How Good is Caitlin Clark?

by Jordan Ligons (@_jordanligons)

You can catch Jordan twice a week as co-host of Spinsters podcast, the podcast that took over basketball internet in 2021. The podcast does longform reporting on Tuesdays and conversations on Thursdays.

When you Google “Caitlin Clark,” the top result in People Also Ask is “How good is Caitlin Clark?” It’s a simple question, and the World Wide Web wants to know. The short answer: Two good. Here’s the long answer:

Last week, everyone went wild for the palindrome date 2.22.2022 that fell on a Twosday. But, it should have been labeled Caitlin Clark Day as the University of Iowa guard is almost synonymous with the number two. Even earlier this week, she won her second BIG10 Award, being named Player of the Year.

Born on the 22nd of January in 2002, the second-year shooter wears the jersey number 22. Last season, the BIG10 Freshman of the Year led the Hawkeyes to a 20-11 record before they were ousted in the Sweet 16 of tournament play. This past summer, Clark earned her second FIBA U19 gold medal. The 20-year-old currently averages 27.5 points per game and she’s scored 20+ points 21 times this season. And according to ESPN Stats, Clark is the only Division I player (men’s or women’s) in the last 20 years with 650+ points, 200+ assists and 175+ rebounds through the first 25 games of a season.

In a two-minute clip from Boardroom’s The ETCs Podcast, Kevin Durant—Clark’s favorite player— raved about the young phenom. “I was like, ‘Who the hell is this? She’s nice,’” he recalled after seeing Clark play in high school. Now, he’s even more of a fan. “She’s moving fast. It looks like everybody on that court is way slower than her when she gets into her stuff.”

The funny thing is, in a literal and figurative sense, Clark is more known for her 3s. I know your timeline has been flooded with her highlights as much as mine has. Clark from the logo—swish. Off the dribble, top of the key—nothing but net. Running off a screen to the left-wing—coop. Out of bounds play to the right corner—money.

Clark is a flamethrower and she’s making it look so easy. (Or, dare I say,
Stephortless.) When I researched her game log stats for this season, I confused the points’ column with the minutes' column. She scored a career-high 46 points in 40 minutes against Michigan; she had 44 points in *rubs glasses* 29 minutes against Evansville; and she scored 43 points against Ohio State in 36 minutes.

It’s raining a lot these days in Iowa, and I’m not talking about the weather. Clark has drained 191 3s in her career, and is already at 75 this season with the BIG10 and NCAA Tournament still to go. She’s the only NCAA DI men’s or women’s player to register back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles. (I guess that’s a perfect mix of 2s and 3s, huh?) Clark was also the fastest player to break 1,000 career points—she did it in only 40 games.

So, how good is Caitlin Clark? She’s a top contender for National Player of the Year good. She leads DI women’s basketball in scoring and assists good. She’s on the road to winning a National Championship good. And—*MJ shrug*—she’s only a sophomore. We know Clark's connection to threes and twos, but when the 2024 WNBA Draft rolls around, she’ll be number one.

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