Leading up to the 2016 WNBA Draft in April, we’ll highlight the top 20 prospects that are set to go in the draft.
The headlines for stories pertaining to the women’s basketball team at George Washington University generally have the name of Senior center Jonquel Jones within them.
Jones consistently dominates the court for the Colonials as she leads the team in both rebounds and scoring.
Coming into her senior year, Jones ranked fourth all-time in career scoring average with 15.1 points per game. She also ranked ninth in blocks with 102 and held onto the number 15 spot in rebounds with a total of 625.
This season, she averages 15.6 rebounds, which is good enough to be number one in the country. Inevitably, that translates to her leading the team in rebounds in every game this season aside from one where fellow teammate junior forward Caira Washington lit up the board with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
On the offensive side, she’s posted 203 points for the Colonials in their first eleven games while averaging 18.5 points per game. This year she has topped the scoring boards for the team in points for seven of their 11 games.
So far, the Colonials’ Nov. 27 game against Iowa proved to be Jones’ best of the season thus far. Jones posted 23 points and 26 rebounds to captured an 81-77 upset over then No. 25 Hawkeyes in double overtime.
Although the 6’4” star started her playing days at Clemson, she’s worked to create a big impact on George Washington’s squad since her sophomore season. During her freshman year at Clemson, Jones averaged 9.8 points per game and 10 rebounds in eight games before announcing her intent to transfer. Her best numbers from that season came from Dec. 9 against South Carolina State where she scored 17 points.
— GW University (@GWtweets) February 11, 2015
Last season, Jones was named the Atlantic 10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year. Most recently, Jones was named to the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List for the second year in a row. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the men’s and women’s college basketball players of the year at the Final Four.
When the draft comes in April following the women’s college basketball championships, the Atlanta Dream or Seattle Storm would especially benefit from Jones. Realistically, she would wind up with Dream considering their lack of a strong center.
Currently, the Dream lists Damiris Dantas as their only center. The team previously had veteran Dream center Erika de Souza but traded her after the All-Star break in a three-team trade that sent WNBA Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles to Minnesota from the Chicago Sky.
Ultimately, the Dream received Dantas as well as rookie Reshanda Gray and the Lynx’s first-round draft pick for the 2016 WNBA draft. At the All-Star break, the team was 7-10 and last in the Eastern Conference but only five games back from first place. Despite a late season push, the Dream were unable to return to the playoffs.
In order to get back to the playoffs for the 2016 season, they’ll need to pick up a strong center, a slot they could hope to fill with the addition of Jones.
Jones and the Colonials are next slated to play at Illinois Nov. 28 as they look to extend on a three-game winning streak.