The WNBA draft lottery is set for Dec. 10, with four teams in the running for the No. 1 overall pick — the Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm.

While the Mercury finished the 2023 season with the worst record, the WNBA combines the two seasons prior to the draft to determine the odds for the No. 1 overall pick. So the Fever, who won the lottery for the first time in franchise history in 2023, have the best shot at the No. 1 pick again in 2024.

Who will each team select when the draft rolls around in April? Just Women’s Sports projects the four lottery picks, based on the team odds for the draft lottery.

1. Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Clark is arguably the biggest star in college basketball.

Last year’s consensus player of the year, the Hawkeyes senior proved herself an elite shooter, leading the NCAA in 3-pointers with 140 and finishing second in scoring with 27.8 points per game. She also has the ability to make the players around her better — she led Division I with 8.6 assists per game. And she is putting on a show again this season, with a 44-point game on her stat sheet.

Clark has another year of NCAA eligibility remaining the 2023-24 season, and she has suggested that she may use it. But if she chooses to go to the WNBA, she’s a clear front-runner for the No. 1 overall pick.

Paige Bueckers has two years of eligibility remaining for UConn, but she also is a top WNBA prospect. (Lance King/Getty Images)

2. Phoenix Mercury: Paige Bueckers, UConn

Bueckers is another elite shooter and playmaker. She secured national player of the year honors as a freshman in 2021, and her shooting ability is nearly unmatched.

The Huskies guard, though, has significantly fewer college appearances under her belt than many of the other players qualified for the 2024 draft due to injuries — including a torn ACL that caused her to miss all of last season.

A redshirt junior, Bueckers has played just 46 games for UConn, and she is eligible to stay with the program through 2026. But after putting together a lackluster season in 2022 and finishing with the worst record overall in 2023, the Mercury may be willing to take a risk for a shot like Bueckers’.

Stanford's Cameron Brink averaged 3.47 blocks per game last year. (Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

3. Los Angeles Sparks: Cameron Brink, Stanford

Brink is a versatile big who brings good offense and great defense to the table.

While she is not as prolific a scorer as Clark or Bueckers — a tall order, indeed — her defense makes up for it. The 6-foot-4 senior averaged 3.47 blocks per game last year, placing her third in the league.

And she can score from the post and from the perimeter, making her a smart addition to any team. Brink posted 20 points and 17 rebounds as she showcased her scoring prowess against No. 9 Indiana on Nov. 12.

Aaliyah Edwards is leading UConn in scoring so far this season. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

4. Seattle Storm: Aaliyah Edwards, UConn

The departure of Breanna Stewart has left the Storm in need of a strong post presence, and UConn’s leading scorer could provide just that.

Edwards led the Huskies on the scoresheet last season, dropping 16.6 points per game, and she leads the team again through four games this season, with 18.0 per game.

Her size is also an advantage — the 6-foot-3 power forward is a force on the court and a fearsome defender and rebounder. She collected an average of 9.0 rebounds per game last season and her one-on-one defense is top-notch.

Kamilla Cardoso averaged 9.8 points and 8.5 rebounds for South Carolina last season. (Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Honorable mentions

These players also would be great choices in the first round, in no particular order:

  • Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
  • Angel Reese, LSU
  • Hailey Van Lith, LSU
  • Rickea Jackson, Tennessee
  • Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech
  • Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State

No. 3 Iowa’s basketball phenom Caitlin Clark stunned No. 8 Virginia Tech, dropping 44 points en route to a 80-76 win Thursday night for the Hawkeyes. 

Clark clocked her ninth career 40-point game, which moved her into a tie with former Missouri State star Jackie Stiles for the most in Division I basketball, women’s and men’s, over the last 25 seasons. 

Clark was borderline unguardable for the Hokies, sinking 3-pointers, hooking layups and drawing fouls to collect her 44 points.

“Sometimes you’re playing checkers and she’s playing chess,” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. “She’s that good.”

Clark shot 13-31 from the field and 13-17 from the free-throw line. Clark also pulled down eight rebounds and assisted on six buckets.

