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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Loyd named WNBA Rookie of the Year

The WNBA Rookie of the Year race was nearly too close to call but in the end, Jewell Loyd's strong offensive output in the second half of the season won out over Kiah Stokes' defensive brilliance.

Loyd, taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Seattle Storm, averaged 13.6 points per game in her final 13 games to finish the season averaging 10.7 points per game. She was the only rookie to average more than 10 points per game during the regular season. Stokes finished as the eighth leading rookie scorer in the regular season with an average of 5.8 points per game for the New York Liberty.

Stokes led all rookies in rebounding (6.4 per game), blocked shots (1.97) and was second in field-goal percentage (54.7).

Loyd finished with 21 votes followed by Stokes' 16. Natalie Achonwa of the Indiana Fever received the other two votes.

This marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the No. 1 overall pick has been named Rookie of the Year. The lone exception came two years ago when second overall pick Elena Delle Donne won the award.

Stokes was also named to the WNBA All-Rookie team. Each of the 12 WNBA head coaches pick five rookies and Stokes received nine votes meaning that two WNBA coaches thought there were five rookies better than Stokes this season. Of course, there is another trophy that interests Stokes a little more - the WNBA championship trophy. If she helps the Liberty win the title, she would become the first player since Alexis Hornbuckle in 2008 to win the national title and WNBA crown in the same season.

1 Comments:

Blogger Gordon Hill said...

Love that Kiah was recognized. loyd is too flashy for me. Kiah shows up and boosts the team. I felt that NY making the playoffs with the best regular season record, thanks to Kiah's contribution and Seattle finishing with the next to last season record was telling.

Kiah's 21 points yesterday -- highlights at http://on.nba.com/1YCvKtr -- show how a top rookie plays in a clutch situation.

6:57 PM 

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