Mikiah Herbert Harrigan may not have been the prospect who made the most noise in the weeks leading up to the 2020 WNBA Draft, but the Lynx believe they can form a promising partnership with their defensive-minded, first-round draft pick.
The Lynx selected former South Carolina Gamecock 6’2” forward Herbert Harrigan, also known as “Kiki,” with the sixth overall pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft on Friday, April 17 — a selection that welcomes another winner to the acclaimed franchise.
“I don’t know if I could find a better fit for our staff,” Reeve said Friday night. “We knew it would be a surprising pick to some people. It probably was a little higher than what she was slated, but when you looked at the depth chart of the draft and where we felt we needed to go, we knew that Kiki was probably going to be somebody that we were seriously considering.”
Herbert Harrigan and the Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks recorded a 117-22 record during her four years in South Carolina, earned three SEC titles and was a large part of the Gamecocks’ 2019-20 success which led them to a nation-best 32-1 record.
As a senior, Herbert Harrigan averaged a career-high 13.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. She started in all 33 of the Gamecocks’ 2019-20 games and averaged 26.1 minutes per game while shooting 50.6% from the field and 83.5% from the free-throw line. Herbert Harrigan only attempted 46 3-pointers this past season but connected on 43.5% of those attempts. The Lynx will gladly welcome a forward with a willingness to stretch their game and pop an occasional 3 into the mix.
Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve shared she feels comfortable with the offensive capabilities of her current roster but said, “Defensively, we’ve got our work cut out for us,” in Tuesday’s Zoom conference call with members of the local media.
Herbert Harrigan may be able to help in that area.
Herbert Harrigan racked up 210 career blocks in her four years with the Gamecocks, 58 of which she recorded as a senior. She’s averaged over 1.0 blocks per game all four years of her college career, but it’s not as if Herbert Harrigan is an undisciplined defender swatting at everything that comes her way. Her high basketball intuition and quick feet allowed her to average 1.8 blocks and just 1.6 fouls per game as a senior.
Pair that with Sylvia Fowles and you’re in business. In fact, Fowles and Herbert Harrigan have already built some history.
The former Gamecock played for Fowles’ AAU team in Miami.
“I like the mentorship that we’re going to be able to provide her,” Reeve said, “and we’re going to be able to accelerate the growth process.
“I told her if she just listens, we’re going to show her the way.”
Herbert Harrigan stepped up for the Gamecocks after former South Carolina star forward A’ja Wilson (ever heard of her?) left for the WNBA in 2018 and preserved some of the same leadership qualities Wilson possessed. She’s a vocal leader who can raise her team’s momentum in a quick team huddle or by denying an opponent’s shot.
Most of Herbert Harrigan’s blocks are followed by electrified roars, which will be welcomed in Target Center.
“She’s got some great intangibles: her competitive fire, her passion for the way that she plays,” Reeve said. “If she can marry that with learning some of the things our great staff can teach her, and pairing with Sylvia Fowles, she could have a decent career.”
Herbert Harrigan may not have been the most popular name in the weeks leading up to the draft, but her defensive expertise and confidence in her outside shot have the potential to mend some of the holes in the Lynx’s current roster.
This story will be updated throughout Friday evening.