Change Ad Consent Generational Players-when can you tell? | The Boneyard

Generational Players-when can you tell?

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DefenseBB

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There has been varying discussions of "Generational players" on the board this season be it Aliyah Boston, Sabrina Ionescu, Paige Bueckers or even Azzi Fudd. First a few points-generation is usually 20 years, so a "generational player" is alleged to be every 20 years. That's not quite right for us as we have seen Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Britany Griner and Breanna Stewart who all have been called "generational players" in the last 20 years. Second point is usually, you KNOW when you see one play and think, "wow, that's a great player". Which for any of the above, usually most people said that.

What I did was review the last 9 years of #1 and #2 prospects and the next 2 years from HS across the 3 rating agency's of HoopGurlz, Prospects Nation and Blue Star. I highlighted the consensus #1 players across all 3, there were only 4 of them (in yellow and green). I also highlighted all the women who became "All-American" by the time they graduated. As I said, "Generational players should clearly stand out not only above their class peers but their preceding and following classes as well. All that I listed above did that-stand out among their peers-prior, current and following class of players.

All that said, the script is not completely written as we are not quite halfway through the All-American opportunities for many of the players listed. On the list below, there is really on 1 player who would qualify as "generational" in Breanna Stewart-consensus #1, multiple All-American placements, multiple POY awards. WNBA ROY, WNBA Champion, WNBA MVP. Next "viable" might be A'ja Wilson but again she wasn't a consensus #1 nor did she win multiple POY. She did win WNBA ROY and is on the Olympic team short list. Sabrina wasn't even listed in the Top 2 by any of the 3 agency's (she was #3 in 2 of them). She might have the potential to be generational but she needs a title and more dominance to attain that. The hype and press about Paige and Azzi is now ramping up and we shall see that play out right before our eyes. Thanks to @Sluconn Husky and @Dillon77 for their help in gathering data!
Here's the list and let the discussion begin.
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MilfordHusky

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Is “generational” = “transcendent”? I think the terms refer to someone who is not only great, but different.

There are some really good players on that list. Stewie clearly fits the bill.

Sabrina fits, thus far in her college career.

Haley Jones may. Too early to tell.

Wilson and Cox are very good players, but more traditional and not generational.

Boston is good. Is she as good as Tina, who is borderline generational at best? I’m reserving judgment.

Paige and Azzi have the potential. Azzi is still working her way back from injury, while Paige has gotten even better and leads the nation’s best team. Last year, I saw Azzi 6x and thought she was better. Right now, I think Paige has the edge, but Azzi has another year at the prep level to show her stuff.
 
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Is “generational” = “transcendent”? I think the terms refer to someone who is not only great, but different.

There are some really good players on that list. Stewie clearly fits the bill.

Sabrina fits, thus far in her college career.

Haley Jones may. Too early to tell.

Wilson and Cox are very good players, but more traditional and not generational.

Boston is good. Is she as good as Tina, who is borderline generational at best? I’m reserving judgment.

Paige and Azzi have the potential. Azzi is still working her way back from injury, while Paige has gotten even better and leads the nation’s best team. Last year, I saw Azzi 6x and thought she was better. Right now, I think Paige has the edge, but Azzi has another year at the prep level to show her stuff.
Only saw Boston the other night, but she already looked like Tina as a junior or senior. Not sure she was that much better than Liv though. Neither have Stewart’s game.
 
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Imo there has been 5 generational since 1995. Holdsclaw and Parker from Tennessee and Taurasi, Moore and Stewart from Uconn! These 5 players dominated college basketball like no others! 14 National Championships between them and if Candace stayed 1 more year! Maybe Uconn doesnt win in 2009 but none of them played each other in college!
 
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If a player being called "generational" is only tied to being a player coming along every generation, or every 20 years, then that could apply to ANY player that comes along every 20 years, right? This or that player was the first in program history - or at least in the last 20 years - to hit 4 3-point shots in a single game, or was the first to average 10.0+ rebounds per game for a single season in program history. By definition, those players are "generational" players for that program.

