Ranking top 10 WNBA prospects in March Madness: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and more

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There’s been no greater sport so far in 2024 than women’s college basketball. It’s taken the sports world by storm, one record at a time. And the player leading the way needs no introduction.

Yet it’s almost the end of Caitlin Clark’s Iowa career, which already has gone down in the history books. All eyes will be on her March Madness run. But she’s not the only player to watch.

The 2024 WNBA Draft class is set to be one of the most talented we’ve ever seen, with a handful of top prospects already declaring their intention to go pro. Before doing so, though, they’re looking to lead their NCAA programs to the national title.

Unfortunately, that won’t include Liz Kitley, an ACC Player of the Year and All-American at Virginia Tech. The fifth-year senior tore her ACL during the ACC tournament and will sit out for her final NCAA tournament. 

While her absence will be felt by the Hokies and their opponents, there are plenty of other WNBA prospects in the tournament.

Need help figuring out who to watch? The Sporting News has you covered with our ranking of the top 2024 draft prospects in March Madness.

MORE: The Sporting News 2023-24 Women’s College Basketball All-America Team

Top WNBA prospects in March Madness

1. Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Surprise, surprise, the Hawkeyes senior is the No. 1 player to watch in the tournament. The Iowa native became the all-time NCAA scoring leader, breaking Pete Maravich’s record in Iowa’s final regular-season game. She holds Iowa’s single-game scoring record with 49 points against Michigan, which also was the game in which she broke Kelsey Plum’s NCAA women’s scoring record. Her accolades are too long to list, but her numbers tell the story for her.

Clark leads the nation in points (31.9) and assists (8.9) per game. She’s led Iowa to three consecutive Big Ten tournament championships as well as a 2023 national championship appearance.

Anyone who watches Clark can see the generational talent.

MORE: Are Iowa and LSU on track for a rematch?

2. Cameron Brink, Stanford

Cameron Brink

(Getty Images)

The Stanford senior is a national champion (2021), Pac-12 player of the year and three-time Pac-12 defensive player of the year. She leads the NCAA in blocks per game (3.5) and ranks third in rebounds (12.0). 

Not only is she defensively sound, but she’s efficient. Her 2023-24 season is one of the most efficient in the sport with a 46.62 rating. Brink is projected to be the No. 2 pick in the draft and would make a strong addition to any team.

3. Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

One of the most undervalued players in the NCAA, Jackson is one you need to watch.

The Tennessee fifth-year star averages 19.4 points and 8.0 rebounds for game, both a team-high. She’s struggled with injuries throughout her career, including a leg injury early in this season. But Jackson could provide the elevation the Vols need to make a deep playoff run. While they struggled toward the end of the season, never winning more than two straight games since early January, No. 6 seed Tennessee has the potential to be a bracket buster.

Not yet convinced by Jackson? Take it from SEC legend and two-time WNBA MVP and champion A’ja Wilson.

4. Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina

The internet went wild over Cardoso’s buzzer-beater 3-pointer in the SEC Tournament semifinal. Not only did it keep South Carolina’s undefeated season alive, but it was the Brazilian’s first career 3-pointer.

The SEC Defensive Player of the Year will sit out for the Gamecocks’ NCAA Tournament opener due to a fighting ejection she received against LSU, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the No. 1 team in the nation.

Cardoso doesn’t lead the NCAA in any categories. She averages 9.5 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 14.0 points while shooting 58.4%. But it’s unlikely a undefeated team would have anyone, even a star player, stand out dramatically. Still, the 6-7 Cardoso is one of the reasons South Carolina has reached this point. 

The senior can return to Columbia for a fifth year if she chooses, but it won’t be a surprise if she declares for the draft soon. Either way, Cardoso brings the Gamecocks to a new level, and it’s evident on the court. She’ll leave a legacy with in the NCAA, so you don’t want to miss her while she’s here.

5. Aaliyah Edwards, UConn

Meet “masked Aaliyah.” UConn struggled with injuries over the past three seasons, and Edwards was no exception. She suffered a broken nose in the Huskies’ first game in the Big East tournament and missed the next two games, but the senior is back in time for the Big Dance.

