Chicago

Vandersloot first in WNBA history to average 10 assists

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The Courtney Vandersloot world domination tour continues.

Monday evening, the Sky's star point guard secured her fourth straight Peak Performer Award for leading the league in assist average, tying her with Diana Taurasi for the longest Peak Performer Award streak in WNBA history.

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The absurdity of Vandersloot's excellence knows no bounds. Somehow, amid a career packed with historic accomplishments, she topped herself again in 2020.

After a stat correction moved an assist in the Sky's Aug. 4 game against the Dallas Wings from Allie Quigley to her, Vandersloot averaged exactly 10.0 assists per game this regular season (220 total in 22 games), making her the only player in WNBA history to average double-digit dimes over the course of a full campaign.

The closest before this year? 2019 Vandersloot, who averaged 9.1 per contest. After that? 2018 Vandersloot, who averaged 8.6. 2017 Courtney Vandersloot rounds out the best four individual season-long assist averages in WNBA history with 8.1.

She also owns the top two total-assist seasons in WNBA history, logging 300 in 2019 and 258 in 2018. With 219 across 22 games in 2020, she would have been well on pace to smash both marks had the season not been shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even in the truncated campaign, played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Vandersloot found time to make history. On Aug. 31, she smashed the W's single-game assist record with 18 in a blowout victory over the Indiana Fever — a performance promptly followed by earning her first career WNBA player of the month award for August.

 

“Just the way that she reads the floor,” Gabby Williams said after that game. “I know if I cut, I know she's going to see me. I know if I run the floor, I know she's going to see me. And I think she's the only point guard in the country that you can say that about.

“I don't want anybody else calling their point guard a Point God, because we have the one.”

Though her MVP candidacy has faded, Vandersloot is a near-lock for All-WNBA first team, which would be her second in a row. With her at the helm, the Sky broke the WNBA record for team-wide field goal percentage in a season (49.1%) and finished with the fourth-rated offense in the league. Her best ever-scoring season (13.6 points per game) pushed her into second place on the Sky's all-time scoring ranks, trailing only Quigley. Talk about a power couple.

Odds are Vandersloot is more focused on the Sky's first-round, single-elimination matchup with the Connecticut Sun Tuesday than another accolade being added to her shelf. Still, her legend grows.