Tulsa Shock drafts Australian center, Stanford forward
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, April 11, 2011
4/11/11 at 9:45 PM
The Tulsa Shock selected 19-year-old Australian Elizabeth Cambage with the second overall pick in Monday’s WNBA draft.
Cambage is a 6-foot-8 center who was named MVP of the WNBL after leading Australia’s premier league in scoring, blocks and field goal percentage. She also averaged 22.3 points and 8.2 rebounds.
After watching Cambage produce 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in Australia’s loss to the United States in the FIBA World Championships last year, Team USA coach Geno Auriemma said this in an interview with the Hartford Courant:
“I think that if the best players we have in America right now have no chance of guarding her one-on-one, if she would go to college (in the U.S.)... she’d be the most dominant player in America.”
Added Auriemma, “There is no one else 6-8 who can (make an) impact on both ends of the floor. You can’t score in the lane against her and you can’t stop her from scoring. And she’s skilled. She scores with both hands, makes her free throws, handles the ball well. The only thing she lacks is experience. But I have not seen a center her age better than her in a long time.”
Shock co-owner David Box and director of player personnel Teresa Edwards traveled to Australia to watch Cambage play. Box told an interviewer from Contact Sport, an Australian TV show, that he leaves scouting to coaches, but he called Cambage a “great girl” and suggested she would be a fan-favorite.
“She has a chance to captivate the entire world,” Edwards said.
According to a ESPN.com draft diary, Cambage plans to attend an Oklahoma City Thunder game Wednesday. She and other top WNBA prospects were at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. for the draft.
The Shock also picked former Stanford forward Kayla Pedersen with the seventh overall pick.
Elsewhere in the draft, the Minnesota Lynx took college player of the year Maya Moore of Connecticut with the first pick.
Former Oklahoma standout Danielle Robinson was taken sixth by San Antonio.
A 5-foot-9 guard, Robinson was a two-time All-American and was a member of teams that advanced to two Final Fours and two Sweet Sixteens.
As a senior, Robinson averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 assists and 2.5 steals. She became one of only four women in college basketball history to total at least 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals in a career.
With the 21st pick in the second round, the Shock selected 5-8 guard Italee Lucas out of North Carolina and with the 25th overall pick, the Shock took Arkansas-Little Rock's Chastity Reed.
Reed finished her career with 2,207 points, 896 rebounds, and with numerous UALR career records including scoring and rebounding.
Elizabeth Cambage from Australia was the MVP of the Australia’s premier women’s league. JENNIFER POTTHEISER/NBAE/Getty Images