Thursday, April 8, 2010
Mokango's moment in the sun.
The 2010 WNBA Draft is in the history books, and the newest prospective members of the Dream have been chosen. Let's introduce them.
First Round, 9th Pick: Chanel Mokango, Mississippi State.
“Chanel had a terrific year and her upside is just out of sight,” said Dream General Manager and Head Coach Marynell Meadors. “She has only been playing basketball since she was 15. She is a shot blocker, a terrific defender and she runs the floor extremely well. She’s just going to continue to get better.”
Mokango, a native of Kinshasa, Congo, played two years for Mississippi State after beginning her collegiate career at Southeastern Illinois College. As a senior, Mokango led the Lady Bulldogs to a 21-13 record and the program’s first Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA tournament. She averaged 10.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the 2009-10 season. The two-time Southeastern Conference All-Defensive Team selection also set the Mississippi State record with 180 career blocked shots.
Only playing basketball since she was 15? Maybe Meadors thinks she's getting another Sancho Lyttle, who is also a play who picked up basketball later in life than most girls. Makongo scored a pitiful 84th on the Senior Prospects Metric - as a junior, she only had 190 rebounds and the SPM wasn't happy with her rebounding as a 6'5" forward. But as a senior, she picked up an extra thirty rebounds. She is an incredible shot blocker. She blocked 2.5 shots per game in her senior season...and 2.9 in her junior year. She finished 88th among all players from BCS teams in boxscore values.
It's going to be interesting to see if Chanel Mokango develops the way that Marynell Meadors thinks she will. It will certainly be interesting to watch her blossom, and hopefully she won't fade from the challenge of the WNBA.
Second round, 21st pick: Brigitte Ardossi, Georgia Tech.
The Dream selected Ardossi in the second round with the No. 21 overall pick. Ardossi, a 6-2 forward, was a four-year starter and appeared in all 130 games in her Georgia Tech career. The Melbourne, Australia native led the Yellow Jackets in points and rebounds during the 2009-10 season, posting career-high averages of 15.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. An Atlantic Coast Conference second team selection, Ardossi scored in double figures 29 times this season. She was part of a senior class that finished with four straight 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament bids. Ardossi was named the Georgia Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
“Brigitte has so much fire and passion for playing the game and that’s what the Atlanta Dream is about,” said Meadors. “She’s a really talented player and her versatility is a huge asset.”
I followed Brigitte Ardossi's career at Georgia Tech all year. Generally, everyone expected Alex Montgomery to carry the team this year, but when she couldn't, Brigitte Ardossi stepped up to the challenge. I didn't even have her listed on the Senior Prospects Metric.
However, in terms of Boxscore Values, Ardossi is 14th out of all BCS players, all classes concluded. She's seventh out of all seniors with 6.22 out of Georgia Tech's 23 wins. Georgia Tech's performances on the big stage - the post-season - have been somewhat lacking. The team made it to the semifinals of the ACC tournament and lost in the opening round of the tournament this year, upset by Arkansas-Little Rock.
Ardossi might be a steal. We remember the last player that Marynell Meadors got with a second round pick - Shalee Lehning. No one thought that Lehning would even start. Could Ardossi make it into the rotation? We'll find out.
Third round, 33rd pick: Brittainey Raven, Texas.
In the third round, the Dream added Raven with the No. 33 pick. Raven, a 6-0 guard from the University of Texas, was a three-time All-Big 12 second team honoree. Raven led the Longhorns in scoring, averaging 14.6 points as a senior. She also contributed 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
I didn't even have Raven listed on the SPM and in terms of Boxscore Values, Raven is 114th. Oddly enough, Raven is a shooting guard and not a point guard. I guess the message is that it's going to be either Lehning or Kelly Miller at the point.
In any event, welcome to the Dream! Hope to see you at training camp on April 25th!