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2022 WNBA ROY Power Rankings Week Two: Rhyne Howard in the Lead

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Another week completed in the 2022 WNBA season and there were some exciting games along the way. There are a handful of rookies that look like veterans and are ready to take the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings by storm. Additionally, there are some rookies improving their game and ready to make a mark in the league. This is shaping up to look like an exciting 2022 WNBA ROY campaign. Watch out world, these women are legit WNBA ballers.

RHYNE HOWARD

Through the second week of the season, Rhyne Howard remains the frontrunner for 2022 WNBA ROY. Her game is so very sweet and she is helping the Dream achieve their dream of prominence in the WNBA with a 4-2 record thus far. Howard leads the league in scoring at 20.5 PPG. In addition she is averaging 4.3 RPG, 2.3 APG and she is shooting 46.7% from beyond the arc. There are not enough good things that can be said about Howard’s game. She is definitely WNBA ready and built for this game.

SHAKIRA AUSTIN

This week, Shakira Austin jumps to second for 2022 WNBA ROY. She looks like a veteran so far averaging 9.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG and shooting an amazing 63.8% from the field. Her minutes have increased this week and she compliments any player on the Mystics. Austin looked very smooth against the Sky on Sunday and had a lot of “wow” moments. There is a lot of upside with Austin, and she may give Howard a run for her money for 2022 WNBA ROY very soon. 

QUEEN EGBO

Landing at third this week in the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings, Queen Egbo continues to impress. She is definitely an inside presence to contend with. Without NaLyssa Smith by her side, Egbo has taken on a more prominent role. She is averaging 7.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and shooting 50.0% from the field. Again, it is hard to quantify her value, but Egbo shows up time and again and is distinguishing herself as a go to ROY type player.

REBEKAH GARDNER

Another 2022 WNBA ROY candidate 10 years in the making, Rebekah Gardner is making her mark in the league. She plays both ends of the court with high energy and does all the little things that make good players great. Gardner is averaging 9.8 PPG, 4 RPG, and she is shooting 51.7%. Count Gardner a crucial piece of the puzzle the Sky needs in order to defend its title.

NALYSSA SMITH

Lastly, NaLyssa Smith has to be mentioned in the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings. Although she missed three games this week with an ankle injury, Smith has been a ROY contender from the get go. Once she returns, Smith will provide a valuable inside presence on both ends of the court. She is averaging double digits in points and rebounding and that will continue. There is no ceiling for Smith and, once she returns, Indiana will have a better chance of adding more wins on the season.

LOOKING FORWARD

As of week two, only one other rookie has stood out in the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings and that is Olivia Nelson-Ododa. She only played one game this last week but Nelson-Ododa looked impressive. Expect her minutes to improve and her stats to improve this week. Nelson-Ododa may be the key to the Sparks turning the season around and proving playoff worthy.

A few other players are dark horses for 2022 WNBA ROY candidates. Rui Machida is still find her groove as a Mystic. She shows flashes of brilliance but is still not comfortable with the WNBA style of play. Destanni Henderson may also throw her name in the mix for 2022 WNBA ROY but, for some unknown reason, her minutes have been limited. When Henny is on the court her presence is palpable and she has a great feel for the game already.

It may have looked like a runaway 2022 WNBA ROY race to begin with, however, it looks like the gap has closed somewhat. This may turn out to be a quite fascinating ROY race after all. As always, may the odds be ever in each player’s favor.

About Sharon Ostrom

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