- Kevin Pelton, ESPN Staff Writer
My SCHOENE projection system can use performance in leagues as diverse as the NCAA, the D-League and the Euroleague to project how players might fare in the NBA. NCAA women? No such luck, because there's no history of players going back and forth between the men's and women's games. But there are some numbers that can help shed light on whether Baylor star center Brittney Griner might be able to compete with the world's best male basketball players, a discussion that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sparked by musing earlier this week that he would consider taking Griner in the second round of June's draft.
A difference of height
Any veteran observer of women's basketball can tell you that the biggest difference between men and women on the court is simply height. The average WNBA player is a little taller than six feet, as compared to nearly 6-foot-7 for the typical NBA player. The graph below shows the distribution of all heights from the shortest WNBA player (5-2 Shannon Babbitt of the Washington Mystics) to the tallest NBA player (Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet, listed at 7-3).
7dEthan Sherwood Strauss