The San Antonio Stars parted with fan favorite Danielle Robinson in the offseason in order to acquire the fifth overall pick in tonight’s draft. The Stars utilized that pack to shore up their frontcourt with the selection of Northwestern forward Nia Coffey.
With the Stars selecting Kelsey Plum with the first overall pick, and with a logjam at guard, first year full-time GM Ruth Riley needed to address a weakness at forward, and Coffey fits that mold.
Coffey played all four years at Northwestern and was looked at as a possible early selection by the Chicago Sky at number two. When the Sky opted for Alaina Coates, Coffey fell into the Stars’ lap.
In her senior campaign with the Wildcats, she averaged 20 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Coffey is a bit of a tweener at the forward. She may not be completely comfortable at small forward, but is also a but undersized at power forward. That being said, her potential for growth gives her tremendous upside, and being able to grow with a young core in place in San Antonio could be good for her.
While new teammate Plum is very highly decorated coming out of the NCAA, Coffey is no slouch. She set a program record in rebounds and was very close to eclipsing the all-time scoring record.
During a WNBA Draft teleconference Stars Hoops participated in last week, Coffey said her versatility was one of her biggest advantages and something she could bring to the Stars roster.
“I just think my overall ability to play different positions gives me an advantage, Coffey said. “I’ve been working on everything that would help me improve my game and I’m in great shape.”
Coffey is more of a threat on drives to the basket. She won’t be a typical small forward shooting much from the perimeter, but with Moriah Jefferson, Kayla McBride and now Plum, the Stars need Coffey’s skills down low most to complement their current personnel.
While she may not fit into a certain mold as a forward, ESPN’s LaChina Robinson said Coffey could transition well to the pros.
“I think she is the player who could make the biggest jump from college to what she will eventually become as a pro,” Robinson said. “She’s only scratched the surface of her potential — her size, her length, she can drive it, she can shoot it, pull up off of the pick and roll, which is a primary offense in the WNBA.”