It appears that A'ja Wilson hasn't skipped a beat from her collegiate to professional career. In a preseason 98-63 victory against the Chinese National Team, Wilson posted 20 points and seven rebounds in less than 22 minutes of play for her new squad, the Las Vegas Aces. She started the game 4-4 from the field and scored the first nine points for the Aces.
Getting Wilson going early was important for the new team.
"I thought we did what we wanted to do with her. We wanted to establish her presence with our basketball team and show the world the capabilities she has. Overall I thought it was a really solid performance for her. 20 points in 21 minutes and seven rebounds, a couple of blocked shots, that's pretty good for the first time that the pressure is on her," head coach Bill Laimbeer said in a post-game interview.
Check out Wilson at work:
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) May 7, 2018
As crazy as it sounds, there is plenty of conversation that Wilson will only continue to improve and get even better than she was in college. The reasoning for this starts with a wider lane in the WNBA, giving Wilson more room to work and making it more difficult for opponents to stop her. Not to mention the simple fact that players are better, making it harder to double inside which Wilson is all too familiar with. Time will tell, but she is certainly off to a good start in her very young professional career.
The Aces shot 54 percent from the field versus China's 45 percent. The most glaring statistic in the win was Las Vegas turning China over 32 times resulting in empty possessions and second chance points. Nia Coffey added 15 points and Ivey Slaughter finished with 12 to round out the Aces' scoring.
Shao Ting led all the Chinese National Team with 22 points on 8-11 shooting. They will take on the LA Sparks next to round out their United States swing in World Cup preparation on Saturday, May 12th at 5:00pm ET.
The Aces will face off against the Dallas Wings in their final preseason game on Sunday, May 13th in Arlington, TX at 3:00pm ET.