“We Have The Best Player In America” | Ice Cube Offers Caitlin Clark $5M To Play In Big3, But Nobody’s Talking About Paige Bueckers and JuJu Watkins

March Madness is upon us and as we head in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games this weekend on the women’s side, it’s safe to say that their games have moved the media needle and been more entertaining than their male counterparts.

Ice Cube Big3 League Offers Caitlin Clark $5M Contract

With players like UConn’s Paige Bueckers and USC freshman sensation JuJu Watkins leading their respective teams to Sweet 16 appearances, the women’s game has entered a new dimension. 

Can’t leave out Iowa’s Caitlin Clark who’s made Iowa City the must-have ticket in college basketball. She’s the most popular player in women’s college hoops and her Nike deal has elevated her even more. So much that it’s been reported that rapper/movie mogul Ice Cube has offered her $5 million to become the first woman to play in his Big3 League.

“With our offer, Caitlin Clark can make history and break down even more barriers for women,” Cube told TMZ.

Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Juggernaut and LSU’s Celebrity Row

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley is the maestro of the only undefeated (34-0) team in college basketball, blowing teams to bits early in the tournament.

We said all of that and didn’t even mention the defending-national champion LSU Tigers led by charismatic celebrity ballers Angel Reese and Roc Nation rapper FLau’Jae Johnson, who despite struggling with consistency and focus at times this season, still have the talent to repeat. 

Geno Auriemma Says UConn’s Paige Bueckers Is Better Than Caitlin Clark

With their roster hit hard by the injury bug (losing five scholarship players) the Huskies have leaned on star guard Paige Bueckers, and she’s delivered time and time again.

Her latest performance in Monday’s second round win over a gritty Syracuse team (32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists) had 11-time national championship-winning coach Geno Auriemma heaping some serious praise on his best player. In his postgame presser Auriemma told reporters, “We have the best player in America. And everyone that watched, knows it.”

What else would you expect him to say about his star who’s led this team back to the Sweet 16 for an NCAA-record 30th consecutive time. 

JuJu Watkins Leads USC To Sweet 16

Watkins, the dynamic freshman, has been everything the Trojans could’ve imagined and more. The former Sierra Canyon star and 2023 No. 1 overall recruit not only led the Trojans to the Pac-12 conference tournament title while taking home MVP honors, she helped the Trojans do something they hadn’t done in 30 years.

This weekend’s Sweet 16 will be USC’s first since 1994 when the great Lisa Leslie was a senior and the greatest Trojans player ever (Cheryl Miller) was the head coach. 

In her postgame presser, Trojans head coach Lisa Gottlieb sang the praises of her prized recruit.  

“If there’s a better freshman season in the history of college basketball, I’d like to hear about it,” Gottlieb said.

Caitlin Clark Moves The Needle: Has Choices

Clark, the betting favorite to take home Naismith Player of the Year honors, keeps carrying an Iowa squad that without her wouldn’t be a tourney team.

Clark the future No. 1 overall pick in next month’s WNBA draft, leads the nation in scoring (31.2) points, (8.9) assists and (5.2) three-point makes per game. No one in college basketball does more with less. 

If she does accept the Big3 deal, it would definitely conflict with her WNBA season, which also runs in the summer. Both run from May through August/Septmber.

So she would have to decide if she wanted to take the Big3 bag or go into the WNBA at a much lower salary.

Cube’s 3-on-3 league, as he mentioned, would also provide women players with “other” options to make money and display their skills.

Dawn Staley And South Carolina Are On A Mission

Following last season’s national semifinal loss to the aforementioned Iowa Hawkeyes, Staley lost all five starters from a team that went 36-1.

Per reports, Staley contemplated retirement following last season, but for the sake of women’s college basketball and the Gamecocks she decided against it. She once again has the only unbeaten team in all of college basketball, and they seem to have corrected their paltry perimeter shooting that cost them in the Final Four last year. In 2022-23 the Gamecocks shot 31 percent from three.

That’s jumped to nearly 40 percent in 2023-24, which is a huge reason why they’re the favorite to cut down the nets in Cleveland in a couple weeks. South Carolina is always going to defend, rebound and get great coaching, but shooting, which was once was their Achilles’ heel, is no longer that. 

All of these amazing storylines combine to give the Women’s NCAA Tournament a mega boost this season and into the future.

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