Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Hall of Fame Projector (2014) - The "Virtually In" Class

My previous post on the Hall of Fame Projector (see here) listed those players that scored 100 percent - those that would be lead pipe cinches to make a pro basketball hall of fame based on traditional stats, MVP voting, rings, and All-Star appearances.  We're only considering players who have played at least 160 combined games in the ABL and WNBA.  For those players whose careers ended before 2005, we give them credit for the missing years of their pro career.

There are seven players who scored between 90 and 99 percent, the ones that the HOF Projector method considers "virtually in".  Three of these players are active players, so with a few MVP votes or a couple of All-Star selections, they'll probably join the 14 other players listed previously.

Teresa Edwards (99 percent):  she was already past 30 when she played for the Atlanta Glory of the ABL and was selected by the Lynx in the second round of the 2003 draft even though she was 38 years old.  She has five Olympic medals (four gold) stretching back to 1992.  And even with this horribly scant modern pro career she almost makes it in.  Edwards is one of those players like Nera White or Nancy Lieberman or Cheryl Miller that you could argue is the best player of all time.

Edwards is already in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Katie Smith (99 percent):  there were some complaints about the previous post - why didn't Smith make the list of Lead Pipe Cinches that got 100 percent in the projector?  Most likely, it's the relative lack of MVP votes and a fairly low points per game - the only players above her with fewer points per game are Sue Bird and Lindsay Whalen, and their assists totals make up for it.

I have Katie Smith has having played 568 games in her career across the ABL and WNBA.  The player behind her is Taj McWilliams at 538.  Smith's longevity alone should be a voting factor, and I can't see her not making it into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Angel McCoughtry (98 percent):  Despite not winning any titles, McCoughtry makes it to the list on the strength of her scoring.  How many players other than Maya Moore or Elena Delle Donne (neither yet eligibile for the list yet) could carry an entire team on her back like McCoughtry? I see her being named to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame someday, even though she doesn't have a reputation for being so angelic.

Becky Hammon (98 percent):  I think Hammon's lack of height gives her a boost - never has a player done so much with so little (so to speak).  Her overall assist averages don't compare to Bird's or Whalen's or even Cappie Pondexter.  But she was an amazing force in women's basketball and I see her as a Hall of Fame Player.

Seimone Augustus (97 percent):  A great mid-range shooter, but her problem is that she really don't have many MVP votes.  Having two rings really helps her make her case, but I wonder if future Hall of Fame voters are going to recognize her value.

Chamique Holdsclaw (92 percent):  She was at one time considered to be the Michael Jordan of women's basketball.  Unfortunately, I think most people think "what might have been" when they think of Holdsclaw.  She had really great moves with the ball, but her emotional problems might have eclipsed her game.  If you take her college career into account, however, she really belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Sylvia Fowles (91 percent):  I think Fowles's candidacy is hurt by the fact that she was the best player on a bad team for an awfully long time.  Idiot WNBA voters said, "We can't vote her for MVP if she's not on a winning team!"  If she had been on a good team, she might have one or two MVP titles already.  Maybe this is why she's decided to sit out a year; she figures that if she plays for the Lynx people might finally figure out how good she is.

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