Phoenix Mercury draft former Pac-12 center Marie Gulich
The Phoenix Mercury drafted a Pac-12 product in Thursday night’s WNBA Draft.
With the No. 12 pick overall, Phoenix selected Marie Gulich, who led Oregon State to an Elite Eight appearance this season.
Gulich averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game for the Ducks, who finished the season as the No. 13-ranked team in the nation.
At 6-foot-5, Gulich joins two-time Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner as the only two centers on the current Phoenix roster.
Arizona State witnessed how dominant Gulich could be in February, when she scored 36 points – 30 of which came in the second half – and only missed two field goals. She displayed strong mid-range shooting and her playmaking ability to find shooters and cutters.
Here are the Mercury’s other selections in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
No. 20: Tyler Scaife, Rutgers
Scaife scored almost a third of all Rutgers points last season – her 19.5 points per game far eclipsed the second-leading scorer, who averaged 7.5 per game.
She was named All-Big Ten.
Perhaps more impressively, this came a year after missing a full season due to open-heart surgery.
Scaife is one of three Rutgers players to score 2,000 points in her career.
No. 21: Raisa Musina, Russia
Russian player Raisa Musina impressed in the 2017 FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup, averaging 16.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, including a 33-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist performance against USA in the finals.
If she plays in the WNBA, she’ll be the twelfth Russian/Soviet Union player to do so, including US-born players who became naturalized Russian citizens.
Both Diana Taurasi and Griner have played for Russian teams during their careers.
The Mercury were ninth out of 12 WNBA teams in rebounds as a team last season. With Musina and Gulich on board, the team could improve in that aspect.
No. 26: Imani Wright, Florida State
Imani Wright served as a 3-point specialist for Florida State, making 38 percent of her shots from beyond the arc last season.
Her 269 made 3-pointers was 17th-best in the NCAA. She was named to the All-ACC First Team.
She faced Arizona State in December, scoring 22 points and three 3-pointers.
The Mercury were in the middle of the pack in 3-point shooting last season at 33.9 percent. If Wright makes the team alongside newcomer Briann January, a WNBA veteran with a 36.9 career 3-point shooting percentage traded to Phoenix in March, the team could improve there as well.