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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Womens College Basketball Players of All-Time: Where Does Caitlin Clark Rate?

Top 10 Womens College Basketball Players of All-Time: Where Does Caitlin Clark Rate?

Publish Date: 04/05/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Caitlin Clark has put the sports world on their ear, and women’s College Basketball has had a recent explosion of popularity, at least when it comes to Iowa Hawkeyes games. Today we will look at where the talented Clark ranks all-time as of right now! Check out our greatest college basketball coaches of all time.

Criteria

Though their professional accomplishments were acknowledged, they weren’t factored into this all-time player ranking. Instead, the rankings are solely determined by college player accomplishments, with Cheryl Miller taking the No.1 spot despite not having had a WNBA career.

All accomplishments made during their college playing days were considered, such as championship victories, scoring records, and individual awards.

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10) Lynette Woodard, Kansas Jayhawks

She was one of the early pioneers of women’s basketball and should be given credit for helping to shape its development.

Woodard averaged 26.3 points per game in her four years with the Kansas Lady Jayhawks between 1977 and 1981, scoring an astounding 3,649 total and ending her college career as the all-time leading scorer of women’s college basketball history.

Woodard then went on to play professionally in Italy and Japan before becoming the first woman ever invited into the Harlem Globetrotters. Following retirement in 1997, she made an unexpected comeback to play two seasons in the inaugural Women’s National Basketball Association season (WNBA) with Cleveland Rockets before switching over to Detroit Shock later that same year.

  • 4 Time All-American
  • Wade Trophy
  • 3 Big Eight Championships
Video: Lynette Woodard, First Female Globetrotter

Lynette Woodard, First Female Globetrotter

9) Kelsey Plum, Washington Huskies

As a freshman, she made an immediate impact by setting six school freshman records; later, as a junior, Kelsey led the Washington Huskies into an exciting NCAA tournament run.

As a senior, she took her game to an even higher level – breaking out in a big way. Plum led the Huskies to an outstanding 29-6 record that year – including an appearance in the NCAA tournament’s Final Four – while averaging 31.7 points per game and setting an NCAA career scoring record with 3,527 points – breaking Jackie Stiles’ previous mark by over 500. In her senior year alone, she scored 1,109 points (an NCAA single-season record!), shooting 43 percent from 3-point range.

  • Naismith Award Winner
  • Wooden Award Winner
  • Wase Trophy Winner
  • AP Player of the Year
Video: Kelsey Plum highlights: NCAA tournament top plays

Kelsey Plum highlights: NCAA tournament top plays

8) Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee Volunteers

Chamique Holdsclaw was a legendary player. Ranked 11th on the all-time NCAA scoring list, she became just the fifth woman ever to surpass 3,000 points during her college career. Playing under Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt’s guidance at Tennessee led them to three consecutive NCAA titles between 1996 and 1998.

Holdsclaw had an outstanding college career that saw her set records for scoring and rebounding among both women’s and men’s programs, becoming an all-time leading scorer and rebounder for both the SEC and women’s NCAA tournament tournaments. Following graduation, she went on to be drafted first overall by the Washington Mystics of the WNBA before going on to become a six-time WNBA All-Star.

  • 3 Time NCAA Champion
  • 2 Time AP Player of the Year
  • 2 Time Naismith Award Winner
  • 4 Time All-American
Video: REMEMBER THE RAFTERS: Chamique Holdsclaw

REMEMBER THE RAFTERS: Chamique Holdsclaw

7) Sheryl Swooppes, Texas Tech Red Raiders

Swoopes was an outstanding player for the Lady Raiders, averaging almost 25 points per game while leading them to win an NCAA Championship in 1993. She scored 47 points during that championship game alone and was named Final Four MVP – she later became the first player ever to sign a WNBA contract!

Swoopes was one of the greatest female basketball players ever, winning both an NCAA title and four WNBA championships – as well as eight All-Star Game appearances, five All-WNBA First Team selections, three MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards, leading her league in scoring and steals during 1999-00 MVP season and leading to eight All-WNBA First Team selections.

