July 15, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year race

Tony East joins the pod to discuss a talented rookie class

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Missy Heidrick and The Next‘s Indiana Fever beat reporter Tony East. The 2022 WNBA season has no shortage of talented rookies. How have these players adjusted their games to the professional level, and who has the potential to be Rookie of the Year?

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The Atlanta Dream’s Rhyne Howard, Washington Mystics’ Shakira Austin and Indiana Fever’s NaLyssa Smith and Destanni Henderson highlight a remarkable rookie class. The Indiana Fever roster is made up of seven rookies. Missy and Tony discuss these young players’ transitions to the W, surprises so far and their predictions for Rookie of the Year!

For rookies in the WNBA, which has only 12 teams, the competition is fierce. Tony East discusses what the transition from NCAA stardom to the W can look like.

“The easiest way to sort of explain that, to me would always be every WNBA player was an elite college player, right? They can’t all be, you know, 30 minutes for a game high level scores or hot masters in their role at the pro level. And that’s the hardest part of the transition for a lot of these players.”

“Most [rookies] have to adapt, they’re no longer going to have the ball as much, they’re going to have to find a way to impact the game by being a better screen or by diving on the floor by doing all those things that they aren’t asked to do as much at the college level.”

Tony East

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Written by The Next

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