Fantasy Basketball

NCAAW: Aliyah Boston highlights names to know from the 2023 WNBA Draft class

The WNBA playoffs may still be ongoing, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the WNBA Draft, especially as it pertains to teams that have either already been eliminated from the playoffs or did not make them in the first place.

Much can happen between now and the 2023 draft, of course — we don’t even know the complete draft order yet, as the WNBA Draft lottery has yet to take place — but we can put together a list of the biggest names in college basketball who will be vying for draft position, regardless of order. This is by no means a comprehensive list; consider it a quick refresher and, if you’re a WNBA fan, a handful of names to watch this winter.

Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)

2021-22 statistics: 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots per game

One of college basketball’s biggest stars, Boston had a junior season for the ages, racking up an incredible amount of national honors (Naismith Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year, USBWA Player of the Year, Wade Trophy and Wooden Award) and leading the Gamecocks to a national championship. An elite offensive rebounder and shot-blocker, Boston is going to be one of the most coveted traditional centers in the draft in a long time; the only question is which WNBA team will be lucky enough to land her.

Diamond Miller (Maryland)

Diamond Miller
Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021-22 statistics: 13.1 points, 4 rebounds, 1.4 steals per game

Miller had a somewhat-disappointing junior season as she dealt with a nagging knee injury, but if she’s fully healthy entering her senior season, she’ll have an opportunity to cement herself as a draft lottery favorite. A 6’3 wing, Miller has a unique build for a perimeter player, and with both Ashley Owusu (Virginia Tech) and Angel Reese (LSU) now playing elsewhere, she could put up big numbers as the Terrapins’ go-to scorer.

Haley Jones (Stanford)

2021-22 statistics: 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game

One of the key cogs in Stanford’s cut-heavy Princeton offense, Jones is a strong, physical guard who excels at finishing through contact and who does most of her damage below the free-throw line. It remains to be seen how those strengths will fit on a WNBA team — Jones will need to become a more dependable outside shooter if she’s to reach her full potential — but as it stands, she’ll still be one of the first players drafted based on physical tools and collegiate pedigree alone.

Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 30 Women’s - Duke at Virginia Tech

Elizabeth Kitley
Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021-22 statistics: 18.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots per game

Kitley has blossomed into one of the country’s best centers and was most recently named the ACC Player of the Year in 2022. At 6’6, Kitley is nearly impossible to keep off the boards, and despite not being the fleetest of foot, she’s able to dominate the paint with both size and finesse.

Aijha Blackwell (Baylor)

2021-22 statistics: 15.4 points, 3.8 made free throws, 13 rebounds per game (at Missouri)

There aren’t many players who have a better nose for the basketball than Blackwell, who recorded 13 rebounds per game (second among all Division I players) as a junior despite being listed at just 6’0. She transferred to Baylor shortly afterwards, where she’ll continue to make an impact as one of the country’s most energetic play finishers.

Ashley Joens (Iowa State)

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 25 Div I Women’s Championship - Elite Eight - Iowa St v Creighton

Ashley Joens
Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021-22 statistics: 20.3 points, 2.7 made 3-pointers, 9.5 rebounds per game

Joens chose to return to Iowa State for a fifth year rather than enter the 2022 WNBA Draft, and she’ll surely be in the mix for yet another Cheryl Miller Award (two-time winner; 2021 and 2022) as she continues her storied Cyclones career. Though she’s categorized as a small forward by award voters, Joens plays a de facto power forward position for the perimeter-heavy Iowa State, putting up gaudy point totals as one of the country’s most talented all-around scorers.

Maddy Siegrist (Villanova)

2021-22 statistics: 25.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals per game

Siegrist recorded eight games with 30 or more points as a junior and was rightfully rewarded with Player of the Year honors in the Big East. She will be confronted with the usual questions about how a player who dominates mid-major competition will make it in the WNBA — particularly on defense — but for now, sit back and enjoy this elite scorer continuing to put up video-game numbers.

Grace Berger (Indiana)

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 26 Div I Women’s Championship - Sweet Sixteen - Indiana v UConn

Grace Berger
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021-22 statistics: 16.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists per game

Berger returns to Indiana for a fifth season as the Hoosiers continue their most successful stretch in program history. She’s been a big part of that, her impressive midrange game and steady pace of play serving as the foundation of IU’s offense. Perhaps the only thing missing from Berger’s game is a frequent 3-point shot; we’ll see if she attempts more long balls this season.

Rickea Jackson (Tennessee)

2021-22 statistics: 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots per game (at Mississippi State)

Jackson transferred to Tennessee after three impressive seasons at Mississippi State, and the potential fit alongside fellow WNBA prospects Jordan Horston and Tamari Key is intriguing. She’s a plus athlete on the wing who has little problem getting out in transition, and if she can improve her scoring efficiency in Tennessee’s offensive ecosystem, her physical gifts will look that much better to WNBA GMs.

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