OPINION: Why the Chippewas are more similar to the Warriors than you think
Central Michigan women's basketball is more similar to the Golden State Warriors than you think.
It’s no secret that the Warriors are one of the best NBA franchises in recent memory. Their combination of stars, unselfish style of play and exceptional team chemistry creates a contender each year.
There is another star-loaded team that plays as cohesive unit and dominates its conference. That is CMU women's basketball — the lone undefeated team in the Mid-American Conference.
The Chippewas and Warriors each lead in several offensive statistical categories — including points per game, 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage.
And it’s not just the team statistics that easily compare. Golden State’s best lineup favorably compares to CMU’s starting five.
Presley Hudson and Steph Curry
Point guard Steph Curry is known for his extremely deep range and quick release. It’s no different for junior guard Presley Hudson. Hudson and Curry both make shots well beyond the 3-point arc.
Hudson, a First-Team All-MAC selection, led the Chippewas during the 2016-17 campaign after averaging 16.3 points per game. Hudson set a program single-game record with a career-high 43 points against Ball State and tied the program single-game record for 3-pointers with nine in the same game.
Cassie Breen and Klay Thompson
If Curry is not the best 3-point shooter in the NBA, it's probably his teammate Klay Thompson. Both Breen and Thompson are unbelievable sharpshooters and perimeter defenders.
Breen is shooting 42 percent from three this season, while Thompson is shooting 45 percent. Breen has recorded the second most 3-pointers in CMU history.
Micaela Kelly and Andre Iguodala
Former NBA Finals MVP Iguodala is known as a quick perimeter defender who can run the floor. Kelly shares those traits with elite speed allowing her to get after the other team.
Since Iguodala has arrived at Golden State, he has shot an efficient 48.1 percent from the field and averaged just more than one steal per game. Similarly, Kelly shoots 48.8 percent from the field and averages 1.5 assists per game.
Reyna Frost and Draymond Green
Green is one of the NBA’s best rebounders and defenders. After two straight seasons as NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, Green finally won the award last season. He leads the Warriors with 346 rebounds this season — 50 more than the next highest Warrior.
Frost crashes the boards harder than anyone else on the team. She leads the MAC in rebounding — averaging 12.3 per game.
Tinara Moore and Kevin Durant
Durant averages 2.0 blocks per game, which is good for No. 3 in the NBA. Tinara Moore leads the MAC by averaging 2.1 blocks per game.
But, defense isn’t the only similarity between the two. Both Moore and Durant have the ability to score inside or outside.
Moore shoots 60 percent from inside the arc and shoots 40.7 percent from 3-point range. Durant shoots 55.6 percent from two, while shooting 40.8 percent from three.
Now, the challenge both teams face is to win a championship.