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

The 2024 WNBA season is off and running for one of the most anticipated rookie classes in league history. With the WNBA at a tipping point, all eyes are on Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 pick in April’s draft and the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer.

But the rookie class is loaded with potential future stars. In addition to Clark, forwards Cameron Brink, the No. 2 draft pick with the Los Angeles Sparks, and Angel Reese, the No. 7 pick to the Chicago Sky, are among the rookies in starting lineups.

How are the top rookies playing? We’ll track their performances every time they take the court, so check back every game day.

Last updated: June 8

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

Last time out: Bad news for the Sky: center Elizabeth Williams, a 10-year WNBA veteran, suffered a torn meniscus Thursday and is out indefinitely. She had started Chicago’s nine previous games. That meant for the first time Saturday, Cardoso joined fellow rookie Angel Reese in the starting lineup. After an 89-80 loss to the Atlanta Dream, the rookies now have a combined 14 games of WNBA experience. The Dream’s starting post players, former WNBA MVP Tina Charles and Cheyenne Parker-Tyus, have a combed 23 seasons in the league. Talk about stark contrasts. Cardoso missed the first six games of this season with a shoulder injury, making her WNBA debut June 1 at Indiana. Saturday, she had 13 points on 6 of 11 shooting and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes of play. It was the highest point total and most minutes she has played thus far in the WNBA.

What we learned: Cardoso is in full-on learning mode, especially after getting a late start to the season. She said she has paid close attention to how Williams plays. “I saw all the good things she did,” Cardoso said. “I tried to go out in the game and apply everything she would normally do.” As for facing opponents like Charles, the league’s No. 1 pick in 2010 and MVP in 2012, Cardoso said, “They are very experienced. We learn from them, play hard, try to be as aggressive as they are.” – Michael Voepel

Up next: Wednesday vs. Connecticut Sun (8 p.m. ET)

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

Last time out: Reese suddenly found herself as the Sky’s most experienced starting post player Saturday, in just the 10th game of her WNBA career. And she held her own. She made 5 of 10 shots for 13 points and had 13 rebounds for the fourth double-double of her young career. She also added 5 steals.

Off the bench, the Sky has more experience at forward with Isabelle Harrison (seventh WNBA season), Brianna Turner (sixth) and Michaela Onyenwere (fourth). But at least based on what we saw Saturday, Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon believes the two rookies starting is the best way to go.

Atlanta starting posts Charles and Parker-Tyus had a combined 40 points and 11 rebounds against the Sky. Reese said Charles had some friendly words for her despite being competitors.

“I’ve been watching Tina for a while,” Reese said. “I’ve always respected her game. I consider her a legend. She told me, ‘You’re doing a great job’ and that she respects me. Even after the game, she was telling me to take my time finishing around the basket.

“That’s why I came to the league, to play against these great vets to make me better. It gives me room to see where I am in my game.” – Voepel

Up next: Wednesday vs. Connecticut Sun (8 p.m. ET)

Guard | 6-foot | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Before 20,333 fans at Capital One Arena – the largest regular-season crowd at a WNBA game since 1999 – Clark had the second 30-point game of her 12-game pro career in the Fever’s 85-83 win over the Washington Mystics on Friday. The “Caitlin Clark Effect” has been a hot topic of late. But if there’s any doubt about it, Friday’s huge crowd for a game between teams that are now a combined 3-20 is just more proof of how real it is. Clark was 7 of 13 from 3-point range and 8 of 15 overall for Indiana. She also had 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals with 8 turnovers. While the turnovers are still a concern, you also have to consider how much else she’s doing for the Fever. “When she gets hot, she can be really dangerous,” Indiana coach Christie Sides said in a familiar refrain about Clark. “We need to get her off some screens so she doesn’t have to work so hard.” Clark’s 7 3-pointers on Friday tied the WNBA rookie record. Crystal Robinson of the New York Liberty also had 7 in a game in her first WNBA season in 1999. Robinson wasn’t actually a pro rookie then, though, as she had played two previous seasons in the ABL.

What we learned: Pro athletes aren’t generally going to make too much of fatigue, so as not to show any vulnerability but it was very clear that the Indiana Fever were about tapped out in their 104-68 loss last Sunday at New York. That ended a stretch of 11 games in the first 20 days of the WNBA season. With just one game this week, they got some rest and practice time, and it helped in their victory Friday. Admittedly, the Mystics are winless and were playing their second game in as many nights. But the Fever simply looked much sharper with some time off, and that also showed in Clark’s shooting. “I think you could see the exhaustion on our faces, more mentally than probably physically,” Clark said of the Fever’s taxing stretch to start the season. “Physically, we were exhausted, but mentally it’s hard to stay sharp. I’m proud of our group. We certainly battled. — Voepel

Up next: at Connecticut Sun on Monday (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

Forward | 6-foot-4 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Brink had the first double-double of her WNBA career with 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Sparks beat the Dallas Wings 81-72 on Friday Brink had had four consecutive game scoring in single digits before a much stronger game offensively against Dallas. And she continued her streak of at least one blocked shot in all 10 of the Sparks’ games. That is the fourth-longest streak for blocks to begin a WNBA career. The late Margo Dydek is first in that category, as she had 36 in her first season of 1998 and into the 1999 season. Lisa Leslie (18 in 1997) and Rebecca Lobo (16 in 1997) are second and third.

What we learned: Brink was 1 of 5 from the field in the Sparks’ loss to Minnesota on Wednesday for a season-low 2 points. She was 5 of 11 from field against Dallas and drew praise from coach Curt Miller for how she battled against the Wings’ physicality. – Voepel

Up next: vs. Las Vegas Aces on Sunday (9p.m. ET)

Forward | 6-foot-4 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Edwards, the No. 6 pick in April’s draft, has had double-doubles in her last two games. Friday, she finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, but chastised herself on social media for going 4 of 8 from the free-throw line in a close 85-83 loss to the Indiana Fever. Edwards has now started five of the Mystics 11 games and is averaging 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds.

What we learned: There’s no avoiding the obvious: It’s been a very rough start for the 0-11 Mystics. But one of the bright spots has been Edwards. When Dallas bypassed Edwards to take guard Jacy Sheldon with the No. 5 pick in the draft, it was a great break for Washington. The Mystics needed a post player, and UConn product Edwards was a great pickup for them.– Voepel

Up next: at New York Liberty on Sunday (3 p.m. ET)

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

Last time out: Jackson, like Brink, was 1 of 5 from the field for a season-low 2 points in Wednesday’s loss to Minnesota. But also like Brink, she had a much better game Friday against Dallas. Well, actually more a much better second half. The first half was tough for Jackson, mostly defensively against Dallas’ Maddy Siegrist, but she turned things around after the break. Jackson finished with 8 points and 2 steals and contributed to the energy the Sparks needed to outscore Dallas 20-9 in the fourth quarter.

What we learned: Miller said Jackson’s struggles defensively against the Wings in the first half didn’t stop her from playing well after being benched. “That’s not easy for anyone, a pro to be pulled early,” he said. “And she responded. I’m proud that her attitude didn’t waiver.”– Voepel

Up next: vs. Las Vegas Aces on Sunday (9p.m. ET)

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