#36 Ohio State Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes
Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #6 Big Ten
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Ohio State has had a very good team over the last four years. In 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, the Buckeyes won at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title. But there has not been much NCAA Tournament success. And now Coach Kevin McGuff needs to replace the top six scorers. Kelsey Mitchell, Stephanie Mavunga, Linnae Harper and Sierra Calhoun were all double digit scorers and nobody who averaged over 3.5 points is returning. That leaves a lot of rebuilding to do, but five graduate transfers will help give the Buckeyes some much needed experience.
2017-18 Record: 28-7, 13-3
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kevin McGuff
Coach Record: 120-50 at Ohio State, 375-149 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kelsey Mitchell, Guard, 24.3 ppg
Stephanie Mavunga, Forward, 16.6 ppg
Linnae Harper, Guard, 14.4 ppg
Sierra Calhoun, Guard, 11.6 ppg
Asia Doss, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Alexa Hart, Forward, 5.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Makayla Waterman, Senior, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Jensen Caretti, Junior, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Savitha Jayaraman, Sophomore, Forward, 0.5 ppg
Key New Players
Ashanti Abshaw, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Cleveland State
Janai Crooms, Freshman, Guard
Carmen Grande, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Ball State
Dorka Juhasz, Freshman, Forward
Andreana Miller, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from La Salle
Aaliyah Patty, Freshman, Forward
Najah Queenland, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Pacific
Carly Santoro, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Bowling Green
Ashanti Abshaw averaged 17.1 points per game during her three seasons at Cleveland State. La Salle transfer Andreana Miller is a prolific shooter and connected on 164 three-pointers during her time with the Explorers. Carmen Grande was one of the best point guards in the country during her time with Ball State. Last season she was second in the nation with 9.2 assists per game. Najah Queenland, from Pacific, and Carly Santoro, from Bowling Green, are bigger guards who can help out on the glass. Santoro averaged 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds last season and will get the opportunity to play a big role with Ohio State. Freshmen Janai Crooms and Aaliyah Patty are highly regarded and should get a chance to be a key part of the team this year. There are a few returning players, most notably Makayla Waterman, who averaged 18.2 minutes per game last season. The 6-2 senior averaged 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 2017-2018 and she will need to emerge as a leader on and off the floor in an effort to bring this large group of newcomers together as quickly as possible. In the end, this Ohio State team has talent and quite a bit of experience too. Eventually the pieces will fit together and that is when the Buckeyes will be a dangerous team.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 85.0 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.1 (299, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (26, 4)
Field-Goal Defense:40.5 (189, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.6 (25, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.4 (55, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.6 (72, 7)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (160, 9)
Assists Per Game:14.8 (90, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (9, 1)
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#41 Janai Crooms
#110 Alliyah Patty