This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Lynx front office.
Bella Alarie: 6’4, F, Princeton
College Stats in 2019-20:
23 games, 17.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.2 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 47.4 FG%, 35.6 3P%, 74.4 FT%
Where she’ll go:
Alarie will likely be a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Alarie played her college ball at Princeton. That’s not exactly a hot bed for college basketball, but that doesn’t take away from some of the things Alarie can do on the court.
First off, this is a player who has a flair to her game offensively that should fit in the WNBA. She can shoot from deep and at the very least, should be able to do that at the next level.
At 6’4, she has the ability to handle the ball as well, which is rare. That could create some matchup problems for opposing bigs who might not be as willing to guard her on the perimeter. While she could struggle defensively, she’d also create some mismatches offensively at either the 3 or 4.
The question is the level of competition. The Ivy League doesn’t has some of the same competition as other conferences in the NCAA, but she did play games against Penn State and Iowa earlier in the season and scored 23 and 26 points in those games, respectively. Maybe we shouldn’t be concerned, but she’ll need to prove she can do that against the best players in the world night after night.
Alarie is the type of player you could see going at the end of the first round and filling a role instantly for an already-good team. She could struggle, like most rookies do, if she’s depended on too much too early, though.
As far as the Lynx are concerned, a combo forward like Alarie would be nice for any team, but her role might be overshadowed by the talents of Napheesa Collier and Damiris Dantas.
If you recognize the Alarie name, that’s because her dad, Mark, played at Duke and was a two-time All-ACC First Team Selection. He was a first-round pick in 1986 by the Nuggets and played five seasons in the league, averaging 7.5 points per game.