Posted by: kevinfortruth | April 3, 2013

Who would win a game of horse? Diggins, Griner, Delle Donne, or Mosqueda-Lewis?


They all are well known names.  If anyone says the name Diggins, they are referring to only one player – Skylar Diggins.  The same holds true with Griner – to the basketball world only Brittney Griner is known as “Griner.”

Now, the other two, interestingly enough go by their initials and I have not quite figured out why.  Maybe it is because their names are so darn long.

My guess, regarding Mosqueda-Lewis is because her name is hyphenated, it makes it quite long – but then when adding her first name, Kaleena, it makes her name too long to use in everyday conversation, i.e. in a world driven by texting and tweeting, she becomes KML.

Delle Donne, on the other hand sounds more like a brand of pasta sauces or a name of an avenue in Venice – either way, even though it lacks the hyphen in KML’s name, it is still fairly long, even without adding her first name – Elena.

So, again, thanks to smileys, icons, and being in an acronym driven world, someone tagged her as EDD.  It sounds more like a disease – maybe a cross between ADD and ED, both of which are undesirable.  I digress.

The four players in question are all top-notch players – each bringing their own skills to the game.

Three of them – excluding KML – are first team All-Americans and KML is a second team All-American.

What is interesting about the group is how their teams classify each player on their websites:

Diggins is listed as a guard and I have no problem with that but Griner is listed as a post, yet she is a center and only plays center.  Delle Donne, aka EDD, is listed as a guard/forward and I find that quite interesting.  I guess the combo is because she plays as a forward/center but shoots like a guard.

Now, as far as Mosqueda-Lewis, UCONN lists her as a forward and I agree with that, but I think UCONN could have listed her as a guard/forward just as Delaware did with EDD because KML plays forward the majority of the time, yet she shoots like a guard when scoring.  She drives for layups and gets her share of rebounds, yet her shooting opportunities are best observed outside the three-point line.

So, who is the better player of the group? 

Some will say that Griner is the best player ever – not just during her playing years – but ever.  Even though I feel she is top notch, she played 39 minutes in her team’s loss to Stanford on a neutral site in Hawaii.  The reason for the loss was attributed to her teammate, Odyssey Sims, only playing four minutes.  One would think that the “best ever” player, along with four to six top-notch players would not lose.  In addition, all of Baylor’s starters played in the loss to Louisville, yet they could not beat the team that Notre Dame beat by almost 30 points and UCONN beat by 14 points.

Delle Donne, on the other hand, is on a team with some good players, but they are not as experienced as supporting players from the top five programs in the country – so it was expected that Delaware would not get far in the NCAA tournament.  Delaware did quite well, however, considering they came from the Colonial Athletic Association, a lesser known conference.  In fact, without Delle Donne, Delaware might get into the NCAA tournament in future years, but the likelihood of victories appear slim.

Delle Donne’s team was the first team of these players to exit the NCAA tournament, followed next by Baylor.  Notre Dame and UCONN are still in until this weekend – and only one will survive.

Delle Donne does it all and she does it quite well.  I believe if she stayed at UCONN, and survived being away from her sister and her family, we would not be having this conversation.  Delle Donne does not stay outside and pump three-pointers, she frequently shoots from inside and gets her own second chance shots, passes to her teammates and does her share of blocks.  If someone was rating players on 8 – 10 categories, I believe Delle Donne would end up on the top of the list.

Diggins also does it all and she is the lynchpin to Notre Dame’s success for the past several years – especially all their recent victories over UCONN.

The one negative for Diggins and Notre Dame is that during Diggins tenure, Notre Dame has not won a national championship – yet. 

KML, from UCONN, does it all as well – in fact, she is the purest shooter in the nation.  She is the most accurate 3-point shooter in the NCAA and she has expanded her game this year by taking her game to the boards – offensively and defensively.  She rebounds, is second in steals, first in scoring average, and first in 3-point shots made in a year, breaking a UCONN record.

Unfortunately, during KML’s tenure with UCONN, they have not won a national championship – yet.

So, one of my questions is this. 

Which of these players would win in a game of H-O-R-S-E? 

For those of you not familiar with the game, Wikipedia has a general description of the game, along with a handful of variations.

The one variation I like is “Around the World.” 

This game is played in a half-circle around the three point line, starting in one corner and working around the three-point line ending up at the opposite corner.

Players start shooting in one corner and if a basket is made, the player advances to the next spot, which is halfway between the center of the three-point line and the corner.  The next position is right behind the free throw line.  The fourth position is halfway to the other corner – the place KML loves to shoot from with the game ending up in the opposite corner.  When a player misses, they “earn” the letter “H”, and when the word H-O-R-S-E is completed, that player loses the game.

