October 29, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: Analyzing WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart as a draft prospect
'Whatever I say, I feel like I'm selling her short'
Our weekly WNBA Retrospect series continues at Locked on Women’s Basketball! The series reviews game film, stats, news articles and more to determine who has been the best prospect in WNBA history. Last week, Hunter Cruse, Em Adler and Lincoln Shafer discussed A’ja Wilson, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. This week, Hunter and Lincoln discuss the No. 1 pick in 2016, Breanna Stewart.
Stewart won four national championships in as many seasons at UConn. The 6’4 forward averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in her college career while shooting 53.0% from the field. She also won multiple national player of the year awards starting in her sophomore year.
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Here’s Lincoln on just how exceptional of a prospect Stewart was:
“She is insane at UConn. There’s no other way that I can put it. She’s basically what [would happen] if you took the best wing creator in a class and smashed her together with the best defensive big in the class.
“It’s like, the way that she moves at 6’4, 6’5 is ridiculous. The way that she handles the ball at 6’4, 6’5 is ridiculous. The way that she shoots at 6’4 is ridiculous. The way she moves into open space, the way that she defends basically two through five every single game whenever they need her, the way that she scores in every single play type that you can think of. And she’s not a bad passer.
“I don’t know what to say about Stewie as a prospect because … whatever I say, I feel like I’m selling her short.”
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Stewart has played seven WNBA seasons, the first six for the Seattle Storm after they drafted her in 2016. In 2023, Stewart signed with the New York Liberty in free agency and led them to the WNBA Finals. In 223 career regular-season games, she has averaged 20.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.4 steals. She has won two WNBA titles and earned two MVP awards, a spot on the WNBA’s all-time top 25 team and six All-WNBA selections.
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