Sports Shorts | April 12, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 12, 2019

Sports Shorts

A LITTLE DRAFTY ...Stanford senior Alanna Smith was reunited with her Australian National Team coach Sandy Brondello when she became the Phoenix Mercury's first round draft pick, the eighth overall pick, of the WNBA Draft at Nike NYHQ in New York on Wednesday. Smith and Brondello helped Team Australia to the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup, losing in the championship game to the United States, comprised of veteran WNBA players. Phoenix finished 20-14 last season, reaching the league's final four for the sixth consecutive season. The Mercury begin training camp May 5 and opens the season May 25 at Seattle. The 6-foot-4 forward with a 3-point touch became the 26th Stanford player drafted into the WNBA and the 12th first-round selection. Smith, an All-American, had a superb senior season in which she shot 51.5 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from behind the arc and averaged a team-high 19.4 points per game to go with 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. She was one of two players in the country to average 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season and her numbers were even better in conference. She put up 20.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 18 Pac-12 games and was one of just two nationally to have those averages in league action. Smith, the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the year and an academic All-American, led Stanford to its 13th Pac-12 Tournament title with a 64-57 win over Oregon in Las Vegas on March 10. She was named the tournament's most outstanding player after posting double-doubles in each of the Cardinal's three wins and averaging 18.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. Smith finished her career 10th in school history in scoring (1,703) and second in blocks (225) and made 155 career 3-pointers. She is just the fourth NCAA women's basketball player over the past 20 years to put together a career of 1,600 points, 150 made triples and 200 blocks. Smith, who had 81 triples, 78 blocks and 699 points this year, is the only NCAA women's basketball player to accumulate 70 3-pointers, 70 blocks and 600 points in a season in the last 20 years. Her 81 made 3-pointers this season are the second most for a player her height over the past 20 seasons. She was 34th in the country in scoring (19.4) and 33rd in blocks per game (2.17), the only player in the NCAA in the top 40 in both categories. Smith's 78 rejections are second in Stanford history behind Jayne Appel's 84 in 2007-08 and her 81 made 3-pointers are tied for eighth, as is the 699 points she scored. She is just the fourth player in program history to earn both All-America and academic All-America honors, joining Chiney Ogwumike, Kristin Folkl and Kate Starbird. Since the WNBA's inaugural season (1997), 29 former Stanford players have appeared in a regular-season game and seven players have won a combined eight WNBA championships.

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