New York Liberty: Jazmine Jones named to WNBA’s official All-Rookie squad

Jazmine Jones, New York Liberty

Jazmine Jones, the New York Liberty’s final pick of the first round, was named to the WNBA’s official All-Rookie team unveiled on Sunday.

Sabrina Ionescu was limited to three games in her rookie game, but the New York Liberty still enjoyed rookie representation in the WNBA’s All-Rookie Team unveiled on Sunday.

Jazmine Jones, the final pick of the WNBA Draft’s first round back in April, was named to the league’s official team, a squad headlined by 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield of Minnesota. Jones, 23, is the fifth New Yorker to be named to the team’s official All-Rookie squad and the first since current teammate Kiah Stokes went with Brittany Boyd after the 2015 campaign.

After Ionescu was lost to an injury during the July 29 contest against Atlanta, Jones was called upon to spend more time in the point guard spot, a role she hadn’t played extensively partaken in since her high school days at the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School in Tallahassee. Taken 12th out of Louisville, Jones went on to be one of most consistent contributors on a young New York roster.

Jones finished at or near the top of almost every statistical category amongst rookies, leading every first-year players in steals (1.4 per game). She also earned an averaged 10.8 points over 21 games, a tally anchored by six consecutive games in double-figures. The former Cardinal, joined by her fellow rookie and 13th overall pick Kylee Shook, was also praised for her energy, as she was constantly shown dancing and encouraging teammates on the sidelines despite a tough, lost season.

“The main thing about Jaz is her energy,” head coach Walt Hopkins said about Jones when she took over for Ionescu. “When she brings her energy, no matter what, she brings us a lot. It’s defensive, it’s toughness, swagger. Jaz has been huge for us.”

Joining Jones on the All-Rookie squad is Chennedy Carter (Atlanta), Ionescu’s college teammate Satou Sabally (Dallas), and Julie Allemand (Indiana).

The WNBA playoffs continue this week, with the Finals set to begin on Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Knicks: RJ Barrett wants the Rookie of the Year

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks fans finally cheered on draft night when they heard RJ Barrett’s name.  Barrett wanted to come to New York and the city has welcomed him with open arms.

Now that Barrett is a Knick, he is ready to get to work.  He has his eyes on winning Rookie of the Year.  “Rookie of the Year is definitely important.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was a kid”, Barrett said in a interview with SNY’s Stefan Bondy.

When the most recent class of NBA rookies took their rookie survey, Barrett only received two votes for ROY.  He said, “Being the Canadian kid, I’ve kind of been doubted my whole life.  So I’m just used to it now.”  Barrett did not receive any other votes from his rookies in any category.  Sad.

Barrett did mention that no one is going to remember that survey.  But, he is going to use not receiving any votes, for basically everything, as fuel for his career.

Being doubted is probably the best thing for a young 19-year-old in the NBA.  Well, New York fans aren’t doubting him, but others are.  If anything, Knicks fans have Barrett’s back more than any other rookie since Patrick Ewing.

As long as he has the support of the Knicks faithful, that’s all he should care about. He got more support from his ecstatic demeanor on draft night when chosen by the Knicks.  Having the support of Knicks fans is like having his own mini army.  Fans will go to battle for him.

You can expect great things from someone with Barrett’s athletic ability and determination.  You never hear a player, let alone a 19-year-old rookie, saying they want to play in New York.  That takes guts.  Imagine if Barrett exceeds expectations.  He could be a Knicks legend.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Wins 2018 Pepsi Rookie Of The Year

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

After already winning the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year award, New York Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley has added another trophy to his collection. Fans across the country voted for the Pepsi Rookie Of The Year, and the Giants’ rookie won the voting. Saquon beat out other great talents, such as Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Darius Leonard, and Phillip Lindsay.

It should come as no surprise the Saquon won this award. Barkley was the third running back in NFL history to total 2,000 scrimmage yards as a rookie. With this feat, the rookie from Penn State joined the elite company of Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James.

Barkley proved to be well worth the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Along with his league leading 2,028 yards from scrimmage, Saquon scored 15 total touchdowns. He totaled 15 with 11 rushing and 4 receiving. His 91 receptions were also a rookie running back record. Saquon was a true force in both the rushing and receiving game.

Barkley was also voted to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl. Saquon is greatly respected by his peers and coaches. Of course, the Pro Bowl is an event for the fans, so this is another testament to how much the fans love Barkley.

Saquon was excited to receive the award, and eager to bring it back to the Big Apple:

Giants fans should take a moment to reflect and appreciate Saquon Barkley’s incredible rookie season. Not only was Saquon a stat-sheet stuffer, he was also a human-highlight reel. Barkley proved he could take any play and turn it into a highlight.

A simple screen pass:

A speedy handoff from 78 yards out:

An everyday 9 yard gain:

And of course, an ordinary handoff from the 1 yard line: