What Caitlin Clark JUST DID To Angel Reese Is INSANE!

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese in tight race to be WNBA’s top rookie

AP photo by Darron Cummings / Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark dribbles during last Saturday's home game against the New York Liberty, when she became the first rookie in WNBA history to post a triple-double.

AP photo by Darron Cummings / Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark dribbles during last Saturday’s home game against the New York Liberty, when she became the first rookie in WNBA history to post a triple-double.

NEW YORK — Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark leads Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese in the race for WNBA rookie of the year at the midpoint of the 2024 season, according to a national panel of voters who also rank the league’s teams in the AP Power Poll each week.

Clark, the former Iowa star who was the top pick in this year’s draft, and Reese, who won a national championship with LSU and was selected seventh overall, have garnered national attention with record-setting first years in the professional women’s basketball league. Both of them were selected as WNBA All-Stars, the first time since 2014 the league has had two rookies chosen, so it’s no surprise that they’re the leading candidates for the award given to the top new player.

The pair, billed as rivals since their college days, have helped the league to huge increases in ratings, attendance and merchandise sales, and with so much basketball still to be played an argument, can be made for either to win the award.

At the halfway point, though, the 15-member panel gives the edge to Clark in a 9-5 vote. One member of the panel didn’t vote in this case.

“Today, I would say Clark, only because they have one more win overall as a team and have a 2-1 lead head-to-head,” said voter Christy Winters-Scott, a basketball analyst for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “Clearly this could change as the WNBA season progresses.

“It has been a complete joy for me to witness how both players have evolved as professionals in such a short amount of time in the league.”

Clark is leading the WNBA in points accounted for (points plus points off assists) with 713, according to ESPN. She also became the league’s first rookie to have a triple-double in a game, finishing with 19 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds during the Fever’s 83-78 victory over the league-leading New York Liberty this past Saturday.

Clark has tallied double-figure assists in her past three games, and the Fever have gone 6-3 in their past nine to improve to 9-13.

  

photo Chicago Tribune photo by Eileen T. Meslar via AP / Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese is interviewed by ESPN’s Holly Rowe after a home win against Indiana Fever on June 23.

Meanwhile, Reese set the WNBA record for consecutive double-doubles with 13, passing Candace Parker’s mark of 12 set across the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Reese is also leading the league in rebounding, having averaged 11.9 a game.

The panel also picked Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson as the unanimous choice for WNBA player of the year at this point in the season. Wilson felt she should have won the award last year, when the Aces repeated as champions, and has been even more dominant this year, having averaged 27.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game entering Tuesday.

The star forward is on pace to shatter the record for average points in a season. The No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft, Wilson became her franchise’s all-time scoring leader on Sunday.

Finally, Cheryl Reeve gets the midseason nod for coach of the year from the panel. She guided the Minnesota Lynx to the title in the Commissioner’s Cup in-season competition and had her team third in the standings at 15-6 entering Tuesday, behind the Liberty and the Connecticut Sun, who are both 17-4.

Reeve was nearly a unanimous choice, with Stephanie White garnering the only other vote.

While much of the spotlight for a standout rookie class has gone to Clark and Reese, former Mississippi State and Tennessee standout Rickea Jackson has come into her own lately for the Los Angeles Sparks. The fourth overall pick averaged 16 points 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists last week, when she had a season-best 22 points in a loss to the Phoenix Mercury.

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