Prince's decision to leave Rutgers early may be ill-advised
Prince, who reportedly has no academic issues, has indicated she's leaving early so she can give financial help to her family, which lives in a housing project in Brooklyn. According to the
But to the two agents who know the overseas market for women's basketball players better than anyone, Prince's plan reflects a wildly unrealistic view of her value right now. "To be fair, I don't know her situation," says
The money at the top of overseas pay scale is very good. About 15 players in the world make $300,000 or more a season -- think hyper-accomplished Olympians and WNBA champions like
Paschal, Prince's former AAU coach
• She's a 5-9 guard. Yes, she is good defender and a prolific scorer. If she changes her mind and stays for her senior year (she hasn't signed with an agent yet) Prince, who averaged 19.5 points and 2.6 steals last year, is on pace to finish first in steals and second in scoring on Rutgers' career lists. But Europe, Asia and South America are already loaded with good 5-9 shooters. What teams there need and treasure are 6-4 posts who can control rebounds and block shots.
"It's not likely at all that [Minnesota Lynx rookie guard]
• Prince, who has never played on a USA Basketball squad, has no pro or international experience, and that's what matters to overseas teams. According to Cound, teams overseas don't pay much attention to college experience. "They know Connecticut and Tennessee. Some of them don't know that Auburn and Georgia are in the SEC, and they don't know what the SEC is," he says.
"If you're drafted in the WNBA, your résumé is boosted, if you start, your résumé is boosted, if you have good stats, it's boosted," Cound said. "All of that really matters before your first year overseas. Then you have to go prove yourself overseas. Some teams in Israel will just eliminate you from consideration if you weren't drafted in the WNBA."
Cound recalls a WNBA player who was a top-three draft pick a few years ago. "Nobody overseas knew who she was," he says. "She was probably going to make six or seven thousand a month just because of where she was drafted. Then she had a stretch where she scored about 20 points a game in the [WNBA], and we got an offer that was barely six figures, $105,000, in Turkey. But that was only because of what she was doing at the pro level. She was a higher profile player than Prince and she was accomplishing something. And she barely snuck over the six-figure level."
• The global economy: Women's basketball, says Cross, " is a correcting market, just like the housing market. The pool of money available is smaller. There are some players making more [than last year] but there are a lot who will have to take less. The economy is going to have a big effect on what Prince gets offered."
"From what I've heard, talent-wise, Epiphanny has the ability to do something," says Cound. "But she probably needs a year or two. By all accounts, it looks like she got some pretty bad advice."