As Tiffany Hayes progressed through her senior season at UConn, the attention eventually turned to how her diverse, but inconsistent talent would translate to the WNBA stage.
On Monday, Hayes, who ended her career as UConn’s 10th-leading scorer, found out it wasn’t as a first-round pick.
Hayes was taken by the Atlanta Dream with second pick of the second round (14th overall).
“It will be very nice for me,” Hayes said. “In a way it’s going to be like when I was a freshman at UConn when I came to a team with a lot of talent.”
It ended a four-year string for the Huskies with a No. 1 pick – Ketia Swanier (2008), Renee Montgomery (2009), Tina Charles (2010) and Maya Moore (2011).
“It’s a good spot for Tiffany in the way they play and Angel McCoughtry [the Atlanta Olympian] is a good player to play with,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.
The 12 first-round picks included three Tennessee players, including the often injured center Kelley Cain, who was taken seventh by New York. Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters was the third overall pick by the Minnesota Lynx and guard Natalie Novosel with 10th to Washington.
Two international centers, Astan Dabo of Mali (Connecticut) and Damaris Dantis of Brazil (Minnesota) were also taken as investments in the future.
In the meantime, Hayes sat and watched, sitting with UConn coach Geno Auriemma and her mother in the draft room at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, where the draft was held.
Hayes was a third-team All-American and a finalist for the Wade and Wooden Awards. She was a Big East first-team pick and played in Final Fours in each of the