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UConn WBB Weekly: Evaluating Lou Lopez Sénéchal’s and Dorka Juhász’s fit at their WNBA draft destinations

How will UConn’s 2023 draftees fit at their new destinations factor into their ability to make a WNBA roster this season

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

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Evaluating Lou Lopez Sénéchal and Dorka Juhász’s fit at their WNBA draft destinations

In a league as small as the WNBA, no draft position is guaranteed a roster spot. The Indiana Fever just waived the No. 4 pick from the 2022 draft, Emily Engstler, on Wednesday ahead of the start of training camp. A player’s fit at their draft destination matters as much, if not more than, their position in the WNBA draft.

Both Lou Lopez Sénéchal and Dorka Juhász have landed in franchises where they have a chance to make an impact this season. Here’s a look at how UConn’s latest draftees fit in with their WNBA squads ahead of training camp, which begins Sunday.

Lou Lopez Sénéchal (Dallas Wings)

Despite the Fever’s move on Wednesday, it’s unlikely that a franchise would use a top-five pick on a player they don’t anticipate making this season’s final roster. Dallas has a relatively young roster entering training camp, and just five protected contracts on the books per Her Hoop Stats. With most teams carrying 11 players on their roster, that leaves about six spots up for grabs in training camp.

The Wings seemed to target shooting in this year’s draft, acquiring Maddy Siegrist (Villanova), Abby Meyers (Maryland) and Ashley Joens (Iowa State), in addition to Lopez Sénéchal. That focus makes sense as Dallas ranked eighth out of the 12 WNBA teams in perimeter shooting last year, and their best 3-point shooter Allisha Gray signed with Atlanta in the offseason. It’s also an area where Lopez Sénéchal, who shot 44 percent from deep this season at UConn, can clearly help the Wings.

In addition to her perimeter scoring, Lopez Sénéchal has proven her ability to score at all three levels at UConn. That skill set can be useful to help bolster a Dallas backcourt anchored by Arike Ogunbowale, and also help space the floor to allow a frontcourt of Teaira McCowan and Natasha Howard to excel inside.

Dorka Juhász (Minnesota Lynx)

As a second-round pick, roster fit is increasingly important for Juhasz’s chances of landing on a WNBA roster to start the season. There aren’t many places that would have served as a better landing spot than Minnesota. The Lynx missed the postseason in 2022 for the first time since the 2010 season, and are entering a rebuilding era following the retirement of Sylvia Fowles.

The Lynx are now looking to build around former Husky Napheesa Collier as their star, and in particular, have openings in their frontcourt following the end of Fowles’ career. On the current roster, Natalie Achonwa gives the Lynx a veteran post option and No. 2 overall draft pick Diamond Miller helps strengthen Minnesota’s wing position. Juhász will have an opportunity to earn a spot to help strengthen the team’s post depth in training camp.

With Minnesota using their late first-round pick on Maia Hirsch (France), a draft-and-stash pick not expected to join the league this season, Juhász has a better opportunity to make this season’s roster. While the competition in training camp will be tough, Juhász’s skillset could make her a great fit in Minnesota. Juhász has demonstrated her ability to play alongside an elite big in Aaliyah Edwards this season at UConn. Her ability to pass out of the low post and to step out and knock down looks from the perimeter could make her an intriguing bench piece for the Lynx this season.