July 27, 2020
Trio of Dallas rookies show promise in WNBA debut
Ty Harris, Satou Sabally and Bella Alarie make history for Wings
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Dallas Wings. Photo credit: Dallas Wings Twitter account.
For the first time in Wings history, Dallas played a game with three rookies on the team — Ty Harris, Satou Sabally and Bella Alarie. Each of them saw game action against the Dream in a 105-95 season-opening loss.
“I thought she played really well in the first half,” head coach Brian Agler said of Harris’ debut. “Thought she was aggressive, hit a couple shots. Ty is a very smart player, she’s a good competitor and she’s going to be a really good player in this league, but there’s some thing you have to learn at the pro level that everybody has to go through, all rookies have to go through. We’re really excited about Ty and how she’s coming on as a player and quality person, good competitor and so I think the future is bright for her.”
Harris made an immediate impact — in the first quarter alone she drained a pair of threes. She followed it up in the second quarter with five more points.
Rookies Harris and Sabally both finished the game with double-digit scoring. Harris tallied 13 points and four assists while Sabally finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists in the game. Harris’ points are the fourth most and Sabally’s are tied for sixth most in franchise history with Allisha Gray (2017).
“I thought Satou started the game a little bit passive, which is not abnormal for rookies,” Agler said on Sabally’s first WNBA appearance. “I thought as the game went on, especially in the second half, she upped her intensity. I think across the board she’s starting to figure out how she can score and how people are gonna guard her. I think she’s got, and we all have, not just her, everybody across the board, we’ve got some work to do defensively.”
Sabally seemed more comfortable as the game progressed, tallying seven of her points in the second half. Alarie did not score, but got her first 2:45 of WNBA playing time.
It’s common for rookies to be nervous in their first professional game, no matter what pick you were in the draft. Number one overall pick Sabrina Ionescu admitted that she was nervous before the Liberty season opener on Saturday.
Every player finds a comfort level at different times, and the young Wings have plenty of those developmental moments ahead.
Agler believes the team lost due to a bevy of reasons. Monday is typically an off day around the WNBA, but Agler was adamant about going back and watching the film to really narrow it down ahead of Monday’s practice.
“Atlanta played well,” Agler said on the loss to Atlanta. “They competed hard. They were aggressive, more aggressive than we were and hats off to them, compliment their play. I am very respectful of this league and everyone in this league is really good basketball teams. We have a lot things to work on and we will start tomorrow working on those.”
For Dallas’ three newly-initiated players, that’s a chance to face an opponent going through the same thing — the New York Liberty and their seven rookies are next on the schedule, Wednesday night at 8 PM EST.