MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The WNBA today announced that Minnesota Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield has been selected as the 2020 Rookie of the Year by a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Dangerfield, named on 44 of 47 ballots, is the first second-round choice (16th overall) to ever win the award.
“I’m incredibly proud that Crystal has been named the 2020 Rookie of the Year,” said Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve. “She demonstrated a strong belief in herself from the outset of our time here in Bradenton. Crystal was a key reason for the success the Lynx experienced in 2020 as she brilliantly rose up to the many challenges of shouldering the responsibility of running an offense as a rookie in the WNBA.”
Dangerfield, the fifth Lynx player and second in a row to earn Rookie of the Year honors (Napheesa Collier 2019, Maya Moore 2011, Seimone Augustus 2006, Betty Lennox 2000), wrapped up her debut season in the WNBA by starting 19 of the final 20 games. She led the Lynx in both scoring (16.2 ppg) and assists (3.6 apg) while shooting 47% from the field and 92% from the free throw line. Dangerfield ranked third in the WNBA in FT accuracy at 92.2%, breaking Katie Smith’s club single-season mark of 89.9% set in 2004, and ended the season with the third-highest per-game scoring average ever for a Lynx rookie.
The 5-6 guard led all WNBA rookies with eight 20+ point games, which was the most by a Lynx rookie since Augustus tallied 20 such games in 2006. She additionally notched three 20+ point/5+ assist games, leading all WNBA rookies this season and marking the most such games by a Lynx rookie since Lennox in 2000. Dangerfield was chosen as the WNBA’s Rookie of the Month in August and September, becoming the second Lynx rookie to garner the award twice (Moore, 2011).
“This award means a lot to me, being named this year’s Rookie of the Year,” said Dangerfield. “There’s still work that needs to be done in the Playoffs, but I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates for putting me in the best position to succeed here in Minnesota.”
The University of Connecticut product ended the year by scoring 10+ points in each of her final 18 games, the third-longest rookie double-figure scoring streak in Lynx history (Augustus 24, Candice Wiggins 21). Over the course of those 18 games, she averaged a team-high 17.9 ppg and 2.9 apg while shooting 48.6% (118–for-243) from the field and 94.6% (53–for–56) from the free throw line. For the year, she ranked second in the WNBA in fourth-quarter scoring with 129 points (6.5 per game) on 58.2% shooting.