evaluation.”

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Lincoln talks about some things he looks for when watching WNBA Draft prospects:

“Something that I value is a skill set that doesn’t quite match size or position. Like, is there a big who is an especially fluid passer who can make plays that are uncommon for their position? Is there a 5’6 guard who’s an extraordinary rim protector? Shout out to [Baylor’s] Sarah Andrews, who’s maybe the best rim protector under 5’7 in college basketball right now. …

“Another thing for me is I’m looking at movement skills, fluidity, explosiveness. If you watch [former Colorado State guard] Becky Hammon, she doesn’t move like a typical mid-major point guard. She’s more athletic, more fluid. And she sees the floor incredibly well, which is very obvious from the first time watching her. And the same thing with players like [former Tennessee forward] Tamika Catchings. They move and interact with the game around them in a way that is unique.”

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