Her play even garnered praise from a fellow guard, Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore. Clark and Amoore traded 3-pointers back and forth during the fourth quarter of the close game.

“She’s literally been gifted by every God you can imagine. She’s insane… She’s a generational talent,” Amoore told WUNC’s Mitchell Northam

Even at away games, Clark draws an unprecedented audience. According to the Associated Press, more than 15,000 people attended the matchup between the Hawkeyes and the Hokies, and other away teams have seen their attendance spike when Clark is in town. She’s already driving up ticket sales for Iowa games this season.

And on Thursday, the audience drawn in by Clark got the show they wanted to see.

“It seems like there are a lot of people that are just fans of our game, whether it is Iowa fans or Virginia Tech fans or just people that are here to support women’s basketball,” Clark told AP. “And that is why this game was put on is because they understand how great women’s basketball is and how much it is growing.”

The 2023 WNBA draft is here, but some big-name prospects are not.

While many of the brightest stars in college basketball having declared for the draft, others have opted to return for another year, taking advantage of the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility. Just Women’s Sports takes a look at some of those who are running it back.

Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

Rickea Jackson became the first domino to fall in the list of players opting out of the 2023 draft, announcing her intention to return to the Vols before the NCAA Tournament even began.

Before her decision, she was projected as the No. 3 overall pick by Just Women’s Sports analyst Rachel Galligan, making her choice all the more surprising. But her return is big for Tennessee, as the first-team All-SEC selection led the team with 19.6 points per game while adding 6.2 rebounds per game.

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Kitley announced her decision to return in the middle of the national championship game, but it still counted as headline news for Virginia Tech fans.

A former five-star recruit and two-time ACC Player of the Year, Kitley led the Hokies in points, rebounds and blocks per game last season as Virginia Tech made its Final Four run. She’s also the all-time leading scorer in program history.

Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

Georgia Amoore is another Virginia Tech senior who opted to run it back, meaning that three of the Hokies’ starting five players will take the court together next season.

Amoore had a standout regular season, averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists while leading the team to the ACC tournament title. She’s better against better opponents, making her decision to stay a good sign for the Hokies.

Charisma Osborne, UCLA

While Charisma Osborne opted into the 2023 WNBA draft, she later withdrew her name, instead electing to use her extra year of eligibility. As reported by the New York Times, she even was told by a WNBA coach that the decision to remain an extra year could be a smart move.

Osborne will provide a boost for UCLA, as she has averaged 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game throughout her first four years with the Bruins. She also helped the team to a Sweet 16 appearance this year, and will link up with freshman point guard Kiki Rice next year.

Sedona Prince, TCU

Sedona Prince is another player who withdrew her name from WNBA draft consideration. Prince missed their redshirt senior season with an elbow injury and had planned to exhaust their remaining NCAA eligibility to pursue a professional career.

But those plans have changed, as Prince withdrew their name from the draft. She also entered her name into the transfer portal and is headed to TCU with two years of eligibility remaining.

Ashley Owusu, transfer portal

Despite reports that she might enter the WNBA draft, Virginia Tech shooting guard Ashley Owusu has opted to remain in the NCAA. But the former Maryland standout is once again in the transfer portal after spending the second half of the season on the Hokies’ bench.

Cameron Brink, Stanford

There was never a question about whether or not Cameron Brink would return for her senior season at Stanford, despite the fact that she is eligible for the 2023 WNBA draft by a single day. As Brink told reporters last October, college is “fun.”

“Why not stay?” she asked. “I think I want to stay just because I want to just continue to be a kid. Finish my degree in four years, not rush myself.”

SEATTLE — At 8:21 p.m., Georgia Amoore dribbled out the clock. At 8:35, she climbed a ladder and cut her piece of the net. And at 8:37 — that’s 2:37 p.m. in Victoria, Australia — Amoore stole a moment to grab her phone and FaceTime her parents.

