Baylor's DiDi Richards, DiJonai Carrington Declare for 2021 WNBA Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

Baylor's DiDi Richards dribbles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UConn in the Elite Eight round of the Women's NCAA tournament Monday, March 29, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Baylor Lady Bears guards DiDi Richards and DiJonai Carrington announced Thursday they decided to declare for the 2021 WNBA draft.

Richards posted a statement on Instagram saying she's ready to pursue her "lifelong dream," while Carrington explained her decision on Twitter:

dιjonaι carrιngтon♛ @DijonaiVictoria

⏳ https://t.co/L6X39opK76

Both players were seniors during the 2020-21 college basketball season, but the NCAA offered an additional year of eligibility to all student-athletes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Baylor reached the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA women's tournament and pushed UConn, the top seed in the River Walk Region, to the limit before falling 69-67. Replays showed Carrington was likely fouled as she attempted to tie the game in the final seconds, but no call was made.

"Personally, don't see it as a controversial call," Carrington told reporters after the game Monday night. "I've already seen the replay. One girl fouled me in my face, and one girl fouled me on my arm. At that point, you can't do anything else."

NBA superstar LeBron James agreed:

LeBron James @KingJames

Cmon man!!! That was a FOUL!! #ncaaW Baylor vs UConn. 🤦🏾‍♂️

The Lady Bears finished the season 28-3. They were the defending champions after winning the 2019 event since last year's March Madness was canceled because of the pandemic.

Carrington averaged 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals across 27 appearances. She also led the team with 39 made three-pointers.

Richards averaged 6.3 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 30 games. Her 189 assists ranked second in the nation behind only Iowa's Caitlin Clark's 213.

ESPN's Mechelle Voepel listed both Baylor guards as second-round picks in her latest mock draft.

The draft is scheduled for April 15 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.