6:15 p.m. ET
First Team Associated Press All-Americans Rhyne Howard, NaLyssa Smith and Naz Hillmon were among the 88 players who formally applied to be included as candidates in next month’s WNBA draft.
Hillmon, a 6-foot-2 Michigan forward, was due to forego her final year of eligibility but made no commitment one way or the other to leave following her team’s loss to Louisville in the Elite Eight Monday night, said At the time, she wanted to think before making a final decision. The announcement also makes official the entry of Howard, a 6-2 guard from Kentucky, and Smith, a 6-4 forward from Baylor, who are widely believed to be the top two picks in the draft.
Only players who are still eligible will have to forgo it and opt for the draft, which takes place in New York on April 11 this year. The NCAA granted extra playing time to all basketball players following a 2020-21 campaign played amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list did not include NC State Center Elissa Cunane. Players participating in the Elite Eight or later rounds of the NCAA tournament have 48 hours after the completion of their last game to enter the draft. Cunane’s wolfpack exited the NCAA tournament on Monday, losing to UConn in the regional finals.
Other notable names who have either previously announced their decision to leave college or were expected to leave include Queen Egbo (Baylor), Shakira Austin (Ole Miss), Khayla Pointer (LSU), Nyara Sabally (Oregon) and Rae Burrell (Tennessee). .