Roster cuts loom for former NCAA stars on WNBA decision day

May 13, 2024
The WNBA season starts tomorrow, and teams must finalize their rosters today…meaning at least six squads must make brutal cuts to reach the league maximum of 12 rostered players.
CollegeBasketball
Roster cuts loom for former NCAA stars on WNBA decision day
Source: minnesotalynx/X

The GIST: As you read, the WNBA season starts tomorrow, and teams must finalize their rosters today…meaning at least six squads must make brutal cuts to reach the league maximum of 12 rostered players. So, before they’re officially pros, let’s check in on the college game’s most recent grads.

Counting the class: How are the 30 NCAA alumni in the 2024 WNBA Draft class faring so far? As of this morning, 15 players remain on rosters, 11 have been waived (aka cut), and one will miss the season due to injury.

  • As for the other three — Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu, and USC’s Kaitlyn Davis — their fates are TBD: They haven’t officially been cut, but their names are currently absent from their draft teams’ rosters. *bites nails*

The locks: While No. 1 pick Caitlin Clark (Iowa) was essentially guaranteed an Indiana Fever spot since declaring for the draft, she wasn’t the only one blessed with job security. From the start, fellow first-rounders Cameron Brink (Stanford), Jacy Sheldon (Ohio State), and Aaliyah Edwards (UConn) were safe roster bets for the LA Sparks, Dallas Wings, and Washington Mystics, respectively.

  • And though second-rounder Nika Mühl (UConn) worried about making the Seattle Storm’s roster, a confidence boost from former coach Geno Auriemma helped turn her into a lock. Besides, teams don’t usually host surprise graduations for players they’re about to waive.

The heartbreakers: Despite standout college careers, some second- and third-rounders are already seeking overseas playing opportunities: No. 19 pick Taiyanna Jackson (Kansas) is currently the highest-drafted player to fall after the Connecticut Sun waived her on Friday, and other familiar NCAA faces like Charisma Osborne (UCLA) and McKenzie Forbes (USC) were also sent packing.

The anxiously waiting: Fans have been holding their breath for Las Vegas Aces draftee Kate Martin (Iowa), but the No. 18 pick’s outlook is good — she’s even burying college rivalries (no matter how painful). Also sweating? No. 8 pick Alissa Pili, whose standout Utah career should translate well to the W…if the Minnesota Lynx lock her down today. Fingers and toes crossed.

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