2022 WNBA ROY Power Rankings Week Four: Rhyne Howard Still Leads


About a third of the 2022 WNBA season is complete and boy has it been a ride for the 2022 WNBA ROY candidates. There have been a lot of ups, a few downs, and a whole lot of twists and turns. It is time to fasten those seatbelts a bit tighter as the season hurtles into June. There are no surprises this week in the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings. Whoever you are rooting for to win it all, sit back and enjoy the evolution of each and every rookie candidate.


Last week it appeared leading 2022 WNBA ROY candidate, Rhyne Howard, might have some competition. Her numbers may have dipped a tiny bit this week, but she still maintains a comfortable lead in the 2022 WNBA ROY power rankings. Besides being fourth in the league in three pointers made (29), Howard is shooting 41.4% from behind the arc. Oh, and by the way watch out for that slick fade away that is almost impossible to defend against.


Holding steady at the second spot, NaLyssa Smith continues to impress with her overall play. Last week was not her best week, but she is second among rookies in scoring at 12.1 PPG, and first in rebounds at 7.7 RPG. In addition, Smith has two double-doubles already this season. The Fever wins may not be there right now, but with Smith’s presence in the front court, Indiana’s future is ablaze.


One cannot help but wonder what the season would look like for Shakira Austin if she was playing more minutes or she was on a different team. The reality is, Austin is making the most of her limited playing time and remains at the number three spot again this week. She continues to shoot lights out at 60.3% a game, good enough for second in the league. It is the little things that Austin does so effortlessly (did you see that rebound and put back?) that really stand out as remarkable.


Moving up a spot this week, to number four, Rebekah Gardner continues to put in work for the Sky. On a pretty stacked team, Gardner is averaging 23.4 MPG, 9.0 PPG, and shoot a hot 55.4% from the field. The energy she brings off the bench is immeasurable but very palpable. Again, she may be a long shot for the 2022 WNBA ROY but Gardner continues to strike a veteran like pose on the court.


Lastly, Queen Egbo falls to number five this week. It may have been an off week for Egbo as she adjusted to having Smith on the floor with her. She is fourth in the league in blocks at 1.5 a game. She is at about seven points and seven rebounds a game. Egbo is such a steady presence on the court for the Fever. She just does a lot of little things to help Indiana. It may not show up in a stat sheet or win column now but it will very soon. Players beware of the Egbo block party.


A rookie that is making a splash as of late, Kristy Wallace, is proving a valuable guard option for the Dream. Her game is a bit inconsistent but she is making positive contributions and has played her part in getting Atlanta to a 7-4 record.

In a perfect world, Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Destanni Henderson would be getting a lot more minutes for their teams. Alas, in an imperfect world, Nelson-Ododa is seeing very limited minutes, certainly not enough to show her WNBA prowess. Henny is getting some minutes but it appears the more she plays, the better the Fever are. 

As week five warms up, take notice of the rookies blending in like veterans in the WNBA. Celebrate their tenacity, toughness, and talent. Buckle up for a continued wild ride that is the WNBA season. Of course, enjoy the unique class of 2022 WNBA ROY candidates.

About Sharon Ostrom

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