'We're excited about it': Minnesota Lynx take Rennia Davis in WNBA Draft

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - MARCH 23: Rennia Davis #0 of the Tennessee Lady Vols controls the ball during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on March 23, 2 ((Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

The WNBA Draft didn’t go quite as planned for either the Minnesota Lynx or Rennia Davis Thursday night, and the end result is the former Tennessee standout coming to Minneapolis.

Davis was projected to be a top-five pick in the WNBA Draft, but her name was still on the board when the Lynx were on the clock with the No. 9 overall pick. Luckily for Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve, Davis was one of the top two names on their list.

With family and friends by her side, Davis’s WNBA dream became a reality when the Lynx selected her with the No. 9 overall pick. Davis was both relieved and surprised.

"When I first heard my name called, I guess relieved would be the right word. I expected to go a little bit higher, but I’m not mad, I’m not upset, I’m not disappointed. I ended up where I’m supposed to be," Davis said Thursday night. "I was just relieved that moment is over, the anticipation is over. Now I know where I’m going to be and I’m going to get to work."

It was enough of a surprise that Reeve didn’t interview Davis before the WNBA Draft. The Lynx didn’t think was a chance she would still be available at No. 9.

"We did not have a mock scenario to have Rennia Davis there at nine. We just simply did not. We didn’t target Rennia because we didn’t think she would be there," Reeve said. "We’re excited about it. We thought she was the No. 2 best player in the draft."

Davis will bring size, versatility and depth to the Lynx in the frontcourt. She’s a 6-2 forward who in 118 career games, averaged 15.4 points, eight rebounds and two assists per game with the Lady Volunteers. As a senior, she averaged 17.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 24 games.

She’ll arrive to the Twin Cities by Sunday, start the WNBA’s quarantine process with COVID-19 protocols and start working out next week. She’s excited to join an organization that has made 10 straight playoff appearances, and won four WNBA titles.

"Minnesota was one of my favorite teams when they had Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, when they were on that championship run," Davis said. "I’ve been looking at Coach Reeve and just seeing how she builds it. She’s all about business, I like that in a coach."

She’ll join a frontcourt that already includes Sylvia Fowles, Damiris Dantas, Aerial Powers, Jess Shepard, Napheesa Collier and Natalie Achonwa.

Two years ago, the Lynx took Collier of out UConn and she won the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year. Last season, they drafted Crystal Dangerfield in the second round and she won the Rookie of the Year. Will Davis make it three in a row for the Lynx?

Reeve says not so fast. The Lynx used their only draft pick of the night on Davis. With the mix of returning veterans and who Reeve added in the offseason, there won’t be a lot of expectations placed on Davis other than to be ready when her name is called. Reeve said as much before the draft.

"I need this rookie to come in here and focus on helping us off the bench. She’s not going to be Rookie of the Year, that’s got to be her mindset," Reeve said.