Rookie Rankings: June 27, 2007

June 27, 2007 -- Throughout the 2007 WNBA season, WNBA.com will run its completely unofficial Rookie Rankings, highlighting the play of the top five rookies to this point. Here's a look at our third installment, which features a new No. 1 and several players already making impressive impacts in their professional careers. Be sure to talk about it here in our Fan Voice forums. (All statistics are through the games of June 25.)

No. 1: Lindsey Harding, Minnesota Lynx (1st pick, Duke)
GP
MPG
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
14 31.4 12.1 .348 6-28 4.5 4.3 1.1 0.4
Skinny: Finally, the No. 1 spot for the No. 1 pick in the draft. Harding leads all rookies in scoring, is second in assists and rebounds and is becoming one of the go-to players on the young Lynx roster. Her 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists against the Storm last Friday is a perfect example of what she can bring to a team when she's on. Her shooting percentage isn't pretty, but she's doing everything else and she's doing it well.

No. 2: Marta Fernandez, Los Angeles Sparks (free agent, Spain)
GP
MPG
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
12 32.4 10.8 .397 5-19 3.1 4.4 1.4 0.8
Skinny: Second among rookies in scoring but first in steals, the 25-year-old Fernandez stands an impressive fifth overall in the league in assists. Since the retirement of Chamique Holdsclaw, Fernandez is getting more minutes and should continue to see plenty of shots. The return -- whenever it is -- of point guard Temeka Johnson should help out considerably as Fernandez will be free to focus more on her scoring.

No. 3: Armintie Price, Chicago Sky (3rd pick, Mississippi)
GP
MPG
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
13 27.5 8.1 .366 0-1 7.1 3.5 1.0 0.4
Skinny: The remarkably athletic 5-9 Price has been a monster on the boards for the Sky so far this season, ranking an incredible seventh overall in the league in rebounding. She is also getting more comfortable at the offensive end. She has upped her production and by the end of the season, she should be good for about 10 points a game. Along with second-year forward Candice Dupree, Price should be one of the big-time players for the up-and-coming Sky for years to come.

No. 4: Ashley Shields, Houston Comets (8th pick, SW Tenn. CC)
GP
MPG
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
13 16.6 8.4 .294 6-16 1.6 1.3 0.7 0.0
Skinny: Shields has been up and down within the top five since the season started, and her performance (and, therefore, her position) has been largely dependent upon the amount of playing time she's getting from first-year coach Karleen Thompson. After averaging 20.0 points through the first two games, Shields went on a streak of nine games where she didn't score in double figures and only twice played more than 15 minutes. The last two games, though, she has averaged a superb 18 points in 20 minutes a night. Who knows where she'll stand at season's end, but the skills are definitely there.

No. 5: Jessica Davenport, New York Liberty (2nd pick, Ohio State)
GP
MPG
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
13 17.6 7.4 .407 0-0 3.4 0.4 0.4 1.5
Skinny: It's fair to say that Davenport has underwhelmed so far in her rookie campaign, especially when she's compared to the player for whom she was traded, Becky Hammon. But comparisons like that aren't fair, and Davenport has been solid for the young Liberty. Like Price, she could stand to be a touch more comfortable and confident at the offensive end and she's had some trouble muscling up against several of the bigger centers around the league. Still, Davenport is a big body with skill. When she puts it all together, she'll be a force to be reckoned with in the WNBA.

Honorable Mention:
  • Sidney Spencer, Los Angeles Sparks (7.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, .552 3p%)
  • Katie Gearlds, Seattle Storm (4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
  • Shay Murphy, Minnesota Lynx (3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
  • Tiffany Jackson, New York Liberty (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg)
  • Camille Little, San Antonio Silver Stars (2.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg)