Ionescu, Cox first two picks in AP WNBA mock draft

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Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu, passes against Corban in an exhibition college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Thomas Boyd)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press polled a panel of WNBA coaches and general managers for a mock draft of the first two rounds this spring. Obviously, a lot can change between now and draft day, as far as team needs go, with a new collective bargaining agreement being worked on, and free agency set to begin on Feb. 1. Panelists were limited to college seniors and eligible foreign players, and they could not offer a pick for their own team.

The AP will periodically update the draft board.

First Round:

1. New York: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon. The Liberty need a point guard and no one has been better in her college career than Sabrina Ionescu the past four seasons. The NCAA record holder in triple-doubles will be a great fit in New York.

2. Dallas: Lauren Cox, Baylor. The hometown star will be a great fit for the Wings by bolstering their front court. She can score, block shots and pass the basketball.

3. Indiana: Bella Alarie, Princeton. The two-time Ivy League player of the year averaged nearly 23 points and 11 rebounds last season. At 6-foot-4 can play inside and out.

4. Atlanta: Tynice Martin, West Virginia. A tough perimeter player who would help the Dream defensively and can also score. She missed the last two seasons while recovering from a foot injury suffered while playing for USA Basketball.

5. Phoenix: Crystal Dangerfield, UConn. A solid leader and point guard who could give some youth to that position for the Mercury.

6. Minnesota: Beatrice Mompremier, Miami. She has great athleticism and potential, really holding her own at a USA Basketball camp in Miami against Lynx center Sylvia Fowles.

7. Seattle: Joyner Holmes, Texas. Has had a strong senior season so far, averaging nearly 14 points and eight rebounds. After struggling with consistency the last couple years, has the potential to be a solid WNBA player.

8. Chicago: Ruthy Hebard, Oregon. Would potentially be a steal for the Sky if she slips this far in the draft. Has been a solid force for the Ducks and would provide the Sky with another strong inside presence.

9. Dallas: (from Las Vegas in trade): Kaila Charles, Maryland. Fits in well with Brian Agler’s positionless basketball. She’s a versatile player who can score in a multitude of ways.

10. Connecticut (from Los Angeles in trade): Mikayla Pivic, Oregon State. A solid rebounding guard, who can score, as well. Would give Connecticut a little more depth on the wing.

11. Connecticut: Kitija Laska, South Florida. She left South Florida to play professionally in her native Latvia Laska suffered a knee injury a year ago and missed almost all of her senior season. She averaged 22.1 points as a junior and the Sun know a little bit about South Florida players with the success that Courtney Williams has had so far in Connecticut.

12. Washington: Teá Cooper, Baylor. The well-traveled guard is at her third school, having played at Tennessee and South Carolina. Can score and rebound well.

Second Round:

13. New York (from Atlanta in trade): Shadeen Samuels, Seton Hall. The New York native wouldn’t have far to go for her friends and family to watch her. She was the Big East’s leading scorer as a junior and is poised for a solid senior season.

14. Minnesota (from New York in trade): Sug Sutton, Texas. Gives the Lynx another solid guard, who has improved her game each season. Is averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds this season.

15. Dallas: Tyasha Harris, South Carolina. Has averaged nearly five assists a game in her career at South Carolina and learned from one of the best point guards in women’s basketball history in coach Dawn Staley.

16. Indiana: DiJonai Carrington, Stanford. After a breakout junior season in which she averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds, has seen her numbers dip a bit this year because of the influx of incredibly talented freshmen at Stanford.

17. Phoenix: Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5 center has put up some eye-popping numbers early this season, including a triple-double against Louisiana-Monroe when she had 16 blocks. Brewer could move up the draft board if she can keep this up against Big 12 competition.

18. Phoenix (from Minnesota in trade): Juicy Landrum, Baylor. Hit an NCAA record 14 3-pointers in December and is shooting 49% from behind the arc this season. She would provide the Mercury with another deep threat to open up the middle for Brittney Griner.

19. Seattle: Erica Ogwumike, Rice. Has had a stellar career since transferring to Rice. Was the Conference USA player of the year as a junior and is having another stellar season as a senior.

20. Los Angeles (from Chicago in trade): Japreece Dean, UCLA. The Sparks staff doesn’t have to go far to see Dean play at UCLA. Would provide another talented backcourt player for coach Derek Fisher.

21. Dallas (from Las Vegas in trade): Nicki Ekhomu, Florida State. Has had a strong senior season averaging 13 points and nearly five assists. Would provide more backcourt depth for the Wings.

22. Los Angeles: Minyon Moore, Oregon. Had strong career at USC before taking a grad transfer year at Oregon. The California native would provide scoring for the Sparks.

23. Connecticut: Mikiah Herbert-Harrington, South Carolina. Has provided key leadership for the young Gamecocks this season, helping them knock off then-No. 2 Baylor.

24: Washington: Ciara Duffy, South Dakota. Has been a steady force for the Coyotes and helped them earn an at-large berth to the NCAAs last year. Coach Mike Thibault has a habit of finding really solid mid-major players to star on his roster.

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