Las vegas aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2021 Season Preview: Dearica Hamby

Franchise Sports Media

 

FSM’s Cole Huff continues with our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2021 season with part 6 of his player preview series. This week’s focus is on forward Dearica Hamby.

 

Dearica Hamby Bio:

 

Las Vegas Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Measurements: 6’3; 189 lbs

Age: 27

Position: Forward

Years Pro: 7 

Season Stats: 2020 → 13.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists on 53.9/ 47.4/ 71.6 shooting splits 

Playoff Stats: 2020 → 8.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists on 52.9/ 20.0/ 62.5 shooting splits

 

 

 

CONDENSED RECAP:

 

The 2019 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year followed up her breakout season with an even better one in the 2020 Orlando Wubble. Dearica Hamby’s numbers made leaps across the board as she was awarded a consecutive 6WOY honor. Her season was cut short, however, when she suffered a knee injury during game 3 of the playoffs series against the Connecticut Sun. Hamby has since been signed to a contract extension that will keep her on the books through the 2022 WNBA season.

 

STRENGTHS:

 

Dearica Hamby is arguably the most versatile player on this entire Aces roster. Her job capabilities include: playing backup center, backup power forward, and at times she can slide to the small forward spot — something we saw more often during the 2019 season as her shooting and mobility allowed for her to share the court with the team’s other bigs. The key to this versatility is Hamby’s quality of play, both offensively and defensively. 

 

Synergy Sports graded Hamby as an excellent overall defender during her 25 games played in 2020, and when you go down the list of different play types, her numbers will confirm what you see on the court. Being mainly a forward, she spends most of her defensive possessions as a spot-up defender — playing off of the ball and being a helper. Her basket IQ and understanding of player personnel allow her to execute rotations and then close out successfully to the ball — contesting shots and containing drives. The same words can be echoed when describing her one-on-one defense, where she only surrendered two baskets all season long on eleven shots attempts.

 

Hamby Makes Chart
Photo Credit: WNBA Stats

 

Offensively, Dearica Hamby has many strengths and few weaknesses. Per Synergy Sports, she made 29 field goals in transition, 22 as a spot-up player, 17 out of the post, 17 as the roller, 15 as a cutter, and 10 putbacks from offensive rebounds, with isolation scoring being her only iffy area. Again, I’m going to really stress the word versatile here because it’s got to be the best describer of what makes Hamby great.

As she continues to improve every season, Hamby has turned herself into an efficient scorer too. All 18 of her three-point makes came by way of catch and shoot — making her a reliable pick and pop option or a great floor spacer that allows the dribble drives and pick-and-roll actions to occur. With the Aces hoping to create more three-point volume, Hamby can be utilized in a variety of lineups to help in that area.

 

WEAKNESSES:

 

If there’s something that Hamby could get better at, it’s her taking better care of the ball. Despite playing five fewer games than Jackie Young, who led the team with 54 total turnovers, Dearica Hamby trailed her by just one turnover. Her 2.1 per game led the team in that category, which is uncommon coming from a reserve big. The cause of these giveaways looks to lean heavily toward some bad passing — oftentimes using improper touch while trying to throw high-low passes or having passes deflected while trying to hit cutters. 

 

She’ll need to clean up a few mechanics so that the team can maximize their possessions.

 

POTENTIAL ROLE:

 

Photo Credit: Nice Kicks

With the Aces primed to make another WNBA Finals run, and upgrades made to the roster, the only question one might have about Dearica Hamby is if her usage will be as high. It probably won’t be now that the Aces will have a full complement of players after dealing with injuries and COVID-19 opt-outs during 2020. Yet, Hamby has established herself as one of the team’s valuable pieces while becoming arguably the game’s greatest off-the-bench player.

There’s no reason to doubt that Hamby will succeed once again, barring any substantial injuries. She’ll be joined by Jackie Young and Riquna Williams to deliver another promising season for Vegas’ bench unit.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment of the player preview series where we will be featuring veteran guard Angel McCoughtry.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

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