Roster Review: Monica Wright

Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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Editor’s Note: Every Tuesday, Kyle Ratke will be reviewing a member of the Minnesota Lynx. We will review the player’s best games, offseason plans and more. On Thursday, there will be a photo gallery to match the week’s featured player.

Monica Wright, G

Age: 25

Years Pro: 4

College: Virginia

Perhaps nobody on the Minnesota Lynx was asked to do more than what Wright was asked to do this season. After the team traded guard Candice Wiggins in the offseason, the backup point guard position became a topic of discussion.

Discussion over.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve trusted Wright to play backup point guard, a position she’s never played, while continue to play the 2 and the 3. She didn’t disappoint, finishing second in the Sixth Woman of the Year voting and putting up career-highs in a variety of categories.

Wright has had kind of an odd career. After being drafted No. 2 in the 2010 draft, she started 24 games for the Lynx, scoring 11.1 points per game, which is still the most she’s averaged in a season. Since then, though, Wright was asked to come off the bench. Some former No. 2 picks might have had a problem with that, but not Wright. She’s embraced it and has become one of the best bench players in the league, helping the Lynx to two titles in three seasons.

The scary thing is, it looks like Wright will only continue to get better. Her pull-up jumper is one of the best in the league and she might be the best defensive player on the team.

If we were going to get picky heading into the 2014 campaign, we’d like to see her 3-point percentage go up a bit. If she could become a threat from the outside, the Lynx could play small ball and potentially have Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Wright, Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson on the floor at the same time.

Regular Season Stats:

33 games, three starts, 22.5 minutes per game, nine points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game (career-high), 2.3 assists per game (career-high), 1 steal per game (career-high), 42.8 FG%, 25.6 3P%, 79.1 FT% (career-high)

Playoff Stats:

7 games, 21.1 minutes per game (career-high) 9.1 points per game (career-high), 2.6 rebounds per game (career-high), 1.1 assists (career-high), 47.2 FG% (career-high), 22.2 3P%, 66.7 FT%

Best Game:

In her first start of the season, filling in for an injured Seimone Augustus, Wright made the most of it and proved that she could easily be a starter on most teams in the WNBA. In a 94-72 win over the Atlanta Dream, Wright scored a game-high 22 points, while dishing out five assists and finishing with three steals. She was an efficient 7-of-10 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. To other teams, Wright’s performance might have been a surprise, but for the Lynx, they knew exactly what they had with the combo-guard.

“(Wright) was great and it's not a surprise to us when she steps into the starting lineup and does this for us,'' said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve after the game.

Offseason Plans:

Wright is currently playing for KEB Hanabank in South Korea as part of the WKBL league. In six games, Wright is playing 13.7 minutes per game. She’s scoring 10.2 points per game, while hauling in 3.7 rebounds and 1.17 steals per game. She’s shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line. She has yet to make a 3-pointer, though. Wright last played on Nov. 29 and scored nine points (3-of-6 from the field, 3-of-4 from the free-throw line), to go along with three rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist. Her team lost 70-69.

They Said It:

"She's playing with so much energy. She's such a great athlete. Now she's hitting that pull-up jumper and hitting some threes. We know she's always going to play defense and bring energy now she's turned into a very consistent scorer for us. It's been fun to see." – Fellow guard Lindsay Whalen on the progress Wright made throughout the season.

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