WNBA Draft Preview: Will Dorka Juhász or Lou Lopez Sénéchal get taken in the first round?
There's no consensus about where the two Huskies will be selected on Monday night.
The WNBA Draft kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on Monday night and two former UConn players are expected to hear their names called: Dorka Juhász and Lou Lopez Sénéchal.
Lou Lopez Sénéchal
Geno Auriemma (from Feb. 24): “I hope a lot of people pass on her. I really do. Because I always think the later you go in the draft, the better team you get to play on. People all want to be the number one pick or number two pick or number three pick. Good. You're going to a team that can't win and you're expected to do all the things to help them win. And for some people, that's great. I like to think for players like Lou, (if) she gets on a really good team, she's gonna make a difference. 100 percent.”
LaChina Robinson (ESPN analyst): “I'm really high on Lou Lopez Sénéchal. Big wing, can really shoot the three, can drive, has a lot of toughness, can come off screens and make decisions. Got a mid-range pull-up off the bounce. Size matters at 6-1 to be able to play that wing position, so I think teams are interested in her. I could see her going anywhere from late first round to early second.”
Rebecca Lobo: “You've got some good shooters in this draft. LaChina already talked about Lou Lopez Sénéchal… she was able to showcase what she can do at UConn this past season.”
Robinson: “Dorka is interesting because this is not a big, heavy draft so at 6-5, she could go a lot higher than maybe some expected because of position. But she has a lot of versatility, can play inside-out, and has great offensive rebounding ability. I think her double-double numbers were approaching that of the great Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo. Really good mobility in footwork, has the length to be disruptive defensively and can block shots. A lot of skill and can contribute to a WNBA team as well. Feeling like second round for Dorka, but wouldn't be surprised to see her go late first. Again, just depends considering position-wise in this draft.”
Tanisha Wright (Atlanta Dream head coach): “Being able to watch Dorka for the last two years, I think her skill set and what she brings to the table, I think that she's somebody who I would say probably changed a little bit from my side.”
Barring a major surprise, Aliyah Boston go No. 1 overall to the Indiana Fever followed by Diamond Miller at No. 2 to the Minnesota Lynx. After that is anyone’s guess (though Maddy Siegrist is a favorite to go No. 3 in mock drafts).
In the five mock drafts we considered most reputable — ESPN, Her Hoop Stats, Winsidr, Just Women’s Sports, and The Athletic — there isn’t much of a consensus on Lopez Sénéchal or Juhász. The two are just generally expected to go somewhere in the late first or early second rounds.
Lopez Sénéchal: 11th overall (Dallas Wings)
Juhász: 12th overall (Minnesota Lynx)
One of just two mock drafts that have both players going in the first round, ESPN projects the two Huskies to come off the board back-to-back. Dallas at 11 proved to be the most common landing spot for Lopez Sénéchal. As for Juhász, Minnesota has historically gravitated toward UConn players. The Lynx have taken seven Huskies over the years, more than any team other than the Seattle Storm (who have also picked seven).
Lopez Sénéchal: 11th overall (Dallas Wings)
Juhász: Not listed
Her Hoop Stats only goes one round deep in its projection, so Juhász doesn’t make the cut. Again, Lopez Sénéchal goes to the Wings, who have three first round picks this year.
Lopez Sénéchal: Seventh overall (Indiana Fever)
Juhász: 13th overall (Indiana Fever)
In this scenario, Lopez Sénéchal and Juhász would continue on as teammates in Indiana. While former UConn teammates have been selected in the same draft 14 times over the years, they’ve only been picked by the same team once before: 1999, when Kara Wolters and Jennifer Rizzotti both went to the Houston Comets.
Lopez Sénéchal: 10th overall (LA Sparks)
Juhász: 8th overall (Atlanta Dream)
The only mock draft to have Juhász going before Lopez Sénéchal is also the highest on Juhász.
Lopez Sénéchal: Not listed
Juhász: Not listed
Another one-round mock draft but neither player is projected by The Athletic to go in the first round.
For differing reasons, both players seem likely to go in the first round.
Lopez Sénéchal proved she can shoot — a valuable trait in modern basketball — and score from all three levels. She also elevated her game after transferring from Fairfield to UConn, so it’s reasonable to think she can make a similar leap from college to the WNBA. Lopez Sénéchal also receives high marks for character and mental makeup. Throughout the season, Geno Auriemma marveled at how Lopez Sénéchal’s steadiness in both her demeanor and level of play from the moment she stepped on campus.
As for Juhász, she struggled with consistency but at 6-foot-5 with skill, she’s the prototypical modern big. While she probably won’t be a top-five pick like Auriemma predicted in the preseason, she still had a strong season, finishing three rebounds short of a double-double average while the eighth-best rebounds per game mark in program history. With a relatively weak draft class, it’s hard to imagine too many teams passing on Juhász’s potential in the latter half of the first round.
Numbers to know
43 UConn players have been taken in the WNBA Draft, 26 of whom have gone in the first round.
Lopez Sénéchal and Juhász will be the 15th set of UConn teammates to be selected in the same draft.
The Huskies’ last first round pick was Megan Walker in 2020, who went ninth overall to the New York Liberty. The last four UConn players taken have all gone in the second round.
The only current WNBA team that has never selected a Husky is the Las Vegas Aces. Barring a trade, that trend won’t change since the Aces only have one pick: The final one, 36th overall.
The Connecticut Sun would also likely need to make a deal to keep either Lopez Sénéchal or Juhász in the state. The team isn’t slated to pick until 22nd overall when both players are expected to be off the board.
How to watch
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Spring Studios (New York City)