For this year, 52 student athletes entered their name into the WNBA draft. Of those, 36 will be drafted to one of the 12 WNBA teams. Syracuse Orange women’s basketball player Tiana Mangakahia will likely be one of those. Let’s take a look at Mangakahia’s resume and her current draft stock leading up to Selection Day on April 15.
In three seasons with Syracuse, Mangakahia averaged 15.3 points, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds per contest in 85 games. She led the nation in assists and assists per game in two of the three years she played and set multiple program and conference records in those categories.
Off the court, Mangakahia showed her strength and resilience. In 2019, she overcame Stage 2 breast cancer (Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) and returned to basketball the following season. She dealt with injuries through the 2020-21 season, but continued to produce at a high level for Syracuse.
Mangakahia leaves the Orange as the all-time leader in career assists (736), the first player to surpass 600 and 700 assists in program history, and the fastest Syracuse WBB player to score 1,000 career points.
The Australian native has earned multiple accolades over the years, including 2021 & 2019 WBCA All-America Honorable Mention, 2019 AP All-America Honorable Mention, 2018 & 2019 All-ACC First Team, 2021 All-ACC Honorable Mention, 2020 Preseason All-ACC Team, 2019 All-ACC Tournament Team, 2019 Syracuse Female Athlete of the Year, multiple ACC Player of the Week and USBWA & Citizen Naismith National Player of the Week, and named to the Lieberman, Naismith, & Wade Trophy Watch Lists.
ESPN, Mechelle Voepel: Third Round, Overall Pick #27, Atlanta Dream
Winsidr, Ben Dull: Second Round, Overall Pick #24, Indiana Fever
Sports Media Pass, Dalton Tinklenberg: Third Round, Overall Pick #27, Atlanta Dream
Women’s Basketball Blog, Aneela Khan: Second Round, Overall Pick #23, Seattle Storm
Lines.com: Third Round, Overall Pick #28, Los Angeles Sparks
Average Selection: Third Round, Overall Pick #26
My prediction: I think late second round/early third round is an accurate positioning for Mangakahia. She is an elite passer with stellar court vision and can develop into a consistent shooter. Mangakahia struggled with turnovers and getting her health back to 100% this season, but both of those concerns are fixable issues. Any team would be lucky to have her on their bench.