November 19, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Where would Azzi Fudd rank in the 2023 WNBA Draft?

And what's behind all the injuries we're seeing this season?

Today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball analyzes the highs and lows of the college season so far, from standout performances to a plethora of injuries.

Early in the episode, co-hosts Hunter Cruse and Em Adler break down top-25 matchups between Tennessee and Indiana and between Texas and UConn. In the latter matchup, an 83-76 UConn win, Huskies sophomore Azzi Fudd dazzled with 32 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter. Though Fudd isn’t eligible for the 2023 WNBA Draft, Hunter poses the hypothetical question of how high she would be picked if she were. Here’s some of Em’s response:

“This is a player who I think is the best off-ball player in the entire country right now. And I would not be shocked if, were this the men’s NBA and you could get drafted immediately after a year of college, I would not be shocked if she was the best off-ball player in the pro leagues within a couple years. … She’d probably go No. 2 in this class. It’s unbelievable what she can do.”

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The co-hosts also discuss recent injuries to stars including Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Baylor’s Aijha Blackwell, Tennessee’s Jordan Horston and Maryland’s Diamond Miller. Hunter asks what might be behind this rash of injuries, and Em attributes it partly to the usual ramp-up in physical activity at the start of a season. In addition, Em says, some players who transfer (such as Blackwell) might face additional challenges:

“Another issue [was] brought to our attention by Missy Heidrick, former player at Kansas State, announcer for the Big 12 Network, and also a lovely contributor at The Next … As she mentioned, there are differences in training programs from school to school. And what you have when you go from one school and you transfer to another one is you have people who are telling you to build up your body and train it in different ways. And these things have to be done gradually … Otherwise, you can see a lot of stress being placed on muscles in ways that they’re not used to being stressed.”

Finally, Hunter and Em reveal their Prospects of the Week — one of whom is in action in Sunday’s marquee South Carolina-Stanford showdown. But you’ll have to watch or listen to the podcast to find out who those prospects are.

To learn even more about the 2023 WNBA Draft, the NCAA season and so much else in the world of women’s basketball, don’t forget to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast!

Written by The Next

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