Dre’Una Edwards Could Be a Star Next Season

Grant Grubbsby:Grant Grubbs05/23/21


For the second Kentucky Women’s Basketball player spotlight of the offseason, we’re going to be taking a look at perhaps not the best player on the team, but the most intriguing. After transferring from Utah, Dre’Una Edwards proved herself to be a true-blue Wildcat last season. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 19.7 minutes per game.

Although Edwards averaged the third most points and second most rebounds on the team, she failed to ever truly solidify her role. Whether or not this was her fault is up for debate.

The ‘Cats began the 2020-2021 season hot. Winning nine of their first 10 contests, it seemed as if Kentucky had a chance to make history. Then, the Wildcats ran into Texas A&M.

The Aggies dismantled the ‘Cats in every aspect of the game, including post-play. Of course, with Edwards being the main anchor of the paint, she was to blame. It certainly wasn’t Edwards’ best showing.

The typically powerful paint presence was belittled by Texas A&M’s N’dea Jones who finished with 12 boards on the night. Edwards on the other hand finished with zero, not to mention six turnovers to go along with it. Edwards had a bad night that she would never fully recover from.

After the Texas A&M beating, head coach Kyra Elzy began to switch up the starting lineup. Specifically, Elzy rotated Olivia Owens in for Edwards and eventually settled on Tatyana Wyatt being the starting big. Understandably, Edwards’ confidence was seemingly affected, but it doesn’t have to be heading into this season.

In reality, Edwards should have some serious faith in herself because with a few small tweaks she could be a legitimate star. To begin with, if Edwards can begin to routinely utilize her three-point shot she could revolutionize the ‘Cats’ offense.

Although when thinking of Edwards you may not immediately think of a shooter, the skilled big actually has some range. Edwards shot 41% from behind the arc last season. A better percentage than Rhyne Howard and Chasity Patterson for reference.

Edwards may have splashed her shots when attempting them, but she didn’t shoot enough. Edwards only took 29 shots from deep on the season, despite her impressive efficiency. If Edwards can become an outside threat, Howard and other guards will have lanes the size of semi-trucks to drive past their defenders.

Photo by Hannah Phillips | UK Athletics

Edwards may be able to shoot like a guard, but she doesn’t need to dribble like one. The towering Wildcat tends to get herself into a hurry when snagging a defensive rebound. Instead of finding a guard and securing a position in the fastbreak, Edwards will go full Magic-Johnson-mode up the court. Of course, the only problem being Edwards isn’t Magic Johnson.

This ineffective point-center style led to Edwards having the second most turnovers on the team, while averaging the sixth most minutes. A problem, to say the least. Nevertheless, its an easily fixed problem.

Finally, Edwards has to become a more reliable rebounder. With plenty of double-digit rebound games, she has proven she has the ability. Now, it simply comes down to locking in and making it happen each game.

With the SEC stacked with tough bigs such as Aliyah Boston, Edwards will have to face a greater challenge than most. Nonetheless, from her immediate impact to her constant tenacity, Edwards has shown before she’s ready to take on any challenge thrown at her. If I had to guess, this upcoming season will be no different.

Previous Player Spotlights:

Robyn Benton

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