After making history at the college ranks, a lot of hoops fans thought Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, would continue to steamroll defenders at the pro level.

Not quite. 

Just under a week ago, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer began her rookie campaign on an unfortunate side of the record books, committing 10 turnovers against the Connecticut Sun, the most in a debut game in WNBA history.

Clark's saving grace heading into her second game was that she was able to score 20 points in her first outing. In her second game -- the front end of a back-to-back against the New York Liberty -- Clark scored a mere nine points as the Fever lost in blowout fashion. The Fever then dropped their second game to the Liberty by double digits. Clark was much better there, with 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Thanks in part to the Fever's 0-3 record, new WNBA fans now realize the league is full of talented players who aren't going to escort Clark down the Yellow Brick Road of Superstardom. Instead, the rookie is going to run into several concrete walls that will remind her (and fans) that she isn't in Kansas Iowa anymore.

Now that we have an understanding of how the WNBA operates, it's time to put the tissues away -- this isn't a eulogy of Caitlin Clark's superb talents. All you Clark-a-holics can take a collective sigh of relief. She's going to be quite alright. 

If we exclude the WNBA's 1997 inaugural season and the 1999 season when ABL players joined the league, you'd be hard-pressed to find a rookie who dominated the WNBA.

In fact, only future Hall of Famer Candace Parker -- who was named Rookie of the Year and MVP in her first season -- can truly say that she made a perfectly seamless transition from college basketball dominance to the WNBA. That being said, Clark isn't having just an "average" season so far, either.

Not only does she lead the Fever in scoring, but her 17 points per game is best among all rookies, unsurprisingly. In terms of scoring, this puts Clark on pace to have a better first season than many current WNBA stars such as Kelsey Plum, Napheesa Collier, Sabrina Ionescu (2021 was her first full season due to injury) and 2024 MVP candidate Alyssa Thomas.

Better yet, Clark is only the fourth player in WNBA history to record 50 points and 15 assists through three career games, company she keeps with Nikki McCray, Sue Bird and Parker. Her shooting splits aren't good at all (40% from the floor, 32% from three-point range), but she's too pure a shooter for those to stay that bad, plus she's dealing with a higher class of athlete and scheme than she ever saw in college. 

If your next question is, "But what about the 0-3 record? Can her scoring make an impact on winning?" then I'd caution you to be leery of judging a team or player based on a small sample size.

The Indiana Fever have played just three games. Two of them were against the defending Eastern Conference champions, the New York Liberty. The other game was against Thomas' Connecticut Sun, who finished second in the Eastern Conference last season. Both of these clubs were top five in league wins last year. And guess what: The Fever play the Sun again Monday night.

Clark's Fever have already played twice against two-time MVP Breanna Stewart's New York Liberty Getty Images

While it's fair to wonder if Clark's style of play can translate to winning in the WNBA and result in championships, it's unreasonable for fans to think that Clark can instantly change the fortune of a team that finished the 2023-24 season at the bottom of their conference.

And, to be frank, it's pretty obvious that the Fever aren't a good team. I mean, how else do you get two consecutive No. 1 overall draft picks? The WNBA stacked Clark's schedule with marquee opponents for the sake of ratings, which was a smart move for business. The Fever's season opener generated 2.13 million viewers, which made it the most-watched WNBA game since 2001. 

In turn, the players Clark is going up against are licking their chops and taking advantage of the spotlight. The Sun's DiJonai Carrington and New York's Jonquel Jones are a few who aren't household names but made sure to show out to the rest of the world. A rising tide lifts all ships, and a collective sports audience witnessing the breadth of talent in the league is, in my opinion, a lot more important than Clark's perceived rookie woes. 

Ease away from the red button. Take a look around the panic room. You'll see that it's a lot more packed than it has been in recent history.