Neither the Minnesota Lynx nor guard Crystal Dangerfield knew just how important she would be to the team in her first season. But she became the first player not selected in the first round of the draft to win Rookie of the Year honors on Sept. 17, and she headlines the WNBA's all-rookie team, which was announced Sunday.
Joining her are Indiana Fever guard Julie Allemand, Atlanta Dream guard Chennedy Carter, New York Liberty guard Jazmine Jones and Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally.
Dangerfield, Allemand, Carter and Sabally each received the maximum 11 votes from the WNBA's 12 head coaches, who picked five players regardless of position and couldn't vote for anyone on their own team. Jones received six votes.
Dangerfield is the only one of the five whose team made the playoffs. The No. 16 pick out of UConn led the Lynx in scoring (16.2 PPG) and assists (3.6) during the regular season. She also averaged 30.0 minutes per game, starting in 19 of her 21 games.
"The knowledge that you gain as a young player is incredibly valuable," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said of Dangerfield having a chance to play so much this year and get postseason experience.
Allemand, who is from Belgium, was originally drafted by Indiana in the 2016 third round, but didn't feel she was ready for the WNBA at that time. This year, at age 24, she was ready, joining the Fever as a free agent. She started all 22 games, leading Indiana in minutes played at 32.5. She led all rookies in assists (5.8 APG), plus averaged 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Both Carter and Sabally were juniors who were eligible for the 2020 WNBA draft because they turned 22 this calendar year. Sabally, the No. 2 pick out of Oregon, turned 22 in April; Carter, the No. 4 pick from Texas A&M, will do so in November.
Both proved ready to make the jump to the pro ranks. Carter led all rookies and was eighth in the league overall in scoring at 17.4 PPG. She was third among rookies in assists (3.4). Carter became the youngest WNBA player (21 years, 266 days) to score at least 30 points in a game when she had 35 against Seattle on Aug. 6. Carter missed six games with an ankle injury but started the other 16 and had at least 20 points in eight of them.
Sabally led all rookies in rebounding (7.8 RPG) and also averaged 13.8 points and 2.5 assists. She also missed six games due to injury, but had five double-doubles in the 16 she played.
Jones, the No. 12 pick out of Louisville, was first among rookies in steals (1.4 SPG), third in rebounding (4.1 RPG) and fourth in scoring (10.8 PPG). She played 20 of 22 games.