First-Team Associated Press All-Americans Rhyne Howard, NaLyssa Smith and Naz Hillmon were among the 88 players to formally file for inclusion as candidates in next month's WNBA draft.
Hillmon, a 6-foot-2 senior forward from Michigan, was expected to forgo her final year of eligibility, but didn't commit one way or the other to leaving following her team's loss to Louisville in the Elite Eight on Monday night, saying at the time she wanted to reflect before making a final decision. The announcement also makes official the entry of Howard, a 6-2 guard from Kentucky, and Smith, a 6-4 forward from Baylor, who are widely assumed to be the top-two picks in the draft.
Only players who still have eligibility are required to renounce it and opt into the draft, which this year will be held on April 11 in New York. The NCAA granted all basketball players an additional season of eligibility after a 2020-21 campaign played amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list did not include NC State center Elissa Cunane. Players who participate in the Elite Eight or later rounds of the NCAA tournament have 48 hours following the conclusion of their final game to declare for the draft. Cunane's Wolfpack exited the NCAA tournament Monday with a loss to UConn in the regional final.
Other notable names featured who have either previously announced their decision to leave college or were expected to depart include Queen Egbo (Baylor), Shakira Austin (Ole Miss), Khayla Pointer (LSU), Nyara Sabally (Oregon) and Rae Burrell (Tennessee).