2023-2024 Women’s College Basketball

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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It is a terrible epidemic. They should just issue two knee braces to every player once they enter high school.
This is regularly discussed in the women’s soccer threads (and in the real world beyond SoSH). Women’s knee injuries, especially ACL, are a huge issue there too. It’s an urgent problem.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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UConn women are rolling. After losing to Texas, and missing *five* key players (a team that itself would be the starting lineup of a top-20 squad) for the rest of the year, they've won 12 straight, including three over ranked opponents:

86-62 over then #18 Louisville
95-64 over then #18 Marquette
96-50 over then #21 Creighton

That's three wins over ranked teams by an average margin of victory of 33.7 points a game. Insane.

The average score of their last 10 games? UConn 91, Opp 53 (+38 per game). The smallest margin of victory in their last 10 games was +24 (over #18 Louisville, and then again over Seton Hall).

Their freshmen (Ice Brady, Ashlynn Shade, KK Arnold, and Qadence Samuels) have been forced into tons of playing time due to the mountain of injuries, and they're really starting to click now. Shade's last 9 games: 22, 20, 12, 18, 16, 17, 13, 5, 21, shooting 55.0% from the floor and 41.7% from three.

Paige Bueckers, of course, continues to be ridiculously good. She's overshadowed by Caitlin Clark, but look at the year Bueckers is having:

19.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.3 steals, shooting 56.5% (47.6% from three). And she spent the first half of this season playing with a broken left thumb.

It's weird to say that she's been under the radar, but because of the year Clark is having, Paige is toiling almost in obscurity (also because UConn isn't in the top 3 in the nation).

They don't have enough horses (especially enough bigs) to win it all, but they can make another run at the Final Four, which would be absolutely incredible given how many devastating injuries they've had (again). This group is remarkable.
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
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Jul 16, 2005
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This is regularly discussed in the women’s soccer threads (and in the real world beyond SoSH). Women’s knee injuries, especially ACL, are a huge issue there too. It’s an urgent problem.
Texas’ title dreams are basically shot because Rori Harmon tore her ACL around Christmas. And TCU has had to cancel multiple games due to injures, a few of which are torn ACLs.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Texas’ title dreams are basically shot because Rori Harmon tore her ACL around Christmas. And TCU has had to cancel multiple games due to injures, a few of which are torn ACLs.
UConn women have what would be a legit starting five on a top 20 team all out for the year - two of them (Fudd, Griffin) are torn ACLs, another has had knee surgery (Patterson), one has an Achilles injury (El Alfy), and the other has had huge concussion issues (Ducharme). I feel terrible for anyone with a torn ACL - it totally sucks. But no team has dealt with more injuries (including ACLs) than UConn. It's absurd.
 

riboflav

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Let's talk female basketball player injuries. So I had the number 7th ranked team in the DMV a few years ago and my starting five in the first month of the season went down in order: torn ACL, broken wrist, torn ACl, torn Achilles, torn ACL. The broken wrist was obviously a victim of circumstance (slightly dirty/overly aggressive play at the end of a game) but the other four are examples of what seems to be endemic in the woman's game. I know soccer has had the same issues with the ACL injuries.All four players were in phenonimal shape and also of different frames and muscle mass but it clearly didn't seem to matter. Brian McCormick started alerting everyone more than a decade ago about this issue in women's basketball. Women more so than men also seem to re-tear their ACLs more often, or at least, tear the other one. There have been several theories put forth for why this is but to my knowledge there has been no proof of why women more so than men are apt to tear their ACLs or sustain other injuries like an Achilles.What Fudd has been going through at UConn is very indicative of my experience as a HS coach.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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What if it's true that - as a general rule (obviously there are lots of exceptions) - the female body (I'm thinking of knees in particular) isn't built to withstand the kind of force put on it in sports like these girls and women put on themselves?

I'm not a doctor or a kinesiologist or in any fields related to this. But it seems like there's something underlying all this that has nothing to do with just "bad luck". Or maybe it is bad luck. But if it is, it's LOTS of bad luck.
 

Humphrey

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What's the incidence rate in tennis and gymnastics; both sports women have been competing at a pretty high level for a long time?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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What's the incidence rate in tennis and gymnastics; both sports women have been competing at a pretty high level for a long time?
No idea, but ACL tears appear to be far less common in those sports than in soccer and basketball.

A couple of interesting reads here, by some pretty reputable sources - Yale and Johns Hopkins.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Louisville blows a 9-point lead in the 4th quarter and then back up by 1 on defense with less than 3 seconds left, they try to clock it by committing a foul (they only had 2), but egregiously grab the player instead of going for the ball. Intentional foul... two free throws later and Syracuse gets the upset.

