2018 WNBA Draft: Jordin Canada is the first of four Pac-12 players selected
For the second straight year, the Pac-12 had two players selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft, with UCLA's Jordin Canada going fifth overall to the Seattle Storm and Oregon State's Marie Gülich going 12th to the Phoenix Mercury. Overall, four Pac-12 players were selected in the 2018 WNBA Draft, with UCLA's Monique Billings going in the second round to the Atlanta Dream with the 15th pick and Cal's Mikayla Cowling going in the third round to the Connecticut Sun at No. 33.
The four selections are tied for third most for a conferenece alongside the Big Ten and Big 12, trailing the SEC's seven and ACC's five.
As expected, UCLA guard Jordin Canada was the first Pac-12 player off the board Thursday night, going fifth overall to the Seattle Storm. The Pac-12 all-time assists leader averaged 17.0 points, 7.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game en route to Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Labeled the best playmaker in the 2018 WNBA Draft by SB Nation, Canada becomes the first Bruin to be selected in the first round since Noelle Quinn went fourth overall to the Minnesota Lynx in 2007. In Seattle, Canada will have the opportunity to learn from Storm point guard Sue Bird, a nine-time WNBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist. As the Bruin now heads to start her pro career in the Emerald City, learn more about Canada's fearless path to the WNBA.
— WNBA (@WNBA) April 12, 2018
Rounding out the first round, Oregon State center Marie Gülich was taken 12th overall by the Phoenix Mercury. The 6-foot-5 German had a fantastic senior campaign, averaging 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds en route to All-Pac-12 and AP All-America Honorable Mention honors. She was especially good in the NCAA tournament, going for 29 points and 15 rebounds against Western Kentucky in the first round and lighting up second-seeded Baylor for 26 points to bring the Beavers to the Elite Eight. Gülich's selection gives Oregon State a first-round pick for the second year in a row and a draft pick for the third straight year.
Marie Gulich is headed to the !
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 13, 2018
Monique Billings gave UCLA its second draft pick in 2018 when her name was called 15th overall by the Atlanta Dream. Expected to be a first-round draft pick, the Dream are getting some nice value in Billings, UCLA's all-time blocks leader and one of three Bruins all-time with 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. Billings wrapped up her collegiate career by helping buddy Jordin Canada and UCLA make the Elite Eight through her 15.3 points, Pac-12 leading 9.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. She'll have a Pac-12 companion with her in Atlanta with former Cal guard (and our very own Pac-12 Networks analyst) Layshia Clarendon. But before getting busy in the A, the fashion guru and model Billings got to strut her stuff in front of the flashing lights:
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 12, 2018
Mechelle Voepel had the Connecticut Sun drafting Stanford's Brittany McPhee with the 33rd overall pick. While that didn't happen, the Sun kept it in the Pac-12 family by selecting Cal's Mikayla Cowling with the fourth-to-last pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. A skilled perimeter player, Cowling was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention for a senior campaign that saw her post averages of 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Cowling gives Cal its first draft pick since Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray were taken in 2015. Cal assistant coach Wendale Farrow took to Twitter to express his excitement after the Connecticut selection of Cowling:
WE GOT A PRO!!!!!!!! Let’s go Twin!! @MC_numma3
— Wendale Farrow (@DellyWEN) April 13, 2018
|Player||Position||Pac-12 School||WNBA Team||Round / Pick|
|Jordin Canada||Guard||1st / 5th|
|Marie Gülich||Center||1st / 12th|
|Monique Billings||Forward||2nd / 3rd|
|Mikayla Cowling||Guard / Forward||3rd / 9th|