Rebecca Lobo Photo Credit: Awful Announcing Podcast

Caitlin Clark has without question taken NCAA women’s basketball to an entirely new level.

The Iowa superstar has dramatically boosted attendance and TV ratings, to the point where Fox Sports even reportedly considered signing Clark to an NIL deal to keep her in college. She has announced plans to join the WNBA.

At the same time, however, there is speculation by some that Clark has been overexposed and her impact on the game overstated.

Former NCAA and WNBA star Rebecca Lobo strongly disagrees with that take. Lobo, now a WNBA and women’s college basketball color analyst for ESPN, appears on the Awful Announcing Podcast this week to talk about a number of issues, including Clark’s impact on the sport.

Podcast host Brandon Contes asked Lobo about the perception by some who feel women’s college basketball has naturally become more popular, and that Clark’s impact has been exaggerated.

“I don’t think her importance is overstated,” Lobo said. “I think she’s a singular force like we’ve never seen before in the women’s game, in particular in the women’s college game.

“And we’ve had great players, we just haven’t had this mix of … a player who does something we’ve never seen before in the women’s college game in terms of the logo threes, every time the stakes raise and it feels like, ‘Oh jeez, there’s gotta be a lot of pressure on this kid’ she meets the moment.”

Lobo notes that Clark, who recently set the NCAA’s all-time scoring record for men’s and women’s college basketball, brings far more to the game than just scoring.

“She does so many other things that are so exciting,” Lobo said. “My favorite part of her game is her passing. She is an incredible passer and dynamic and has the right personality and all of that.”

Lobo doesn’t want to discount the overall growth of NCAA women’s basketball.

“Yes, the the rest of the women’s women’s game is incredible,” she said. “Like, I can’t wait ’til this summer when hopefully the ratings translate to a degree to the WNBA, because people I think who haven’t watched it before are really going to be kind of blown away at the level that these women play at.”

Still, Lobo thinks Clark’s popularity and talents are packing arenas and boosting TV ratings.

“I think Doug Feinberg from the AP was the one who kind of wrote … there have been ticket-selling teams where, because of what’s written on the front of the jersey, whether it’s UConn or Tennessee or South Carolina, have sold tickets on the road,” Lobo said. “But this is the first time, as he phrased it, that it’s been the name on the back of the jersey that’s really driven ticket sales and eyeballs on the game.

“So she’s been a singular force and has come along right at the perfect moment.”

The full episode of The Awful Announcing Podcast with Rebecca Lobo will be released Friday morning. Subscribe to the show on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. For more content, subscribe to AA’s YouTube page.

[Awful Announcing Podcast]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.