Now back to the second half of a surprisingly close game between Iowa and Nebraska.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Caitlin Clark came into today needing 39 more points to become the all-time women's D1 scorer. She's at 26 with about 1½ quarters left.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Clark is 8 points away from the record going into the 4th, but Iowa is also pulling away at 69-55, so we'll see if they keep up the pace.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Weirdly, Nebraska has climbed back in the game, down by 4, but Clark really hasn't been aggressive or scored any points in the 4th. Looks like barring overtime, they'll settle for Clark setting the record early in their next game at home.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Clark goes 0-fer the 4th quarter and Iowa blows a 14-point lead for the loss. Clark did manage to get off the floor without running into any fans this time.

Ohio State tips off later this afternoon, now holding a 1 game lead and the tiebreaker for the BIG regular season title.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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UConn gets annihilated by South Carolina today. They kept mentioning how amazing it was for SC to beat UConn without Cardoso, one of their best players. They must have mentioned that fact ten times during the broadcast. And of course it's true - she's a great player and it was impressive. But only once did they mention all the UConn players missing - they legitimately have a starting five for a top-20 team all out for the season with injuries. They kept talking about how much deeper SC was than UConn, but it's like, uh, duh, yeah, this summer UConn was legit 12 deep, and then lost 5 players, and now have 7 real players. Of course they're not deep.

UConn has no shot at winning it all this year; I think they'll be eliminated in a regional final. South Carolina, on the other hand, is a frigging wagon. They're loaded and should, IMO, win it all.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Nebraska's attempt to slay the #2 team in the country twice in one week is going to fall short... way short. Ohio State is humiliating them 44-19 in the third quarter. The Huskers have more turnovers than points.
 

amh03

Tippi Hedren
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Bummer that you can only watch Caitlin Clark break the record tonight if you have Peacock.
 

amh03

Tippi Hedren
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Saw the replay on ESPN…way to put an exclamation point on it! So smooth…
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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She’s…..pretty good.
She's going to break the Maravich record.

Also, Iowa has 5 more regular season games. Plus B1G and NCAAT games. Say they only play 2 games in the B1G and 3 in the NCAAT (feels pretty conservative). That's 10 more games. She's going to put up 300 more points and really put some distance between her and 2nd place. Her record will likely get broken some day, but that's going to be a big gap.

30 points a game over 35 games for 4 years is mind blowing. It would be like if JJ Redick had played his freshman and sophomore years at the same level as his junior and senior years.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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She's going to break the Maravich record.

Also, Iowa has 5 more regular season games. Plus B1G and NCAAT games. Say they only play 2 games in the B1G and 3 in the NCAAT (feels pretty conservative). That's 10 more games. She's going to put up 300 more points and really put some distance between her and 2nd place. Her record will likely get broken some day, but that's going to be a big gap.

30 points a game over 35 games for 4 years is mind blowing. It would be like if JJ Redick had played his freshman and sophomore years at the same level as his junior and senior years.
Yeah. And she’s actually pretty efficient too. It’s not like she’s taking 50 shots a game. She’s just amazing. Absolutely amazing. So fun to watch.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Yeah. And she’s actually pretty efficient too. It’s not like she’s taking 50 shots a game. She’s just amazing. Absolutely amazing. So fun to watch.
She has an outside chance to hit 4K. She has 431 points to go. She's going to need to make deep runs though. Max of 14 games left. 431 would probably be impossible in < 13 games.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Bueckers just announced that she’s coming back for another year.

There is joy in Storrs, CT.
 

deanx0

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Watched the Indiana-Iowa game on Peacock last night. That was an electric crowd in Bloomington and a big win for the Hoosiers. The Big 10 is stacked at the top with Ohio State, Iowa, and Indiana. The Big 10 tournament could be a lot of fun.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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That was the first of Iowa's losses I haven't seen, but it also looks like the first one that was mostly on Clark... 8-of-26 from the field (3-of-16 from 3) and 5 turnovers. The formula for beating them before last night seemed to be clamping down on Stuelke and Martin, forcing them into turnovers and fouls, and making Clark be the hero. Iowa seems to be getting worse as the season wears on and this was their first game where they were noncompetitive by the second half. Those hoping for a ratings bonanza of Clark in the finals might be disappointed. That said, they still have the necessary talent and there's no predicting who gets hot in March. Stuelke has to play a lot better than she has though.

