Ahead of the 2021 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, we take a closer look at some of this year’s top prospects.
Rennia Davis | Guard/Forward | 6-Foot-2 | Tennessee
1. The Numbers
Senior Season (2020-21): 24 GP, 32.3 MPG, 17.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.83 SPG, 0.33 BPG, 48.0 FG%, 26.0 3P%, 85.3 FT%
Tennessee Career (4 Seasons): 118 GP, 31.4 MPG, 15.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.05 SPG, 0.37 BPG, 47.1 FG%, 31.4 3P%, 81.6 FT%
Davis finished her collegiate career ranked in the top 10 in Lady Vols history in double-doubles (4th, 39), 20-point games (5th, 23), points (9th, 1,815), points per game (9th, 15.4), rebounds (10th, 947), rebounds per game (6th, 8.03), free throw percentage (t6th, .816), field goals attempted (8th, 1,477) and field goals made (9th, 696).
She is one of only four players in team history to rank in the career top 10 in points, points per game, rebounds and rebounds per game. Davis joins some elite company in Chamique Holdsclaw (No. 1 pick, 1999), Tamika Catchings (No. 3 pick, 2001 while injured) and Candace Parker (No. 1 pick, 2008). Holdsclaw, Catchings and Parker all won Rookie of the Year honors in their debut WNBA seasons, with Parker also capturing the first of her two MVP awards that same season.
2. Synergy Scouting Report
When we dive into the Synergy stats, we really get to see where Davis stands out. She scored 1.367 points per possession on cuts to the basket, shooting an outstanding 68.5% on 60 possessions. She scored 1.216 points per possession on putbacks, converting at 63.6% on 37 opportunities. And she scored 1.183 points per possession on 71 transition possessions, with an effective field goal percentage of 60.4%.
She added a point per possession on post-ups and off screen plays, but where she really shined was getting out on the break, and doing work around the basket either by having her teammates find her on cuts to the hoop or crashing the offensive glass. The fact that she is such an outstanding rebounder from the wing really stands out; she led the Lady Vols by 2.8 rebounds per game.
3. Elite Perimeter Defender
Where Davis could make an instant impact on whatever WNBA team selects her is on the defensive end. The 6-2 wing enters the league with a combination of strength, length, attitude and athleticism that allows her to defend multiple positions on the perimeter – which is at a premium in the WNBA.
Let’s go back to the Synergy stats, but this time look at Davis on the defensive side of the ball. The most common play she defended was the ball handler in pick-and-roll sets; over 76 possessions, she allowed only 34 points (0.447 points per possession) and held her opponents to 23% shooting. While defending 68 spot-up possessions, Davis allowed only 45 points (0.662 points per possession), with her opponents shooting just 24.1%.
4. Needs to Extend Her Range
If there is one knock on Davis’ game as she gets ready to transition from the college level to the professional ranks, its that she must improve her 3-point shooting and become a reliable perimeter scoring threat. During her senior season, Davis shot just 26% (20-77) from 3-point range, which was the lowest mark of her career.
She shot a promising 37% (34-92) as a sophomore, but has been below 30% from deep in each of the past two seasons. For her career, she was a 31.4% (113-360) shooter from 3-point range, which would have ranked 40th among the 48 qualified shooters in the WNBA last season. All rookies have some aspect of their game that must improve at the next level. If Davis can become a reliable outside shooter, her potential will go up another level.
5. What They’re Saying
LaChina Robinson (ESPN College Basketball and WNBA Analyst): I think the world of Rennia Davis. She’s an incredible athlete, first and foremost. Look at her size, wingspan, how she runs the floor, her catching ability and then her shooting. I know her shooting wasn’t as consistent as she probably would have liked, and I’m sure a lot of players can say that. I think that’s maybe one area that she will improve in at the next level. But she looks like a pro. She has all the assets, the skill set to be a difference maker. As I mentioned earlier on in the call, when I look at big wings, they’re at a premium. When you are a 6-footer or 6-2 and can play the 3 spot and can guard two or three different positions, that’s big.
I think the one thing, and this is something I think that we see across the college landscape in general, but consistency. I think that’s probably the one thing with her that I would say would need to improve at the next level, and not just even consistency in her numbers but in her motor, in her ability to lead. I think those are some areas. But I really like Rennia’s game. I think it would translate well to the next level.
Marianne Stanley (Head Coach, Indiana Fever): Yeah, I think Rennia handled her college career really well in the sense of there was a coaching change and she stayed with the University of Tennessee and showed her ability to adapt, which is a real plus in any situation. All these college seniors are now faced with coming into a whole new environment, new team, new coaches, new schemes, and I think one of the things that’s interesting about Rennia is she can do that already and done it successfully. I think her role changed a little bit, and it was interesting to see that, as well. She’s someone who is really good at a lot of things, so she’s someone that can add value in different places on the court. Obviously having the length that she does is something that’s desirable, as well, so I think she’s got very good draft stock.