7 things to know about Caitlin Clark, Iowa women's basketball's March Madness superstar
Iowa women's basketball player Caitlin Clark has taken the college basketball world by storm this season.
Clark, a West Des Moines native, has led Iowa to a shared Big Ten regular-season title and a possible top-four seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which could give the Hawkeyes an advantage: teams seeding No. 1 through No. 4 host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Here's what you should know about Caitlin Clark, one of college basketball's most entertaining players.
What high school did Caitlin Clark attend?
While she's gained national attention due to her outstanding play at Iowa, Clark also had plenty of great moments as a high school basketball player at Dowling Catholic in West Des Moines.
Named the 2020 girls Athlete of the Year, Clark led the state with an average of 33.7 points per game as a senior. As a junior, she set a Class 5A state tournament record with 42 points in a wild triple-overtime win over Waukee.
As a result, Clark was one of the highest-rated prospects in the class of 2020 before eventually landing with Iowa.
Caitlin Clark leads all Division I players in points and assists
Through the end of Iowa's regular season, Caitlin Clark is averaging 27.5 points and 8.3 assists per game, both ranking first in NCAA Division I basketball.
Nobody in women's college basketball history has led the nation in both categories in the same season, and only one men's player — former Oklahoma star Trae Young — has accomplished that feat.
How tall is Caitlin Clark?
Iowa lists Caitlin Clark at 6-feet tall.
While her scoring and assist numbers are record-breaking, her height gives her an edge as a rebounder, too. Clark's 7.9 rebounds per game won't break any national records, but it's enough to lead the team and rank seventh in the Big Ten.
What is Caitlin Clark's career-high for points?
Clark put up a career-best 46 points on Feb. 6, 2022, in a 98-90 loss at Michigan. The Hawkeyes were down two starters for that game, putting extra pressure on the nation's leading scorer to carry the offense, and she did not disappoint.
Clark nailed four 3-pointers and tallied 25 points in the fourth quarter alone, hitting some truly unbelievable shots, like this one:
Clark has also finished games this year with 44 points (Evansville), 43 points (Ohio State), and 38 points (in the rematch vs. Michigan).
Kevin Durant, LeBron James and more NBA players are fans of Caitlin Clark
NBA stars LeBron James and Ja Morant both took notice of Caitlin Clark's performance against Michigan to end the regular season.
In fact, Clark has a long list of fans from the NBA. Former MVP Kevin Durant shared his thoughts on Clark, who he first watched when she was still in high school:
"I happened to see the 17-and-under girls, and she was in the championship," Durant said on the Feb. 9 episode of his podcast. "Her team from Iowa ... they played together so smooth, but she was always leading. She always had the ball in her hand. Everyone was playing off her. She just commanded.
"I'm like, 'Who the hell is this? She is nice.' (Someone) said, 'Oh, she's the best player in the country.' I was like, 'Oh, damn. I see it now.' When you walk in and you don't know who anyone is, and they're like, 'Yo, that's the best player in the country right there,' that … hits you out of nowhere, like 'Let me focus in on her.'"
Clark is the 2022 Big Ten women's basketball Player of the Year
No surprise here. Clark, who leads the conference in scoring and assists and plays for the conference's best team, was named the Player of the Year as a sophomore.
It's certainly not the first time she's been recognized by the conference, either. Clark was named Freshman of the Year in 2021 and won seven Player of the Week awards this season.
Caitlin Clark is already a March Madness sensation
Iowa has a chance to make a deep run in this year's NCAA Tournament, and one reason why is last year's Sweet 16 run.
The Hawkeyes grabbed a No. 5 seed in last year's tournament and took care of business in the first round vs. Central Michigan before beating No. 4 seed Kentucky in the second round. Iowa fell short in the Sweet 16 matchup against perennial powerhouse Connecticut, but Clark still made a strong impression in her first taste of March Madness.
Clark tallied 79 points in those three games (26.3 per game) to go along with an average of six assists per game.
Aaron Marner is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. You can follow him on Twitter @A_Mar32 or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.