Editors Note: Every Tuesday, Kyle Ratke will be reviewing a member of the Minnesota Lynx. We will review the players best games, offseason plans and more. On Thursday, there will be a photo gallery to match the weeks featured player.
When it comes to rebounding, its safe to say Brunson knows a thing or two. Going into the 2013 season, Brunson was named ESPNs top power forward and its tough to argue with that.
Brunson finished the season nearly averaging a double-double and throughout the 2013 campaign, she finished with 15. Not too shabby. With players like Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore on the team, Brunson gets overlooked sometimes. If you ask any player on the team, though, theyll tell you that Brunson is just as much the heart and soul of this team as anyone else.
After another strong season, Brunson was voted to the All-Star team for the fourth time while helping the Lynx win their second WNBA title in three seasons.
As we look ahead to 2014, Brunson will be 32 years old, certainly not a young player by WNBA standards, but she proved last season that shes not ready to pump the brakes just yet.
Her midrange jump shot has become her patented shot and she just missed out on shooting 50 percent from the field for the third consecutive season. Brunson can make some history next season as well. She needs just 112 rebounds to jump from ninth to fifth (passing DeLisha Milton-Jones) on the leagues all-time rebounding list.
One aspect of her game that Brunson will look to improve on is her 63.5 free-throw percentage. For some reason, we dont think this will be a problem. Brunson is one of the hardest workers on the team and stays after practice nearly every day, working on her game with assistant coach Jim Petersen.
Expect a few 10 rebound games from Brunson next season.
Regular Season Stats:
33 games, 33 starts, 29.2 minutes per game, 10.6 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game (5th in WNBA), 1.5 assists per game (career-high), 0.7 blocks per game, 49.7 FG%, 63.5 FT%
7 games, 7 starts, 32.6 minutes per game, 10.6 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists per game (career-high), 1.0 block per game, 50 FG%, 69.2 FT%
While there were plenty of games to choose from (and were not sure if we are picking the right one right now), the best all-around game (we think) for Brunson came on August 22 in a 91-77 road win against the Connecticut Sun. Brunson scored a game-high and season-high 24 points. She was lights out from the field, shooting 11-of-14. She also hauled in 11 rebounds, 10 coming on the defensive end, while dishing out five assists. Those five assists were a season-high for Brunson as well. She had just one turnover in the game and also had two steals. As a team, Connecticut had just three steals. Minnesota basketball fans know this type of game as KG game, scoring 20 points, collecting 10 rebounds and having five assists. Lynx fans hope Brunson has a few more games like this in her arsenal.
Brunson is playing for Dynamo Kursk (Russia) along with teammate Seimone Augustus. In six Premiere League games, Brunson is averaging 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds in 25.4 minutes of play. Shes struggled from the field, shooting just 39 percent, but shes improved her free-throw shooting with a percentage of 71.4. In one EuroCup games, Brunson was held scoreless, but hauled in seven rebounds and dished out two assists. Her last game came on Dec. 15 when she scored eight points in just over 24 minutes of play. She shot 3-of-9 from the field and finished with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks, helping her team to a 69-67 win. To view Brunsons full offseason stats, you can head here.
They Said It:
"I think she's under the radar for the media as opposed to opposing coaches because she's a part every scouting report, a big, big part. I think that's more external than to players or coaches in this league. Everyone in this league knows how good she is. I think she goes under the radar as far as a media standpoint or a national standpoint. I don't think she really cares much, she just goes about her business.. You need a rebounder, she exemplifies everything you'd want as an Olympic athlete." - Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve on Brunson.
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