Preseason Big Ten predictions have been very interesting.
Coaches, media, all have Maryland at the top of the conference, their home since the Terps left the ACC for northern pastures a few years ago.
There is no denying the talent on Brenda Frese's squad, but in Columbus, Ohio, Kevin McGuff is looking at an Ohio State Buckeyes team that is coming together.
Featuring highly sought recruits and key transfers, McGuff's team is ready for the big time, and is prepared to not only challenge Maryland for conference supremacy, but also to make a legitimate run at the Final Four in Texas.
The Buckeyes lost five players off last year's team, including guard Ameryst Alston, their second leading scorer, but add transfers Sierra Calhoun and Stephanie Mavunga, both McDonald's All-Americans before matriculating at Duke and North Carolina, respectively. At the end of December they will add former Kentucky standout Linnae Harper as well.
They Return last year starters Kelsey Mitchell, Alexa Hart, and Asia Doss plus key components Shayla Cooper and Makayla Waterman. Add in freshmen Tori McCoy, Kiara Lewis and Jensen Carotti, and this is the deepest team McGuff has had at Ohio State.
Mitchell is the prize though, a point guard with an amazing ability to score as needed. The left-hander possesses a lightning quick release and outstanding range on her jump shot, plus great speed in the open court and ability to crossover at any moment.
She has been labeled, somewhat unfairly, as a "volume shooter" with negative connotations to that title, when in fact, Mitchell shot 45 percent from the field last year. In other words, why not take the shot? There will not be too many better options on the floor at any time!
A quiet and unassuming personality, Mitchell finds herself, as a junior this season, being pushed into a more vocal leadership role by McGuff. Mitchell acknowledges she is more comfortable leading by example, but is trying t
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