The 2011 WNBA draft is upon us, and the Atlanta Dream are looking to build on last year's run to the WNBA Finals. Today's draft is a monumental event given that it is being held at the ESPN complex in Bristol, CT. The draft begins at 3:00 p.m. eastern time and the first round will be televised by ESPN. NBA TV and ESPNU will handle the second and third rounds.
UConn's Maya Moore is the likely No. 1 selection for the Minnesota Lynx but, who will still be on the board when the Dream pick at No. 8. Just a glance at the Dream's roster and you see some pretty talented players in the backcourt with Shalee Lehning manning the point. Coco and Kelly Miller provide a veteran presence and Iziane Castro-Marques can slide between guard and forward giving coach Marynell Meadors some options.
The Dream also appear to be set at forward with Angel McCoughtry once again leading the way. Given those returners it is expected that Meadors and the Dream will be looking for size in the upcoming draft. SB Nation's Women's basketball blog Swish Appeal projects Atlanta to draft center Kayla Pederson out of Stanford.
Pedersen is an interesting prospect - we have her going as high as five and one person has her out of the first round. And based on team needs, if she falls this far it is possible that she falls out of the first round based on her skillset. But there's a solid argument for the Dream to capitalize on the opportunity.
WNBA.com writer Frank Della Femina agrees and also pegs Pedersen to be bound for Atlanta. Pedersen averaged just under 13 points and eight rebounds per game this season. Her scoring numbers could have been a lot higher if not for her unselfishness. ESPN.com ranks her as the No. 5 prospect in the draft and seems like she would be a perfect fit for the Dream at No. 8 if she is still on the board.
For more on the WNBA, visit Swish Appeal.