A big question heading into the second half of the season is how many rookies will hit the proverbial wall?
With the WNBA taking over a month off due to the London Summer Olympics, the majority of players should be primed for outstanding second halves of the season. This includes several rookies who had solid first halves of the season which includes Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike and the Phoenix Mercury’s Samantha Prahalis.
This article will look at the top-10 Rookie of the Year candidates in 2012.
1.Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles
Stats: 14.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 50.7% FG
The six-foot-two forward has been everything the Sparks had hoped for after drafting the former Stanford star with the top pick in the 2012 draft. Ogwumike capped off an outstanding first half with a career game on July 12 versus Indiana. In the game against the Fever, Ogwumike posted her first 20-20 game of her career when she tallied 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting and grabbed 20 boards including 12 on the offensive end.
Ogwumike, leads all rookies in several categories, ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds and third in offensive rebounds. She is also fifth in blocked shots and 10th in total rebounds.
2. Samantha Prahalis, Phoenix
Stats: 12.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 4.7 APG
The five-foot-seven guard was selected with the sixth overall pick in 2012 draft out of Ohio State. Prahalis, has been one of the best distributors in league this year, scored in double-figures in 11 of her first 19 games of the season.
Prahalis ranks fifth in the league in assists, seventh in free throw percentage, eighth in total minutes and 25th in scoring.
3. Glory Johnson, Tulsa
Stats: 12.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG
The six-foot-three forward was selected with the fourth pick in the 2012 draft out of Tennessee. Johnson recorded her best performance of the season on July 12 against Minnesota. Versus the Lynx, Johnson scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds (both career highs).
Johnson ranks fifth in the league in free throws made, seventh in offensive rebounds, 15th in total rebounds, third in steals and second in free throw attempts.
4. Riquna Williams, Tulsa
Stats: 10.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.6 APG
The five-foot-seven guard was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of Miami. Williams, a volume shooter, is 19th in the league in free throw percentage and fifth in steals.
Among rookies, Williams is fourth in scoring, 20th in field goal percentage and fourth in assists.
5. Aneika Henry
Stats: 6.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 50% FG
The 14th overall draft pick out of the University of Florida has been a terror on the defensive end in 2012. Henry hauled in double-digit (10) rebounds for the first time in her career on July 13 versus San Antonio.
Henry ranks 17th in league in offensive rebounds, 19th in defensive rebounds, 17th in total rebounds and third in blocked shots.
6. Avery Warley- Phoenix
Stats: 3.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 51.9% FG
The six-foot-three center has been a monster on the glass this season for the Mercury. Warley, undrafted out of Liberty University, grabbed a career-high 13 boards on July 8 versus Seattle. She is 12th in the league in total rebounds, seventh in offensive rebounds and 18th in defensive rebounds.
Warley, has not been much of a factor offensively this season, ranks 11th in scoring and second in field goal percentage among all rookies. She is also second in total rebounds, second in offensive rebounds and third in blocked shots.
7. Tiffany Hayes – Atlanta
Stats: 7.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.7 APG
The five-foot-10 guard scored in double-figures in four of her five July games. Hayes averaged more than 13 points and shot 51.2% from the floor in the month of July.
Among rookies, Hayes is fifth in scoring, 12th in shooting percentage, fifth in three-point percentage and eighth in free throw percentage. She is also ninth in offensive rebounds, eighth in defensive rebounds, eighth in total rebounds and second in assists.
8. Shekinna Stricklen – Seattle
Stats : 6.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG
The six-foot-two guard/forward was selected with the second pick in the 2012 draft. Stricken, scored in double figures in three of her five July games, recorded her first career double-double on July 15 versus Phoenix. She poured in 15 points and grabbed 11 boards versus the Mercury.
Among rookies, Stricklen is sixth in the league in points, 14th in field goal percentage, ninth in three-point percentage and 11th in free throw percentage. She is also fifth in offensive rebounds, fifth in defensive rebounds and fifth in total rebounds.
9. Shenise Johnson – San Antonio
Stats: 5.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.6 APG
The five-foot-11 guard was selected with the fifth pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of Miami. Johnson scored in double figures in her last two games of the first half on July 11 and July 13 versus Atlanta and Chicago, respectively. She scored in double figures three times during the first half.
Among all rookies, Johnson ranks eighth in points, 11th in field goal percentage, second in three-point percentage and fourth in field goal percentage. She is also fifth in offensive boards, seventh in defensive rebounds and fifth in total rebounds.
10. Devereux Peters – Minnesota
Stats: 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 55.2% FG
The six-foot-two forward was selected with the third pick in 2012 draft out of Norte Dame. Peters hasn’t seen much time with the talented Lynx this year, however, she has proven she can score. She has scored in double figures three times with her best performance coming on June 21 versus the New York Liberty In the game against the Liberty, Peters scored 18 points in 19 minutes of action.
Peters leads all rookies in field goal percentage.
Ogwumike will likely be the unanimous selection for the award as she has been dominant the whole season. Ogwumike has scored in double figures 17 times and has posted five double-doubles. She has been named Rookie of the Month twice this year.
Prahalis and Glory Johnson will likely finish second and third in the voting.
Daniel Benjamin has coached basketball for four years.