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Maya Moore Follows Rookie Superstar Rule: "Be Good Early!"

Maya Moore should be happy with her 21 point debut, even though her Minnesota Lynx lost to the Los Angeles Sparks in the home opener in the 2011 season

All and all, six out of eight players who were #1 WNBA Draft picks and who have scored at least 15 points in their rookie debut have won Rookie of the Year. 

The only exceptions, believe it or not, are Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird.  Lauren Jackson lost the ROY to Jackie Stiles in 2001 in an inexplicable decision and Sue Bird lost to Tamika Catchings in 2002 (in a completely explicable decision). Parker had 34 points in her debut and she ended up not only Rookie of the Year by MVP.

Interestingly enough, #1 WNBA Draft Picks who have scored less than 10 points in their debut - Ann Wauters, LaToya Thomas, Janel McCarville - are only regarded as good players at best.  To be great, it seems, you have to be great from Day One.

WNBA Debut Games of #1 WNBA Draft Picks

(players in bold were Rookie of the Year)


1997:  Tina Thompson, 14 points (Comets 76, Rockers 56)
1998:  Margo Dydek, 13 points (Sparks 89, Starzz 83)
1999:  Chamique Holdsclaw, 18 points (Sting 83, Mystics 73)
2000:  Ann Wauters, 1 point (Lynx 73, Rockers 62)
2001:  Lauren Jackson, 21 points (Storm 83, Mercury 70)
2002:  Sue Bird, 18 points (Liberty 78, Storm 61)
2003:  LaToya Thomas, 8 points (Sparks 79, Rockers 71)
2004:  Diana Taurasi, 22 points (Monarchs 72, Mercury 66)
2005:  Janel McCarville, 2 points (Mystics 60, Sting 42)
2006:  Seimone Augustus, 21 points (Sun 81, Lynx 69)
2007:  Lindsey Harding, 12 points (Fever 83, Lynx 64)
2008:  Candace Parker, 34 points (Sparks 99, Mercury 94)
2009:  Angel McCoughtry, 15 points (Dream 87, Fever 86)
2010:  Tina Charles, 17 points (Sun 74, Sky 61)
2011:  Maya Moore, 21 points (Sparks 82, Lynx 74)

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