Few doubted that Breanna Stewart would succeed in the WNBA after an unprecedented college career at Connecticut.
But it is fair to say she finished her rookie campaign at the high end of expectations for her, one in which she is widely expected to win Rookie of the Year honors, and has a strong case for both Defensive Player of the Year and all-WNBA first team.
Stewart finished the season with 5.7 win shares, good for fourth-best in the league. That’s not among rookies, that’s among all players. She finished ahead of Elena Delle Donne, Tina Charles, Emma Meesseman, Brittney Griner—in her rookie season.
She was top ten in defensive rating, in block percentage, in three-point field goals—an incredible multi-disciplinary season of excellence.
And for good measure, she set the record for most defensive rebounds in a season with 277, breaking Lisa Leslie’s mark from 2004.
Oh, she also won a gold medal for USA Basketball. And turned 22.
Not a bad debut. Not bad at all. Her next accomplishment comes Wednesday night, when Stewart and the Storm face the Atlanta Dream in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.