Breaking Down The Rookies
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We are a little past the halfway point in the season and we haven't broken down any of the rookies yet.
The Lynx have three on the team this season, Lindsey Moore, Sugar Rodgers and Rachel Jarry. While the success hasn't been on display at all times, this trio is learning every game and in every practice, even though the playing time isn't exactly being thrown at them like hot potatoes.
How has each player progressed during the season? Let's find out together.
PG - Lindsey Moore
Path to the Lynx: Moore came out of the University of Nebraska and the Lynx drafted her with the No. 12 overall pick in the first round in 2013.
Expectations: With Lindsay Whalen playing the point guard position, it was well-known that Moore would be learning from Whalen and would likely play very sparingly. Moore is a bit undersized, so adding size and durability was needed. Minnesota drafted Moore in hopes that she could become the next point guard for the team, and a quality bench player in year two and three.
Results: The results have been mixed so far. Moore has great passing ability and is quick, but she's had her struggles in practice as well. Head coach Cheryl Reeve, a former point guard, has sat her down a few times to explain different aspects of the game to the rookie. While she isn't getting looks with the first team in practice, it has to be beneficial seeing Whalen on a daily basis. Hopefully Moore is taking mental notes.
Stats: 14 games, 4.2 minutes per game, 0. 6 ppg, .6 apg, .4 rpg. These numbers shouldn't concern fans at all. A lot of Moore's lack of playing time has to do with the amount of talent on this team. We've seen rookies like Skylar Diggins struggle even with a lot of playing time. Next season will measure how far Moore has come.
Best game: June 21 vs. LA - 21 minutes, five points, two assists, two rebounds, 2-of-4 from the field.
G - Sugar Rodgers
Path to the Lynx: Rodgers was drafted with the No. 14 overall pick (second round) in the 2013 draft coming out of Georgetown.
Expectations: Honestly, early in camp, it didn't look like Rodgers was going to make the team. She had an injured quad early on, and never seemed to get into the swing of things with the rest of the team. Minnesota knew she could be a talented offensive player, but there was plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball. They needed an energy player. Near the end of training camp, Rodgers made the team due to her defensive quickness and her offensive potential.
Results: The results have been pretty positive so far for Rodgers. She played very scarcely at the beginning of the season, as Reeve was trying to find her rotation. But from July 2 to July 21, Rodgers played 10 or more minutes in six out of seven games. Her offense hasn't been great, but defensively, she's been the energy player the Lynx have needed off the bench. We'll see if she can keep up the intensity. I still think Rodgers can become a 10-14 point per game player in a few years. Out of the three rookies, she's had the most success.
Stats: 20 games, nine minutes per game, 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, .6 apg.
Best game: July 19 vs. San Antonio - 18 minutes, nine points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, 3-of-6 from the 3-point line.
F - Rachel Jarry
Path to the Lynx: Jarry was drafted No. 18 overall in the 2011 draft by the Atlanta Dream. The Dream traded her to the Lynx on draft day and the Lynx signed her to a contract on Feb. 11, 2013. Jarry played in the WNBL before playing in the WNBA.
Expectations: Early in camp, it didn't look like Jarry had much of a chance to make the team. Her overseas style of play looked non-physical and there were question marks on whether or not it would transfer over to the WNBA. But day-after-day in practice, Jarry impressed coaches with her effort and her ability to do whatever it took to be on the court. Reeve said Jarry "didn't pass the eye test" but her work ethic impressed everyone. Jarry has the unique experience of playing in Australia which should benefit her for the future.
Results: Jarry was the first rookie to earn big playing time, but as the season has gone along, her minutes have decreased a bit. She's been hindered lately with an ankle injury, but that shouldn't affect her too much in the future. Jarry showed what she could do in the preseason, scoring 11 points while shooting 4-for-4 in a 74-57 win over the Mystics. If she can become a spot-up 3-point shooter, the sky is the limit for her.
Stats: 17 games, 5.4 mpg, .7 ppg, .7 rpg, .6 apg.
Best game: July 21 vs. LA - five points, two rebounds, three steals, two blocks.
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