January 10, 2022 

Seattle Storm season in review: Epiphanny Prince

Epiphanny Prince is a player for whom the stats tell most of the story

Position: 2-guard (57%), small forward (34%), point guard (8%)

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Age: 33

Base stats: 29 GP (2 GS), 14.3 min, 5.8 pts, 43.9% fg%, 50.0% 3p% on 1.7 3pa, 1.0 fta, 1.7 ast, 0.9 tov

Key advanced stats: +4.9 on-court plus/minus, -0.9 net plus/minus, 57.7% true-shooting (82nd %ile), 18.6% ast% (77th %ile), 2.5% stl% (86th %ile)

Shooting splits: 17.2 ft. average shot distance (75th %ile); 10.6% of attempts at rim (23rd %ile), 18.2% of attempts from 3-10 ft. (39th %ile), 14.4% of attempts from 10-16 ft. (75th %ile), 18.9% “long twos” (83rd %ile); 42.9% fg% at rim (12th %ile), 31.6% fg% from 10-16 ft. (34th %ile), 48.0% on “long twos” (91st %ile); 27.3% of two assisted (19th %ile), 76.0% of threes assisted (15th %ile), 2.0% of threes from the corner (18th %ile)

Play-type stats: 1.012 points per PnR (89th %ile) — 0.924 points as a scorer (84th), 1.032 as a passer (90th); 0.794 points allowed defending PnRs (51st %ile)

Pre-/post-Olympic splits: Pre — 5.6 pts, 39.2 fg%, 41.9% 3p% on 1.7 3pa; post — 6.1 pts, 50.9% fg%, 63.2% 3p% on 1.7 3pa

Key quote:

It’s a lot different than it was when I grew up… A couple kids from my AAU program, they’ve kept picking schools out West and I’m like ‘Why are you guys going there?’ I didn’t understand why… I think we were a little bit more hardcore than the kids are today. We didn’t mind playing on concrete all the time. And nowadays, they don’t like that, they only play in the gym… I always give credit back to New York City and all the legendary point guards and shooting guards, male and female, that came before me, because they all had a hand in what I’m doing.

Best game: Aug. 15, 13 pts, 5-for-10 FG (3-3 3pt.), seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, 37 min

Epiphanny Prince is a player for whom the stats tell most of the story. Her offensive game consists mostly of shooting away from the paint (above-average attempt-rates beyond 10 feet, well-below-average inside 10 feet), and shooting there fairly well (FG% above the 90th percentile from beyond 16 feet), all on a self-made diet (bottom quintile in assisted percentage). She’s a capable secondary playmaker as well and a smart defender, indicated by strong assist and steal rates. And all after a slightly delayed start to the season.

The problems for Prince are twofold: One, 2021 looks like a fluke. The combo guard had her highest true-shooting percentage in a qualified season since 2012.

And two, her athleticism is declining considerably. The reason she doesn’t get to the rim or finish is that she can’t hang down low. The reason she hit a lot of contested and unassisted twos and three is that she can’t shake free particularly well. She’s a mediocre defender on account of an inability to stay in front of dribblers or provide quick help. Even her strength, shooting, came in limited volume; Prince was seventh on the team in three-point attempts per 40 minutes, not much ahead of Kennedy Burke.

Current contract: 1 year, $115,000

Offseason Outlook: Likely to be cut

If Prince’s numbers regress to their 2020 levels, she won’t finish 2022 on a roster. If they’re somewhere between 2020 and 2021, she won’t finish 2022 with a contender. The issue for Seattle is that she’s a heck of a lot more likely to do one of those than repeat 2021, but she’s getting paid like she might. Seattle needs every penny it can pinch. And freeing up $115,000 goes a long way towards retaining Mercedes Russell and possibly Stephanie Talbot, two skillsets the Storm desperately need to retain.

Prince has had a hell of a career and has been A Winner in Seattle, for however much you value that concept. But 2021 was more likely her admirably staving off relegation than proving she can still help a contender.

Position data per WNBA Advanced Stats, shooting splits per Basketball Reference, play-type data per Synergy

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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