In her first full season as a starter for the Seattle Storm, guard Tanisha Wright has taken her game to the next level. Wright is averaging career highs in every major category, including points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game. However, Wright's improvement has not solely been tied to her increased minutes (she's amongst the WNBA's top 10 in minutes). Wright has improved her field-goal and free throw percentage, also both career highs, and has improved on a per-minute basis.
Using the per-minute PER rating, Wright has made the largest jump of any of the top contenders for Most Improved Player (see chart below). Keep reading for more on why Wright deserves to be recognized as the WNBA's Most Improved Player.
One of six players in the WNBA averaging at least 3.5 rebounds and assists per game as well as 10.0 points per game (others: Lindsey Harding, Deanna Nolan, Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen).
Ranks ninth in the WNBA in assists per game (3.9 apg) and second amongst non-point guards.
Is third in the WNBA in free throw percentage (.906).
Made game-winning shot on July 19 vs. Minnesota.
Has started all 33 games for the Storm.
"(The Storm guards) hit big shots all night long. We knew they would go especially to Sue, but Tanishas game has improved so much that now shes playing big-time minutes and making big shots. ... I was at the University of Pittsburgh when she was at Penn State and we played against them and I knew she was going to be good. That first couple of years it took her a while to learn what she could do. I think shes really worked on her game and shes got a great game working for her right now." - Atlanta Head Coach Marynell Meadors
Basketball is a team game. Obviously you have to have what you consider star players to be a good team. But you also have to have the Tanisha Wrights on your team if you want to be successful. - Storm Head Coach Brian Agler
"She's coming into her own. She knows what works for her and our team. She doesn't really play outside of that. You can see it." - Storm guard Sue Bird
Wright Fills Important Role for Storm - Kevin Pelton, stormbasketball.com
"Normally, Wright's production won't steal the spotlight, but it has been invaluable for the Storm all season long. She's capably stepped into the role of glue player who can offer the team whatever it needs from her, be it ballhandling, the ability to create off the dribble or a defensive stopper on the wing."
Storm's Tanisha Wright makes big strides this season - Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
"Last season under coach Brian Agler, Wright learned the offense and was still pushed to play point guard despite being a natural shooter. By the end of the season she moved into the starting role to replace an injured Sheryl Swoopes. Back at shooting guard this season, the 5-foot-11 Wright is even more aggressive as a full-time starter. The 26-year-old is averaging a career-high 11.0 points and has a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio."
On the Wright Path - Patrick Sheehy, SportsPageMagazine.com
"Wright has proven that that (Agler's) confidence is well-placed so far this season, not only at the defensive end of the floor, but also running the offense. In several close games this season the ball has been in Wrights hands in key situations at the end of the game. She has converted those opportunities multiple times getting to the basket for a layup or stepping back for a mid-range jumper."
Storm Chasers Don't Concern Seattle's Wright - Scott Stanchak, WNBA.com
"Wright is one of the reasons the Storm have been a top team in the WNBA this season. The former Penn State standout is part of a roster filled current and former All-Stars, yet shes also played a key role in her teams success. Wright is averaging a career best 11 points, four assists and four rebounds per game; not to mention, her shooting percentages are all way up. She is confident that this is only the beginning."