WNBA champs vs men?

Inspired by the other thread about college vs pro sports, how comparatively good are the WNBA champs? I figure they may not match up to an NBA team, as a small understatement.

What about vs a college team like Arizona or Duke? What about a lower, but decent, D-I team like College of Charleston or Santa Clara?

I almost wonder if they’d even manage to beat a USA Today top 25 high school team?

While we hear constantly hear how women have better fundamentals, I don’t think they could handle the speed or strength of a men’s team… or even a boys team. Thoughts?

I think the WNBA champs might give a D3 team a run for its money. But a bad D3 team.

Personally, I think you’re full of crap. A WNBA team probably couldn’t beat a team full of Jordans and Shaqs, no. But neither could most most NBA teams.

I’ve seen way too many women beating the stuffing (I mean just fucking spanking) out of way too many men in pick-up games to think that professional female athletes couldn’t beat a bunch of high school or college students.

If nothing else, the women, being professionals fercryinoutloud, almost certainly play smarter due to increased experience. Or do you think strategy doesn’t count for anything.

I love women’s basketball. Charter season ticket holder for the NY Liberty.

The difference in height between men & women in basketball is significant. A really tall woman is 6’4". That’s a WNBA center. A 6’4" man on a D1 team is a point guard. For that reason, the men will beat the women.

I still prefer watching the women’s game - Womens Big East Tournament starts today!

Height and muscle mass would prevent the women from having much of an inside game.

They’d have to be able to make their outside shots and FTs to stay in it.

Because so much of the DivI Man’s game is above the rim, and so much of the woman’s game is below, I think it is comparing Apples to Oranges. Even Shooting % are skewed by the different level of defense the women would face. The big exception is FT% and 3pt% – there you are comparing apples to apples – & guess what – College of Charleston Men and the Liberty are very comparable (is that why the OP chose them?)

College of Charleston
PTS% 3pt% FT%
.435 .371 .716

NEW YORK Liberty
PTs.% 3pt% FT%
.444 .363 .700

I think the men would win fairly easily by out rebounding and better defense.

Having said that, the College of Charleston is NOT a typical man’s program. They have been a perennial visitor to the NCAA & NIT tourney since the late 90’s. What about the doormats of the Southern Conference V.M.I.?

Pt% 3Pt% FT%
.417 .300 .639

Is it impossible that the Liberty could have a slightly better than average 3 point and FT game and that VMI had a bad one, that the Liberty deficiencies [in defense, in being defensed, and being badly rebound], could be overcome and the end result in the Ladies winning? I don’t think so. I think they might not prevail in a 7 game series tho.

A Bad DivII and III Men’s team IMO would have a very tough time with the Liberty & I would favor the liberty against all but the elite teams in those divisions.

The Liberty would beat (top HS) St. Vincents even with LeBron

As coming from a Div. III basketball power (2001 NCAA Champs!) would have a tough time with a team like the Sparks. They wouldn’t giving up much size on the inside height-wise, only a few inches and their outside shooting is probably just as good. Plus the Sparks will have a better understanding of the game and probably run better cuts and screens and do more with them. I don’t think a WNBA team has much chance against a DI school. Maybe a DII school would be evenly matched, but a WNBA team would probably beat a DIII school, even an elite one, quite frequently.

OK, now I’m off to watch my alma mater battle it out in the second round of the Tourney. Go Cards!

I can’t believe no one has brought up the difference in the circumference of the ball used by the women (28.5) to the men’s (30). The women have a huge advantage in shooting percentages because of using the smaller balls on the same size rim as the men. Even though I’ll get ripped for being sexist, the whole ‘Women shoot better’ argument is of no value.

A WNBA team is going to have an awfully tough time competing physically against a mens college team. Just for reference, the WNBA’s leading rebounder is Chamique Holdsclaw, who is 6’2" 172lbs. even on an average DivIII team that’s a shooting guard. I think the rebounding problem will be the deciding factor, the women are just too small, they won’t get rebounds, the guys will get shot after shot.

On the Sparks, the starting 5 are 6’5", 5’11", 5’9", 6’1", 6’0". On RPI, they will start three guys as big, or bigger than, the Sparks’ center, that’s a tough size differential to overcome.

A guy that I grew up with plays with a city league. A moderatly serious city league (I don’t know what class), but still a league composed of evening and weekend athletes. He told me that they occasionally play against players from The Mercury and that it’s not unusual for his team to win. This is a guy who was fair high school player, but by his own estimate would have only had a so-so chance of starting at even a junior college. So my feeling is, forget it.

