Nine of the first 15 picks from April’s Draft will be in attendance for Wednesday night’s showdown between the New York Liberty and Dallas Wings.
With the arrival of Megan Walker, the New York Liberty now have seven rookies on their roster. Somehow, they’ll face a team even younger than they are on Wednesday night in the WNBA bubble.
Nine rookies, including half of the first-round picks from April’s draft will be on hand for a Wednesday night contest in Bradenton between the Liberty (0-1) and the Dallas Wings (8 p.m. ET, CBSSN/Fox Sports Go). That manifest is headlined by the top names announced, Oregon alumnae Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally.
Ionescu, the first overall pick, made her anticipated debut on Saturday afternoon, scoring 12 points in the Liberty’s 87-71 defeat at the hand of the Seattle Storm. Veteran newcomer Layshia Clarendon led all scorers with 20 points while Amanda Zahui B also hit double figures with 10. The Liberty were able to keep pace with Seattle until the fourth quarter, which the Storm took by a 21-14 margin.
“I think we saw (the feeling) of fearless very often,” Zahui B said in a postgame Zoom conference. “They took the lead and we came back. Now we just got to keep on being consistent with it and not get on our heels. It’s a growing process. I think we did it well as a first game. It’s not perfect, but we were going against Seattle and we’re pretty much new to the league as a whole. I think we did pretty well.”
Dallas (0-1) is likewise coming off a competitive defeat, falling 105-95 to the Atlanta Dream on Sunday evening. Isabelle Harrison had a double-double in defeat (18 points, 10 rebounds) while Allisha Gray and April’s seven overall selection Tyasha Harris united for 32 points off the bench. Dallas and New York tied for tenth place in last season’s standings with matching marks of 10-24.
This will be the first of two meetings between the Liberty and Wings this season, the latter coming on August 27. The Wings took two of the three meetings last season, with the Liberty’s win coming at Westchester County Center last June. Kia Nurse led the way for New York with 17 points in a 69-68 victory.
Nurse left Saturday’s game with a left ankle sprain and is listed as questionable on the New York injury report. Liberty rookie Jazmine Jones (right ankle sprain) is marked probable, but the final pick of the first round announced after Wednesday’s shootaround that she was ready to make her WNBA debut.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags