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Caitlin Clark a lock to win 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year? A women’s basketball insider explains why it’s likely

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While many believe Caitlin Clark is in for a reality check when she begins her WNBA career, one women’s basketball reporter feels there is a very good chance she will make a major impact at the next level and likely win Rookie of the Year honors.

Over the weekend, Iowa Hawkeyes legend Caitlin Clark was unable to finish her fairy tale story and bring the program their first national championship. But while she was unable to win a “natty” during her four years in the college ranks, she left an undeniable impact on the sport during a run that included becoming the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history.

  • Caitlin Clark WNBA Draft projection: No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever

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Now, with her college career over many are looking to what’s next as she begins her professional career when she is expected to be the top overall pick on April 15 in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Being taken No. 1 overall by the Indiana Fever is a foregone conclusion, however, there is a growing debate on how well she will fair at the next level.

Many believe there will be early growing pains as she goes from facing collegiate amateurs to grown women and the best female basketball players the world has to offer. However, during a recent conversation with Sportsnaut, Associated Press women’s college basketball reporter Doug Feinberg explained why it won’t be easy for Caitlin Clark during her rookie season, but she is positioned to do far better than most rookie guards fair in their first season in the league.

Caitlin Clark’s passing could be key in winning 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

caitlin clark
Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

“I think it took longer for guards to become better pros in the past. Like, you look at Kelsey Plum, her first couple of years with San Antonio were not very good. People were like she’s the biggest bust of all time,” Feinberg said. “Well, now she’s won two championships with [the Las Vegas Aces] in the last two years and is one of the top 10 to 15 players in the league. I think it’s harder for a guard to have the skill set to be pro-ready. That said, I think Caitlin’s in a good spot.

“Indiana has Aliyah Boston. They have an established big already,” he continued, “So it’s not like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders to carry Indiana. She’s a really good post player who she can throw the ball to. The other part is, she’s a phenomenal passer. She doesn’t have to go out and score 30 a game. You want to put three girls on her? Well, she will pass it off for an easy shot. Which makes her game translate even more so for the pros.

“Is she going to put up 31 and 10 every game, probably not but she’ll be pretty strong and rookie of the year is almost a lock if she doesn’t get hurt. If she puts up 15 and 8, that’s a pretty good rookie season.”

Kelsey Plum was the previous all-time leading scorer for women’s college basketball and put up similar stats to Clark when she was a superstar for the Washington Huskies from 2014 to 2017.

Related: 2024 WNBA Mock Draft

  • Caitlin Clark stats (2023): 31.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 8.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, 38% 3 PT
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