Grace Berger was selected with the 7th overall pick by the Indiana Fever in April’s WNBA Draft.
Since then, she’s mostly seen limited minutes at the professional level with the Fever’s backcourt being a bit crowded and her being a rookie.
Berger is among the greatest players in the history of Indiana women’s basketball, having been on multiple record-setting teams including as the roster’s leader during the Big Ten championship this past season.
She’s clearly a high-level basketball player from her IQ to her work ethic, passing, midrange shooting ability and handles. So, naturally, some Indiana fans are confounded that she hasn’t gotten all that many minutes.
I’m not going to pretend to be a WNBA expert, frankly that’s a league I’m still learning to speak on with more authority, but what I can say is the competition level is drastically different from college.
With less teams, less roster spots and good players being cut on a regular basis, WNBA players have to be absolutely incredible just to have a roster spot in the league. A bit different from the Big Ten.
When Berger has seen the court, she’s impressed. Her experience playing alongside a dominant post in Mackenzie Holmes has proved key to working with fellow rookie Aliyah Boston, who is having one of the best rookie seasons in league history.
Recently, Berger has seen more minutes. She was on the court for 14 against the Dallas Wings, scoring five points with one rebound, 3 assists and a steal, but she had 4 turnovers. It happens, she’s a rookie in an incredibly competitive league.
Then, against the 14-4 superteam New York Liberty, Berger recorded 36 minutes with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and just a single turnover. That’s.... definitely something against one of the best teams in the league!
Mind you, some of those minutes were due to injuries to other members of the Fever’s lineup, but she clearly made the most of the opportunity she was given.
So, with that in mind, should the Fever play Berger more? Probably!
It simply couldn’t hurt, when the team is at RECORD, to play the dynamic guard alongside your historically-dominant rookie post player to help build up some chemistry between the two for the future.
I get the mentality of having Berger sit early in the season, I do, but the all-star break is over. It’s time to see what she can really do.