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2020 WNBA Draft Prospects: Five Things To Know About Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard | Power Forward | Oregon | 6-Foot-4

Senior Season Stats (2019-20): 33 GP, 28.7 MPG, 17.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 68.5 FG%, 69.5 FT%

Oregon Career Stats (2016-2020): 144 GP, 28.7 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 65.1 FG%, 68.9 FT%

1. Model of Consistency

While some collegiate players struggle early and mature over the course of their careers to become top-tier prospects, Ruthy Hebard was ready to contribute from day one when she arrived at Oregon. She led the team with 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds as a freshman, while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor – and she was just getting started.

Over her final three collegiate seasons, Hebard averaged at least 16 points and 9 rebounds per game, while sharing the court with two of the most dynamic players in this year’s draft class – point guard Sabrina Ionescu and small forward Satou Sabally. While the other Ducks took care of the perimeter, Hebard controlled the inside as a consistent scorer, ferocious rebounder and capable shot blocker with her athletic 6-foot-4 frame and strong instincts.

2. Synergy Stats Spotlight: Efficiency

When it comes to efficiency, few can match Hebard – not only among the players eligible in this draft, but all of women’s college basketball. She led the country in field goal percentage with a career-best mark of 68.5 percent shooting. Here are her last three seasons: 66.0%, 67.0% and 68.5%.

In breaking down a player’s game using Synergy stats, we often look at percentile to show how well a player ranked in comparison to the rest of the field. When it comes to overall offensive efficiency, Hebard ranks in the 100th percentile as she scores 1.24 points per possession – regardless of play type.

When we dig into the play types, the story remains the same as Hebard ranks in the 93rd percentile or higher in post-ups, pick-and-roll roll man, cuts, transition and spot-up plays. The pairing of Hebard and Ionescu was perfect for Oregon as Hebard was an excellent pick-and-roll partner for Ionescu to either free up Sabrina for a shot or find Hebard on the roll to the basket with a perfectly-timed pass.

3. Honors

In addition to being named a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, WBCA and USBWA, Hebard also won the Katrina McClain Award as the nation’s top power forward for the second time in her career.

She finished her career in the record books at Oregon, the Pac-12 and the NCAA.

  • Oregon and Pac-12 all-time leader in career field-goal percentage (65.1).
  • Oregon all-time leader in career field goals made (987).
  • NCAA record-holder for consecutive field goals made (33).
  • 2 in Oregon history in points (2,368), double-figure scoring games (123) and games played (144).
  • 3 in Oregon history in rebounds (1,299) and No. 5 in double-doubles (55).
  • One of only five UO players ever to surpass 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

4. Zooming From Alaska

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the WNBA will conduct a virtual draft with Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announcing draft picks live on ESPN and top prospects taking part remotely from their homes. Hebard will be in Alaska with her family for draft night – about as socially distant from New York City as possible – to share this life-changing event with her loved ones.

As you can expect, there isn’t a deep history of WNBA players hailing from Alaska. The last Alaskan to be drafted into the league was Kelsey Griffin, who was the third overall pick in 2010. Griffin spent five seasons in the WNBA and is currently playing professionally in Australia. Jessica Moore was the most decorated Alaskan women’s basketball player as she won three national titles at UConn before entering the WNBA in 2005 as a second round pick and enjoyed a nine-year career.

According to the Alaskan Sports Hall of Fame, Hebard now holds the top spot or career points (2,368), rebounds (1,299) and blocked shots (146) among NCAA Division I college basketball players from Alaska.

5. Questions

In a pre-draft interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe, Hebard discussed some of the conversations she has had with WNBA coaches and executives in preparation for the draft. Two topics that consistently came up were Hebard’s lack of outside shooting and her relative lack of size when compared to some of the bigs in the WNBA.

While she may not be as tall as some of the big posts in the W, she hopes her quickness, athleticism and craftiness around the basket can overcome any lack of height that she may have. You can’t post Hebard’s type of shooting percentages without a strong arsenal of post moves and shot-making skills.

It should be noted that in Oregon’s upset of the U.S. Women’s National Team back in November, Hebard finished with a double-double (18 points and 11 rebounds) while shooting 9-14 from the field against a team stocked full of WNBA All-Stars.

When it comes to lack of shooting range, Hebard sites a lack of need as opposed to a lack of skill. Being surrounded by such great shooters at Oregon, there was no need for her to try to be a stretch four as she was needed in the post to help create space for the Ducks’ play-makers and perimeter shooters. But consistently knocking down shots away from the basket will be something she has to prove at the next level.