January 14, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Stephanie Soares sidelined, Cameron Brink’s block party and more

How many centers could be picked in the 2023 WNBA Draft?

The latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball features co-hosts Hunter Cruse and Joshua Welch discussing the latest happenings in women’s college basketball and the WNBA and their implications for the WNBA Draft. There is also some draft prospect trivia, for which you may want to watch this episode on YouTube to be able to see some of the clues.

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Here’s Joshua talking about Iowa State senior center Stephanie Soares, who tore her ACL on Jan. 8 but had generated some WNBA Draft buzz before that as a transfer from The Master’s University:

“I think she would have been a sneaky good pickup in the second round by a [WNBA] team if she had stayed healthy this season since this is her first season being in [NCAA] Division I play. She really impressed me. … She really grew on me as the season progressed, so she was definitely someone that may have ended up even ahead of [Virginia Tech center Elizabeth] Kitley or something as my third-best center in the draft, potentially, by the end of the season. So it really stinks. And also for Iowa State, it was really opening up their game; unlike last season, they had a frontcourt game. And now it’s going to be going back to jump shot city.”

Joshua also shares his thoughts on the draft prospects for Stanford junior center Cameron Brink, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks and two assists in under 27 minutes on Friday at UCLA.

“How she took over the game in the fourth quarter, I’ve seen very few performances like that, playing against such a high-caliber team and just being able to dominate like that. But yeah, there’s nothing else that she needs to prove. I understand she’s had issues with foul trouble that’s kept her out as many minutes as she had [wanted] to play. But that’s something that can be worked on over time. …

“I just don’t see how much more she could grow doing another season in college. And I think it would be great for this draft [if she turned professional after this season]. It potentially makes four centers getting drafted in the first round. Center is a position of need this season as well for multiple teams, for both starting and teams that need depth. … It [would] just bolster up this draft class even more, and it’d be a lot of fun.”

Make sure to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the 2023 WNBA Draft, WNBA free agency, women’s college basketball and much more! And click here to read The Next‘s team-by-team WNBA free agency previews.

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

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