I cannot prove this statement, as it is only an opinion based on my observations of the games I have seen, but I feel that KML shoots best when she is left of center or to the right of center.  She seldom shoots from behind the free throw line and she appears to not be as accurate when shooting from the corners – especially the right corner.

Maybe I have seen a handful of her misses from the right corner and as a result, I am more critical when she is shooting from there.

If anyone has formed an opinion of her shooting accuracy based on games they have seen, please enlighten me by leaving a comment.

Here is my honest, unbiased opinion, as to who would win and who would lose in a game of H-O-R-S-E, the “Around the World” version.

I believe EDD would come in first because I have seen her shoot with a high degree of accuracy from all five positions.  KML, who shoots 50 percent from the three, does well left and right of center, but because EDD shots well from all five positions, I believe she would win.  On a side note, KML shoots threes with 50 percent accuracy while EDD shoots at a 47 percent accuracy. Both players shoot overall at 53 percent, which I find quite interesting.

Diggins would come in third because she shoots a lot of three-pointers – not as accurately as KML and EDD, but nonetheless, she would come in third.  By the way, Diggins shoots threes with a 37 percent accuracy and she shoots overall at 43 percent.

Griner would come in last because she seldom shoots threes.

In fact, Griner only attempted one three pointer all season – and she it.  If she played high post a little more, she might improve her outside shooting, but I do not believe she could ever compete in a game of H-O-R-S-E with these three ladies. On a very positive note, Griner shoots overall at 61 percent and that is because the majority of her shots are either layups or short jumpers or as second chance shots from all her rebounds.  Griner seldom shoots from anywhere near the three point line and that is why her percentage is so high, but still, that is a great shooting percentage.

Now, as far as blocking and rebounding, the tables turn in  Griner’s favor, with EDD coming in a strong second.

Now for your part, below are four polling questions and I hope you participate in all of them.  Answer them individually, going from one to the other. 

Also, please leave a comment if you have the time.

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Responses

  1. Kevin,

    This is an interesting “what if” scenario. As you point out EDD would probably win but KML could as well. Diggins would be 3rd and Griner would be distant 4th in this game.

    One thing I see is that KML can get in a “zone” where she could hit many shots in a row and be hitting the center of the hoop. Haven’t seen enough of EDD to know if she gets in the same sort of shooting groove.

    Diggins is too inconsistent a shooter to be in this game. (She is a terrific player). I’d prefer to see some other great shooters in this contest. My choices would be Maggie Lucas of PSU and Liston of Duke. Both are ranked in top ten in 3 pt shooting in WCBB behind KML. That wold make for an interesting game of HORSE.

    Capt Pine

    • Hey Pine; Thanks again for visiting. I really did not talk about chose the individuals for the virtual contest, so lets get that out of the way first.

      All year long, all I have seen on ESPN and other sports shows was, “Three to watch”. It was as if they were the only ones, the great ones – but I knew there were others who could rise to the level of those three.

      Part of the reason they were chosen as “Three to Watch” is because they are key to their specific teams and they each have their own special value and they are all seniors.

      So, one day I thought, let’s put them to one virtual test and to add a little challenge to it, let’s add the reigning national three point shooting champ (KML) because of her 50 percent average behind the line.

      I figured the other three would have to step up and compete and KML would be the the bar to compare the others.

      It was purely logical – KML should win a three point contest because even though two of the others shoot 3’s, nither of them would statistically beat KML.

      Anyone betting on Griner would be making a fools bet. She has her own skills that are highly valued, but I needed to take the “Three to watch” cast and not break them up.

      Now, lastly, I think KML is great – I do not know if she is as pure a shooter as Maya Moore was in college or as she is now in the WNBA, but I feel KML is the purest and most accurate 3-pointer.

      In a clutch situation, some would bet on Diana Taurasi, but I did not want to keep adding any more dynamic shooters.

      It really comes down to this. KML has problems shooting from the right corner. In two clutch situations she missed both shots. My guess is that the right corner is the toughest for right handed shooters. I am not sure if EDD shoots well from there but I figured she would get out of the blocks quicker than KML.

      So, “H” would be tougher for KML, but “O” and “S” would be her strengths. KML does not like shooting from “H”, “R”, and “E” but she loves “O” and “S”. Having to shoot from all 5 is what makes it interesting.

      I only added KML because of her percentage and because she is a UCONN player.

      There are other good 3 pointe shooters, Maggie Lucas from Penn State, Shoni Schimmel from Louisville, and A’Dia Mathies from Kentucky and Tricia Liston from Duke.

      KML shots not only with accuracy but she has shot a ton more than many other high percentage shooters. Some of the others have only shot half as many or two thirds as many as KML.

      Bottom line, who in women’s college would you want on YOUR team taking that last 3 point shot in a clutch situation to possibly win the game.

      Long analysis, but I thought it would be appropriate considering you took the time to write a great comment.


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