I’m fascinated by the whirlwind nature of the WNBA season schedule. The NCAA season ended on Sunday with Baylor winning the national championship. The WNBA draft is tonight, April 10th. The WNBA starts their season on May 24th. It’s a far cry from the distance between the end of the men’s college hoops season, the NBA draft, and the start of the NBA season. Players selected in the WNBA draft will essentially go directly to training camp to start their careers, while NBA draftees have at least three months in between the draft and training camp. Weird, but if the WNBA is going to be a summer sport instead of occupying the “traditional” calendar space for basketball, I guess there’s nothing that can be done about it.
We’re here because there’s a possibility that we’re going to hear two Marquette players get their names called in the WNBA draft on Wednesday night. This is quite a big deal, as Marquette has only had two WNBA draft picks in program history: Abbie Willenborg and Angel Robinson. Tonight, we’ll be paying attention for both Allazia Blockton and Natisha Hiedeman.
It will be fascinating to see how WNBA teams evaluate Blockton and Hiedeman, particularly against each other. Blockton was the 2018 Big East Player of the Year, but an injury hampered senior season led to Hiedeman earning the 2019 version of the POY award. Blockton was the dominant force on the squad for three years, but Hiedeman took the reins with full authority while Blockton was out due to injury this past season. If you’re judging only on 2018-19, the edge clearly goes to Hiedeman, but that’s not really how the whole talent evaluation thing works.
Blockton finished her Marquette career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,204 points. She also ranks #9 all-time in rebounds (770) and #10 in assists (366). Blockton is the only woman to rank in the top 10 in all three categories. Hiedeman wrapped up her time at Marquette as the #3 all-time scorer with 1,913 points, falling just 27 points short of what used to be Krystal Ellis’ program record of 1,940. She also ended up #6 all-time in assists with 457 and became the first MU player to record 300 made three-pointers. Hiedeman’s 301 triples in her career surpassed Lori Goerlitz’s previous record of 223.
Let’s dig into some mock drafts, shall we? As we go through here, remember that the WNBA is a 12 team league with a three round draft. There’s only 36 draft picks.
Allazia Blockton: #25, Indiana
Natisha Hiedeman: #21, Connecticut Sun
Allazia Blockton: Undrafted
Natisha Hiedeman: #30, Minnesota Lynx
The SB Nation Mothership and CBS Sports have mock drafts as well, but they only went through the first round. It’s not surprising that neither one has one of the MU players in the top 12, but it still leaves us without any information as to where they think that Blockton or Hiedeman might land.
2019 WNBA Draft
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Time: 6pm Central
Television: ESPN2, switching to ESPNU at 7pm CT