Odyssey Sims won’t have to wait long to learn her WNBA fate Monday night.
The former Baylor all-American is expected to be one of the top two picks in the draft, which will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
The most recent mock draft on WNBA.com has Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike going to the Connecticut Sun with the first pick and Sims headed to the Tulsa Shock with the second pick, but Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said her team could take Sims.
“Odyssey Sims is quite the player,” Donovan said. “So everybody who thinks it’s a foregone conclusion Chiney will end up with us — We’d love to have Odyssey. I don’t know that Odyssey is not the most-prepared player to be in the WNBA. She plays on both ends of the floor, and she’s as focused defensively as she is offensively. So she’s a great get for Connecticut or Tulsa.”
Should the Sun decide on Ogwumike, Sims will almost certainly go second.
As new Tulsa coach Fred Williams said on a WNBA predraft conference call, “We’re going to do the opposite of what (the Sun does), but either player is a good find and a good pick.”
Sims, a 5-foot-8 guard from Irving, has proved she can play a number of roles during her college career.
Her first three seasons she was mostly a defender and distributor for the Lady Bears, and teamed with former two-time National Player of the Year Brittney Griner as the main cogs in a team that put together the first 40-0 season in college basketball history, men’s or women’s, during Sims’ sophomore campaign.
But when Griner graduated after the 2013 season, Sims took over as Baylor’s top scoring option and shined in that role as well.
As a senior, Sims averaged 28.5 points per game, a school record and second in the nation, and her 1,054 total points made her just the second player in NCAA Division I history to reach the 1,000-point plateau for a season.
Sims also made 45 percent of her shots from the floor, including 40 percent from 3-point range, and 81 percent of her free throws. She also grabbed 4.6 rebounds and dished out 4.6 assists per contest in helping the Lady Bears win the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles for the fourth straight year and reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.
Unlike her first three seasons at Baylor, when Sims played primarily point guard, she was allowed to play off the ball more and excelled in both roles.
“(Her changing roles) just expanded her value because she had to defer to Brittney Griner for long time, and she did a very good job with that,” ESPN women’s basketball analyst LaChina Robinson said. “She was the main playmaker and did a very good job with that. She had to play defense on the point, and she did a very good job of that, and she had to handle basketball and did a very good job of that. Then this year adding on to all the things we had seen this year, becomes prolific scorer. She has the ability to play the point guard and shooting guard.”
Live coverage of the draft will begin with the first round at 7 p.m. CDT on ESPN2, with ESPNU picking up the coverage from 8-9:30 for the second and third rounds.