Photo by USA Today Sports.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Sparks announced the signing of 5'10" guard Paola Ferrari of Paraguay and the re-signing of Australian guard Jenna O'Hea. Today, we look at what Jenna O'Hea might offer the team over the course of a full season. For more details on each player, visit the L.A. Sparks release at their website.
Last season when Jenna O'Hea returned to the Los Angeles Sparks from the Olympics, I wrote that she could help in two ways: 3-point shooting and having an alternate distributor on the wing.
O'Hea was an efficient passer compared to others at her position, hit 44% of her 3-point attempts, and was one of the most efficient scorers in the league with a true shooting percentage of 59%. If she matches anything close to that and can fill in some of the minutes currently used by less efficient scorers, this team will unquestionably get better.
O'Hea gives Sparks coach Carol Ross a number of lineup options, with the possibility of spreading the floor a bit more effectively by playing three 40%+ 3-point shooters (Beard, O'Hea, Toliver) around a post threat. There's also the distinct possibility that distributing playmaking touches makes the team an a more efficient ball handling team.
That's pretty much exactly what she ended up giving L.A.
O'Hea finished the season with an outstanding true shooting percentage, helped considerably by a 50% 3-point percentage. As a distributor, she had a similarly outstanding pure point rating of 3.24, a team-high that reflects both a low turnover ratio and an assist ratio that most point guards don't reach (31.94%). Throw in solid rebounding numbers for a wing player and you have an extremely well rounded player, who improved quite a bit on her rookie season.
The "problem" probably jumps out at you is in the games and usage columns: O'Hea only played 18 minutes per game in 8 games and had a usage rate that essentially represents a player that wasn't heavily involved in a team's offense.
So the question for O'Hea - and the Sparks as a unit - is what O'Hea can offer over the course of a full season and, maybe, if she gets more shots as a court spacer this season. Even if she "regresses" back to what she did in her 2011 season, she'll certainly be a positive "addition" to the team over a full season.
For more details on each player, visit the L.A. Sparks release at their website.