Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats: UConn coach Geno Auriemma calls Huskies star ‘best player in America’

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and UConn’s Paige Bueckers are undoubtedly two of the most talented hoopers in women’s college basketball. The pair have been lighting it up for their respective programs for several years now, and they could end up going head-to-head in the 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament.

The way the bracket works out, the Huskies and Hawkeyes would have to make it all the way to the championship game in order to square off, but it’s certainly possible given the star power on each squad. 

While Clark has been racking up accolades this season, including breaking the all-time NCAA record for career points, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma has his opinion on who is the best women’s player in the game.

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What did Geno Auriemma say about Paige Bueckers?

After the No. 3 seed Huskies’ second-round win over No. 6 Syracuse, the longtime UConn boss seemed to take a shot at Clark while praising Bueckers. 

“We have the best player in America,” Auriemma said about Bueckers. “Just saying that because the numbers, in this world of analytics, say that she is. And the stat sheet says that she is. And everybody that watched knows it.”

There’s no denying just how elite Bueckers is. Her talent was on full display in the win over Syracuse, finishing the contest with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. 

However, is Auriemma right to say that the stats back up Bueckers being better than Clark? Let’s dive in. 

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Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats

Clark and Bueckers are both known for their ability to take over games. On their resumes, each has an AP Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year Award, John R. Wooden Award, and Naismith College Player of the Year. 

But how do the two stack when comparing their respective stats?

On the surface, Clark has the edge over Bueckers, and a large part of that has to do with her usage. Opponents know that Iowa is going to run the offense through Clark — and she’s that cold of a killer that it doesn’t matter. 

MORE: The Sporting News 2023-24 Women’s College Basketball All-America Team

However, for UConn, Bueckers is not the lone star like Clark is for Iowa. She has a dominant partner in Aaliyah Edwards, creating a dangerous 1-2 punch for the Huskies. That means her output per game may not be as eye-popping as Clark’s. 

With that said, Bueckers is a more efficient shooter. Clark takes so many more attempts than her UConn counterpart, which is why she averages over 30 points a game. Bueckers may come in at an average of 21.5 points per game, but she sinks baskets at a higher clip than Clark. The UConn standout also is better defensively than the Iowa senior, as Bueckers totals more steals and blocks than Clark does. 

So, who is the better player statistically? Let’s let the numbers do the talking.

Here is a deeper dive into the stats of Clark and Bueckers for the 2023-24 season. 

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers per game stats

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Points 31.8 21.5
Assists 8.9 3.8
Rebounds 7.3 4.9
Steals 1.8 2.2
Blocks 0.5 1.4
Field Goal % 45.9 53.9
3-Point % 38.0 42.1
Free Throw % 85.9 84.6

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers per 40 stats

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Points 37.1 27.8
Assists 10.4 4.9
Rebounds 8.6 6.4
Steals 2.1 2.8
Blocks 0.6 1.8
Field Goal % 45.9 53.9
3-Point % 38.0 42.1
Free Throw % 85.9 84.6

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers advanced stats

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Player Efficiency Rating (PER) 43.8 41.1
True Shooting % 61.5 64.6
Effective Field Goal % 57.4 61.2
3-Point Attempt Rate 60.4 34.8
Free Throw Attempt Rate 30.5 29.1
Points Produced 1,083 674
Usage % 40.5 28.3
Win Shares 11.8 11.1

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