Can Hailey Van Lith Help Angel Reese and Co Make History Just Like Alysha Clark Did for the Aces?

Published 10/26/2023, 6:38 AM EDT

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The LSU Lady Tigers’ point guard Alexis Morris was drafted by the Connecticut Sun during the second round of the WNBA 2023 draft. In addition to Morris, LaDazhia Williams and Jasmine Carson too declared for the draft.

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It was under these circumstances, that the Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith took a transfer to the LSU under their head coach Kim Mulkey.

How is Hailey Van Lith’s game?

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Van Lith is quite popular for her scoring mentality rather than for assists. While Reese is already making headlines for her smooth passes, it is Van Lith who is the one to aim for the hoops. However, during the absence of Morris, Van Lith can also get an opportunity to play the conventional point guard. This will help her hone her skills. And it also remains to be seen if Mulkey will help the 22-year-old become a playmaker so that she contributes with her assists just like the head coach used to do during her college career.

However, some critics opine that Van Lith would do better in the capacity of a 2 guard as her turnover average has increased from 1.7 points per contest to 3.7 in her three years with the Louisville. Overall, Van Lith’s scoring stats increased from a decent 11.2 to a staggering 19.7 for the time she played with her previous college. This is a testament to the fact that Van Lith is more of a shooter.

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Although, the LSU had set up a record for the women’s college basketball game by the pocketing 102 points during the NCAA Championship Finale against the Iowa Hawkeyes, the team is known for their defensive tactics more than their offensive practice.

However, with Van Lith’s addition the game can change as a whole if Mulkey has the intention to utilize Van Lith’s strong points. This in turn will take some pressure off Reese and also help the team during clutch moments as Van Lith strives under pressure.

The Washington-born had saved her team from a humiliating loss against the Drake Bulldogs in last year’s NCAA season. And hopefully she can replicate the same and fill Morris’s shoes.

Van Lith’s game has to be similar to the Las Vegas Aces small forward Alysha Clark if the former wants to help her team clinch back-to-back titles.

How did Alysha Clark help the Las Vegas Aces?

Alysha Clark is a well-rounded player who is hailed for her defensive abilities as well as her three-pointers. With her 5’ 11” towering personality, Clark has been able to guard against big players like – Breanna Stewart and Rebecca Allen among others. In addition to her defense, the 3x WNBA Champion has a quick shooting stroke and incredible knock down threes. 38.6% of her points have come from three-pointers.

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For the unversed, Clark’s game underwent a major change when she was transferred to Middle Tennessee State from Belmont. Back then, there was no one-time transfer rule, so Clark had to be off-court for almost a year and during this period she transformed her game. She previously used to ply her trade as a post-player.

Overall, Clark basketed 6.7 points per contest with 3.4 rebounds per game and a turnover average of 0.7 during the 2023 WNBA season. If Van Lith can up her defensive game just like Clark, then she can be the link the LSU are looking for after Morris’s exit.

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Watch This Story: Ahead of Archrival Caitlin Clark and $110,000,000 Worth Out-of-Favor NBA Star, Angel Reese Rules High Among the Biggest College Stars

Plus, it would be the cherry on the cake, if Van Lith can also modify her playing style and give more passes to take off pressure from Reese, for the LSU to clinch another title.

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Written by:

Ritvan Pande

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Ritvan is a NBA content writer at EssentiallySports whose heart swells up whenever insider anecdotes related to the sport come to light. With over 2 years of professional writing experience, Ritvan focuses on providing an in-depth analysis of the games. The legendary trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman mesmerized him and he has been a Chicago Bulls fan ever since.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor

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