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Senior Watch: Going Plum Crazy

Every year there are a bevy of young high school athletes that are showered with accolades, and heaped with the expectations of stardom. Many of those athletes crumple under the crushing weight of that pressure, but others thrive, seeking out the spotlight. Kelsey Plum, now a senior guard for the Washington Huskies, was one of those athletes.

Plum graduated from La Jolla Country Day just outside of San Diego, where she was a McDonald’s All-American and CalHiSports’ Ms. Basketball. Her outstanding high school career caught the eyes of big-time programs throughout the country, and she was recruited coast-to-coast. Ultimately, Plum decided to ply her trade for the Huskies, and they are glad she did.

Ever since Plum stepped onto campus in Seattle, she has been nothing short of historic for the Huskies, outdoing herself each year. Her first season she set freshmen records in points scored in a game (38) and single-season points scored (712). To open her sophomore season, Plum again took aim at the record books, scoring a school record 45 points in the opening matchup against Oklahoma, before leading the Huskies to the NCAA tournament. Her junior year brought yet more progress as she averaged 25.9 points a game, good for first in the Pac-12 and fourth in the nation. Yet her scoring prowess paled in comparison to her postseason success, as she led the Huskies to their first-ever Final Four appearance.

So what was expected of the rising senior this year? Well, of course: more greatness. And in true form, Plum has again exceeded expectations thus far.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup against Boise State, Plum needed just 22 points to pass former Stanford star and current Connecticut Sun Chiney Ogwumike for the all-time Pac-12 scoring crown. Plum promptly went out and doubled that, scoring 44 points in the win, breaking the record and raising her scoring average to 31 PPG all in one fell swoop.

Plum’s dominance hasn’t gone unnoticed. She has been the talk of the young season thus far, and even some at the next level are taking note.

So what’s next for for star guard? She has 3,000 career points in her sights (currently 2,759), and if she reaches that mark she would be just the 12th woman in the NCAA era on the list. Plum is also looking to lead her 11th-ranked Huskies back to the Final Four this year — and possibly further. After that it’s on to the WNBA Draft where, despite a career of high expectations and lofty goals, she still isn’t considered a lock to go in the top three. If she keeps turning heads and breaking records, she may be soon enough.