  • NCAA Champion
  • Juco Player of the Year
  • 2 Time All-American
  • Naismith Player of the Year
  • NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Video: Sheryl Swoopes' incredible 47-point title game performance in 1993

Sheryl Swoopes’ incredible 47-point title game performance in 1993

6) Candace Parker, Tennessee Volunteers

Candace Parker made history during her freshman season at Tennessee, becoming the first person to dunk twice during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game. Over her distinguished career with Tennessee she averaged nearly 20 points per game with 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest.

Parker brought a new dimension to women’s basketball at Tennessee, becoming an impact player from her first day as a redshirt freshman in 2005. Take a peek at our greatest big ten basketball coaches of all time.

Parker might have won three national championships had she not run into foul trouble during the regional finals of the 2006 NCAA tournament against North Carolina. Parker was forced into early bench time due to fouling issues, costing Tennessee precious minutes on that day before ultimately being knocked off the court by UNC and eliminated. She returned the next season determined and helped Tennessee claim back-to-back championships under legendary coach Pat Summitt; Parker was honoured both years with NCAA Most Outstanding Player honours among her many accolades during college.

  • 2 Time NCAA Champion
  • 2 Time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • Wade trophy
  • 2 Time Wooden Award Winner
  • Naismith Award
  • 3 Time All-American
Video: REMEMBER THE RAFTERS: Candace Parker

REMEMBER THE RAFTERS: Candace Parker

5) Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon Ducks

Sabrina Ionescu lit up the Oregon basketball arena during her college career. Starting as a freshman, average attendance was barely 1,500 per game. Still, by her final season, average attendance had skyrocketed to over 10,000 per game, highlighting Ionescu’s talents on the court and reflecting the immense growth in women’s basketball.

As a junior in 2018-19, Sabrina won nearly every available award. She led Oregon to their inaugural Final Four appearance, losing to eventual NCAA champion Baylor in the semifinal game with 31 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds for performance in that contest.

Ionescu might have been the greatest women’s college basketball player who never won an NCAA championship, yet she made every attempt possible to do so. She averaged more than 19 points per game during two of Oregon’s four years together and shot 42 percent from 3-point range.

  • Only NCAA player with career 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds
  • NCAA Career Leader in Triple Doubles
  • 3 Time PAC 12 Player of the Year
  • 2 Time Wooden Award Winner
  • 2 Time Wade Trophy Winner
Video: Sabrina Ionescu high school highlights

Sabrina Ionescu high school highlights

4) Breanna Stewart, UCONN Huskies

Stewart certainly outdid everyone’s expectations upon arriving on campus, and the expectations were high. The New York native won four consecutive NCAA national championships during her four-year run with the UConn Huskies while also receiving the Most Outstanding Player honour four times at the tournament.

During her college career at UConn, Stewart averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.7 blocks per game. Upon graduating as the record holder for total blocks and second in terms of points scored with 2,7667 scored – undoubtedly one of the greatest women’s college basketball players ever! Her record at UConn stands as proof. Stewart boasts an unblemished 151-5 mark during her collegiate tenure – surely an exceptional feat for any women’s player!

  • 4 Time NCAA Champion
  • 4 Time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • 3 Time All-American
  • 3 Time AAC Player of the Year
  • 3 Time National Player of the Year
Video: The evolution of Breanna Stewart

The evolution of Breanna Stewart

3) Diana Taurasi, UCONN Huskies

Taurasi was an outstanding point guard at UConn from 2002 through 2004, leading them to three national titles consecutively and winning Most Outstanding Player honours at in 2004.

Taurasi was the first player in UConn history to record career totals of 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists; she was then selected No. 1 overall by the Mercury in 2004. Since then, she has won three WNBA championships, received one MVP award, participated in 10 All-Star Games and garnered 10 All-WNBA First Team selections.

Taurasi has achieved incredible success throughout her WNBA career, from UConn, where she reigned supreme on one of the greatest NCAA teams ever assembled, all the way through to being one of the greatest female players ever seen in professional basketball – she truly stands as an iconic female athlete.

