WNBA Column: Previewing the new season

In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Minnesota Lynx's Maya Moore, center, loses the ball in a rebound attempt with Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike, right, in the first quarter during Game 5 of the WNBA basketball finals, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Minnesota Lynx's Maya Moore, center, loses the ball in a rebound attempt with Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike, right, in the first quarter during Game 5 of the WNBA basketball finals, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

The 2017 WNBA season kicks off Saturday and there are plenty of things to discuss.

On May 11 the WNBA announced a partnership with FanDuel for the league’s first-ever one-day fantasy game.

The partnership is FanDuel’s first partnership with a women’s professional sports league.

On Saturday, May 13, fans will be able to access the fantasy game to compete for WNBA prizes such as courtside tickets to regular season WNBA games.

The partnership is a good sign for the WNBA as the league has been looking for ways to bring in new fans. It is surely testing the waters to see how fans react and receive the fantasy game.

Also on May 11, the results of the 2017 WNBA.com GM Survey were released.

The Minnesota Lynx are favored by the general managers to win their fourth WNBA championship in seven years. Elena Delle Donne is the favorite to win WNBA MVP.

For most WNBA viewers the question of who will win the title in 2017 is between two teams, the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx. Last season, the two teams battled it out in an epic Finals series.

This season the Lynx have stayed with relatively the same roster. They drafted rookie guard Alexis Jones from Baylor with the 12th overall pick. They also added WBCA player Shao Ting to their squad.

Lynx veteran superstars Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen did not play overseas in the offseason, giving them a chance to rest.

The LA Sparks made quite a few changes to their roster this offseason.

A key piece to their championship run last season, Kristi Toliver, signed with the Washington Mystics in the offseason. The 3-point specialist is sure to make a mark in the newly rejuvenated program.

Guard Odyssey Sims was sent to the Sparks in the offseason. The former Baylor standout was a key piece for the Dallas Wings last season, averaging 14.0 points per game and 3.9 assists per game.

The two main keys for the Sparks however, are back this season. 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and veteran Candace Parker got a first taste of championship glory last season and are surely hungry for more.

In my opinion, between the Lynx and the Sparks, the Lynx have a better chance of winning yet another WNBA championship.

The Lynx have more experience in WNBA Finals games and their starting lineup includes four Olympians. All five of their starting players are experienced veterans.

While much preseason focus has been on the Sparks and Lynx, do not count out other teams such as the New York Liberty and Washington Mystics.

The Liberty have superstar and former MVP Tina Charles as their leader and are hungry to win their first WNBA championship. The Washington Mystics added former MVP Elena Delle Donne in the offseason along with Toliver. The Mystics are sure to be a dominant team both in the paint and outside the arc.

While only time will tell how the WNBA season unfolds, it is sure to be an exciting season full of fierce competiveness and edge-of-your-seat games. So stay tuned and make sure to watch these ladies work. 


Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.