People Askin’ Questions: Could Brittney Griner Play D2 Hoops?

On Monday night, Brittney Griner threw her deuces up at Baylor's Ferrell Center. Her final home game as a Lady Bear went better than you’d expect it to, which is saying a lot. Shawty straight mauled Kansas State for fiddy. Keep in mind that K-State only scored 68.

Like Chamique Holdsclaw and Cheryl Miller before her, Griner dropped all challengers to her throne and answered all questions except one: How would she fare against the men?

On the cover of SLAM 29, before her senior season at Tennessee, 6'2'' Chamique Holdsclaw posed in Allan Houston's Knicks jersey clutching a men's rock. Holdsclaw's cover got the ball rolling on the discussion, but it hasn't progressed since. While Holdsclaw would be an extremely undersized wing scorer at any level of collegiate hoops, Griner’s versatility and hops are abnormal for a 6'8" female post bully. Skyscraper-sized women have dominated with the women’s 28.5 before, but none have reached Griner’s heights, literally or figuratively. While Griner's no Lauren Silberman, shaking David Stern's hand at the NBA Draft is a pipe dream.

Division I is also out of the question. She’s not athletic or strong enough to play under the boards with the Otto Porters and Jeff Witheys. Conversely, her ability to take defenders off the dribble on the perimeter isn’t refined enough to play her as a stretch-4 or small forward.

However, on the Division II level, Griner could do some damage. She, likely, wouldn’t be a star or even a starter. Most elite women’s players would be practice bodies on the D2 level, at best. But Lady Wilt is a different animal. Sure 6'8" isn't an ideal size for a collegiate center, but she's shown the versatility to play power forward, as well. What makes Griner unique is that her 29.5-inch elevation, lean build, otherworldly wingspan and soft-shooting touch would give her the ability to move from beneath the basket. 6'8" dudes aren't just walking onto D2 rosters every day. Griner could play minutes for a struggling D2 squad that lacks size, but she'd have to rely less on her height and more on her finesse game. Griner is the prototype, but her specifications still aren't up to par for the men's game.


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