Shop the Basketball Journal! →
Subscribe to get the latest articles first.
Scroll To Top
Learn More
  1. Home →
  2. basketball →
  3. In Her Bag: Kentucky’s Shifty Shooter Rhyne Howard Is A Dream

In Her Bag: Kentucky’s Shifty Shooter Rhyne Howard Is A Dream

ByQueen Ballers Club|| July 18, 2023If you buy something from a link on our site, Queen Ballers Club may earn a commission.

Rhyne Howard was the most league-ready rookie we’ve seen in a minute, at the time of her debut. Her first year in the league playing for the Atlanta Dream she earned an All-Star appearance and was named 2022 Kia Rookie of the Year. Now in her sophomore season, the University of Kentucky product has been on a tear ever since her initial 2023 All-Star snub, hitting a career-high of 43 points against the Los Angeles Sparks on July 2, and averaging 24 points during the Dream’s five-game win streak prior to the 2023 All-Star break.

“A good example of the faith Atlanta had in me is how Coach Wright and the staff wanted me to be a scorer. That’s not a role that every rookie gets immediately. But they really felt like I was ready for the responsibility. And I wanted the responsibility — especially if it was going to help us win games.” said Rhyne.

So today we’ll take a look at how this dynamic 6’2″ guard makes the magic happen.

How to Play Basketball Like Rhyne Howard

Rhyne’s one of the shiftiest shooters in the league. She’s also a huge threat on the drive. And she always comes out aggressive to help set the tone for her whole team. Here’s some of what makes up her signature style of play.

1. Step back and misdirection threes

Rhyne’s a three-point shooting queen. She hit 85 threes her first season, and this year she’s shooting threes at an incredible 40%. The thing is, she’s not just spot up shooting. Many of her threes come from her creating space for herself. And her go to moves in this situation tend to be either a step back or misdirection (i.e. dribble between the leg to the right, but move your body to the left). She’s a bucket with both, and they’re very tough to guard because defenders know she can drive so they have to be careful about closing out.

2. Excellent use of off arm

Rhyne’s off arm is always working. She’s constantly pushing off probing defenders’ arms, shoving off to create space, or using both arms to protect and cradle the ball. If a defender has an arm out reaching, she’ll swipe it away, and blow by, giving her drive even more momentum and stalling her opponent’s. This is a major key a lot of players neglect to harness.

3. Foul line pull up

Rhyne is a mid-range baddie. This year her mid-range percentage is standing out, coming in near the top of league at 47%. If you give her an open look, or even a half-open look, in the foul line area, she’s going to slay.

Often times she’ll drive from the three-point line to the foul line area, and then unexpectedly stop and pull up. She’s able to surprise defenders because she keeps her shoulders and body low until the very last second, so her defender’s momentum continues to propel them forward. It’s one of those situations where the defender knows to anticipate it, and they still just can’t stop it.

4. Steals into fast break layups

Rhyne takes to heart the idea of turning her defense into her offense. Her rookie season she averaged 1.6 steals per game, and is currently averaging 1.4 steals per game across her whole career – placing her just ahead of Lisa Leslie’s career average, for perspective. She does an excellent job of punching the ball away on passes she’s predicted and from her opponent’s dribble. Then she uses her speed for the fastest of fast breaks, and finds a way to finish layups through contact. She’s got some hang time too (similar to Kahleah Copper who’s style we also reviewed).

5. Counters for days

Rhyne’s last signature move? It’s actually that she has a myriad of moves: her bag runneth deep. If you cut off her first option, she’s got a second counter, third counter, and then some. We’ve seen her pull out the in and out, the between between, the speed stop step back, the floater, the spin fade, and much more. She’s definitely continued developing new options over the off-season, and brought out even more this year.

One thing to note though, is that she still appears very reliant on her right arm. We’d suspect it’s more of a confidence and preference thing than a physical weakness at this point.

To improve your game and practice playing like Rhyne Howard explore:

Rhyne Howard’s Basketball Style

Rhyne’s still got the same Big Blue heart as always, and recently told reporters, “I just want to win. So by any means necessary I’m going to do what I need to do for my team.” From UK to the A, Rhyne has left her mark on women’s basketball. We’ve watched her improve her shot selection and her confidence. Rhyne is positioned to be one of the biggest names in the game for years to come, and we can’t wait to keep watching her work.

Up next explore fellow 2023 All-Star Kelsey Mitchell’s moves.

FEATURED INDeadspinJust Women's SportsHer Hoop StatsThe Shadow LeagueUproxxNational Public RadioBaseline PodcastThe GistSB Nation Swish AppealThe Next HoopsTogethxrYahoo
© 2024 Queen Ballers Club