WNBA Player Rankings: Week 7

SECAUCUS, N.J., July 3, 2007 -- Time to respond to some of your e-mails.

Luke in Houston: I am not pleased with the Comets start to the season. As for the rankings, tell your editor that during the course of the NBA season, I looked forward to the mailbag just as much as I did the actual rankings.

Brooks: The Comets have been playing better as of late and remember Luke, Sheryl Swoopes has been hurt most of the season. Tina Thompson has been performing at an MVP level as usual. As far as looking forward to the mailbag as much as the rankings, I understand. The rankings are like a steak dinner and the mailbag is dessert.

3DogSound in Los Angeles: It's time Marta Fernandez is added to this discussion. She is fast, smart and carrying more of her team's fortune than almost everyone. Nobody else can touch Marta's ability to score in bunches. Look at the Sparks roster and all of their players that are missing.

Brooks: Yes, the rookie has been great. She is handing out over four assists per game and is also an excellent scorer. For proof, ask the Monarchs who she dropped 26 points on last week. As far as the Sparks' players being MIA, has anybody contacted the LAPD?

Brenan in Arkansas: I totally agree with what you wrote about Becky Hammon. She should be the MVP. Not only has she proven herself in New York, but she has also stepped up in San Antonio. I love watching her play. The assists, the shots and the emotion.

Brooks: I'm sure I speak for Silver Stars fans everywhere when I say they got a bargain when they obtained Hammon. Not only is she a great player but she is a leader on and off the court.

Jess in Arizona: Penny Taylor is UNDERRATED!!!! She should be in the running for MVP!!!! Just look at the numbers and the consistency. Dedication, character and passion! Just something to think about... don't get me wrong, all others that are already in the running, well deserved... Just don't forget about PENNY TAYLOR!! Thanks! Longtime WNBA Fan and have gone to every game since the beginning!

Brooks: I don't even know where to begin with this. I acknowledge that Penny has been doing her thing (check the rankings below). Judging by your use of caps and exclamation points, I understand that you are excited about her play although I doubt you've been to every single WNBA game unless you have a ton of frequent flyer miles.

Anitra in Washington, D.C.: I really enjoyed the article you wrote about Candice Dupree; she is one of my favorite WNBA players. I met her in 2004 when she was still playing for Temple University and I also met Dawn Staley. Since that time she has become one of my favorite players to watch. She's a really nice person off the court and she has a good heart. I think that she will really go far in this league and I'm really excited about how the Sky are doing. Thanks for the inspiring article! You did a really good job writing it!

Brooks: Aw shucks, it was nothing.

Noah in Indiana: I disagreed with you a lot in the NBA Race to the MVP because Steve Nash is my favorite player but in the WNBA Race to the MVP I think you rock because Tamika Catchings will be the MVP. She is the best player on the best team from my home town of Indianapolis, Indiana. Keep doing what you're doing.

Brooks: Something tells me that after this week's rankings you will be disagreeing with me all over again ...

Craig in Minnesota: This list is crap. Minnesota has been winning and I can't believe you have SA ranked so low. This is one list that has no credibility.

Brooks: I guess it is time for me to take out my detective kit and crack this riddle. SA must stand for Seimone Augustus (I figured that out because you are from Minnesota). My list is crap because she is not No. 1 and the list has no credibility because I rightfully rank her in the middle of the pack because the Lynx are six games below .500.

Mrcooldude in Texas: Hey Mo, I gotta say that I love your NBA version of R2MVP. The WNBA version is just as good. Is it gonna be pretty much a two-woman race for the MVP in the WNBA the whole year?

Brooks: Thanks for the kind words and through seven weeks it looks like it might come down to Tamika Catchings and Lauren Jackson. There are a lot of other strong candidates but so far those two have been head and shoulders above the rest.

Nancy in Virginia: One of my favorite players is Chasity Melvin. She doesn't get enough press because there are always bigger stars on her teams. She does the grunt work and has been my favorite since her days at North Carolina State.

