Angel Reese declares for WNBA Draft

Angel Reese announced on Wednesday that she is headed to the WNBA, via a profile in Vogue.

The 21-year-old Reese and the LSU Tigers saw their back-to-back NCAA title dreams dashed on Monday following their Elite Eight loss to Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes, whom they defeated in last year's national championship game.

WNBA rules state that players entering the draft must declare by April 1. College players competing in the Elite Eight or later have 48 hours after their final game to renounce their NCAA eligibility and declare for the draft.

Reese had until Wednesday night to announce her future plans. She had the option to remain at LSU for one more season under the COVID-19 waiver, but she will now take her talents to the WNBA.

The 2024 WNBA Draft will be held on April 15.

The 6-foot-3 Reese has dominated college basketball since transferring to LSU from Maryland in 2022. The forward's first year in Baton Rouge saw her win a national title and be named a first-team All-American, as well as the 2023 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player, averaging 23 points, 15.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

This past season, Reese averaged 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds per game while recording 20 double-doubles in 33 regular-season games for the Tigers. She added to that total with seven more double-doubles in the NCAA tournament, including a 17-point, 20-rebound performance in the loss to Iowa.

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said in March that whatever Reese decided, she had "left her mark" on the Tigers' program.

"What Angel Reese has done at LSU in two years, we really need to step back and go, 'Wow,'" Mulkey said. "She won a national championship last year, she's a celebrity now. And then, to come back this year and get Player of the Year – she was an All-Defensive player, as well – she's left her mark.

"Whether she comes back next year or not, that young lady has left her mark on LSU women's basketball."

The 2024 WNBA Draft will feature plenty of talent with Clark, Stanford's Cameron Brink, South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso, Tennessee's Rickea Jackson, and Connecticut's Aaliyah Edwards expected to be among the top picks.

Where will Reese go? That's up for debate.

As Yahoo Sports' Cassandra Negley noted this week, while Reese had success in college, the transition to the pro game might come with some struggles.

Reese is an elite rebounder with a nose for the ball and a strong work ethic to get it. That alone might help her stick on a roster, as will her defense. But she hasn't developed other parts of her game. Reese isn't a strong shooter outside of the paint and certainly not from the perimeter. She was forced to take those shots in this NCAA tournament and didn't look comfortable.

That's the biggest question mark and teams will have to be patient, which is a luxury few are afforded in the WNBA. Even if Reese sticks on a roster, she won't dominate the way she did in college.

The Indiana Fever hold the first pick in the WNBA draft with the Los Angeles Sparks (Nos. 2 and 4), Chicago Sky and Dallas Wings rounding out the top five selections.

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