Maya Moore Leads WNBA 2011 Top Five Draft Picks

Mike WalkerContributor IIIApril 12, 2011

Maya Moore heads to the WNBA
Maya Moore heads to the WNBAElsa/Getty Images


The Minnesota Lynx took Maya Moore of Connecticut with the first choice in Monday's WNBA draft, but she’s not the only game changer coming into the league.

This years top five picks have the credentials to make an immediate impact in the league and Los Angeles Sparks might have gotten the steal of the draft with the fifth pick.

1. Minnesota Lynx: Maya Moore, F, Connecticut Huskies

Moore was a solid college player and she's really good in the open court and out on the wings. It will be very interesting to see how Moore transitions and makes adjustment to the physical structure that the WNBA players will bring to the table.

The players are licking their chops while waiting in the wings to give her a hard foul when she goes to the basket for a layup. The players can't wait to let the chants begin, “hey rookie welcome to the league, this isn’t college ball.”

2. Tulsa Shock: Liz Cambage, C, Australia

The 19-year-old will be able to test her skill against the best in the game. She will have to make adjustments from the European game, but the transition will be very easy because she has a physical mentality.

She works hard and plays hard and that’s why Cambage averaged more than 22 points and 8.3 rebounds for Bulleen last season and her numbers won’t be that far off in the WNBA.

3. Chicago Sky: Courtney Vandersloot PG, Gonzaga

She's regarded as the best point guard out of college and knows the game and will have to learn how to grind out the wins in the WNBA.

Vandersloot, was a winner of the Nancy Lieberman award, who is 5'8", led the nation with 10 assists a game and broke the NCAA assist record with 367 in a season.

She created her own double-double and became the first NCAA player to ever score 2,000 points and record 1,000 assist in a season.

4. Minnesota Lynx: Amber Harris, F, Xavier Musketeers

Harris is a solid pick that will be a solid player for many years in the WNBA. She was a four time All-Conference First Team player. She’ll be a contributor in all phases of the game immediately. 

Harris averaged 18.7 points a game to go along with 10-plus rebounds each night she touches the floor. She’ll bring a defensive presence with her shock blocking ability and will team very well with Maya Moore the top pick in the draft.


5. Los Angeles Sparks: Jantel Lavender, C, Ohio State 

Lavender is the true steal of the draft at the fifth pick. Candace Parker should be very happy now that she has a true post player to team with over the next few years.  Lavender is a four time Big Ten player of the year who has the skills to play inside and outside the box.

She never really cared where she was drafted, because she knows she’s ready for the challenge and won’t back down from any one. She’s a winner and a true team player and a very strong post player that can run the floor.

It’s Showtime once again in Los Angeles because Lavender will have an opportunity to play with Parker, Tina Thompson and Delisha Milton-Jones.


1. Minnesota Lynx – Maya Moore (Connecticut)

2. Tulsa Shock – Elizabeth Cambage (Australia)

3. Chicago Sky – Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga)

4. Minnesota Lynx – Amber Harris (Xavier)

5. Los Angeles Sparks – Jantel Lavender (Ohio State)

6. San Antonio Silver Stars – Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma)

7. Tulsa Shock – Kayla Pederson (Stanford)

8. Atlanta Dream – Ta’Shia Phillips (Xavier)

9. Indiana Fever – Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford)

10. New York Liberty – Alex Montgomery (Georgia Tech)