Brooks: You couldn't have been more accurate. The players who score the points normally get the headlines but there isn't a coach in the league who wouldn't want a banger like Melvin on their team.

Harold in Texas: Yo, I hope you don't screw up the WNBA MVP like you did the NBA MVP. Suggestion: try and pick a woman that can actually lead her team past the first round.

Brooks: So it's my fault that I chose Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki as the MVP and that the media members agreed and also picked him? Anyway, last I checked the MVP is awarded for excellence in the regular season, not the postseason.

Line of the Week
Jia Perkins (Sky)
June 29 win vs. Monarchs
39 points, 17-24 FG, 10 assists

Now here are the player rankings for the season through July 2.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.7 9.1 1.1 0.9 1.9 .511 .911
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    It took seven weeks but finally, LJ is the one. After being named the Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season, Jackson has finally done enough to leapfrog Tamika Catchings for the top spot in the R2MVP rankings. She averaged 23.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three games last week.

  • 2. Tamika Catchings, Indiana
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.6 8.9 3.9 3.1 1.1 .398 .856
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    Maybe I'm just being picky here, but Catchings hasn't played at her normal ultra-high level lately. Her play has been up and down over the past couple of weeks and the Fever are just 3-3 over their past six games.

  • 3. Candice Dupree, Chicago
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.6 7.9 1.4 0.7 1.4 .512 .771
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    Dupree forced overtime with a late bucket against the Sparks on Sunday in a game the Sky won to improve to 8-8. She finished that contest with 24 points and 11 rebounds and has a legit chance at winning the MVP this season.

  • 4. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.1 2.9 5.4 1.2 0.2 .472 .925
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    Defenses have been unable to stop Hammon this season but a foot sprain caused the WNBA's fourth-leading scorer (19.1 points per game) to miss San Antonio's last game.

  • 5. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.3 3.8 3.9 1.7 0.3 .453 .750
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    Nolan continues to enjoy a stellar season, firing in 24 points against the Silver Stars on Sunday, but the Shock have lost three of their past four games after starting the season 10-1.

  • 6. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.2 3.7 3.7 1.2 1.0 .416 .899
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Talk about a must-see game. Taurasi, who is popping in 19.5 points per contest, will return to the Mercury's lineup tonight against the Lynx after a two-game suspension for inappropriate conduct. Expect a big offensive showing from last year's league leader in points.

  • 7. Rebekkah Brunson, Sacramento
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    12.1 8.6 0.8 1.3 1.0 .518 .716
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    Brunson posted back-to-back double-doubles last week to bring her season total up to six for the Monarchs, who have the best record in the West.

  • 8. Seimone Augustus, Minnesota
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.6 4.0 2.1 1.1 0.7 .507 .842
  • Last Week's Rank - 9
    Augustus' numbers across the board have been fantastic this season. Just as impressive is the fact that the Lynx have won four of their past six games.

  • 9. Sophia Young, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    14.2 6.0 1.6 1.5 0.3 .470 .705
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    After losing two straight, the Silver Stars got back on track with a win over the top team in the league -- Detroit. Young struggled with her shot but still contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals.

  • 10. Katie Douglas, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.3 4.6 4.3 2.0 0.4 .417 .833
  • Last Week's Rank - 12
    Douglas and the Sun probably wish they could play against the Fever 34 times a year. Connecticut has won just two of its past 10 games and both victories were against league-leading Indiana. In those matchups, Douglas had 52 points, 13 rebounds and seven steals.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Asjha Jones (Connecticut): 15.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.9 APG - (11)
    12. Tina Thompson (Houston): 18.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.9 APG - (Unranked)
    13. Alana Beard (Washington): 18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.1 APG - (Unranked)
    14. Cheryl Ford (Detroit): 13.0 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.1 APG - (15)
    15. Penny Taylor (Phoenix): 15.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.1 APG - (Unranked)

  • Dropped out: Katie Smith (Detroit), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles), Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix).
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