Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Alysha Clark

First, catch her blog over at the Storm site...

Alysha was one of the 100 senior prospects I followed in the 2010 NCAA season.  She was one of my favorite players, not just because of her leading the NCAA in scoring that year, but really for her overall game. Sadly, like with many skilled college players, she was a really strong but significantly undersized post.  The need to transition to a 3 was a big question for Alysha at the time, but even that was a stretch for her given her 5'10" height puts her smack between Sue Bird and Katie Smith and therefore more of a pro shooting guard size.

Clark was, statistically, my second best PF in the country, behind fellow undersized player Kelsey Griffin from the Connecticut Sun.  Griffin though, is only slightly undersized at 6'2".  She can still play the four in the pros if she relies on finesse and brains which has been demonstrated by Storm standout, Camille Little.  Of the seniors I rated at power forward that season, Kelsey is the only player who played a full season last year in the WNBA.   Howwever, Griffin only averaged 13 minutes and just under 4 points per game.  2011 Storm training camp participant Jacinta Monroe, a natural center, played four games for Tulsa last season, but she only rated 8th on my power forward ranking in 2010.

When I looked at Clark from a small forward perspective, she jumped to the front of the pack.  Essentially, if she were able to translate a similar performance at the SF position she would have been a very strong pro candidate.  Similar rated players at the shooting guard position for me that year were Monica Wright and Allison Hightower, both of whom have stuck in the WNBA.  Griffin was my example of the same rating at power forward, but I had no quality candidates at the point guard or center at a comparable rating.  Marissa Coleman and Danielle Gant were my similarly rated small forwards in the 2009 NCAA season.

Alysha's strengths that senior season were her shooting, her rebounding, her BoxScore rating and her RPI adjusted ratings for offense and WinScore.  Her rebounding was very high for a small forward which is not surprising as she was playing the post not the perimeter, but she also had a great Floor Percentage.  She was very effective at scoring when she was looking to score.  Even for a power forward, she was my fifth best rebounder, and given her size disadvantage that has to come from a combination of desire and timing much like Camille Little uses in the pros.  She also showed statistically as a decent defender, though admittedly, defensive statistics limit our real insight into her defensive skills.

Overall, I believe that Alysha still has a shot at the league, but I don't think Seattle is the right stop for her this season.  I suspect Victoria Dunlap at 6'1" and 6'2" Shekinna Stricklen simply offer similar skill sets with more length.

That said, I am happy to see one of my 2010 favorites in Storm green even if only for a few weeks.