Caitlin Clark’s coach reveals when the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer will join the WNBA

Clark would be the #1 overall pick if she declared for the 2024 draft

Clark broke Kelsey Plum's collegiate points record on Thursday night.

Clark broke Kelsey Plum’s collegiate points record on Thursday night.Lapresse

Caitlin Clark is the new scoring champion in women’s college basketball. The Iowa superstar added another chapter to her transcendent collegiate career on Thursday by exploding for 49 points and 13 assists in a 106-89 home win over the Michigan Wolverines, a performance that got the Hawkeyes back on track after a loss to Nebraska and saw Clark shatter Kelsey Plum‘s NCAA record for points scored by a female player.

But Clark’s next chapter is not yet certain. She will be hoping to lead the Hawkeyes to an NCAA championship this spring, and many expect her to bolt for the WNBA following the season’s conclusion. However, Clark’s head coach at Iowa has cast doubt over her future plans in what would be a big blow to the W.

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Clark could play one more year at Iowa

The 2023/24 season is Clark’s fourth in Iowa City, which ordinarily would end a player’s college career. But Clark’s first season, the 2020/21 campaign, began while the United States was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic — and incoming freshmen that season were granted an extra year of college eligibility. This means Clark could feasibly return for a fifth season at Iowa in 2024/25.

And according to coach Lisa Bluder, her star player is still mulling over her options. During an appearance on Big Ten Radio on Friday, Bluder said that the looming WNBA decision has been more of a distraction for Clark than the scoring record chase ever was — and that the last conversation Clark had with her coach about making the leap to pro basketball took place in November.

“I think she’s really kind of burdened by this because she really loves both options, and she knows that someone is going to be disappointed,” Bluder said. “She’s a relationship kid, she’s a person that really connects with people very very well.”

The Fever beckons

The deadline for Clark’s choice — to stay in school or head for the WNBA — is 48 hours after Iowa’s final game of the season, which could very well be the NCAA Championship Game on April 7. That would mean a decision due by April 9 — six days before the 2024 WNBA Draft takes place.

The draft board will take on a starkly different look if Clark elects to stay in school and turn pro in 2025. But if she announces her intent to enter the draft, it is practically a certainty that the Indiana Fever will make her the #1 overall selection in April. The Fever would get to pair Clark’s scoring and playmaking with 2023 top overall pick Aliyah Boston‘s size and defensive ability — creating a dynamic duo that could contend for championships before too long.

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