“I truly do love this place. This place is my home now. I will forever cherish every time I’ve had here in Columbus. You guys took me in with open arms and accepted me for who I am, through all the ups and downs, through my inconsistent play, all the losses, you guys always stuck with me and I love this place. Go Bucks.”
Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch
Even though he hasn’t officially announced his intentions for the future yet, Tuesday night felt like the last time that Keita Bates-Diop would don the scarlet and gray for the Buckeyes at Value City Arena. It’s not hard to understand why the game against Rutgers could be the redshirt junior’s last one at home.
After missing most of last season due to injury, Bates-Diop has returned with a vengeance, averaging 19 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, leading Ohio State to an incredible turnaround in Chris Holtmann’s first year in Columbus. It’s likely that Bates-Diop will be Big Ten Player of the Year, and he is being projected as a late-first-round pick in June’s NBA Draft.
Bates-Diop choosing to be honored with the seniors on Tuesday night tells you just about everything you need to know about what the future holds for the Illinois native. Even though it’s possible for Bates-Diop to return next year, it’s impossible to blame him for leaving if he is projected to be a first-round pick.
Even though his home career might be over, there will still be chances to enjoy what is left of Bates-Diop’s Ohio State career in the regular season finale, the Big Ten Tournament, and NCAA Tournament. Hopefully there will be a couple more memorable moments to cap off a great season for the Ohio State star.
“Only three women stand in the way of Mitchell becoming the NCAAs all-time leading scorer, but they will likely be just enough to the top spot out of reach. Either way, she is already the best scorer in the history of the Big Ten and Ohio State, which is not too bad of a consolation prize.”
Colin Hass-Hill, The Lantern
In the final home game of her outstanding Ohio State career, Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points in an easy 88-54 Ohio State win over Northwestern. With just one regular season game remaining, along with the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments, Mitchell ranks fourth all-time in NCAA women’s basketball history with 3,264 points.
This year Mitchell is averaging 24.6 points per game, which means she should be able to move up on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list on Sunday. Currently Mitchell sits 19 points behind Baylor’s Brittney Griner for third place. After Griner, Mitchell is 130 points away from passing Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles for second place, and 263 away from Washington’s Kelsey Plum, who is the NCAA women’s basketball all-time leading scorer.
Mitchell has a little as three games left in her Ohio State career, but could play as many as 10 games if the Buckeyes reach the championship games of the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament. If Ohio State plays 10 more games this year, Mitchell would have to average 26.3 points per game to tie Plum.
It’s very likely that Mitchell will finish her career as the second or third leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history. Even if Mitchell isn’t able to reach Plum’s NCAA scoring record, she still has plenty of accolades under her belt, holding 16 Ohio State records already. No matter where she finishes in scoring for her career, there is no question that Mitchell is the best player in program history, and one of the best players in women’s college basketball history.
“When Tre came back home from that Ohio State trip, he was walking on air. That was where he wanted to go. Nick Myers didn’t know what he was getting a Tre.”
Daphne Leclaire, mother of Ohio State men’s lacrosse player Tre Leclaire via Gary Lambrecht, US Lacrosse Magazine
Over the years, Ohio State’s men’s lacrosse team has built a bit of a pipeline of players from British Columbia. Since 2003, Ohio State has brought in 12 players from Canada’s western province. The latest of those is sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire.
After competing at 16 years old as the youngest player in the B.C. Junior A League, which primarily carries players from ages 18 to 21, Leclaire was noticed by former Buckeye Logan Schuss, and recruited by Ohio State lacrosse coach Nick Myers. The head coach was already familiar with the Leclaire family after recruiting Tre’s older twin brothers.
All Leclaire did in his freshman season was record 49 goals, which was the third-most in program history, and the most ever by an Ohio State freshman. On the back of Leclaire, Ohio State made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA title game, falling to Maryland 9-6 on Memorial Day.
Ohio State and Leclaire have started off this year hot, winning all three of their contests so far. Leclaire has already put home eight goals, and handed out four assists. Ohio State was one of the first Division I programs to put an emphasis on recruiting British Columbia, with Myers making a yearly trip to the province. The 10th year Ohio State head coach might be making more trips out there if he can find more players like Leclaire.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Today is National Margarita Day. A number of Columbus restaurants are offering specials to celebrate.
- Ill Mannered Brewing will break ground on a new brewery and taproom in Powell next week.
- Combustion Brewery is honoring Upper Arlington’s 100th birthday with a limited-edition Session IPA.
- Even more Toys “R” Us stores could be closing.
- Subway’s new rewards program is about as terrible as their food.