WNBA Awards & Player Rankings: Angel McCoughtry, Sophia Young, Tina Charles, Candace Parker Win Performance Honors

Jun 28, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young (33) puts up a shot against Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) during the second half at the AT&T Center. The Silver Stars won 91-71. Photo by Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

The WNBA announced its Player of the Week and Player of the Month awards in addition to the Rookie of the Month award earlier today.

After the jump, we have a quick rundown of those awards as well as National Sports' Rankings WNBA player rankings for the season divided up into hypothetical All-Star teams.

WNBA Player Awards announced on July 2, 2012:

National Sports Player Rankings as of June 30, 2012

Ed Bemiss passed on his updated WNBA player rankings with his choices for 2012 WNBA All-Stars.

Unfortunately, the WNBA won't be having an All-Star game this season due to the Olympics, so Bemiss sent along his choices for All-Stars based on his player ratings. He made his choices as follows:

I've also put a list of all star teams according to my rankings. I took the top ranked player from each team, then I took the next 6 highest ranked players to fill a team of 12. In the Western Conference Minnesota ends up with 5 players on the team...As you know the rankings change daily and week to week based on player and team performance so next week we may have a slightly different combination of players on each team.

The teams he came up with are listed below with some brief comments on that and the Rookie of the Year race from me.

East

Rating
Player Name
Team
93.16
Tamika Catchings
Indiana Fever
92.18
Angel McCoughtry
Atlanta Dream
91.48
Sylvia Fowles
Chicago Sky
90.68
Epiphanny Prince
Chicago Sky
89.85
Sancho Lyttle
Atlanta Dream
89.54
Tina Charles
Connecticut Sun
88.88
Cappie Pondexter
New York Liberty
87.01
Katie Douglas
Indiana Fever
85.11
Kara Lawson
Connecticut Sun
85.01
Crystal Langhorne
Washington Mystics
84.51
Lindsey Harding
Atlanta Dream
84.09
Leilani Mitchell
New York Liberty

Perhaps selecting Leilani Mitchell over the likes of 2012 Olympian Asjha Jones (83.75) would be a bit of a surprise to some - and she narrowly edges Atlanta Dream wing Armintie Price (84.08) - but by Bemiss' rating system seems to "like" the fact that she leads her team in steals and 3-pointers made (25) at a 40.3% clip.

In any event, if there was an All-Star game this year, Sky guard Epiphanny Prince would probably need an injury replacement and one of those two would probably be considered.

As an interesting side note, the highest rated Eastern Conference rookie right now is undrafted Atlanta Dream post Aneika Henry.

West

Rating
Player Name
Team
90.29
Sophia Young
San Antonio Silver Stars
90.25
Candace Parker
Los Angeles Sparks
89.99
DeWanna Bonner
Phoenix Mercury
89.17
Taj McWilliams-Franklin
Minnesota Lynx
88.17
Rebekkah Brunson
Minnesota Lynx
87.76
Maya Moore
Minnesota Lynx
87.75
Seimone Augustus
Minnesota Lynx
87.04
Sue Bird
Seattle Storm
86.60
Nneka Ogwumike
Los Angeles Sparks
85.94
Tanisha Wright
Seattle Storm
85.26
Lindsay Whalen
Minnesota Lynx
83.60
Temeka Johnson
Tulsa Shock

NSR's Ed Bemiss points out that Lindsay Whalen narrowly edged out Samantha Prahalis of the Phoenix Mercury (84.96) and Kristi Toliver of the L.A. Sparks (84.75). But Becky Hammon (81.02) might be the notable omission from Bemiss' All-Star teams. As of today, Hammon leads the league with 6 assists per game, ranks fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (50%), and is also shooting 46.5% from the field, which is a career-high for her as a full-time starter.

Bemiss offered some statistical insight in a follow-up about what Hammon didn't make his All-Star team:

Yes she leads the league in assists, however she also averages 4 turnovers a game. (more than twice as many as any other teammate) If you look back at previous years that she may not be ranked high that's probably a good reason why as well. If you look at her teammate Danielle Robinson she averages 4.3 assists but only 1.5 turnovers a game. She's a better "play-maker" than Hammon.

Hammon also doesn't rebound, steal or block well statistically (box score stats) Those factors that are very important in my rankings. She'd have to average a handful more points, and 3-4 more assists a game to push her rating up significantly.

When she has done well in years past, with my rankings, she's had more steals and rebounds and less turnovers.

I've tried to create this ranking system to help identify well rounded players, not just players that excelled at 1 offensive category. In Hammon's case assists.

Remember I use each players stats as they compare to their own team's stats first, then I add their overall team rating. Meaning if a player like Hammon has low pct's in multiple categories, with her own team totals, she has no chance at a high ranking.

Temeka Johnson edged out all of them as the top-ranked performer on the Shock, but clearly there's room for debate on that point. But how many people would have Tanisha Wright ahead of the aforementioned three players (Hammon, Prahalis, or Toliver)? Wright ranks 10th in the WNBA in both assists (3.9) and steals (team-high 1.6), which certainly helps her in Bemiss' framework.

Another interesting point about Prahalis' rating is that she's not that far behind Nneka Ogwumike, who is the top-ranked rookie, and will probably has a better argument for Rookie of the Year than people have typically assumed given how the season started. In addition to Prahalis currently ranking third in assists per game (5.2) and second in free-throw percentage (90%) she also ranks seventh in the league in steals (1.8).

Ogwumike has to be considered the front runner for ROY, but Prahalis is certainly making it more of a race than people thought it would be.

For the full list of this year's current WNBA player ratings - as well as NSR players ratings dating all the way back to 1997 - check out Ed Bemiss' WNBA Player Rankings page.

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