WNBA 2024 rookie tracker: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, more

Monday, June 24, 2024 3:36AM

The Indiana Fever entered Sunday's game with a perfect mark against the Chicago Sky this season.

Make it 2-1.

In the best game of her young pro career, rookie Angel Reese tallied her eighth straight double-double -- a WNBA rookie record -- to lead the Sky to an88-87 victory over the Fever. Chicago's second consecutive victory moved the Sky to 6-9 on the season and snapped Indiana's four-game winning streak.

Reese, the No. 7 draft pick in April, had a career-high 25 points, as well as 16 rebounds. Fellow rookie Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 overall pick, had 17 points and a franchise-record 13 assists for the Fever.

The teams have played three times in the first five-plus weeks in the regular season, with the Fever winning 71-70 on June 1 and 91-83 on June 16; both games were in Indiana. Chicago, which hosted Sunday's game, will also host Indiana on Aug. 30.

All eyes have been on Reese, Clark and the rookie class during the 2024 WNBA season, though Cameron Brink, another of the top players in one of the most anticipated rookie classes in league history, is out for the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL last week.

We're tracking the top rookie performances every time they take the court, so check back every game day.

Last updated: June 23

Angel Reese, Chicago Sky

Forward | 6-foot-3 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Reese keeps building on her WNBA rookie record of consecutive double-doubles, getting her eighth in a row Sunday in an 88-87 thriller over Indiana. Reese finished with a season-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, plus had 16 rebounds.

Sunday was Reese's best game in what was her best week so far in the WNBA. She also had 16 points and a season-high 18 rebounds in Thursday's victory over Dallas. For the week, Reese shot 15-of-25 from the field (60%) and 11-of-14 from the line (78.6%).

Reese's shooting percentage has been the biggest knock on her game, but it was a strength in these two victories. Her season shooting percentage is up to 40.6. That's progress.

What we learned: Chicago had lost four in a row and six of its past seven, but the two victories this past week were big, especially going into a much-anticipated first meeting of the season with two-time defending champion Las Vegas on Thursday. On Sunday, Reese became the first rookie with at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a WNBA game since the Aces' A'ja Wilson in 2018. The matchup between Wilson, currently in the driver's seat for her third MVP award, and the Sky's Reese and Kamilla Cardoso should be a lot of fun to watch. -- Michael Voepel

Up next: vs. Las Vegas Aces on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, Prime Video)

Kamilla Cardoso, Chicago Sky

Center | 6-foot-7 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Reese was so spectacular in Sunday's victory over Indiana, it overshadowed how good Cardoso was, too. But Cardoso also had an outstanding game with a season-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 10 rebounds.

It's the second time this season that Cardoso and Reese both had double-doubles; both times were against Indiana. Cardoso has 31 rebounds in her past three games. And after going 8-of-21 from the field in her previous two games, Cardoso was much more on target Sunday.

What we learned: Sunday was the kind of game that Chicago hopes to see a lot of with its two 2024 first-round draft picks: a combined 41 points on 71.4% shooting and 26 rebounds. The Sky will be facing U.S. Olympians in the post in the next two games: the Aces' Wilson and the Minnesota Lynx's Napheesa Collier. -- Voepel

Up next: vs. Las Vegas Aces on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, Prime Video)

Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever

Guard | 6-foot | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Clark, who played all 40 minutes, had 17 points and a franchise-record 13 assists in Sunday's 88-87 loss at Chicago. She said afterward she didn't regret not taking more shots, especially in the fourth quarter when the Fever were outscored 24-15. And it's hard to argue with a point guard who has that many assists. But this should be a game the Fever look at regarding their shot selection down the stretch.

It was still a strong week for Clark, with two seasons highs -- assists on Sunday and rebounds (12) on Wednesday -- as the Fever went 2-1. For the three games, she averaged 17.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists.

Clark now has seven games with at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Candace Parker (eight in 2008) is the only rookie in WNBA history who has had more.

What we learned: The Fever had won four games in a row -- their longest winning streak in nearly nine years -- before Sunday's loss. Indiana also shot better than 50% in the three games prior to Sunday, when they slipped to 46.4%. Overall, Indiana's offense is improving. -- Voepel

Up next: at Seattle Storm on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, Prime Video)

Jacy Sheldon, Dallas Wings

Guard | 5-foot-10 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Sheldon entered ESPN's WNBA rookie tracker Saturday with the first double-digit scoring performance of her career. She had her second Sunday, but it didn't stop the Wings' skid, which is now at 11 losses in a row.

The No. 5 pick in the draft, Sheldon had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in Dallas' 92-84 loss at Washington. The Wings also lost Saturday to the Mystics.

What we learned: Sheldon has moved into the starting lineup with Maddy Siegrist out until at least after the Olympic break with a broken finger. In the three games she has started, Sheldon has averaged 12.0 points and 34.3 minutes. -- Voepel

Up next: vs. Minnesota Lynx on Thursday (1 p.m. ET)

Rickea Jackson, Los Angeles Sparks

Forward | 6-foot-2 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Jackson had 7 points on 3-of-9 shooting, with 1 rebound and 1 steal as the Sparks ran into the highest-level version of two-time MVP Breanna Stewart on Saturday. Stewart had 33 points and 6 blocks to lead the Liberty to a 98-88 win in Brooklyn.

With rookie Cameron Brink lost for the season to an ACL injury suffered Tuesday, the Sparks got more help in the post for starters Jackson, Dearica Hamby and Li Yueru by signing center Queen Egbo. The No. 10 draft pick in 2022 by Indiana, Egbo previously played 73 WNBA games for the Fever, the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun, with whom she started this season. She joined the Sparks for Saturday's game and had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 3 minutes.

What we learned: As good as the Liberty were, Los Angeles did force them to keep their starters in until near the end because the Sparks didn't go away. Considering what a tough week this has been for Los Angeles with losing Brink, Saturday's performance overall is something to build on -- even if the Sparks have lost six in a row, all on the road. -- Voepel

Up next: at Phoenix Mercury on Friday (10 p.m. ET, ION)

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