Elena Delle Donne may not be the best player in college women’s basketball but, unlike some of her competitors, Delle Donne isn’t 6’8” tall. People have known about her talent for a long time; she did not come out of nowhere. Delle Donne got scholarship offers from the best programs in the country, and accepted her spot at the University of Connecticut. However within the first week she was back at home in Delaware citing burnout due to Geno Auriemma’s demands, in addition to family matters. She soon enrolled at the University of Delaware and played volleyball for one season in 2008-2009. But eventually she reacquainted herself with basketball and joined the UD team for the 2009-2010 season.
This season, as a junior, she has led Delaware to an undefeated CAA record and an overall 26-1 record, earning the team the 8th spot in the national rankings. Seeing her play is odd. She doesn’t quite seem to try, or play with intensity, but all of a sudden, she shoots a 3 from 27 feet, gets her own rebound and then shoots and scores, if she misses the 3 at all. Seeing her play this past Wednesday made me wonder how she performs against our beloved William and Mary. So I looked into the points per game statistic for each game she has played against us, and compared that to her season average.
She has never lost to our team, which made me worried about what I might find. In the 09-10 season, Delaware won 84-55 and 65-52 and she scored 23 points and 24 points respectively. While the team won both games in 10-11, she only played in one game, sitting out the other. In that game the Blue Hens won in overtime 70-66 largely due to Delle Donne’s 33 points. This season in a 79-53 victory and a 73-57 victory she scored 26 points and 23 points respectively. Delle Done has one of, if not the highest, scoring average of any player against William and Mary women’s basketball.
But how does that compare with her career average? Her freshman season she averaged 26.7 points per game. In her sophomore season she averaged 25.3 points per game, despite the fact she was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease soon into the season. To battle Lyme’s disease but still manage 25.3 points per game is the most absurd thing I think I have ever heard. This season she leads the nation with 28.3 points per game. We held her below her average in 2 years, but she beat the average her sophomore season. So how does her average game against the Tribe fare against her career average? With a Tribe game average of 25.8 points and a career average of 26.7 points we can say she has played pretty normal games against us. However, it is on the low side of her average, a moral victory.
We still get to see her come to Kaplan one more time in her career, and I know that I am eagerly awaiting the return of one of the best player in the nation, and looking forward to watching our team shut her down. Go Tribe.