WNBA

Kysre Gondrezick: What does the rookie top-five pick bring to the Indiana Fever?

Kysre Gondrezick has quickly become one of the most recognizable names in the WNBA.

From her viral celebration after being selected fourth overall by the Indiana Fever, to her groundbreaking multi-year endorsement deal with Adidas, Gondrezick is slowly turning into one of the league's brightest young stars without having played a single game.

Gondrezick's marketing power is evident and will be a welcomed addition to a Fever franchise looking for star power, but what the 23-year-old brings on the court this season could make Indiana's front office look like geniuses for taking a chance on a prospect who was pegged as a second-round talent.

Over the past four seasons, the Fever have struggled to score. Last season, Kelsey Mitchell turned the corner as an elite scorer going from 13.6 points per game in 2019 to lead the team in 2020 with 17.9 points while posting an efficient true shooting percentage of 57.9 percent, according to Basketball-Reference. And while there were three other players who averaged double-digit points per game last season, the Fever joined the New York Liberty as the only two teams who didn't have multiple players in the top 30 for points per game in 2020.

Enter Kysre Gondrezick, who is a bonafide bucket.

Gondrezick poured in 19.5 points per contest in her final season at West Virginia.

Exhibit A:

​Exhibit B:

It may take time for her to find her way as a scorer at the pro level, but she'll get there. Gondrezick has always been a scorer. She once dropped 72 of her team's 80 points in a high school playoff game. Scoring is in her DNA and the Fever could definitely use a reliable scorer alongside Mitchell to remedy their lack of offence in recent years - especially with the departure of Candice Dupree.

While scoring will likely be Gondrezick's primary mode of impact this season, she's also shown to be a capable playmaker.

Prior to last season, the Fever lacked a high-level playmaker and they seemed to have found one in Belgian National Team member, Julie Allemand. Allemand finished second in the league in assists per game at 5.8 in 2020. She'll once again be counted on to get her teammates easy looks, but with the arrival of Gondrezick, Indiana will have the option to ease Allemand's load a bit.

Gondrezick averaged 4.5 assists per game last season in college. Her ability to attract the defence's attention and find open teammates should help Indiana's offence find easier looks than it did a season ago.

Defensively, it should take Gondrezick some time to adapt to the speed and physicality of the pro game, but she's shown she can be a plus defender in college.

Plays like the one above show up often when watching tape on her. The Fever's backcourt really struggled to defend at a high level a season ago, Gondrezick's presence should help push them in the right direction.

Gondrezick has all the tools to be an impact rookie this season for the Fever. Since being drafted, a lot of attention has been paid to her marketability, but once the ball goes in the air to start the 2021 WNBA season, those who are paying attention will recognize that the Fever selected her fourth overall in the 2021 WNBA Draft to win games, not sell tickets.

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