26 June, 2023
02 July
to read

Exactly how dominant was Xu Han at Women's Asia Cup 2023?

SYDNEY (Australia) - Xu Han's campaign at the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2023 was one of the most dominating performances by a single player - men's or women's basketball - that we've ever seen.

It wouldn't take an advanced scout to recognize just how good the Women's Asia Cup 2023 TISSOT MVP was and how big of an impact she had in getting China their first title since 2011. You don't need to take a deep dive into the numbers to see all of that and admire her domination.

But it still is nice to see all of that dominance laid out in a more tangible format. So here we go.

Number 1

At the end of the competition, Xu Han and China claimed the most important number 1 ranking which was in the Final Standings.

However, Han was also at the top of many rankings as an individual among all of the talented players at the Women's Asia Cup.

In 31.5 minutes per game, Han led the competition in scoring, rebounding, blocks, field-goal percentage, and three-point shooting percentage. She was only in the 90th percentile for three-pointers made per game (1.8 per contest).

Just for fun, Han also dished out at least one assist each game for an average of 1.8 per contest which is good enough to be in the 60th percentile among all players.

We only threw in her steals per game (0.2 per contest) just as a reminder that Xu Han is still human.

Unique Unicorn

In modern basketball, we throw the term "Unicorn" 🦄 around a lot. It's usually in reference to extremely tall players who do things that extremely tall players aren't usually capable of. Think Victor Wembanyama, Kristaps Porzingis, Bol Bol, or Kai Sotto for instance.

If there was ever a more perfect fit for the term in women's basketball, it's probably Xu Han. Fans and avid followers know this and it's not a secret, but it was ever so presently on display in Sydney throughout China's undefeated run.

Never before has there been a player in the Women's Asia Cup that dominated at both defending the paint and knocking down long-range shots at the same time - at least that was the case here in 2023.

Yep. That dot in the upper-right corner all by herself is Xu Han.

Unique Unicorn without a doubt.

Walking Double-double

We also sometimes use the term "walking double-double" a bit loosely in the basketball discussion circles. There are definitely a number of highly talented players who could go into any game and get themselves at least 10 points and 10 rebounds... but only a few actually go out there and do it.

As a matter of fact, here in the Women's Asia Cup - at least going back through the past decade - there has only been one player that has been able to do that in a single tournament run.

If you've been paying attention, you already know the answer who it is.

Others have come close to the feat, but Han is the only player to have done it all the while winning a title as well. Five double-doubles, five wins. Perfection in that aspect.

Boiling it down

It's never easy to pinpoint exactly how good a player is in a single game or competition or career. But we can always try.

One figure that has helped us in that arguement is Player Efficiency (EFF). There will always be a discussion about the context revolving around a single statistic to judge a player's performance, but sometimes when the gap is huge, it's hard to deny the fact.

And the fact is that Xu Han's performance at Women's Asia Cup 2023 has been by far one of the best in the competition - at least since 2015 when Player Efficiency was officially tracked.

Only 7 players have recorded at least 20 EFF per game in the past 5 editions of the Women's Asia Cup.
None have reached the 25 EFF per game mark, though Suk Yong Ro came close in 2015 with 24.7 EFF per game.

Then there is Xu Han, knocking down three-pointer after three-pointer, blocking shot after shot, and just smiling her way through hoisting TCL Player of the Games, TISSOT MVP, and Women's Asia Cup trophies al the way to 29.4 EFF, blasting through the competition by a landslide.

So, if you ask: Exactly how dominant was Xu Han at Women's Asia Cup 2023?

The answer is simple: One of the most dominant ever in the history of the competition.