The next few WNBA Drafts will feature league-altering players. Their talents will be on full display in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
The next generation of WNBA players will be on full display this month as the NCAA Tournament takes place. With 68 teams playing, it can be hard to keep up with which players are must-see TV. Here are five future WNBA superstars to watch this month.
1. Caitlin Clark, G, Iowa
The dictionary might be running out of unused words that can accurately describe Caitlin Clark. Transcendent? Check. Generational? Check. Unprecedented? Check. Clark is the full package.
There have been many players that have described similarly, but none of them have quite done it how Clark does it. Iowa is a must-watch for her alone.
Clark has in-the-gym range and a quick trigger. She’s a master of the pick-and-roll. She makes passes that don’t even seem possible. When Clark has it going, there is no comparison that can encompass what she does. Many compare her to the NBA’s Stephen Curry, calling her the “WNBA’s future Steph.”
Make no mistake about it: she is not the second coming of Stephen Curry. Clark is an entirely different beast. Curry surprised millions. Clark already has their attention. Clark is more like an inevitable wave, waiting to make landfall in the WNBA.
She is one of one. The first Caitlin Clark.
2. Diamond Miller, G, Maryland
Widely considered the most WNBA-ready prospect in this year’s draft, Diamond Miller is ready to lead Maryland on a deep tournament run.
Miller remained at Maryland after a slew of transfers. The roster looked different coming into this season, but Miller was ready for the challenge.
Miller responded to the adversity by posting a career year, averaging 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, all three of which are career highs. She also posted career highs in blocks, steals, and free throw percentage.
Miller is one of the best and craftiest finishers in the game. She is borderline unstoppable when she gets downhill. On the other end, she is a defensive dynamo who can singlehandedly muck up opponent possessions. On both ends, her length and height make her a nightmare matchup.
Miller plays with a frenetic pace. She often cleans up mistakes with an equally awe-inspiring play shortly after. She is unafraid of the big moment as well, which has resulted in some dramatic moments this year. Every possession she’s involved in will be must-see TV during the tournament.
3. Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee
Rickea Jackson recently shocked the hoops world by announcing her return to Tennessee next season. Many view the forward as a lottery pick in this year’s draft.
Jackson is a hard-nosed, tough player with a soft touch in the paint. Her footwork is exceptional, and she has mastered the post fadeaway, which she uses often. Jackson’s ability to create off the dribble makes her a tough guard for most players her size.
Jackson is also a very determined rebounder. She uses her size and athleticism well, overwhelming smaller opponents and creating second chances for the Volunteers.
Perhaps the best thing about watching Jackson, though, is the joy she plays the game with. Since coming to Tennessee, she has become a fan favorite for her overall energy on top of her game. Jackson’s emotion is infectious, whether she’s smiling, dancing, yelling, or flexing.
4. Aliyah Boston, C, South Carolina
The consensus number-one overall pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, Aliyah Boston has had one of the most decorated careers in recent memory. Just this week, she was named to her third AP All-American team, becoming just the 10th player to receive the honor three times.
This year, she took home SEC Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year after leading SC to an undefeated season.
Boston is so good, that her impact is sometimes tough to gauge. Her averages were “down” this year, causing some to question her status in the college basketball ranks. A closer look at each game explains why.
Boston played the fewest minutes per game of her career, largely due to the fact that she was helping the Gamecocks blow teams out. In games where she played longer, her production mirrored what she did in previous seasons.
When Boston’s workload ramps up in the tournament, she will remind everyone of why she is viewed as the consensus number one. Her efficiency, two-way play, and rebounding are elite. She may not see a one-on-one matchup during March. But it won’t matter, because Boston is just that good.
5. Angel Reese, F/C, LSU
LSU’s “Bayou Barbie” has a lot to left prove before she makes her jump to the pros. But, after her transfer from Maryland, Reese has found a home in Baton Rouge and elevated her game.
Reese is a walking double-double. She posted 28 double-doubles this season, surpassing Sylvia Fowles’ school record of 27. Reese also posted 23 consecutively, breaking Fowles’ record of 19 straight.
Reese is also a fierce competitor who is not scared to ruffle feathers. She famously told an opponent that she wasn’t “cut like that” in a clip that went viral when Reese was at Maryland. Reese also blocked a shot while holding her own shoe.
Reese plays with an unapologetic abandon that makes her one of the more enjoyable players to watch. She might be the brashest player in college (in a good way). Her attitude and mindset make WNBA stardom feel inevitable.
For now, LSU will go as far as Reese can lead them, and will be appointment-watching for the entire tournament.