From anywhere in the arena, Amoore’s joy was visible. Her eyes creased as her smile grew wider. On the other end of the call, Phil and Kelly told her they were on their way. Tomorrow, they’d be on a plane to Dallas to watch their daughter play in the Final Four. Her coach, Kenny Brooks, joined in on the call, and then he and Amoore shared a hug.

In his arms, on this court, so far away from the place she grew up, Amoore was at home.

Before the ACC tournament, Georgia Amoore was a name not everyone knew. In the postseason, that quickly changed. Amoore has been the engine making No. 1 seed Virginia Tech’s offense go in the NCAA Tournament, including Monday night with a 24-point performance in the Hokies’ 84-74 Elite Eight win over Ohio State. As the point guard dismantled defenses and led her program to its first-ever Final Four, Georgia Amoore became a name that casual fans and basketball greats committed to memory.

“I saw that Sue Bird shared her on her Instagram story,” said Amoore’s cousin, Keeley Frawey. “She’s getting noticed and it’s such a tribute to her. And that’s not her main focus. She just really wants to win.”

No one in Climate Pledge Arena knows Amoore better than Frawley, not even her teammates or coach. The two grew up together, playing basketball in Australia at Frawley’s family beach house in Portarlington.

Now, they both play college basketball in the United States. Frawley’s Portland Pilots also earned an NCAA Tournament bid, falling to Oklahoma in the first round. Amoore was almost a Pilot, too. Portland was the only other school to give her a scholarship offer, and at the time, Frawley hoped they would play their college basketball together.

Now, watching Amoore pose next to her trophy in a pile of confetti, with an Australian flag draped over her shoulders, Frawley knows that she is exactly where she’s meant to be.

“She’s absolutely thriving,” Frawley said with a smile.

Amoore had a standout regular season, averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists per game while leading her team to the ACC championship. But as the competition gets more intense and the stakes get higher, Amoore gets better. She had 24 points against Duke in the ACC semifinal, then 25 to top Lousiville and hoist the conference trophy. The junior guard opened NCAA Tournament play with 22 points, then 21, then 29 against a talented Tennessee team, and finally 24 against Ohio State to help Virginia Tech make history.

And Amoore did something no other team has been able to do in this tournament: She dismantled Ohio State’s signature defensive press, the same one that forced UConn into 25 turnovers in the Sweet 16. The Hokies had heard about the press. It was the main line of questioning leading up to the game: “How will you handle the pressure?”

The answer? With Georgia Amoore.

Amoore celebrates as Virginia Tech runs out the clock on Ohio State. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

A couple of early turnovers caused Brooks to call a timeout. He and Amoore stood side by side, and he pointed to various spots on the floor. Amoore says she’s a visual learner. Often in practice, Brooks will demonstrate a move for her, and his point guard will mimic it. There was no time for that on Monday in Climate Pledge Arena, so they made due with words and gestures.

“I think for the press, it got a bit choppy when we started passing it too much,” Amoore said. ”I really just needed to break it by dribbling through it.”

After that, Amoore started to dissect the Ohio State defense off the bounce. She skillfully crossed halfcourt, dribbling around multiple defenders, head up, one eye on the clock, the other surveying the offensive possibilities.

Her technique was so clinical that, after the game, Amoore’s teammates marveled at her skills.

“Georgia, I don’t know how you do it, man,” Taylor Soule said with a piece of the net tucked under her Final Four hat. “I honestly sit back in the backcourt and just watch what you do in awe.”

She’s not the only one.

Frawley saw many moments throughout the win that were quintessential Georgia.

Like when Ohio State cut the lead down to two points with 3:16 left in the third quarter. A sloppy Virginia Tech possession had broken down, and after the ball bounced off both Buckeyes and Hokies players, it found its way into Amoore’s hands. She glanced up as the shot clock ticked down. Then, with one quick dribble, she blew by her defender for a layup.

Or when she made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the third quarter, creating space from her defender with a dribble and a dramatic fade to the left.

Or when yet another shot clock neared expiration, with 6:57 left in the fourth quarter, and Amoore put her head down. She worked her way to the basket to find Elizabeth Kitley for a dump pass that turned into an and-1, giving Virginia Tech a 10-point lead and an extra dose of momentum.

