Alexis Squared: Guards Jones & Prince make dreams come true in WNBA Draft

Alexis Jones answers questions during an interview after being selected as the 12th overall pick in the WNBA basketball draft by the Minnesota Lynx, Thursday, April 13, 2017, in New York. Photo credit: Associated Press

Two Baylor seniors had their dreams come true Thursday night at the Women’s National Basketball Association Draft. Guards Alexis Jones and Alexis Prince both were selected in the 36-player draft.

Jones, who was one of ten players invited to attend the draft in New York City was taken No. 12 overall by the Minnesota Lynx as the last pick in the first round.

Jones who was able to attend the event with her entire family, said that it was a special feeling getting to share it with her closest supporters.

“It means a lot to me. I’m happy and excited that they get to be here today,” Jones told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after getting drafted. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity and hear my name get called.”

Rowe commented on Jones’ toughness as a player, fighting through injuries and being a fierce competitor on the court. Jones credits her brother Andrew, a guard for the University of Texas, for helping her develop that skill.

“It made me tougher,” Jones said. “It always made me want to go harder and show him that you can touch the dream and it will come true one day.”

Jones was second in scoring on a Baylor team that finished 33-4 overall and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to No. 2 seed Mississippi State 94-85 in an overtime thriller. She averaged 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and assists per game while shooting 41 percent from three-point range.

Former University of Connecticut standout and current ESPN WNBA analyst Rebecca Lobo believes that Jones’ skills will be extremely valuable to Minnesota as she transitions to the WNBA.

“She’s a combo guard, she can play the one or the two. She can defend, she can take you off the dribble,” Lobo said during ESPN2’s live draft coverage. “She has tremendous quickness. This is a young lady with skillset that will translate pretty quickly to the WNBA.”

Prince had to wait just a little bit longer to hear her name called. The 6-2 Orlando, Fla. native was selected in the third round at No. 29 overall by the Phoenix Mercury.

Prince was an essential piece to head coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears’ success not just this season but over the past four years. She averaged a career high 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor.

Lobo believes that Prince has a good opportunity to make the Mercury’s roster this season due to her size and athleticism, giving her an opportunity to reunite with former Baylor All-American Brittney Griner.

“She will get an opportunity at the three spot. She’s got some great size there,” Lobo said. “She can hit jumpers out to the three-point line. She can defend and has a midrange game. I think she has a game that can translate pretty well to the WNBA.”

Two-time All-American forward Nina Davis, who averaged 13 points a game this season for the Lady Bears went undrafted. Whether Davis will continue to pursue another avenue to the WNBA is unknown.

The first round saw three players from South Carolina’s national championship team get drafted, including center Alaina Coates to the Chicago Sky and guards Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis to the Dallas Wings.

Washington guard Kelsey Plum, who became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer this season was selected No. 1 overall by the San Antonio Stars.

The WNBA season will tipoff May 13.