Who is the best logger women’s basketball player ever?
In honor of the University of Puget Sound women’s basketball team and their historic season I thought it would be fun if we discussed who the greatest women’s player is in Puget Sound history.
Our women’s basketball team is arguably the best sports team at our school this year, and they should be recieving more attention then they get.
Now with that long monologue out of the way, Nick: who do you believe is the best women’s basketball player to grace this school?
Well Zal, I am going to go with a player who graduated just four years ago in point guard, Claire Ely. In her senior season from 2009-2010 she was a d3Hoops.com first team All-American and was also announced as an Honorable Mention to the State Farm Coaches All-America team. She is the only player in Puget Sound women’s basketball history to be named to either of those teams. That year she was also the All-West region player of the year, first team All-West region, Northwest Conference player of the year and first team All-Conference. She also led the Northwest Conference in five different scoring categories in 2009-2010. From her unparalleled dominance in her senior season alone, she certainly has to be considered amongst the greatest in Puget Sound history.
Interesting how both of our choices are point guards. My selection is Annie Pettigrew-Reed, who played between 1987-1991. Honestly, there is no denying the importance of the player that touches the ball every play. That being said, Pettigrew-Reed was an X-factor every time she touched the ball.
She is second all time in scoring with 1801 points and first all time in assists with 602.
Unfortunately, Pettigrew-Reed played here before the school kept single-season statistcs on the website, so I am going to have to rely on disproving your argument. Prepared to get balled (metaphorically).
Okay, here is why Ely is not the best; there were three players, besides Ely, who scored more than 200 points that season. There was a fifth girl, but she only had 199 points on the season.
That is remarkable! Our women’s team this season only has three women who have scored more than 200 points.
As a point guard, the floor becomes a much easier place to traverse when you have legitimate scoring threats spacing out the floor.
She was also playing with second team all-conference players Natasha Ludwig and Jocelyn Riordan.
The season Ely had may be the single greatest season for a player in Puget Sound history on the single greatest team, but the issue with choosing Ely as the best player of all time is that her dominance was only over a single season.
But Ely was a great player for more than one season! She led the Loggers in scoring her junior season from 2008-2009 as well and was named first team All-Conference that year as well.
She was every bit the X-factor Pettigrew-Reed was for her four seasons at Puget Sound.
Ely ranks second all time in assists behind Pettigrew with 368 and ranks ninth all time in scoring with 1213 career points.
Ely was not a starter as a first year and sophomore, as she was joining a Puget Sound team that made the NCAA tournament her first two years.
Yet, despite joining an already stacked team, she was still talented enough to see the court in her first two years, so much so that she holds the record for most games played in with 115 games over her four years at Puget Sound.
The issue is that Pettigrew-Reed left an impact on all four seasons she played. She is actually fourth all time for most games played with 112 games. I’m not trying to diminish Ely’s career, but she didn’t come into Puget Sound as a dominant basketball player. Ely developed into one. But to be the best, you have to always be dominant, and as you just pointed out, Nick, Ely was always surrounded by elite-level talent.
You keep referring to the elite talent that surrounded Ely and act as if Pettigrew had nothing around her. Pettigrew-Reed may not have even been the best player on her team for her junior and senior seasons. Pettigrew played for two years with forward/center Keely Running, the all-time leading scorer and the second all-time leading rebounder in Puget Sound history.
Pettigrew’s numbers were almost certainly helped from the force that was Running, who was unstoppable in the paint. How many of her 600 assists were simply her feeding it down low to Running? How many of her points came from opportunities created by teams dedicating their best defensive players to double teaming Running, leaving Pettigrew uncovered? We can’t ever know for sure, but based on how lopsided the stats are from those teams it’s safe to say that Pettigrew and Running ran those teams.
While you see the balance of Ely’s teams as a product of elite-level talent around her, I see it as a sign that she was making all of her fellow players better rather than just one.
This may be a cop out, but Pettigrew-Reed was smart enough to take advantage of what was around her. I would love to continue this debate, however, the editor is in my ear yelling about how long this article is.
Both Ely and Pettigrew-Reed were arguably the best players in Puget Sound history. Let’s not get side-tracked and forget that our women’s basketball team is still playing.
Agreed! But while we wait to see who the Loggers draw for their first round matchup, can we settle this argument on the basketball court?