But the reason why we give those players "generational" tags is beyond that: it's players who do something of achievement that typically is only seen once a generation.

So say, a player comes along, and has a career where he/she scores 20.0+ ppg, 10.0+ rpg, or any other combination of other statistical production that hasn't been seen at his/her program for say, 20 years or more.

Perhaps it's not so much the sheer numbers, but perhaps that player is such a leader and clutch performer that while the stats don't rise to those levels, that player still leads his/her program to unprecedented heights of success that hasn't been seen in 20 years, if ever.

But what if a player like the above comes along and leads his/her program to that kind of unprecedented success, then ANOTHER player comes along 5-10 years later, and does the exact same thing? Does that player get gypped of the "generational" tag, because there was another player that preceded him/her less than 20 or so years before??

Say the first player led his/her program to their first ever national championship, and set 1-2 career program records along the way: would that player be or not be considered a "generational" player? Then, say the 2nd player came along 5-10 years later, and basically did the same exact thing, but he/she led that program to two MORE championships, and set 1 or 2 MORE career records? Would that 2nd player be denied the "generational" tag? Or would the previous player - once called a "generational" player by the program, suddenly get bumped to the curb out of the "generational" club???
 
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A few months ago I started the thread "transcendent vs transformative" to get peoples thoughts about this very thing. The choice of words wasn't that best but I was more or less asking if people thought Ionescu was in that transcendent category yet. Clearly Stewart, DT, Maya all fit transcendent and I think we all know there is a fine line between exceptionally good and transcendent. I do think Ionescu is still on that line and that's not to slight her.

Boston is pretty darned good. I said once on this board it just seems to take female post players, even the very good ones, a year of college to adjust to the pace, get their conditioning up to par, and figure how to play against competition when they aren't necessarily the tallest or strongest on the floor. Well Boston is making me eat my words regarding that statement. It's still a little soon to anoint her with any labels other than likely NFOY and WBCA All American.
 
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Only saw Boston the other night, but she already looked like Tina as a junior or senior. Not sure she was that much better than Liv though. Neither have Stewart’s game.
Nonsense, Boston is a very good young big, but she is not a "generational player" or ANYWHERE near as good as a Jr/Sr Tina Charles!
 

CocoHusky

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Generational talents are usually head and shoulders above their class (and classes above them). They are consensus #1's coming out of HS at the very least. Easily winning Naismith, etc. awards.
 

oldude

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I believe you can only make the determination of a “generational” player retrospectively. DT, Parker & Stewie would all fit the description, but not necessarily by their first or second season in college. I also believe that a generational player has to be associated with at least one, and probably 2 or more championship teams. So great players like Jackie Stiles, EDD and Sabrina Ionescu, so far, do not make the list IMO.
 

CocoHusky

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Don't think it is either fair or useful to use championships or a criteria such as "every 20 years" to determine generational. EDD was not going to win a championship playing at Delaware. EDD would probably have multiple championships had she stayed at UCONN and shared the floor with both Tina and Maya. These players careers overlapped slightly in college (EDD & Maya), (Britney Griner& Stewie). If one were to use a criteria of every 10 years you would be forced to pick say Maya over Stewie? Could college teammates eg. Cynthia Cooper & Cheryl Miller both be considered generational players?
 
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oldude

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Yes EDD would likely have had a championship or 2 had she stayed at UConn, but she did not. It is just my opinion, but I firmly believe that the greatest players make everyone on their team better. I have no problem with EDD’s decision to get closer to home, but as a result of that decision, we just don’t know if she would have been able to lead her team to a championship.

There is an interesting bit of trivia about Y. A. Tittle that relates to this discussion I think. If you go to the FB HOF in Canton, OH, you will see the busts of many great pro QB’s, including Tittle. Tittle has a unique distinction. He is the only QB ever enshrined in the FB HOF who never won a playoff game.
 
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CocoHusky

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Yes EDD would likely have had a championship or 2 had she stayed at UConn, but she did not. It is just my opinion, but I firmly believe that the greatest players make everyone on their team better. I have no problem with EDD’s decision to get closer to home, but as a result of that decision, we just don’t know if she would have been able to lead her team to a championship.

