Is Griner best ever center? Geno responds.... | The Boneyard

Is Griner best ever center? Geno responds....

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pap49cba

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Would you say Brittney Griner is one of the best centers women’s basketball has ever seen?

Where I come from, you’re defined as the best ever by how much you win, not how many points you score or how many rebounds you get, or whatever. Brittney heard that in college for four years, ‘you’re the best ever, best ever, best ever,’ and they won one national championship. There have been other people that have won, Diana (Taurasi), two, three. And now she’s won her first WNBA championship in just her second year and this is her first opportunity on the world stage to win a World Championship. So, as Brittney’s career moves on and she impacts teams and impacts their ability to win, then we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow.’ But sometimes I think we -- coaches, fans, media, everybody -- we see somebody who’s so unique, who does things that maybe no one else has ever done and we’re quick to jump to, ‘Wow, she’s the greatest ever.’ It’s probably not fair to her. So, I always like to wait and see. And then when they’re finished, you look back and say, ‘Hmm, maybe she was the best ever.’

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Another link (previously hinted at): France - U.S. World Cup Quarterfinal: Preparing for the rematch

As the United States moves out of pool play unscathed (3-0) and prepares for their must-win matchup against France in Thursday night's quarterfinal round of the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship for Women, the memory of their exhibition loss against Les Bleues in Paris 11-days ago lingers.

“We didn’t play like we wanted to play,” said Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream). “We were sluggish, even a bit lazy.”

“They played really well and we didn’t,” echoed Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx). “We didn’t play with the level of focus and energy that was required to beat them on their home court. Losing a game is going to open your eyes,” Moore continued. “For us, we don’t want to be reminded of those lessons by taking a loss. But it happened. And we’re going to make the most of it by taking those feelings and motivation into tomorrow’s game.”
 

meyers7

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Another link (previously hinted at): France - U.S. World Cup Quarterfinal: Preparing for the rematch

As the United States moves out of pool play unscathed (3-0) and prepares for their must-win matchup against France in Thursday night's quarterfinal round of the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship for Women, the memory of their exhibition loss against Les Bleues in Paris 11-days ago lingers.

“We didn’t play like we wanted to play,” said Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream). “We were sluggish, even a bit lazy.”

“They played really well and we didn’t,” echoed Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx). “We didn’t play with the level of focus and energy that was required to beat them on their home court. Losing a game is going to open your eyes,” Moore continued. “For us, we don’t want to be reminded of those lessons by taking a loss. But it happened. And we’re going to make the most of it by taking those feelings and motivation into tomorrow’s game.”
Yea, I'm thinking this game may not be all that close. :cool:
 

easttexastrash

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She is the best center I have ever seen in terms of talent and ability. But, Geno, as many others do, reserves judgement based on championships. So, in other words, check back with me in 15 years.

After Monday, BG will have NCAA, WNBA and WC titles. Not a bad start for a 23-year old.
 

meyers7

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She is the best center I have ever seen in terms of talent and ability. But, Geno, as many others do, reserves judgement based on championships. So, in other words, check back with me in 15 years.

After Monday, BG will have NCAA, WNBA and WC titles. Not a bad start for a 23-year old.
Not bad at all.
 

bballnut90

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She is the best center I have ever seen in terms of talent and ability. But, Geno, as many others do, reserves judgement based on championships. So, in other words, check back with me in 15 years.

After Monday, BG will have NCAA, WNBA and WC titles. Not a bad start for a 23-year old.

I think Griner is the most unique physical presence in women's basketball history. No one has controlled the paint defensively like Griner. Perimeter defenders can apply ample pressure because they know they have Griner as a safety net in the paint. She also shuts down opposing post players, I didn't think I'd ever see a player just handle Sylvia Fowles in the manner that Griner did. She has a long way to go offensively before she is close to being at the level of a player like Lisa Leslie offensively. She has room to improve as a passer, rebounder and she doesn't demand the ball like she should. She only took 11 shots per game and 3 FT per game. For a player of her talent level, she should be taking 15 shots a game, and getting 6-7 FTA every single night.

