What I’m hearing

With the NCAA Tournament down to the Sweet 16 and the WNBA Draft approaching, my trusty spies and I have been working overtime contacting everyone to get some info on what teams are thinking come draft time.  This is what has been uncovered:

Rachel Banham flies to the hoop. Photo by Eric Miller, University of Minnesota Athletics.
Rachel Banham flies to the hoop. Photo by Eric Miller, University of Minnesota Athletics.

The Minnesota Lynx have been paying heavy attention to Whitney Knight of Florida Gulf Coast.  In their conference playoffs, they were joined by representatives of the Atlanta Dream.  Not sure if Knight will be drafted, but she will be invited to a camp.

The San Antonio Stars, Atlanta Dream and Connecticut Sun all have an interest in Rachel Banham from Minnesota.  Banham started the year as a late first round prospect, but has steadily moved up to the early to middle first round and her performance in the WNIT has improved her position.  She may not get taken with the second or third pick, so a trade could be in the works.

The New York Liberty have gone upstate multiple times this season to check out Shereesha Richards from the University of Albany.  Richards is an unfinished talent who may not get to contribute right away, but has the ability to be a WNBA rotation player in the future.

The Seattle Storm have traveled across the state to watch Gonzaga Center Shelby Cheslek.  Cheslek led the Zags in rebounding and is a tough defender.  Unsure if she will be drafted, but she will get a look.  I’ve spoken to Shelby and her dream is to play professional ball, whether in the WNBA or in Europe.  We’ll be following her career closely.

The unfortunate torn ACL that ended the college career of Jillian Alleyne, the all-time leader in double-doubles for the Oregon Ducks, also will affect her draft status.  Once looked upon as a first round pick, Alleyne will surely drop, most likely out of the first round.  Where that will affect her this season, history has shown it should not mean the end of her career.  In the 2014 WNBA draft, the Los Angeles Sparks selected Jennifer Hamson from BYU late in the second round despite the fact Hamson let teams know she was going back to school for a fifth season to play volleyball.  Hamson completed her rookie year with the Sparks last season.

The Indiana Fever got a look at Ball State guard Nathalie Fontaine, the Cardinals leading scorer this season.  There is a possibility of a camp invite, as she is not projected to be drafted.

That’s all there is for now, although there will be more as the process continues.  The WNBA draft takes place next month, so keep checking here for updates and information.