Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Hall of Fame Projector (2014) - "Everybody Else"

Let's now look at the players who are in the "everybody else" categories.  The Projector classifies these players as

Could go either way (70-79 percent)
Dark horses (60-69 percent)
Longshots (50-59 percent)

We have two players in each of these categories.  Let's look at their careers and try to figure out where they stand.  One of these players is already in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Katie Douglas (73 percent):  Has one ring with the Indiana Fever.  Has six "All-Star Type" selections.  Not a lot of MVP buzz around Douglas though.  Generally, the Hall of Fame belongs to those players that you could plausibly say might be the best ever in some way, and I've never heard Douglas mentioned as the "Best Ever at _______".

Not to say that Douglas wasn't a very good player.  She was never named to an Olympic team.  Her selection to the WBHOF might hinge on her college career - she did help lead Purdue to it's only NCAA women's basketball championship in 1999 and to a Final Four appearance in 2001.

Carolyn Young (71 percent):  Young only played in 131 games in the ABL and the WNBA.  She was a leading scorer in the ABL and holds several records for the league but only played a couple of seasons in the WNBA in 2001 and 2002 for Portland. When Portland folded, so did her career.  Even though she played for a couple of Final Four teams in Auburn, I don't think she'll make the WBHOF.

Adrienne Goodson (67 percent):  Goodson lost many years to playing in Brazil.  At around the age of 30 she played for the Philadelphia/Richmond Rage of the ABL and then went over to the WNBA, playing for Utah, San Antonio, Houston and Charlotte.  She is 33rd all time in the WNBA in rebounds per game at 5.1.  She won an NCAA Championship with Old Dominion way back in 1985, but I don't think anyone's clamoring to put Goodson in the WBHOF.

Penny Taylor (67 percent):  Penny Taylor has played in the WNBA since 2001 but only sporadically - she has only eight seasons out of a possible 15.  She was a three-time MVP in the Women's National Basketball League of Australia and has made several appearances for the Opals in the Olympics and FIBA World Championshps.  She's played with domestic championship women's teams in Italy, Russia and Turkey.  The Projector only considers her years in the United States, so even though she scores low she'll probably get in considering her accomplishments for Australian and for European teams.

Jennifer Gillom (55 percent):  Gillom is another one of those early players who lost time due to lack of a professional league.  It didn't seem to hurt her candidacy for the Hall of Fame - she was named to the WBHOF in 2009, probably on the strength of her college career at Mississippi from 1982-1986 and a 16 year career playing professionally in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Cheryl Ford (51 percent): Ford, the daughter of Karl Malone of the NBA, player her college basketball at Louisiana Tech.  She was the #3 overall pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock and played seven seasons there, averaging ad ouble-double per game and earning three rings.

When Detroit's franchise was moved to Tulsa.  Ford was cored by the new Tulsa Shock, but she had torn her ACL in 2008 and couldn't play in the 2010 season because her knees were inflamed.  She decided to remain overseason until Bill Laimbeer signed Ford to play for the Liberty in 2013, but her knees had given out on her and she was cut by the team.  Who knows what Cheryl Ford could have done with a few more healthy years?

(* * *)

There is also a list of players not considered because they simply haven't played enough games yet to make the Hall of Fame Projector.  Maya Moore has 136 games as of the end of 2014 and will undoubtedly qualify at the end of this season, and she'll probably have a 100 percent score.

 Next behind her is Elena Delle Donne.  Elena Delle Donne is only at 32 percent, due to not having a lot of games, or rings, or MVP votes or All-Star selections.  Something tells me that by the time she does have enough games to qualify, none of those other factors will be a problem.

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