UConn within the WNBA: 2022 Season Preview

The 2022 WNBA season kicks off Friday night time, with eight of the 12 groups in motion for opening night time and the remaining 4 groups kicking off their seasons on Saturday. 16 former Huskies are at the moment on the WNBA rosters to start out the season.

Seattle Storm: Sue Hen, Breanna Stewart, Gabby Williams

Sue Hen is coming into her twentieth and remaining season because the Guardian of the Storm. She is going to stand alongside former Huskies Breanna Stewart and Gabby Williams, who acquired Seattle in a commerce for Katie Lou Samuelson throughout free company.

Seattle managed to maintain the massive three of Hen, Stewart and Jewell Loyd intact throughout this 12 months’s free company. If Stewart is wholesome, the Storm must be title contenders for Hen’s remaining season. The addition of Williams additionally brings the Storm a flexible choice on the wing. Williams is coming into a powerful EuroLeague season, the place she was named MVP of the Remaining 4, and could possibly be poised for a league breakthrough.

Phoenix Mercury: Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Kia Nurse

The Mercury joins the Storm and has three Huskies on their roster, equaling most of any crew within the WNBA. In one of many largest free company strikes of 2022, Phoenix added Tina Charles to the frontcourt after spending the earlier two years with the Washington Mystics. Taurasi returns to the Phoenix backcourt, together with lots of the key items that helped the Mercury race to the finals final 12 months. Kia Nurse can also be again in Phoenix, however continues to be recovering from an ACL harm and won’t play an element in Mercury’s plans at first of the season.

After all, a lot of the Mercury season will probably be affected by the absence of Brittney Griner, who’s being held in Russia. The entire league will honor her till she will get residence safely.

Los Angeles Sparks: Katie Lou Samuelson, Olivia Nelson-Ododa

Olivia Nelson-Ododa’s spectacular coaching camp and preseason performances secured her a spot on the opening day of the Sparks. With Los Angeles heart Amanda Zahui B. on the full-season suspended checklist, it appears possible that Nelson-Ododa must keep on the roster, regardless of the Sparks having to make a further lower as soon as temporarily-banned gamers return.

A type of quickly suspended gamers is Katie Lou Samuelson, who continues to be competing overseas within the remaining of the Spanish League earlier than becoming a member of the Sparks. The opposite facet of the Gabby Williams commerce introduced Samuelson again to her hometown and after a stable season with Seattle and one other sturdy efficiency abroad, she could possibly be a key determine with the Sparks this season.

Nevertheless, you will have to attend somewhat longer to see both of the Los Angeles Husky fits. Samuelson for an additional week or two in Spain and Nelson-Ododa quickly out with a hip harm.

Atlanta Dream: Tiffany Hayes, Megan Walker

Tiffany Hayes’ ninth season within the league final 12 months obtained off to a great begin earlier than taking place with an harm. Had she not been injured, she most likely would have been named an All-Star within the all-league crew competitors if her efficiency had remained the identical. Hayes is again this season with the Dream and with a reasonably younger and inexperienced roster round her, she has the possibility to expertise one other huge season.

The Dream additionally picked up Megan Walker offseason as an addition to their frontcourt. Walker hasn’t had a lot success within the league in her first two seasons with New York and Phoenix, however there must be a possibility for her to earn enjoying time in Atlanta.

New York Liberty: Stefanie Dolson

In one of many different largest free company strikes involving former Huskies, Stefanie Dolson landed in New York after successful a title with the Chicago Sky final season. She is filling a necessity for the Liberty within the put up and whereas New York just isn’t a title contender, it has made a speedy turnaround from a crew that received simply two video games in 2020. Final season, the Liberty made the playoffs and Dolson might assist conquer them to the subsequent stage in 2022, the place they’d attempt to win a sport after the season.

Chicago Sky: Azura Stevens

Stevens is the one surviving Husky on a Chicago Sky roster that featured 4 UConn gamers not way back. Though the Sky misplaced Dolson and Diamond DeShields to the championship crew final 12 months, they did properly in free company and anticipate to be within the title image once more this season. Stevens averaged practically 20 minutes per sport in Chicago final 12 months and must be a staple of the lineup once more this 12 months.

Dallas Wings: Moriah Jefferson

Jefferson’s profession has been suffering from accidents, however final 12 months she began 28 of the 29 video games she performed with the Wings. If Jefferson can keep wholesome this season, she will probably be Dallas’ high level guard subsequent to Ty Harris. The Wings as soon as once more have a younger crew with loads of enjoying minutes.

Las Vegas Aces: Kiah Stokes

Stokes at the moment nonetheless performs overseas and can be a part of the Aces as soon as her present commitments are fulfilled. She joined Vegas halfway by final season and performed key minutes for the Aces. Vegas would not have a lot depth within the center place, which could possibly be a great alternative for Stokes.

Indiana Fever: Bria Hartley

Bria Hartley landed in Indiana this 12 months through free company buying and selling as one of many few veteran gamers on the Fever’s rookie-heavy roster. Hartley missed most of final season with the Mercury as a result of harm, however is again and at the moment enjoying overseas. She is going to be a part of the Fever when she returns. Indiana will possible fall on the backside of the rankings this season, however there must be loads of minutes.

Minnesota Lynx: Napheesa Collier

Napheesa Collier stays on the Lynx roster this season and has simply signed a contract extension with Minnesota. Nevertheless, she is at the moment pregnant and is because of give start within the coming weeks. Whether or not she’s going to play this season continues to be unsure.

Free brokers

Moreover, Crystal Dangerfield and Evina Westbrook had been each waived throughout coaching camp, however they may face the possibility of being picked up by groups all through the season if groups try to make roster adjustments or signal waivers for unavailable gamers. Christyn Williams may also miss the 2022 season as a result of a knee harm sustained throughout coaching camp with Washington Mystics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.