Connecticut seniors Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson watch the last few minutes of the second half of a second-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. Connecticut won 91-52.
It's become almost a rite of passage, the natural progression of things at Storrs. After a four-year career that includes conference and national honors and a handful of national championships, top players leave Geno Auriemma's program as likely first-round picks in the WNBA Draft.
Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson are next in line, and just like Tina Charles, Maya Moore and Kelly Faris in recent years, they could hear their names called early on draft night.
"I'm just excited," Dolson said, via the Hartford Courant. "I think it's been a great four years here at Connecticut. All great things have to come to an end. I'm just excited and really anxious to get the next chapter of my life started. To be able to keep playing basketball is definitely a dream of all of ours. I'm excited to keep going."
Dolson could go as high as No. 3 to San Antonio
Meanwhile, the Courant's John Altavilla thinks Hartley makes a lot of sense with the Indiana Fever at No. 5.
"You asked if I would take Hartley at five?" Fever coach Dunn said. "Of course, we're looking at Hartley at five. I think when we get to the fifth pick there, we've got McBride, Hartley, Howard, Dolson, Thomas. We're looking closely at all five of those players. Would I consider taking Hartley at five? Absolutely we would."
Not surprisingly, Auriemma, when speaking with WNBA teams, has one rule: Speak honestly about his players.
"I tell the truth [about UConn players] and I think that's why our players do well at the next level," the coach said. "I tell [WNBA executives] the truth and I think they appreciate that I do. I don't want anyone coming back to me and saying that I lied to them about a player. ..
"If I don't think one of my players is right for a team, I will say that, too. I don't want anyone to fail. I don't want anyone in a situation that is not in their best interest. I don't need my players to be the first or second pick. I want them to be the right pick for that team, so they can get a fair shot at playing."