If I was to say at the start of the season that Allisha Gray was to be the leading rookie, you may have thought I was a little mad.
This is not to say that Gray cannot play basketball. The league was ready to welcome the second all-time in college scoring, Kelsey Plum. Evelyn Akhator and Alaina Coates had great things expected of them. Even Nia Coffey was expected to be a positive boost for the San Antonio Stars.
Well, unfortunately for the WNBA, Plum has had the start of her season derailed by an ankle injury and has not been able to get any flow to her game as yet. Akhator has been plagued by injury and has not had a decent run at the WNBA as yet either. The third pick, Coates, has not taken the court due to her injury.
Gray, as the fourth pick, has benefited from the Dallas Wings decision to go with youth. She has started along side one of the best guards in the league, Skylar Diggins-Smith and has proved to be a worthy foil.
Gray is the only rookie to average more than ten points per game at the moment. Her 12.6 points per games is good enough for 26th in the league. The second best rookie is Kaela Davis who is averaging 8.4 points per game.
There is room for improvement in her scoring though, Gray is seventh among rookies for field goal percent of anyone who has taken more than 30 shots. Her 41 percent is good considering she is only shooting 28 percent from outside the arc. This number is good for fifth among rookies who have taken ten or more three point attempts.
One area I can see her improving on this year is her free throw percentage. Gray currently goes at 79 percent from the line which is good enough for fourth among rookies who have taken ten or more attempts.
As a guard, I believe work ethic can be assessed by the amount of rebounds per game. Gray is leading this category for all rookies as well with 5.1 rebounds per game. Stephanie Talbot, the mature rookie from Australia is second with 4.0 rebounds per game. She also happens to be a forward. No other rookie is collecting over three rebounds per game.
Her 1.5 assists per game is good enough for fifth among rookies, only just shy of the 1.8 per game of Davis and Lindsay Allen who lead all rookies in this category.
Gray is not all offense however, she is also sitting equal second in steals among all rookies with 1.0 per game. Saniya Chong is leading this category with 1.1 per game.
If this trend continues, do not be surprised to see Allisha Gray be crowned rookie of the year at the end of the season. If she is, she will be the first player to win that award in over ten years who was not taken with the number one pick.
Kelsey Plum, the challenge is now over to you for the remaining two-thirds of the season to take the crown off Gray’s head. Gray has already been crowned rookie of the month for May and her June is looking just as good.