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Following last night's NCAA title game, the WNBA held its 2008 draft today. Surprising no one, Candace Parker was the number one pick (LA Sparks). She was followed by LSU's Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) and Stanford's Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx).
Coming in at number four was Tennessee's Alexis Hornbuckle, a two guard who plays tough defense and is a great slasher. I was surprised that Detroit picked her at number four, as I considered UNC's LaToya Pringle to be a bigger all-around talent (height, offense, blocked shots). However, Detroit does need guards, as star Katie Smith and Elaine Powell are both getting older, and the Shock traded away last year's draft pick, Ivory Latta.
At five was Rutger's Matee Ajavon (Houston Comets); followed by Maryland's Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics). The Mystics need a banger in the paint, after trading away center Chastity Melvin last season. Langhorne can be versatile; I liked this pick.
The biggest surprises for me in the first round were Hornbuckle at four, and Pringle and UNC's Erlana Larkins falling to 13 and 14, respectively. Larkins did not play well in the tournament, so that was less surprising, but Pringle carried her team at times throughout the tournament (and the season). I was also pleasantly surprised to see Tennessee's Shannon Bobbit and Nicky Anosike go first in the second round, to LA and Minnesota, respectively. Winning the NCAA tournament can certainly raise the draft stock considerable.
For the full list of draft picks, see the WNBA draft board.