WNBA Rookie Report
By Cayla McMorris
Rookie of the Week: Victoria Vivians, Fever.
Victoria Vivians is looking more and more like the Vivians from Mississippi State. Her numbers are increasing along with her minutes. She has started the last 10 games averaging 24.4 minutes per game along with 10 points per game and shooting 41.6 percent from the three-point line. Vivians has always been a scorer, from breaking her high school’s single game scoring record with 41 points and scoring over 5,000 points in her career at Scott Central to scoring 2,071 career points at Mississippi State. Now as a rookie she has netted double-digit points (averaging 17.8 per game) in her last five games. In the Fever’s recent win against the Lynx, Vivians started, scored 13 points and netted 3 three-pointers in a 71-59 victory.
Who’s Having Success?
Despite her team’s last loss against the Wings, DeShields’ scored 20 points and shot 100 percent from the free-throw line (5 for 5). DeShields’ inconsistency towards the beginning was her area of improvement and as of late. It seems like she’s been working on her game. In her last five games she has scored in double-digit points keeping her as the second-leading scorer for the Sky.
When you look at Jordin Canada’s numbers, she has been productive for the minutes she’s played for the Storm. Coming off the bench for veteran star point guard Sue Bird, Canada has had big leadership roles to fill. For only averaging 18 minutes per game, she is the third leader in assists per game after Bird and Jewell Loyd at 3.4 per game. She even dished a career high 9 assists against the Wings back on June 2. To be a rookie point guard, Canada’s assist-to-turnover ratio is +1.2 and being under Bird’s wing, it will only get better.
Who’s Still Figuring Things Out?
The Liberty’s Kia Nurse started off hot but has slowly cooled off. Although Nurse is the second-leading scorer for the Liberty, after veteran Tina Charles, she is only averaging 9.3 points per game. Part of her decrease in scoring numbers could be due to her decrease in minutes, which has also dropped significantly from earlier in the season. Nurse is a well-rounded player who can both score and defend so in order for her to have more success, she will have to stay aggressive like she was at the beginning of the season.
The Sky’s Gabby Williams has started all 17 games, but her numbers haven’t been as productive as they were at UConn. Williams averages 25 minutes per game, 7.2 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. Williams may not be in much of a scoring role this season but she has been doing the little things that may not show up on the stats sheet, like defending, but it would be nice to see an increase in the ones that do.