What's the best way to slow down an uptempo game team? Make shots and get back on defense quickly.
The Utah Utes' scorching hot first half shooting did exactly that to the Arizona Wildcats in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament today, avenging a pair of regular season losses with a 66-48 win today. It's the kind of thing you simply can't account for and it forced the Wildcats to try to dig their way out of a hole for the entire game.
Perhaps more on that game later, but the game also marked the end of four-time All-Pac-12 guard Davellyn Whyte's career at Arizona. Throughout the game the commentators discussed whether she was ready for the WNBA and with her athleticism and scoring ability she'll probably be getting a look in the 2013 WNBA draft.
But what are her chances of making it?
As a point guard, Whyte's turnover ratio of nearly 20% in conference play makes her an inefficient point guard even among her Pac-12 peers (-4.24 pure point rating in conference play this year, nearly identical to what it was in non-conference play). Part of her inefficiency as a distributor is certainly that her team relies on her so heavily for scoring - her usage rate of 27.77% is the mark of someone who is both able to create shots for her team and asked to do so often.
However, while Whyte's ability to create her own shot has been outstanding throughout her career, her ability to make those shots has been somewhat less noteworthy: her 2-point percentage of right around 43% this season is low compared to other successful perimeter prospects over the last few years. Yet if you're still looking for positive signs, her scoring performance in conference play this season has actually been quite encouraging.
Davellyn Whyte's 2-point percentage from 2011-13.
That at least suggests improvement and making that sort of leap in conference play - in a tougher than usual conference where everybody is familiar with her game - is actually quite impressive. But is it impressive enough to overcome the track record of other players with low 2-point percentages? That remains to be seen, but volume shooting point guards who have made it in the past are typically more efficient - Whyte probably projects as more of a scoring guard than a point guard based on the numbers.