In regards to Geno's winning comment. I wouldn't hold getting only 1 championship against Griner. Her freshman year, Baylor was incredibly young and still managed to make a run to the Final Four. Sophomore year, they were one of the title favorites but lost to the eventual champs after beating them 3 times that year. Junior year she led her team to an undefeated 40-0 season, and her senior year they were 34-1 and were overwhelming championship favorites until Louisville pulled off the biggest upset in tournament history. Not a bad resume at all, plus when you throw in her scoring and block records, there's no way you can tell me she isn't one of the best ever. Also, in defense of Griner 'only' winning 1 title, outside of Sims, Baylor didn't have much talent compared to the likes of Notre Dame/Connecticut. None of Pope, Hayden, Williams or Madden sniffed the WNBA. If you look at other greats like Holdsclaw, Parker, Taurasi, Moore, Miller, etc. All of them had multiple All-American teammates who had solid pro careers which led to much of their success. Griner only had Sims and was still able to make Baylor the most feared team in the nation for 3 consecutive seasons.

Nowadays, I don't put a ton of stock in winning Gold Medals as validation for someone being the best ever. International Women's Basketball was about as competitive as the AAC with USA being UCONN. USA won the 2012 games by an average margin of 34 ppg, 2008 the margin was 37.6 ppg. USA has been so overwhelmingly dominant, as long as a player is good enough to make Team USA (if you're in consideration for being the best ever, you'll make the team) she'll get a Gold Medal regardless of performance to add to her trophy case. Heck, the USA could probably take their Olympic B and C team to the games and both of those squads would likely medal as well.

Anyway, back to the original debate, I don't think she is the best center ever yet. I think she could be the best center ever, and when it's all said and done, I think she will be.
 

sarals24

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Ha, "only" had Sims?

I don't know that Baylor's losses were a reflection on Griner so much as Mulkey. I was at the TAMU game where they lost, and TAMU was physical with her (but not overly so). Baylor had no backup plan. Griner also didn't have the offensive arsenal that she has today...not sure why Mulkey never had her shooting a 15-foot jump shot that would draw out the defense, for example. She's clearly capable of it. And TAMU was able to pack it in the post and frustrate her.
As for the L'Ville game, well...that's been rehashed a million times. But again, Mulkey. Terrible coaching, never really adjusted. And Sims is the one who kept them in the game.

I think Griner was amazing in college, and it's scary to think that she could have been even better (much better, in my opinion). But when it's all said and done I think she'll be the best, if not one of the best, ever.
 

UcMiami

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'Greatest ever' does carry with it an ability to perform at a high level over a significant stretch of time. One of the best centers I ever saw play basketball was Bill Walton, but unfortunately his feet could not stand up to the rigors of basketball and his brief moment at the top of his game reduces him to a footnote in the greatest ever debate.
Lisa Leslie stands out as far as US centers because of a 12 year career of excellence. If Griner can come close to that longevity with continued outstanding play she will certainly be in that conversation and could well supplant her.
Just checked Olympic and WC career numbers on the USA site and Leslie is all over the top end of stats. Most points and rebounds in each and both competitions by pretty wide margins.
The others that stand out in USA records are Staley, Edwards, Thompson. Catchings, and Taurasi are climbing. Bird interestingly does not show statistically very strongly - I think probably suffering from deeper teams and less playing time per game and sharing a backcourt with DT.
As far as medal counts Edwards with eight 4 Olympic Gold and a Bronze and 2 WC gold and a Bronze leads the way as far as I can see - Leslie with 4 OC Golds and 2 WC golds and a bronze is next. Sue has a chance to match Edwards if she makes the 2016 team and the current WC and the Olympic team both win. It is unlikely given the current competition for the team that anyone will match Edwards five Olympic medals. A player like Stewart might - though Stewart probably only has a realistic chance at 5 WC medals - she would be 36 for her 5th WC but 38 for a fifth Olympic team. Taurasi should make the 2016 Olympic team and would certainly have a solid chance for the 2018 worlds that would get her to 8 medals as well. Catch making the Olympic team would bring her to 7. (This all assumes USA wins medals in these future competitions.)
Not sure what played out for Edwards and Leslie in terms of WC teams - they both missed WC teams in the middle of their Olympic team runs.
NB - Staley ended with 6 medals - 5 gold and a bronze.
Stewart because of the increased number of youth competitions (and playing up for some teams) is positioned to have the most USA medals across all teams if she continues on her current track and plays into her mid thirties - she already has 5 golds.
 

