They Gave It To Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese Got It Out The Mud: Now They Stand On Even Ground Racing To Rookie of The Year  

Caitlin Clark was indeed an overnight sensation. The No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft, entered the league with all of the hype and fanfare and a $28 million Nike deal in tow. Angel Reese, however, has had to get it from the mud.

Despite being the second-most celebrated player in women’s college basketball with a national championship win over Clark on her résumé, Reese dropped to seventh overall in the WNBA draft. 

Well, after starting out the season as the subject of doubt, Reese is breaking records and running neck-and-neck with a familiar adversary in Clark for the Rookie of the Year award. 

Cailtin Clark and Angel Reese met for a second time as WNBA players. Clark's Indiana Fever team won a close game that saw Reese get a flagrant tech for hitting Clark in the head.
Caitlin Clark (right) began the season with a huge lead in Rookie of the Year voting, but Angel Reese (left) has scraped her way to being just as worthy a recipient. (Getty Images)

In the third quarter of the Chicago Sky’s 84-71 loss against the Seattle Storm, Reese grabbed a rebound and put back a layup to give her 11 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday’s contest, marking her 13th consecutive double-double, the most in WNBA history. 

Angel Reese Sets WNBA Record With 13 Consecutive Double-Doubles

WNBA legend Candace Parker held the record of 12 but accomplished it in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Reese finished the game with what has become a typical 17 points and 14 rebounds. She has officially become the double-double machine. 

After she scored a career-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds during the Sky’s 88-84 win over the Storm on Friday, Reese said she doesn’t think about getting double-doubles.

“I just go out there and do my job. My job is to rebound, so I’m going to go out there and do my job and rebound. I know that’s what my teammates need me to do, and I’ve committed to that,” she said.

Reese has recorded a double-double in 14 of her first 20 career games, and she leads the league in rebounds at 11.7. She’s averaging nearly 14 points per game, which ranks second among rookies behind Caitlin Clark.

Chi Barbie’s fashion sense mixed with her rugged style on the court makes her very relatable to a large audience. She doesn’t miss an opportunity on social media to show off her latest fashion statements and live in her undeniable beauty. 

She is every bit the marketing tool that Clark is credited with being. What she brings to the WNBA is just as necessary as all of the elements that Clark is credited with bringing. 

The good thing about Reese’s elevated play on the hardwood is that she has changed the opinions of some outspoken critics, such as sportswriter and agitator Jason Whitlock, who once called Reese untalented” and “unathletic” and the most “overrated” player in women’s hoops.

Jason Whitlock Changes Tune On Angel Reese

He’s at least finally admitting that she can hoop and being in ROY contention means you are an elite rookie hooper. To be on Clark’s heels for the award after it was a foregone conclusion before she ever suited up for her first game, is proof that hard work and a daily grind can get you where you want to go. 

Reese is also helping fans appreciate all aspects of basketball, as her main focus is rebounding and defense. She does the dirty work that Clark, who is a ball-dominant gunner, doesn’t have to do.

Both have equal value to their team, and, if we are being honest, we have seen a more steady progression in all-around game elevation from Reese, as Clark has been consistent all season playing at the level she has. She’s yet to find her three-point shot, but she takes as many of them as anyone. 

The first month of the season was all about Clark as they crammed multiple games in a short period and moved games to larger arenas to accommodate The Caitlin Clark Effect and all of the new publicity the league was getting. 

Clark Leads ROY Voting

Caitlin Clark leads Angel Reese in the 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year race, according to official polling results released by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

A 15-member panel of voters update their votes each week. At the halfway point of the 2024 WNBA season, Clark holds a 9-5 advantage — with one panelist choosing not to vote.

“Today, I would say Clark, only because they have one more win overall as a team and have a 2-1 lead head-to-head,” voter Christy Winters-Scott, a basketball analyst for the Washington Mystics, said. “Clearly this could change as the WNBA season progresses. It has been a complete joy for me to witness how both players have evolved as professionals in such a short amount of time in the league.”

Clark has been as advertised, playing a solid all-around game while handling the burden of being the first option on an up-and-coming team. She’s averaging 16.1 points per game, six rebounds and 7.4 assists. 

She also plays 38-40 minutes every game, so as she builds more stamina and gets used to the physicality, her low shooting splits (39.3 FG/33.1 on threes) will improve. 

As we approach the Olympic Games later this month and the WNBA takes a break, both Clark and Reese will get to reflect on the first half of their WNBA careers and dream of the collision course these two teams are on for league supremacy in years to come. 

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