March 11, 2022 

How Teaira McCowan fills a gap for the Wings

Is McCowan the missing piece to take Dallas to the next level?

When head coach Vickie Johnson addressed the media during the introductory press conference Wednesday, she called the acquisition of 6’7″ center Teaira McCowan from the Indiana Fever a blessing as they continue to build the foundation the team started last season.

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“We saw some cracks in the hole of our foundation and I think Teaira is one of the players that can fill that crack. We wanted to make sure that we get someone that fits into our system, our family, because we’re building a family, a sisterhood and its more than just basketball,” Johnson said.

The Wings received the seventh overall selection in the 2022 WNBA Draft and the Chicago Sky’s first-round selection in the 2023 WNBA Draft, previously acquired by Indiana. In return, Dallas sent Indiana their two first-round selections, No. 4 and No. 6, in the 2022 WNBA Draft and their first-round selection in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

Photo Credit: Dallas Wings Twitter Account.

Dallas has been in rebuild mode since 2018. President and CEO Greg Bibb said the long-term strategy during the rebuild has been to aggregate draft picks and draft as many high-talent and high-quality players to put together a young talented roster and let them grow together. He said this season will be about continuity.

“Teaira is one of the most dominant young post players in the WNBA. She has been annually amongst the league leaders in rebounding, double-doubles, blocks and defensive ratings,” Bibb said. “In my opinion, the opinion of our coaching staff and others, she is the ideal fit for what our young, talented and promising roster needs to continue to take the steps forward to ultimately being a WNBA championship caliber team.”

During her first three seasons with Indiana McCowan averaged 10.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Last season she posted career highs averaging 11.3 points and 9.6 points per game. The 2019 first-round draft pick said she prides herself on defense. As a Dallas Wing she believes she will get back to those defensive roots and be back in her element. The Texas native is currently playing overseas for OGM Ormanspor in Turkey, where she is averaging 20.4 points and 13.8 rebounds in the KBSL.

“When I get down there the coaches are going to have a game plan that is ready for me to go to. I’m pretty sure they know my strengths and weaknesses, so I’m pretty sure they’re [going to be] on me,” McGowan said. I have to get on that and make sure that I’m dominant on both ends and I’ll just be even more hard to guard with the things that we’re going to work on in the upcoming season.”

The organization is excited to have acquired the 25-year-old center. All-star guard Arike Ogunbowale kicked things off in the introductory press conference expressing her excitement to have her as a teammate.

“We’re super super, super excited to have you in Dallas. When we found this out, we all were texting each other like this is definitely something that we needed,” Ogunbowale said. “I definitely wanted this and I can see us doing great things here and the rest of the team so we’re super super super excited to have you; can’t wait for you to get from Turkey to the states.”

Dallas went through many changes last season by bringing in a new coach, adding players and changing the style of play. With all of the changes they were able to make the playoffs losing in the first round to the eventual champions, the Chicago Sky. Bibb said it was a good first step for the team and that McCowan is going to accelerate the progress they have already made. He said he has been following McCowan a long time and is someone that he has had high regard for for a number of years. She was at the top of the team’s draft board in 2019.

“To go back and kind of come full circle and get that other player who was at the top of our draft list to put with Arike, I don’t know if I could have imagined it would work so well,” Bibb said.

The Dallas Wings begin their season May 7 against the Atlanta Dream.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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