May 16, 2022 

Daily Briefing — May 16, 2022: Rhyne Howard hype train keeps rolling

I'd rather live in her world, than live without her in mine

It’s Monday, I’m sorry. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day eight of the WNBA was here, featuring… well, really just more Rhyne Howard. There was also some Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith, and Arike Ogunbowale somehow Getting It Done against a disappointing-to-date New York team — but mostly it was just Rhyne Howard. I’ve already gone and hyped her in prior TDB intros and recommended multiple other articles on her early season. And then she goes and scores the third-most points in the first quarter in league history, while joining Candace Parker, Yolanda Griffith, and Danielle Adams as the only rookies to drop a 30-piece in regulation within their first four games (per Across The Timeline).

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I personally would not want to be the guy who traded away the right to draft her. But that’s just me.

But first, read:

W Roundup

Connecticut: Activated combo guard Courtney Williams

Las Vegas: Signed wing Jackie Young to a rookie extension

Los Angeles: Signed combo forward Katie Lou Samuelson to a one-year rookie extension

Minnesota: Signed combo forward Jessica Shepard to a multi-year extension. The deal is a bit odd, since players on rookie-scale deals typically aren’t extended until during their fourth year in the league (Shepard is in her third), since teams command a player’s fourth-year salary at the league minimum. (The Lynx are presumably buying out future, non-team-controlled years in return for this.)

New York: Picked up combo forward Jocelyn Willoughby’s fourth-year contract option

Watch List, Monday, May 16

(All times in Eastern)


Sunday, May 15 recap

Dallas beat New York, 81-71. The game was within one possession for most of the first half. The Wings shot 45.0% from three and 16-for-20 from the line while holding the Liberty to 31.8% and 6-for-11, respectively; New York committed 17 turnovers; the teams combined for 39 fouls.

Dallas was led by off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale’s 21 points on 6-for-18 from the field, 4-for-9 from three, and 5-for-6 from the line and four assists; big Isabelle Harrison had 18 points on 7-for-15 FG, six rebounds, and two assists against two turnovers; wing Marina Mabrey notched 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds, and three assists against two turnovers in 24 minutes.

TDB Dallas center minutes distribution watch: Isabelle Harrison, 28; Teaira McCowan, 10; Awak Kuier, 2; Charli Collier was a healthy scratch.

Point guard Sabrina Ionescu led the Liberty with 17 points on 6-for-16 from the field, 1-for-5 from three, and 4-for-6 from the line, seven rebounds, and six assists against three turnovers; wing Betnijah Laney had 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting (0-3 3pt.), three rebounds, and five assists against three turnovers; big Natasha Howard notched 14 points on 6-for-12 FG (2-4 3pt.), eight rebounds, and two blocks against five turnovers and four fouls; center Stefanie Dolson fouled-out for the second-straight game, this time in 18 minutes.

Atlanta beat Indiana, 85-79. The Fever shot 12.5% from three, but the Dream went 23-for-30 at the line to Indiana’s 12-for-19; the teams combined for 36 turnovers and 46 fouls.

Atlanta was led wing Rhyne Howard’s career-high 33 points in 32 minutes on 9-for-18 shooting, 3-for-8 from the field, and 12-for-17 at the line, three rebounds, two assists, and three steals against three turnovers; combo forward Nia Coffey had 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting (2-2 3pt.) and six rebounds against three turnovers and five fouls in 30 minutes; backup point guard Aari McDonalnd notched 11 points on 4-for-6 FG (1-3 3pt.), three rebounds, and two assists against two turnovers and four fouls.

Combo guard Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever with 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting (4-4 3pt., 7-8 FT), three rebounds, and four assists against four turnovers; big NaLyssa Smith had a career-high 18 points on 6-for-16 from the field, 3-for-5 from three, and 3-for-7 from the line, six rebounds, and three assists against three turnovers — before leaving with a sprained ankle.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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