  • 3 Time National Champion
  • 2 Time NCAA Tournament Oustanding Player
  • Wade Trophy
  • 2 Time Naismith Award Winner
  • AP College Player of the Year
Video: Best of Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in the Final Four for UConn

Best of Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in the Final Four for UConn

2) Cheryl Miller, USC Trojans

Miller led her Trojans to NCAA Tournament Titles in 1983 and 1984, being recognized as both seasons’ Most Outstanding Player. Additionally, Miller was honoured to receive three Naismith College Player of the Year awards and a Wade Trophy. She was selected Sports Illustrated College Basketball Player of the Year during her senior year – an accomplishment achieved by male and female competitors combined!

Cheryl Miller grew up in Riverside, Calif. and hailed from a family of sports stars: Hall-of-Famer NBA player Reggie Miller is her brother; former Major League Baseball catcher Darrell Miller played at USC; she pioneered NCAA women’s basketball too! Cheryl’s legacy stands out as she holds one of the greatest athletic legacies ever represented by USC and is an influential force within NCAA women’s basketball itself.

Miller was an iconic basketball player at USC, becoming the first female athlete in its history to have her jersey retired by the school. To this day, she remains the all-time leader in many categories, including points, rebounds, field goals made, free throws made, games played and steals.

  • 2 Time NCAA Champion
  • 3 Timeย  Naismith Award Winner
  • 2 Time NCAA Tournament MVP
  • Wade Trophy
  • 4 Time All-American
Video: USC vs. Louisiana Tech: 1983 NCAA women's national championship | FULL REPLAY

USC vs. Louisiana Tech: 1983 NCAA women’s national championship | FULL REPLAY

ย 

1) Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

Clark is the greatest shooter the Women’s game has ever seen; in general, she is the greatest offensive player in women’s college basketball history. Fifty-one games with 30 or more points is a Division I record; she holds back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles; her list of accolades goes on and on.

She’s often underestimated as being a passer. Most fans know her for her explosive 3-point shooting, yet she ranks sixth all-time on the assist list, having just passed the 1,000 assists tally mark.

Clark may become the first recipient since Breanna Stewart to win back-to-back Naismith Awards. Iowa has had some legends in their great College Basketball history and Clark is maybe the greatest.

Clark has amassed career averages of 28.2 points, 8.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds. The only thing missing is a National Championship, and I would not bet against her.

  • NCAA Division One All-Time Scoring Leader
  • Sixth All-Time in Assists
  • 2 Time Naismith Award Winner
  • National Scoring leader Twice
  • National Assists Leader Twice
Video: ๐Ÿ”ฅCaitlin Clark CAREER-HIGH 49pts, Breaks All-Time Scoring Record In Iowa Hawkeyes Win | HIGHLIGHTS

๐Ÿ”ฅCaitlin Clark CAREER-HIGH 49pts, Breaks All-Time Scoring Record In Iowa Hawkeyes Win | HIGHLIGHTS

Honorable Mentions

Brittney Griner, Baylor Bears

Griner was one of the greatest centers ever seen in womens college basketball history. She averaged 22.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.1 blocks per game for Baylor University.

Griner was an indispensable defensive force for Baylor. Her 223 blocks as a freshman set an all-time single-season record, and later in her junior year, she blocked more shots alone than any other Division I team combined.

Bridgette Gordon, Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee legend Bridgette Gordon made it to each NCAA Tournament Final Four during her four years at college and captured two national championships – in 1987 and 1989, respectively.

Gordon made an impactful mark during every season she played for Tennessee and will never be forgotten at Tennessee.

The Goat Breaks the Record!

Video: ๐Ÿ”ฅ Caitlin Clark HITS 5 THREES, 23 PTS In 1st QUARTER, Breaks All-Time Scoring Record | Iowa Hawkeyes

๐Ÿ”ฅ Caitlin Clark HITS 5 THREES, 23 PTS In 1st QUARTER, Breaks All-Time Scoring Record | Iowa Hawkeyes

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