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Kamilla Cardoso WNBA mock draft, scouting report: Where will South Carolina star be picked?

Quite literally, Kamilla Cardoso is at the center of what could go down as one of the greatest seasons by a team in women’s basketball history.

The South Carolina center has been as important of a contributor as anyone on the Gamecocks entering Sunday’s NCAA Tournament championship game against Iowa with a 37-0 record and the chance to become the first undefeated national title winner since UConn in 2016.

Regardless of whether Cardoso and South Carolina are able to top Caitlin Clark and win the program’s third national championship, Sunday’s contest will be her final one at the college level.

On Monday, Cardoso declared for the WNBA Draft, forgoing the extra season of eligibility she had available and announcing her decision in a post on social media in which she told her teammates that “together we did amazing things and grew a bond that no one could take from us.”

For anyone who has watched Cardoso play this season and has kept track of her WNBA Draft stock, it was clear that her April 1 post was anything but an April Fools’ Day joke.

Instead, one of the best players in women’s college basketball revealed that she will be taking her talents to the next level.

With her South Carolina career behind her after Sunday’s game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, what awaits Cardoso as she takes the next step in her career? Where might she get drafted? Once in the WNBA, what kind of role might she be able to have and what kind of career could she carve out?

Here’s a look at Cardoso’s WNBA Draft prospects:

Kamilla Cardoso WNBA Mock Draft

Perhaps not surprisingly from a former top-five recruit who’s a second-team all-American on the No. 1 team in the country, Cardoso is expected to be among the first picks in the WNBA Draft.

Here’s a look at where various outlets are projecting Cardoso to land:

Each of the mock drafts has Cardoso going behind the same three players in the same order: Iowa’s Caitlin Clark at No. 1, Stanford’s Cameron Brink at No. 2 and Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson at No. 3. The Sparks own both the Nos. 2 and 4 picks, acquiring the latter in a January trade with the Seattle Storm.

Kamilla Cardoso WNBA scouting report

Much of the optimism surrounding Cardoso centers around her strong play around the rim offensively and her defensive prowess. While a freshman at Syracuse in 2020-21, Cardoso won ACC co-defensive player of the year. She was named SEC defensive player of the year last month.

Below is a sampling of the evaluations of Cardoso’s game and how it might impact the Sparks, who, in these hypothetical scenarios, will also have Brink in their frontcourt:

ESPN’s Voepel: Cardoso is a powerful player who could form a strong, young inside combo with Brink. That would give the Sparks two of the best rim protectors currently in the college game.

The Athletic’s Merchant: Cardoso and Brink are a natural pairing, as each has spent the bulk of her college career successfully playing next to another big. Cardoso has great feet, especially at her size, and she runs the floor well. She’ll have to refine her post moves, but she’ll have time to develop in Los Angeles.

The Sporting News McGregor: In time, LA could boast one of the game’s most fearsome frontcourts. Cardoso won Defensive Player of the Year honors as a freshman in the ACC and a senior in the SEC. She’s a staunch rim protector and an evolving scorer. Reloading the frontcourt is the best way to adjust to life post-Nneka Ogwumike.


Kamilla Cardoso height

Cardoso is listed at 6-foot-7 on South Carolina’s official roster.

Though she’s more of a traditional center while the others mentioned are classified as power forwards, Cardoso is three inches taller than Brink, four inches taller than UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards and four inches taller than LSU’s Angel Reese, all of whom are projected top-10 picks.

Kamilla Cardoso stats

Heading into Sunday’s championship game, Cardoso is averaging 14.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Cardoso hadn’t averaged more than 9.8 points per game in either of her previous two seasons with South Carolina, when she served primarily as a backup to national player of the year and 2023 No. 1 overall WNBA Draft pick Aliyah Boston.

Cardoso has not just been productive, but efficient, shooting 59.8% from the field this season. In the 2024 NCAA Tournament, she is averaging 17 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 68.2%. In South Carolina’s 78-59 victory against NC State in the Final Four Friday, she had 22 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks while making 10 of her 12 shots.

When is the 2024 WNBA Draft?

Date: Monday, April 15

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The 2024 WNBA Draft will be held on Monday, April 15 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York. It will air at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.