South Carolina guard Allisha Gray was picked 4th overall by the Dallas Wings in the 2017 WNBA Draft. She joins Kentucky’s Evelyn Akhator in Dallas as the SEC saw three of its players go 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the draft. Earlier, Alaina Coates went 2nd overall to the Chicago Sky.
2016-17 stats: 36 GP, 35 GS, 13.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg - 73.2 FT%, 51.2 FG%, 31.9 3pFG%
Career stats (Two seasons at UNC, one at USC): 107 GP, 100 GS, 14.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg - 72.5 FT%, 47.9 FG%, 34.9 3pFG%
Summary: Before she arrived in Columbia, Allisha Gray was on her way to being the next great basketball player in Chapel Hill. By her sophomore year Gray was UNC’s leading scorer and one of the best guards in the country. She led the Tar Heels to an Elite Eight and a Sweet 16 — ironically being beaten by the Gamecocks in that Sweet 16.
Gray’s 1,053 points is the second most ever scored in first two seasons at UNC, behind only the infamous Marion Jones. But all of that came to a screeching halt when the numerous allegations of academic fraud came about. Gray would transfer out of UNC to keep her name away from the scandal.
So Gray decided to go to greener pastures south of the border to play for Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks. Gray — even though she was never implicated in the scandal — still had to sit out a year before she could play again. But when she finally got on the court, Gray matched her hype with a great junior year.
Gray was the Gamecocks/ second leading scorer behind A’ja Wilson and turned ina big performance in the NCAA Tournament in Alaina Coates’ absence. Perhaps none were bigger than the title game against Mississippi State where Gray scored 18 points, grabbed ten boards and blocked three shots.
Strengths: Gray is as good of a pure scorer as you’ll find in women’s college hoops. Specifically, Gray is nearly unstoppable when she attacks the rim. She has great balance when driving to the tin and can finish through contact. She draws fouls at a high clip and make her free throws. Gray is also a good defender both on-ball and off-ball, making her a solid two-way threat.
Weaknesses: Gray has been billed as a three-point shooter, but her percentages are very streaky. She only shot 31.1 percent from three in her sophomore and junior seasons compared to 41.8 percent her freshman year.