A few months ago, Nia Coffey was draft as the No. 5 overall pick in the WNBA Draft. The WNBA season started in June and just reached the halfway point, so we thought it would be good to give everyone a brief update on Nia Coffey’s rookie season.
Through 17 games, Coffey has not gotten much playing time for the 1-17 San Antonio Stars. She’s averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 7.8 minutes per game. After she surprisingly got a start early in the season, she’s been relegated to a supporting role thus far.
This doesn’t make too much sense, as the San Antonio Stars are rebuilding around her and Kelsey Plum and are not a good basketball team. You’d figure this is the perfect time to allow Coffey to refine her game on a developing roster, but apparently not. The biggest problem is that Coffey started the season 2-for-22 from the field. At Northwestern, this would be just a regular cold streak, but at the professional level, this has kept Coffey from playing any consistent minutes.
The good news is that Coffey has started to turn it around in the past two games. She set a career-high in minutes with 18 against the Connecticut Sky, and then scored 7 points in 12 minutes against the Phoenix Mercury. She’s also grabbed 9 boards across those two games. San Antonio lost both games in blowouts, predictably.
Kelsey Plum, the other key part of the San Antonio Stars 2017 WNBA Draft class, has a 31.5 eFG% and a -19.4 net rating (Coffey’s net rating is -14.0, by the way). She’s getting over 20 minutes a game, usually, and she also suffered from missing a couple games early with an injury. Neither of the rookies have really been that good, but the rest of the team isn’t very good either.
As a Northwestern fan, I think the Stars should give Coffey a shot at more minutes...maybe around 10 per game. As an occasional basketball pundit who is usually incorrect, I think a 1-16 team can afford to start playing its young players against tough competition just to prove the team has a future, rather than burying them on the bench. Hopefully, Coffey’s improved play over the past two games will lead to more playing time for the tanking Stars.
Um, trust the process, I guess.