UcMiami

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bballnut - as far as college centers are concerned which is a finite time period that Griner has completed she is definitely in the conversation, though players that professionally may have struggled like C. Paris and Wolters come to mind as well as Fowles, Charles, Appel, and others - I don't go back as far as Leslie's career but assume she was pretty amazing as well. As a shot blocker she stands out and as a defensive intimidator too.
And Leslie defensively on USA teams was pretty intimidating too - scoring and rebounding she is currently far ahead.
I do think championship/medal count is a valid measuring stick in team sports - they do not preclude individuals from being in the discussions, but a great player on a bad team is likely to put up better statistics than a great player on a really good team. DT and Sue for example never put up great individual numbers in college compared to NCAA yearly leaders because they played on very good teams, didn't have to play big minutes in most games and the points and assists were spread around amongst the whole team, but they were clearly two of the best 4 year players in the NCAA during their careers at their positions and over the history of the NCAA as well.
 
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BG has all the tools to go down as the games top center.

Barring injury, I believe she will be regarded as just that.
 
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Another link (previously hinted at): France - U.S. World Cup Quarterfinal: Preparing for the rematch

As the United States moves out of pool play unscathed (3-0) and prepares for their must-win matchup against France in Thursday night's quarterfinal round of the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship for Women, the memory of their exhibition loss against Les Bleues in Paris 11-days ago lingers.

“We didn’t play like we wanted to play,” said Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream). “We were sluggish, even a bit lazy.”

“They played really well and we didn’t,” echoed Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx). “We didn’t play with the level of focus and energy that was required to beat them on their home court. Losing a game is going to open your eyes,” Moore continued. “For us, we don’t want to be reminded of those lessons by taking a loss. But it happened. And we’re going to make the most of it by taking those feelings and motivation into tomorrow’s game.”
Nice article!

Dumerc: "We will play," she said. "We will do our best. But to win? It will not happen." French thing? (A la WWII tanks with 1 forward & 4 reverse gears?) Realism fulfills itself.
 
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She is the best center I have ever seen in terms of talent and ability. But, Geno, as many others do, reserves judgement based on championships. So, in other words, check back with me in 15 years.

After Monday, BG will have NCAA, WNBA and WC titles. Not a bad start for a 23-year old.

After Monday, Stewart will have 2 NCAA and a WC title. Not a bad start for a 20 year old. :D
 

bballnut90

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bballnut - as far as college centers are concerned which is a finite time period that Griner has completed she is definitely in the conversation, though players that professionally may have struggled like C. Paris and Wolters come to mind as well as Fowles, Charles, Appel, and others - I don't go back as far as Leslie's career but assume she was pretty amazing as well. As a shot blocker she stands out and as a defensive intimidator too.
And Leslie defensively on USA teams was pretty intimidating too - scoring and rebounding she is currently far ahead.
I do think championship/medal count is a valid measuring stick in team sports - they do not preclude individuals from being in the discussions, but a great player on a bad team is likely to put up better statistics than a great player on a really good team. DT and Sue for example never put up great individual numbers in college compared to NCAA yearly leaders because they played on very good teams, didn't have to play big minutes in most games and the points and assists were spread around amongst the whole team, but they were clearly two of the best 4 year players in the NCAA during their careers at their positions and over the history of the NCAA as well.

I'd say without hesitation that Griner is the best collegiate center ever. No one has come close to accomplishing what she did at Baylor. Also worth noting, as great as Leslie was, she never played in a Final Four. Once Griner starts demanding the ball in the post and puts up bigger numbers/continues to win, she'll elevate herself into her own category of centers.
 

UcMiami

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I'd say without hesitation that Griner is the best collegiate center ever. No one has come close to accomplishing what she did at Baylor. Also worth noting, as great as Leslie was, she never played in a Final Four. Once Griner starts demanding the ball in the post and puts up bigger numbers/continues to win, she'll elevate herself into her own category of centers.
Hard to agree with that 'without hesitation' - C. Paris dominated her four years with 4 AA first team selections records for season and career rebounds and for double doubles (even if you discount a few questionable late game blow out minutes. Only player with over 2000 rebounds in a career and she also scored over 2500 points. Griner is second all time in points and first in blocks - but isn't in the conversation on rebounds.

If you want to talk about FF and Championships - Fowles I believe had 4 FF and Tina 2 championships and Dolson had 4 and 2.

I think Griner will be the best ever center in 10 years, just keeping it honest on college which is a small window at a time when players are developing.
 

easttexastrash

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Hard to agree with that 'without hesitation' - C. Paris dominated her four years with 4 AA first team selections records for season and career rebounds and for double doubles (even if you discount a few questionable late game blow out minutes. Only player with over 2000 rebounds in a career and she also scored over 2500 points. Griner is second all time in points and first in blocks - but isn't in the conversation on rebounds.

