Three days ago, Jackie Young narrowly missed out on winning a second straight NCAA championship with Notre Dame. On Wednesday, the Fighting Irish star was the first pick of the 2019 WNBA draft.
While not entirely surprising, Sabrina Ionescu's decision to return to Oregon for the 2019-20 season shook up draft boards a little bit. Ionescu was the consensus No. 1 player available, so many wondered which direction the Las Vegas Aces would go to with the first pick.
2019 WNBA Draft Results
1. Las Vegas Aces: Jackie Young, G, Notre Dame
2. New York Liberty: Asia Durr, G, Louisville
3. Indiana Fever: Teaira McCowan, C, Mississippi State
4. Chicago Sky: Katie Lou Samuelson, G/F, Connecticut
5. Dallas Wings: Arike Ogunbowale, G, Notre Dame
6. Minnesota Lynx: Napheesa Collier, F, Connecticut
7. Los Angeles Sparks: Kalani Brown, C, Baylor
8. Phoenix Mercury: Alanna Smith, F, Stanford
9. Connecticut Sun: Kristine Anigwe, F, California
10. Washington Mystics: Kiara Leslie, G, North Carolina State
11. Atlanta Dream: Brianna Turner, C, Notre Dame*
12. Seattle Storm: Ezi Magbegor, C, Australia
*The Atlanta Dream traded the draft rights to Turner to the Phoenix Mercury for Marie Gulich.
13. Phoenix Mercury (via Fever): Sophie Cunningham, G, Missouri
14. New York Liberty: Han Xu, C, China
15. Chicago Sky: Chloe Jackson, G, Baylor
16. Minnesota Lynx (via Aces): Jessica Shepard, F, Notre Dame
17. Dallas Wings: Megan Gustafson, F, Iowa
18. Minnesota Lynx: Natisha Hiedeman, G, Marquette*
19. Los Angeles Sparks: Marina Mabrey, F, Notre Dame
20. Minnesota Lynx (via Mercury): Cierra Dillard, G, Buffalo
21. Connecticut Sun: Bridget Carleton, G, Iowa State
22. Dallas Wings (via Mystics): Kennedy Burke, G, UCLA
23. Atlanta Dream: Maite Cazorla, G, Oregon
24. Seattle Storm: Anriel Howard, F, Mississippi State
*The Minnesota Lynx traded the draft rights to Hiedeman to the Connecticut Sun for Lexie Brown.
25. Indiana Fever: Paris Kea, G, North Carolina
26. New York Liberty: Megan Huff, F, Utah
27. Chicago Sky: Maria Conde, F, Spain
28. Indiana Fever (via Aces): Caliya Robinson, F, Georgia
29. Dallas Wings: Morgan Bertsch, F, UC Davis
30. Minnesota Lynx: Kenisha Bell, G, Minnesota
31. Los Angeles Sparks: Angela Salvadores, G, Duke
32. Phoenix Mercury: Arica Carter, G, Louisville
33. Connecticut Sun: Regan Magarity, F, Virginia Tech
34. Washington Mystics: Sam Fuehring, F, Louisville
35. Atlanta Dream: Li Yueru, C, China
36. Seattle Storm: Macy Miller, F, South Dakota State
Arike Ogunbowale was the bigger star when Notre Dame reached back-to-back Division I finals, but it's not hard to see why the Aces took Young with the top selection.
In her junior year, Young did a little bit of everything, averaging 14.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. She also shot 14-of-31 on three-pointers.
Las Vegas didn't need to add another high-volume scorer. A'ja Wilson averaged 20.7 points as a rookie, and Kayla McBride was second on the team, putting up 18.2 points per game. The fact Young has a more all-around game makes her a perfect fit for the Aces.
As a whole, Notre Dame was well represented. In addition to Young, the Fighting Irish saw Ogunbowale (No. 5) and Brianna Turner (No. 11) go in the first round. Jessica Shepard (No. 16) and Marina Mabrey (No. 19) were second-rounders.
For the most part, the first round provided few surprises.
The Connecticut Sun were fortunate to have Kristine Anigwe fall to them with the ninth overall pick. Anigwe averaged 22.2 points and 16.2 rebounds in her senior year. California's second-round defeat to eventual national champion Baylor was the only game in which she failed to earn a double-double.
Adding Anigwe to a frontcourt that already includes Jonquel Jones, Chiney Ogwumike, Alyssa Thomas and Morgan Tuck isn't fair.
After winning four WNBA titles in seven seasons, the Minnesota Lynx fell victim to the inevitable decline every dynasty faces. They finished seventh in the league and lost to the Los Angeles Sparks in the opening round of the playoffs.
The silver lining from the Lynx's disappointing finish was they picked earlier in the first round than usual. Head coach Cheryl Reeve could select a player who can make an immediate impact.
Napheesa Collier should do just that. The Connecticut star can help shoulder some of the scoring load with Maya Moore sitting out the 2019 season. Collier averaged 20.8 points and shot 61.2 percent from the field.
Although she's unlikely to be the best rookie to come out of the 2019 class, Sophie Cunningham will be a ton of fun to watch in her new home. The Phoenix Mercury selected the Missouri guard with the 13th overall pick.
Cunningham was a 40.3 percent three-point shooter as a senior. More importantly, she's a prodigious trash-talker. Between Cunningham and Diana Taurasi, the Mercury will be a nightmare for opposing teams.
While not a dominant storyline on draft night, the future of Liz Cambage wasn't far from the thoughts of fans—and even some players.
The Dallas Wings confirmed in January that Cambage had asked for a trade. With the start of the regular season a little over a month away, the 2018 All-Star remains a member of the Wings. Perhaps Dallas was waiting to see how the draft shook out to get a better picture as to the possible trade packages for Cambage.