IOWA CITY — Kathleen Doyle will watch the WNBA Draft at home, in LaGrange Park, Ill.
“Just immediate family, thanks to the quarantine,” she said.
A small crowd. But not a quiet one.
“If I know the Doyles, I know it will be noisy when Kathleen’s name comes up,” Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder said.
The 2019-20 Big Ten player of the year and an Associated Press third-team All-American, Doyle is projected as a second- or third-round selection in Friday’s draft, which begins at 6 p.m. (Iowa time) and will be televised by ESPN.
Mock drafts have Doyle, a 5-foot-9 point guard, going anywhere from 18th (a mid-second-round selection) to 30th (midway through the third).
“There are a lot of (mock drafts) out there,” Doyle said. “Anybody can make them. You can’t pay attention to them.”
As far as the real draft is concerned, it will held virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic. No ballroom, no handshakes with Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
Barring a disappoointing surprise, Iowa will have a player drafted for the second straight year. Megan Gustafson was selected 17th last year, by the Dallas Wings.
Bluder said she has received more calls from WNBA reps this year about Doyle than she did on Gustafson.
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“Maybe it’s because people have more time because of the virus. Maybe it’s because the WNBA is more of a guard-oriented league,” Bluder said.
“It’s going to be interesting to watch. I just wish I could be there with her.”
BBall Index has Doyle going as the 22nd pick, to the Los Angeles Sparks:
“Kathleen Doyle played her way up as one of the top point guards in the country and (there’s a) strong likelihood she goes earlier in the draft. (She) brings a solid option and competition for the point-guard spot in training camp.
“She’s tough, knows how to distribute and score. Her numbers have improved steadily every year, especially in her senior campaign. She is as solid and well-rounded point guard as any in this draft. A steal this late in the game.”
Swishappeal.com slots Doyle at No. 30, to the Chicago Sky:
“Iowa may have lost Big Ten legend Megan Gustafson to graduation, but the Hawkeyes remained one of the conference’s better teams and Doyle was a significant part of that. Doyle will be great competition for whichever guards she’s in training camp with.”
Even assuming she’s drafted, there’s no guarantee Doyle will make a roster. There are 12 teams in the league, 12 players on a roster. That’s only 144 players, from all over the world.
“It’s very, very difficult to make a WNBA roster,” ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said in a teleconference Tuesday. “Even more so for a second- or third-round pick.”
Still, Lobo thinks Doyle has a legitimate shot to stick. The reason?
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“People like the way she plays,” Lobo said. “Her fire, her mentality, her toughness, her grittiness. She’s a great passer and she can shoot the basketball.
“She’s not going to be upset if she’s a 12th player, if she doesn’t get a lot of minutes. Because of her competitiveness, that’s the kind of player, that kind of second-rounder than can make a roster.”
Doyle has hired former point guard Ticha Penicheiro, who played 15 seasons in the WNBA, as her agent.
Where will Doyle land? She really doesn’t care.
“I just want an opportunity,” she said. “If I had a crystal ball, I’d want to pick a team that I could make the roster.”
Iowa Hawkeyes and the WNBA Draft
2019 — Megan Gustafson, Dallas, 2nd round, 17th pick
2015 — Samantha Logic, Atlanta, 1st round, 10th pick
2006 — Crystal Smith, Phoenix, 3rd round, 32nd pick
2002 — Lindsey Meder, Minnesota, 3rd round, 38th pick
2001 — Cara Consuegra, Utah, 4th round, 56th pick
1999 — Amy Herrig, Sacramento, 4th round, 38th pick
1998 — Tangela Smith, Sacramento, 2nd round, 12th pick
1998 — Nadine Domond, New York, 2nd round, 19th pick
1998 — Angela Hamblin, Washington, 3rd round, 23rd pick
1997 — Toni Foster, Phoenix, 1st round, 8th pick
1997 — Tia Jackson, Phoenix, 2nd round, 9th pick
1997 — Michelle Edwards, Cleveland, player allocation
2020 WNBA Draft order
1. New York Liberty
2. Dallas Wings
3. Indiana Fever
4. Atlanta Dream
5. Dallas Wings
6. Minnesota Lynx
7. Dallas Wings
8. Chicago Sky
9. New York Liberty
10. Phoenix Mercury
11. Seattle Storm
12. New York Liberty
13. New York Liberty
14. Indiana Fever
15. New York Liberty
16. Minnesota Lynx
17. Atlanta Dream
18. Phoenix Mercury
19. Seattle Storm
20. Los Angeles Sparks
21. Dallas Wings
22. Los Angeles Sparks
23. Connecticut Sun
24. Washington Mystics
25. Atlanta Dream
26. New York Liberty
27. Atlanta Dream
28. Indiana Fever
29. Phoenix Mercury
30. Chicago Sky
31. Seattle Storm
32. Chicago Sky
33. Las Vegas Aces
34. Los Angeles Sparks
35. Connecticut Sun
36. Washington Mystics
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