Las vegas aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2022 Preview: Guards

Franchise Sports Media

 

FSM’s Cole Huff kicks off our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2022 season with his player preview series. This in-depth roster rundown begins with a look at the players in the guard position.

 

 

SYDNEY COLSON:

 

Sydney Colson - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

BIO:

Age: 32

Measurements: 5’8”, 140lbs

Years Pro: 7

Season Stats: 2021 → N/A

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → N/A

2021 SEASON RECAP:

The Texas A&M guard did not play in the WNBA during the 2021 season.

STRENGTHS:

Colson is a solid defender. Her speed and quickness enable her to be an excellent point-of-attack defender while excelling at navigating ball screens. She can poke basketballs loose as she slides her feet and hounds ball-handlers, but a lot of her Aces‘ team-high 31 steals during the 2019 regular season came from intercepting and deflecting passes as a help defender. She’s also very active and sharp in her rotations.

WEAKNESSES:

At only 5’8”, 140lbs, Colson can occasionally be the smallest player on the court. Being switched onto bigger players could potentially lead to offensive rebounds given up, baskets allowed in the paint, etc. Yet, with Colson‘s skills, that doesn’t happen often.

POTENTIAL ROLE:

Expectations are that Colson will battle with Destiny Slocum for the third-string point guard role behind Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum. More minutes could become available depending on how head coach Becky Hammon positions Plum, Gray, Jackie Young, and Riquna Williams in the lineup. Nevertheless, Colson will play a similar role to the one she did in 2019 — an energetic defender who can keep the offense in sync during her stints.

 

DESTINY SLOCUM:

 

Destiny Slocum - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

BIO:

Age: 24

Measurements: 5’7”, 157 lbs

Years Pro: 1

Season Stats: 2021 → 1.0 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.6 assists on 31.8/ 33.3/ 60.0 shooting splits

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → 0.7 points, 0.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists on 50.0/ 0.0/ 0.0 shooting splits

2021 SEASON RECAP:

Destiny Slocum’s rookie season was mostly spent observing from the sidelines. She appeared in the ’21 regular-season games (mostly in garbage time) and played fine. Unfortunately, the Aces, a championship roster from the start, rarely presented any valuable playing time opportunities for the young rookie.

STRENGTHS:

Slocum’s biggest strength is her three-point shot. Her rookie season numbers don’t reflect her abilities (33.3 percent from three), but the sample size was small enough to ignore. She has a smooth form, and factoring that 15 of her 22 total shots in the regular season came from beyond the arc shows where she feels most comfortable in her game.

WEAKNESSES:

Given how little she played, it’s hard to pinpoint any definite weaknesses in Slocum’s game. However, the eye test shows that she could get more involved in the paint. Whether attacking downhill and finding shooters or simply creating opportunities for herself, a jump from Slocum in that area could give her a chance to see the court more in 2022.

POTENTIAL ROLE:

She’ll have to compete for minutes once again. Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray will play almost all of the point guard minutes, while Riquna Williams and Jackie Young mostly play the other guard or wing position. Slocum will also have to compete for occasional minutes with Sydney Colson.

 

KELSEY PLUM:

 

Kelsey Plum - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

BIO:

Age: 27

Measurements: 5’8”, 145 lbs

Years Pro: 4 (Kelsey Plum missed the 2020 WNBA season due to a torn Achilles tendon)

Season Stats: 2021 → 14.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists on 43.7/ 38.6/ 94.4 shooting splits

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → 19.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists on 47.1/ 38.7/ 90.9 shooting splits

2021 SEASON RECAP:

Whatever concerns anyone may have had about how Plum would return from her torn Achilles, those were quickly dismissed in 2021. Season No. 4 proved to be her best yet. She left the Aces just weeks into the season for the Women’s 3×3 qualifier in Austria and returned to the W, transformed into an even better player. Plum became one of the better second-half scorers in the league, and her efforts in helping the Aces win games led to her 2022 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year award.

STRENGTHS:

Kelsey Plum is an all-around hooper. She can score in any way. Mid-range? Check, check, and CHECK. Plum has shown herself to be one of the most gifted scorers in the league.

WEAKNESSES:

At the beginning of last season, teams seemed to be taking advantage of Plum being schemed and switched onto bigger post players. It seemed like the double was always too late, or the cross-switch wouldn’t happen fast enough, thus putting the Aces’ defense at a disadvantage. When you have a 5’8” guard on the court, those types of plays are bound to happen. Hopefully, coach Hammon’s coaching will help eliminate such things.

POTENTIAL ROLE:

 I think Plum will be back in a 6WOY role for Vegas, but that’s not set in stone. She was such a game-changer offensively for the team last season that her production could be helpful to begin games. Either way, she’ll play close to 30 minutes per night and likely have a similarly-productive year to a season ago.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Las Vegas Aces 2022 Season Preview series when we look at Chelsea Gray, Riquna Williams, and Jackie Young.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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