Check out which players are having a superb second season in the league.
By Alex Holmes
The WNBA is approaching its midway point of the 2021 season and it’s time to check in on which of the league’s second-year players are shining the brightest. Here are the top five WNBA players who are having tremendous sophomore campaigns this year.
Chennedy Carter (Guard, Atlanta Dream)
The Atlanta Dream guard missed a month of game action due to a right elbow injury she suffered in late May. Although she has only played in seven games so far, Chennedy Carter’s stats don’t lie. Carter is averaging 15.7 points per game and shoots 48% from the field. Her 26 minutes per game show how valuable she is for the Dream, who should be excited that Carter is becoming healthy again. Carter has scored 20-plus points three times already and that stat line is expected to rise over the second half of the season.
Satou Sabally (Forward, Dallas Wings)
Sabally, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, has only played in nine games because of her commitment with the German national team in May. Since her return earlier this month, she has played a key role for a promising young Wings side. Sabally quickly asserted herself as a constant scoring threat, averaging 13.3 points per contest, good for third on the team. She is shooting 44% from the field and has improved her three-point shooting from a year ago, now connecting on 40% of her attempts from outside.
Sabrina Ionescu (Guard, New York Liberty)
This name shouldn’t surprise anyone. Out of all the second year players in the league, Sabrina Ionescu is arguably the most important to her team. Not only does she play 28.9 minutes per game, she makes the most out of her playing time and gets her teammates involved—her 6.2 assists per contest lead the league’s sophomores and is third best in the league. As the face of the franchise, Ionescu has met the high expectations that preceded her after going No. 1 in the 2020 Draft.
Crystal Dangerfield (Guard, Minnesota Lynx)
The reigning Rookie of the Year is one of the Lynx’s most reliable players. Her 10.5 points per game through 13 games have kept defenses honest and her knack for getting the ball to teammates to score has improved from last year. Dangerfield has also improved on taking care of the ball, averaging less than 2 turnovers per game.
Ruthy Hebard (Forward, Chicago Sky)
Hebard is quietly having a solid second year in the league. Similar to her college days, Hebard is one of the most efficient scorers in the country as she is shooting 57% from the field. On a team with a loaded front court that features Candace Parker and Stefanie Dolson, it is quite impressive that Hebard is third-best on the team in rebounding. Watch out for how Hebard and the resurgent Sky finish the back-half of the season.
Honorable Mention status goes to Megan Walker of the Phoenix Mercury and Te’a Cooper of the Los Angeles Sparks, who both continue to find their roles on veteran-heavy squads and are becoming a force to reckon with in the league.
High expectations were set for each of these players when they were drafted in 2020. One and half seasons later, these super sophomores are becoming the pro stars in the WNBA.