Rookie Rankings, August 16, 2006

Throughout the course of the 2006 WNBA season, WNBA.com posted its unofficial Rookie Rankings, highlighting the play of the top five rookies of the week. Here's a look at our sixth and final installment, which features several players who made a great impact in their first season of play.

No. 1: Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx (1st pick)
GP
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
34
21.9
.456
30-86
3.8
1.5
0.62
0.53
Skinny: Seimone Augustus' scoring numbers dropped over the past month from 23.3 ppg to 22.5 ppg, and her field goal percentage dropped almost one percent over the past two weeks, but the All-Star guard finished second in the league in points per game behind Diana Taurasi and is the front-runner for Rookie of they Year. She played the sixth most minutes per game (33.1 mpg) in the entire league and led all rookies in points per game and free throw percentage (.897 FT%). She also ranked second among rookies in field goal percentage and blocks per game (0.53 bpg). Augustus scored 32 points four times this season.


No. 2: Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix Mercury (2nd pick)
GP
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
32
19.5
.435
47-126
3.3
3.1
1.16
0.12
Skinny: Whether it was in the Draft or in the scoring race, Pondexter continues stay right alongside Augustus. The Mercury guard's scoring numbers continued to drop over the past two weeks as well, going from 20.5 ppg to 19.5 ppg during that stretch. Yet her field goal percentage went up from .435 to .442. Pondexter ranked fourth in the WNBA in points per game (19.5 ppg) and fifth in minutes per game (33.4 mpg). Among rookies, Pondexter ranked first in assists (3.1 apg) and second in scoring and three-point percentage (.373 3P%).


No. 3: Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars (4th pick)
GP
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
34
12.0
.416
0-4
7.6
1.5
1.68
0.38
Skinny: Sophia Young's numbers pretty much remained the same over the past two weeks as her scoring slightly increased from 11.7 ppg to 12.0 ppg while her rebounding numbers were identical. The 6-1 forward finished her rookie season leading all rookies in every rebounding category and ranking sixth among all players in rebounds per game (7.6 rpg). She also led all rookies in steals per game (1.68 spg) and double-doubles with seven.


No. 4: Candice Dupree, Chicago Sky (6th pick)
GP
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
34
13.7
.457
0-5
5.5
1.8
1.26
0.74
Skinny: Candice Dupree got stronger as the season went on and gives the Chicago Sky and its fans something to look forward to in the future. The All-Star put up almost the exact same numbers over the past two weeks with a slight increase in her rebounding numbers. But she finished with a stronger second half than first and started 31 games over the course of the season. She led all rookies in blocks per game (0.74 bpg) and field goal percentage (.457 FG%), and ranked among the top three in points per game (13.7 ppg), steals per game (1.26 spg) and rebounds per game (5.5 rpg).

No. 5: Monique Currie, Charlotte Sting (3rd pick)
GP
PPG
FG%
3PM-A
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
34
10.0
.332
16-55
3.9
2.6
1.00
0.12
Skinny: Monique Currie finished in the top five despite her poor field goal and three-point field goal shooting for the season. But over the final two weeks of the season, Currie did push her points per game up from 9.8 ppg to 10.0 ppg and her field goal percentage up from .321 FG% to .332 FG%. The 6-0 guard-forward ranked fourth in the WNBA in free throws made (149) and sixth in free throw attempts (184). Among rookies, she ranked fifth in scoring (10.0 ppg), third in rebounding (3.9 rpg), and second in assists (2.56 apg).


Honorable Mention:

  • Sherill Baker (7.4 ppg, 1.65 rpg)
  • LaToya Bond (5.7 ppg, 2.1 apg)
  • Barbara Turner (6.4 ppg, 2.53 rpg)
  • Shanna Zolman (6.6 ppg, .378 3P%)

    In what may prove to be the best rookie class in history (though the Classes of 2002 and 2004 may have something to say about that), this group of talented women have shown that you really can believe the hype and that the future of the WNBA is indeed bright.

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