For story lines and intrigue, the Lynx's four picks on Thursday in the WNBA draft offer the team's long-suffering fans a great deal to chew on.

With their two first-round picks, the Lynx took the leader on college basketball's best team and a young 6-5 center.

Next Minnesota, a nonplayoff team the past four seasons, took two familiar basketball names within the state. Early in the second round, the Lynx drafted another McCants (Rashanda) from North Carolina, and early in the third, guard Emily Fox of the Gophers.

"Going into the draft, we had needs: rebounding, defense, and, if you go by position, small forward, point guard and center," said Don Zierden, the third-year Lynx coach. "We felt we needed to bolster up those positions."

Zierden said the Lynx did.

The Lynx took Connecticut point guard Renee Montgomery with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. Her Huskies beat Louisville 76-54 on Tuesday to win the NCAA championship and finish 39-0.

"After a lot of years of just hard work, to hear your named called and to know now you are a professional athlete, it's just a really good feeling," Montgomery said.

Picked ahead of her were forward Angel McCoughtry of Louisville by Atlanta and Maryland teammates Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver, who went to Washington and Chicago, respectively.

Zierden said he was happy Montgomery fell to fourth.

"I will bring energy and a great optimistic attitude" to the Lynx, Montgomery said.

Five picks later, at No. 9, the Lynx chose 6-5 center Quanitra Hollingsworth of Virginia Commonwealth.

"[She] is a puppy," Zierden said. "She is a 20-year-old woman who has already graduated from college, almost finished graduate school. Extremely intelligent, 6-5 legit, strong."

Zierden said Hollingsworth is only going to improve working with his assistant coaches.

"My strengths [are] rebounding and I can play both ends of the floor," said Hollingsworth, who skipped fifth and sixth grade and started high school at age 11.

So Zierden could put check marks by point guard and center on his list of needs. What was left? Small forward.

He checked that off, too, with the No. 15 pick in the second round. The Lynx chose 6-1 forward Rashanda McCants. Her older brother, Rashad, is a former Timberwolves player.

"She is long, athletic, can defend all day long," Zierden said. "Those of you that have watched North Carolina, she was their main defender. She goes to the boards, which helps us in another area. We have had great background check reports on her."

With the Lynx's final pick, No. 30, Zierden went with his heart.

"I am a Minnesota native," he said. "I like what the Gophers program is doing. I like Emily Fox's body of work over four years. And I thought she should be rewarded with a chance to come into training camp and make our team."

Fox is only the third Gopher to be drafted. Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville, who are still in the league, were the first two.

"I didn't know what to expect," Fox said. "But now I have a chance to stay longer in a place I am comfortable in. That's pretty cool for me."

Training camp will start May 17. WNBA rosters this season have been reduced from 13 to 11, increasing the competition for jobs.

"There is going to be somebody on our team that played [in the league] last year that is going to get released," Zierden said.