WNBA Rookie Report
By Cayla McMorris
Rookie of the Week
Azura Stevens, Dallas Wings
The Wings’ Azura Stevens may have only scored six points in each of her last two games, but she has done the little things for her 13-9 team. As noted in last week’s Rookie Report, Stevens was turning things around offensively by increasing her overall average to 8.5 points per game after putting up five back-to-back double-digit performances. In the Wing’s last two games against the Storm, Stevens grabbed 9 rebounds (3 offensive) and shot 100 percent, 2-2, from the free-throw line. In their game against the Liberty she dished 3 assists and went 4 of 6 from the free throw line.
Who’s Having Success?
Aces’ A’ja Wilson continues to dominate this season and it is paying off. She has started all 23 games and scored in double digits in each of them. She leads all rookies in scoring at 19.9 points per game, earned Rookie of the Month for June and was recently selected as the only rookie in the All-Star Game.
The Sky’s Diamond DeShields continues to bring consistency for her struggling team. Even though the Sky have lost their last five games, DeShields has scored 10 or more points in each game and is currently averaging 13.4 and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Despite losing to the Wings, the Liberty’s Kia Nurse scored 25 points, making 4 of 6 three-pointers and shooting 63 percent from the field. Nurse was only averaging 2 points in her previous five games before this one, so this is a major confidence booster.
Who’s Still Figuring Things Out?
Fever rookies Kelsey Mitchell and Victoria Vivians are having rocky seasons. At the beginning of the season, Mitchell had the hot hand and was averaging nearly 21 points per game. When Vivians’ time increased due to a change in the lineup, she had three games where she scored 20 or more points. As we gage towards the end of the 2018 season, both rookies are beginning to cool off a bit. In the Fever’s last loss against the Lynx, Mitchell played 22 minutes and Vivians played 31 minutes. The duo combined for a total of 9 points. Some may think that because they led their respective college teams in scoring that it should easily carry over to the pros. That’s not always the case, as we see proof in their numbers. All of the players in this league were once stars of their college or overseas teams, so being a star right away or matching their collegiate success is not always going to come easy.