By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
Baylor’s Lauren Cox, Te’a Cooper and Juicy Landrum were all selected in the 2020 WNBA draft, which was held virtually on Friday evening. This was the first time that Baylor had three players selected in the WNBA draft.
Cox was one of the top prospects this year and, coming off the board at No. 3 to the Indiana Fever, was the first Lady Bear to be selected. The star forward said she enjoyed celebrating with her family.
“I was really nervous,” Cox said, “and finally hearing my name called kind of calmed all those nerves. Then my sisters threw all the confetti on me and we hugged it out. It was really fun and we made the most of it.”
Cox will be playing with another star post on the inside, second-year player Teaira McCowan. Fever general manager Tamika Catchings said that one of the reasons they selected Cox was that she had shown she could play with a star center.
“I think the biggest thing was how well she was able to work with Kalani [Brown],” Catchings said. “I think Teaira is a much different post player. What Teaira is able to do on the court, I think Lauren will come in and be able to add to that.”
Catchings said that because Cox does a little bit of everything on the court, the Fever will be able to play her in various lineups.
Cooper, who transferred to Baylor this year in order to play her preferrer point guard position, was selected by the Phoenix Mercury in the second round. The Mercury, who took her at No. 18 overall, said they were considering her with their first round selection as well.
On the Mercury, Cooper will be joining former Baylor star Brittney Griner, who led the Lady Bears to an undefeated season and championship in 2012.
The final Lady Bear to be selected Friday night was Landrum, who was picked by the Connecticut Sun at No. 35 overall, the second-to-last pick of the draft. The Sun were in the WNBA Finals last season, losing in a series-deciding game five to the Washington Mystics.
Sun head coach Curt Miller called Landrum “one of the greatest shooters in the country.” While it is often very difficult for third-round picks to make a WNBA roster, Miller said Landrum’s experience and style of play give her an opportunity to do so.
Landrum had to sacrifice her individual numbers at Baylor, where she played with other great players. Miller said the selflessness she has shown, along with her shooting and defense, gives her an opportunity to fight for a roster spot before the season.