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2020 WNBA Draft Prospects: Five Things To Know About Megan Walker

Megan Walker | Connecticut | Small Forward | 6-Foot-1

Junior Season Stats (2019-20): 32 GP, 33.9 MPG, 19.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 47.7 FG%, 45.1 3P%, 82.1 FT%

UConn Career Stats (2017-2020): 100 GP, 27.0 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 46.5 FG%, 42.2 3P%, 78.1 FT%

1. Declared for the WNBA Draft on March 14

Walker is one of three draft-eligible juniors that have entered the WNBA Draft 2020 and is projected as first round selections, along with Satou Sabally and Chennedy Carter. Walker made her decision quickly; with the announcement coming just two days after the NCAA announced the cancellation of the postseason tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to the unfortunate circumstances that caused the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, it saddens me that I was not able to finish my junior season in the way that I would have liked,” Walker said in a statement. “I am, however, ready to move on to the next phase of my life and career.”

“During a player’s college career, they’re working towards certain goals,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “When you have an opportunity to reach a certain goal that you set for yourself, I think it’s important that you have an opportunity to take it.

“Meg’s decided this is the right time for her to take advantage of this opportunity. Obviously, she had an incredible season this year and is incredibly talented. We support her 100 percent, and we’re going to support her going forward. We wish her the best of luck as she begins her pro career.”

2. She is only the third Husky to leave UConn early

There have been 38 players from Connecticut drafted into the WNBA, second only to the 42 from the University of Tennessee. Of the 38 Huskies to enter the WNBA, only two have ever foregone a year of eligibility in order to turn professional: Morgan Tuck in 2016 and Azurá Stevens in 2018.

Walker will be the third Husky to leave a year of eligibility on the table in order to join the WNBA and will be the first to do so after just three years of college. Tuck was at UConn for four years, but had a year of eligibility remaining due to injuries. Stevens spent two seasons at Duke before transferring to UConn; she had to sit out a year due to transfer rules before playing her one and only season with the Huskies before turning pro.

Both Tuck (No. 3 to Connecticut in 2016) and Stevens (No. 6 to Dallas in 2018) went in the top half of the first round. Will Walker do the same?

3. Made the leap in her junior season

Walker’s numbers made a huge leap this season as she led the Huskies in scoring at 19.7 points per game, which ranked 16th in all of Division I women’s hoops. That is a seven point per game increase from her sophomore season (12.7 PPG) and more than triple from her freshman season (5.8 PPG).

She also added career-best marks in rebounds (8.4 per game), assists (2.9 per game), steals (1.5 per game) and all her shooting percentages (47.7 FG%, 45.1 3P% and 82.1 FT%) increased too, en route to being named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

With Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson graduating to the WNBA after last season, Walker and fellow draft prospect Crystal Dangerfield were the only two upperclassmen on the roster and were leaned on heavily by Auriemma.

“Megan went from last year being an option to becoming the option, to becoming the go-to person,” Auriemma said.

4. Dangerous from long distance

While parts of Walker’s game may take time to develop at the professional level, she enters the WNBA with at least one pro-ready skill – she can shoot the lights out from beyond the arc.

Walker shot a career-best 45.1% from 3-point range this season – the eighth-highest mark in all of NCAA Division I – as she splashed 78 treys in 173 attempts. Walker has steadily improved her 3-point percentage in her three years at UConn, from 37.1% as a freshman to 39.7% as a sophomore before finishing out her career at 45.1% this season.

5. Synergy Stats Spotlight: Catch and Shoot

With such a great 3-point percentage, it should come as little surprise that Walker excels in catch-and-shoot opportunities. According to Synergy play type data, she ranked in the 91st percentile in catch-and-shoot efficiency, scoring 1.188 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 59.4%. That percentage jumped to 61.3% when she was left unguarded.

Walker was less successful off the dribble, as her scoring efficiency dropped to 0.479 points per possession with a 24.0 effective field goal percentage.

However, two other areas where Walker excelled were transition opportunities, as she scored 1.345 points per possession (96th percentile) with a 70.8 eFG% and working off screens as she scored 1.182 points per possession (93rd percentile) with a 62.5 eFG%.

Images Courtesy of UConn Athletics*