The Minnesota Lynx are in good hands with Kayla McBride, whose career-long modeling of consistency (and bouncing back well), leadership and two-way intensity puts on display key core attributes winning teams have. While playing the EuroLeague and Turkish League this winter for Fenerbahçe, Lynx overseas player of the week McBride has mixed the same winning blend of fiery passion, steady hand, and deadly perimeter shooting that Lynx fans have become accustomed to this.
(Note: For a look at each player’s individual game log and per game averages, click here.)
Fenerbahçe — EuroLeague/Turkish League — Istanbul, Turkey
Game 1 - 71-59 loss vs Uni Girona (EuroLeague)
McBride struggled in this one. The three-team All-Star shored 12 points on an uncharacteristic 4/12 shooting night, that included 1/6 from 3, in a tough 12-point loss to a Girona squad that Fenerbahçe will battle with all season long in Group B of the EuroLeague. McBride also added six rebounds, an assist, a steal and one turnover. Even on one of her off-nights offensively, K-Mac was a team-best -1 in 31:28 of play thanks to her effort on the defensive end of the floor.
Game 2 - 82-75 win vs OGM Ormanspoor (Turkish League)
As I alluded to in the opening, McBuckets is a tough customer and she came back like she does nearly every time she’s knocked down —swinging.
The Notre Dame alumna was aggressive in looking for her shot. She poured in a season-high 25 points on 5/10 from deep and 4/4 from the charity stripe — a much more Kayla McBride-like split — to go along with six rebounds, an assist, and a season-high three steals. That line wouldn’t be complete without adding she was a +25 in 37 minutes of play, both team highs.
- 18.0 points on 42.9/100.0/39.5 shooting percentages and 14.0/3.0/7.6 attempts
- 5.0 rebounds
- 2.4 assists, 1.4 turnovers
- 1.4 steals, 0.0 blocks
- 2.8 fouls
- +12.5 (missing +/- from Game 2 this week) in 32.8 minutes
- Saturday, 10/30 - vs Galatasaray at 8:30 AM CT (Turkish League)
Dinamo Sassari — Italy Serie A1/EuroCup — Sassari, Italy (Sardinia)
Shepard came back down to Earth a bit this week after two weeks of incredible scoring and rebounding outputs, but it is encouraging to see her continue to work on her 3-point shot. Adding a 3-point shot to her arsenal would make her a more dynamic threat on offense and nicely complement her perimeter high-low passing skills.
Game 1 - 82-64 loss vs Tenerfie (EuroCup)
Shepard connected on 9/22 shots, including 1/6 from 3 and 4/6 on free throws, en route to a 23-point scoring night with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two turnovers to match. The former Notre Dame stand-out was -18 in 40 minutes of action.
Game 2 - 94-59 loss vs Campobasso
In her second game of the week, Shepard was more efficient and made a bigger impact on the glass. She scored 22 points on 9/19 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in a blowout loss.
Over the next few weeks, I’d like to see Shepard continue to work on her 3-point shot, no matter the results. Her shooting those shots isn’t the difference in her team winning and losing games, and that skill would perhaps be the best possible weapon she could ad to her game. She worked on shooting after nearly every practice with Lynx assistant coach Rebekkah Brunson and with how much work she has put in, it’s hard not to root for her to see the ball go through the net.
Other encouraging parts of Shepard’s performance overseas is that both her turnovers and fouls are down from last week. The turnovers are certainly understandable as she hasn’t been a primary scoring option in the WNBA, but a decrease in them this quickly after being thrown into the fire is a great start.
- 26.2 points on 48.2/68.8/14.3 shooting percentages and 22.0/9.6/2.8 attempts
- 15.2 rebounds
- 2.4 assists, 3.6 turnovers
- 1.4 steals, 0.2 blocks
- 0.8 fouls
- -5.7 in 37.4 minutes
- Thursday, 10/28 - vs Bourges at 1:30 PM CT (EuroCup)
- Saturday, 10/30 - vs Passalacqua Ragusa at 1:30 PM CT (Serie A1)
A.S. Ramat HaSharon — Israeli D1/EuroBasket — Ramat HaSharon, Israel
Carleton has played just once since our last update, but it was a good outing in a tight game.
Game 1 - 74-73 loss vs Hapoel Rishon Lezion (Israeli D1)
Carleton put a ton of pressure on the rim in what was an up-and-down game, but a good showing for the Iowa State alumna. The Chatham, Ontario native scored 20 points on 5/13 shooting and 10/11 from the free throw line, which is nearly double her WNBA career high for free throw attempts in a game (six, on 9/4/20 at Dallas). Carleton added four rebounds, one assists, one steal, one block and four turnovers. She was a +3 in 35 minutes.
- 16.5 points on 45.0/85.7/33.3 shooting percentages and 10.0/7.0/1.5 attempts
- 8.0 rebounds
- 2.0 assists, 4.0 turnovers
- 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks
- +6.5 in 36.5 minutes
- Sunday, 10/31 - vs Elitizur Ramia at 12 PM CT (Israeli D1)
That’s a wrap for Vol. 3! Catch you next week for another update.