There is an interesting bit of trivia about Y. A. Tittle that relates to this discussion I think. If you go to the FB HOF in Canton, OH, you will see the busts of many great pro QB’s, including Tittle. Tittle has a unique distinction. He is the only QB ever enshrined in the FB HOF who never lead his team to a conference or league championship.
I'm going to try and pin you down by separating facts from opinions.
Facts: EDD played at Delaware and did not win a NCAA championship. I was there, EDD definitely made her Delaware teammates better.
Opinion: Is EDD not to be considered a generational talent because she did not win a championship?
 

oldude

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I'm going to try and pin you down by separating facts from opinions.
Facts: EDD played at Delaware and did not win a NCAA championship. I was there, EDD definitely made her Delaware teammates better.
Opinion: Is EDD not to be considered a generational talent because she did not win a championship?
This entire thread could be retitled, “In your opinion what constitutes a generational player?” So to answer your question, “Yes,” IMO EDD is not a generational talent because she did not win a championship, and I will hold the same opinion for Ionescu if the Ducks fall short this year.

As to whether Stiles, EDD or Ionescu are “great” players, there is absolutely no doubt about it based on facts or opinions.
 
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At a minimum, a "generational player" would be the best player on the floor, whoever she plays. Not one of the best, but clearly the best player. Additionally, I think a generational player is almost always a "one of one." Not really comparable to other current players that came before her. Examples would include Stewie, Maya, Miller.
 
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It really just depends on how you want to define generational.

Personally, I think the championships are not a particularly fair criteria.

The greatest players of all time have sometimes not been enough to deliver a title against stacked opponents when they didn't have enough help.

So generational becomes about how exclusive you want to make the category.

..........

Looking at upcoming recruiting, I think there is probably a higher chance that Azzi Fudd is a generational player than anyone else.

She was arguably the featured player on a national team where she was also the youngest player. She was two years below the age cap.

That's a pretty good indication that she's special.
 

Dillon77

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If a player being called "generational" is only tied to being a player coming along every generation, or every 20 years, then that could apply to ANY player that comes along every 20 years, right? This or that player was the first in program history - or at least in the last 20 years - to hit 4 3-point shots in a single game, or was the first to average 10.0+ rebounds per game for a single season in program history. By definition, those players are "generational" players for that program.

But the reason why we give those players "generational" tags is beyond that: it's players who do something of achievement that typically is only seen once a generation.

So say, a player comes along, and has a career where he/she scores 20.0+ ppg, 10.0+ rpg, or any other combination of other statistical production that hasn't been seen at his/her program for say, 20 years or more.

Perhaps it's not so much the sheer numbers, but perhaps that player is such a leader and clutch performer that while the stats don't rise to those levels, that player still leads his/her program to unprecedented heights of success that hasn't been seen in 20 years, if ever.

But what if a player like the above comes along and leads his/her program to that kind of unprecedented success, then ANOTHER player comes along 5-10 years later, and does the exact same thing? Does that player get gypped of the "generational" tag, because there was another player that preceded him/her less than 20 or so years before??

Say the first player led his/her program to their first ever national championship, and set 1-2 career program records along the way: would that player be or not be considered a "generational" player? Then, say the 2nd player came along 5-10 years later, and basically did the same exact thing, but he/she led that program to two MORE championships, and set 1 or 2 MORE car eer records? Would that 2nd player be denied the "generational" tag? Or would the previous player - once called a "generational" player by the program, suddenly get bumped to the curb out of the "generational" club???
Nice point, counterpoint with yourself (a good talent to have ;) )

Not sure I'm going to have as many give and takes with the left and right side of my brain, but a few thoughts:

- Some players are like supernovas coming out of high school (the Stewies and Mayas) and continue to set an overall standard of play via their individual and team-play skill sets over the years. They're the proverbial go-to players who make their teams better and get them to levels the team has never done.

