By Jenny Masters

Here’s what Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said after Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist was chosen last night with the No. 3 pick by the Dallas Wings in the WNBA draft:

“I don’t know what kind of pro she’ll be,” said Auriemma, who has coached women’s basketball since 1978.

“But she’s a relentless player. I just love her.”

Dallas entered the draft holding three first-round picks at the No. 3, No. 5 and No. 11 overall. The Wings also had picks in the second and third rounds.

The first two selections of the night went as expected. South Carolina star center and 2022 national player of the year Aliyah Boston — the expected No. 1 pick for over a year — went first overall to the Indiana Fever. The Minnesota Lynx selected dynamic Maryland guard Diamond Miller with the second selection.

Boston and Miller were widely considered the top two prospects in the draft, setting the stage for Dallas at No. 3 to select Siegrist.

Siegrist arrives in North Texas after a historic four-year run with the Wildcats. The 6-2 forward finished her career with 2,896 points, the 19th-most in NCAA women’s Division I college basketball. She never averaged under 34.5 minutes, 18.8 points or 8.9 rebounds in a single season.

“She’s obviously one of the best college players in the country this season,” Wings president Greg Bibb said during a conference call with the media last week. “Certainly, she’s a proven offensive threat. She’s a little underestimated in terms of her defensive ability and her overall athleticism.”

This past season, Siegrist led the nation in scoring at 29.2 points per game — a full 1.4 points ahead of national player of the year Caitlin Clark. She and Clark were the only two Division I college players — man or woman — to score over 1,000 points.

A four-time All-Big East first team selection and two-time Big East Player of the Year, Siegrist is a versatile and efficient scorer. Taking 21.4 shots per game, she shot 51.0% from the field as a senior. She also shot 36.1% on 3-pointers and 85.8% on 7.0 free throw attempts.

“It must be nice that every time your feet are squared and your eyes are on the bucket, you know that it’s going in,” ESPN women’s basketball analyst LaChina Robinson said. “She’s automatic.”

Siegrist cleaned up the glass for Villanova with 9.2 rebounds and was careful with the basketball, finishing the season with the third-lowest turnover percentage in the country. Only five other players in the top 10 of turnover percentage averaged over 10 points per game.

The advanced stats also highlighted Siegrist as among the game’s best players. She led the country in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares and Offensive Box Plus/Minus.

Siegrist joins a new-look Wings team that entered the draft with only a few of its draft picks expected to make the opening day roster.

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