Joyner Holmes Has Proven She Can Come Back, But Can She Arrive In The WNBA?

This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Lynx front office.

Joyner Holmes: 6’3, F, University of Texas at Austin

College Stats in 2019-20:

30 games, 29.5 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 41.1 FG%, 18.2 3P%, 62.2 FT%

Where she’ll go:

Holmes will probably be an early second-round selection.

The Rundown:

Longhorn fans didn’t have much to celebrate in their team’s average 19-11 season — aside from Holmes’ swan song season.

Holmes recorded career-high in points, rebounds and assists per game in her final season with the Longhorns and was undoubtedly her team’s best player.

Holmes has the upper body strength of a player such as Karima Christmas-Kelly and uses said strength to pose a threat in the interior where she dominates on the boards and can post up against any defender.

But don’t be fooled by her size. Holmes can still fly by defenders on coast-to-coast takes, and her handle sets her apart from other forwards looking to make their mark on the WNBA.

But Holmes’ most glaring weakness is her outside shooting. Holmes only attempted 86 3-pointers in her four-year career with the Longhorns and connected on just 17 of those attempts, giving her a career 3P% of 19.8%. As a senior, she went 6-for-33 from beyond the arc, closing her senior campaign with an 18.2% 3P%. Her lack of an outside shot could be what keeps her from moving up on the draft board.

Holmes also faced a major setback after her impressive freshman season when she was suspended from the University of Texas the summer before her sophomore year for committing a University violation. Holmes was sent home for the following fall semester and wasn’t able to compete with her team until she returned in January.

Holmes struggled to get back into a rhythm in her team’s final 25 games of the season but committed herself to getting back to the player she was in the offseason. However, Holmes faced more adversity when she broke her ankle just weeks before the start of her junior season. She missed the Longhorns’ first eight games and was limited to a 25-game season the second year in a row.

You can interpret Holmes’ prior setbacks as reasons for concern, or you can choose to focus on her ability to come back from past obstacles and put together the best season of her career. We’ll soon find out what interpretation WNBA teams are going with.