SEC Network compared Pat Summitt’s all-time Tennessee Lady Vols to South Carolina under Dawn Staley. LeBron James took the women’s basketball Volunteers.
In what universe did anybody think this was a good idea? Nobody should ever compare anything about the greatness of the Tennessee Lady Vols program to anybody else in the SEC. Only the UConn Huskies are worthy of debate.
Yes, as the coronavirus outbreak has killed sports, everybody is using this time to bring up all-time sports debates. However, COVID-19 does not excuse ever comparing Pat Summitt’s accomplishments to far inferior competition.
But that’s exactly what the SEC Network decided to do. On Sunday afternoon, they took the bold step of comparing Pat Summitt’s all-time starting five on Rocky Top to Dawn Staley’s all-time starting five with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Lady Vols vs. Gamecocks
Who would get the W? pic.twitter.com/QVNjIRZ8m8
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 5, 2020
Now, Staley deserves a ton of respect for what she has built at South Carolina. In 12 years, she has built a powerhouse, and she is easily the best coach in the SEC right now. However, she still only has one national title. And when it comes to talent, it’s not even close.
Let’s break this down. South Carolina’s all-time team under Staley, according to SEC Network, would be A’ja Wilson, Alaina Coates, Kaela Davis, Tiffany Mitchell and Ty Harris. Only three of those players are All-Americans, and only one, Wilson ever earned National Player of the Year honors.
Chamique Holdsclaw, Candace Parker, Tamika Catchings, Kara Lawson and current head coach Kellie Harper (then Kellie Jollie) made up the Tennessee Lady Vols. Four of those players were All-Americans, and three earned National Player of the Year honors: Holdsclaw, Catchings and Parker. The comparison is so ridiculous that even LeBron James slammed it.
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
But it even gets worse. To even out the field, the SEC Network didn’t even put together what would be the best all-time team under Summitt. That team would still win. However, we could make it much better. Harper and Lawson are both point guards, and Harper never earned All-American honors as a player.
With no need for two point guards, Harper should not be in Summitt’s all-time starting five. Lawson can stay on there, but Daedra Charles should be the fifth player. Parker would play the four with Charles and the five, and Holdsclaw and Catching would be the two and the three.
That would make the entire Tennessee Lady Vols starting five made up of players who were All-Americans compared to only three for South Carolina. Meanwhile, four would either have been National Player of the Year or a Wade Trophy winner, with Parker having won both. South Carolina has only one player to earn that award, and again, she is Wilson.
Simply put, Wilson is the only player from South Carolina who could start on the Tennessee Lady Vols all-time team. The rest of the players on that list would not even be in the two-deep rotation with Summitt’s all-time team.
As James said, you could have a conversation with UConn. But you can’t have a conversation with anybody else in the SEC and probably anybody outside of UConn in general. That makes this comparison ridiculous.