Sun’s Kelsey Bone named 2015 WNBA Most Improved Player

Kelsey Bone. Photo: NBAE/Getty Images.
Kelsey Bone. Photo: NBAE/Getty Images.

Connecticut Sun center/forward Kelsey Bone is the winner of the 2015 WNBA Most Improved Player. Bone received 14 of 39 votes from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters.

Indiana Fever guard Shenise Johnson finished second with nine votes. Los Angeles Sparks center Jantel Lavender and Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot tied for third with five votes apiece. Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson received three votes, followed by fellow teammate and center Emma Meesseman with two votes. Tulsa Shock guard Riquna Williams received one vote.

Bone raised her scoring average from 9.3 points in 2014 to 15.4 in 2015. She improved as a rebounder, averaging 6.3 rebounds in 2015 as compared to 5.3 in 2014. Bone also averaged 2.0 assists, up from 1.4 a season ago. Bone lifted her field goal percentage from 45.1 last season to 50.8, and her defensive rebound average went from 3.6 to 4.8.

How Bone Improved between 2014 and 2015

2014 2015
Scoring Avg. 9.3 15.4
Points 317 509
Reb Avg. 5.3 6.2
Rebounds 181 208
Def. Rebs 124 159
Assists 46 66
Steals 22 26
Blocks 17 19
Made FGs 137 224
FG Attempts 304 441
FG% 0.451 0.508
Avg. Minutes 23.3 29.1
Games in double figures 17 27
20-point games 1 7

Bone, the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2013, started every game she appeared in for the Sun (33-of-33) and led Connecticut in scoring and rebounding. Among all WNBA players, Bone placed seventh in scoring and fifth in field goals made (6.8 per game).

She was also named WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week on September 15 after leading the WNBA in scoring over the week with 25.0 points. She is the first former Texas A&M player to receive the award.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Improved Player, Bone will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy.

Most Improved Player Voting Results

Points Player   Team
14 Kelsey Bone Connecticut Sun
9 Shenise Johnson Indiana Fever
5 Jantel Lavender Los Angeles Sparks
5 Courtney Vandersloot Chicago Sky
3 Stefanie Dolson Washington Mystics
2 Emma Meesseman Washington Mystics
1 Riquna Williams Tulsa Shock

All-time WNBA Most Improved Player

2015 – Kelsey Bone, Connecticut Sun

2014 – Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock

2013 – Shavonte Zellous, Indiana Fever

2012 – Kristi Toliver, Los Angeles Sparks

2011 – Kia Vaughn, New York Liberty

2010 – Leilani Mitchell, New York Liberty

2009 – Crystal Langhorne, Washington Mystics

2008 – Ebony Hoffman, Indiana Fever

2007 – Janel McCarville, New York Liberty

2006 – Erin Buescher, Sacramento Monarchs

2005 – Nicole Powell, Sacramento Monarchs

2004 – Wendy Palmer/Kelly Miller, Connecticut Sun/Indiana Fever

2003 – Michelle Snow, Houston Comets

2002 – Coco Miller, Washington Mystics

2001 – Janeth Arcain, Houston Comets

2000 – Tari Phillips, New York Liberty

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