Las vegas aces
Photo Credit: Swish Appeal

FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2021 Season Preview: Riquna Williams

Franchise Sports Media

 

FSM’s Cole Huff continues with our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2021 season with part 3 of his player preview series. This week’s focus is on guard Riquna Williams.

 

 

Riquna Williams Bio:

 

Measurements: 5’7; 165 lbs

Age: 30

Position: Guard

Years Pro: 10 (Riquna missed the 2016 season with a ruptured Achilles, making this upcoming season her 9th played)

Season Stats: 2020 → 10.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists on 43.5/ 42.2/ 88.9 shooting splits

Playoff Stats: 2020 → 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists on 25.0/ 0.0/ 0.0 shooting splits

 

CONDENSED RECAP:

 

Riquna Williams is one of the Las Vegas Aces’ latest free-agent additions ahead of the 2021 WNBA season. She spent her final season in Los Angeles as a reserve guard who brought immediate scoring and shooting off of the bench, which she has done throughout her career. 

 

STRENGTHS:

 

Riquna Williams
Photo Credit: WNBA

There aren’t many as deserving of the “walking basket” title as RiqunaBay BayWilliams. No matter the team, opponent, or location, she’s going to put the ball in the basket. What makes Williams different from a lot of the game’s great shooters is the variety of ways she gets it done.

Spot-Up: 102 of Williams’ 186 field goal attempts came by way of the three-point line, where she converted on a career-high 42.2 percent of her looks. She is an absolute sniper when her feet are set and she’s ready to catch and shoot, as nearly all 43 of her makes were assisted (41). Also worth noting, Williams made 20/35 (57.1 percent) on unguarded jumpers this past season, grading out as an “excellent” catch and shoot threat according to synergysportstech.com.

Off-the-Dribble: Williams also has some juice when it comes to creating shots off the dribble. She can put the ball on the floor a few times and hit defenders with crossovers and stepbacks, making them look silly at times. And her ability to make contested shots has made her even more valuable in the half-court when defenses are dialed in and able to execute their gameplans.

Elite Flammability: We’re almost eight years removed from the historic 51-point performance that Riquna Williams dropped on the heads of the San Antonio Stars, and she is still liable to catch fire on any given day. Just last season, Williams topped the 20 point mark three times and scored in double figures in 12 of the 21 regular-season games. She also made at least 3 three-pointers in seven games, including a 7/12 outing against the Indiana Fever.

 

WEAKNESSES:

 

Riquna Williams
Photo Credit: Miami Hurricanes WBB

What makes Williams good is what also keeps her from being great — her streakiness. She runs hot and cold — usually hot, but her impact on games largely depends on her shot-making. Since leaving Tulsa for L.A., Williams has limited herself to being mainly a three-point shooter. She fell to just 0.8 free-throw attempts per game last season after averaging as many as 5.5 earlier in her career. Her ratio of two-point attempts to three-point attempts has tilted heavily in favor of the long-ball.

4 seasons in Tulsa → 701:424 

4 seasons in L.A. → 325:442

To be fair, part of the reason for the lack of free-throws and two-point shots could be because of the ruptured Achilles that she sustained ahead of her first season as a Spark, which would understandably cause some physical and mental discomfort in playing closer to the basket.

 

POTENTIAL ROLE:

 

Riquna Williams
Photo Credit: WNBA

It’s no secret that the Aces need help when it comes to perimeter shooting. They’ve ranked dead last in the league for consecutive seasons in three-point makes and attempts per game. With the departure of guard Kayla McBride, the team will be even more in need of floor spacing.

This is where Williams can slot in — her shooting capabilities should be enough to put the defense in a bind. Opponents will have to choose wisely; staying attached to Williams on the perimeter will leave more room for the Aces’ elite inside scorers, Aja Wilson, and Liz Cambage, to operate, while catering extra defenders to them will free up Williams behind the line. Whichever action is deployed, both the Aces and Williams will benefit.

More importantly, she’ll be sharing the court again with veteran guard Chelsea Gray, who set up Williams for many baskets over their four seasons together in L.A. Williams will serve as an exceptional addition to an already stacked Aces bench unit that features the 2-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, Dearica Hamby.

 

 

At the end of the day, Williams chose Vegas, which leads me to believe she’s going to be gifted an opportunity to play a larger role on this team than she did for her previous employer.    

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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