First round coverage will be shown on ESPN2 with second and third round coverage on ESPNU and NBA-TV. The draft also will be online at ESPN3.
Three Lady Vol seniors were invited to Bristol for the draft – posts Vicki Baugh and Glory Johnson and guard/forward Shekinna Stricklen. Johnson and Stricklen are expected to be selected very early – within the top five spots – while Baugh, who overcame two ACL surgeries in college, isn't at all sure of what round to expect to hear her name.
Baugh, who wasn't sure she would even be drafted, was surprised when she was told she had been invited to Bristol for the proceedings, a signal that the league has considerable interest in her. She is likely a second round pick.
The trio of Lady Vols were among 16 players invited to the draft, which has 12 players drafted in the each of the three rounds for a total of 36 taken on draft day. Players not drafted can sign free agent contracts for training camp.
Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike seems to be the consensus No. 1 pick with the Los Angeles Sparks holding that spot, and Stricklen, who received considerable interest from the Seattle Storm throughout the season, could be the second selection. Seattle's head coach, Brian Agler, conducted a workout with Stricklen.
Stricklen was sweating and in workout clothes when she appeared Thursday to talk to the media, as she had just left the basketball court at Pratt Pavilion and was headed back as soon as the interviews were done.
Baugh, who has already completed her bachelor's degree and is wrapping up master's degree coursework this month, has spent the month of April in two places – the gym and the library.
Johnson also has been in the gym and could be the third selection of the Minnesota Lynx. The Tulsa Shock pick fourth, followed by San Antonio. Johnson is expected to be off the board within the top five selections.
Baugh could be the proverbial sleeper pick of the draft, as she has a combination of size and speed. A team that runs an up-tempo offense and that needs a post who can rebound, run the floor and hit face-up jumpers would be interested in Baugh.
If Stricklen is taken by Seattle, she should be able to find some nice fishing spots – an observation that made her laugh – but the versatile wing player knows she won't have time for such in the WNBA.
All three players know they are entering the business side of basketball, and roster spots can be taken away at any point. All three talked to Pat Summitt for advice, and all three are excited to be traveling together to Bristol for the draft.
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