Kiah Gillespie’s Shooting Could Be The X-Factor Of Her Pro Career

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

Kiah Gillespie: 6’2, F, Florida State University

College Stats in 2019-20:

32 games, 33.8 MPG, 15.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 45.1 FG%, 30.3 3P%, 70.7 FT%

Where she’ll go:

At best, I see Gillespie being taken No. 8 overall, but I don’t see her slipping to the second round of the draft.

The Rundown:

Gillespie has already been through the ringer, but patience has paid off for her so far in her basketball career.

Gillespie began her college run with the Maryland Terrapins and averaged 17.3 points on 22-for-36 shooting and 21.3 minutes per game in her first three collegiate games but ended up only averaging 10.9 minutes per game over the course of the season. That average dropped to 9.0 minutes per game in her sophomore season.

Feeling out of place with the Terrapins, Gillespie decided to sit out of the 2017-18 season in order to transfer to Florida State University where she quickly became a leader for the Seminoles after leading her new team in points (16.2) and rebounds (9.3) per game in the 2018-19 season.

Gillespie once again led both categories for the Seminoles this past season and proved to be a competent distributor when she recorded 10 assists in her triple-double performance against Michigan. Her 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists made her just the third Seminole to ever record a triple-double.

If you haven’t picked up on her well-rounded play, here’s some more evidence. Her 30.3% 3-point shooting percentage isn’t out of this world, but her outside shooting may give her an edge over fellow forwards who may slip to the second round of the draft. Gillespie isn’t much of a catch-and-shoot outside shooter, but when she has time to get her feet set, she’s lights out. She’ll probably get some good looks from outside at the start of her WNBA career, but it’ll be interesting to see how she improves her release time once she’s added to opposing teams’ scouting reports.

Gillespie was also a threat in the paint in college where she used a wide variety of post moves to make up for her lack of physicality. That probably won’t be a successful tradeoff in the highly-physical WNBA, so again, it’ll be interesting to see how and if Gillespie is able to take her game to the next level. She might be granted more time and patience to do so if she lands on a young, rebuilding team such as the Dallas Wings, who own the first round’s second, fifth, seventh and ninth picks.