Ohio State is just the opposite. They felt like an uninspired team early on that was playing down to their competition – especially Coty McMahon, who was struggling to up double-digit scores – but they've been dominant for the past month. They were up 13 last night before Penn State (a team they were lucky to beat in overtime early in the season) even got on the board. They also won by 13, but it was a route disguised by Penn State's starters pouring it on in the final 5 minutes against the Buckeyes bench. Celeste Taylor, who was their big transfer addition this year, has provided great defense as advertised, but she's only started to rediscover the offense she showed at Duke over the past few weeks.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Good article on Paige Bueckers here. Well worth the read. Talks about changes in her game from when she was a freshman.
 

AB in DC

OG Football Writing
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Jul 10, 2002
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TIL that Caitlin Clark isn't actually highest scoring women's college basketball player of all time. It's Lynette Woodard.

Except that NCAA doesn't officially recognizes women's basketball stats before 1982.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2024/02/24/lynette-woodard-caitlin-clark-ncaa/

Yet Woodard’s accomplishment isn’t formally in the record book because NCAA male administrators flatly refused to recognize or fund women’s sports until, get this, 1982. In response to a query, an NCAA spokesperson responded that women’s records pre-that date “were not completed while the schools/teams in question were NCAA members.”

To sum up, the NCAA doesn’t regard women’s basketball records as records, because before 1982 the NCAA didn’t want women in their organization.

[...]

There is nothing trivial about this. It’s an act of erasure. Example: the NCAA regards Michigan as the holder of the record for most college football victories of all time, with 989. Yet the NCAA didn’t come into existence until 1910, and Michigan began playing football in 1879. The NCAA doesn’t strike or asterisk anything Michigan won “pre-NCAA.” Otherwise, there goes Fielding Yost and his 56-game winning streak and a huge chunk of Michigan’s seasons. The NCAA wouldn’t dream of ignoring those years.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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For all intents and purposes, Ohio State won the B1G regular season this afternoon... technically their win over Maryland only guarantees them a co-championship, but with a 2-win lead over Iowa and Indiana teams they've already beaten, the #1 seed in the conference tournament is settled.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Caitlin Clark is the most proficient offensive player I've ever seen in women's college basketball. She does things that have never been done in women's basketball. But the *greatest* women's college player ever is Breanna Stewart. By miles.

4x NCAA champ
4x NCAA tournament MOP
3x first-team All-American
3x National Player of the Year
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Paige Bueckers won’t come close to winning player of the year. But she’s been incredible this season. 20+ points a game on 53% shooting (43% from three), nearly 5 rebounds and 4 assists a game. Also has been playing the 4 because of all their injuries. She’s having a better season than her freshman year when she won POY.

All this coming off a torn ACL. Remarkable player.
 

riboflav

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Davidson just canceled the rest of their injury-riddled season. Three players out with torn ACLs. Something needs to be done.
 

riboflav

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Paige would be all the rage if not for her injury issues and for Caitlin obviously. She is so incredibly intelligent and efficient and such a joy to watch. Every movement is purposeful and exact and she also gets the most out of her athleticism on the defensive end. She is historically great (POY over Caitlin as a FR) and yet I feel underrated.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
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Well, Paige will have a year next year without Caitlin in the division - I guess the boosters met her asking price - so unless her teammates resemble this year's triage ward, the sky's the limit.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Well, Paige will have a year next year without Caitlin in the division - I guess the boosters met her asking price - so unless her teammates resemble this year's triage ward, the sky's the limit.
She didn’t need the boosters to meet any asking price. She’s making a fortune from NIL already - far more than she’d make with a WNBA contract.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Record ticket prices for today's Ohio State @ Iowa game, which is kind of funny since the only thing the game will determine other than national rankings/potential seeding for the NCAA tourney is whether Iowa is the #2 or #3 in the conference tournament. Ohio State is #1 and outright champs regardless and, as far as I can tell, Iowa controls their own destiny for the #2, with the Indiana game later this afternoon being irrelevant.

The real reason to watch is Caitlyn Clark being just 17 short of Pete Maravich's NCAA scoring record. It's probably only a question of whether she gets there by half-time or the 3rd quarter. In their first match-up, Ohio State didn't do a lot to shut her down but won by forcing the whole team into turnovers and foul trouble. Iowa is only 3-3 vs ranked opponents this season, but honestly, if the Buckeyes fall behind by double-digits today, they should really just pull their starters to keep them rested and healthy.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Molly Davis goes down with what could be a serious knee injury. Iowa's chances at a long tournament run sink if this is her last game. The Iowa crowd is now booing Madison Greene when she touches the ball even though it was a non-contact injury.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Clark gets the record on free throws after a tacky technical on McMahon for nudging her out of her way during a dead ball. Iowa scores 6 points in the last 0.3 seconds of the half and I'd rather see Ohio State just play the bench the rest of the way and see if they meet again in the conference tournament.