2021 WNBA Draft Watch: Selena Lott

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Marquette vs St. John
Selena Lott continues to lead Marquette in a Big East conference that is suddenly very top-heavy. | David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a deliberate style of play and exquisite shot selection, Marquette’s Selena Lott is one of the country’s best-kept secrets — for now.

With the Connecticut Huskies’ return grabbing most of the attention, the Big East is looking a little different these days. But there is still plenty of non-UConn talent in the conference, with one senior in particular sneaking up on those looking to flesh out their mock draft boards with mid-major players.

Selena Lott, a 5-foot-11 wing playing for the Marquette Golden Eagles, has the potential to be one of the first players from a mid-major program to be selected in the 2021 WNBA Draft. While she is modest about her professional future, there’s plenty to like about Lott’s game, which is steady and efficient in a way that could be attractive to teams in

the strongest women’s basketball league in the world.

Honors and statistics

Lott has always been a big part of Marquette’s rotation, but she broke out during her junior season in which she led the team in both points (15.5) and assists (5.6) per game, and recorded 1.8 steals.

For her efforts, Lott was named to the All-Big East Second Team.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, Lott was named to the preseason All-Big East Team and, thus far, has lived up to the hype, averaging 17.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. Lott is shooting a scorching 50 percent from 3-point range and she has improved her free-throw shooting dramatically, hitting 92.3 percent of her attempts.

How she helps the Golden Eagles

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Villanova vs Marquette
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Lott may not be the most explosive wing in the country, but she can finish at the rim with the best of them.

While unquestionably Marquette’s best player, Lott is not your typical ball-dominant scorer. Her current usage rate — 21.6 percent (down slightly from her junior-season mark of 21.9 percent), according to Her Hoop Stats — is hardly that of an alpha-dog player who takes a ton of shots.

That’s not to say Lott can’t score. She can — at devastating levels of efficiency.

As a junior, Lott averaged 1.28 points per scoring attempt, which ranked third among all guards who played at least 1,000 total minutes; her free-throw rate (27 percent) and effective field goal percentage (59.9 percent) were similarly excellent. Though her 3-point shooting dipped considerably from her sophomore season, Lott was able to maintain a 2-point shooting percentage north of 60 percent (65.3 percent, to be precise) for the second consecutive season.

While it’s still a bit too early in the 2020-21 season to have meaningful sample sizes (Lott isn’t going to continue shooting 50 percent from behind the arc as a senior, for instance), two things about Lott’s game are obvious:

#1. She’s an efficient scorer.

#2. She seeks high-efficiency shots.

Those two statements, of course, go hand-in-hand.

Lott’s scoring efficiency stems from a very modern shot distribution. Per Synergy Sports, half of her shot attempts as a junior came at the basket (thanks in part to the off-ball action Marquette likes to run for her, as demonstrated in the video above), and she converted on a ridiculous 67 percent of those shots — a figure you’d expect to see from a dominant frontcourt player rather from than a wing.

Lott’s jump-shot distribution is even more impressive. As a junior, 93.1 percent of her jumpers were 3-point shots. According to Synergy, Lott took just four midrange jump shots the entire season.

To put it concisely: Almost every shot Lott attempts is a 3-pointer or a layup — remarkable, considering she’s Marquette’s primary offensive option. And while she won’t be a high-usage player in the WNBA, her analytics-friendly college shot chart suggests that she’ll have no problem fitting in on just about any WNBA roster.

Watch her play

The Golden Eagles are off to a hot start in Big East play, and they’ll run into rival DePaul on Jan. 3.

And if you’re looking to evaluate Lott’s pro potential, Marquette will get two cracks at Connecticut in must-watch games on Feb. 5 and Mar. 1.

The games will be broadcasted on FloHoops (paid subscription) as part of a new deal between the Big East and the FloSports streaming service.

All statistics for the 2020-21 season are current through Dec. 28, 2020.