Iowa star Caitlin Clark's dazzling January performance rivals only Michael Jordan
Every week in January it seemed Iowa sophomore guard Caitlin Clark one-upped herself. Which is saying a lot for the reigning national co-freshman of the year.
It turns out the month of jaw-dropping performances added up to a streak that rivals only NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan over the past 33 years.
Clark averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game over the full month. The 6-foot point guard played on average 35.7 minutes per game. College games are 40 minutes for regulation.
No NBA player has met or surpassed all of those averages in the month of January since Jordan with the Chicago Bulls in 1989, per Stats Perform. Jordan averaged 33.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 9.1 assists playing on average 41.2 minutes over 14 games. The NBA regulation time is 48 minutes.
Caitlin Clark of @IowaWBB averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game in January, playing 40-minute games.
No NBA player (playing 48-minute games) has matched or exceeded all of those averages in the month of January since Michael Jordan in 1989 (33.7/8.4/9.1).
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) February 1, 2022
It's a specific data point entry to compare the pair's performances against 33 years of January basketball, but puts into perspective Clarks' talents for a larger audience. And Clark's month was nothing short of extraordinary.
Caitlin Clark in January
Clark finished the month of January with 304 points over 10 games, making her the first Big Ten player to reach 300 points in any month over the past 20 seasons.
She ended the month with a 43-point performance in a 92-88 loss to Ohio State on Monday night. She was 16-of-28 from the field, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. She added seven assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes.
.@CaitlinClark22 with the 💰 from downtown! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/YjFDhvyy2K
— Iowa Women's Basketball (@IowaWBB) February 1, 2022
It was one point shy of her career-high 44 points set Jan. 2 against Evansville. From 3-point range she was two 3-point attempts and two makes shy of tying career-highs.
Every single one of her season highs came in the month of January, and all but two of the 12 either tied her career high or set the mark. She was 9-of-16 from 3-point range against Maryland last February.
Caitlin Clark pullled from the logo then did the Jordan shrug 🤷♀️
Clark finished with 43 and averaged a ridiculous 30.2 pts, 7.7 reb, and 9.1 ast in the month of January. pic.twitter.com/tp5gKaigRO
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) February 1, 2022
In the first game of the 2022 calendar year, she eclipsed 1,000 career points and became the fastest Big Ten women's basketball player to do it. She is one of eight NCAA athletes to do it in 40 games or fewer, and the second one in 25 years to do it in fewer than 40 games. The other player is Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and now the Washington Mystics. Delle Donne did it in 28 games.
Caitlin Clark joining NBA records
It wasn't only her own marks she re-set. Clark dropped back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles in wins against Nebraska and Minnesota. She joined six basketball players to do the same since 2000. Only Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo have done it in the NBA, WNBA, men's and women's Division I college basketball.
Her four triple-doubles this season lead the nation and the five she's accomplished over her career are the most for an active player in Division I. It's tied for fifth-most triple-doubles by a women's player. The record is 26, set by Oregon alumna and New York Liberty point guard Sabrina Ionescu.
Clark is a leading candidate for the National player of the Year award. She was named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 Watch List as announced on Monday night. Over the course of the season she's averaging a nation's best 26.4 points per game and 8.0 assists per game. She's averaging 8.3 rebounds.
No. 21 Iowa (14-5, 5-2 Big Ten) plays on the road at Wisconsin on Thursday and at No. 6 Michigan on Sunday.