LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Aces are chasing history and Princeton Community’s own Jackie Young — and her progression on the court — is a vital reason why.
Las Vegas (12-3) currently resides second in the WNBA standings, and sit just a half game behind first-place Seattle.
While the Aces have yet to win a WNBA championship in the franchise’s 23-year history, their unique style of basketball might prove just what’s needed to overcome the hurdle and achieve the feat.
The WNBA, much like the remainder of the basketball community, has seen an uptick in 3-point field goal attempts. Players such as Steph Curry, Elena Delle Donne and others have played a role in revolutionizing the game and stressing extra emphasis on the 3-point shot.
Sure, Curry, Delle Donne and many others have dazzled fans with their incredible prowess behind the arc. They’ve illustrated how a heavy dosage of three-pointers can lead to a championship, but the Aces are proving an old school approach can still be effective, even in today’s ever changing game.
Forwards A’ja Wilson (20.3 ppg) and Angel McCoughtry (14.7 ppg) have led the Aces in their aggressive, downhill approach, with Young (9.3 ppg) serving as a sixth woman off the bench.
Though Young started a plethora of games last season, she’s embraced her new role and has been an exceptional spark for the Aces in their second unit. As a former No. 1 overall pick and second-year player, it’s not always easy buying into a reserve role, but Young has exhibited incredible maturity while sacrificing her numbers for the team’s success. And while Wilson and McCoughtry have been effective 3-point shooters, the Aces attempt a league-low 11.2 3-pointers per game. Rather than settling for jumpers, the Aces have attacked the basket relentlessly, earning 23.8 trips to the charity stripe per game.
Their strategy and sacrifice across the board has been incredibly effective, as the Aces have won 11 of their last 12 contests and continue to streak as the season winds down.
With just seven games remaining in the WNBA’s “bubbled” season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., keep an eye on Young and the Aces.
Las Vegas returns to action on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Mercury (9-7) at 9 p.m., and then on Thursday against the Connecticut Sun (7-9) on Thursday at 7 p.m.