April 24, 2023 

Dallas Wings: The rookies look to make an immediate impact

2023 draft picks Maddy Siegrist and Lou Lopez Sénéchal will learn from the veterans and carve their own paths

The Dallas Wings find themselves in a fortunate position where they will not have to rely on their rookies to shoulder a large load this season. As president and CEO Greg Bibb said during the rookie’s introductory press conference on April 17, there are very few players that can join a team and mirror the impact they were having on the collegiate level from day one.

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“It takes time to adjust to playing in a league with the best 144 players on the face of the planet,” Bibb said. “I think all the players we drafted demonstrate great leadership, great ability to be a teammate and are great people.”

These rookies may not be able to mirror their college stat lines, but Bibb believes they will be able to make an immediate impact in other ways. Dallas’ roster is currently loaded with 18 players leaving the staff with a great assortment of talent to sift through and create a deep team.

Head coach Latricia Trammell said she is treating every player that steps on the floor on day one of training camp like they are going to be here all season.

“You never know when our paths will cross again, and so it’s gonna be exciting. The competitive level of training camp, that’s what I’m really excited about. I think we’re going to see the best of the best get up and get after it,” she said.

There were six rookies drafted to the Dallas Wings. All are good shooters, but they know that will not be the only way they can contribute. The Wings’ No. 3 pick Maddy Siegrist led the nation in scoring averaging 29.2 points per game. The Villanova standout would have led the WNBA with that average last season. While Seigrist was a prolific scorer in college it will not be as easy to do in the WNBA.

Las Vegas Aces guard and WNBA Champion Kelsey Plum was the last NCCAW scoring leader (2016-17) to crack the top ten in scoring in the WNBA and it took her seven seasons to do so. She finished second in the WNBA last season averaging 20.2 points per game.

Siegrist will not be able to rely solely on her shot. The forward said she is ready to just come into training camp and learn from the veteran players.

“I want to learn as much as I can. You know, fortunately, a lot of veterans on this team, you know, a great coaching staff, just trying to be a sponge. You know, get the lay of the land a little bit and whatever my team needs me to do I’ll do,” she said.

No. 5 pick Lou Lopez Sénéchal will have to make her debut later in the season as she is rehabbing a knee injury. She said her recovery is going in the right direction and had her medical evaluation with Dallas last week.

“For the near future, even for the long term, I have to take the right steps to make it better and not to start anything you know too soon, but I think it’s going on the right way,” the guard said.

Bibb said it would be premature to have any true perspective in terms of her situation.

“I will say this, we will take our time and she will not get on the court until she feels 100% healthy and 100% ready to go. This is a long play for us. This is not a short play for us and we want her to be at her absolute best when she steps on the court in a Dallas Wings uniform for the first time,” Bibb said.

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Rookies will hit the ground running as soon as entering the league. Abby Meyers from Maryland, Ashley Joens from Iowa State and Paige Robinson from Illinois State will be joining the team soon and have a smaller window to get settled.

Joens was eligible to enter the draft last season, but she said she wanted to continue to grow her game. The year of experience may prove to be beneficial in the battle for a roster spot.

“I think the just getting the opportunity to play with this team and under these coaches that I was say I was able to continue to grow my game a little more kind of becoming more of a player that can score on all three levels,” she said.

The picture of the type of team the Dallas Wings are aiming to be has become a little more clear with how they went about the draft. Per Bibb, there are three common themes with these players. The first is the shooting. The second is the size at the position; allowing the team to spread the floor. The third is versatility.

He said that they all do something a little bit better than the other, but none of them are specialists.

“Whether they play five minutes a game or 35 minutes a game, they’re going to be additive to what we’re doing and they’re going to contribute to the success of the Dallas Wings. So I’m so happy to have the class we have this year. I’m super excited for the start of the season.”

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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