- Some of these players might be deemed "generational" on a local or progam level. They may or may not have the same impact at a wider level. There are a few of us in a discussion about Skylar Diggins (on another thread) and the value she brings to the WNBA. Is she generational there or even very good? (No and To be debated.) But no doubt she was the most important player to walk on ND's campus since Ruth Riley did more than 20 years ago. She took a program that was mired at "good" and made it great again; not only by her play but by getting other very good players (Jewell Loyd, Arike Ogunbowale) to follow in her footsteps.

At the very least, Sabrina Ionescu is at that level now for me. She is also triple double machine that often brings to mind the Big O in college and the pros. Will she bring home a championship to the left coast and/or the professional team she lands with? We'll see. But she has firmly helped Grave's Duck program: witness the recruiting classes he is pulling in with Sabrina putting Eugene's gyms on the map, alongside it's great track stadiums.

- Others influence the style of play. On the guys side, Dirk Nowitski inspired entire generations of tall players -- European kids first, then Americans as he became better known -- to face the basket and "stretch" their way out. (Maybe Jack Sikma influenced some kids, too, but Dirk spread the seeds in a widespread manner. Cable TV no doubt helped.) And then Kevn Durant refined that model even more so.

On the girls side, EDD and Stewie have had a huge influence on upcoming taller girls who want to face the hoop, dribble, rebound and lead the break. When I watched high schooler Destiny Adams play the first time, I imagined that Stewie had to be an influence.

- And then there's players who keep getting better though college and beyond, and display a level of excellence all the time that you can't ignore. Teams are simply much better with them. Sue Bird -- running any team; Brittany Griner makes the U.S.A. Team unbeatable. Yes her teammates make Griner better, but she does the same for them. And Stewie was as determined to win as she was gifted. As an Irish fan, I can tell you that playing against Stewie was like going against MJ -- you knew she'd find a way to win.

Just some more give and takes going through my head.
 
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oldude

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Nice point, counterpoint with yourself (a good talent to have ;) )

Not sure I'm going to have as many give and takes with the left and right side of my brain, but a few thoughts:

- Some players are like supernovas coming out of high school (the Stewies and Mayas) and continue to set an overall standard of play via their individual and team-play skill sets over the years. They're the proverbial go-to players who make their teams better and get them to levels the team has never done.

- Some of these players might be deemed "generational" on a local or progam level. They may or may not have the same impact at a wider level. There are a few of us in a discussion about Skylar Diggins (on another thread) and the value she brings to the WNBA. Is she generational there or even very good? (No and To be debated.) But no doubt she was the most important player to walk on ND's campus since Ruth Riley did more than 20 years ago. She took a program that was mired at "good" and made it great again; not only by her play but by getting other very good players (Jewell Loyd, Arike Ogunbowale) to follow in her footsteps.

Sabrina Ionescu is a triple double machine that only brings to mind the Big O. Will she bring home a championship to the left coast and/or the professional team she lands with? We'll see. But she has firmly help Grave's Duck program: witness the recruiting classes he is pulling in.

- Others influence the style of play. On the guys side, Dirk Nowitski inspired entire generations of tall players to face the basket and "stretch" their way out. (Maybe Jack Sikma influenced some kids, too, but Dirk spread the seeds in a widespread manner. Cable TV no doubt helped.)

On the girls side, EDD and Stewie have had a huge influence on upcoming taller girls who want to face the hoop, dribble, rebound and lead the break. When I watched Destiny Adams play the first time, I imagined that Stewie had to be an influence.

- And then there's players who keep getting better and display a level of excellence all the time that you can't ignore. Teams are simply much better with them. Sue Bird -- running any team; Brittany Griner makes the U.S.A. Team unbeatable. Yes they make her better, but she does the same. As an Irish fan, I can tell you that playing against Stewie was like going against MJ -- you knew she'd find a way to win.

Just some more give and takes going through my head.
Jack Sikma! Now there’s a blast from the past. One of the most accurate shooting centers to ever play the game. I believe he was also the only center to ever lead the NBA in FT shooting.
 

