Earlier Don’t Sleep Posts: Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris
For those of you that are basketball addicts like myself and everyone here at Basketball Society, then you should already know the kind of player that Maya Moore is. However, there are plenty of people who don’t pay attention to the WNBA, or just women’s basketball in general. A lot of people say it’s not as exciting and that’s because the people saying this aren’t truly appreciating the game. Also, these people probably don’t know the true talent of Maya Moore.
The year is 2007 and the UCONN Huskies are getting their first looks of a promising freshman in their system. Maya Moore, a 6’0″ forward from Jefferson City, Missouri, was ready to be a big part of the historic program as soon as she walked in the door. That showed when she went on to average 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as just a freshman. She had game-highs of 41 points and 20 rebounds, and for her entire college career she averaged 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 40% from three and 53% from the floor overall.
If that’s not enough, let’s take a look at what she’s accomplished in the WNBA so far. In her fifth year in the league, she is a three-time all-star, MVP, and a rookie of the year. She also has two all-WNBA First-Team selections and one Second-Team selection. During her MVP season, she averaged 23.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 48% from the floor. That was against the best of the best. If you take a look at NBA players who averaged greater than or equal to 23, 8, and 3 per game, there were only 13 players to do so since the 1996-97 season. Only six of those players shot a better three-point percentage than Moore and she also had more win shares for her team than a few of those players as well. Moore boasted a 116 offensive rating and a 97 defensive rating that season with a total of 8.1 win shares. Also, she had a ridiculous 29.4 player efficiency rating. Looking back at the list of NBA players who had the same kind of averages as her, only three of them had the same rating or better. Those three are Kevin Garnett, Shaq, and LeBron James.
So if you’re still sleeping on Maya Moore by now, you really need to start recognizing. This woman is a beast on the floor and she kills teams with grace and elegance. Her shot is pure and when it rains, it pours. Stop generalizing women’s basketball because you don’t find it as interesting as the NBA or men’s college basketball. I guarantee if you challenge her to a game of one-on-one, she’ll drop 50 points on you and hold you to no more than two.