All those moments were Georgia being Georgia, but one stood out to Frawley more than the rest.

The Virginia Tech guard took a hit to the face with 8:31 left in the second quarter. A wayward limb caught Amoore in the jaw and she flew backwards, her curly, brown ponytail cushioning a fall to the court.

Frawley didn’t see the play happen, but her mom did. Frawley received a concerned text from her, wondering if Amoore was going to be OK.

Moments later they had their answer.

Amoore left the court with assistance from trainers, appearing to head toward the locker room. But 44 seconds later — the only 44 seconds in the game when she wasn’t on the court — Amoore was back. The hit, she said, motivated her. And once she caught her breath, and shook off the initial shock of the blow, Amoore was ready to attack the game with new ferocity.

“I just had a little bit of rage and some catching up to do,” Amoore said. “They’re a strong team, and I think they were playing physical. I don’t like when people beat down on my teammates, so as soon as I copped the beating, I went back and refreshed and I came out with a different mindset.”

Two minutes later, Amoore hit a pull up 3-pointer in transition. Before getting hit, Amoore had two points. Afterward, she went on to score 22 more, including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and connecting on four 3-pointers. Hitting from long range, she says, is her favorite way to score.

She made a record 20 3-pointers over the first four rounds of the tournament.

“I just like to shoot the 3-ball,” she said with a laugh and childlike grin. “And I don’t know what else to say about that.”

But before she could set any records, Amoore needed to get back in the game.

“I knew that in every ounce of her bones and body, she was wanting to get back on that court,” Frawley said. “She’s so tough.”

And sure enough, before the crowd had any real time to worry, Amoore was back on the bench. Frawley watched as she approached Brooks, reading her lips as she told him, “I’m ready.”

And she was. Ready to take her team all the way to the Final Four.

“That’s just Georgia,” Frawley said.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Virginia Tech might have a “No. 1” next to its name for the 2023 NCAA women’s basketball tournament, but junior guard Georgia Amoore doesn’t think the Hokies have been getting enough love.

“I didn’t see a lot of positive stuff about us on social media, so that was a huge factor to it,” Amoore told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after scoring a career-high 29 points in Virginia Tech’s 73-64 win over Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

Head coach Kenny Brooks shared a similar sentiment ahead of his team’s Sweet 16 matchup. When asked how Virginia Tech was handling its status as the “favorite” against a storied program like Tennessee, he replied, “Favored by who? If you listen to the analysts, nobody’s favoring us.”

Brooks continued, calling out ESPN: “Heck, they gave us Andraya Carter, who is a Tennessee grad. She’s doing the game. And Rebecca Lobo is lurking around. She’s a UConn grad. So, no one’s picking us.”

Granted, it’s been a breakthrough season for Virginia Tech, which won its first ACC championship to earn a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA tournament, another first. On Monday night, the Hokies will play in the Elite Eight, the deepest NCAA tournament run in program history. They tip off against No. 3 Ohio State at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Brooks has described his players as basketball junkies who read and watch as much about the sport as they can — even when those stories aren’t about them.

“I think they all saw the article that was on ESPN, is this the next chapter of Tennessee and UConn? They didn’t have to say a whole lot, but it just really motivated them and they understand that they belong as well,” Brooks said. “We might not have as much history as those programs, but these kids are helping to build our history with our program.”

“We definitely see it,” senior Elizabeth “Liz” Kitley said of the media’s blindspot. “We talk about it amongst ourselves in a motivating manner and like, if anything, it just fuels us.”

Even though the Virginia Tech might not have the same decorated history as UConn or Tennessee — and the recognition that comes with it — the Hokies understand that this season’s success could be the beginning of a new women’s basketball dynasty.

“They do know the magnitude of what a win would do for our program,” Brooks said.

“If you listen to Liz or Georgia or Cayla King, who’s been with me since the inception of us trying to turn this program around, I want it so bad for them, but they want it so bad for me. We won an ACC championship, and they’re like, ‘I’m so happy for you.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean happy for me?'”