April 12, 2023
An investigation update and a draft pick: Inside WNBA draft night with the Aces
'We’re very excited that Brittany Davis was available'
When you are the reigning champions of your sport, the draft doesn’t always hold a ton of value to your franchise. When you only have one draft pick and it’s the last pick of the draft, it can be less intriguing. However, on Monday night, the Las Vegas Aces selected Brittany Davis out of Alabama with their third-round selection. And there was also news about the Aces before the draft started.
Davis, a 5’9 guard from Manchester, Georgia, averaged 17.8 points and seven rebounds per game in her senior season in Tuscaloosa. She was fourth in the SEC in points per game and scored at least 20 points 11 times last year. She scored 33 in the team’s NCAA tournament first round game against Baylor. She has a great ability to shoot the ball as well, knocking down 71 threes at a 35.5% rate. She has a varied shot profile, with good catch and shoot numbersas well as a great ability to finish at the rim.
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On top of being a great scorer, Davis was also a phenomenal rebounder at Alabama last year. The guard grabbed 210 rebounds last year which was just below the 238 she grabbed the year before and was good enough for 9th in the SEC. For a guard her size, her ability to rebound stood out and allows her to bring more value to the Aces. She is also a solid perimeter defender as she had 52 steals on the year, which was top 15 in the SEC. All her success on the floor last year garnered Davis a selection to the All-SEC first team.
Davis is a strong guard with a great ability to knock down the outside shot. As we saw last year, Becky Hammon wants to space the floor with shooter around a strong post play in A’ja Wilson. With her ability to knock down the outside shot, Davis should fit right in. However, above all else, Hammon values defense and rebounding and Davis showed that she can do those things. Despite being the last pick in the draft, she is a good fit with Las Vegas.
“We’re very excited that Brittany Davis was available,” said Aces General Manager Natalie Williams. “She’s a great three-point shooter, she’s very physical, and just a straight gamer, so we know she is going to come into camp and compete to the best of her ability.”
“Brittany’s story is one of perseverance, grit and hard work,” said Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry. “She has worked so hard to put herself in a position to be drafted, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving. I am so incredibly proud for her and her family.”
On top of selecting Brittany Davis, the Aces were also in the news with an update from WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert on the two investigations the league is doing into the franchise. The Aces are being investigated over allegations of mistreatment made by Dearica Hamby and potentially circumventing the league’s salary cap.
Engelbert provided an update Monday on the investigations. She said the investigation is ongoing, but she is letting the lawyers do their work. When pressed by The Next‘s Howard Megdal if given the issues of competitive balance, it is important to resolve it prior to the season’s start, she agreed.
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“The investigation is ongoing,” said Engelbert. “We’ll definitely share an update when it’s ready. I am letting the lawyers do their work…I do think we’d love to have a resolution prior to the season tip. Again, I’m letting the lawyers do their work. That’s what a commissioner should do. These things do take time. I don’t disagree that it would be important to get a resolution by the season tip. We’re working hard on that. These are complicated investigations typically that require a lot of time and interviews of a lot of different people.”
So as ever, the results of draft night won’t be known for quite some time. But other issues pressing the Aces may be resolved much sooner.
Written by Matthew Walter
Matthew Walter covers the Las Vegas Aces, the Pac-12 and the WCC for the Next. He is a former Director of Basketball Operations and Video Coordinator at three different Division I women's basketball programs.
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