The San Antonio Silver Stars have announced the signing of 6’4″ Florida State forward Cierra Bravard, who went undrafted in the 2012 WNBA Draft.
Their release has some information about her college career and accolades and I offered some thoughts on her prior to the draft.
Bravard was the other player on our preseason list and she did put up reasonably strong numbers this season. Her 60% true shooting percentage and 66% free throw rate put her in very good company as a scorer, not to mention being the best of this year’s bunch at center.
However a few things stand out as potential red flags for Bravard. First, she was the highest usage player of this group at 28.07%, which isn’t inherently a bad thing – it’s actually not often that you even get a center with a 60% true shooting percentage and doing it as someone who’s such a major part of her offense when she’s on the floor is impressive. But also rare is her 20.85% turnover ratio – it’s not often you see a center that tops 100 turnovers get drafted. That combination of putting up a lot of missed shots (an obvious byproduct of taking a lot of shots even if you make a high percentage) and turning the ball over so often – in addition to fouling quite a bit – gave her a value added rating of -2.35, which suggests a player who didn’t contribute much when the ball wasn’t in her hands to score.
Potentially exacerbating all of those negative numbers, is that she only played 25.6 minutes per game because she was visibly exhausted after getting up and down the court for long stretches and at one point was brought in off the bench after a particularly sub-par string of games (an attempt to motivate her, according to one broadcaster).
She is certainly a skilled player who has a good feel for the game around the basket, but no player with comparable statistics has made a roster and stuck around in recent years. The most similar statistical profiles might be Ta’Shia Phillips and, from this year’s senior class, Regina Rogers, both of whom have been better rebounders than Bravard and much less turnover prone.
Not mentioned there was that her offensive rebounding percentage of 9.56% is not dominant for a player who was a 6’4″ college power player and rebounding is something San Antonio could use more than anything.
In other words, Bravard didn’t have a particularly strong senior year despite putting up some impressive numbers in her junior year. But she’s a skilled player and if she can overcome the challenges she faced at FSU in staying on the floor – in terms of conditioning, foul trouble, and being demoted briefly – she might have a chance at adding some rebounding to a roster that lacked it last season.