March 25, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Stephanie Soares’ lottery buzz, Laeticia Amihere’s versatility and more

Will Soares soar into the lottery this spring?

The latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball continues our series of scouting reports on the top 2023 WNBA Draft prospects! In today’s episode, host Hunter Cruse is joined by special guest Lincoln (dovienya_ on Twitter) to discuss Iowa State’s Stephanie Soares, South Carolina’s Laeticia Amihere, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and French big Maïa Hirsch.

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Soares is a 6’6 senior forward/center in her first season at Iowa State after starting her career at the NAIA level at The Master’s University. Before tearing her ACL in January, Soares was averaging 14.4 points on 54.4% shooting from the field, 9.9 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.4 assists in 22.6 minutes per game. Here is Lincoln discussing what intrigues him most about Soares at the professional level:

“She showed some really interesting flashes of interior passing, both at Iowa State, playing for Brazil and playing at The Masters University … But [those] flashes of interior passing that you don’t see terribly often from big prospects are the things that interest me and [make me] think that there might be something more to unlock within her game. And obviously, it’s the shooting and the size that are the things that pull people in. But I think that interior passing is the thing that’s caught my eye the most in terms of what could make her a real WNBA player.”

Amihere is a 6’4 senior forward for South Carolina who has represented Canada at the 2022 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This season, she is averaging 7.3 points on 49.1% shooting from the field, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks in just 16.3 minutes per game for a loaded Gamecocks team. But what doesn’t fully show up in those stats is how good she is defensively, as Lincoln explains:

“The pitch for [drafting] Laeticia Amihere is pretty simple. She’s 6’4 with a 6’11 wingspan, and she moves like a guard and is one of the most impactful college defenders I’ve seen in my life. … The upside is all coming from the offense. So if she can develop that at all, then she’s very clearly a WNBA player, because her defense is the thing that will get her to the dance and hopefully be the thing that gets her on the court …

“She can legitimately guard one through five, which is not something you can really say of many players; her foot speed is absolutely ridiculous for somebody at her size; and she’s big enough and strong enough to bang down low. And that is just something that you don’t see very often from any player.”

Make sure to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the 2023 WNBA Draft, WNBA trades and free agency, women’s college basketball and much more!

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