After just under two full weeks of play, the WNBA is already nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season with five of 22 regular season games on the books for each team.
On Monday, the league announced its first set of Players of the Week for this season. Breanna Stewart, who has been excellent for Seattle in her return to the court, was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. As of Monday, she was averaging 18.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
Here’s a look at some of the other UConn related news from around the league:
Huskies on the leader boards
Former UConn stars have been tallying big numbers so far this season, with two Huskies appearing on each of the league’s top-10 leader boards for points and rebounds per game. Stewart ranks third in the league with 20.2 points per game. She’s followed by Bria Hartley at seventh with 18.2 points per game. Stewart also checks in on the rebound leader board at seventh with 8.3 boards per game. Napheesa Collier falls just below her at eighth with 8.2 rebounds per game. Diana Taurasi also appears on the assist leader board at third, with 6.0 assists per game.
Hartley proving naysayers wrong in Phoenix
When Phoenix signed Bria Hartley to a max contract this off-season, many questioned whether Hartley was worthy of a max deal. Hartley has quickly quieted those questions in the first five games of the season. In the second game of the season, she tied her previously career high of 26 points, and on Sunday she set a new career high with 27 points against her former team (New York).
While five games is a small sample size, Hartley is on her way to a career season if she continues the production she’s had thus far. Her current average of 18.2 points per game is nearly double her 9.8 points per game in the 2019 season (which was a career high average). Hartley has also tallied four rebounds and 4 assists per game, and all in just 26 minutes per game. Her field goal percentage and three-point percentage are also both above 40 percent, which if sustained would be career highs.
Collier and Dangerfield instrumental in Lynx’s strong start
Minnesota looked like an unlikely candidate to be tied at the top of the league standings heading into the season, but the Lynx have gotten off to a strong start at 4-1. Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield have both been instrumental in that strong start, including putting up 17 points apiece in Minnesota’s win over Connecticut last weekend.
We had a Big Three tonight. pic.twitter.com/wHEqHQkSgn— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 1, 2020
Collier’s 17 point performance included being 7-7 from the floor and nine rebounds. She also recorded a 20-point double-double in an impressive win over Chicago.
While Collier’s strong performances don’t come as a surprise after her stellar rookie campaign, Dangerfield’s ability to immediately make an impact for the Lynx has been impressive. With some injuries for Minnesota’s guards, Dangerfield had earned a place in the starting lineup - the first Lynx rookie to start as a point guard since fellow former Husky Renee Montgomery. Dangerfield ranks fourth on the team for scoring, with 9.8 points per game. She is also averaging 2.4 assists per game, which is second on the team behind Collier.