Tonight, the Indiana Fever did something no WNBA franchise has ever done: make four top-10 picks.
The Fever held picks No. 2, 4, 6 and 10 in the first round of Monday’s WNBA draft. Interim Fever general manager Lin Dunn said the team’s needs are ‘glaring,’ so an infusion of talent is welcomed.
We’ll have more coverage at indystar.com later tonight, including comments from Dunn and draftees.
Collecting winners:Fever begins new era on draft night with a star, surprise, steal and hometown hero
Fever add Ali Patberg, Destanni Henderson, Ameshya Williams-Holliday in 2nd, 3rd rounds
In the later rounds, the Fever made some splashy picks. In the second round, Indiana took South Carolina’s Destanni Henderson, who starred in the national championship game vs. UConn. In the third round, the Fever selected Ameshya Williams-Holliday out of Jackson State, making her the first player in 19 years to be drafted out of a historically black college or university. Then, the Fever took Ali Patberg, the IU star point guard and 2015 IndyStar Miss Basketball out of Columbus North, who spent seven years in college.
More:IU’s Ali Patberg, 2015 Indiana Miss Basketball, taken by Fever in WNBA draft’s 3rd round
Williams-Holliday averaged 19.2 points and 11.4 rebounds in 2021-22. Jackson State went 48-3 in SWAC play during her three years there. She helped Jackson State earn a No. 14 seed in the NCAA tournament, which was the program’s highest seed since the tournament expanded to its current amount of teams.
Fever continue to go big at No. 10 with Queen Egbo
NaLyssa Smith’s Baylor teammate will join her in Indiana after the Fever tabbed Egbo with the fourth of their WNBA record four first-round picks.
The 6-3 center out of Houston averaged 11.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
Queen Egbo:What to know about Fever’s fourth and final 1st round pick
With pick No. 6, Fever take Lexie Hull out of Stanford
A 6-1 guard and Pac-12 All-Defensive team selection, Hull continues Lin Dunn’s defensive overhaul. Hull helped lead the Cardinal to the 2021 national championship and has an identical twin sister, Lacie, who has been her basketball teammate in high school and college.
She averaged 12.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 40.8% from the field and 39.3% from behind the arc.
Lexie Hull:What to know about Fever’s national champion, bookworm No. 6 pick
Fever take Louisville’s Emily Engstler with No. 4 pick
Lin Dunn loves defense. She’ll love Emily Engstler.
After taking Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith at No. 2, the Fever were back on the clock at No. 4, following Washington’s selection of Ole Miss forward Shakira Austin.
In her lone season at Louisville, Engstler helped lead the Cardinals to the program’s fourth Final Four. She averaged 11.9 ppg and 9.4 rpg.
More:5 things to know about Emily Engstler, Fever’s No. 4 pick in draft
Fever take Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith at No. 2
With plenty of guards on the roster, the Fever went with the draft’s top-rated post player.
Smith started for three of her four seasons with the Bears, increasing her scoring average each season (8.4, 14.3, 18.0 and 22.1). She won a national title during her freshman season and increased her rebounding numbers every year (5.1, 8.0, 8.9, 11.5). She was a first-team All-American for her final two seasons with the Bears.
WNBA draft:5 things to know about NaLyssa Smith, Fever’s No. 2 overall pick
Dream take Rhyne Howard No. 1 overall
Atlanta traded into the No. 1 spot last week and tabbed the two-time SEC Player of the Year out of Kentucky to kick things off.
The Fever are on the clock now.
PRE-DRAFT INDIANA FEVER READING
WNBA Draft 2022:Indiana Fever are scheduled to make four first-round picks
Mock draft roundup:Who will the Fever take with its four picks?
‘Best player available’:Fever have ‘glaring’ needs and are in need of a reset. Hello, 4 first-round picks.
MVP or bust?:Fever could transform with 4 first-round picks, but it’s no guarantee
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism