None of the past NCAA standouts — Lew Alcindor, Pete Maravich, Tony Dorsett — have surpassed records, garnered awards and gone as the top pick in the draft like the Husky standout.
The thing about Kelsey Plum is, she doesn’t create individual boxes to check. She has preached team-first goals in every interview she has given, and by this point, she has given hundreds.
But in case you need a list of everything the former Washington point guard has accomplished in the past four months, here you go.
All-time Pac-12 scoring record — check.
All-time NCAA scoring record — check.
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Single-season NCAA scoring record — check.
All-time NCAA free throws made record — check.
Naismith and Wooden Awards for National Player of the Year — check.
First pick in the WNBA draft? Well, after Thursday night, you can go ahead and check that, too.
No doubt there have been college athletes who dominated their sport more so than Plum. Heck, there have been better women’s college basketball players than Plum, too.
But as far as individual accolades go — as far as hitting all these historic marks while hoarding every conceivable honor — when is the last time we’ve seen any kind of stretch like this?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time) didn’t break any national scoring records during his Herculean stretch at UCLA. Archie Griffin set the all-time rushing record during his Heisman-winning senior year, but he didn’t set the single-season mark while doing it.
The closest matches you might get are Pete Maravich, who won the Naismith Award the year he broke the single-season and all-time scoring records — and Tony Dorsett, who won the Heisman the year he set the single-season and all-time rushing records.
But neither went No. 1 in their respective drafts.
So yeah, what Plum did feels unique. If you got the sense she was doing things you hadn’t seen before, you were probably right.
The end of Plum’s college career came when the Huskies were bounced in the Sweet 16 three weeks ago. But the culmination of those ferocious four months came when the San Antonio Stars selected her No. 1 Thursday.
“When I was 10 years old, I told my mom I wanted to play in the WNBA,” Plum said. “For that moment to come true, it’s one of those feelings you dream about your whole life.”
Still, you have to wonder if what Plum did last season was beyond her wildest dreams — at least from an individual standpoint. When the first game came around, her chances of breaking Jackie Stiles’ all-time scoring record seemed improbable. About halfway through the season, it seemed inevitable.
The Pac-12’s best player morphed into the nation’s best player months after leading the Huskies to the program’s first Final Four. Kelsey’s shooting percentage jumped from .405 her junior to .529 as a senior. Her three-point percentage jumped from .333 to .428. Her scoring average jumped from 25.9 to 31.7, even though opponents studied her as though cramming for finals.
Sure, the Huskies’ top-10 ranking and three-point barrages helped capture the city’s attention. But Plum was the primary reason the record-breaking number of butts filled the Hec Ed seats. And in her last regular-season game, she performed her magnum opus — scoring a career-high 57 points en route to nabbing the career scoring record.
Of course, Plum will probably tell you that the season ended in disappointment. Despite leading at the start of the fourth quarter, Washington fell to eventual national runner-up Mississippi State in the Sweet 16, thus ending the pursuit of Plum’s most coveted goal.
But if you need an Ibuprofen for such emotional pain, sweeping the end-of-the-year honors and being the top pick in the pros will generally do the trick.
Of course, all of that was expected to happen. What takes place from here is more of a mystery. Talented as Plum is, meticulous as her work ethic may be, at 5-foot-8, she’s far from a guarantee as a future star.
“We’ll see if (my game) translates,” said Plum to ESPN’s Holly Rowe after she was picked.
It’s a different game in the WNBA. Maybe Plum will pick up where she left off and torch the league from inside and outside the perimeter. Or maybe the speed, length and strength of her future foes will be too bothersome for her to truly shine.
So what does Plum’s future hold? We’re about to see.
But what she accomplished over these past four months?
That, we haven’t seen.