On Thursday afternoon, Murray State grad transfer Evelyn Adebayo announced her commitment to UConn women’s basketball for her final season of eligibility. As a redshirt Junior, Adebayo put up impressive numbers all season long averaging 18.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. She also set a new single season record at Murray State with 19 double-doubles.
The addition of Adebayo helps to fill out a UConn roster that was looking thin for 2019-20. Perhaps more importantly, it helps answer a more specific question - with the departure of Napheesa Collier who can the Huskies count on to get a rebound?
Where Adebayo stands out the most is on the defensive glass. She ranked fifth in the nation (per Her Hoop Stats) last season with 9.5 defensive boards per game. On over 27 percent of Murray State’s opponents missed shots last season, Adebayo came away with the board. That also ranks her among the top one percent in the country for defensive rebounding rate.
In addition to excelling on the defensive glass, Adebayo can score the ball in a variety of ways. She an outside shot at 37 percent from three last season, but scores the majority of her points from inside the arc. Adebayo is also fantastic at getting to the line. Last season, over 20 percent of her two-point attempts resulted in free throws.
While she exceeds at drawing the foul on the offensive end, Adebayo also does a good job of staying out of foul trouble. She averaged just 2.2 fouls per game and committed the foul on just 3.5 percent of her possessions.
The only glaring downfall in Adebayo’s stat sheet is her turnovers. She average 3.6 per game last season, which ranks in the bottom three percent of the country. Keep in mind that she did average over 35 minutes per game, but even on a per possession basis, she ranks around the 50th percentile. With UConn being a team that takes excellent care of the ball, this is a facet of her game she will need to clean up as she arrives in Storrs.
Of course the competition in the Ohio Valley Conference is much different that what Adebayo will face as a Husky. However, she scored a career high 28 points against Tennessee last season and put up 20 points and nine rebounds against Kentucky. Adebayo rose to the occasion in those bigger games and proved that she is capable of performing at an elite level against a tougher caliber of opponent.