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Is Baylor's Brittney Griner Better Than Lisa Leslie?

DENVER, CO - APRIL 03:  Brittney Griner #42 of the Baylor Bears celebrates late in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Final game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Doug BrodessCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2013

Comparing legendary players from two different eras is very challenging.

There are no head-to-head matchups. There may be no common opponents to evaluate.

What you are left with is looking at what they did and how they did it within the times that they played the game.

In terms of women's collegiate basketball, Lisa Leslie's game, back in the day, was the gold standard.

Leslie's Wikipedia page indicates that she was the Pac-10's career leader in points (2,414), rebounds (1,214), and blocked shots (321).

Leslie was selected as the National Freshman of the Year. She was named as the National Player of the Year for three consecutive years (1992-94).

For all of her individual accomplishments, Leslie never won an NCAA championship.

Still, there was nobody like Lisa Leslie...Until Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner's top level awards mirror Leslie's accolades.

Her Baylor bio page shows that Griner was named the 2010 USBWA Freshman of the Year. She was selected as a second-team 2010 All-American by the Associated Press.

As a sophomore, she was selected as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Defensive Player of the Year. She was named as a first team All-American.

As a junior, Griner cleaned up again, being named as the AP and USBWA Player of the Year. The 6’8” center also won the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy.

In Griner’s first two years in Waco, the Lady Bears  finished their seasons by going to the Final Four and Elite Eight. Last year, as a junior, Griner led Baylor to a  perfect  40-0 record on its way to a NCAA Championship.

This year, Griner has it going on. She is averaging 22.3 points and 4.1 blocks per game.

Presently, the Bears are 28-1 and ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.

At this point, we can only sensibly compare Leslie and Griner’s mind-blowing college careers.

In reviewing their achievements and awards, Brittney Griner’s collegiate career has already surpassed that of Lisa Leslie.

Leslie has a full professional and Olympic resume.

Check back in several years. At that time, we can put their entire collection of work together and see whose overall career is better.

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