Andraya Carter on Angel Reese’s transition to WNBA: ‘Rebounding translates’

LSU forward Angel Reese

© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

After LSU’s season ended with an Elite Eight loss to IowaAngel Reese had a decision to make. With one more year of eligibility left, she could return to Baton Rouge for one more go-round, or she could declare for the WNBA Draft even though mock drafts didn’t project her as a lottery pick.

She chose the latter, declaring for the draft two days after Iowa knocked LSU out of the NCAA Tournament. ESPN’s Michael Voepel projected her to go to the Chicago Sky as the No. 8 overall pick in his latest mock ahead of Monday’s draft – three picks outside the top four lottery selections.

Still, Reese could make quite an impact at the next level, according to ESPN’s Andraya Carter. There’s one aspect of her game that stands out the most.

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“I remember I was talking with Chiney [Ogwumike], and Chiney obviously being in the league and coming into the league as a rookie, rebounding translates,” Carter said Thursday on a Zoom call with reporters ahead of the draft. “Rebounding and relentless energy, and playing with that spark. I know so many times this season, I called Angel ‘relentless.’ Angel ‘Relentless’ Reese.”

Reese’s ability to crash the boards made her an instrumental part of the LSU attack over the last two seasons. Her 13.4 boards per game ranked second in the nation as she brought home the SEC’s Player of the Year award in 2023-24.

While the numbers are impressive, there’s another quality about Reese that could help her adjustment to the WNBA. Carter pointed out how much thought she puts in to improving her game, especially in practice. If she can get in a situation with veterans to guide her through her rookie season, Reese could find multiple ways to contribute.

Right away, though, she’ll look to continue her rebounding dominance.

“Spending time watching Angel in practice sometimes, Angel’s a thinker,” Carter said. “She likes to think the game, she likes to learn the game. I actually think she would do really well learning from veterans and listening and doing whatever the team needed.

“But I think the rebounding immediately would be something that would translate. The rebounding and energy, for Angel.”

The 2024 WNBA Draft gets underway Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Reese is one of the players in attendance for what’s shaping up to be the most anticipated draft in league history.