A’Ja Wilson – Draft Profile
By Matt Hallett
A’ja Wlson is a 6’5” forward out of the University of South Carolina. Her four-year college career was highly decorated. She led her team to the SEC championship in all four years in her career. She also led the University of South Carolina to the NCAA championship, being named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Recently, Wilson was named All-American for the third time. The only others to do this are Britney Griner, Chamique Holdsclaw, Alana Beard, Courtney Paris, Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore. This is pretty impressive company to keep.
For her college career, Wilson averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game. Close to the basket, Wilson was fantastic; she shot 55.2 percent from the field. However, it was not just her shooting which set Wilson apart from the rest of the college players. Her ability to do it all at a high level was evidenced by the 49 double-doubles
Last season Wilson’s 22.9 points per game was good enough for ninth in Division I. Her 12.0 rebounds per game was good enough for 11th in Division I. Something which receives less attention is her rim protection, her 3.3 blocks per game was good enough for 6th in Division I.
These numbers show Wilson is the true superstar of the season she has been touted to be. The only player not to be knocked out of position in all of the mock drafts when Azura Stevens nominated was Wilson. She is still believed to be going at number one.
This means she is going to the Las Vegas Aces and she is quite simply an amazing fit. The Aces have got three elite smaller players in Kayla McBride, Moriah Jefferson, and Kelsey Plum. This nucleus is going to take the Aces a long way if they can be kept together.
The Aces are missing the dominant presence in the middle which is required to succeed in this league. Isabelle Harrison is a nice player but cannot compete at the same level as a Griner, Sylvia Fowles and Liz Cambage to name a few. Wilson, although she has been slated to play the four hopefully will be able to compete with these players defensively, helping the Aces to move up this season.