After a tumultuous 5-31 season, the Indiana Fever can take a huge step forward next season after winning the 2023 WNBA draft lottery – meaning they have the No. 1 overall pick. It’s the first time the Fever have won the lottery in franchise history and couldn’t have come at a better time than right now.
The Fever joined the WNBA as an expansion team in 2000 and while they missed the playoffs in four of their first five seasons, they made it 11 consecutive years between 2005 and 2016 – making it to the WNBA Finals three times and winning the WNBA championship in 2012. They were consistently good.
Unfortunately, their streak ended in 2017 when they began a six-year playoff drought – a drought that continues to this day. It’s the longest active playoff drought in the WNBA and they’ve gone through three coaches in that span. They’re hoping new head coach Christie Sides can help turn things around.
Who Are the Top 20 WNBA Prospects This Year?
The 2023 WNBA Draft lottery featured the four teams that didn’t make the playoffs last season – the Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics (via LA Sparks), and Minnesota Lynx. The WNBA Draft lottery odds are determined by each team’s cumulative record over the past two regular seasons.
The Fever were given the best odds after going 11-57 the past two years – which is why it was no surprise to see them win the lottery. The Lynx will pick second, the Dream will pick third, and the Mystics will pick fourth. In what’s supposed to be a deep draft, these teams will receive a franchise-altering player.
The Chicago Sky (No. 5), New York Liberty (No. 6), Indiana Fever (No. 7), Atlanta Dream (No. 8), Seattle Storm (No. 9), Connecticut Sun (No. 10). Dallas Wings (No. 11), and Minnesota Lynx (No. 12) fill out the first round of the 2023 WNBA Draft. Let’s see who the best WNBA prospects are entering the draft.
20. Charisma Osborne
Charisma Osborne is a 5’9’’ senior guard who currently plays for the UCLA Bruins – she played high school basketball at Windward School in LA. In three games played this season, Osborne is averaging 20.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 10.7 rebounds per game. She already has two double-doubles this year.
Osborne has been a full-time starter since her freshman year. She averaged 12.2 points per game as a freshman, 17.0 points as a sophomore, 16.4 points as a junior, and now 20.3 points as a senior. She rebounds often, excels at getting her teammates involved, and she’s reliable from the free throw line.
19. Jordan Horston
Jordan Horston is a 6’2’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers – she was the No. 2 high school recruit entering her 2019-20 freshman year. She made an immediate impact, averaging 10.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game – starting 22 of 31 games.
She took a bit of a step back as a sophomore, but led the Volunteers in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals last season. She finished the season with 16.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game as a junior. Unfortunately, her season ended a little early due to a fractured dislocation of an elbow.
18. Grace Berger
Grace Berger is a 6’0’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Indiana Hoosiers – she played four years of high school basketball at Sacred Heart. She’s now in her fifth year at Indiana and fourth year as a full-time starter. Last year, she led the team in points and assists, scoring in double figures 30 times.
Berger is somewhat of a legend at the university – she’s the all-time winningest player in campus history. Her numbers might be down through three games this season, but she’ll pick things up as the season continues. As of now, she’s averaging 11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
17. Tamari Key
Tamari Key is a 6’6’’ senior center who currently plays for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers – she’s teammates with Jordan Horston. She played high school basketball at Cary High School in North Carolina. Her sister, Teonni Key, currently plays basketball at the University of North Carolina.
Key has been a full-time starter since her freshman year – she plays a major role on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. She’s coming off a season that saw her set career-highs in points (10.5) and rebounds (8.1) per game. In January 2022, she recorded a whopping 11 blocks against Texas A&M.
16. Laeticia Amihere
Laeticia Amihere is a 6’4’’ senior forward who currently plays for the South Carolina Gamecocks – she grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and attended King’s Christian Collegiate. In 2021, she set a campus record for most blocked shots in an NCAA Tournament game – she finished with nine blocks vs. Texas.
Despite playing in 93 games over the past four years, Amihere has only started four games in her college career. She might only score about 6.0 points per game, but she gives her team quality minutes and is a big reason why her team won the National Championship last season. She’s someone to keep an eye on.
15. Zia Cooke
Zia Cooke is a 5’9’’ senior guard who’s currently teammates with Laeticia Amihere at South Carolina – she grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Rogers High School. She has broken several campus records – including most starts by a freshman and most three-pointers made in a NCAA Tournament game.
