The WNBA Draft scene changed considerably this week with the news that Tennessee star Diamond DeShields made the choice to return for her senior season, making Washington's Kelsey Plum the presumptive first overall selection in the upcoming draft.
Most mock drafts considered DeShields the first overall selection, with Plum generally considered next in line. Now that DeShields, a redshirt junior, has decided to stick around for another year at Tennessee, the door is open for the Washington alum to be the first pick.
Plum is already a sure-fire top-three selection, and will be the highest draft pick in Washington history. Last year, Talia Walton was the 29th overall selection, and only two other former Huskies have been drafted into the WNBA — Megan Franza (61st overall) in 2001 and Rhonda Smith (46th overall) in 2000.
She would be the first Pac-12 player to be drafted first overall since Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike was drafted first overall in 2014.
Washington is likely to have two first-rounders this year, as Chantel Osahor is expected to be drafted in the back half of the first round. (The Huskies program could have the top pick in the WNBA Draft and the NBA Draft, as Washington's Markelle Fultz is projected by many to be the first player taken in the NBA Draft),
While DeShields' decision appears to solidify Plum's chances at the No. 1 overall selection, there's no doubt the most prolific scorer in women's college basketball history is worthy of the top pick, even if DeShields had declared for the draft.
Plum is the leading scorer in Pac-12 basketball history (men's or women's), the first D1 women's basketball player to score more than 3,000 points in her career, and finished her Washington career with 3,527 points (averaging 25.4 per game over her career).
She is one of just three women to score 1,000 points in a single season, and her 1,109 points this year was the best single-season effort in D1 womens history. She averaged 31.7 points per game this season.
If the San Antonio Stars decide to grab Plum with the first selection in the 2017 WNBA Draft, they will be adding a cornerstone scorer to their roster, a player they can count on to get buckets for years to come.