If you want to talk about FF and Championships - Fowles I believe had 4 FF and Tina 2 championships and Dolson had 4 and 2.

I think Griner will be the best ever center in 10 years, just keeping it honest on college which is a small window at a time when players are developing.

Tina had Maya...that made a fairly significant difference when chasing championships. Griner had Sims, but is Sims on the same level as Maya? And can you really put Dolson in the same conversation as Griner just because she was on a better team?

Had Griner gone to UCONN, would there really be a debate on this? Geno would have won four championships with her.
 
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UcMiami

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Tina had Maya...that made a fairly significant difference when chasing championships. Griner had Sims, but is Sims on the same level as Maya? And can you really put Dolson in the same conversation as Griner just because she was on a better team?

Had Griner gone to UCONN, would there really be a debate on this?
I just threw that in for fun and to annoy you!:cool: (And I do not discount so much how good Sims was in college - maybe not Maya, but not too far off.)
But I do think you cannot ignore the rebounds - Paris was as dominant a force in her four years as Griner was in slightly different ways. Griner will far exceed Paris as a professional but for that four year period she was pretty phenomenal.

Somewhere up there someone pointed out Griner's domination of Sylvia in the finals and it was very impressive - but I do wonder about Fowles health for the finals - she certainly looked hurt in the last game with Griner not playing and I think whatever the condition that kept her off the WC must have been affecting her mobility and play.
 
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BG's growth in offensive skills since college, particularly in the low post, have been astounding. Her shooting % was up this year and she also improved her assists per game. As her low post skills continue to improve she will see more double teams and will need to develop her passing game perhaps the way Wilt C did. If she does this effectively and keeps her defensive focus she'll not only be in the best center ever discussion but perhaps the best player ever discussion.
 
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Would you say Brittney Griner is one of the best centers women’s basketball has ever seen?

Where I come from, you’re defined as the best ever by how much you win, not how many points you score or how many rebounds you get, or whatever. Brittney heard that in college for four years, ‘you’re the best ever, best ever, best ever,’ and they won one national championship. There have been other people that have won, Diana (Taurasi), two, three. And now she’s won her first WNBA championship in just her second year and this is her first opportunity on the world stage to win a World Championship. So, as Brittney’s career moves on and she impacts teams and impacts their ability to win, then we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow.’ But sometimes I think we -- coaches, fans, media, everybody -- we see somebody who’s so unique, who does things that maybe no one else has ever done and we’re quick to jump to, ‘Wow, she’s the greatest ever.’ It’s probably not fair to her. So, I always like to wait and see. And then when they’re finished, you look back and say, ‘Hmm, maybe she was the best ever.’

LINK
I think Geno remembers the performance in Olympics by Lissa Lesley. I don't think Griner is there yet. I think Geno is walking a thin line even answering this question. This is one the politicians would have dodged.
 
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I'd say without hesitation that Griner is the best collegiate center ever. No one has come close to accomplishing what she did at Baylor. Also worth noting, as great as Leslie was, she never played in aG Final Four. Once Griner starts demanding the ball in the post and puts up bigger numbers/continues to win, she'll elevate herself into her own category of centers.
For all yer
I think Geno remembers the performance in Olympics by Lissa Lesley. I don't think Griner is there yet. I think Geno is walking a thin line even answering this question. This is one the politicians would have dodged.[/QUOTE For all of Griner's "dominations" she only won one NCAA title. She is very good, and athletic--but that big French girl seemed to score too easily on Griner.
 
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Would you say Brittney Griner is one of the best centers women’s basketball has ever seen?

Where I come from, you’re defined as the best ever by how much you win, not how many points you score or how many rebounds you get, or whatever. Brittney heard that in college for four years, ‘you’re the best ever, best ever, best ever,’ and they won one national championship. There have been other people that have won, Diana (Taurasi), two, three. And now she’s won her first WNBA championship in just her second year and this is her first opportunity on the world stage to win a World Championship. So, as Brittney’s career moves on and she impacts teams and impacts their ability to win, then we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow.’ But sometimes I think we -- coaches, fans, media, everybody -- we see somebody who’s so unique, who does things that maybe no one else has ever done and we’re quick to jump to, ‘Wow, she’s the greatest ever.’ It’s probably not fair to her. So, I always like to wait and see. And then when they’re finished, you look back and say, ‘Hmm, maybe she was the best ever.’