This is not to say that the women’s game is inferior, just different. And I’m well aware that they could kick my ass up one end of the court and down the other. But against a quality men’s team? Uh, uh. They’d just give up too much in height, speed, leaping ability, and upper body strength.

Didn’t SI have an article a while back about womens NCAA teams like Connecticut, who had won like 60 in a row, practice against guys, tough, close practices - and some of the guys didn’t even play high school ball?

The women can know the game as well, play as a team as well, but the physical disparity is just too great. MAYBE a Div III, and the women would lose far more than they’d win…

I learned alot from this thread & shed some of my deep ignorance. I did not know that the women played with a different ball, I did not know that woman’s teams practiced against intramural/club teams (in college) and gym rats in the pros.

I think my earlier (paraphrased) “they could beat a bad Division II & doormat Division I” squad overstates the case and wish to retract. I’ll stick with the idea that a woman’s champion pro team could regularly beat the bad division III men’s teams & the best boys HS teams tho.

I learned that UConn and UTenn. Women’s teams regularly play and whip their campus intramural and club men squads – but do not play the men’s JV/frosh – for fear of getting hurt. Also, to be fair, Pat Summit (UTN) apparently also weeds out men on the club teams who are “too big”, but this is because of the size of likely opponents and not fear (or so she says).

There was also the All-American Redheads a barnstorming Woman’s team playing against men’s teams (from the 40’s to the 80’s) and won quite a bit. During one stint, the Red Heads won 558 games, losing only 84, and every game was played against a men’s team. Tho apparently they were marketed like the Globetrotters & played “for entertainment”-- does anyone know how “real” these games were?

Having been to a WNBA game, I can testify that the women could most likely only beat terrible college men(or realllllllllllllly small colleges). The style of the game is so much slower, so much more like basketball from the 1940’s that they would be blown away.

The L.A. Sparks would beat the Caltech men’s team. The Beavers won their first game of the game over Cooper Union. They lost their next 23 straight.

Caltech’s tallest player is 6’5".

The Caltech women won 3 games.

I seem to remember that too.

The article was in the March 15, 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated and was about the 3-time defending champion Tennessee women’s basketball team (though they failed to make it to the Final Four that year).

The men on the practice team were, in the article’s words, “good enough to have played in high school but not good enough (or big enough or quick enough) to have played at a level higher than Division III.” Also, they were instructed by the Tennessee coach not to play above the rim and not to be overly physical.

The results of the four scrimmages between the two teams, in chronological order, were (1) women by 60; (2) women by 35; (3) men, 81-80 (the women “ran out of gas”); and (4) men 81-79 (“the Lady Vols became fatigued.”)

Draw whatever conclusions you wish.

if i were to wager on this so-called game between a lower tier men’s team versus the pro Women’s team champion, i think i’d put my money on the men.

But what would be the winner’s take in this so-called game? pride or money? because if it’s just a pick up game I doubt the men would deliberately try and school the women. If something was on the line I’ll be a male chauvinist pig and pick men to win.

But to think of it, this game would probably try to even out the odds by lowering the net for the women to score on and giving them a longer shot clock and such, like what they always do when these so-called battles of the sexes are involved.

I’m a big WNBA fan, but having watched quite a few of their games, I sincerely believe the level of play is well below men’s college play. They simply aren’t fast or strong enough. The difference is VISIBLY obvious - the women’s game is slow, it’s all half-court, there’s no game above the rim, and the skill level is way, way below what you’d need to beat a Division III team. I suspect a good boy’s high school team could defeat a WNBA team. After all, in recent years boys’ high school teams have occasionally included NBA-ready players.

When I was in high school, our girls’ team was the best team around. They kicked huge amounts of ass. During a pep rally they played an exhibition against a patchwork of our male teachers, guys who were 40-50 years old, none of whom had played regular hoops in decades. It was an unholy slaughter; the men won by a score of 36-6 IIRC.

FWIW, my junior year of H.S. our girl’s basketball team went to the State Championship game (but lost). They practiced about once a week against our freshman boys team, which had an average record. I watched a few, and they seemed about evenly matched. An unconsidered factor is that the boys played a lot harder against the girl’s team than they did against each other in practice. I’m not sure they played that hard in their games. I guess it was a pride thing.

There were some stories before the last Olympics about the US women’s team (the best players) routinely scrimmaging against men. Even pickup teams on the level of serious YMCA lunchtime players cleaned up the floor with them.

NCAA women’s teams often have regular practice opponents consisting of male volunteers. SI had an article about Tennessee’s, one of the 2 best women’s teams in the country, a couple of years ago - these guys who knew they never had a chance of making the men’s varsity were, once in a while, allowed to play straight up instead of simply being used for coaching points - but not too often, because the results were embarrassing to the women.