UcMiami

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Generational in terms of athletes is a pretty useless but very popular term and it has nothing to do with the definition of 20 years - at best it relates more to athletic lifespan which is more of a 10 year period for pro athletes and maybe 8 years or less for college athletes. DT never overlapped with Maya who never overlapped with Breanna for example.

I like the transcendent/transformative terms better but ...

Agree it has nothing to do with championships but championships do help highlight players so EDD passed through college with less fanfare than she would have at Uconn or any other school that had a legit chance of a title. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird enhanced college legends by competing against each other and carried that to the pros. And how much difference does environment make in a team game - lead a bunch of good young players to championships and you stand out or fail because your teammates are not good enough; be part of a phenomenal team like team USA and your contribution may seem ordinary among other greats. Who was better in 2010 - Maya or Tina? The voters couldn't figure it out and neither won in college without the other. Or how many titles does Breanna win without Moriah and Morgan and how does that change her story?

Lobo was pretty much a first as a big shooting threes. DT was statistically insignificant in college but her will to win with a very young team stands out, Maya brought power and dynamic play, Stewart followed Lobo, Parker, and EDD in adding refinement to what tall players are capable of. As a pro/national team player Sue stands out for her ability to lead.

Griner who some mention was a new type of force in college following after Paris. Vandersloot, Plum, and now Ionescu have there own statistical importance but are they very good or something more.

To some degree college is too short a time period and too spotty a competitive universe to qualify for something so grandiose as 'generational'. Paris thrived as a collegian but struggled to play as a pro so she is diminished, Fowles was impressive as a collegian but has taken it up a notch as a pro/international star. Moriah was special in college but hasn't developed as a pro (because of injury.) So Holdsclaw may get lost compared to her teammate Catchings whose pro career was special.
 
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A generation is usually defined as a period of 25 -30 years. When does that period start and when does it end? It's also usually characterized outside of sports by a cataclysmic event like a war such as the Greatest Generation not by the mere passage of years.The other problem with the concept in basketball is it assumes there is only one such player who is the greatest player of his or her generation. I'm sure most people would agree that Michael Jordan was a generational talent. But Kobe's championships came approximately within 10 years of MJ's last title. Were both Magic and Larry Legend generational talents at the same time? What about Kareem who was still playing? Can Stewie and DT both be generational talents if they are playing on the same Olympic team even though separated by more than 10 years in age? I think you know a talent that is the best of a generation, half generation, decade or span of years when you see it over a long span of time. I'm thinking Diana , Maya, Cheryl Miller and now Stewie. You can only judge that kind of talent by looking backwards on achievements, not forward on possibilities. When you look forwards it is a prediction or guess, not an opinion. I remember when Lebron was called a generational talent when he was in high school. That prediction you would say was certainly an accurate one but a lot of things could have happened in between that would have changed it such as injuries or another greater player coming along. It's fun to speculate I suppose but I find the immediate denomination of Boston as a generational talent to be both insulting to those who have earned it and disrespectful to the history of the game. If Boston wins 2-3 NCAA titles, is POY more than once, is WNBA MVP and ROY, wins a WNBA championship or two and is a sustaining member of Team USA we can have that conversation then not now. Even then, she is still in Stewie's "generation". That's a pretty high bar to vault over.
 

DefenseBB

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Lots of good points and "the beauty is in the eye of the beholder" perspective of anyone with their definition of "generational player" be it by a program standard or the sports standard. As noted above, I agree that the player should clearly standout as the best player on the floor, night in, night out and must win something and make other players all clearly better. That's what all "generational talents" have done-Bird, Magic, MJ, Lebron, Russell, Gretzky, Messier, Hull.
Of the current crop of college players, Sabrina and Boston show the most potential to do this. Sabrina has been doing this for 4 years now, though maybe not at the absolute dominant level that DT, Maya, Candace or Stewie ever did. Too soon to tell on Boston, though she is off to an impressive start as a freshman Big. The NCAAT will test this. :cool:
 
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There has been varying discussions of "Generational players" on the board this season be it Aliyah Boston, Sabrina Ionescu, Paige Bueckers or even Azzi Fudd. First a few points-generation is usually 20 years, so a "generational player" is alleged to be every 20 years. That's not quite right for us as we have seen Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Britany Griner and Breanna Stewart who all have been called "generational players" in the last 20 years. Second point is usually, you KNOW when you see one play and think, "wow, that's a great player". Which for any of the above, usually most people said that.

