April 16, 2002
Norman, Okla. - Seniors Stacey Dales, LaNeishea Caufield and Rosalind Ross are expected to be taken within the first two rounds of the 2002 WNBA Draft on Friday, April 19. The draft will start at 10:30 a.m. CST and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 from the NBA Entertainment studios in Secaucus, N.J. Fans may also get live draft video and audio at www.wnba.com.
For the second consecutive year, the Seattle Storm will have the first overall selection, while the Detroit Shock will have the second overall pick, and selecting third will be the Washington Mystics. Each had 226 chances out of 1,000 to win the top pick in the inaugural WNBA Draft Lottery which was conducted at the WNBA headquarters in New York in November.
Dales, Caufield and Ross guided the Oklahoma women's basketball program to a NCAA national runner-up finish and a No. 2 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Polls this season. They also helped produce a school best overall record of 32-4 and a Big 12 best 14-2 mark. Dales and Caufield assisted the Sooners to a program best four-year record of 99-32 (76% winning percentage), while Ross was a part of a two-year record of 60-10 (86% winning percentage). Oklahoma has won three Big 12 regular season titles, made three NCAA Sweet 16s, won one Big 12 Tournament crown and regional championship plus appeared in the program's first Final Four since he trio joined the women's basketball program.
Dales, a two-time consensus Kodak and AP All-American (2001, 2002), became the most decorated women's basketball player to ever wear the Crimson-and-Cream jersey. The Brockville, Ontario, native ended her career ranked 23rd on the NCAA all-time assists list with 764, the only Big 12 Conference player to appear on this list. She also holds Oklahoma's and the Big 12 Conference's all-time assists records. Dales, who played for the 2000 Olympics for the Canadian National team, averaged 5.0 assists and 17.0 points per game as a senior. The 6-0 guard was named to the Big 12, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Final Four All-Tournament teams.
Two-time Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 second teamer, Caufield ended her career tied for 12th on the NCAA all-time steals list with 402. Her 2.7 thefts and 17.4 points per game each were OU bests for the 2001-02 season. She also averaged 5.0 rebounds and nailed 86.8 percent of her free throws, which ranked 24th best in the NCAA for the year. The Ada, Okla., native is one of just three Sooners who belong to the 2,000-point club. She scored 2,125 points in four seasons to rank third on OU's all-time scorer chart. Caufield is the only player in school history to have her name ranked within the top 15 among the single season leaders four times in four different categories - steals, free throws made, attempted and percentage.
Dales and Caufield also rank among the top 15 in 19 of 22 career categories including games played (132) and started (132).
A third team All-Big 12 selection, Ross leaves OU as one of the best three-point shooters in school history. The Milwaukee, Wis., native ranks sixth in career threes made (128), seventh in threes attempted (340) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (37.6%). She also ranks 13th in career defensive rebounds (232). After averaging 21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and shooting 44.4 percent from the three-point line, Ross was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team. For the year, she contributed 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and shot 36.2 percent from the arc.
Oklahoma has had only one player to ever be drafted by the WNBA. Phylesha Whaley was the 38th overall draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx in the third round of the 2000 draft.