BRISTOL, Conn. -- The Guru has a few quick impressions after a draft whose overall worth won't be known until it is determined who actually makes the 11-player rosters of the 12 teams who already are loaded with veterans.
Nneka Ogumwmike will be a value in the tradition of overall No. 1 picks, maybe not necessarily on the scale of a Lauren Jackson, but will bring positive returns to the Los Angeles Sparks and to the WNBA both on and off the court.
On the court, the superior talent that helped Stanford to a string of five straight Women's Final Four appearances will immediately be harnessed by new Sparks head coach Carol Ross who said, "A player like Nneka fits in almost anywhere."
Off the court, based on the way she adeptly handled the interviews from the group of reporters surrounding her in Bristol, she is marketing-ready in terms of being a poster child for the influx of a newer generation moving into the WNBA.
Also headed to LA via the second and third rounds are former Rutgers stars Khadijah Rushdan and April Sykes. The good news: Both are heading to Los Angeles. The bad news: Making the Sparks roster will be a challenge.
Shekinna Stricklen, the No. 2 pick of Seattle, will bring an enhancement to the Storm according to Head Coach Brian Agler who had these words to describe the All-American, "An extremely versatile perimeter player. A natural three that can play positions one through four. Great size and length for a perimeter player."
All three graduating Tennessee stars -- including Vickie Baugh who had to fight back from a knee injury, and Glory Johnson, who will get a chance to do more at Tulsa than most picks -- said they felt they were better for their Lady Vols experience and the adversity they dealt with among themselves and coping with legendary coach Pat Summitt, who has been battling early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.
BRISTOL, CT - APRIL 16: Devereaux Peters poses with WNBA President Laurel Richie after being drafted number three overall by the Minnesota Lynx during the 2012 WNBA Draft Presented By Boost Mobile on April 16, 2012 at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images)
So much for the concern over the history of injuries Deveraux Peters suffered in an otherwise sensational career at Notre Dame. She went third overall to the Minnesota Lynx, the defending WNBA champions and a team so loaded with talent they could actually help the league expand were they to split their roster into two separate teams.
Meanwhile, Peters' teammate Natalie Novosel was taken in the first round at No. 8 by the Washington Mystics and when she arrives in the nation's capital she will have one friendly Irish face in town who is also newly arrived -- that would be new George Washington coach Jonathan Tsipis, the former Notre Dame associate head coach to Muffet McGraw.
Former Gonzaga star Kayla Standish and former Wisconsin-Green Bay star Julie Wojta were also taken by Minnesota and while sticking with the Lynx will be a challenge, both said their collegiate success and selections in the draft prove playing at mid-majors schools is not a detriment.
If New York Liberty fans thought the draft day of head-scratching was over when longtime vice president Carol Blazejowski was jettisoned following the 2010 season, apparently that was too much to ask for.
The puzzlement continues as they seleted former Tennessee center Kelly Cain, who purportedly hung up her high tops a year ago due to recurrent injuries, as the seventh overall pick. It appears New York has decided to focus on becoming a lotto team and getting the last laugh on everyone a year from now when Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins are sure to be first-round picks.
Graduating Ohio State star Samantha Prahalis was the first to go to the glass slipper, not because she was a Cinderella selection, but to reference that her upbeat tempo stype and that of the Phoenix Mercury, which selected her as the sixth pick, were made for each other.
Humility medals go to Maryland's Lynetta Kizer, the last of the 15 to be invited here for the draft to have her name called, and Riquana Williams, who missed the final games of her collegiate career when Miami coach Katie Meier left her home from the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament for breaking a team rule.
"I made a mistake," Williams said here Monday. Williams added thatbecause of the notoriety of the incident, though the violation was never specified, she thought she might not get taken until the second round despite her acclaimed play in the Hurricanes backcourt with Shenise Johnson, who went in the first round to San Antonio as the fifth overall pick.
But considering that both Williams and Kizer were taken by a Tulsa Shock team which won only three games in the WNBA last season, a humble approach is the best approach entering the league.
Tennessee's Glory Johnson, the fourth overall pick of this year's draft, also went to Tulsa. Johnson put the best face on her future: "I know they won only three games but they're still a great team." At the end of the day, Tulsa might have been the biggest winner in the draft.
Connecticut's Tiffany Hayes may have been channeling the Atlanta Dream in wearing the Eastern champions' colors to the draft but many wondered why she fell to the second round. Nevetheless, the thinking is she might stick with the Dream and it doesn't hurt that Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors is one of UConn coach Geno Auriemma's assistants on the U.S. Olympic team.
Finally, a sign of the times was the announcement of a rarity at the end of the draft -- not one trade was consummated. So the end discussion was the same at the beginning -- next year's picks are not negotiable, for now.
We'll see how that plays out later this summer -- when it becomes apparent who is solidly in the playoff hunt and who is heading for the lottery.
- Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike taken first in WNBA draft
- WNBA Draft Recap: Liberty fans upset with Kelley Cain pick in first round