Since joining the Gamecocks for the 2019-20 season, Cooke has started in all 102 games she has played in. In two games this season, she’s averaging a career-high 17.5 points and 2.0 steals per game. She’s shooting 39% from the field (10 of 26), 43% from long range (6 of 14), and 90% from the charity stripe.
14. Jacy Sheldon
Jacy Sheldon is a 5’10’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Ohio State Buckeyes – she grew up in Dublin, Ohio and attended Dublin Coffman High School. She has been a full-time starter since her freshman year and is coming off a career year that saw her average 19.7 points per game in 2021-22.
Sheldon’s numbers have taken a bit of a hit this season, but she’s only two games in and will likely pick up steam as the season goes on. She scored 14 points in each of the first two games and is averaging 5.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds. What’s most impressive this year is her 19 steals – yeah, through 2 games.
13. Madi Williams
Madi Williams is a 6’0’’ redshirt senior forward who currently plays for the Oklahoma Sooners – she grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and attended Trinity Valley School. She has been a full-time starter at the school since the 2018-19 season and has led the team in rebounds four years in a row – searching for her fifth.
Williams does a little bit of everything on the floor. Over the course of her career, she is averaging 16.3 points, 71. Rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Through three games this season, she’s putting up a career-high 21.7 points – though her rebounding and passing has taken a hit. Still, the future is bright.
12. Dre’una Edwards
Dre’una Edwards is a 6’0’’ redshirt senior forward who currently plays for the Baylor Bears – it’s her first season with the Bears after spending three years at the University of Kentucky and another year at the University of Utah. She played a crucial role for UK the past few years, mostly coming off the bench.
In fact, she had a 10-game stretch last season that saw her score at least 20 points in six of them – including a 27-point outing in the SEC Championship game, leading her Wildcats to a win over No. 1 South Carolina. She averaged 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last year, which is impressive.
11. Dyaisha Fair
Dyaisha Fair is a 5’5’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Syracuse Orange – grew up in Rochester, New York and attended Edison Tech. She nearly averaged a 33-point triple double her senior year of high school, putting up 33.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. She loves filling up a stat sheet.
Fair has averaged at least 22.0 points per game in each of her seasons – which were spent with Buffalo. She put up 22.0 points as a freshman, 24.1 points as a sophomore, and 23.4 points as a junior. She doesn’t mind playing big minutes and is now averaging 15.7 points per game with Syracuse this year.
10. Aijha Blackwell
Aijha Blackwell is a 5’11’’ senior guard/forward who now plays for the Baylor Bears – she transferred this year after spending three years at the University of Missouri. Not only was she the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, but she was the second-leading rebounder in all of women’s college basketball.
She played in 26 games for the Tigers last year, averaging 14.9 points and 13.1 rebounds per game – no Mizzou player has ever averaged more rebounds per game than she did last year. She’s as consistent as they come, putting up a double-double in 20 of her 26 games. She’s currently dealing with an injury.
9. Abby Meyers
Abby Meyers is a 6’0’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Maryland Terrapins – she transferred this year after spending three years at Princeton. Despite this being her first year at Maryland, she was voted team co-captain at the start of the year – a testament to who she is on the floor and in the locker room.
Meyers has played in all four games for Maryland so far this season and she has been on a tear. She’s averaging 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. She’s an efficient scorer, shooting 49% (25 of 51) from the floor and 52% from the three-point line (11 of 21). She’s a true leader.
8. Maddy Siegrist
Maddy Siegrist is a 6’1’’ senior forward who currently plays for the Villanova Wildcats – she grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York and attended Our Lady of Lourdes. She has a good combination of size and quickness, giving her the ability to score at will from anywhere on the court – including long range.
Siegrist was the Big East Player of the Year last season after putting up 25.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. She has been on an absolute tear this season, already averaging 26.5 points and 13.0 rebounds through the first two games. Expect her to be a first round pick at the 2023 WNBA Draft.
7. Ashley Owusu
Ashley Owusu is a 6’0’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Virginia Tech Hokies – she transferred to the team after spending the past three years with the Maryland Terrapins. She played 27 games for the Terrapins last year, scoring at least 10 points in 20 of those games. She was a consistent contributor.
