WNBA Rookie Report
By Cayla McMorris
Rookie of the week: Myisha Hines-Allen, Mystics
Hines-Allen, the 6-foot-2 forward, was a double-double machine in Sunday’s win against the Lynx. She gave the reigning champs a run for their money while scoring 15 points and snatching 13 boards in only 25 minutes of play. Hines-Allen was only averaging 10.6 minutes per game, but with Elena Delle-Donne’s injury, her time on the floor increased. She made the most of her extra playing time, helping her team outscore the Lynx by 22 in the second quarter. Offensively, Hines-Allen was very efficient from the floor shooting 87 percent from the field (7 of 8), and grabbing seven boards. Defensively, she had six rebounds and was given the task of guarding the 2017 Finals MVP, Sylvia Fowles. Fowles had 13 points in the first quarter but Hines-Allen didn’t play much during that spurt. Hines-Allen guarded Fowles the majority of the rest of the game and only allowed her to score four more points. Hines-Allen was productive on both ends of the floor and was the spark to help lead her team to their first double-digit win as the Mystics improved to 4-0. The rookie forward is currently averaging 14.3 minutes per game, 7.3 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game and is shooting 72.2 percent from the field. If she continues to stay consistent and productive like she did against the Lynx, Hines-Allen’s minutes should increase.
Despite not receiving Rookie of the week, there were quite a few players that made an impact this week. The Aces’ A’ja Wilson led her team in scoring for the second time in three games. She scored 27 points and hauled in 8 boards in their loss against the Storm on Sunday. Wilson has had a great start, scoring in double figures in all three games, but despite her play her team is struggling to win games. Wilson is currently averaging 19 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Fever’s Kelsey Mitchell is another rookie who is having a huge impact on her team. She is leading her team in scoring at 16.8 points while averaging 26.6 minutes per game. After only scoring five points in her season debut, Mitchell has scored in double figures her last four games - 16, 20, 25 and 18 points. She has also led her team in scoring in their last two games against the Mystics and Sparks, but her team has lost every game so far, this season. Mitchell’s consistency has had an impact on her team but not enough to get them some wins. Lastly, Hines-Allen’s teammate Ariel Atkins had a stellar performance in their game against the Lynx, netting four clutch three-pointers to help her team to victory Sunday night. Atkins finished with 14 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range. She is currently the fourth leading scorer for the Mystics at 9.3 points per game and second in three-point percentage at 45 percent. She’s definitely a spark off the bench that can score when needed and knock down perimeter shots.
Last week’s rookie of the week, Diamond DeShields, is still battling with consistency. In the Sky’s losses against the Storm, she scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, but against the Dream she only scored eight points and had two rebounds. In order for her team to have a chance at winning games, DeShields is going to have to put up more shots and score in double figures. Her teammate Gabby Williams is also going to need to increase her scoring and rebounding production to give the Sky that extra push they need to have success.
Rookies who were waived
After starting the season with 25 rookies, the league is now down to 21. Raigyne Louis was waived by the Aces because of the return of Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride. The Sparks recently waived Karlie Samuelson for the second time due to Candace Parker returning from injury. With the return of veteran center Kia Vaughn, the Liberty have decided to let Mercedes Russell go. Lastly, the Mercury have waived the 26th overall draft pick Imani Wright.