There’s no telling how UConn’s postseason run will go with just eight available players at the Huskies’ disposal, but Edwards will undoubtedly give it her all for her final run. The senior announced Thursday she will enter the WNBA draft.

Edwards averages 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 59.4%. The combination of Edwards and Paige Bueckers, who decided to return to Storrs next season, is what’s made UConn so special despite its injury issues. Their connection will power the Huskies through the tournament, even if Edwards has to play with a broken nose.

She’s a versatile forward that’s improved every season with the Huskies. She’ll be missed at Connecticut but loved in the pros for her skillset and demeanor.

6. Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

Without Kitley, Amoore will be Virginia Tech’s go-to. The Hokies will need to make up for Kitley’s loss, and they can start with giving Amoore the ball. The Australian averages 19.2 points and 6.9 assists. While she’s only 5-6, she’s scrappy and not afraid to put up a fight against her bigger opponents.

When Kitley went down against Virginia, Amoore scored a career and program record 39 points despite the loss. She followed it up with 27- and 24-point games.

In last year’s Final Four run, Amoore cemented her name into March Madness history. She recorded 24 3-pointers through five tournament games, marking the record for most made 3-pointers in a tournament run. What will she do this time?

MORE: Women’s March Madness bracket for 2024

7. Angel Reese, LSU

Angel Reese

(Getty Images)

There are few teams more fun to watch in the NCAA tournament than defending champion LSU. Reese is the most notable Tiger, with her personality shining on and off the court.

The Bayou Barbie earned SEC player of the year for a reason. She’s third the nation in double-doubles with 23 and is second in rebounds with 13.1 per game. She averages 19.0 points.

While replacing a handful of national championship teammates, the LSU squad is full of talent. Reese is a piece of the puzzle, though a big piece at that. She has high expectations as the Tigers defend their title.

MORE: How Angel Reese, LSU can reach 2024 Final Four

The senior, who played two seasons at Maryland before transferring to Baton Rouge, can return for a fifth season of eligibility but has yet to announce her decision.

8. Jacy Sheldon

Ohio State had a magical 15-game win streak to start 2024. That included an overtime win over the then-No. 2 Hawkeyes. The streak came to an end against Iowa, too. The Buckeyes enter March Madness coming off a loss to Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament, but they are hoping to exceed last year’s Elite Eight run.

As a No. 2 seed, Ohio State is expected to make some noise, as is star Sheldon. The fifth-year senior leads the team in points (18.0) and assists (3.7) per game and was a crucial part to its mid-season run. She was a unanimous first-team all-Big Ten selection, and she’s a clear leader for the Buckeyes.

9. Alissa Pili

No. 5 Utah may not be the most notable team in the NCAA Tournament, but you can thank the Pac-12 for that. In the Pac-12’s final season, we saw arguably the toughest conference in the league. The Utes finished sixth in regular season standings but were still ranked 21st in the AP poll ahead of March Madness.

Fans can thank Alissa Pili for that. The fifth-year forward began her college career at USC before transferring to Utah in 2023, where she helped her team to the Sweet 16. This season, the three-time All Pac-12 honoree averages 20.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds, team highs, while shooting 54.8%. She’s greatly improved her 3-point shooting in her final season, and that’s made a big difference in her draft stock. 

While she can be overlooked, Pili is expected to be a first-round pick and transition well to the WNBA due to her all-around presence.

10. Charisma Osborne

UCLA has the depth it needs to go far in March Madness this year. Leading the way in her final season is Charisma Osborne, a fifth-year senior and four-time All Pac-12 selection.

Her numbers may not be the most flashy, at 14.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, but her skillset is solid, especially when it comes to defensive efficiency. She’s a smaller guard at 5-9, but she has shown that’s no obstacle for her.

With the competitiveness of the Pac-12 this season, Osborne has the knowledge to be a breakout player in the tournament before heading to the pros.

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