What I did was review the last 9 years of #1 and #2 prospects and the next 2 years from HS across the 3 rating agency's of HoopGurlz, Prospects Nation and Blue Star. I highlighted the consensus #1 players across all 3, there were only 3 of them (in yellow). I also highlighted all the women who became "All-American" by the time they graduated. As I said, "Generational players should clearly stand out not only above their class peers but their preceding and following classes as well. All that I listed above did that-stand out among their peers-prior, current and following class of players.

All that said, the script is not completely written as we are not quite halfway through the All-American opportunities for many of the players listed. On the list below, there is really on 1 player who would qualify as "generational" in Breanna Stewart-consensus #1, multiple All-American placements, multiple POY awards. WNBA ROY, WNBA Champion, WNBA MVP. Next "viable" might be A'ja Wilson but again she wasn't a consensus #1 nor did she win multiple POY. She did win WNBA ROY and is on the Olympic team short list. Sabrina wasn't even listed in the Top 2 by any of the 3 agency's (she was #3 in 2 of them). She might have the potential to be generational but she needs a title and more dominance to attain that. The hype and press about Paige and Azzi is now ramping up and we shall see that play out right before our eyes. Thanks to @Sluconn Husky and @Dillon77 for their help in gathering data!
Here's the list and let the discussion begin.
View attachment 50857
 
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There has been varying discussions of "Generational players" on the board this season be it Aliyah Boston, Sabrina Ionescu, Paige Bueckers or even Azzi Fudd. First a few points-generation is usually 20 years, so a "generational player" is alleged to be every 20 years. That's not quite right for us as we have seen Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Britany Griner and Breanna Stewart who all have been called "generational players" in the last 20 years. Second point is usually, you KNOW when you see one play and think, "wow, that's a great player". Which for any of the above, usually most people said that.

What I did was review the last 9 years of #1 and #2 prospects and the next 2 years from HS across the 3 rating agency's of HoopGurlz, Prospects Nation and Blue Star. I highlighted the consensus #1 players across all 3, there were only 3 of them (in yellow). I also highlighted all the women who became "All-American" by the time they graduated. As I said, "Generational players should clearly stand out not only above their class peers but their preceding and following classes as well. All that I listed above did that-stand out among their peers-prior, current and following class of players.

All that said, the script is not completely written as we are not quite halfway through the All-American opportunities for many of the players listed. On the list below, there is really on 1 player who would qualify as "generational" in Breanna Stewart-consensus #1, multiple All-American placements, multiple POY awards. WNBA ROY, WNBA Champion, WNBA MVP. Next "viable" might be A'ja Wilson but again she wasn't a consensus #1 nor did she win multiple POY. She did win WNBA ROY and is on the Olympic team short list. Sabrina wasn't even listed in the Top 2 by any of the 3 agency's (she was #3 in 2 of them). She might have the potential to be generational but she needs a title and more dominance to attain that. The hype and press about Paige and Azzi is now ramping up and we shall see that play out right before our eyes. Thanks to @Sluconn Husky and @Dillon77 for their help in gathering data!
Here's the list and let the discussion begin.
View attachment 50857
Nice post D. Thank God I took advanced algebra, trigonometry, and geometry.
 

UcMiami

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Just some added points:
In all team sports there are defined roles for players so with basketball while there is some crossover by position and some teams define positions differently, there are generally 5 different skill sets and you could argue for 5 generational players in each time period. No one compares Griner and Bird by the same criteria or Bird and DT, or Tina and Maya, etc.

And every team is different in the system run - Uconn generally leads the nation in assists but Uconn individual players are woefully behind the yearly individual leaders in assists. Same with scoring. The system helps define the statistics. And college career stats are partly defined by minutes played as freshmen and sophomores which is also defined by who is on a team when the freshmen arrive.
 

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