#8 Ohio State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes

Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
#8 Ohio State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Ohio State Team Page


Ohio State returns all five starters from a team that won 24 games last season and plays one of the more exciting styles of basketball in the nation. Head Coach Kevin McGuff has quickly reignited a Buckeyes program that is primed for one of those special seasons that will cement their status as being back amongst the elite programs in all of women’s college basketball…provided they can get past Maryland in Big Ten play.

2014-15 Record: 24-11, 13-5
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kevin McGuff
Coach Record: 41-29 at Ohio State, 296-128 overall

You better be in peak physical condition when you play the Buckeyes as they will come at you for 40 minutes all over the floor and bank on wearing you down over the course of the game. Sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell and senior guard Ameryst Alston will form one of the top scoring tandems in all of women’s college basketball once again this season. Mitchell and Alston combined for over 43 points per game offensively and they did a great job distributing the basketball to their teammates. Sophomore forward Alexa Hart provides a nice compliment to the guards by taking care of business down in the post by relentlessly rebounding the basketball. Hart is going to need to stay healthy and get help from Cait Craft, Asia Doss and Shayla Cooper to provide great energy at the defensive end of the court.

Ohio State is never going to be truly elite defensively with the style of basketball that they play. However, if they can elevate their ability to create more turnovers to offset the rebounding issues then they will be fine. The Buckeyes created an average of 17.5 turnovers per game last season and a great target goal would be 20 in order to get that extra three or four possessions in games. Also, if Ohio State can improve just enough defensively and reduce their opponents field goal percentage by a couple of points, down closer to 35, then they will be in great shape all season long.

Final Projection:
The Buckeyes will learn some very tough lessons right out of the gate with games at home against Connecticut and on the road at South Carolina. The biggest key for Ohio State in these two games will be to play well and not be intimidated by the Huskies or Gamecocks. Other critical non-conference games include battles with Texas A&M in Las Vegas, Notre Dame in South Bend, Princeton at home and a visit from Virginia. If Ohio State can be around .500 in that group of games, then they will be in great shape prior to conference play. The Big Ten schedule will bring a key road test at Maryland on January 2 in College Park. It is going to be vital for this experienced starting lineup to be clicking on all cylinders by that game in order to get the crucial road win. Northwestern will also be a tricky road game on January 14 that will test the patience of the Buckeyes in a tough road environment. At the end of the day with all five starters back, Ohio State should be a prime candidate to make a run to the Elite Eight this season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Kelsey Mitchell, Sophomore, Guard, 24.9 points per game
Ameryst Alston, Senior, Guard, 19.8 points per game
Cait Craft, Senior, Guard, 7.6 points per game
Asia Doss, Sophomore, Guard, 5.4 points per game
Alexa Hart, Sophomore, Forward, 12.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.0 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.8 (314,12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (29,3)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.7 (130,4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (27,2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (68,6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.3 (46,5)
Rebound Margin: -3.9 (285,12)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (39,7)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.7 (64,6)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#23 Ameryst Alston

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#55 Kaylan Pugh
#75 Theresa Ekhelar


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