#43 Ohio State Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes

Overall rank: #43
Conference rank: #6 Big Ten
Ohio State Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Ohio State Team Page


It is definitely an exciting time to be an Ohio State Buckeye, as if last season wasn’t a good enough reason. There are two things to watch out for as preseason approaches. The first involves a player, senior Tayler Hill, who was selected to the preseason 25-member list for the State Farm Wade Trophy, awarded each year to the top player in women’s college basketball. The second big development involves a sure sign Ohio State has hit the big time. This does not affect the 2012-13 season, but the team is invited to the Women’s College Basketball Challenge next December. The Buckeyes will face Bowling Green, Marist and Monmouth at this tournament as appetizers before the main course – an appearance against Geno Auriemma’s storied Connecticut squad – is served on December 1, 2013.

2011-12 record: 25-7, 11-6
2011-12 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jim Foster
Coach Record: 261-69 at Ohio State, 765-294 overall

There is a big reason why the Buckeyes’ Hill is on a preseason watch list, and it has to do with her scoring. Hill averaged 20.4 points per game a year ago and was the leading stealer on the team at 81. She also had 75 assists in 32 games last year, a little under 2.5 per game, and was the team’s leading 3-point shooter at 41.8 percent (82-for-196). Hill is the complete package, having started all 32 games on the court and played 1,175 minutes a year ago. She’s also second on the team in turnovers (74), but that’s a byproduct of how often she touches the ball. Guard Raven Ferguson will help Hill with the team’s 3-point shooting offense. Ashley Adams had 96 blocks last season out of a team total of 182, and the combination of strong shooting and solid defense under the basket will help the Buckeyes as they proceed through tough tests in the non-conference and Big Ten seasons.

The graduation of Samantha Prahalis leaves Hill holding the bag as the team’s only double-digit scorer. Hill’s blessings could also be a curse if the team can’t find a suitable double-figure scorer to complement Hill, who could face double and triple teams if all the scoring revolves around her. Although Hill is a strong senior presence, there are only two on the roster, and that youth and inexperience could bite the Buckeyes at key moments. Prahalis had 194 of the team’s 502 assists last season, meaning the team needs to find someone to handle the basketball as well as Prahalis did. That will go a long way toward determining whether Ohio State’s offense can be potent enough to survive tests like the opener against Notre Dame.

Final Projection:
The reality is Hill’s presence will be enough to ensure the Buckeyes go far into the postseason. New blood, including 6-foot-6 freshman center Lisa Blair, who could be the heir apparent to Adams down the road if her college game develops, will help infuse Ohio State with a fresh burst of energy. Ohio State will need it as it travels through a tough non-conference slate that includes Notre Dame, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Gonzaga. The Big Ten will be tough as it is, with teams like Purdue standing in the way of the Buckeyes’ success, but the Value City Arena should be hopping as the Ohio State women breeze through another strong year.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Tayler Hill, Senior, Guard, 20.4 points per game, 81 steals
Amber Stokes, Senior, Guard, 7.5 points
Ashley Adams, Junior, Center, 7.1 points, 96 blocks
Kalpana Beach, Sophomore, Forward, 5.1 points, 4.7 rebounds
Raven Ferguson, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 points, 37.8 percent 3-point shooting

Madness 2013 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Taylor Hill

Madness 2013 Women's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#122 Ameryst Alston