WNBA rookie power rankings: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese start to break away from pack (2024)

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese might be in the pros now, but they’re still generating plenty of chatter – and dominating on the basketball court.

In the race to see who wins the 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Clark and Reese have started to separate themselves from their fellow newcomers. It’s still early, but the fact that Reese is the only rookie averaging a double-double while Clark is lifting the Fever into playoff contention is definitely noteworthy.

If the race does come down to these two in September, when the regular season ends, it’s likely that voters will take into account how Clark and Reese did against each other. On that note, Clark and Indiana are currently 2-0 against the Sky. Game 3 of this budding rivalry takes place Sunday.

Reese and Clark aren’t the only two newbies making noise, though. Read on for a list of WNBA rookie power rankings.

WNBA rookie power rankings: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese start to break away from pack (1)

1. Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever

Stats through 15 games: 16.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.2 apg, 38.3% FG

Breakdown: The more Caitlin Clark plays, the more comfortable she gets. While her logo 3s are what fans love most, Clark has found success driving to the basket early in games. Getting to the rim helps her establish a shooting rhythm and opens the floor for her teammates – which gives her more space to operate as the game goes on. There have been flashes the last few games of the Clark-Aliyah Boston connection that everyone was so excited about, and it’s clear the more time these two have on the floor together, the more damage they’ll do. Clark still needs to cut down on turnovers; she leads the league at 5.5 per game.

2. Angel Reese, Chicago Sky

Stats through 13 games: 12.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.8 spg, 37.1% FG

Breakdown: Rest assured that if there’s a rebound, there’s a good chance Angel Reese will get her hands on it. The 6-foot-3 forward has been cleaning up the glass for the Sky, averaging 12.2 rebounds over her past five games. She continues to lead the league in offensive rebounds per game (4.6), too. The biggest issue is that Reese isn’t shooting for as high of a percentage as she should for someone who spends so much time close to the basket. She’s excellent at getting second opportunities – now she just needs to capitalize on them more.

3. Rickea Jackson, Los Angeles Sparks

Stats through 14 games: 10.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 47.3% FG

Breakdown: The Sparks' other first-round draft pick got most of the hype, but anyone who followed Rickea Jackson in college knew LA was getting a flat-out scorer. Jackson has shown that lately, scoring 16 points or more in three of her past four games. She’s also one of only two rookies playing significant minutes who’s shooting 45% or better from the field (Aaliyah Edwards of the Washington Mystics is the other). If she keeps up this production, LA might want to start her more (the Sparks’ starting lineups this year have fluctuated significantly because of injuries). At the same time, it’s huge to have this type of scoring punch off the bench.

WNBA rookie power rankings: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese start to break away from pack (2)

4. Aaliyah Edwards, Washington Mystics

Stats through 14 games: 9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 52.1% FG

Breakdown: Did Aaliyah Edwards read the last USA TODAY Sports WNBA Rookie Power Rankings? She might have, because after pointing out that wins matter – and ranking her last because the Mystics were then winless – she’s helped Washington to two wins, averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds in those victories. The Mystics are bad enough that Edwards flies under the rookie radar, but anyone who knows the game knows how well she’s been playing lately. It’s only going to get better, especially as the Mystics improve.

5. Kamilla Cardoso, Chicago Sky

Stats through seven games: 8.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 48.9% FG

Breakdown: Now that she’s off minutes restriction – she missed the first couple weeks of the season after injuring her shoulder – we’re starting to see just how dominant Kamilla Cardoso can be in the paint. Against the Fever on June 16, she grabbed seven rebounds in the first quarter alone. She finished with 10 (and 10 points), which means the focus going forward will be about consistency. Still, as she settles into the pros it’s clear Cardoso is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

6. Cameron Brink, Los Angeles Sparks

Stats through 14 games: 8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.5 bpg

Breakdown: Cameron Brink continues to be one of the league’s best rim protectors, and her contribution defensively goes far beyond her 2.5 blocks per game. Her offensive contribution, however, is far from consistent: Brink scored 16 in her last game against the Atlanta Dream, but she didn’t score at all in the game before that. Part of this is because she has a tendency to get in foul trouble and head to the bench early. Once she learns how to stay on the floor, Brink will be a handful at both ends.

7. Julie Vanloo, Washington Mystics

Stats through 14 games: 8.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 5.4 apg

Breakdown: The 31-year-old rookie continues to impress, though her production has dropped off a tad as defenses have started to figure her out. Still, Julie Vanloo is a steady contributor for the Mystics, who are fighting to prove they’re not the worst team in the league. Vanloo’s veteran experience will be key if Washington is going to make any sort of push for the postseason.

8. Kate Martin, Las Vegas Aces

Stats through 11 games: 4.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 apg

Breakdown: This is hardly the fault of Katie Martin but, goodness, the Aces are struggling. Point guard Chelsea Gray still hasn’t returned from injury – though she’s expected to be back soon – and Vegas is clearly trying to find a lineup that works well together. Martin hasn’t played as much recently, averaging just 12 minutes her past three games. When she is on the floor, it’s important that she hit open shots and grab rebounds. One of her best traits is that she takes care of the ball. If she continues to do that, she’ll stay on the floor.

Not ranked: Alissa Pili, Minnesota Lynx (averaging less than six minutes per game); Jacy Sheldon, Dallas Wings (only playing 13 minutes per game on one of the worst teams in the league); Nika Muhl, Seattle Storm (played three total minutes in past three Seattle games)

Email Lindsay Schnell at lschnell@usatoday.com and follow her on social media@Lindsay_Schnell

WNBA rookie power rankings: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese start to break away from pack (2024)

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