WNBA: New York Liberty at Chicago Sky
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today released a list of WNBA rookie power rankings on Tuesday, inexplicably placing Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese at the top.

The only way it is possible to list Reese ahead of Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark in any ranking is by willfully ignoring just about every stat line known to basketball. And even then, you’d have to ignore each player’s overall impact on the league.

Remarkably, USA Today national correspondent Lindsay Schnell, the author of the list very astutely points out that, “You can argue all you want about stats. Wins matter.”

If that were the case, it’d be quick to note that in their most recent and only head-to-head matchup of the year, Clark and her Fever teammates beat Reese and the Sky.

Here is the list of the top 5 WNBA rookies according to Schnell:

  • Angel Reese – Sky
  • Caitlin Clark – Fever
  • Cameron Brink – Sparks
  • Kate Martin – Aces
  • Rickea Jackson – Sparks

RELATED: Angel Reese Insists She’s Also The Reason Fans Are Watching Women’s Basketball: ‘It’s Because Of Me Too’

Angel Reese Should Not Be Ranked Higher Than Caitlin Clark In Anybody’s WNBA Rookie Rankings

Schnell, of course, does have a right to point out that wins do have a place in measuring their WNBA rookie rankings. The Sky, after all, does have one full win more than the Fever on the season.

But it’s not everything. Robert Horry isn’t one of the greatest NBA players of all time because he has 7 championship rings.

As for the stats. Well, it’s not even close. Just about the only statistic Reese leads Clark in is rebounding, and as a forward with three more inches of height, she should lead that category as opposed to a guard.

Clark tops Reese in points, assists, steals, blocks, and minutes, while also besting her in FG%, 3P%, and FT%. Then there is assist-to-turnover ratio, scoring efficiency, and shooting efficiency.

Indeed, before their head-to-head matchup, Clark managed to best Reese in these stats despite playing fewer minutes on the court:

Screenshot: Sportingnews.com

Other than that though …

Reese does have Clark beat in one statistical category aside from rebounding. After Tuesday’s matchup against the New York Liberty, Reese now leads her rival in ejections.

RELATED: ‘No Regrets’: With Angel Reese At Her Side, Chennedy Carter Defends Flagrant Foul On Caitlin Clark

The Future Of The WNBA

It’s rather obvious that USA Today is placing Angel Reese at the top of the WNBA rookie rankings in order to get clicks. No objective observer could have her ahead of Caitlin Clark.

But there’s another objective for the outlet. Schnell, you may recall, penned a column earlier this year arguing that the future of women’s basketball needs to belong to one skin color.

After watching her teammate Chennedy Carter deck Clark in the middle of a game and later deliver her own elbow to the WNBA superstar, Reese defended their actions as a result of hard play and their competitive nature.

She also claimed the WNBA’s popularity has as much to do with her as it does with Clark.

“I’ll take the bad guy role and I’ll continue to take that on. And be that for my teammates,” she said. “I know I’ll go down in history. I’ll look back in 20 years and be like: ‘Yeah, the reason why we’re watching women’s basketball isn’t just because of one person. It’s because of me, too … And I want you to realize that.”

Those comments prompted sports analyst Jason Whitlock to respond that “no one is tuning in to watch Angel Reese” and suggested the claim was motivated by “jealousy, envy, and delusion all mixed together.”

And that just about sums up USA Today’s WNBA rookie rankings as well.

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