Megan Huff never played in the NCAA Tournament during her Utah women’s basketball career and her team was too depleted to participate in the WNIT this season.
Even so, WNBA scouts have plenty of material to use in judging Huff against good competition. She’s expected to become the sixth former Ute drafted into the league in 14 seasons, with the three-round event scheduled Wednesday night.
Huff thrived in a conference that sent five teams into the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and produced the WNIT champion. Her averages of 19.6 points and 9.9 rebounds remained almost the same, in and out of Pac-12 play, during Utah’s 20-10 season. The 6-foot-3 forward was one of the Pac-12′s most consistent players, even though opponents knew she was by far Utah’s biggest offensive threat.
“She's been phenomenal,” Ute coach Lynne Roberts said late in the season, explaining that Huff's steady performance against defenses designed to stop her “speaks to not just talent, but mentality. … She'll be a pro for a long time.”
Where in the world she plays is the next question. She’s sure to get an opportunity with one of the WNBA’s 12 teams, but making a roster is a challenge for a third-round pick. That’s where Huff is projected. Draftsite.com listed her as the No. 27 overall pick, early in the third round, and ESPN.com slotted her 32nd.
UTES IN THE WNBA
Utah’s WNBA history (overall pick):
2006 – Shona Thorburn (No. 7), Kim Smith (No. 13).
2008 – Leilani Mitchell (No. 25).
2009 – Morgan Warburton (No. 33).
2014 – Michelle Plouffe (No. 19).
“Megan Huff is a skilled post player that I’ve really enjoyed watching,” Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said in a predraft teleconference. “... Megan’s skill set is really interesting, a big that can shoot the three. She has some agility; just an overall good basketball player.”
Reeve places Huff is a category of players with “a skill set, but can they athletically be able to translate to the WNBA and still do those things?”
In a three-game stretch in late January against top-tier teams, Huff may have been the Pac-12′s top performer. She posted 24 points and nine rebounds in a win over a California team that made the NCAA field and featured Kristine Anigwe, who’s expected to go in the top four Wednesday. Huff had 17 points and 13 rebounds in an upset of Stanford, which became an Elite Eight team with Alanna Smith, another projected top-10 pick. That victory gave the Utes a No. 14 ranking with an 18-1 record, before they faded.
Utah lost at eventual Final Four participant Oregon, but Huff scored 38 points. Her only poor offensive games of the season were a 1-of-13 shooting day in a loss at Arizona and a 3-of-15 showing against Washington in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. By then, Utah was down to seven active players, due mostly to injuries, and Roberts halted the team's season rather than further wear down her players.
She also knew there was more basketball in Huff’s future.