The basketball world is still buzzing about the legendary performance by Iowa guard Caitlin Clark in the national semifinals on Friday night. The AP Player of the Year dropped 41 points, eight assists, and six rebounds as she led the Hawkeyes to a 77-73 win over South Carolina, ending the perfect season for the defending national champions.
With Iowa set to face LSU in the national title game on Sunday, it’s worth asking where Clark’s season ranks among the all-time greats.
Entering Sunday’s title showdown, Clark is averaging 27.7 points per game heading into Saturday’s game. Should that number hold after the matchup, it would rank as the sixth-best scoring season of all time. Current Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum holds the record, averaging 31.7 ppg as a senior at Washington in 2017. Immediately following Plum is Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles in 2001 (30.3 ppg), Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist this season (29.2 ppg), and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims in 2014 (28.5 ppg). She’d also finish just behind former Iowa standout Megan Gustafson, who averaged 27.8 ppg in 2019.
Clark’s epic performance against South Carolina on Friday put her at 1,025 total points for the season. That currently puts her at fifth all-time behind Plum (1,109), Siegrist (1,081), Stiles (1,062), and Sims (1,054). She would need an unprecedented performance by even her standards to surpass Siegrist’s numbers from this year, but a 38-point effort against the Tigers would land her at third all time.
On top of this, she has six triple-doubles this season and her 11 for her career puts her at second all-time in the category. Even if she doesn’t land at the very top of the scoring list, a strong performance in a national title win would cement her season as arguably the greatest in women’s college basketball history.
Of the aforementioned names, only Stiles was able to push her squad to the Final Four and a win on Sunday would give Clark an edge over them all. Her ability to take games over has made her the face of women’s college basketball and her confidence on the court throughout this tournament has been Kobe Bryant-esque. Heck, she’s wearing his shoes while putting on these performances. Her campaign this year will be something that is discussed for years to come.