The WNBA Sky failed to make the playoffs again in its second year, but the season could hardly be called a disappointment. The team improved from five to 14 wins over the 34-game schedule and was in the playoff chase into the last week. More important, the team continued to develop, and if anything picked up the pace of that development under the more attentive head coach Bo Overton.

Proof of that came last weekend when Armintie Price was named WNBA Rookie of the Year. Price was the Sky’s top pick and the third choice overall this season out of Ole Miss (which was justifiably proud of her honor). As a guard, Price has a style reminiscent of Jerry Sloan, in that she’s a scrappy, hustling player who likes to fall back and hit the boards in the lane, as she finished with six rebounds a game. She was also second on the team in assists at 2.9 a game, and if her shot could be iffy, producing a 7.9-a-game scoring average, she knew it and said so in a Q & A for the WNBA. “I really just want to be an unstoppable player,” she said, “and to get there, I have to become a better shooter.”

In that determination, she was following Candice Dupree, the team’s top draft pick last year, who improved to 16.4 points a game and 7.6 rebounds a game in her second season, while cementing her position as team leader. That’s a core to build around, and the Sky will get another lottery pick next spring after the women’s college season ends. Another top talent and a few more wins might actually get Chicago fans to fill the UIC Pavilion for Sky games next season.