With the 10th pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, the Dallas Wings selected South Carolina guard Kaela Davis. Davis will join her Gamecocks teammate, Allisha Gray, in Texas after Gray was taken 4th by Dallas. Alaina Coates went 2nd overall and is headed to the Chicago Sky.
2016-17 stats: 37 GP, 36 GS, 12.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.05 spg - 81.2 FT%, 37.5 FG%, 34.9 3pFG%
Career stats (Two seasons at Georgia Tech, one at USC): 103 GP, 101 GS, 16.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.16 spg - 78.8 FT%, 37.1 FG%, 32.6 3pFG%
Summary: By all accounts, Davis’s college journey could have kept her in Atlanta: an all-ACC first-team pick before her sophomore year at Georgia Tech, multiple player of the year watch lists, and several other honors while appearing to be on track to become one of the top players in Yellow Jackets history. But while the Norcross High School grad originally elected to stay close to home, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a much more powerful program in South Carolina. That decision paid off.
While she wasn’t regarded as the go-to player that she was at Tech, Davis didn’t need to be as the trio of Wilson, Gray and Coates led the way. Her only season in Columbia turned out to be a statistical success: 12.7 ppg (good for fourth on the team) and 35% from three as one of the Gamecocks’ designated long-distance shooters.
Strengths: Simply put, the Gamecocks wouldn’t have won the NCAA Tournament without the contributions of Davis. While she wasn’t dominant from outside in the second round against Arizona State, she still put up 20 points to help hold off an upset-minded Sun Devils team. She then registered her most complete performance of the year: 28 points on 9-13 shooting (5-6 from three) against Quinnipiac in the Sweet 16, followed by a 23-point, 10-15 night against Florida State in the Elite Eight. Davis is the high-scoring guard that can also defend well and be of great benefit to her new club in XXX.
Weaknesses: She can be very, very streaky as a shooter at times. Davis had a poor showing in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament against UNC Asheville (2-10, six points) and was a non-factor against Stanford in the Final Four before a little better effort against Mississippi State in the national championship game. There were other games throughout the season where she was just completely off the mark. That’s not to take away from her talent and skill level; to reiterate, the Gamecocks don’t make that run in March win the title without her, but a more consistent ledger would have improved her draft stock significantly.