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NY Post
New York Post
17 Feb 2024


NextImg:Caitlin Clark isn’t great until she wins a national title: Jay Williams

After her record-setting night, when Caitlin Clark passed Kelsey Plum to become the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball, the Iowa Hawkeyes star received congratulatory messages from Tom Brady, Angel Reese, Billie Jean King, Alex Morgan and others.

Andraya Carter complimented Clark for her “magnetic pull” with crowds — at both home and away games — and described her as a great player during Saturday’s edition of “College GameDay.”

But Jay Williams, another analyst on the show, didn’t agree with Clark being great just yet.

He argued that she still needs to lead Iowa to a national championship — the true measure of greatness, in his eyes — despite her accomplishments with the points.

Caitlin Clark passed Kelsey Plum to become the all-time leading scorer for women’s college basketball. Getty Images
Jay Williams doesn’t think that Caitlin Clark could be truly considered great until she wins a championship. Screengrab via YouTube/ESPN

“OK, I think she is the Stephen Curry of women’s college basketball,” Williams said. “I think she has changed the dynamics of the way the game is played. I think the way she plays, the pizzazz, like, she’s probably the most prolific scorer the game of basketball has ever seen. 

“I am unwilling — and maybe it’s the Kobe mentorship around me — to say that she is great yet. I think she is the most prolific scorer the game has ever seen. I hold great, or the levels of immortality or the pantheon, to when you win championships. … So I’m not saying that she’s not at a high, high, high level, but for her to go to the states of immortality in my opinion, it has to culminate with your team winning a championship.”

Williams had a difficult time explaining that to the rest of the “College GameDay” crew, though.

Seth Greenberg rested his head on his left hand.

Jay Bilas labeled Clark a “cultural phenomenon unlike anything we’ve ever seen in basketball” — something that should go beyond topping Plum’s 3,527 points Thursday against Michigan, something that happened when she drained a 3-pointer from the logo early in the first quarter.

Caitlin Clark also set the Iowa single-game record with 49 points against Michigan. Getty Images

And Rece Davis then turned to the Auburn fans — watching live before the No. 13 Tigers host No. 22 Kentucky at 6 p.m. — and said that, according to Williams’ theory, alum Charles Barkley wouldn’t be considered a great player because he never won a national title.

That only led to booing from the fans.

Clark and the Hawkeyes came close to winning the national championship last year, but they fell to LSU in the title game despite Clark scoring 30 points and dishing out eight assists.

They’ve remained near the top of the AP Top 25 poll throughout most of the 2023-24 campaign, though they dropped two spots from No. 2 after a loss to Nebraska.

Clark, who also set the Iowa single-game record with 49 points against the Wolverines, needs just 99 points to pass Pete Maravich and become the all-time leading scorer for both men’s and women’s college basketball, and her next chance to inch closer to that latest record will come Feb. 22 against Indiana.