Las Vegas Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2022 Preview: Guards Pt. 2

Franchise Sports Media


FSM’s Cole Huff continues our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2022 season with his player preview series. This in-depth roster rundown turns to the shooting guards.





Riquna Williams - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces



Age: 31

Measurements: 5’7”, 165lbs

Years Pro: 9

Season Stats: 2021 → 10.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.0 threes on 44.4/41.7/92.0 shooting splits

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → 14.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists on 55.1/34.5/100.0 shooting splits


RiqunaBayWilliams played a much more significant role than she had probably expected. Brought in as the Aces‘ sixth woman, Las Vegas threw Bay into the starting lineup to begin the season after starting guard Angel McCoughtry tore her ACL during a preseason game. Williams would start all 32 games and turn herself into a defensive stopper and one of the team’s most dependable scorers come playoff time.


Still, as quick and twitchy as ever, Williams can move without the ball and find shots and has a lightning-quick trigger once she decides to put the ball in the air. Also, she did a lot of damage off the bounce as a shot creator — dribble pull-ups, stepbacks, etc. Her ability to get hot and score threes in bunches was and will remain a necessity for this Las Vegas offense.

Williams uses that aforementioned quickness to be a pest on defense. She bothered many of the WNBA’s elite guards throughout the 2021 season, and although she’s a year older, that area of her game doesn’t seem to be one that will suddenly fall off a cliff.



Riquana is only 5’7″, which is undersized for any position in the league. Her size limits her from being much of a finisher when she gets closer to the rim and when she does get downhill, she doesn’t do much as a playmaker (career 1.6 assists per game).


The expectation is that Bay will slot into one of the starting roles. She did well as a starter a season ago, and the Aces‘ front office paid up for her this most recent offseason. So I think her role on the team will be similar — coach Hammon will encourage Williams to take a ton of threes while defending the opposing team’s best guard.





Jackie Young - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces


Age: 24

Measurements: 6’0”, 165 lbs

Years Pro: 3

Season Stats: 2021 → 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists on 50.5/ 25.0/ 83.3 shooting splits

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists on 33.3/ 0.0/ 100.0 shooting splits


Jackie Young‘s 2021 season was the best of her three-year career, which is impressive considering how good she was in 2020. She was as efficient of a scorer as ever and grew stronger on the defensive end.


There’s a concise list of players in the WNBA who are nearly automatic from the mid-range — Jackie Young is on that list. She is outstanding at working the pick-and-roll and dribbling into middy after midday. She also is an excellent finisher in transition as she runs the court hard, often turning defense into offense.

Like her teammate, Riquna Williams, Young took the assignment of defending the opposition’s best wing players. She is strong and positions herself well on defense to make shots challenging for the player she’s guarding. Young notably did a fantastic job on Diana Taurasi for stretches of last season’s AcesMercury semifinals matchup.



Jackie’s impressive regular seasons did not carry over to the postseason for the third straight year. The issue at hand seems to be her style of play — if she can’t get to her middy, she can’t do much on offense. Young isn’t explosive; she still hasn’t developed her 3-point shot and doesn’t handle double teams well when operating as the pick-and-roll ball-handler. Every one of those shortcomings is an issue come playoff time when teams ultimately scheme her out of the offense, which hurts the Aces.


Jackie started all 32 regular-season games last season after not starting a single one in the Wubble. But there’s a new head coach (Becky Hammon) in town who wants to prioritize shooting threes and playing a different brand of basketball. So I’d expect Young to have a lesser role than the 31.8-minute per game role she had a season ago.





Chelsea Gray - Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces


Age: 29

Measurements: 5’11”, 170 lbs

Years Pro: 7

Season Stats: 2021 → 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists on 45.4/ 38.0/ 88.9 shooting splits

Playoffs Stats: 2021 → 15.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists on 46.2/ 38.9/ 100.0 shooting splits


Season No. 1 in Las Vegas went about as expected for Chelsea Gray. She was an outstanding floor general throughout the season and frequently came up big at the end of close games, as she’s known to do. The only thing to nitpick at is that her scoring (11.1 ppg) was below 14.0 for the first time since 2016 when she wasn’t yet a starting guard in the W. But considering that the Aces had a WNBA-first seven players average double-figures in scoring during the regular season, you can excuse Gray‘s couple fewer points.


Gray is the closer on this team. She isn’t afraid to take and make big shots in some of the most significant moments. Outside of her willingness to perform in the clutch, Chelsea‘s advantage is that she’s a nightmare to cover. Her size as a lead ball-handler is overwhelming for most guards to defend, and she’s too crafty and skilled with the ball for forwards and bigs to check. Gray is smart, and she knows precisely which chess moves to make on the court.



One thing that repeatedly popped up last season was Chelsea‘s tendency to throw the ball over. But with great passers like her, you have to live with the miscues that are often a direct result of overconfidence and self-belief that she can make a play. Nevertheless, 2.8 per game, her average amount of turnovers a season, isn’t awful. It could be improved, though.


 Starting guard. Closing guard. Lead ball-handler. Lead playmaker. Chelsea Gray will play many roles during her second season in Las Vegas, and one should expect that Becky Hammon‘s leadership will only help Gray and the Aces ascend further on offense.


Stay tuned for next week’s Las Vegas Aces 2022 Season Preview series when we look at Dearica Hamby, A’ja Wilson, and Mya Hollingshed.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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