Mikayla Pivec Needs To Prove There’s More To Her Game At The Next Level

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

Mikayla Pivec: 5’10, G, Oregon State University

College Stats in 2019-20:

32 games, 34.1 MPG, 14.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 50.1 FG%, 36.1 3P%, 72.6 FT%

Where she’ll go: 

Pivec is a safe, late second-round pick. She’ll probably fall in the No. 18-20 range.

The Rundown:

You don’t have to question what you’re going to get from a player like Pivec.

She’s a consistent box-score filler who positively impacts her Beaver team in more ways than one, and her back-to-back All-Pac-12 honors showcase that. Even in Oregon State’s team-first system which doesn’t put the spotlight on one specific player, Pivec still made her presence known in her senior season.

What makes Pivec special is her knack for chasing down rebounds. At 5’10, she has a height advantage over most guards, but it takes more than physical attributes for a guard to average over nine rebounds per game. It’s Pivec’s nonstop effort and unselfishness that wills her to fight for boards and create extra possessions for her team. She became the Beaver’s all-time career leading rebounder after passing former center Ruth Hamblin on March 6.

Her 14.8 points and 4.5 assists per game may not stand out like her rebounding average, but — along with her Pac-12 All-Defensive honor — they solidify the notion that she’s a consistent, versatile player.

The biggest question mark of Pivec’s draft stock is whether or not she can take her game to a new level in the WNBA. Pivec recorded double-digit scoring figures in all but two of her senior-season games but never had a jaw-dropping, standout 30-point game; her career-high 25 points came on Nov. 9, 2019, in Oregon State’s win over UC Irvine.

Her scoring average was impacted by her average 3-point shooting skills. Pivec only attempted 61 3s her senior year (fourth-most on the Beavers’ team) and connected on 22 of those attempts (36.1%). That’s not a career-ending indictment of her game, but it does leave general managers wondering if she would be capable of eventually taking on a larger scoring role in a system that asked her to.

That unknown may be what separates Pivec from being a solid, late first-round selection to being passed up in the first round by a flashier player with more evidenced upside.