Connecticut is the top seed and the team with Jonquel Jones as league MVP, along with Curt Miller, the coach of the year, and Brionna Jones, the most improved player in the WNBA. Connecticut will be entering Tuesday's semifinals.
Forward Jonquel Jones was awarded the MVP award with 48 out of 49 first-place votes. He also received 487 points from a national media panel. Brittney Griner, Phoenix center, finished second with 224 points. She also received the other first-place ballot. Breanna Stewart, a Seattle forward, was third with 156 points. Sylvia Fowles, a Minnesota center was fourth with 137 and Tina Charles, a Washington center was fifth with 127. All past MVP winners are Fowles (2017), Charles (2012) and Stewart (2018). Jones was the sixth player of 2018 and won the WNBA’s most improved award in 2017. This honor was a steady step for Jones.
Jones, who is 6'6", is currently in her fifth season with the WNBA. She was No. Los Angeles drafted her No. 6 from George Washington in 2016. She was then traded to the Sun. She did not play in the WNBA 2020 season as the season was still in Bradenton, Florida. The Sun reached the conference semifinals.
Connecticut's record-setting 26-6 record was achieved with her back in 2021. She averaged 19.4 point, 11.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
What does it take to be an MVP-type player and not just a great one? Miller said. Miller said, "It's her willingness to improve her game and to play both sides of a ball. She has been a better rebounder and is now a top-ranked player in the world.
The offense is a topic that has been discussed a lot. She is a gifted player with incredible touch. Her ability to shoot 3's and play away from the basket is what makes her so special.
Miller stated that Jones has become more of a facilitator, and not just a player who can catch and shoot.
Jones, a native of the Bahamas will be awarded $15,450 and a trophy from Tiffany & Co. Charles, now playing for Washington, was the original.
Miller stated that Brionna Jones is a perfect example of a player who waited to her turn. Jones was drafted No. 8 in 2017 after she averaged a double-double while a Maryland senior. In 2017, Jones was drafted No. 8. In 2017, she had 8 games. Brionna Jones seized the opportunity to play more on the court after Jonquel Jones was unable to play in the bubble.
She was selected by the media panel with 38 votes. Kelsey Plum, a Las Vegas guard, came second and Marina Mabrey, a Dallas guard third. Jones was selected by Connecticut in round one of 2017 WNBA draft. She was the eighth overall pick. Her career highs included 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds as well as 1.8 assists, 30.6 minutes, and 11.7 points.
Miller stated, "What not everybody is capable of doing is being prepared for their chance." Miller said, "She is really, really working on her game as well as her fitness."
Miller was nominated as the top coach for the second consecutive year, having previously won in 2017. Miller received 41 votes out of 49 votes from members of the media panel. Minnesota's Cheryl Reeve came in second and Bill Laimbeer from Las Vegas and Seattle's Noelle Quinn were tied for third.
DeWanna Bonner, Sun's reporter on Miller, said that Miller "puts people in great places to score and be comfy."