Bridget Carleton: WNBA preseason roundup


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State senior guard Bridget Carleton waves to the crowd following the Iowa State vs Kansas Senior Night basketball game held in Hilton Coliseum on Monday, March 4. Carleton was awarded with Iowa State’s top honor for female athletes on Wednesday.

Jack Shover

Former Iowa State standout Bridget Carleton completed her first WNBA preseason with the Connecticut Sun on Sunday when the Sun defeated New York Liberty 98-79 on Sunday.

Carleton was drafted by the Sun in the second round and 21st overall in the 2019 WNBA draft.

Carleton was an AP Honorable Mention All-American her junior year at Iowa State, and in her senior year Carleton averaged 21.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, four assists, 2.3 steals and 1.2 blocks a game en route to earning AP Second Team All-American status.

Carleton is one of the most prolific scorers in Cyclone history, and she was just eight points shy of being the team’s all-time leading scorer. She finished her career with 2,142 career points.

At Iowa State, Carleton thrived in a utilitarian role for the team and lead the team in scoring, steals, blocks, rebounds and was second in assists her senior year.

Carleton was able to score in a variety of ways including from three, midrange and around the basket. Carleton used her big frame as a guard to bully smaller defenders when attacking the rim and was crafty in using dribble moves and her body to make tough shots look easy when scoring the ball.

The WNBA consists of 12 total teams, and during the draft each team selects once a round for three rounds unless a team loses a pick due to a trade or by other means.

Due to the amount of teams, each team has a deep pool of veteran players which can make it difficult for younger players to carve out a role or even make the team.

Connecticut’s third round pick  Regan Magarity  was released on May 16, which was before the team’s last preseason game, but Carleton has been able to stay a part of the team.

Last season, Connecticut finished the season 21-13 overall after losing in the second round of the WNBA playoffs to Phoenix 96-86.

As of Monday, the Sun had 13 players on its roster and will need to cut another player to meet the league cap of 12 players on a roster.

In her first WNBA preseason game on May 13 against the New York Liberty, Carleton finished the game with five points and a block on 11 minutes on the floor. The Sun won the game 100-66.

The next game on May 14 versus Dallas, Carleton had her best game of the preseason and registered seven points, a rebound and three steals in 15 minutes of action, but the team lost 71-67.

Carleton then played seven minutes and scored four points and had one rebound and two steals in her last preseason game.

The Sun need to reduce their roster size prior to the season’s start on Saturday, but Carleton should make the roster after being productive in her limited time during the preseason. Carleton has not have an adjusted plus/minus below +3 in her three games played.