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2020 WNBA Draft Prospects: Five Things To Know About Crystal Dangerfield

Crystal Dangerfield | Point Guard | Connecticut | 5-foot-5

Senior Season Stats (2019-20): 30 GP, 35.4 MPG, 14.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 46.3 FG%, 41.0 3P%, 86.0 FT%

UConn Career Stats (2016-2020): 134 GP, 30.7 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 44.0 FG%, 38.4 3P%, 83.3 FT%

1. Reliable Floor General

Teams looking for a pass-first point guard that has plenty of experience in setting up her teammates will find Crystal Dangerfield as a promising prospect. She finished her four-year career at Connecticut with 1,480 points and 599 assists – the fifth most in the storied history of UConn women’s basketball.

  1. 659 Moriah Jefferson (2012-2016)
  2. 648 Diana Taurasi (2001-2004)
  3. 637 Jennifer Rizzotti (1993-1996)
  4. 632 Renee Montgomery (2006-2009)
  5. 599 Crystal Dangerfield (2016-2020)
  6. 585 Sue Bird (1999-2002)

Danger may be in her surname, but Dangerfield plays with a steady hand. She is a good decision maker and great passer, who limits her turnovers (career 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio) while setting up her teammates for easy buckets. Dangerfield can score when needed, but her first instinct is to make a play for her teammates before calling her own number.

2. Long Distance Threat

The Huskies had two of the top 3-point shooters in college basketball this season with Megan Walker (who is also in this draft class) ranked 8th in the NCAA at 45.1% and Dangerfield ranked 31st at 41.0%.

During her four years at Connecticut, Dangerfield made 239 3-pointers in 623 attempts for a career percentage of 38.4%. Her 239 career threes ranks ninth in UConn history.

The ability to stretch the floor is paramount in today’s game and teams can never have too many dead-eye shooters available.

3. Synergy Stats Spotlight: Elite Offensive Efficiency

When breaking down the numbers for a pass-first point guard like Dangerfield, we have to look at Synergy’s Possessions + Assists stats, which account for the possessions that Dangerfield either ends herself with a shot attempt, free throw attempt or turnover as well as the possessions she ends with an assist.

In those 577 possessions this season, the Huskies scored 1.303 points per possession, which puts Dangerfield in the 98th percentile among all players.

When we break down the possessions that Dangerfield finished on her own, she still was one of the most efficient players in the game. She ranked in the 96th percentile on spot ups as she scored 1.163 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 58.0%.

She also ranked in the 87th percentile or better in her top four most frequent half-court play types: spot ups (96thpercentile, 22.7% of her offensive time), pick-and-roll ball handler (89th percentile, 21.1% of time), hand-offs (87th percentile, 17.2% of time) and cuts (98th percentile, 7.2% of time).

Defensively, Dangerfield ranks high in limiting opponents on spots ups, hand-offs and off screen plays, but struggled a bit in defending the pick-and-roll as she ranked in the 48th percentile, allowing 0.671 points per possession to opposing ball handers in those play sets, which accounted or 43.5% of her defensive time.

4. Small In Stature, Big In Game

One question that Dangerfield will not be able to avoid as she takes her game to the professional level is about her lack of height. At 5-foot-5, she would match Washington’s Leilani Mitchell as the shortest player in the WNBA this season.

Over the past 10 years, there have only been 10 players under 5-foot-6 to play in a regular season WNBA game, including two from last season: Mitchell (who played the last three seasons in Phoenix, but signed with Washington in the offseason) and Brooke McCarty-Williams (who played her rookie season in Dallas in 2019).

Player Height Career Games Played
*Leilani Mitchell 5-5 345
Temeka Johnson 5-3 327
Shannon Bobbitt 5-2 118
Angel Goodrich 5-4 83
Andrea Riley 5-5 73
*Brooke McCarty-Williams 5-4 34
Jennifer O’Neill 5-5 13
Heather Butler 5-5 11
Dymond Simon 5-5 8
Jasmine Lister 5-4 7

*active player

While being undersized presents some challenges, Dangerfield can make up for what she lacks in height with her speed, quickness and craftiness in creating shot opportunities for herself and her teammates. While she is an outstanding 3-point threat, she has a variety of shots in her arsenal, including a strong mid-range pull-up jumper and floaters in the lane to avoid shot blockers.

5. Big Game Experience, But No Championship

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the cancellation of this year’s NCAA Tournament, Dangerfield was denied her final shot at winning an NCAA championship. The Huskies went 136-8 during her UConn career and made the Final Four in each of her first three seasons, but fell short of capturing the program’s 12th championship.

She is part of the first senior class at UConn to not win a title during their career since 2008. While that championship hunger was not satiated in college, Dangerfield now takes it to the WNBA as she looks to make an impact on the league and contribute to a winning team.