LINK
I was just wondering how Griner would measure up against one of UConn's current power houses. Could Griner contain her? Could she block her layups? Could she stay with the blinding speed of Pulido??
 

easttexastrash

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I just threw that in for fun and to annoy you!:cool: (And I do not discount so much how good Sims was in college - maybe not Maya, but not too far off.)
But I do think you cannot ignore the rebounds - Paris was as dominant a force in her four years as Griner was in slightly different ways. Griner will far exceed Paris as a professional but for that four year period she was pretty phenomenal.

Somewhere up there someone pointed out Griner's domination of Sylvia in the finals and it was very impressive - but I do wonder about Fowles health for the finals - she certainly looked hurt in the last game with Griner not playing and I think whatever the condition that kept her off the WC must have been affecting her mobility and play.

All very good points.

I do not discount Paris's college career in the least. She was just a monster on the boards, and was this past season in the WNBA, also. She was one of the all-time great centers in college basketball. I wonder if she ever paid her scholarship money back for not bringing home a title.

I agree that Syl was not at her best, but it wouldn't have mattered much. IMO, Griner is so far in front of Syl that Syl would never have slowed Griner down much. PLUS, Griner had DT, and Syl didn't. :)
 

DaddyChoc

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we'll see how she does when she doesn't have DT3 any longer
 

Geno-ista

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I think Griner is the most unique physical presence in women's basketball history. No one has controlled the paint defensively like Griner. Perimeter defenders can apply ample pressure because they know they have Griner as a safety net in the paint. She also shuts down opposing post players, I didn't think I'd ever see a player just handle Sylvia Fowles in the manner that Griner did. She has a long way to go offensively before she is close to being at the level of a player like Lisa Leslie offensively. She has room to improve as a passer, rebounder and she doesn't demand the ball like she should. She only took 11 shots per game and 3 FT per game. For a player of her talent level, she should be taking 15 shots a game, and getting 6-7 FTA every single night.

In regards to Geno's winning comment. I wouldn't hold getting only 1 championship against Griner. Her freshman year, Baylor was incredibly young and still managed to make a run to the Final Four. Sophomore year, they were one of the title favorites but lost to the eventual champs after beating them 3 times that year. Junior year she led her team to an undefeated 40-0 season, and her senior year they were 34-1 and were overwhelming championship favorites until Louisville pulled off the biggest upset in tournament history. Not a bad resume at all, plus when you throw in her scoring and block records, there's no way you can tell me she isn't one of the best ever. Also, in defense of Griner 'only' winning 1 title, outside of Sims, Baylor didn't have much talent compared to the likes of Notre Dame/Connecticut. None of Pope, Hayden, Williams or Madden sniffed the WNBA. If you look at other greats like Holdsclaw, Parker, Taurasi, Moore, Miller, etc. All of them had multiple All-American teammates who had solid pro careers which led to much of their success. Griner only had Sims and was still able to make Baylor the most feared team in the nation for 3 consecutive seasons.

Nowadays, I don't put a ton of stock in winning Gold Medals as validation for someone being the best ever. International Women's Basketball was about as competitive as the AAC with USA being UCONN. USA won the 2012 games by an average margin of 34 ppg, 2008 the margin was 37.6 ppg. USA has been so overwhelmingly dominant, as long as a player is good enough to make Team USA (if you're in consideration for being the best ever, you'll make the team) she'll get a Gold Medal regardless of performance to add to her trophy case. Heck, the USA could probably take their Olympic B and C team to the games and both of those squads would likely medal as well.

Anyway, back to the original debate, I don't think she is the best center ever yet. I think she could be the best center ever, and when it's all said and done, I think she will be.
I totally disagree about BG not winning a championship her Sr yr! All world center and all world Pt guard with a phenomenal, seasoned & experienced team right down 7 players deep. That team 7 deep was returning from a Nat Championship. It was the collapse of the century.
 

UcMiami

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All very good points.

I do not discount Paris's college career in the least. She was just a monster on the boards, and was this past season in the WNBA, also. She was one of the all-time great centers in college basketball. I wonder if she ever paid her scholarship money back for not bringing home a title.

I agree that Syl was not at her best, but it wouldn't have mattered much. IMO, Griner is so far in front of Syl that Syl would never have slowed Griner down much. PLUS, Griner had DT, and Syl didn't. :)
Agree Phoenix was not being stopped this year - just think Fowles and EDD were both less than 100% for the finals and the dominance would not have been as pronounced had Chicago not had their two best players sub-par.
The scary thing (especially for opponents) is to think that Griner is probably 3-4 years away from her peak performance window - with greater game knowledge and continued maturation today's version is just the beginning!
 
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