2019 WNBA Draft: Alanna Smith, Kristine Anigwe selected back-to-back in first round; five Pac-12 players drafted overall
For the third straight year, the Pac-12 had two first-round selections in the WNBA Draft, with Stanford's Alanna Smith going off the board first among Pac-12 student-athletes at No. 8 overall to Phoenix. Cal's Kristine Anigwe followed it up one pick later and was selected No. 9 overall by the Conneticut Sun. All in all, the Pac-12 had five selections for the next level.
[Related: Full 2019 WNBA Draft tracker (WNBA.com)]
Alanna Smith will keep her talents out West after going eighth overall to the Mercury. The Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year shot a stellar 51.5 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from downtown while averaging a team-best 19.4 points per game, guiding the Cardinal to the Elite Eight. Smith also pulled down 8.6 boards per game and averaged 2.2 blocks. The Australian native is the only NCAA women's basketball player to put up 70 3-pointers, 70 blocks and 600 points in a season in the last 20 years. Phoenix also drafted a Pac-12 student-athlete in the first round last year -- Oregon State's Marie Gülich with the 12th overall pick. Smith becomes the 12th first-round pick for Stanford in school history and 26th overall to hear her name in the WNBA Draft after playing on The Farm.
— Stanford Women’s Basketball (@StanfordWBB) April 10, 2019
The National Defensive Player of the Year, Kristine Anigwe, was taken one pick after her Bay Area rival, going at No. 9 overall to Connecticut. Anigwe departs Cal after rewriting the record books, leading the nation in rebounding this season (16.2). She finished nearly three rebounds per game ahead of any other player – male or female – in the country. In 2018-19, she broke the Pac-12 single-season rebounding record with 533 boards, which was also good for sixth-most in NCAA Division I women's hoops history. In Connecticut, she will play alongside another Cal alumna in Layshia Clarendon, who took to Twitter on Wednesday to cheer on her fellow Bear:
— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) April 10, 2019
Kennedy Burke became the third Pac-12er selected Wednesday when Dallas drafted her No. 22 overall. She moves onto the next level after capping her UCLA career with a fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance -- and she ranks fifth all-time in school history having played in 138 games. The guard tallied 1,513 career points, 657 rebounds, 258 assists, 237 steals and 123 blocks over four seasons in Westwood. Burke becomes the third Bruin taken in the last two drafts with Jordin Canada and Kennedy Burke going last year.
— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) April 11, 2019
After playing in Oregon's first ever Final Four, Maite Cazorla will begin her professional career in Atlanta. She was picked No. 23 overall by the Dream on Wednesday. The nifty point guard, who averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 assists, shares the UO program record for most career wins (113) with Oti Gildon and owns the school caree record for most games played (146). The Spaniard is the first Oregon Duck to hear her name selected in the WNBA Draft since Jillian Alleyne in 2016. Cazorla will play alongside another former Pac-12er in Gülich, who was traded to the Dream from Phoenix in exchange for the draft rights to Brianna Turner.
Maite Cazorla, welcome to the Dream! pic.twitter.com/5252tnkloU
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) April 11, 2019
Following a prolific senior season, Megan Huff heard her name called in the WNBA Draft when she was selected 26th overall in the third round by the New York Liberty. The selection comes after she became just the second Utah player to earn back-to-back first-team all-Pac-12 honors. She averaged 19.6 points and 9.9 boards for the Utes in 2018-19. The forward becomes the first Ute selected in the WNBA Draft selected since Michelle Plouffe in 2014 and first while Lynne Roberts has been head coach.
— Utah Women's Basketball (@UTAHWBB) April 11, 2019