BLUE HENS SPOTLIGHT: Basketball Standout Kelsey Buchanan Exudes Delaware Pride
By Mandie Plowman
UD Athletics Media Relations Student Intern
As the entire Blue Hens community revels in the men’s basketball team’s Colonial Athletic Association championship last week, the University of Delaware women get ready to do the same this weekend.
Kelsey Buchanan, a senior center from South Riding, Va. and a fourth-year member of the women’s team, says that she and her teammates were excited to leave for the CAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, especially after traveling to Baltimore to see the UD men win it all.
“I think as a whole, we are excited and ready for the tournament,” said Buchanan, who was recognized as a CAA first team all-star at the tournament banquet Wednesday night. “I think people may be unaware of our strength.”
The team graduated seven standout players from the last season, including three-time All-American and all-time UD leading scorer Elena Delle Donne, but despite the loss have remained one of strongest programs in the CAA.
And Buchanan plays a vital lead role. She is averaging 17.9 points per game – third best in the CAA - and broke the 30-point mark for this first time this season. In addition, she ranks third in the CAA in rebounds at 8.4 per contest, third in free throw shooting (.822), fifth in field goal percentage (.485), and sixth in blocked shots (1.0 per game).
The women, who are two-time defending CAA champions, headed down to their CAA Tournament at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. as the No. 2 seed with a conference record of 10-6 and an overall mark of 18-9.
Delaware will play No. 7 seed Northeastern in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 14, at 2:30 p.m.
As one of only two seniors on the team, Buchanan is leading a team of numerous new faces. She is not the least bit discouraged by that fact, and instead says that the team’s freshness has inspired an eagerness that could give them an advantage.
“Although some have never experienced a tournament atmosphere, we will have adrenalin and readiness other seasoned teams may not have,” she said.
Aside from being an incredible leader for the team, Buchanan is an active member of the University of Delaware campus. She is heavily involved in the Blue Hen Ambassador program and Delaware Christian Athletes.
“I am so extremely proud to be a Blue Hen,” she said, “With the groups that I am involved with on campus as well as basketball, I love feeling connected and a part of this campus.”
Buchanan in an administration and family policy major and will be attending George Washington University in Washington D.C. in the fall for graduate school.
“I'm really excited about this, although it will be my first time being just a student without basketball,” she said.
Whatever her success in the years to come, Buchanan has made an enormous impact on this Blue Hens team, and it has made an equal impact on her.
“Being a member of this team made my college experience because it's deeper than school spirit,” she said. “It's a real sense of pride and identity. I am and will always be a Blue Hen and I love that.”
As her final CAA Tournament approaches, Buchanan is hopeful for another year like her previous two.
“Our goal is, of course, to three-peat as a program and win another tournament,” she said.