Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry and Los Angeles' Candace Parker Named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2011 - A pair of former No. 1 overall draft picks and Rookie of the Year award winners - Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks - were named the WNBA's Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, August 15 through Sunday, August 21.
McCoughtry's 23.7 points per game ranked second in both the WNBA and the Eastern Conference as the surging Dream, winner of 10 of its last 14 games, posted a 2-1 mark on the week. Within the conference, the 2009 Rookie of the Year also ranked third in blocks (1.3 bpg), fourth in assists (4.3 apg), fifth in rebounds (8.3 rpg) and tied for fifth in steals (2.33 spg).
For the season, McCoughtry ranks second in the league in scoring (20.4 ppg) behind Phoenix's Diana Taurasi (21.0 ppg). Her 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest are 11th and 12th best, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.
The University of Louisville product and Baltimore native put together her best outing of the week in a 94-88 win over the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 19, when she recorded a double-double with 26 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. She sent the game into overtime when she blocked a shot by Allison Hightower on the final play of regulation and then scored a pair of key baskets in the extra period. Three days earlier, in a 84-79 road victory over Los Angeles, she scored 23 points and contributed five assists. McCoughtry closed out the week with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a loss at Connecticut.
The Player of the Week award is the third of the year for McCoughtry and the fifth of her career.
Parker, meanwhile, earned the honor for the first time this year and the fifth time in her four WNBA seasons.
For Parker, the 2008 league MVP and Rookie of the Year, the Player of the Week award capped a solid return to action after she was sidelined for 15 games due to a knee injury.
The Sparks' center/forward tied for second in the Western Conference in scoring with 18.5 ppg while helping Los Angeles to a 2-2 mark on the week. She also ranked third in field goal percentage (.565 on 26 of 46 shooting), tied for third in three-point shooting (.667 on 8 of 12 from beyond the arc), was fourth in rebounding (8.3 rpg), and ranked among the conference leaders in minutes, averaging 32.8 mpg.
In her return to the court, the University of Tennessee product and Naperville, IL native recorded her fifth double-double of the season (15 points, 10 rebounds) in a narrow loss to the Dream. She then tallied 18 points, six boards and five assists in a 75-70 win over the East-leading Indiana Fever and another 18 points and 8 rebounds in a loss at Minnesota. Parker closed out her week by leading the Sparks past the Tulsa Shock, 73-67, with a game-high 23 points, nine rebounds and two steals.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, Indiana's Tamika Catchings, New York's Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix's Penny Taylor, Seattle's Sue Bird and Washington's Crystal Langhorne.