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What to expect from Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese at the next level, see details.

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Am Not Shock Of What People Are Saying About Me Even In Lsu, Am Not Moved

 

Even before millions tuned in to see Caitlin Clark vs. Angel Reese, Part II, the matchup was giving off Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson rivalry vibes.

 

 

But there’s a decent chance there won’t be many high-intensity matchups between the two on the professional level. To have that type of rivalry requires longevity, and it’s not that simple in the WNBA, where roster spots are limited and often (but not always) go to all-around, pro-ready players taken in the lottery.

Iowa’s Clark, the leading national player of the year candidate, is almost a guaranteed lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, which is April 15 in New York. Reese’s prospects are more blurry, complicated by the fact a majority of the 36 draft picks are waived before the season’s first tip.

Iowa’s Clark, the leading national player of the year candidate, is almost a guaranteed lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, which is April 15 in New York. Reese’s prospects are more blurry, complicated by the fact a majority of the 36 draft picks are waived before the season’s first tip.

She has yet to announce her plans on whether she’ll go pro, but needs to make a decision soon. Players competing in the Elite Eight or later have 48 hours after their final game to renounce their NCAA eligibility and declare for the WNBA Draft. That puts the deadline at around 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday for Reese, who could stay an extra year under the COVID-19 waiver.

Caitlin Clark’s pro prospects

At No. 1 overall, Clark would join an Indiana Fever team on the rise with 2023 No. 1 overall pick and reigning Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston as a pick-and-roll partner. It’s a tantalizing duo fans are eager to see, but don’t expect Clark to average 30 points per game as a pro.

Last year’s scoring leader was Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd, who averaged 24.7 points per game. That narrowly missed the all-time scoring average mark of 25.2 points set by Diana Taurasi in 2006. Clark isn’t going to be able to come in and dominate bigger, stronger veteran defenders in a league concentrated with the best players in the world. Her debut would be against the Connecticut Sun, which had the best defense in the league in 2023 behind do-it-all point-forward Alyssa Thomas.

Clark’s vision and IQ make her a top prospect. Clark’s assists are an aspect of her game overshadowed all season by her scoring records. Most of her passes will go to Boston, as they did for center Monika Czinano for three years at Iowa.

It might take time for other teammates to adjust to playing with Clark and her ability to find seams in the defense no one else thinks about. Stories out of Iowa practices center on how players had to learn to keep their heads up in transition and be ready for a pass at any time. Iowa became so good because she had teammates who learned that and stayed with her for three to four years.

Once her Fever teammates become accustomed to Clark’s ways, she could easily rank among the best point guards in the league. Las Vegas Aces star Chelsea Gray (7.3 apg), New York Liberty leader Courtney Vandersloot (8.1) and Phoenix Mercury addition Natasha Cloud (6.2) will all compete for the assists crown next season.

Clark has strong defensive moments, but will have to improve on that side of the ball. Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder often hides Clark on weaker guards — partially to keep her fresh enough to drop 40 when necessary — but WNBA teams can expose that. That defensive edge was a differentiator between the two-time WNBA champion Aces and the Liberty in the 2023 Finals. Most rookie guards who have had prolific scoring careers in college have to make a jump defensively in their first few years at the pro level.

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