"Ohio State has an incredible brand and the player to go with it. It's exciting. Kelsey can take them a long ways."
Ohio State women's basketball has a superstar on its hands for the next four seasons, and you might be seeing history in the making. Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell is second in the nation in points per game with 24.9 and at one point even led the country with 25.2 points. Still, Mitchell has attracted the attention of Debbie Antonelli, a longtime women's basketball analyst.
Mitchell's scoring numbers have been so impressive, in fact, that Antonelli says that the freshman has an opportunity to pass all-time career leading scorer Jackie Stiles (3,393 points) by the end of her career. Considering she's already blown by Katie Smith's freshman record (578 points) with 673, Mitchell is a strong contender for player of the year considerations.
"2. D'Angelo Russell - PG/SG (Freshman)"
Continuing the theme of basketball stars, Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell continues to see his NBA draft stock rise across multiple scouting boards. In Draft Express' latest top 100 players, Russell ranks second among potential draftees and is currently projected to the Minnesota Timberwolves in their latest mock draft. While he could end up with several different teams, it's pretty much a consensus that Russell is the second-best player available.
With the NCAA tournament in March still on the horizon, Russell has said he's staying focused on winning with Ohio State. And while he does his best to lead the Buckeyes to a shot at the Big Ten title and beyond, he might even get considerations for going No. 1 overall. Things are certainly looking good for the freshman guard.
"Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he's against early visits if they would cut into the rare opportunities his football coaches get away from the game."
Talk of an early signing period in college football has come to fruition of sorts, as the idea is likely to be approved by FBS conference commissioners later this year. With that has come discussions of the impact it might have on recruiting, obviously, but also some specific areas that go into the recruiting itself. Ideas such as allowing early visits has even come up, and some coaches and administrators don't think that's the best course of action.
The early signing period plan is "designed to ease financial and time burdens on coaches and to keep pace with the accelerated recruiting cycle". If passed, it would allow recruits to sign Dec. 16-18. This would be on a two-year trial period, but coaches are worried that they might lose potential recruits too. If they're not holding early official visits for players, that only allows a very limited time frame for the coaches to get prospects on campus.
"The contract that runs through 2020 provides Smith with bonuses capped at $100,000 tied to the success of the football and men's basketball teams. His bonuses for academic achievements of student-athletes are also capped at $100,000. The combined bonuses of athletics and academics is capped at $130,000."
Evan Weese of Columbus Business First took the liberty to break down Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith's new contract, highlighting key notes from the contract itself. Smith will be receiving a base salary of $959,263 which is the same as his last contract, but also receives some performance bonuses based on how Ohio State does athletically.
Some of those bonuses include a $50,000 bonus for making the College Football Playoff finals. He gets $35,000 if they make the CFP semifinals, but don't advance. He also receives an extra $20,000 if Ohio State football wins the Big Ten Championship. There are some other interesting bonuses listed in the article that you can take a look at if you're curious.