WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Mystics have not enjoyed on court success the last couple of seasons. In an effort to change that, they had two top-ten picks in the first round of the WNBA Draft on Monday.
With the number-eight selection they drafted Natalie Novosel of Notre Dame. Novosel was the second leading scorer on a star-studded Irish team that lost to Baylor in the National Championship game. The Irish posted a 35-4 record and Novosel was a huge part, averaging 15.2 points per game shooting 41% from three-point range.
Novosel, a 5-11 guard out of Lexington, Kentucky, led the Irish in scoring in seven of its last 12 games and scored 28 in the NCAA Tournament against California, and led the team with 22 in a final four victory of Connecticut.
“Im looking forward to going to Washington and playing whatever role it is they want me to play,” Novosel said.
At the tenth spot, they chose LaSondra Barrett, a versatile forward out of LSU. Barrett, a 6-2 native of Jackson, Mississippi, led LSU in scoring and rebounding and also has the ability to handle the ball in the open floor which will provide a lot of versatility for the Mystics. “It doesn’t matter what position I play, I bring a competitve drive and and I’ll do whatever it takes to win,” Barrett said. Barrett and Novosel are former AAU teammates. “Natalie is a great player and I’m looking forward to playing with her again,” Barrett said.
The Mystics did not have a second round selection. They had two third-round picks, at the 26-spot, Washington took Anjale Barrett from the University of Maryland. This was a bit of a reach by Washington, as there were much better guards available, including Sydney Carter a lightning quick combo-guard who went the pick right after. At 35, Washington took Brianna Gilbreath from USC.
Washington is the fourth-oldest team in the league. The Mystics have made some curious moves in the off-season, including sending local favorite Marissa Coleman to the Sparks and Barrett will help fill her spot. Coleman is very embedded in the Washington community including starting some grass roots efforts young players in the DC Area.
The WNBA Season will also find an interruption when the Olympics take place in London during the summer.