In lieu of live sports and March Madness, we’ve all been ranking and comparing teams, players, games and anything else we want.
The SEC Network is getting in on it and riled up its fans on what would be national championship Sunday by pitting the greatest Tennessee Lady Vols of the Pat Summitt era against the South Carolina greats of the Dawn Staley era.
For LeBron James, it was a laughable no-brainer.
Man WHAT??!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣. No disrespect to those lady Gamecocks and their hoopers cause they can ball but THAT Lady Vols team would SMASH damn near any team. Now if you put them vs Lady Huskies(Bird,DT, Maya, B. Stewart, Lobo) now we talking. And yes I know they ain’t in the SEC🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/eRIm4uZC6l— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 6, 2020
Lady Vols rack up Naismith, All-American honors
The Lady Vols team the SEC put together from the Pat Summitt era has a major asset over the Gamecocks: experience. The group helped Tennessee to five of the program’s eight national championships. There are six four-time All-Americans and Catchings and Holdsclaw are two of them.
Kelli (Jolly) Harper (1995-99) | NCAA national champion 1996-98 | Fourth-round WNBA draft pick (No. 47 in 1999)
Kara Lawson (1999-2003) | All-American (2003) | No. 5 overall draft pick (2003)
Tamika Catchings (1997-01) | NCAA national champions 1997-98, Naismith HOF inductee, Naismith POY ‘00, four-time All-American | No. 3 overall draft pick (2000)
Chamique Holdsclaw (’95-99) | NCAA national champions 1996-98, Naismith POY (‘98-99), Naismith Player of the Century (2000s), four-time All-American | Lady Vols scoring (3,025) and rebounding (1,295) leader | No. 1 overall draft pick (1999)
Candace Parker (‘04-08) | NCAA national champions 2007-08, Naismith POY ‘08, three-time All-American, Lady Vols third in double-doubles (45).
Gamecocks’ Staley era still here
The Gamecocks under Dawn Staley, who began at South Carolina in 2008, have been phenomenal. They won the program’s first title in 2017, made Columbia a landing spot for top recruits and were en route to another title game this year until the season was canceled.
But the Staley era is still here, and these players — Ty Harris, Tiffany Mitchell, Kaela Davis, Alaina Coates and A’ja Wilson (Naismith POY ’18) — can’t match up with the Lady Vols accolades. They combined for one title with all but Mitchell on the roster.
Wilson, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft by the Aces, is the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,389) and ranks third in rebounds (1,195). Coates is second in rebounds with 1,230. Harris ranks fourth in career assists with 513. Mitchell is the only other player in the top 10 (sixth, 1,885 points).
Put them against the ‘Lady Huskies’
James would rather see a classic between the greats of Tennessee and the greats of Geno Auriemma’s Connecticut squads, which have won 11 national champions. It’s the most of any school, and why the Huskies — sorry, LeBron, “Lady” is sacred for the Vols but can be dropped elsewhere — dominated the Yahoo Sports’ Best Teams Ever bracket.
Stewart won four national titles in four years and is arguably the greatest college player of all time. She’s already a WNBA champion with Bird and the Seattle Storm. Taurasi is the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer and will return to the Phoenix Mercury when play resumes. Moore was a part of the Minnesota Lynx dynasty and is taking time off for criminal justice pursuits. And Lobo is currently helping head coach Geno Auriemma take his quips to the masses on Instagram Live.
Auriemma’s UConn squads went 14-9 against Summitt’s Tennessee ones, including winning the 2000, 2003 and 2004 title games.
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