Checking in on former Bullpups

By Steve Sell
February 13, 2015

Odds and ends to wrap up the week...

• BUCHMAN PLAYING WELL — McPherson High graduate Casyn Buchman will go down as one of the best athletes in Washburn University history.

Buchman is a rarity in college athletics in that she’s a two-sport star at the NCAA Division II level. She has been the No. 1 player for Washburn’s women’s tennis team and is enjoying yet another great year for the basketball team.

This past fall she had a 6-3 singles record and a 6-1 doubles record. Among her teammates is Kirsten Holle, whom she won the state title in doubles with while at McPherson High.

Buchman leads the Ichabod cagers in numerous statistical categories. She is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points, and snares 4.7 rebounds a game. She leads the team in assists at nearly four a game. Her shooting eye has been sharp as she makes a solid 36 percent from 3-point and 86 percent at the line. She has missed only 10 free throws in 23 games.

Washburn currently is 15-8 on the year.

• ULSAKER PICKING IT UP — Speaking of Washburn, Christian Ulsaker has returned to the Ichabods’ men’s lineup after missing some time with an injury.

Ulsaker, the 2011 Kansas Mr. Basketball when he helped the Bullpups to the Class 5A state title, is fourth on the team in scoring at 6.2 points and also snares nearly four rebounds a game. Washburn goes deep into its bench, one reason Ulsaker’s modest scoring total ranks high.

After so many outstanding years under veteran coach Bob Chipman, the Ichabods have struggled to a 12-14 record this season with four games left to play.

• BRUNER SEEING MINUTES AT ESU — Another former Bullpup, Ashton Bruner, is playing some valuable minutes for nationally ranked Emporia State.

Bruner, who had played two years at Barton County Community College, has appeared in all 22 games, averaging 13 minutes. They have been highly productive minutes, though, averaging 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds. She would average a double-double if projected for a 40-minute game.

Her season highs are 10 points and seven rebounds (on five separate occasions). She is shooting an exemplary 52 percent from the field.

Emporia State is 18-4 on the year.

• KLINE’S TEAM NEAR .500 — McPherson High grad Chad Kline is in his first year as head men’s basketball coach at Arkansas Tech, which has one of the great team nicknames in all of sports — The Wonder Boys.

Kline’s team has won its last two games to pull within a game of the .500 mark at 11-12. 

The Wonder Boys have five regular-season games remaining.

Kline was an assistant coach at Tech for three years before being elevated to the top spot for this season. In his three years as an assistant, the Wonder Boys were 65-28.

Kline, who was a head coach for five years at Frank Phillips University in Texas, played two years at Barton County Community College, one year at Emporia State before finishing his career playing for Roger Trimmell at McPherson College. While he was at Barton, the Cougars played for the national juco championship at Hutchinson.

• ALL EYES ON LINDSBORG — I’m going to be in Lindsborg Saturday night for the KCAC “Game of the Year.”

Bethany College’s men host Tabor at 7 p.m., and the Swedes can move into a first-place tie with the Bluejays with a win.

Tabor is 12-3 in the KCAC, while Bethany and Saint Mary are 11-4. Saint Mary is home on Saturday to take on Friends, then has to go to Lindsborg next Thursday to play the Swedes, who control their own destiny.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Tabor and Bethany don’t meet for a third time in the KCAC Postseason Tournament championship game.