Rookie class of 2012 was underrated

Approaching this year’s WNBA draft, fans made these comments frequently:

“This draft is a throw away. Wait til next year’s draft!”

“The Sparks got the #1 lottery pick on the wrong year.”

“There’s nobody good in this year’s draft except the girl from Stanford.”

Or they ignored the draft entirely for the above beliefs – too busy thinking of who will get Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne in next year’s draft.

Now, almost halfway through this WNBA season, the class of 2012 has proven fans all wrong. The top picks are not only statistically significant, but they are integral parts of their respective teams. Witness:

Four rookies among the top 50 scorers.

Five rookies among the top 50 rebounders – and pretty high on the list, too.

Mercury rookie Samantha Prahalis second in the league in assists, with the Shock’s Riquna Williams also among the top 50.

Six rookies on the steals list, including four in the top 15.

Seven newcomers are on the blocks list, including some lower picks.

Several rookies are starters for their teams, and log significant minutes. A few have been the high-scorers for their teams. Their efficiency rankings as a group are very solid, especially considering they’re newcomers.

A quick glance at WNBA statistics of the past few years shows that there were usually three rookies in the top 50 of any statistical category, in contrast to this year.

So, hats off to this year’s rookie class, who are already impacting and improving the league. We see you.