4. Diana Taurasi (2000-2004) UConn, Naismith Player of the Year 2003, 2004
Geno Auriemma famously said that the reason his team was going to win was “We got Diana, and they don’t.” Winning was the thing Taurasi did in her time in Storrs. She won three consecutive NCAA titles, two player of the year awards, two Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards. Taurasi’s personality on the court made her a player the fans either loved or loved to hate. Either way she was at her best in the tournament and has the titles to prove it.
3. Cheryl Miller (1982-1986) USC, Naismith Player of the Year 1984, 1985, 1986
Miller is arguably the greatest player in the history of women’s basketball. She led USC to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1983 and 1984, was three times the Player of the Year, scored over 3,000 points in her career, and was the Final Four Most Outstanding Player twice. Her most noticeable achievement was being named the best player in men’s or women’s basketball by Sports Illustrated. Her skills on the court and outstanding athletic ability brought unprecedented, and much needed, attention to the women’s game.
2. Maya Moore (2007-2011) UConn, Naismith Player of the Year 2009, 2011
Moore, a 6’ Forward was just the second player to be named All-America four times. She led UConn to two NCAA titles and was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player in 2010. During her time at UConn her team set the record for longest winning streak in NCAA history at 90 games. She scored 3,036 points and collected 1, 276 rebounds in her career at UConn.
1. Chamique Holdsclaw (1995-1999) Tennessee, Naismith Player of the Year 1998, 1999
Holdsclaw struck fear in the hearts of anyone silly enough to root for a team other than Tennessee. She ended her career with Tennessee with 3,025 points, three NCAA titles, two NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards, two Player of the Year awards, and, oh yeah, she was named the Naismith Player of the Century. Who else was I going to put at the top of the list?
I know making this list was incredibly hard. I limited it by only taking into account each player’s college career. The list would look entirely different if it included professional or Olympic team statistics and championships.
I had to leave off some amazing players and I must have switched the order a dozen times. So, let’s go, tell me who I missed or why my list is in the wrong order.
(Huge hat tip to the linster who helped me make the list, ensured I didn’t make too many mistakes, and generally helped educate this hockey player in basketball. But remember, all of the mistakes are mine.)