Owusu has already played three games with her new squad and she’s fitting in nicely. She’s averaging 9.3 points per game this season, adding 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. She recently scored a season-high 10 points on November 14th against USC Upstate. She’ll only continue to get better.
6. Rickea Jackson
Rickea Jackson is a 6’2’’ senior forward who currently plays for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers – she’s the third Tennessee player on this list, joining Horston and Key from above. It’s her first year with the team after spending the past three years at Mississippi State. She was the team’s leading scorer each season.
Jackson is a premier scorer who can put up points in a hurry. She scored a career-high 40 points in 2021 and has scored at least 30 points on three different occasions. Through three games this season, she’s averaging 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game – including a 24-point outing.
5. Elizabeth Kitley
Elizabeth Kitley is a 6’6’’ senior center who currently plays for the Virginia Tech Hokies – teammates with Ashley Owusu from above. She grew up in Summerfield, North Carolina and attended Northwest Guilford High School. She was the 2022 ACC Player of the Year and 2022 AP All American Third Team.
Last year, Kitley put the nation on notice when she scored a campus record 42 points in the NCAA Tournament. She started all 90 games she played in her college career, averaging 16.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists – she also has 196 career blocks. She has 17.7 points and 10.7 rebounds this year.
4. Ashley Joens
Ashley Joens is a 6’1’’ senior guard-forward who currently plays for the Iowa State Cyclones – she grew up in Iowa City, Iowa and attended City High School. She’s a two-time Cheryl Miller Award winner and has averaged at least 20.0 points per game in each of the past three years – an incredible achievement.
And Joens is doing it again this season. Through three games, she’s averaging 23.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.0 steals, per game. She put up an impressive 28 points in the season opener vs. Cleveland State and most recently put up 26 points vs. UNI on November 16th.
3. Haley Jones
Haley Jones is a 6’1’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Stanford Cardinal – she grew up in Santa Cruz, California and attended Archbishop Mitty High School. Her coach has dubbed her ‘the Magic Johnson of women’s basketball’ due to her high basketball IQ and ability to get teammates involved.
Jones has been a consistent player for Stanford the past three years – averaging 13.2 points per game in each of the past two seasons. She’s averaging 12.6 ponts, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game over her college career. After failing to score in double figures the first three games of the season, she put up 17 points on November 13th.
2. Diamond Miller
Diamond Miller is a 6’3’’ senior guard who currently plays for the Maryland Terrapins – she grew up in Somerset, New Jersey and attended Franklin High School. She was named to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2021 and Second Team in 2022. She underwent successful knee surgery in April and is now back.
Miller saw her stats dip a little bit last season. She put up 17.3 points per game in 2020-21, but only 13.1 points per game in 2021-22. After scoring 11 points in her first game of the year, she put up 22 points on November 13th and another 19 points on November 16th. It’s safe to say she’s finally returning to form.
1. Aliyah Boston
Aliyah Boston is a 6’5’’ senior forward who currently plays for the South Carolina Gamecocks – she was born in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and attended Worcester (Mass.) Academy. She’s the clear-cut No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, so we’d be surprised if she’s not wearing a Fever jersey in 2023.
Boston has earned a ton of accolades throughout her college career. She was the Honda Cup Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year last season, while also being named SEC Female Athlete of the Year and National Player of the Year (for the second straight season). I can’t wait to see her playing in the WNBA.
Who Are the Best WNBA Prospects in 2024 and Beyond?
The 2023 WNBA Draft is going to be an exciting night for the league – and an extra exciting night for the Indiana Fever, who will likely change the fate of their franchise when they draft Aliyah Boston. For the teams that are missing out on Boston, don’t panic – there’s plenty of talent coming in the next few years.
Some of the top WNBA prospects for the 2024 WNBA Draft and beyond include Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink, Angel Reese, Olivia Miles, Hailey Van Lith, Rori Harmon, Azzi Fudd, Deja Kelly, Aneesah Morrow, and Lexi Donarski. These players are expected to show out this season.
The WNBA has a bright future as it continues to grow and evolve. Incoming talent is getting better and better, while fans are getting more and more interested. For now, we turn our attention to the 2023 WNBA Draft – which takes place on April 10, 2023. Boston will likely go No. 1, but who gets drafted after her?
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